treya killam wilber (1)

Ken Wilber: Pandit and Fearlessness

Ken Wilber, Integral philosopher, and pandit (scholar of spirituality and religions, and consciousness), has also greatly influenced my thought and life since 1982. Recently, I scanned all his books and searched for the term "fearlessness" and to my not surprise... it is only used once. He used in reference to his first wife Treya Killam Wilber [1], who died of cancer 5 years after they were married (see their book Grace and Grit, 1993). The fact he has been a Zen Buddhist practitioner and is well-versed in Yoga traditions etc., where "fearlessness" is an important concept, virtue, etc. It does astound me he has not written or talked about it all these years.

I am astounded why my major mentor, in terms of philosophical thinking since my youthful adult years, has not put this term "fearlessness" in his vocabulary and why did it become for me the most important term to articulate the path of enlightenment? A puzzler...

Ken Wilber, American Integral philosopher, age 68, with a deteriorating nerve illness/condition for the last few decades. He's still teaching and with over 35 books published.


1. He wrote, "Treya [who had malignant cancer near immediately once they were married] simply had no split between her public and private selves. I think that was directly related to what can only be called her fearlessness. There was a strength in Treya that was absolutely fearless, and I do not say that lightly. Treya had little fear because she had little to hide, from you or me or God or anybody. She was transparent to reality, to the Divine, to the world, and thus had nothing to fear from. I saw her in much pain; I saw her in much agony; I saw her in much anger. I never saw her in fear." (p. x, Wilber and Wilber, 1983, Grace and Grit).

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