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June 1, 2023

Ken Wilber

If ordinary people don’t perceive that our grand ideas are working in their lives then they can’t develop the higher level of consciousness, to use a term that American philosopher Ken Wilber wrote a whole book about. He said, you know, the problem is the world needs to be more integrated, but it requires a consciousness that’s way up here, and an ability to see beyond the differences among us.” — President Bill Clinton, Foreign Policy

Ken WilberSquareKen Wilber is a leading voice in Integral Wisdom and the author of more than 25 books which have explored the frontiers of enlightened living in the 21st century. He is also the most widely translated academic writer in America, with some 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages. His works have been the most influential in defining Integral Theory, which is an emerging discourse striving for the coherent organization, coordination, and harmonization of all of the relevant practices, methodologies, and experiences available to human beings. His latest work is The Fourth Turning: Exploring the Future of Buddhism which suggests a practical but profound way forward for the Buddhist tradition.

Deepak Chopra calls Ken Wilber “one of the most important pioneers in the field of consciousness.” And Stuart Davis has said: “Ken Wilber is a new kind of genius, a meta-genius, somebody who is a genius in numerous disciplines and has showed us the ways that they can be drawn together and integrated.” Wilber’s oeuvre began in 1973 when he completed the classic book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, which was published in 1977 by Quest Books. The book was hailed as “brilliant,” “the most important book written on consciousness in modern times,” and earned him comparisons to Freud and William James. Later he would even be called the “Einstein of consciousness.”

Wilber’s work is relevant to an extraordinary number of academic disciplines on the one hand as well as individual seekers and mystics on the other. This may be the case because in our time traditional, modern, and post-modern philosophies have been discredited and a significant number of people are looking for alternatives. Wilber’s version of Integral Theory charts a course out of the fog. He and other scholars have used Integral Theory to investigate and re-vision fields such as biology, business, cultural studies, developmental psychology, ecology, law, medicine, politics, religious studies and spirituality, and systems theory.

In 2000 Wilber co-founded the Integral Institute, a think and practice tank for studying issues of science and society in an Integral way. According to the Institute, its “vision is that humanity lives with the awareness necessary to compassionately integrate the fragmented and partial perspectives of differing pursuits of the good life.” The Institute published the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice which has devoted an entire issue to Unique Self, the next chapter of Integral thinking in personal enlightenment. The Meta Integral Foundation continues to publish this important academic publication.

Ken Wilber is–next to Marc Gafni–the initiating Thought Leader and Co-Founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom. He has served as the Leading Voice on the Wisdom Council of the Center and has helped to shape the emerging Activist Think Tank. Together with Marc Gafni he is co-writing the main think tank book in progress of the Center called World Spirituality based on Integral Principles.