Thursday, January 23, 2014

Julian Walker's kennilingus critique

Julian Walker has a new kennilingus critique at Integral World. A couple of excerpts echoing well-worn criticisms in the IPS forum follow.

"The only problem is that a supposedly immaterial transcendent yet non-dual witnessing consciousness or 'Spirit' is supernatural by any other name."

"The Integral model rests on an assumption of panpsychism: consciousness is present in all matter, down to the level of electrons and quarks. It also goes one mystical step further, consciousness exists separate from and prior to the existence of the material universe."

"This idealist stance (in the philosophical sense) combines a pseudoscience sensibility with Vedantic metaphysics to create the appearance either that: a. Science somehow confirms panpsychism, or that b. the God of the Gaps argument made possible by the incompleteness of neuroscience does the same."

"A little inquiry reveals that these ideas about consciousness imply and indeed require mind/body dualism of the 17th century kind eschewed by the vast majority of modern scientists and philosophers. Specifically it is the assertion that mind/consciousness exists in a category distinct from matter/biology. Not even eccentric dualist philosopher David Chalmers believes this in the way that Wilber's model requires.

"There are many nuanced positions in philosophy of mind, and Wilber might argue that he is double aspect monist, but the flavor of transcendentalism, the supposed discovery in samadhi of your original face before the Big Bang, and the uber-consciousness of Spirit as an ultimate reality we are all evolving toward all but screams classical dualism to me."

"The core dualism then leads Wilber to adopt what I call an 'intelligent design in Vedantic drag' stance. It essentially amounts to a God of the Gaps/Argument from Ignorance position."

"Because there is this elaborate set of intellectual rationalizations that no longer seek to reconcile spirituality with science and psychology in reasonable ways, but instead weaves a protective patchwork cloak for mind/body dualism, panspsychism, and the religiosity of 'Spirit,' the discourse has devolved into a lot of very fancy incoherent footwork. A key example being the much-touted 'Two Truths' distinction between the supposed 'absolute truths' of an enlightened Vajrayana/Advaita perspective vs a decidedly postmodern attitude toward the 'relative truths' described by everything (including science) that is, well, not an enlightened Vajrayana/Advaita persepctive."


  1. I was also reminded of Julian's participation in the Trivedi thread starting here.* He (like me) is a long-time 'energy' practitioner and has realized its real effects. But I agree when he says:

    "One should not buy into the contemporary version of supernatural explanation mixed in with pseudoscience claims of being able to affect molecular structure, DNA, change the past, use the power of intention to manifest physical realities etc... this is hokum and hogwash and is not in any way linked to the reality of feeling your 'prana' coursing through the nervous system in a yoga class, or seeing someone go through potent unwinding and altered states. No-one can affect molecular structure with their mind, water does not respond to the 'energy of thoughts.'"


  2. Both of Julian's above posts address the same underlying metaphysical megalomania inherent to another of the Lingam's grandiose claims, the fourth turning.* Or perhaps we should substitute the prefix 'meta' and call it metalomania?



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