Frank Visser, CLIMBING THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: Reflections on Ken Wilber's “The Religion of Tomorrow”
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
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THE BIOGRAPHY OF KEN WILBER
Born in 1949 in Oklahoma City, Ken Wilber lived in many places during his school years, due to his father being in the Air Force. He completed highschool in Bellevue, Nebraska, and started medicine at Duke University. However, during his first year he lost all interest in pursuing a career in science, and started to read in psychology and philosophy, both West and East. He went back to Nebraska to study biochemistry, but after a few years dropped out of the academic world (with a major in biochemistry) to devote all his time to studying his own curriculum and writing books.
With 22 books on spirituality and science, and translations in moren than 25 countries, Wilber is now the most translated writer on consciousness studies in the United States. He is seen as an important representative of transpersonal psychology, which emerged in the sixties from humanistic psychology, and which concerns itself explicitly with spirituality. For the fundamental and pioneering nature of his insights, he has been called "the Einstein of consciousness research".
His debut The Spectrum of Consciousness (1977) established his reputation as an original thinker, who seeks to integrate Western and Eastern psychology. No Boundary (1979), which summarizes this work, is one of his most popular books. His core works The Atman Project (1980) and Up from Eden (1981) cover the territories of developmental psychology and cultural history respectively.
In his recent work, especially the voluminous Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1995), he has criticized not only Western culture, but also counter-cultural movements such as the New Age. In his opinion, none of these approach the depth and detailed nature of the "perennial philosophy", the conception of reality that lies at the heart of all major religions, and which forms the background of all his writings. This fundamental work has been summarized too, in A Brief History of Everything (1996).
In his most personal work up till now, Grace and Grit (1991), Wilber gives a moving account of his relationship with his
second wife, Treya, who died of cancer in 1989. In a more recent book One Taste, a personal journal of the year 1997, he offers insights in his way of life and his spiritual
experiences. He lives in Denver, Colorado.