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A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality Paperback – October 16, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

The spiritual intellectual Ken Wilber takes on the hottest theory in modern physics, known as the "M Theory," or the "The Theory of Everything." As Wilber explains, it is "a model that would unite all the known laws of the universe into one all-embracing theory that would literally explain everything in existence." Of course this new "M Theory" opens up a can of wormy, slippery questions, which Wilber addresses: "What does 'everything' actually mean? Would this new theory in physics explain, say, the meaning of human poetry? Or how economics work? Or the stages of psychosexual development?"

Being Ken Wilber, he couldn't resist answering these questions by folding the "Theory of Everything" into some of his own personal visions and theories. This overlay is presented in his signature straightforward, clearly written style. The upshot is that common readers can easily follow Wilber on a quantum journey and wind up with a lasting souvenir--a scientific and spiritual understanding of how the mind, body, soul, and universe all work together like a never-ending symphony. And that's just in the first four chapters. From there he shows readers the practical applications of this vision--explaining how it could lead to more integrative styles of business, education, medicine, ecology, and even how we address world conflicts. Wilber admits that this "holistic quest is an ever-receding dream, a horizon that constantly retreats as we approach it." Nonetheless, he can still take readers on an incredible journey--one that's well worth the price of the ticket. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Wilber's 'integral vision' offers readers the opportunity to make valuable connections among disparate disciplines and—just maybe—to prepare themselves for a brave new world."—Publishers Weekly

"A soaring tour de force and daring exposition by one of America's most inventive thinkers. Don't quit the search for an integral culture until you have given it a whirl—and take this book with you as a sturdy guide."—Professor Harvey Cox, Harvard Divinity School

"Ken Wilber is one of the most creative spiritual thinkers alive today, and A Theory of Everything is an accessible taste of his brilliance. Like a masterful conductor, he brings everyone in, finds room for science and spirit, and creates music for the soul."—Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Politics of Meaning

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Later prt. edition (October 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570628556
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570628559
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By David K. Bell on February 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Ken Wilber has been criticized for repeating the same themes over and over, from book to book. He answers this criticism by saying that he wants the reader of any one of his books, who might not have read his other work, to understand the specific subject of this or that particular book in the context of his overall system of thought. And, sure enough, A Theory of Everything re-covers much ground already thoroughly covered in many of his other books. But Wilber offers this as an introductory work (perhaps to a broader readership than he ordinarily reaches.) And the new ideas he offers in this book would probably be incomprehensible to new Wilber readers without an overview of his integral theory to go with them. So, what's in this book for readers new to Wilber and for KW veterans?
For the newbie, first of all, Ken Wilber is considered by many (including me) to be among the most profound thinkers of this age. Wilber says in the introduction to this work that he considers this the best introduction to his work. Well, it is relatively brief, it outlines rather succinctly key aspects of his overall thought and then applies that structure to areas of common interest like politics, medicine and business. This is interesting and will give the new reader a glimpse of the profundity of Wilber's work, the breadth of its potential applicability and will hopefully stimulate the reader's interest in reading his more detailed works. I still think A Brief History of Everything is the best introduction to KW's work, though, because it masterfully presents an outline of Wilber's thought system in a way that leaves no important major themes out, yet manages to be both accessible and relatively succinct.
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176 of 193 people found the following review helpful By Roar Bjonnes on August 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For years I have been among those hailing Ken Wilber as the most original and comprehensive philosopher of our time. In book after book, this genius thinker has, with lucid and prolific creativity, familiarized us with the complex but unified universe of astonsihing terror and beauty we call consciousness--both human and Divine. In his monumental book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, for example, he was able to show how consciousness, or Spirit, manifests Itself through the unfolding, never-ending evolutionary forms we term creation,life, culture, ecology, spirituality, society--the whole shebang of reality. More importantly, he brilliantly pointed out some of the radical implications a spiritual worldview may have when integrated into the dusty soil of reality. And, maybe best of all, he managed to do this with unparallelled logic and depth of scholarship, yet without loosing a sense of lightness--or humor--of being. In Marriage of sense and Soul, a popularized version of his integral thesis of the interrelationship of body, mind and soul--of all things material and spiritual--he also managed to be both profoundly sublime and simple at the same time. Moreover, he accomplished this without reading like another pop-guru a la Deepak Chopra or Marianne Williamson.
It is thus with great disappointment that his latest book, A Theory of Everything, is not living up to its cover's promise--an integral vision for business, politics, science and spirituality. Because, in this book, we no longer meet the erudite Wilber we have become accustomed to. Indeed, this book's premise is far more challenging (and important!) than his previous ones.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Dave Id on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
What are we gonna do with Ken Wilber? He writes a book called A Theory of Everything and crams it in 145 pages. Turns out the book is more like "The Ken Wilber Reader", a condensed primer on his exhaustive theory of integral consciousness - I'm not even sure I go it right. It covers most of his bibliography, but packed enough to give Einstein a migraine.

So there's this thing called spiral dynamics. Spiral dynamics is this theory that human beings all begin from square one and evolves through the spiral. The spiral is a social construct about the evolving consciousness. It's built of embed levels called memes and each is color coded. Color coded that's for kids... wait.

There's the beige meme. At this level (Square one) is where it all begins for the young human and societies. It's the meme of instinct and pure survival. The kill of be killed level. What's important to the person at this level, is food, sex, warmth and safety. We're talking early bush tribes here. The hairless talking monkey takes a stand.

The beige meme is followed by the purple meme. This is the stage where all things are magical and animism takes form. This is where humans start taking care of each other. The world is filled with mysticism. This is the age of shamanism and rituals. The sense of family takes shape.

Then it's the red meme. This is the Tony Montana level, the "the world and everythin' in it Chico" level. It's all about survival of the strongest and getting some respect. It manifests itself in feudal kingdoms, the story of epic heroes and the terrible twos. It's all about impulse and the ego.

The blue meme is where it all goes to hell in a hand basket. It's about purpose and authoritarianism.
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