Thursday, March 07, 2013

Barry McGuinness - THE MOST IMPORTANT CONVERSATION OF OUR TIME! A Ken Wilber / Andrew Cohen Dialogue

This is funny as a parody. But it's also a nice critique of what were once meaningful conversations when they began, but are now little more than self-congratulatory, mentally numbing, meta-masturbation sessions. Although that may be a little harsh.

Thanks to Albert Klamt and Robin Lincoln Wood for the heads up on this.

A Ken Wilber / Andrew Cohen Dialogue

I used to be a great fan of Ken Wilber's. His synthesis of multiple perspectives on psychology, spirituality and consciousness was right up my street.

A number of things, however, have given me reason to adopt a slightly more critical stance to his work. I could and maybe should write a whole article explaining what I mean, but for now let me just point out a few things.

First, the fact that someone once referred to him as "the Einstein of consciousness theory" -- this was going way too far and possibly it went to Wilber's head. I think it would be more appropriate to call him the David Bowie of consciousness theory -- someone who (as Bowie himself puts it) cleverly puts together other people's ideas.

Second, why all the cool branding nonsense? Why the pop star packaging? Come to think of it, maybe he already sees himself as a kind of David Bowie figure. His website ( is so self-consciously cool and state-of-the-art that it hurts. Maybe it's not Wilber's fault; maybe it's just his agent or his publishers or his, er, fan club. Whoever it is, someone is keen to push his bald, bespectacled visage as a modern icon.

Third, the teaming up with Andrew Cohen and their "radical dialogues" in What Is Enlightenment? magazine (now published online only). Just look at how these dialogues are described:
Many of the most significant leaps in human development have been achieved by those rare individuals--creative men and women--who have dared to step beyond the confines of the status quo to create something novel, uplifting, and extraordinary. Less renowned, perhaps, are the evolutionary advances that have been achieved by a creative duo--a pair of individuals working together, comrades and colleagues, who are driven by a shared passion to change the world for the better. 
Andrew Cohen, spiritual teacher, and Ken Wilber, spiritual philosopher, are such a team. Mapping the evolving edge of human potential and exploring the states and stages of consciousness, they function like a spiritualized fusion of Watson & Crick and Lewis & Clark, seeking to discern the deepest structures of human nature while continually pressing forward into new and uncharted terrain.
Each conversation between Wilber and Cohen is on a different topic, but the underlying theme is always the same: "People need to evolve NOW, and it is up to us two, the most evolved people on the planet, to show the way. The future of consciousness depends upon us." One time when I read one of these conversations, I really thought it was a spoof. Sadly, it wasn't.
Read the whole post, including the creative spoof of a Wilber-Cohen dialogue.
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