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Ken Wilber

Kenneth Earl Wilber Jr. (born January 31, 1949, Oklahoma City, USA) is an American and Buddhist philosopher and psychological theorist. His work focuses mainly on creating an "integral theory of consciousness" in which the insights of mysticism, postmodernism, science and systems theory come together to form a coherent picture of the Kosmos. In Kosmic Consciousness, Wilber states that he considers himself a storyteller and a mapmaker; his stories address universal questions and his maps integrate various perspectives of the cosmos.

Although he is considered the father of the transpersonal school of psychology, he has since disassociated himself from it [1]. In 1998 Wilber founded the Integral Institute, a think-tank for studying issues of science and society in an integral way. He has been a pioneer in the development of Integral psychology and Integral politics.

In the 4 January 1997 issue of the German newspaper Die Welt, a reviewer called Wilber "the foremost thinker in the field of the evolution of consciousness." According to Frank Visser, he is "the most translated academic author in the United States."[2]
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Biography

Education

Ken Wilber was born on January 31, 1949 in Oklahoma City, OK. His father was in the Air Force and Wilber's family later lived in Bermuda, El Paso, Texas, Idaho, and Great Falls, Montana, where he began high school. For his senior year they moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he was valedictorian of his high school class. He remembers the frequent moves as traumatic, though he was successful in athletics and was several times elected student body or class president. "People think I am anti-social, but that is quite wrong. When at twenty-three I engaged my adult interests of writing and meditation, it was hard for me to stop being with people and spend my life in a corner." [3]

In 1968 he enrolled as a pre-med student at Duke University, but almost immediately experienced a crisis of disillusionment with what science had to offer. It was not the psychedelics then in vogue which inspired him. It was Eastern literature, particularly the Tao Te Ching, which catalyzed his conversion. Academically he lost that first year, but returned to Nebraska, enrolled in the University of Nebraska, and completed a bachelor's degree with double majors in chemistry and biology. This he managed to do while spending much of his time pursuing Eastern philosophy and Western psychology. He won a scholarship to do graduate study in biochemistry, but by this time he was thoroughly ensnared by the philosophical and contemplative life, and dropped out.

He describes his academic accomplishments as "a Master's degree in biochemistry, and a Ph.D. minus thesis in biochemistry and biophysics, with specialization in the mechanism of the visual process."[4]

While tutoring he met Amy Wagner in 1972. They decided to live together and married a year later. The relationship was committed to shared responsibilities, and Wilber did odd jobs such as dishwashing for the next nine years to contribute his share to their support. The menial work provided balance while he continued to write. He never relished writing, but thought of himself more as a thinker. To hone his writing skills he copied all the books of Alan Watts verbatim, in longhand. His method for the next ten years was to study for ten months or so, conceive a book in its entirety, then to write obsessively to complete it in two or three months.

Early career

In 1973 Wilber completed the manuscript for his first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, in which he sought to integrate thought from disparate fields. After rejections by more than twenty publishers it was finally accepted by Quest Books, a theosophical organization, in 1977. It was well received, with Wilber being compared to such luminaries as William James, Freud, and even Einstein. The success brought opportunities for many lectures and workshops, which he gave up after a year to provide more time for his writing. He also helped to launch the journal ReVision in 1978. No Boundary was a popularized summary of The Spectrum of Consciousness published in 1979. It was followed by the sociological works The Atman Project (1980) and Up from Eden (1981). The editorial demands of the journal on his time increased, and in 1981 he agreed to an amicable divorce from Amy and moved to Cambridge, MA to work on ReVision projects.

In 1983 Wilber moved to Marin County, CA, where he met and soon married Terry (Treya) Killam. At the same time she was diagnosed with breast cancer. From the fall of 1984 until 1987 Wilber gave up most of his writing to focus on caring for her. During this stressful time their relationship was tested when he temporarily ceased meditation and turned to alcohol. During their brief stay in a home they had built at Incline Village (Lake Tahoe, NV), Wilber contracted a chronic illness in 1985 which he still struggles with today. In 1987 they moved to Boulder, CO to be near the Naropa Institute, a Buddhist University founded by Chogyam Trungpa. Here they found the peace they had been seeking, even though Treya died in January, 1989. Their joint experience was recorded in the book Grace and Grit (1991).

Recent works

Wilber worked for a time on a textbook of integral psychology (eventually published in 1999 as part of volume IV of his Collected Works), but left it to focus on the three year project Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (SES), (1995), the massive first volume of a proposed Kosmos Trilogy. A Brief History of Everything (1996) was the non-footnoted, popularized summary of SES in the form of an imagined, extended interview. The Eye of Spirit (1997) was a compilation of articles he had written for ReVision on the relationship between science and religion. A shorter revised edition was published by Random House in 1998 as The Marriage of Sense and Soul. In 1997 he met Marci Walters, a young student at the Naropa Institute. They lived together for five years, getting married in June 2001, but then separating in 2002. Wilber considers that time as the most productive thus far of his career, but had felt from the beginning of their relationship that Marci would eventually move on to raise a family.

Throughout 1997 he had kept journals of his personal experiences, which were published in 1999 as One Taste, his term for cosmic, or unitary consciousness. Over the next two years his publisher Shambhala Publications, took the unusual step of releasing eight re-edited volumes of his Collected Works. The year 1999 was particularly productive as he finished his Integral Psychology and wrote A Theory of Everything (2000) which attempts to bridge business, politics, science and spirituality in a short introduction to his thought that also integrates Spiral Dynamics. In 1999 he also wrote the first draft of Boomeritis (2002), a novel that attempts to expose the egotism of his generation.

Since 1987, Wilber has lived in Denver, Colorado, where he is working on his Kosmos trilogy and supervising the work of the Integral Institute.

Ideas

The neo-perennial philosophy

One of Wilber's major theoretical accomplishments has been to create what he calls the neo-perennial philosophy, an integration of traditional mysticism (typified by Aldous Huxley's perennial philosophy) with an account of cosmic evolution that is in many respects compatible with that of the great Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo. He rejects the anti-evolutionary view of history as a regression from past ages or yugas that the Perennial Philosophy traditionally assumes. Instead, he embraces the traditionally Western notion of the Great Chain of Being. As in the work of Jean Gebser, this Great Chain (or "Nest") is ever-present while "relatively" unfolding throughout this material manifestation. As a Buddhist, he believes that reality is ultimately a nondual union of Emptiness and Form, with Form being innately subject to development over time. Wilber's voluminous writings are ultimately attempts to describe how Form undergoes change, and how sentient beings in the world of Form participate in this change until they finally realise their true identity as Emptiness.

Critiques

The Croatian esoteric philosopher Arvan Harvat has argued that attempting to integrate a thoroughly nondual approach like Zen with an evolutionary view is ultimately impossible: if your model includes absolutely everything, how can it change? Wilber's response is that it is only Form that evolves; Emptiness remains unchanged. Trans-conceptually, one can embrace one's own transrational (and hence ultimately ineffable) experience-awareness, and this is what constitutes true nondual enlightenment.

Others, including Georg Feuerstein, argue that Wilber's view is a confusion between concepts of differentiated nondualist doctrines (such as Plotinus's Neo-Platonism and Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita Vedanta) and truly unitary monism of Zen and Advaita Vedanta: the former philosophies distinguish between emanated or manifest reality and the unchangeable source, while for Zen or Advaita the Source and reality are essentially one and the same. This is expressed in a famous Zen saying of which Wilber is quite fond: "Nirvana is Samsara fully realized; Samsara is Nirvana rightly understood."

Wilber's response to criticisms like this is typified in the extended interview Speaking of Everything:

...when I lay out the stages of development, I am giving what I explicitly called in SES a "rational reconstruction of the trans-rational"[5].
Thus, differentiated non-dual doctrines and truly unitary monist doctrines are describing (or coming from) different levels of consciousness, the former from a causal perspective that differentiates between Emptiness and Form (and hence must see Form as emanationary), and the latter from a nondual perspective that equates Emptiness and Form (and hence renders emanation a redundant concept).

Holons and the twenty tenets

A key idea in Wilber's philosophical approach is the holon. In considering what might be the basic building blocks of existence, he observed that it seems every entity and concept shares a dual nature: as a whole in itself, and as a part of some other thing. For example, although you are made of parts (your nervous system, your skeletal system, etc.), you are also a part of your society, and of your nation-state. A letter is a self-existing entity and simultaneously an integral part of a word. Everything from quarks to matter to energy to ideas can be looked at in this way — everything in creation except perhaps creation itself is a holon.

In his book Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, Wilber outlines approximately twenty tenets that characterize all holons.[6] These tenets form the basis of Wilber's model of manifest reality. Beyond this, Wilber's view is that the totality of manifest reality itself is just a wave on the ocean of the unmanifest, of Emptiness itself, which is not a holon.

AQAL

AQAL (pronounced aqual or ah-qwul) represents the core of Wilber's recent work. AQAL stands for All Quadrants All Levels, but equally connotes 'all lines', 'all states' and 'all types'. These are the five irreducible categories of Wilber's model of manifest existence. In order for an account of the Kosmos to be complete, Wilber believes that it must include each of these five categories. For Wilber, only such an account can truly be called "integral." In the essay, "Excerpt C: The Ways We Are in This Together", Wilber descaribes AQAL as "one suggested architecture of the Kosmos".[7] [8]

The two truths doctrine

Wilber accepts the two truths doctrine of Buddhism. It maintains that, to avoid philosophical confusion (or "category collapse"), we must clearly distinguish between the absolute truth of Emptiness and the relative truths of Form. All of Wilber's AQAL categories — quadrants, lines, levels, states, and types—relate to relative truth. None of them are true in an absolute sense. Only formless awareness, "the simple feeling of being," exists absolutely. Wilber follows Aurobindo (and Hegel) in calling this formless awareness "Spirit". Wilber's "Spirit" is conceptually equivalent to Plotinus' One, to Schelling's Absolute, to the Hindu Brahman, and to the Shunyata of Buddhism.

The pre/trans fallacy

The pre/trans fallacy is one of Wilber's more well-known ideas. Its basic tenet is that because the early, pre-rational stages of consciousness and the latter, transrational stages of consciousness are both non-rational, and can appear on the surface to be the same, they can easily be confused with each other. In perhaps the most well known example of the fallacy, Freud considered mystical realizations to be regressions to infantile oceanic states, a fallacy of reduction. Carl Jung committed the opposite mistake by considering pre-rational myths to reflect divine realizations, a fallacy of elevation. Likewise, many consider pre-rational states like tribal thinking, groupthink, or mythic religion to be post-rational. Thus the two-fold nature of the fallacy: one can reduce trans-rational spiritual realization to pre-rational regression, or one can elevate pre-rational states to the trans-rational domain.

Interestingly, Wilber characterizes himself as falling victim to the pre/trans fallacy in his early work (see Wilber's five phases).

Wilber on science

In his book The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion, Wilber characterizes the current state of the "hard" sciences as "narrow science." He claims that the natural sciences currently allow evidence only from the lowest realm of consciousness, the sensorimotor (the five senses and their extensions).

What he calls "broad science" would include evidence from logic, mathematics, and from the symbolic, hermeneutical, and other realms of consciousness. Ultimately and ideally, broad science would include the testimony of meditators and spiritual practitioners.

Wilber's own conception of science includes both narrow science and broad science. His example is using Electrocardiogram machines and other technologies to test the experiences of meditators and other spiritual practitioners. This would be an example of what Wilber calls "integral science".

According to Wilber's theory, narrow science trumps narrow religion, but broad science trumps narrow science. That is, the natural sciences provide a more inclusive, accurate account of reality than any of the particular exoteric religious traditions. But an integral approach that evaluates both religious claims and scientific claims based on intersubjectivity is preferable to narrow science.

Wilber on Darwinism

Wilber rejects creationism as the claims of narrow religion disingenuously disguised as science. However, he also doesn't subscribe to the philosophically naturalistic evolutionary theory of, for example, Richard Dawkins, who Wilber describes as a "religious preacher". Although Wilber sees natural selection as a valid – if limited – scientific theory, he sees Darwinism as describing the merely biological aspect of evolution. (Aurobindo, he believes, gave a more complete account of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of evolution.) Additionally, Wilber sees Darwin as having had a largely negative net intellectual influence — due to the success of Darwinism, the holistic, ontologically evolutionary views of German Idealism were effectively replaced with physicalism among the intellectual and philosophical élite.

Wilber agrees with Intelligent Design theorists that Neo-Darwinism fails to adequately explain the origin of life, sentience, and human self-awareness. But he rejects Intelligent Design theorists' embrace of a dualistic creator deity separate from the creation as the solution to these problems. (Wilber's conception of divinity is similar to that found in Zen and Advaita Vedanta.) In a posting on an internet forum run by his organization, he both confirmed his support of the scientific method and simultaneously charged hardcore Neo-Darwinists with bad faith of almost schizophrenic proportions (the ellipsis is Wilber's):

If physicalistic, materialistic, reductionistic forces turn out to give an adequate explanation to the extraordinary diversity of evolutionary unfolding, then fine, that is what we will include in integral theory. And if not, not. But so far, the "nots" have it by a staggeringly huge margin, and scientists when they are not bragging to the world, whisper this to themselves every single day of their lives. I know, I lived in that community for the better part of a decade. And it's truly fascinating, to say the least...

Recently, Wilber has been using the term "tetra-evolution" to refer to the four-dimensional development of holons. This refers to the four quadrants of integral theory (interior individual, exterior individual, interior plural, and exterior plural), which Wilber believes co-evolve.

New work

In 2005, at the launch of the Integral Spiritual Center, a branch of the Integral Institute, Wilber presented a 118-page rough draft summary of his two forthcoming books.[9] The essay is entitled "What is Integral Spirituality?", and contains several new ideas: Integral methodological pluralism, Integral post-metaphysics, Integral math, and the Wilber-Combs lattice.

Wilber connects his various frameworks in the following quotation:

That is our goal: to "reverse engineer" an explanatory framework that plausibly accounts for all of those major methodologies--from phenomenology to autopoiesis to systems theory to hermeneutics — by "transcendentally deducing" a structure of the Kosmos that would allow those methodologies to arise and exist in the first place, because already exist they do. The suggested explanatory framework is called AQAL; its orientation is an integral overview of indigenous perspectives; its social practice is an Integral methodological pluralism; its philosophy is Integral post-metaphysics; its signaling network is IOS (Integral Operating System) — all third-person words for a view of the Kosmos in which first persons and second persons are irreducible agents, bearers of sentience and intentionality and feeling, not merely matter and energy and information and causality.[10]

The Wilber-Combs lattice

This is a conceptual model of consciousness developed by Wilber and Allan Combs. It is a grid with sequential states of consciousness on the x axis (from left to right) and with developmental structures, or levels, of consciousness on the y axis (from bottom to top). This lattice illustrates how each structure of consciousness interprets experiences of different states of consciousness, including mystical states, in different ways. For example, someone at the mythic level of awareness might interpret a subtle experience as a realm filled with gods and goddesses, whereas someone at the mental level might interpret it in a more rational way, such as a vision of the deep meaning of the cosmos.

Influences on Wilber

Wilber's conception of the perennial philosophy has been primarily influenced and underpinned by the nondual mysticism of Advaita Vedanta, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Plotinus, and Ramana Maharshi. He has been a dedicated practitioner of Buddhist meditation since his college years, and has studied under some of the foremost meditation masters of our time. These include Dainin Katagiri, Maezumi Roshi, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche and Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche.

Wilber's conception of evolution or psychological development is consistent with that of Aurobindo, Jean Gebser, the Great chain of being, German idealism, Erich Jantsch, Jean Piaget, Abraham Maslow, Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, Howard Gardner, Clare W. Graves, Robert Kegan and Spiral Dynamics. He considered existential psychologist Rollo May a personal friend.

Wilber has stated on several occasions his admiration for the written works of the American-born guru Adi Da (also known as Da Free John) and his belief in Adi Da's ultimate realization, whilst also more recently being wary and even critical of some of Adi Da's behaviour and behavioural patterns. Interestingly, he now works closely with Saniel Bonder, an ex-devotee of Adi Da, and now a respected spiritual teacher in his own right, and one who seems to be in agreement with Wilber's critique of his old teacher.

Wilber is also conversant with the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alfred North Whitehead and Jürgen Habermas.

Wilber's influence

Wilber claims to have a growing influence among scholars, business and organizational theorists, political analysts, and community change agents, and especially among religious scholars actively applying his insights to reframing conventional theology. His works have been read by several musicians, including Stuart Davis, Ed Kowalczyk of Live, Saul Williams and Billy Corgan. He is currently associated with a number of important spiritual teachers, who have, to a greater or lesser degree, expressed assent to his theoretical approach. These include David Deida, Andrew Cohen, Lama Surya Das, Father Thomas Keating and Brother David Steindl-Rast.

In 2004, Wilber participated in a collaborative commentary on The Ultimate Matrix Collection DVD with Princeton professor Cornel West.

The reluctance of other academic philosophers to warm to Wilber's work is undoubtedly due to its embrace of mysticism. To put it in terms of Wilber's philosophy, much of modern philosophy remains within the analytical/rational phase of Wilber's model of the spectrum of consciousness, and is therefore not attuned to the transrational aspects of consciousness. Wilber draws attention to what he describes as "eight indigenous perspectives" and considers that they would be needed for a more comprehensive understanding of reality, offering significant support for integrating philosophical traditions of phenomenology, hermeneutics, structuralism, behaviourism/empiricism, systems theory and cultural anthropology.

Wilber's five phases

Wilber himself identifies five phases in the evolution of his ideas.[11] According to Wilber, subsequent phases do not negate earlier phases, but transcend and include earlier phases, incorporating them into a deeper and more integrated whole.

Critiques

Mystical cultural historian William Irwin Thompson, who shares Wilber's admiration for Sri Aurobindo, Jean Gebser, and Eastern philosophy, has harshly criticized Wilber's theoretical approach and scholarly achievements. In his 1996 book Coming into Being: Texts and Artifacts in the Evolution of Consciousness, Thompson characterized Wilber's approach as "compulsive mappings and textbook categorizations" and as excessively objectifying and "masculinist". Wilber never replied to the attack, but in a subsequent interview, he characterized his work as that of "a storyteller" and "a mapmaker" rather than that of a philosopher or a theoretician.

Much criticism of Wilber's integral model (for example, some of the "Integral World Reading Room" essays[12]) concerns specific technical matters and ignores the fact that Wilber's paradigm is based essentially on "orienting generalizations", the basic abstract common denominators of specific fields of human knowledge. However, in a work-in-progress tentatively titled Bald Ambition (the first chapter is available on-line at Integral World), Jeff Meyerhoff takes issue with Wilber’s methodology and philosophy, arguing that Wilber does not actually use his own method of "orienting generalizations":

Wilber’s unstated philosophical assumptions are both problematic in themselves and prejudiced against differing philosophical commitments which, because they contradict Wilber’s assumptions, are excluded from his inclusive synthesis.[13]
Meyerhoff argues that people who are actually working in the fields which Wilber attempts to integrate strongly disagree with the way that Wilber portrays the consensus of those fields. Wilber's overall synthesis, on this view, is thus unreliable.

A number of critics, such as integral theorist and developmental psychologist Mark Edwards[14], also complain how frustrating it is to try to debate with Wilber, not because his arguments are difficult, but because of his manner of arguing. For example, Wilber often charges that his critics are distorting or misreading his ideas, or what they are criticising is not what he himself is saying, that it is necessary to read and understand all of his books, but that even his own books don't communicate the complexity of his ideas, so that the critics must be in personal dialogue with him to understand the complex development of his philosophy. Compounding the issue, Wilber is very selective regarding whom he communicates with — he rarely engages with those who are critical of his theory.

These are not the only criticisms regarding various aspects of Wilber's work, and his work as a whole. Chris Cowan, who has broken with his former co-worker Don Beck over his and Wilber's use of the Spiral Dynamics theory, has written a strong rebuttal against Wilber's concept of the so called "Mean Green Meme" [15] (MGM). So has Bill Moyer who refers in contrast to the "Healthy Green Meme" [16] (Cowan also responds [17] to Wilber's reply to his and Moyer's positions). Both Cowan [18] and Ray Harris are critical of Wilber and Beck's "Boomeritis" analysis of culture; Harris argues that the critique is actually politically reactionary[19].

Wilber's arguments against Darwinism in A Brief History of Everything are said – by David Lane [20], by skeptics Robert Todd Carroll [21] and Geoffrey Falk [22], and even in discussion on Wilber's own Integral Naked forum [23] – to indicate a lack of scientific understanding on his part. As a result of the Integral Naked discussion, Wilber wrote a strongly worded reply (which appears on the "Vomiting Confetti" blog [24]) which contains a number of unsubstantiated claims, and in which among other things he advises his students to read Intelligent Design theorist Michael Behe (a member of the Discovery Institute a fundamentalist Christian lobbying group) rather than Richard Dawkins. His reply was strongly criticised by Geoff Falk [25] and by M. Alan Kazlev [26].

Wilber has also been taken to task regarding his interpretations of Shabd Yoga (by David Lane[27]), Mahayana Buddhism (by Arvan Harvat [28]), and Sri Aurobindo (by Rod Hemsell [29] and others).

Matthew Dallman[30] and Michel Bauwens[31] have pointed out certain cultic elements associated with Wilber and some aspects of the current Integral Movement. They point to the lack of openness to criticism, the lack of analysis of Wilber's assumptions, and to the use of the SD-based colour coding to dismiss arguments from critics. The emphasis on Wilber and his Integral Institute as the central focus of integral thought is seen as stifling to the development of integral as a diverse, participative process or, ultimately, as a dialectical worldview.

Jorge Ferrer criticises the Wilberian approach from the point of view of a relational and participative spirituality and proposes non-authoritarian forms of spirituality. To him, Wilber's system is inherently authoritarian in intent and effect, forcing a synthesis from above on what should be the result of a open dialogue.

John Heron[32] finds that Wilber's account of integral psychology in terms of lines and levels of development is fundamentally incoherent, because of an untenable status afforded to nondual individualism, and a failure to acknowledge the centrality of relational spirituality.

Christian de Quincey considers Wilber's integral theory to be an intellectual edifice that lacks emotion. This statement (in "The Promise of Integralism: A Critical Appreciation of Ken Wilber's Integral Psychology", Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol. 7(11/12) Winter 2000 [33] and others in this essay led to a bitter exchange of replies and counter-replies between Wilber and de Quincey, which can be found on de Quincey's and the Shambhala websites.

See also

References

  1. ^  Biographical Sketch. Integral World. URL accessed on January 4, 2006.
  2. ^  Frank Visser, Ken Wilber: Thought As Passion, SUNY Press, 2003, ISBN 0-7914-5816-4, p19.
  3. ^  Wilber on biological evolution. Kheper.com. URL accessed on January 4, 2006.
  4. ^  The Twenty Tenets. Integral World. URL accessed on December 26, 2005.
  5. ^  Speaking of Everything interview transcript. Piers Clement's "Your Path to Transition" website. URL accessed on January 6, 2006.
  6. ^  Excerpt C: The Ways We Are In This Together. Ken Wilber Online. URL accessed on December 26, 2005.
  7. ^  What is Integral Spirituality?. Integral Spiritual Center. URL accessed on December 26, 2005. (1.3 MB PDF file)
  8. ^  Excerpt C: The Ways We Are In This Together. Ken Wilber Online. URL accessed on December 26, 2005.
  9. ^  The Five Phases. Integral World. URL accessed on December 26, 2005.
  10. ^  Bald Ambition: A Critique of Ken Wilber's Theory of Everything. Integral World. URL accessed on January 4, 2006.
  11. ^  Some comments on Ken's message: to the readers of critical essays on the "World of Ken Wilber" site. Integral World. URL accessed on January 4, 2006.

Bibliography

Works by Wilber

  • The Spectrum of Consciousness, 1977, anniv. ed. 1993: ISBN 0835606953
  • No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth, 1979, reprint ed. 2001: ISBN 1570627436
  • The Atman Project: A Transpersonal View of Human Development, 1980, 2nd ed. ISBN 0835607305
  • Up from Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evolution, 1981, new ed. 1996: ISBN 0835607313
  • The Holographic Paradigm and Other Paradoxes: Exploring the Leading Edge of Science (editor), 1982, ISBN 0394712374
  • A Sociable God: A Brief Introduction to a Transcendental Sociology, 1983, new ed. 2005 subtitled Toward a New Understanding of Religion, ISBN 1590302249
  • Eye to Eye: The Quest for the New Paradigm, 1984, 3rd rev. ed. 2001: ISBN 157062741X
  • Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists (editor), 1984, rev. ed. 2001: ISBN 1570627681
  • Transformations of Consciousness: Conventional and Contemplative Perspectives on Development (co-authors: Jack Engler, Daniel Brown), 1986, ISBN 0394742028
  • Spiritual Choices: The Problem of Recognizing Authentic Paths to Inner Transformation (co-authors: Dick Anthony, Bruce Ecker), 1987, ISBN 0913729191
  • Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life of Treya Killam Wilber, 1991, 2nd ed. 2001: ISBN 1570627428
  • Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, 1st ed. 1995, 2nd rev. ed. 2001: ISBN 1570627444
  • A Brief History of Everything, 1st ed. 1996, 2nd ed. 2001: ISBN 1570627401
  • The Eye of Spirit: An Integral Vision for a World Gone Slightly Mad, 1997, 3rd ed. 2001: ISBN 1570628718
  • The Essential Ken Wilber: An Introductory Reader, 1998, ISBN 1570623791
  • The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion, 1998, reprint ed. 1999: ISBN 0767903439
  • One Taste: The Journals of Ken Wilber, 1999, rev. ed. 2000: ISBN 1570625476
  • Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy, 2000, ISBN 1570625549
  • A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality, 2000, paperback ed.: ISBN 1570628556
  • (forward by Ken Wilber), Putting on the Mind of Christ: The Inner Work of Christian Spirituality by Jim Marion, 2000, ISBN 1571741739
  • The Mission of Art, (coauthor Alex Grey), 2001, ISBN 157062545X
  • Speaking of Everything (2 hour audio interview on CD), 2001
  • Boomeritis: A Novel That Will Set You Free, 2002, paperback ed. 2003: ISBN 1590300084
  • Competitive Business, Caring Business: An Integral Business Perspective for the 21st Century, (coauthor Daryl S. Paulson), 2002, ISBN 1931044392
  • Kosmic Consciousness (12 hour audio interview on ten CDs), 2003, ISBN 1591791243
  • With Cornel West, commentary on The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions and appearance in Return To Source: Philosophy & The Matrix on The Roots Of The Matrix, both in The Ultimate Matrix Collection, 2004
  • The Simple Feeling of Being: Visionary, Spiritual, and Poetic Writings, 2004, ISBN 159030151X (selected from earlier works)
  • The Integral Operating System, (a 40 page primer on AQAL with 2 audio CDs) October 2005, ISBN 1591793475
  • The Many Faces of Terrorism, (forthcoming)
  • Kosmic Karma and Creativity: Volume Two of the Kosmos Trilogy (forthcoming)

Books about Wilber

  • Donald Jay Rothberg and Sean Kelly, Ken Wilber in Dialogue: Conversations With Leading Transpersonal Thinkers, 1998, ISBN 0835607666
  • Joseph Vrinte, Perennial Quest for a Psychology with a Soul: An inquiry into the relevance of Sri Aurobindo's metaphysical yoga psychology in the context of Ken Wilber's integral psychology, 2002
  • Frank Visser, Ken Wilber: Thought As Passion, SUNY Press, 2003, ISBN 0-7914-5816-4, (first published in Dutch as Ken Wilber: Denken als passie, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2001)
  • Brad Reynolds, Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber: A Historical Survey and Chapter-By-Chapter Review of Wilber's Major Works, 2004, ISBN 1585423173
  • Lew Howard, Introducing Ken Wilber, May 2005, ISBN 1420829866

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