An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber

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Don Salmon and Jan MaslowDon Salmon, a clinical psychologist and composer, received a grant from the Infinity Foundation to write a comprehensive study of yoga psychology based on the synthesis of the yoga tradition presented by 20th century Indian philosopher-sage Aurobindo Ghose. Jan Maslow, an educator and organizational consultant, has, with Dr. Salmon, given presentations, classes and workshops in the United States and India on this topic. Both have been studying yoga psychology for more than 25 years.

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Don Salmon

Hi anon :>

Frank just sent me anonymous' reply. I can't find anything to disagree with in what you say, anon (well, almost anything—I'll get to that in a sec0.

A number of times, I've offered a warning to parapsychologists similar to anon's—let's say you get to the point where you can replicate your experiments without fail. You spend so much time fighting skeptics, it probably seems like this would be "nirvana" for you. but what then? As yogis through the ages have warned, now you've really stepped into it (or "on it"?). There are, for sure, "endless traps". To give a more frightening one that Anon gives, what if people are able to master the ability of psychokinesis—I have a feeling those people in the 22nd century will look with longing on the days when the only thing we had to worry about from terrorists were chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

So yes, that's only the beginning—there's then the whole centuries-long process of how do you bring a reliable, scientific eye to these things. I imagine (though I'm not sure) that IF—if, remember—if "we" (the 22nd century "we") were to establish reliable ways of calling forth psi phenomena, the kinds of disputes, arguments etc would make our current consciousness studies debates (zombies, color blind Mary, going beyond Kant, going beyond beyond post post post modernism, etc) pale by comparison.

And I especially like anon's conclusion: "Let us confess our ignorance." But shouldn't that confession of ignorance include a confession of ignorance about the idea that

"There is always an interpretative process at work whenever anyone makes any kind of assertions based on deep meditative, contemplative, or mystical experience."

Stephen Batchelor would, I imagine, completely agree with that. Alan Wallace disagrees. I'm more inclined toward Wallace's view, but i'm content to remain agnostic, and explore both sides. Anon, join me in that exploration. Why not, for fun, try on the other view, and see what it feels like. Remember at the end of my shaving science paper, I suggested that as an experiment, we might try out the view that we're not accustomed to?

Like listening to Rush Limbaugh if you're a great fan of Naomi Klein, or reading Stephen Batchelor—seriously, really trying to get inside his view—if you think Wallace is the best thing since sliced bread.

Similarly here—everyone from Steven Katz to Antonio Damasio agrees about the idea that this kind of interpretive process is unavoidable. Wouldn't it be fun to try out a different pair of clothes (or maybe even to walk around naked for awhile!!?!) Thanks for the response. Please feel free to write me at to go further into this. I'm working on contemplative exercises to make this a bit of a different kind of process; i'm looking for more criticisms, more suggestions, more dialog.

Thanks for your offering.

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