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The Simple Feeling of Being: Embracing Your True Nature Paperback – July 13, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Hegel of Eastern spirituality, philosopher-psychologist-spiritual practitioner Wilber is made accessible in this single-volume anthology drawn from his 19 works. The man who wrote A Brief History of Everything can be a formidable read given his strong theoretical bent, as selections illustrate ("the referents of the transcendental signifiers exist in a worldspace that is disclosed to those with the appropriate developmental signifieds"). But Wilber is essentially a mystic and interpreter of the mystic traditions of both the East and the West, as his wide-ranging references to spiritual masters make clear. He differs from many mystics, however, in ambitiously seeking the understanding as well as the experience of the non-dual consciousness of mysticism—the most suitable words as well as what the words signify. Selections can be lyrical and downright simple ("The directions to finding God, which are printed on the box in which your heart came, are simple"). Especially concrete is the unsparing, loving witness he offers of the death of his wife, the subject of Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber. This taste of his work should earn new appreciation for the prolific author, offering a useful shortcut for those who have never been able to finish any of his frequently daunting volumes.
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"Ken Wilber is one of the most important pioneers in the field of consciousness in this century. Read everything he writes. It will change your life."—Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"When Ken Wilber's thought walks through your mind, the door to the next higher level becomes visible. Anyone seeking to update the wisdom traditions of their lineage needs his reality and consciousness maps. The kabbalah of the future will lean on Ken's work."—Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"After reading Wilber, it's impossible to imagine looking at the world the same way again."—Mitchell Kapor, founder of Lotus, Inc.

"Wilber blends a perceptive sensitivity to the nuances of spiritual life with a profound intellectual sophistication. The upshot is a pleasure to read: accessible, deep, provocative, and ultimately very moving."—Michael Lerner, author of Spirit Matters and The Politics of Meaning

"The twenty-first century literally has three choices: Aristotle, Nietzsche, or Ken Wilber."—Jack Crittenden, Ph.D., author of Beyond Individualism

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (July 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159030151X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590301517
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Stein on July 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Writing as someone who's read everything of Wilber's, I can attest that this book is a welcome addition to Wilber's corpus. The volume is finely edited and superbly designed. It is a compilation so it contains no previously unpublished materials (although it does bring to light some obscure but valuable passages). The book consists of nine sections into which some of the most powerful pieces of Wilber's writing have been collected and organized.
The section titles are as follows: The Witness; Memoirs; Spirit-in-Action; Immediate Awareness; Passionate Philosophy; Always Already; Being-in-the-World; One without a Second; The Brilliant Clarity of Ever-Present Awareness.
As can be gleaned from these headings, this is a book that distils and makes available a particular aspect of Wilber's vision- the mystical. While it could be argued that insight into the Divine is the catalyst behind all his writing; no one would claim that the freeing Dionysian energy dripping off the passages in this book seep into all his meticulous system building.
This book does not read like his others. It is not a detailed matrix of knowledge, not a blueprint of the possible, not a many-roomed mansion of human potentials. Rather, it is a simple and radiant testament. It is beautiful.
So, perhaps the most valuable aspect of the book is that it will not be misunderstood (although I'm sure some critic may be able to manage).
To conclude, if you're looking for an intro to Wilber's system don't look here (look instead to Integral Psychology or A Brief History of Everything). But, if you're looking for an invitation to party for One, this book will do that- throwing you back against your self and leaving you alone. But it may just take you from that alone to the Alone.
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Paul Helfrich on July 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Simple Feeling of Being: Embracing Your True Nature by Ken Wilber is a compilation of the essential elements of Wilber's "poetic" writing. Many excerpts are taken from the end of sections, chapters, or books, where he reminds the reader that we are all aspects of Radiant Spirit - All-That-Is - as pointed out in every authentic nondual tradition. The main thrust of this opus reveals that the complexities of his integral theory are _always_ a means toward an end: awakening to who and what we really are.

In short, the simple feeling of being is about "what is" "always already" "just this."

Remarkable! Simple.

Four of his students - Mark Palmer, Sean Hargens, Vipassana Esbjörn, and Adam Leonard - assembled this "greatest hits" compilation. I really enjoyed seeing some of my favorite excerpts from various books in a new context. Readers of his books will likely find this to be the case, too. A relatively easy read, there's no need to worry about long endnotes, complex diagrams, or overly long technical explications.

Thus, we are treated to an array of Wilber's poetic riffs on concepts like the Witness, spirit-in-action, immediate awareness, passionate philosophy, always already, being-in-the-world, One Without A Second, and the brilliant clarity of ever-present awareness. There are also excerpts from The Collected Works, forewords to lesser-known books by other integral thinkers, and more obscure writings.

Moreover, there is a Memoirs chapter of personal material that casts Wilber in a human and vulnerable light.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Bodhi65 on August 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Wilber's students have done a wonderful job editing his previously published works. He is indeed the most provacative figure in contemporary philosophy. I have read all his works and this edition is a wonderful sequal to One Taste. His pointing out instructions are what I have been yearning to experience and I recommend this book highly, as with all of Wilber's other works. Brilliant, enlightening, and challenging. I can only say, to all my Dharma Friends, treasure this man as a living Bodhisattva.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Unlike many of Ken's writings, this particular book is very accessible to almost anyone. It gives a good sense of what the authors inner life is like, which is refreshing because this author often focuses on systems of meaning and integrating complex philosophies. This can be intimidating or confusing to new readers.

There are many other good reviews on the content of the book, including the two spotlight reviews above. I particularly agree with the first review and find that this work compliments Ken's other more technical writing. I also agree that both a "Brief History of Everything" and "Integral Psychology" are the TWO best introductions to Ken Wilber's thought. However, I would add the caveat that a "Brief History of Everything" is much more readable for the average person. "Integral Psychology" is more scholarly and perhaps better for someone who is already familiar with Wilber or a professional in this area of study.

What is wonderful about this book is that it returns back to what it's all about i.e. the internal experience of connection, unity and wholeness. It provides the vision that underlies Ken's other work in a poetic and touching manner. Mr. Wilber is a very prolific writer and this book collects some of his more poignant works under one roof. I also found that NO BOUNDARIES was written from a similar space. It has a different feeling tone than many of his other works.
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