LS Re: Four levels of Being

Sun, 9 Aug 1998 06:19:14 +0100

Hello everybody -

Bo wrote:

My point was - and still is - is that one may find some congruous
passages with two philosophers, but the more fundamental one gets
my support, and as told, I find nothing like Pirsig's grand
metaphysical shift with Ken Wilber. Show me the part in Wilber's
writings that disproves me and I'll prostrate myself.

If I had found it, I would even say that Wilber is a better writer
than Pirsig, but W. is a successful insider starting from the
established Subject-Object myth, while the madman Phaedrus was
alienated enough to wander outside the "city walls" and from out
there saw a new perspective.

Andy, I could have listed reams of passages from W's "Up from Eden"
which is just spot on (my copy is full of underlinings), but without
the new metaphysical ground it is merely splendid - not DISTURBING!
I was afraid that if not this point was made we may get lost in all
sorts of brighter writings. In the early days we had the same
dispute over Danah Zohar's work (My Quantum Self). She walks to the
brink of a Q-insight but - in horror or ... falls back to SOM.

Bo, I see your point precisely. The Q-jump is massive indeed and perhaps
unmatched in the history of philosophy. If I find anyhting that sounds
like that I will come running to TLS! My rationale for introducing
Wilber was this: in our examinations of the MoQ, we MUST revert back to
using "SOM" language. I see his abstract categorizations and overall
organization as much clearer and easier to follow than Pirsig's. As I've
said before, I think they could both greatly benefit from an
integration. I tried to do that half-assed and have gotten crucified
for it. Should have seen it coming.

So - no, as far as I can remember, I haven't seen Wilber take the same
"grand metaphysical shift" as Pirsig did. I'm not sure exactly how
necessary that leap is, and if it is something that only two books out
of millions can even touch upon, I'm not sure how useful it is to the
rest of the world. KW's model is evolutionary/developmental. Since this
is the way I am growing, I find this model more useful than a leap that
led Pirsig to insanity.

But since Wilber hasn't taken the Q-leap in those terms, I will stop
trying to shove him down your throats. In the meantime, I'll still be
trying to integrate the two schols of thought, sitting here, thinking
"it would be so much clearer if they'd all read KW." But from now on
I'll keep my trap shut. I appreciate your patience. I hope I've taught
you half as much as I've learned.

KW lives in Boulder, Colorado. Apparently he frequents the movies and a
coffee shop or 2. I hope to someday run into him there. You can be sure
that my first question will be "Are you familiar with the work of Robert

Very truly yours,


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