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A Brief History of Everything Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 2 edition (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590304500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590304501
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In the ambitiously titled A Brief History of Everything, Wilber continues his search for the primary patterns that manifest in all realms of existence. Like Hegel in the West and Aurobindo in the East, Wilber is a thinker in the grand systematic tradition, an intellectual adventurer concerned with nothing less than the whole course of evolution, life's ultimate trajectory—in a word, everything. . . . Combining spiritual sensitivity with enormous intellectual understanding and a style of elegance and clarity, A Brief History of Everything is a clarion call for seeing the world as a whole, much at odds with the depressing reductionism of trendy Foucault-derivative academic philosophy."—San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

<p style="line-height: 150%;">Ken Wilber is the author of over twenty books. He is the founder of Integral Institute, a think-tank for studying integral theory and practice, with outreach through local and online communities such as Integral Education Network, Integral Training, and Integral Spiritual Center.

More About the Author

Ken Wilber is one of the most widely read and influential American philosophers of our time. His recent books include "A Brief History of Everything", "The Marriage of Sense and Soul" and "Grace and Grit".

Customer Reviews

Ken Wilber speaks to my mind and soul!
Laura Granville
This is going to sound petty to most, but it hit me really hard.
Brian Eisley
I appreciate that and highly recomend this book.
Michael Foudy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

195 of 220 people found the following review helpful By Roben Torosyan PhD on May 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
[For full review, see forthcoming, Torosyan, R. (2001). A system for everything: Book review of K. Wilber's Brief History of Everything. New Ideas in Psychology, 19 (3).]
Wilber manages to create a sweeping system for everything in life. He describes our spiritual evolution, and our dominant conceptual concerns: East and West, ancient and modern, individual and collective, physical and metaphysical. Wilber writes in an accessible common-sense style. He deliberately avoids a typical scholarly tone. While not free of some pretense at a monolithic voice, his work promotes rich conceptions of self-reflexiveness, interconnection, spirituality and empathy.
Wilber shows how the major theories of biological, psychological, cognitive and spiritual development describe different versions of how to find "the truth." At the outset, Wilber refers to Douglas Adams's best-selling cult novel Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. We desire final conclusions, just as Adams facetiously proposed the "answer that would completely explain 'God, life, the universe, and everything'" (p. xv). In the novel, that answer was "42," highlighting the absurdity of seeking such a final answer.
Wilber's "answer," instead, is a framework for connecting evolutionary currents. At first, he uses a Socratic dialogue, beginning with "KW" for Wilber and "Q" for the questioner, be s/he reader, fan, or friend. Initially, this appears somewhat contrived. The text pretends to be an interview, when it is clearly the author's own highly controlled construction. Upon further reading, however, the stylistic device helps Wilber engage the reader in a dialogue.
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246 of 286 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Gilman on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a disappointing book. I had read a couple of Wilber's earlier books and liked them, especially the superb "Grace and Grit." At his best, he can be very good at explaining a nondualistic Eastern style philosophy.

As the title suggests, this book is meant to introduce people to an all encompassing metaphysical system. No one could attempt such an enterprise without a little hubris. But why stop at a little? Wilber is fond of dropping the names of long lists of famous intellectuals whose work he finds consistent with, but subservient to, his system. Reality is sliced and diced in an endless taxonomy of levels, holons, stages, paradigm shifts, quadrants, centers, spheres and fulcrums before being reassembled into a nondualistic whole. Anyone satisfied with scientific explainations is dismissed as a "reductionist" holding what he calls "an insane world view." The science based world view is not so much argued against as it is insulted, dismissed and misrepresented.

The most remarkable thing in this book is it's bizzare description of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. He makes the astonishing claim that very few theorists believe in Darwinian evolution and that, "There is no evidence whatsoever for intermediate (fossil) forms." Wilber maintains it would take at least a hundred simultaneous beneficial mutations for something like a wing to evolve. He claims this would have to occur separately in both a male and a female who would then have to mate successfully. This is a grotesque caricature of Darwinan theory. Anyone who thinks it is adequate should buy this book. Others should read Richard Dawkins "Climbing Mount Improbable." Wilber never names any scientists who advocate this version of evolution for the very good reason that there aren't any.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Tina B. Tessina on March 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For any thinking person who's struggling with the schism between science, psychology and faith, this book has the answer. Mr. Wilber has an amazing mind, and in this book he simplifies his theoretical framework to make his brilliant thought easier to grasp. I disagree with the reader who complained about lack of references -- all the footnotes are available in his other works. This is the synthesis of his thought for those who want to understand, not those who want to nit-pick.
For me, it's a life-changing book, showing the way to order my own thoughts and experiences. Wilber is the only writer I've come across, other than James Hillman, who helps me reconcile all my disparate reading and experience.
In this book, he perfectly and succinctly outlines the growth process I see in my clients who are struggling to overcome dysfunction, find meaning in life and transcend their pasts.
I am grateful for this book's influence in my thought, and in my work as a therapist.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ken Wilber has written many many books discussing his beef against what he calls "flatland", which is characteristic of the western civilization as well as the modern world in general. I believe that he makes his point most clearly in this book as well as "Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality". Although "Sex Ecology and Sprituality" is a scholarly masterpiece, this book is the easier to understand for the lay reader. If you are new to Wilber's "Comprehensive Everything" type books, I would suggest reading this book before reading his other ones. I think although many of us Wilber lovers struggle to fully understand and appreciate his vision, his books are a true joy to read. If you are interested in these topics, another book that is easy and enjoyable to read is "Rhythm, Relationships, and Transcendence" by Toru Sato. It is also a wonderful book on the subject-object differentiation (dual vs nondual)! Both books help remind us that although our world of objects is useful, the world of subjects is what makes it beautiful! Happy reading!
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