Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lane responds to Wilber's integral semiotics

From David Lane's recent IW piece "Ken Wilber's eye." He is commenting of Kennilingam's latest on integral semiotics:

"He tends to confuse experience with its causation-reality, forgetting in the process of how easy it is for anyone to be deceived or duped by how certain phenomena are produced. [...] I am belaboring this point because there is no absolute given even in the sensory-empirical world, which could not potentially be mislabeled or misinterpreted. This may seem like a trivial point, but I think it looms much larger than we might at first suspect when we enter into the mystical domain which doesn’t have the same overwhelming consensual feedback correctives (at least not yet).

"You cannot appreciate dreaming unless you too have dreamt. That seems obvious. But that doesn’t mean that the dreamer is somehow privileged because of that ability to know the causation or ontological status of that dream [...] I think it is misleading to then pontificate about the 'reality' or 'truth-value' of such experiences.

"So let’s agree with Wilber that in order to access the inner sound current and explore subtler and subtler realms of consciousness one has to engage in some sort of meditation technique (or something similar to it). But what does that then mean in terms of 'reality' or truth value? Isn’t the real issue not one of worldspaces (that is an obvious given) and not even Kosmic addresses (don’t we already know this from from drugs and dreaming?), but of competing interpretations of what such inner and outer states mean? [...] It would be one thing to say that in certain elevated states one can experience something that MAY be interpreted by contemplators to be akin to what some Buddhists have called Buddha-nature, but it is quite another to reify (as Wilber is prone to do) what a certain state provides.

"The problem with such statements as 'I have seen It [God] myself' is that it lacks skepsis and tends by its very language to cut off further discussion or inquiry. Wilber’s continued use of such flowery descriptors [...] suggests that his real goal is to bring us into his theological ballroom, but in order to accomplish this he misleadingly dresses us up with plausible personal and scientific possibilities."

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