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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "All in one and one in all."
I used to torment a friend with the question, "Where are the edges of the universe?" Ken Wilber's second book, written nearly thirty years ago, confronts its reader with the more important question, "Where are the edges of the self?" Our lives, he observes, are largely spent drawing boundaries (p. 18) between life and death, good and bad, pleasure...
Published on April 2 2001 by G. Merritt

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mind Games
This book is just filled with quotes from people that are smarter than the author. His attempt to tie all this together is filled with one-liners that are aimed to confuse and be-little the reader. He defends his writtings by saying that no language is capable of describing his conclusions. If this was so apparent to him why did he try. As one of the lucky few who...
Published on Dec 18 2000


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "All in one and one in all.", April 2 2001
By 
G. Merritt - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (Paperback)
I used to torment a friend with the question, "Where are the edges of the universe?" Ken Wilber's second book, written nearly thirty years ago, confronts its reader with the more important question, "Where are the edges of the self?" Our lives, he observes, are largely spent drawing boundaries (p. 18) between life and death, good and bad, pleasure and pain, heaven and hell, success and failure. We "live a life of opposites" (p. 16), and we are "bewitched by boundaries" (p. 25). But "the ultimate metaphysical secret," Wilber writes, "is that there are no boundaries in the universe" (p. 30). Seeing through the illusion of opposites is liberation--"the discovery of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth" (p. 28).
This book is like a sign along the road, pointing the way toward enlightenment. In his examination of "our most cherished boundary" (p. 43), self/not-self, Wilber integrates psychology, philosophy, post-modern thought, and religious doctrine of East and West. He shows how "we progressively limit our world and turn from our true nature in order to embrace boundaries" (p. 3). We believe that our skin (p. 5), mind (p. 6), or ego (p. 7) separates us from our not-self when, in fact, we "possess a remarkable spectrum of consciousness, a vast rainbow of extraordinary potentials and possibilities, and those potentials do indeed run from matter to body to soul to spirit" (p. xii). Wilber recognizes that the ordinary person "will probably listen in disbelief if it is pointed out that she has nestled in the deepest recesses of her being, a transpersonal self, a self that transcends her individuality and connects her to a world beyond conventional space and time" (p. 110).
Saint Augustine wrote that the business of life "is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen." NO BOUNDARY may be read as a book about personal growth, restoring to health the eye of the heart, and "expanding one's horizons, a growth of one's boundaries, outwardly in perspective and inwardly in depth" (p. 13). Among other approaches, Wilber turns to the Buddhist doctrines of dharmadhatu, which teaches us "between every thing and event in the universe there is no boundary" (p. 38), and suffering. "A person who is beginning to sense the suffering of life," he writes, is "beginning to awaken to deeper realities, truer realities, for suffering smashes to pieces the complacency of our normal fictions about reality and forces us to become alive in a special sense--to see carefully, to feel deeply, to touch ourselves and our worlds in ways we have heretofore avoided. It may be said, and truly I think, that suffering is the first grace" (p. 76).
If we learn to "see through the illusions of our boundaries," he writes, "we will see, here and now, the universe as Adam saw it before the Fall: as organic unity, a harmony of opposites, a melody of positive and negative, delight with the play of our vibrative existence. When the opposites are realized to be one, discord melts into concord, battles become dances, and old enemies become lovers. We are then in a position to make friends with all of the universe, and not just half of it" (p. 29). So where are the edges of the universe? After reading this book, I now realize that they exist only within the boundaries of my unliberated mind.
Wilber has been called "one of the greatest thinkers of our time," and for those new to Wilber, NO BOUNDARY is a good introduction to his integral vision.
G. Merritt
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Integration of psychology and spirituality, Nov. 3 2000
By 
gofigure (Schoharie, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Boundary (Paperback)
As a pastoral counseling student, spiritual seeker and yoga meditation instructor I have long sought to integrate my knowledge and experience in some way that made rational sense. This book does it. The writing is clear and lucid and the premise is simple but extremely revolutionary in its approach. This book puts both counseling theory and spirituality into a larger perspective. It accepts each major theory and shows how it fits into a larger scheme of the expansion of awareness and becoming a whole person. There are only a few books I have read that I bothered to re-read again. As soon as I finished this book I started re-reading it again. The insights are absolutely amazing! Fifty years from now historians will point to this book as one of the foundation stones of the intergration of psychology and spirituality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Dec 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (Paperback)
This book is really amazing! It gives readers an excellent introduction to the study of consciousness and transcendence. If you have already read this book and liked it, I also recommend Toru Sato's "The Ever-Transcending Spirit". It's an outstanding book that explains consciousness even better by putting it into the context of interpersonal relationships and human development.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A User's Guide for "Spectrum of Consciousness", May 14 2002
By 
Nicq MacDonald (Sioux Falls, SD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (Paperback)
"No Boundary" was written by Wilber to be a complement to his first book, "The Spectrum of Consciousness". Written with a less-academic style and more of an emphasis on practice than theory, No Boundary sketches a basic program of psychological and spiritual development. Although it has been superceded by "Integral Psychology", "Boundary" remains an indispensible part of Wilber's early canon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most important books on conciousness ever written, Dec 20 2001
By 
Steven Savage "Steve Savage" (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (Paperback)
As aggrandizing as it sounds, this is one of THE books any psychologist, mystic, or meditation has to have, read, and reread.
Wilber presents a simple, elegant, well explained map of human concious development, all encapsulated by an understandable theory - our mind is divded up, separated by barriers, and by seeing through them we grow. Eventually we heal the splits (by seeing they really are illusionary) and grow as people.
Wilbers theories map well to other concepts of conciousness I've seen, and he definitely knows what he's talking about.
Buy it. Read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Framework for Spiritual Thinking, Sept. 14 2001
This review is from: No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (Paperback)
This is my first introduction to Wilber's writings. I had been referred to him by several people, including a well known spiritual guru in the UK who said that Mr. Wilber was likely to be recognised as the greatest philosopher of our times and that he is reputed to read several hundred books as background to his works. I had in fact been referred to the Theory of Everything but had been given this book as a present.
Wilber's writing style is clear and simple, although it is true that he does repeat ideas. The latter appears more to be a way of making sure that his audience follows his ideas which, although clear, could sometimes appear to be based on complex notions to the uninitiated or "lay" reader.
In essence, he lays out a framework, one of the first clear attempts I have seen to do this, that positions most if not all religious, spritual, and philosophical attempts at explaining conciousness. What does this mean? He asks the familiar question of what is the meaning of life: of "I". He then goes to show that in the contradictions that emerge in the different answers is actually a set of differences that can be explained by the level of conciousness at which the question is being addressed.
He is extremely well read and uses examples from almost all of the religions, from pschology and psychoanalysis, as well as from philosophy, to develop his ideas. One unfortunately wishes that this was not a book of a hundred or so pages but rather a book of several thousand as one senses that he could go on with his discussions to far deeper levels. In fact, he suggests at the end of the many chapters further reading (worth the price of the book in itself).
For someone interested in spiritualty, buddhism, mysticism, and pschology this book is a must. First because he is a great philosopher, second because he writes very well, and third because he gives one a holistic view that many other writers do not.
Having read his book I feel far more comfortable wading through the rest of my reading as things seem to have a far greater clarity of perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilber's vision is unique and important, March 17 2001
This review is from: No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (Paperback)
There are some people that suggest that Wilber has been too repetitive in his last few books. That he's simply been repeating the same basic refrain over and over again. I can understand that criticism, but I disagree with it. Wilber's theory of integration is both complex and important, and I find it incredibly useful to have new books in which he expands the examples of his theory. My own feeling is that the integral theory is a very important theory to understand, so the more in depth Wilber goes, and the various diffirent paths of exploration he goes at his thory from, the happier I am, as I feel like I have a greater grasp of what he's speaking about.
As an aside, there is a wondeful novel called We All Fall Down by Brian Caldwell which seems to take quite a bit of Wilber's theory, and even mentions him several times in the book. The novel is a great example of a man caught trying to transform his life into something better, but who is able only to translate. It's about the frustration and difficulties in trying to move up to the next level of consciousness. Techinically, it's set in a Christian framework, but it elevates past that small structure and uses it to really bring home quite a few of Wilber's theories. It's a wonderful novel and I'd highly recomend it to any fan of Wilber.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Transpersonal synthesis of psychology and spirituality, Aug. 8 2000
By 
Peter A. Kindle (Kansas City, Missouri) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Boundary (Paperback)
Ken Wilber has provided a synthesis of virtually all psychological theories and spiritual perspectives in this short introduction to his spectrum of consciousness. Consciousness, in this context, refers to our personal sense of identify, our personal answer to the question,"Who am I?" Wilber makes much of the fact that our first answer to this question is largely a matter of identifying that which is "not me." The distinction between "me" and "not me" is the fundamental human error, for in making it we deny our oneness with all reality. Hence the title indicates that to grow in consciousness is to eliminate these artificial boundaries. The first half of the book explains this in detail.
Fortunately, our denial of oneness with reality results in dissatisfaction with life that becomes the primary motivation to resolve four basic false dichotomies: (1) persona versus shadow; (2) ego versus body; (3) centaur versus environment; and (4) transpersonal identity versus unity consciousness. At each stage, the harmony in identity that follows elimination of the boundary becomes a new identity defined by new boundaries. Persona and shadow become ego. Ego and body become centaur. Centaur and environment become a transpersonal, but non-universal, identity. Only in unity consciousness, or oneness with all reality, do we eliminate boundaries and find peace.
Chapters are devoted to all four dichotomies. In each Wilber discusses the nature of the boundary conflict and therapeutic approaches sympathetic to its resolution. Interestingly, he understands the conflicts in various therapeutic approaches to be differences in dichotomy rather than truth. Some therapies work for one stage; others for another; all have value at times. Often he discusses the spiritual/religious impact of the dichotomies and their resolution. In each chapter he provides a narrative discussion of related materials by other authors for further study.
Everyone will not find Wilber totally convincing. Jungians will be disappointed in Wilber's simplistic resolution of the persona/shadow boundary. Christians will be uncomfortable with the strong Hindu emphasis in unity consciousness. Behaviorists will note their total absence in the discussion. Those predisposed to resist Wilber's synthesis should take note that it is not fair to reject Wilber without providing a equally sensitive and compelling synthesis of the myriad therapies, theories of personality and spiritualities that have lasting value worldwide.
This book is a primer, but one that awakened a desire in me to read more comprehensively and thoroughly. The analytical approach of experimental psychology is unlikely to answer the deepest questions of humanity. Wilber's spectrum provides a working model that may.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! So That's What It's All About, May 9 2000
This review is from: No Boundary (Paperback)
I see others found this to be a quick read. I didn't. It's not that it is hard to read, for me it's that it gets so quickly, logically and undeniably to the meat of what it's all about and the whole spritual thing that understanding each new piece of the puzzle, is in itself so life changing that I can only assimilate the revalations so fast. For me, who has spent a lifetime denying the connectedness of everything and generating boundaries, this is like discovering that there is a god and that is really simple, not requiring the acceptance of - I thought - the bizzare dogma of many of the organized groups of believers, the illogical mumbo-jumbo nature of which kept me fighting this acceptance for so many years. Pretty cool, pretty life changing, very logical and easy to understand....Finally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most lucid description of what some call "enlightenment", April 14 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: No Boundary (Paperback)
I found this a pretty easy read, and very good, although a little repetitive. As far as writing style goes, he needs to find different ways to quote people (think, "paraphrase"). I understand the need for repetition though; his thesis is really very unnerving and hard to fathom if one is not familiar with these concepts, although personally I find it irrefutable. When we truly realize that we are inseparable from each other, we will finally stop hurting ourself. If you want a no-nonsense, rational, plain-speaking and clear explanation of the highest goal of much of Eastern and some of Western philosophies & religions, do not hesitate to read this book!
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