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The Spectrum of Consciousness (Quest Books) Paperback – October 1, 1993

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Like radiation and light, consciousness, suggests Wilber, establishes a multiplicity of aspects as it 'steps down' into time and space. Thus, as a spectrum, it can be studied legitimately on one or more of its 'wavelengths.' Viewing consciousness in this way, we can see that seemingly disparate disciplines each speak to a different wavelength of awareness.

About the Author

Ken Wilber is one of the most influential and widely read American philosophers of our time. His writing has been translated into more than 20 languages. Ken Wilber is the author of many books, including "The Spectrum of Consciousness; The Eye of Spirit; Grace and Grit; Sex, Ecology, Spirituality; A Brief History of Everything; Boomeritis;" and "The Marriage of Sense and Soul". Ken Wilber lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Product Details

  • Series: Quest Books
  • Paperback: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books; 2nd edition (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835606953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835606950
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
... and for Wilber, this is it. The Spectrum of Consciousness was Wilber's first attempt at outlining an integral model of the human psychological experience, combining Freudian ego-psychology, existentialism, and spiritual transcendence in one neat, elegant package. Although the original conception shown here has not survived the test of time (or Wilber's ever critical mind), it still stands as a masterful beginning to a corpus of work that will make Wilber as famous and influential as Nietzsche and Freud a century from now. For an intellectual treat, read this book in conjunction with Wilber's "No Boundary", and then compare with "Sex, Ecology, Spirituality" and "Integral Psychology" for a fascinating look at the continuing evolution of integral thought. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
Though Ken Wilber's work has progressed significantly since this book was first written (1973), I believe it still remains a highly significant study and model and anyone interested in transpersonal psychology, or the relation between the human mind, soul and spirit would do well to read this book and absorb it's contents.

There are several reasons for this and the first is that it is very clearly and lucidly written from a psychological/spiritual worldview that remains quite widespread and even dominant in the culture of serious spiritual aspirants (as well as sensitive psychologists, ecologists and people from all walks of life). From that standpoint alone, if I had read this book 20 years ago, nearly all of 20 years of confusion over the seemingly conflicting subjects the book deals with would not have occurred. (The confusion being the bridge between modern psychology and traditional spirituality, or if there even was one to be found.) For that reason alone, this book remains highly significant.

The second reason is that, as explained in the new (brief) introduction, the model this book presents is from the spiritual standpoint of involution - as opposed to evolution, the direction Wilber's later work would primarily take. Though, yes, indeed, after actually looking deeply into the evidence in later years Wilber (an innovator now for the second time) discovered that there was quite a bit missing (and/or somewhat flawed) to this overall worldview and model, involution still remains an ever present reality and a central tenet of the perennial philosophy of the world's great religions and mystics. (It may also disclose itself to you as such at the right level of spiritual experience either in mediation or a sudden "peak experience.
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By Alex on February 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
In the Spectrum of Consciousness Wilber inaugurates the first version of the integral model. Drawing liberally from figures as brilliant and disparate as Freud, Shankara, Nagarjuna, Meister Eckhardt and Fritz Perls, Wilber resolves the apparent contradictions between the various perspectives on human nature by claiming that different sets of thinkers have dealt with different parts of the spectrum. While not completely unprecedented, Wilber is the first to lucidly and comprehensively formalize such a model. Wilber himself has said this work is outdated and that he has since renounced his childish belief in Rosseau's opinions of civilization. Nevertheless, it is still a decent introduction to the corpus that has evolved from it.

Wilber makes a convincing set of perfectly secular and rational arguments for the value of nondual perception and although the connections he draws between Eastern mysticism and modern physics are somewhat strained, they are obviously better informed than the majority of analogies that crop up in New Age writings. At times one gets the feeling that Wilber is simply quoting authors for the sake of using their authority, or increasing the length of his book.

As far as comparative works of mysticism go, Huxley's Perennial Philosophy is head and shoulders above the rest, but Wilber's exposition on psychology make his works considerably more engrossing to modern readers. Western civilization is fertile ground for neuroses. Here Wilber covers some of the most common neuroses and some of the simplest techniques to treating them (drawn mostly from Gestalt therapy). It is absurd to expect a modern Westerner to suddenly enter samadhi without any period of self-analysis preceding it. Wilber recognizes this and he recognizes the overwhelming complexity of consciousness, which, no one, including Wilber, has yet fully captured.
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Format: Paperback
Ken Wilber offers a unique way of looking at reality. Whether or not one agrees with his ideas, the book represents a truly different view of existence which differs dramatically from that of most people. The author shows how the electromagnetic spectrum existed all along, but that we humans only recently understood the nature of this energy. He posits a similar spectrum - albeit for consciousness - that we only now are beginning to comprehend.
Well worth reading - it will challenge your view of the world, especially if you have been raised in a dualistic world.
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Format: Paperback
I was quite fortunate to discover this encyclopedic treatise by Ken Wilber. Wilber, the father of transcendental psychology, with brilliant clarity, depth, and synthesis explores the nature of consciousness through the seeing of the worlds greatest sages. This tour de force of the mapping of transcendental awareness is both brilliantly conceived and delivered by one of the foremost thinkers of our time. Anyone on the path of enlightenment can not afford to miss studying and assimilating the nondual seeing of Ken Wilber.
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