Ken Wilber - Reception

Reception

Wilber has been categorized as New Age due to his emphasis on a transpersonal view and, more recently, as a philosopher.

Wilber is credited with popularizing, if not inventing, the field of Integral Thought, broadening the appeal of a "perennial philosophy" to a much wider audience. Cultural figures as varied as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Deepak Chopra, and musician Billy Corgan have mentioned his influence. However, Wilber's approach has been criticized as excessively categorizing and objectifying, masculinist, commercializing spirituality, and denigrating of emotion. Numerous critics cite problems with Wilber's interpretations and inaccurate citations of his wide ranging sources, as well as stylistic issues with gratuitous repetition, excessive book length, and hyperbole.

Steve McIntosh praises Wilber's work but also argues that Wilber fails to distinguish 'philosophy' from his own Vedantic and Buddhist religion. Christopher Bache is complimentary of some aspects of Wilber's work, but calls Wilber's writing style glib and superior and suggests that Wilber tends to overlook the more complicated aspects of spiritual purification and past-life interpretation.

Jennifer Gidley compared Rudolf Steiner's educational approach with Wilber's Integral Operating System, noting the conceptual breadth of Wilber's narrative in transcending both scientism and epistemological isolationism. She also noted the limitations of Wilber’s project, such as his undervaluing of Gebser's text and the omission of Steiner.

Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof has praised Wilber's knowledge and work in the highest terms; however, Grof has criticized the omission of the pre- and peri-natal domains from Wilber's spectrum of consciousness, and Wilber's neglect of the psychological importance of biological birth and death. Grof has described Wilber's writings as having an "often aggressive polemical style that includes strongly worded ad personam attacks and is not conducive to personal dialogue." Wilber's response is that the world religious traditions do not attest to the importance that Grof assigns to the perinatal.

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