Questions for Ken Wilber


Background: I have recently been talking with Casper on this forum about my most deepest thoughts (communication from my highest self). It stirred up some questions about integral thinking. These are sincere questions (for yourself and Ken).


  1. fact checking and communal validation are important, as are curation and filtering (via values/perspective)
  2. “technostalgia” (Michel Bauwens) is a term that highlights the desire to stay with old tech rather than move into new technologies (ontology, epsitemology, axilogy etc - int semiotics)
  3. communal witnessing and validation can impact tone (e.g. tone of voice)
  4. Tone of voice is the new technology for deciding on truth (the unconscious carier wave for content - like your finger print - it is hard to fake it… it can carry the key signifier with regards to the ref Truth – has what this person is saying been communally verified and witnessed" aka - is this good Mana?)

Question for Ken…
How does the future look for Integral in terms of communal verification (see above premises) in terms of a) a ‘post ken’ world (vision-logic) and b) Vatican II revolution(s) that might involve the masses also holding the “ken within” - the integral within and finally c) like religions - do we need to self identify as Integrals and preach (apologetics) - and/or is it more about our “tone” (communally verified spiritual truth/truthfulness"…


/Tim (:pray:)



Dear Ken

My name is Matthew David Bowron, 35 from Perth, Western Australia. I’m currently unemployed, living off disability benefits for several mental illnesses (ADD, Asperger’s/Autism, OCD, GAD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety) due to being severely physically and emotionally bullied from primary to high school. However since a young age I’ve wanted to become an author, and from my bullying experiences I began to wonder why is there bullying and this grew to why does conflict exist between ideologies and different worldviews, which I later found out were the present day “Culture Wars”.

Basically I have an idea for a book that I’ve always wanted to write, combining fiction and non-fiction, linking the story of an ordinary human life to the life of the universe. What I feel today is that people are trying to figure out where they fit in this world, and one idea I thought of was of creating a choose-your-own-adventure, where the reader could not only choose which historical period in the past, present and potential future of the universe, but also choose what age worldview they’d like to view the world through, and choose also whether that view supports (hero) or doesn’t support (anti-hero) that current era’s dominant worldview.

What I think is that Big History (which I believe is the Integral or Metamodern version of history), matches with the Four Quadrants model, or AQAL model. That the different time periods, ranging from trillions to tens of billions to hundreds of millions to millions, to tens of thousands and hundreds of years not only in the past but in the future, as well as today, match up to different worldviews, like sensorimotor, through to non-dual. What I imagine is that Integral is going to become a major worldview which I believe will lead to a cyberpunk/star trek (depending on perspective) future, followed by nature mysticism/psychic where terraforming not only of Earth but also Mars and Venus and other planets, subtle where we have post-biological existence like that in History Channel’s Year Million) where we control matter (or positive energy according to Stephen Hawking), causal where we have a post-physical existence where we control dark matter and dark energy and space (which I all sum together as Stephen Hawking’s negative energy), and nondual where we transcend the duality of the universe and move into the multiverse, before leaving the new incarnation of the universe (as I prefer the Turok-Steindhart cyclical model) to the new inhabitants following the next Big Bang (according to M-theory and superstring theory brane models).

I was thinking of writing this myself, and presenting you with a draft, and with hope permission to publish this novel. It can either be written first by me as a draft, and then added with new or other people’s advice if I haven’t got the predictions or perspectives correct, and even give ownership of the book to you Ken personally, if you wish, or Integral Life community, or whichever you see fit. But I didn’t want to go forth with this book without your blessing or permission, so if you could reply to this I’d very much appreciate it. And if anyone in the community wants to give their opinions or comments to this, I’m all eager to listen.

Thanks for reading this, and I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

Matthew David Bowron.


Hi @timgreenwood ,
Sorry for late response. You posted on 5th of May.
As for premises: it is absorbing combination. I would set it this way. Fact checking + communal validation + being aware of people witnessing (or Witness within the witness). Then I see the problem of ‘tone’ (I had to look it up at online dictionary, wide term). The ‘tone’ is the greatest obstacle and I would do a short story here.
Take me as a role playing character. I invent e.g. new tool to shave the dishes in 5 minutes. Tool is exceptional and works anywhere + it is cheap. I earn for that 10’000 zillions and live the life for the next 20 years as greatest inventor of 5-min-do-the-crap-job-tool. After 20 years a reporter asks me if I am proud of it. I respond with words like this: ‘Worst happening of my life. I am a person, who has one face for any human in the world. To hell with this shit. Take this 10 zillions and gtfo.’ Reporter is gone, I continue whatever I have to continue. People, who watched the interview are kinda puzzled.
My point is: you cannot stop being a human being, even if you invented a silent revolution. At the market of creation/thinking/work/solution/theory. That might be a great pain of KW. Or not, I hope so. Or a pain of any person, who is sure and can ‘objectively’ judge his/her art/career/skill or range of skills.

I like the 4th point.

That is not exact quote, but it should be quoted this way I think. Carier or carrier?

I am not Ken Wilber, but I will give it a go.
I did not read one more time revolutions of Vatican II. I read that years ago, so take some margin of fault or smthing like that. The only first thought after seeing wiki is: priests without a family is tradition with no future.

I don’t really think there is a need to mark anything beyond vision-logic. I could quote here a great Polish, traditional thought: “Wyżej dupy nie podskoczysz.” => “You won’t jump above your arse.” (literal translation)
As far as I remember there is a sense of unity above visionary aspects of a person and yourself. Visions are heard, visions are comprehended, visions are contemplated of some sort. I have no better way to put this right now. So ‘above vision-logic’ or ‘post ken’ is a sense of unity with no general clue how to unite those people with their visions. The core of ‘visiounous’ part of you and others is recognized or sensed or perceived, depends on the person I guess.
Myself, I am a bit of a guy with conceptual thinking and that’s that.
Combining ‘post ken’ and Vatican II? Bro, get them to know Ken for starters :wink:

Identify yourself however you like. I have never heard someone talking he/she is Integral. Too much to explain. I tried that a bit, but I can only write about this. Period.
‘Tone’ is another new aspect I guess. Most wise decision, when you want to exist something and this is personally yours, do not talk about it, do it and let people comment. You will know it is yours and this attachment is another inner story of yours. Will not be explained anyhow to anyone. If the outcome is different - bravo and the luck is on your side this time. :slight_smile:

Hi @MattDaveBowron ,
There are many facts to absorb here. First time I pressed ‘false button’, when I read ‘schizophrenia’. You write too understandably to have some sort of disfunctions that come along with that one. That may seem harsh, but if your country can afford your illnesses - do something of passion and fck the illnesses. I am pretty sure (I remember at least 1 story and have some experience) that people with multiple diagnosis are simply undefinable and must be under care. It is shame to have illnesses, but if you write and you are understood by a guy from Europe - there are no obstacles to pursue writing. Brother of Kazimierz Kutz was schizophreniac and wrote ‘a story of the World and science’ or anything similar, and KK preserved that book and went to some profs, but they kinda disapproved with thesis of this book. Lol. He went to the wrong people. He needed readers.
Ken Wilber is either responding here with different nickname or is too tired of supporting and teaching.
Continue writing and ask people for judgment during writing and afterwards. During is very importent.
I had some other thoughts, but I would rather read your book than think about precisely write in English myself. Lol.



I dont have a question, i would just like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for giving me a road map on my journey. Thank you Ken


I have been on medication since 2010, and I’ve had a yearning to write my own stories since I was six years old. When I have psychosis attacks, my sympathetic nervous system gets activated, and I suffer from hallucinations and delusions audio and visual, where I believe that I’m a monster of sorts, probably from being conditioned by the bullies in the past. I feel like I literally go through hell, and will never escape it, and even feel like commiting suicide when they happen. Usually if I take my emergency meds and talk to someone for a while I eventually switch from the sympathetic nervous system to the para-sympathetic nervous system and basically get back to normal. These can be triggered even by small events where I made a mistake and give myself hell for it. I know that these beliefs are basically lies that my mind believes, and that I’ll need further therapy to unpick the lie and be able to deal with it not just via medication.

I do however use these mental illness experiences as a way of connecting with those who do have mental illnesses. I’ve been able to use my imagination and understanding of the different viewpoints to be able to shift from seeing the world through sensorimotor to non-dual by modelling and sheer will. I believe that not only do the transpersonal or waking up moments are seen in spiritual models, but are also reflective of scientific models, going down the inner holons from life to matter to non-matter to both, as a way of integrating with the psychic, subtle, causal and non-dual stages. Thanks for your advice regard the writing. I just believe that Ken’s model of prepersonal to transpersonal can be a way of predicting the history of the universe. I know he does view the growing up stages and waking up stages as separate now, but I still think that his earlier model is relevant, along with some other models of Integral thinkers, like Peter Collins for example, whose model of holistic mathematics seems to correlate with the different altitudes of consciousness of Ken’s with his Lower Middle Higher and Radial models of Peters. Basically as we differentiate in the first half we align ourselves to certain poles of pairs of opposites, and when we integrate in the second half we align to the other pole of opposites in reverse order.

Basically: Heritage - Parental Precursor (many), Gestation - Primary Matrix (individual), Infancy - Sensorimotor (form), Toddler - Emotional-phantasmic (part), Young Child -Preoperational (interior), Older Child - ConOp(objective), Adolescence - FormOp (separation), Young Adult - vision/logic (subjective), Middle Adult - Psychic (exterior), Mature Adult - Subtle (whole), Elderhood - Causal (formless), Senescence - Non/dual (community) and Legacy - Unity with Divine (one)

What do you think of these ideas?


Does Integral have a community or think-tank where people at different political levels can discuss their perspectives? (Not debate or declare right or wrong). Is this possible? I am a fan of Fred Rogers and Humberto Maturana. I value respect for self, community, the human species and the planet. How can we engage with respect if there is not a place to interface with each other and create a healthy “we”? I long for Rumi’s field beyond right and wrong. Can we create that field? Why - survival of species. How - let’s explore.


Modernism represents a system of values and accomplishments made possible at least in part by Newtonian science which has enabled Man’s ability to gain certainty via empirical measurement. Indeed, the Industrial Revolution was a concentrated workspace in which Newton was actualized.

Since then however there have been a whole series of scientific discoveries, the result of which has been to show that the applicability of Newtonian science is limited. The works of Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrodinger to name just a few show that Newtonian science breaks down around the edges; the very large, small, fast, cold, hot etc. The effect of this subsequent generation of science has been to usher in understandings and applications not possible using Newton.

So if Newton can be seen as one of the fathers of Modernism, under what worldview do subsequent (Einsteinian et al) scientific understandings fall?


Apparently Don Beck and a guy called M.A. Carrano has found the coral vMeme which is a continuation of the Spiral Dynamics’ second tier:
A stage builds on the stage 2 steps down in a sense. Orange seeks power like red but is strategic about it. Yellow builds on orange in that it seeks self-actiualzation but is now doing it for the thriving of the system. Like this coral builds of yellows systems thinking but is now focused on brutally practical action.
Yellow sees the world from a birdseye view. Coral is aware of the system but is focused on his place in the system.

Yellow is global survival/flourishing. Touquoise is global belonging/healing. Coral is global esteem/glory.
Just like red power in the first tier is a means to achieve survival, global power in coral is a means to achieve global survival.

How do you square this with your 3rd tier?


I have been reading Cynthia Bourgeault discuss both Jean Gebser’s and Ken’s versions of stages/structures of consciousness. a quote below. Does Ken see his and Gebser’s versions as fundamentally different - rungs on a ladder or pieces of a puzzle? and does his version actually does each stage fundamentally lose much of its character after being transcended and included in the next stage.

There is one crucial difference, however. In Wilber, these are stages of consciousness. In Gebser, they are STRUCTURES of consciousness.

Perhaps the significance of this nuance escapes you. (It certainly escaped me initially.) But on this nuance, actually, all else turns.

Stages EVOLVE. They are like steps on a ladder, building sequentially one upon the other in a journey that leads onward and upward.

Structures UNFOLD. They are like sections of a jigsaw puzzle or rooms in an art museum, gradually filling in to reveal the big picture (which already implicitly exists.)

This means that stages are essentially developmental. The earlier stage is folded into the next, in the process losing much of its distinctive character. The earlier stage lays the groundwork for what emerges next.

The inverse way of stating this is that the earlier stage represents a more immature expression of what is to follow


Can we get a Ken Show about the Twenty Tenets? They’re my favourite part of all Integral Theory and there’s only an hour’s worth of content about them that I can find! (In the Ken Wilber Biography Collection). I know you have a lot of stuff on your hands (so excited for the subtle energy episode, and maybe there could be a shout-out for the integral entrepreneur Eric Thompson :smiley:) so keep on rockin’!


I’m not really sure who is replying to who on this site, but I do relate very well to Susanne Cook-Grueter’s Leadership Maturity Framework. I’ve taken two week-long workshops with her and am still learning from them…and from her. She is an authentic scholar and full of a beautiful almost musical sense of deep wisdom.


Hey there, I can relate to what you’re saying and have experienced similar thoughts/feelings stemming partly from the construct/ego aware phase. Psychedelics actually helped me reintegrate back into Strategist phase by basically instructing me to slow down my development and enjoy the game/dream/illusion of life. Essentially I reconstructed my ego and decided to do more work at the Strategist phase before diving deeper into Transpersonal realms. It felt very freeing to not feel like I had to “keep going” and breaking through my ego identity, and that instead I could just chill out and enjoy the illusion of being a somebody. Now life kind of feels like a lucid dream, like a crazy movie unfolding in which I am both the actor and the viewer (and the director) and the pixels on the screen, but most of the time I just feel like the actor, and I enjoy allowing myself to play the role. There’s a strange sense of freedom in that. Anyways, I hope this helps, and would be happy to connect more as I’m curious to learn more about your journey. It certainly feels lonely at times to not have people “in the flesh” as you say who I can connect with on this level. Much love, Tucker



So my question is simply what is true compassion to Ken?

Sorry if this post is bothersome, annoying, seems silly, etc.
I have not been able to find a detailed description of how Ken Wilber conceptualizes or defines real compassion.
I am very curious about this expert opinion from one of the worlds greatest philosophers.
If Ken, or anyone may be able to provide his answer or show me where that may be I would greatly appreciate it, deeply grateful indeed.

Thank you for your time, sorry again.


I can also relate to that, Tucker. (I’m not on this site all that often, so much time has lapsed since your comment on enjoying your current life and its stage understandings. As a white American boy, accomplishment and achievement is what you “do.” Nice to stop the conscious quest and enjoy “what is” as part of the gift of life. Psychedelics have been most helpful and enjoyable on my journey. I’ve had to keep that part of my life hidden from most of my fellow workers in the “regular” world. I’m very pleased to see them emerge from shadows and shame to be understood as valuable ways of opening our minds to new possibilities and perceptions. Thanks for your comments! I would enjoy your subsequent comments if our words meet each other at some point. :blush:


Dear Ken! As I am in this period working my way through the “Full spectrum Mindfulness” course, my question concerns the notion of “the witness” the “pure I-am-ness” that Im daily dealing with during the meditation periods.
I have from age 18 and at least 12 years ahead been meditating twice a day the “Trancendental meditation” TM, which is, as you know mantra-based. My experiences by using the mantra was a “sinking down” experience, through always finer levels of thought and sometimes then disappearing into nothingness(for lack of a better description) During these meditations the body would be sometimes almost not felt at all. And very frequently the breathing would get very very subtle, like there would almost be no need for oxygen. The feeling of “being at home” of “deepest peace” would be part of my (peak)experiences.
I am to some extend confused about whether this state of mind as I just described, is the same as the wittness, the pure I-am-ness? I am for old habits sake sometimes using the mantra meditation especially in the beginning of my Full-Spectrum -Mindfulness" meditations.
I would be very grateful to have some light shedded on this issue as it occupies me.
OR: Is “the wittness” simply the clear awake mind witnessing all inner and outer perceptions without any involvement?
(a body feeling, a car driving, a thought arising of what to shop for dinner)