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                   September 2005 Book Review and Quotes Archive




                                    The Simple Feeling of Being - Embracing Your True Nature
                                                                               By Ken Wilber
   Compiled and edited by Mark Palmer, Sean Hargens, Vipassana Esbjorn, and Adam Leonard

                                                                   Shambala Publications
                                                                       ISBN I-59030-151-X


Ken Wilber has authored numerous books (there is always another at some stage of publication) that have articulately

defined an “integral” approach to understanding: meaning, not just an East/West synthesis, or archaic/postmodern

resolution, or a philosophical/practical parsing, or even a mystical/rational dialogue. His work is intent on

acknowledging and uniting dualities by exploring their dissolution in higher or more expansive world views that both

transcend and include their predecessors.

I don’t want this to sound too wackily airy because he also has written a profoundly personal journal, Grace and Grit,

a chronicle of his wife’s death; One Taste, a journal of his meditation practice and diary, and Boomeritis, a greatly

humorous expose of someone much like himself. In the doing of his writing, he has laid down a map for charting

nothing less than humanity’s multifaceted search for meaning through the eons. It is heady stuff that also maps his

own view point’s evolution.

The editors of The Simple Feeling of Being have pulled quotes from his many books into themed chapters. It operates

as both a kind of “sampler” of his thoughts if you are just passing through, and an extended contemplation along

focused key themes if you’d like to stay awhile. It also provides good jumping off points to his other works

to pursue particular issues that are intriguing or provocative.

Some of the chapters offer through the chosen quotes, an extended definition of particular ideas that Wilber has drawn on,

such as The Witness and Spirit-in-Action. Another chapter, Memoirs, taken largely from Grace and Grit and One

Taste capture defining moments of his life, eloquently, touchingly shared. I cried again, reading about his wife, Treya’s,

fearless passing into death and determined to re-read G&G. The chapter titled Passionate Philosophy articulates

more than his work product, it defines his motivation and his life attitude.

There is here something for both students of Wilber, a convenient summing - perhaps a remembering of thoughts and

passages and for people new to his approach - a simple tease, or taste, one might say, inviting the satisfaction of a

lingering journey along personal, philosophical, and experiential paths.

Review by Tom Tower



                                             September 2005 Weekly Quotes    



The typical New Age notion is that you want good things to happen to you, so think good thoughts; and because you

create your own reality, those thoughts will come true. Conversely, if you are sick, it’s because you have been bad.

The mystical notion, on the other hand, is that your deepest Self transcends both good and bad, so by accepting
absolutely everything that happens to you - by equally embracing both good and bad with equanimity - you can

transcend the ego altogether. “The idea is not to have one thing that is good smash into another thing called my ego

but to simply rise above both.”
Ken Wilber as quoted in the Simple Feeling of Being from his novel Boomeritis

"Mysticism is transrational and thus lies in our collective future, not our collective past. Mysticism is evolutionary

and progressive not devolutionary and regressive, as Aurobindo and Teilhard de Chardin realized. And science, in

my opinion, is stripping us of our infantile and adolescent views of spirit, is stripping us of our prerational views, in

order to make room for the genuinely transrational insights of the higher stages of development, the transpersonal

stages of genuine mystical or contemplative development. It is stripping magic and mythic in order to make room

for psychic and subtle. In that sense science (and rationality) is a very health, very evolutionary, very necessary

step toward real spiritual maturity. Rationality is a movement of spirit toward spirit."
Ken Wilber as quoted in the Simple Feeling of Being from his book Grace and Grit

“My heart broke. Da Free John’s phrase kept running through my mind: “Practice the wound of love…practice the wound

of love.” Real love hurts. Real love makes you totally vulnerable and open; real love will take you far beyond yourself; and

therefore real love will devastate you. I kept thinking, if love does not shatter you, you do not know love. We had both been

practicing the wound of love, and I was shattered. Looking back on it, it seems to me that in that simple and direct moment,

we both died.”
Ken Wilber as quoted in the Simple Feeling of Being from his book Grace and Grit

"Timeless and therefore eternal, it gives rise to all time; spaceless and therefore infinite, it gives rise to all space; formless

and therefore ever present, it gives rise to all the worlds, even here and now. Look! Look! Can you find it? It is closer to you

right now than you are to yourself! I promise you, it is closer than your heartbeat, nearer than your breath. It is staring you in

the face, right here, right now! Can you find it?"
Ken Wilber as quoted in the Simple Feeling of Being from “The Deconstruction of the World Trade Center




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