- Paperback: 149 pages
- Publisher: Shambhala; Revised ed. edition (Feb. 6 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1570627436
- ISBN-13: 978-1570627439
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 222 g
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth Paperback – Feb 6 2001
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"Ken Wilber is one of the most important pioneers in the field of consciousness in this century."—Deepak Chopra
"The most sensible, comprehensive book on consciousness since William James."—Dr. James Fadiman, President, Association for Transpersonal Psychology
"No Boundary does for this generation what Alan Watts' writings did for an earlier one. It brings the most difficult subject of all—nature of consciousness—into an easily grasped presentation that is both elegant and simple."—John White, editor of Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment
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to-grasp map of human consciousness against which the various therapies from both Western and Eastern sources are introduced. Designed to help individuals understand the practice of each therapy.See all Product description
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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.
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.
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.
A little tidbit from the book... If a state of no-boundary awareness exists... a state which recognizes no boundary, between itself and everything else... what stands between me and that state right now? The obvious answer... nothing... except my willingness to realize or experience it.
I'm sure grateful that there is a Ken Wilbur in my world. And it's just wonderful to have a chance to visit with him via this book.
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