In the last few FM blogs you'll see my conversation on Ken Wilber's new (Integral) book called The Relgion of Tommorow (2017). My interest has been to look at slowly (in pieces) doing some kind of introductory fearanalysis of his book (and his work overall as a philosopher offering a world/kosmic therapia).

I already picked up in the book's Index that "dysfunctions" is the word that gets the most sub-entries. Indeed, he devotes a lot of the main text to outlining the different dysfunctions (what can go wrong--i.e., pathological) at each state-stage of his complex spectrum of consciousness theory/philosophy.

In this short blog I want to quote from the book and then share my initial List of Basic Vocabulary of the "Pathological" (as I call it) in Wilber's book. I'll then say a few words after these two inserts:

(1) Quote from Religion of Tomorrow - "... the esoteric teachings [across all major religions throughout time, across cultures] were the 'inner teachings,' the 'secret teachings,' usually kept from the public [masses] and open only to individuals of exceptional quality and character [and commitment]. These teachings weren't merely mythic [as in exoteric teachings] stories and beliefs; they were psychotechnologies of consciousness transformation. By performing the specific practices and exercises, an individual could reach an actual awakening to his or her own True Nature, gaining a Great Liberation [from suffering] and ultimate Freedom from the terror-inducing limitations of ordinary life and a direct introduction to ultimate Reality itself. This Great Liberation was also known by various names...". (p. 3)

[Now, I am fascinated by this opening of this huge 800pp book by Wilber, though, it is also very consistent in most all his work I have read over 35 yrs... he has a theory he follows, from the Great Traditions of wisdom/religion, in which ordinary life and its consciousness, generally, is "terror-inducing" and limiting to the highest human potential. This is exactly where a fearanalysis ought to begin with examining Wilber's Integral philosophy/theory in terms of how it is informed by this kind of intense and ominous fear-talk, as I call it. Not that he is using this fear-talk in the quote to be overly-negative, nor fearmongering, as we see he balances the 'good' and not so good part of the story of human existence and the evolution of consciousness on earth, in humans (and perhaps other creatures too)... his claim is that all the esoteric (or mystical) practices, from meditation, to contemplation, and rituals of purification and transcendence etc.. are all dedicated to clarifying the problem of human existence that is limiting and causes suffering--and, as I read this quote, the problem is a Fear Problem (more accurately, the 'Fear' Problem, which in my more detailed analysis includes concepts like 'Fear' Project(ion) and 'Fear' Matrix--not that I will go into elaborating any of that here; read my other works; So, my point is that if you are reading and studying Wilber's work you better get the core of his project, yes, Enlightenment and Liberation and Awareness, etc. for sure, but also that only comes, as this book makes very clear by wide-open analysis of the Fear Problem of evolution's inevitable 'messy' way of growing and evolving in which "fear" is a major influence, and in fact, he goes so far to claim it is "terror" not mere fear--and, all that would require a whole critical analysis further than what I can go into; So, my other point is, Wilber's work is thus all about fear management (or terror management, if you will)--and, my last 27 years are focused on developing a holistic critical and integral approach to fear management/education on this planet--and, I thank Wilber for all the work he has done on synthesizing a whole lot of others' great work on this--yet, there is so much to still articulate as Wilber himself has underplayed, and/or remained non-cognizant of the Fear Problem in his own philosophy/theory--and, thus, any good integral theory has to be up-graded to really catch the significance of this all. Note, I am using fearanalysis to pull this out, but it also goes by another name Desh Subba created as "dephilosophy" based on the philosophy of fearism--see our book on that, as in other earlier blogposts and photos on this website]

Okay, I'll leave this and go to the List of "Pathological" (and/or like-pathological) in Wilber's vocabulary in this book (ROT)... this list is just a beginning, but it is awesome in scope and descriptive color, of which it is essential for any serious Wilberian to understand and be able to apply this vocabulary accurately and critically to at least Wilber's own philosophy and theorizing on development and evolution (and its problems)--that is, the Fear Problem itself--so, I am suggesting the basic vocabulary of Wilber's implicit articulation of the human universal Fear Problem is right here [note, non-italic terms are not in ROT but I think could be because Wilber has used them elsewhere... there are many other terms he has used in other works earlier too that I have not put in this list but will be added with time]:


Wilber ROT &  (Basic) “Pathological” Vocabulary

compiled by R. Michael Fisher (May 9, 2017)


 absolutisms (quadrant)-





 amok (run)-



 Avoidance (Primordial)-

 Bad News (story)-


 biased (thinking)-

 broken (consciousness)-

 bypass (spiritual)-





 contraction (self-)-



 dark face,

 dark side,

 death drive-



 defense mechanisms-

 deformed (holon)-

 Demonic (trends)-




 destructive (current)-


 disguised (forms)-


 dis-owning (drive)-











 dominator (hierarchy)-






 fails (self)-

 false self-






 fused (with)-





 havoc (wreaking)-

 hidden (subject, lens)-





 immortality (addiction)-





 Jonah complex-


 less (“alive”)-



 loss (of faith)-



 meltdown (communion)-

 miscarriage (developmental)-













 perforation (in consciousness)


 prejudiced (thinking)-




 projective (dysfunctions)-

 projects (immortality)-










 security (needs)-

 shadow (material)-



 stuck (to)-





 therapeutic culture-








 victim mentality/culture-



 wrong (go)-

[Arguably, this vocabularly is based on a recognition in Wilber, consciously or not, of the "terror-laden" aspect of reality, that is, the fear-based aspect of reality, as humans experience it, consciously or unconsciously; so much more could be said about this, but it does raise the issue of Love-Fear as meta-motivational "forces" in the universe, if you will, which are all part of Wilber's major contribution to helping clarify and resolve the Fear Problem, and improvement fear management/education on this planet--before, not doing so adequate, really wipes us and a whole lot of other living systems off the face of the earth; we cannot ignore this any longer, we need as much fear-talk as love-talk, to put it simply in a nutshell--and, I pulled out this vocabulary from Wilber's work to get us talking about this other (shadowy, darker) side of the existence we live, and to not be seduced overly by the "transcendent" and "love n' light" consciousness talk that near totally dominates popular culture as it enters the "spiritual" (including human potential and new age)--okay, that's it for now]

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  • I noticed Wilber has responded recently to the first book reviews on re: his "The Relgiion of Tomorrow" --I think this is so worthwhile to re-print here so you can hear Wilber talk about his book (and a few of his criticisms received already); btw, I totally agree with his overall pedagogical strategy he justifies here in a reasonable argument; it makes total sense to me as a professional educator:

    by Ken Wilber, May 24, 2017

    First of all, I’d like to thank all of those who have given The Religion of Tomorrow such a terrific response. I’m truly grateful. Reading these reviews has caused much warm appreciation and deep gratitude!

    But I’d like to respond directly to the rather nasty review of a Mr. Long. Not only it is fairly malicious, factually it’s just plain false. As far as I can tell, his two major criticisms are that the book is repetitive, and there’s really nothing new contained in it. The first of those is by choice, and the second is simply wrong.

    As for the repetition. To begin with, after I wrote my first few books, and it became apparent that there was something of a coherent “system” of thinking emerging in my work, I made a direct and deliberate decision never to assume that any reader knew anything about what I had previously written. Rather, I wrote every book since (which is mostly all of them) with the assumption that the present book—whatever it was—was the first book about my work that the reader had seen. This means that each book I have done starts totally from scratch and explains the whole system from the ground up. This usually means about 1/3 of every book is a repetition of material you can find in my previous books. I have found, over the years, that the majority of readers appreciate this very much—and around 10 percent of them really resent it and get totally irritated by it. I understand their irritation, but not enough to stop doing this. I just really believe that it’s deeply arrogant to think that I can jump into explaining something and assume everybody will have read enough of my previous books to know exactly what I mean. But this is not a new criticism—again, around 10 percent of the reactions to my books over the years have made this complaint, and some of them very viciously.

    The other type of repetition that I usually include—and which is definitely more irritating in general—is to repeat material in the same book. This action comes from the same assumption that my readers are new to Integral ideas and really know nothing about them, and so I need to start from scratch with any ideas. Some studies have found that, for people who are totally new to a topic, repeating the material 2-3 times gives the best results in terms of actually comprehending the new material. In keeping with the assumption that all readers are new readers, I often (not always, but often) intentionally find ways to repeat the basic ideas 2-3 times. Again, throughout the years, I have found that a majority of readers appreciate this, and a small number get extremely irritated. So welcome to that club, Mr. Long. I particularly and deliberately used repetition in this book because it is attempting to be an overall summary of what a truly legitimate religion will look like in the future—an incredibly sophisticated and complex topic, and I wanted the material to be as easily understood as possible, so both repetitions are included—no doubt, doubly irritating Mr. Long.

    But where Long is just dead wrong in his criticism is the claim that there is little new in this book. This is so loopy I don’t know where to begin. Start, I suppose, with the fact that, out of 4 parts overall, all of Part 3 is a detailed account of what shadow material is like at each of 12 major levels of consciousness (in Growing Up), and also at each of 5 major states of consciousness (in Waking Up). Nowhere previously has this specific type of detailed information been given anywhere by anybody, including me. It’s all radically new. As are the areas throughout the book that deal with actual therapeutic techniques for any of them. Much of this material is truly pioneering (particularly that dealing with all of 3rd tier and all of the stages of meditation). This overall material in itself is close to 300 pages. (And by the way, most people I’ve talked with really appreciate these sections, because it helps them track their own shadows.)

    Which is just the start. Part 2 deals with a detailed description of the major structures of consciousness (in Growing Up)—not their shadow material, but their healthy versions. Nowhere—including in any of my earlier work—have such detailed descriptions been given of the actual levels of consciousness as identified by Integral Metatheory—and nowhere at all have the 4 major levels of 3rd-tier consciousness been so thoroughly described, or even described at all. This (especially 3rd tier) is all radically new—and close to another 200 pages.

    There are completely new sections on pioneering aspects of Integral Metatheory, dealt with absolutely nowhere previously. This includes topics such as Integral Semiotics (which is one of my own favorite sections of the book, covering all of chapter 17, and detailing a new and effective way to talk about God entirely, or a radically new God-language—actually, this section was previously posted in one place, so it is available elsewhere, but it was this chapter that was posted, so it was still new with this book). Each of the items covered in the Miscellaneous chapter (chapter 16) are all totally new (including Polarity Therapy, Network Sciences, The Technological Tie-In, A Higher “We,” Subtle Energy Dimensions, Accelerated Development, among others). Much of chapter 14, some of chapter 15, and the first two chapters are material taken from Integral Metatheory itself, and therefore that material can indeed be found in different versions elsewhere in my work. But overall, this is a staggering amount of new material, and much of it is truly pioneering and revolutionary—it’s a genuinely extraordinary look at what truly legitimate religions will have to look like in the future—if they are to have any impact on the world at all—and at how you can incorporate these novel insights into your own daily practice if you wish.

    What often tends to happen with people who have followed my work for decades, as Mr. Long has, is that they learn to think Integrally. Integral Metatheory is a radically new and comprehensive way to think about our world—and so far over 60 different disciplines have been fully re-interpreted using an Integral Framework (to give Integral Business, Integral Art, Integral Leadership, Integral Psychotherapy, Integral Philosophy, Integral Architecture, Integral Relationships, Integral Family, Integral Sports, and so on). But people who learn to think Integrally begin to—well, think Integrally. And so as they read my material, and because they are thinking Integrally, they can often begin to see what’s coming—and then when it shows up, they feel they’ve heard this before and I’m repeating myself. But sometimes I’m not repeating, they’re just thinking with me. And in a case such as Mr. Long’s, it appears that that item—coupled with some of the real repetitions for which I freely confess—has sent him over the edge.

    As for the comment about how I have begun appearing on things like YouTube videos, Mr. Long here seems to get even a bit more nasty. Most of my readers know that, in 1985, I contracted a fairly severe chronic illness—along with over 300 other people in a very small village in north Lake Tahoe—that was totally unknown at the time, but is now recognized by the CDC as being a “debilitating adult illness.” It basically causes an exhaustion so severe that people literally cannot get out of bed. There is no known cure. I’ve had this idiotic thing for over 30 years, and it hasn’t exactly killed me—I’ve managed to write over 2 dozen books—but it has been a total pain. One very regrettable aspect of this illness is that it has several opportunistic illnesses, one of which is grand mal seizures. About a decade ago, I had two rounds of a dozen grand mal seizures (one grand mal can kill you, and I was hit both times by 12 in a row; I nearly died both times, and both times I was comatose for four days following). One of the regrettable effects of these seizures is that they caused visible behavior changes, particularly when I talk, and these also affected my feet in a way that makes walking quite difficult. And yes, if you look at the videos of me speaking prior to those seizures, and then you look at any of the videos taken after those seizures, you can easily see these visible differences when I talk. It’s unpleasant. But it’s really mean-spirited to make light of this, Mr. Long. Fortunately, these seizures had no effect on my intellectual capacity, my writing ability, my capacity to enter higher states, and so on—for which, believe me, I’m thankful. And I actually think that I’ve been able to handle this wretched illness with a great deal of strength precisely because of my integral life practice.

    So, my friends, I want to thank everybody again (minus a few) for the incredibly kind reviews. I really do think that an Integral approach to the world’s problems—and certainly to specific areas like religion itself—can have a revolutionary impact, and we’re definitely seeing this virtually everywhere that an Integral approach has been taken. Thanks again enormously, and my very best wishes to you all.
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