Eye to Eye
Ken Wilber, 1983

Preface to the Third Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter 1. Eye to Eye
Wilber expands on the ideas of St. Bonaventure that we have
three eyes , an eye of the flesh, which sees physical facts, an eye of the mind, which sees mental truths, and an eye of the spirit, which sees transcendant wisdom.

If you try to see into any of the three domains using the wrong eye, you are committing a category error. You get no answer. Instead, you get nonsense.

Chapter 2. The Problem of Proof
There are three steps, which Wilber calls strands, in the acquisition of knowledge in any of the three domains. These are injunction (learning the methods suitable for the knowledge you seek), apprehension (the actual dawning or grasp of the sought knowledge), and confirmation (the communal sharing of insights gained, leading to a confirmation of the new knowledge).

The injunctive strand is always some form of action to be taken in order to put yourself in the position to gain the new knowledge. Wilber gives two examples. If you want to know if it is raining, the injunction might be as simple as "Go look out the window." If you want to see the nucleus of a cell, you must learn how to use a microscope, learn how to make histological sections, learn how to stain tissues, and learn how to tell one cell part from another. Only then , can you look and see the nucleus.

Much of this chapter is concerned with the nature of the confirmation obtainable by use of the third strand, the communal confirmation. Just how are we to use words to describe knowledge of the transcendental realm?

Chapter 3. A Mandalic Map of Consciousness

Chapter 4. Development, Meditation, and the Unconscious

Chapter 5. Physics, Mysticism, and the New Holographic Paradigm

Chapter 6. Reflections on the New Age Paradigm: An Interview

Chapter 7. The Pre/Trans Fallacy

Chapter 8. Legitimacy, Authenticity, and Authority in the New Religions

Chapter 9. Structure, Stage, and Self
Wilber presents an elaborate architecture of the self. This is much more elaborate than the picture presented by either
Damasio or Dennett . Even so, Wilber says that he has compressed five or six of the higher level Hindu and Buddhist stages into two levels.

Wilber makes a distinction between components of the developing consciousness which remain active throughout one's lifetime and those which are active for a certain developmental period and then are replaced by more capable components. The former, which he calls the basic structures, are generally body function components, such as Piaget's levels, beginning with the sensorimotor system. That system remains in use by other systems which develop later. The latter type of components, which Wilber calls the transient stages, are generally ideological functions, such as the moral developments. These components are outgrown and replaced as the individual's development proceeds.

The various layers of this developmental hierarchy do not themselves however refer directly to the self. They are more like summaries of the capabilities and world view of the organism at each of the developmental stages. "... in the course of development, a self-system emerges and takes as its successive substrates the basic structures of consciousness." Thus, at each stage of development, the self has access to and builds upon all of the components present in the consciousness at that stage.

This view is in agreement with (although more elaborate than) that of Dennett in that the "self-system is ultimately illusory, but yet serves an absolutely necessary intermediate function. Namely, it is the vehicle of development, growth, and transcendance."

Chapter 10. The Ultimate State of Consciousness
The Absolute, Brahman, Buddha-Mind, Godhead, One without a Second, absolutely all-encompassing, all-inclusive, all-pervading. "There is nothing outside the Tao; you cannot deviate from It." The Beginning and the End. I am the light, I am the All.

"'Not-Two' does not just mean One. For pure Oneness is most dualistic, excluding as it does its opposite of Manyness." "The single One opposes the plural Many, while the Nondual embraces them both." "The Absolute can be entirely present at every point in space only if It is itself spaceless."

"And so with time. The Absolute can be present in its entirety at every point in time only if It is itself timeless." "Point without dimension or extension, Moment without date or duration -- such is the Absolute."

Wilber goes on this way for many pages, saying that the Absolute cannot be put into words. Some suppose, for example, that it should be possible to attain the Ultimate State of Consciousness, perhaps with just the right meditation techniques. But, "the Ultimate State of Consciousness cannot be entered because it is timeless, without beginning or end, and conversely, any state of consciousness that you can enter into is not the Ultimate State of Consciousness." You are already there. "'Your ordinary mind, just that is the Tao', says Nansen."


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