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No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth Paperback – February 6, 2001
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"The most sensible, comprehensive book on consciousness since William James."—Dr. James Fadiman, President, Association for Transpersonal Psychology
"No Boundary does for this generation what Alan Watts' writings did for an earlier one. It brings the most difficult subject of all—nature of consciousness—into an easily grasped presentation that is both elegant and simple."—John White, editor of Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment
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This book has a different tone and structure than many of Mr. Wilber's other books. There is less repitition and somehow he seems to be more accessible and lyrical in his descriptions and metaphors. If you read later Wilber, you will find it lacks some of the feeling tone of this earlier work.
In this book, Ken talks about boundaries and how they are often mental constructs. For example, the boundary that defines me could be taken arbitrarily as my skin. However, I might say I have a body, rather than that I am a body. This implies perhaps that I am a mind that is associated with a body and that I'm moving the line between self and other to the head. In a similar fashion, it is possible that a may have a transpersonal experience in which case my boundary moves out beyond my skin. The idea is much like the arbitrary division between a tree's roots, limbs and branches. These divisions don't necessarily exist as distinct boundaries on the tree, but arise from the analytical nature of thought.
In general, the book looks at a synthesis of Western and Eastern psychological and spiritual approaches to growth. It challenges tacit assumptions on both sides and tries to get the reader to take a broader perspective on reality while honoring what is good in each particular tradition. It is an extremely thought-provoking work and includes a lot of good scholarship. I find it to be highly complimentary to Wilber's later work and often more eloquent.
If you are looking for the best, most comprehensive and readable introduction to Wilber's work, I recommend A BRIEF HISTORY OF EVERYTHING. If you are interested in a good developmental psychology book from Wilber's point of view, then the ATMAN PROJECT will not disappoint. It covers development from birth to enlightenment and it quite fascinating. If you own these three books you will have a good overview of Wilber's most important ideas without a lot of overlap. If you are interested primarily in his latest thinking, then INTEGRAL SPIRITUALITY may also be a good choice.
I acquired this book for my studies in Transpersonal Therapy but I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys personal development. By the end of the book, Wilber gives us extensive knowledge of the processes involved in each consciousness level, the dis-eases that may appear and the recommended therapies and books. This is an amazing book, written in a very comprehensible manner, with lots of humor. I loved it and it made a huge impact on me.
No Boundary is well-written, concise, invigorating on a personal and spiritual level. It is academic yet intensely personally challenging, as Wilber plows unflinchingly into each type of personal pathology, most with examples, exercises, and references for further reading. The book can be disorienting to say the least - but disorienting in the most compassionate and insightful and necessary way possible. 100% recommended if you care to move towards a fuller self-awareness, but consider using a personal journal while reading it, as it can trigger a great deal of emotionally troubling insights.
Top international reviews
This, to me, is his best read, though he developed his philosophy thereafter considerably.
Recommend reading this book, when interested in an integrated approach.