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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Wilber, October 8, 2004
This review is from: The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion (Paperback)
Ken Wilber is quite possibly the most significant philosopher writing today. Yet his work is dense, academic, and difficult for those outside of academia or professional psychology to grasp.

With "The Marriage of Sense and Soul", Wilber writes a popular introduction to Integral thought, in which he outlines the basics of his philosophy- the "nest of being", interiors vs. exteriors, prerational/rational/transrational thinking, mystical states of consciousness, and the rest of the essentials of his philosophy. While there's still a lot of terminology to digest, and Wilber drops more than a few names that non-academics probably won't recognize, Wilber does manage to strip his philosophy down to a brief introduction that is far more elegant and feels like less of an abridgement than "A Brief History of Everything".

At the same time, I don't know if Wilber succeeds in pulling off the mission of the book- "Integrating Science and Religion." While Wilber does a fine job of defining science and the limits of science, his definition of religion throws out the very components of religion that are most relevant to the typical religious believer! He strips religion down to meditative contemplation, while rendering the other components of religion irrelevant to his model. Ultimately, his "integration" is only possible by redefining religion into his model. While Wilber's philosophy is powerful and coherent, (and hence I'm not ashamed to admit to being a "Wilberian") his explaining-away of religion makes the own purpose of his book impossible. You might as well ask Richard Dawkins (the famously atheistic evolutionary biologist) to write a book on the integration of science and religion- it would be just as unsatisfactory.

Despite this, however, the book does do an excellent job of presenting integral theory to a broader audience. As a companion volume, I'd recommend Robert Wright's "Nonzero" as another fine book on the integral vision.
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Location: Sioux Falls, SD United States

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