EYE TO EYE: The Quest for the New Paradigm by Ken Wilber

EYE TO EYE: The Quest for the New Paradigm

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Up From Eden (1981) brought us ""A Transpersonal View of Human Evolution""; A Sociable God (1982) provided ""A Brief Introduction to a Transcendental Sociology."" Now, Wilber cautions, ""we transpersonalists are going to have to get straight very fast,"" come up with some rigorous conceptual thinking, or face ""theoretical oblivion."" A genuine ""new paradigm""--a base for a new epistemology-cum-worldview capable of accommodating the data of empirical science, psychology, philosophy, and metaphysics--is still many years away. Meanwhile, we are discrediting ourselves with sloppy thinking and premature syntheses. It is possible, however, to at least sketch in the new paradigm: an elaborate marriage of the perennial philosophy with Western psychology and evolutionary theory. Some of its aspects can be elaborated: e.g., ""my general theory of repression,"" positing six types of the unconscious. It's also possible to say what it will not look like: namely, the current physics/mysticism fads in general, and the much-touted ""holographic paradigm"" in particular. As ever, Wilber's text bristles with classification schemes (Bonaventure's three modes of knowing, Buddhism's five lower vijanas, Maslow's hierarchies of needs, Kohlberg's stages of moral development). Ontogenies, phylogenies, and teleologies from every conceivable Eastern and Western tradition are compared, contrasted, and synthesized. And in his zeal to apply rigorous logic, Wilber often belabors simple ideas (like category error), or complicates them by over-schematizing. An interesting continuation, nonetheless, of a highly suggestive enterprise.

Pub Date: March 4th, 1983
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday