Brilliant. If anybody can map a way forward out of the exhaustion of postmodernism, it’s Ken Wilber. This book, written as socratic dialogue, is a boiled-down version of his Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, and I’ll be damned if I can boil it down any further–the title isn’t as hyperbolic as it might seem.
My favorite idea here–and there are tons–is the concept of Transcend and Include, which according to Wilber is how evolution moves forward, how transformation happens. It is part of his integrative vision, which does a fantastic job at ferreting out useful insights from all disciplines of human thought. He places everything in a four-quadrant system (internal/external, individual/communal), and the beauty here is that suddenly everything from psychoanalysis to abstract painting, transcendental meditation, communism, and nanophysics suddenly fits together in a very baggy and appealling system.
As I read over this, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t make any sense at all. Here’s what Amazon has to say:
“This account of men and women’s place in a universe of sex and gender, self and society, spirit and soul is written in question-and-answer format, making it both readable and accessible. Wilber offers a series of original views on many topics of current controversy, including the gender wars, multiculturalism, modern liberation movements, and the conflict between various approaches to spirituality.”
Yeah, I guess that’s better. Either way, this is full of fresh ideas.