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Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy Paperback – May 16, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this dense text, philosopher Wilber (The Eye of the Spirit) aims to reconstruct a place for spiritual consciousness in Western developmental psychology. Describing prevailing psychological theories as inhabiting a "flatland" where only "the world of matter and energy, empirically investigated by human senses and their tools is real," Wilber surveys their history. He looks both at the early modern era, when scientific materialists banished the philosophical investigation of an individual's interior life from science, and at the work of 200 ancient, medieval and modern philosophers, for whom spiritual concerns were paramount. They all helped shape the history of modern developmental psychology, he argues. Wilber aims to produce a two-volume textbook from his research; this effort is a condensed outline of the ideas he plans to detail. But even this shorter text contains 20 pages of charts, 68 pages of endnotes and a lengthy explanation of his four-quadrant model (designed to integrate consciousness, spirit and therapy with the psychological development of the individual in relationship to the material world)--all of which makes for some hefty reading. Additionally, because he's writing for a scholarly audience, Wilber employs terminology that may be challenging for the lay reader, although he does manage, occasionally, to clarify complex themes with simple analogies. Mixing scientific inquiry with spiritual concerns, this book should speak most clearly to those looking for a basis in Western science to validate their spiritual quest. Illustrations. (Apr.)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"Wilber's unprecedented work offers diamond-like clarity, brilliance, and many-faceted reflection, and his writing speaks with an unencumbered authority."— NAPRA Review

"One of the most important thinkers of our age, and certainly the leading authority in the field of transpersonal psychology . . . The scope of his scholarship and of his understanding of the psychological development of the individual from early body awareness to the higher (and ultimately non-dual) experiential levels is quite simply breathtaking."—The Middle Way

"The first truly comprehensive map of the human mind."—Larry Dossey, author of Be Careful What You Pray For . . . You Just Might Get It

"Ken Wilber is a national treasure. No one is working at the integration of Eastern and Western wisdom literature with such depth or breadth of mind and heart as he."—Robert Kegan, Professor of Education, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and author of In Over Our Heads

"In ages to come, historians may well view Wilber's work as the pivotal insight that legitimized the return of consciousness and spirit to our age. For this exciting page-turner, psychology owes him a millennial debt."—T. George Harris, founding editor, Psychology Today and American Health

"In a single publication Wilber strides over the entire history of psychology to create new and comprehensive strategies for human survival in the next millennium."—Don Beck, coauthor of Spiral Dyanmics

"Integral Psychology is so all-encompassing, lucid, and well written that Ken Wilber deserves the recognition of having single-mindedly brought conceptual order to psychology of the East and West."—Susanne Cook-Greuter, coeditor of Transcendence and Mature Thought in Adulthood

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st pbk. ed edition (May 16, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570625549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570625541
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Soulplex on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
With this book Ken Wilber accomplishes something extraordinary. In lucid, lively, and often humorous writing, he presents a model of psychology and spirituality that, unlike anything before it, fully integrates--in a _completely_ reasonable manner--every facet of serious mental and spiritual investigation ever devised.
Standing in the middle of a room called reality, Wilber sees four corners--the subjective ("I"), objective ("It"), intersubjective ("We"), and interobjective ("Its")--and realizes the obvious: the world is not constructed as strictly "objective" and material, nor purely "subjective" and mental, nor the plurals of those, but somehow _all of them at once_. Reality has four corners to it (or, for simplicity's sake, three dimensions: subjective, cultural, and objective; or I, We, and It; or first-person, second-person, and third-person aspects), and none of these corners can be simply "reduced" to, or derived from, any other. All four corners of reality arise together, along with a single universal room, and while they are indeed irreducible to each other, they are all mutually determining, inseparable, and incessantly interacting. Thus, standing in the middle of this Kosmic room, Wilber gives consciousness its due, permitting it to roam freely about the room and saving it, so to speak, from the immemorial punishment of standing in a particular corner while its parents decided what to do with their problematic child.
The mysteries that Wilber's model solves are numerous.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Torres on January 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
An Added Note, Jan 2002:
Reading the reviews on this page, some of them remind me of a philosophy class I once took with an excellent professor. The subject matter was Sextus Empiricus, and his "fathering" of Skepticism as a formal philosophical method. What the professor mentioned to us, just before handing back our first essays, in a friendly but admonishing manner, was that it is far too easy to simply cast aspersions or find thinkers wrong; whereas it is far more productive to find what is right about what they say; and that only after you've got what they say down pat & can recount it, can you start to do an intelligent criticism of their work.
Mr. Wilber himself parses his work into four periods, sometimes revising his earlier views (such as on Romanticism). And though there is a general concern that informs what he has written - the totality of human knowledge and how we come to that knowledge and what characterizes that knowledge & perhaps most importantly what we can do with that knowledge (which therefore makes is difficult to write something that is not somewhat related to something else that is already written in Wilber’s ongoing opus) – UP FROM EDEN is not the same book as, say, INTEGRAL PSYCHOLOGY. And the repetition in the books simply, yes, rehashes the basic outlines of his foundational Quadrant model, which any good writer will offer, as there will always be readers who are new to him. Thus each book can be self-contained and does not require what can be a frustrating practice of buying a book that refers back to another book the reader is therefore forced to get in order to be able to make sense of the tome in her hands at the moment – a tome which could have set her back 50 dollars.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Torres on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mr. Ken Wilber is simply a national treasure. Wilber's approach is to cast a compassionate yet perspicaciously critical eye on the entire history and practice of human's efforts to know, examine everything we know, and further, to understand and explain how we share this knowing. The kinds of knowing the mind & brain (all of them here explained) are carefully explicated in this clearly written powerhouse of a concentrated book. Though the title accurately cues us to its subject matter, those not familiar with Wilber's scholarship will be pleasantly surprised - thoroughly and gently challenged - by the breadth of the concern this book so carefully and compactly elucidates. Elucidates is what this books so clearly does. Many books attempt to bring light to the subject of psychology, however few so clearly and so broadly cast, as one reviewer says, "...conceptual order to psychology of the east and west." And all this in a friendly and clear prose which though simple, imparts heady ideas in an inviting, open style that makes the book a pleasure to read. Wilber teaches, but a didactic diction is as foreign as is superficial analysis in this and all of his work. If you are new to him you wonder why so many others are so positively bumbling in their grasp of ideas and in the delivery of their insights. I find it difficult to put down his books; they're surprisingly fun to read, given the subject matter of his prolific output - nothing less than, to borrow from the title of another work, A Theory of Everything.
To give a taste of his work, I'll quote a passage from Integral Psychology that speaks to the positivistic predilection for eschewing all things non-quantifiable:
"The bleakness of modern scientific proclamation is chilling.
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