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Balance and Emphasis More Key than Mere Comprehensiveness


Watts, not Wilber, focused on core transformation. 1


Watts, not Wilber, focused on core transformation

It is easy to mistake high myth and ultimate rationality for low myth and irrationality.  Ken Wilber's idea of the pre/trans fallacy explains this mistake, but even he doesn't have a consistent, firm, clear, specific grasp on what is most important in mythic symbolism and transrationality. 

Should scientific rationalists who fail to rationally comprehend the meaning of myth be pointed to Wilber as the key to understanding myth?  No, the essence and the core of comprehension is lost in Wilber's understandably complex system, with lopsided and unclear results.  He doesn't discuss transrationality in the way that would be most useful for the greatest number of people.  His system is, for all practical purposes, wrong, or unseeing. 

He has no real grasp of the problem of self-control and how it is reflected in myth and how it is amplified and made to blossom or brought to a climax through entheogens.  He has many of the required pieces, but many of the central key pieces are buried and strewn apart in his system.  It's not enough for a model of religious experiencing to have the right pieces in a heap, or in just any configuration. 

Wilber has almost all the required puzzle pieces, but he hasn't put them together in a practical way; he has a bunch of airplane pieces but not a plane that can actually fly.  His framework is misfocused; the pieces need to be flipped into a different configuration that emphasizes the problem of rational self-control and the experience of loss of the sense of control, combined with the experience of timelessness, during the intense mystic altered state, and recognize how myth-religion expresses this very dynamic. 

Wilber has some meditation-state experience and some metaphysical theory and some understanding of myth, but he can't identify the most powerful, most central, and most relevant dynamics and insights, that would make the most intense and distinct transformation happen straightforwardly in the majority of minds.  He thinks that psychospiritual progress is something that slowly proceed on many fronts. 

He doesn't realize how simple, straightforward, rational, comprehensible, and easy the main, classic religious transformation is.  There really isn't much to it -- this transformation was routine for the Hellenists, but Wilber thinks that the Hellenists were primitive and had different psyches than we do now, except for Mr. Historical Jesus, who was, inexplicably, psycho-spiritually more advanced than we are. 

The Hellenists were closer to the simple, concise core of understanding than Wilber.  Ingest the entheogenic sacrament, experience no-free-will and ego death, discover the limits of ordinary perfect rationality, discover the ability to validly and rationally postulate an even more perfected, transcendent rationality that can account for illusion and convention, and express this through various myths. 

Very effective, attainable, simple, to-the-point, and no-nonsense -- unlike Wilber's massive, complicated, unfocused system that has no clear central transformation insight/experience but instead requires decades of meditation with gradual incremental mini-transformations or transformation through relatively continuous development. 

Finally, in the end, Wilber's system is unwieldy and impractical, like the period when the guitar stores were carrying both the dirt simple and eminently practical Line 6 Flextone guitar amp and the Johnson Millennium amp based on the unwieldy DigiTech technology with lots of little programming buttons and deep menus. 

Ken Wilber's system is like the Johnson Millennium amp -- unfocused, complicated, difficult to use, confused about its audience, not sure what its central goal is, not focused on the central goal of most people in actual, real circumstances.  My ideal is more like the spirit that so suddenly thrust Line 6 from out of nowhere into the lead: pick a realistic and popular target scenario to address, and focus on the main goals, with ease of use, practicality, and relevance. 

As a sprawling theory of integral everything, Ken's is a balanced and effective theory.  But he really, by a practical measure, is not -- surprising to say -- very clear about the core pivot-point of the main transformation that lies as a potential in every mind.  Alan Watts was much more focused on that main, pivotal transformation.  The ideal theory then should combine the sprawling overall integral framework of Wilber, with the focused core transformation model of Watts. 

Watts had a firmer grasp on the most central concerns that are relevant for the main transformation we all can experience: sudden satori, Christian myth in detail, and entheogens, and self-control, with an occasional treatment of the illusory nature of individual free will.  Wilber has these aspects but has them less than Watts, and has a huge integral theory that overshadows, obscures, and scatters apart these most important, key points.


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