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No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  945 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
A simple yet comprehensive guide to the types of psychologies and therapies available from Eastern and Western sources. Each chapter includes a specific exercise designed to help the reader understand the nature and practice of the specific therapies. Wilber presents an easy-to-use map of human consciousness against which the various therapies are introduced and explained. ...more
Paperback, 149 pages
Published February 6th 2001 by Shambhala (first published 1979)
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T.J. Beitelman
Dec 07, 2011 T.J. Beitelman rated it it was amazing
It was about a week after my mother died and I was in Reagan National Airport, in D.C., reading No Boundary as I waited for the plane to take me back to Birmingham and some semblance of the regular, workaday world. A woman came up to me and said, “Ooh, Ken Wilber. Deep.” I nodded, made the obligatory self-deprecating comment: “I only understand about every third word.” Which was pretty much true.

The lady told me how she thought it was fine to be brilliant and all, but a writer-thinker has a resp
Neelesh Marik
The most authentic book on consciousness I 've read to-date. There's no Integral Theory in this book. Given the inherent limitations of language in representing experience, this book comes closest to what could be possible. The last chapter appears complex at first, but is actually the crowning glory of simplicity. For any and every seeker in this world, this book will provide a new perspective to the act of seeking itself.

Some pearls from a book which is a veritable necklace:

Something very simp
Feb 11, 2009 Juan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone wondering waht it's all about
Ken Wilber, who has mastered most of the mystical religious traditions of the world, makes the mystical very very practical in this down-to-earth book. He examines the way in which we create boundaries as a instinctual act of consciousness, and the fallacies it results in as far as our understanding of the world, our selves, reality, and spirituality. Nothing esoteric, just a simple, matter of fact examination of the make-believe we treat as real, and an analysis of how various psychotherapeutic ...more
Nov 09, 2007 Alan rated it did not like it
Every thing is everything. Oh, and it is what it is. 1=1. A tautology is tautologous. Now you don't have to read a massive compendium of references in service of the point.
Jessica Powell
Aug 26, 2014 Jessica Powell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't even know what to say about this book except that it opened up parts of my intellectual knowledge base in a way that has never been opened before. The root concepts in this book are nothing new to me but the way in which he went about explaining things, illuminated a completely new light. I finished the book with tons of highlights, tons of notes, places I need to return to for further clarification at a different time, a few questions and a deep desire to tell all my friends, who would ...more
Jaïr Cijntje
Aug 22, 2015 Jaïr Cijntje rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book you will find thé most clear explanations of every level of consciousness there is: from the shadow of the ego to the unity consciousness. Ken Wilber also does this without sounding like a mystic or a saint; he uses terminology and examples that are easy on the mind for us (read: sceptical Westerners). He manages to bundle the basics of everything you need and want to know, and offers book referrals at the end of each chapter, if you feel the need to further your self study. Which I ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it
“As Korzybsky and the general semanticists have pointed out, our words, symbols, signs, thoughts and ideas are merely maps of reality, not reality itself, because the map is not the territory.”

My fear of disappointment in this book came from two primary sources. One, the subject matter. For seemingly, for every respectable work subtitling the phrase 'personal growth', countless others, offering no more than superficial self-help drivel, sprout up to usurp one’s attention and define the genre. An
Matt Harris
May 30, 2007 Matt Harris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Ken Wilber is one of my favourite western philosophers who has integrated the milestones of all disciplines of science, and eastern philosophy into a roadmap for us modern seekers. This book was particularly important for me in giving a link between Buddhist theories of interdependance and rational, empirical scientific observation.

It discusses at length the actual concept of a Boundary, what it means, and why it doesn't so much separate as join, and this insight alone is worth exploring the b
Jul 29, 2013 Greta rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Ken Wilber understands the Big Picture. But how do you go about explaining It All to people? This book is a good place to start. He informs us how to get to The Ultimate State of Consciousness by describing where it can't be found and what's holding us back. Boundaries. He moves through the different levels of boundaries we set up and talks about how they function and how various Western (psychological) approaches deal with them as well as how various Eastern (spiritual) approaches can help us b ...more
Sep 27, 2013 David rated it really liked it
I understood the "no boundary" concept intuitively as a boy but lost it somewhere in young adulthood. Wilber's book helped remind me that we're all parts of an infinitely larger whole, which isn't just nice to know, it's helpful in practical ways, for example having compassion for someone who is behaving badly. Oh and not to mention helping me cope with that little "fear of death" thing.
Wilber sees identity formation in terms of drawing boundaries. Each boundary is a potential battle line drawn between two opposing forces.

“Here is the human predicament: the firmer one’s boundaries, the more entrenched are one’s battles.” (p. 20).

The hierarchical arrangement of boundaries forms different levels in a spectrum of consciousness:

1. Persona vs. shadow, the alienated and disowned parts which are projected onto the world.
2. Ego vs. soma, the body as Other, “my body,” the flesh.
3. Indi
D.S. West
Apr 01, 2012 D.S. West rated it it was amazing
Understandably a brief overview to very big, dare we say cosmic ideas gleaned from a variety of sometimes disparate belief systems, traditions, and methodologies--but tremendous in scope, despite the inevitable omissions and inaccuracies I'm sure Wilbur made in preparing an introduction to mysticism for the presumably Western lay-reader.

I've only ever read about Buddhism from popular Western writers, i.e. secondary sources, like Alan Watts. (I started previously a book of Zen essays by D.T. Suzu
Andrew Marshall
Mar 02, 2016 Andrew Marshall rated it it was amazing
It will probably take a life time to fully understand this book. It starts with ideas that I am familiar with - like our tendency to categorise events / feelings / things into good and bad (and try and banish what we don't like). I'm also familiar with lots of the psychological divisions - like disowning parts of ourselves that we don't like (by putting them into our shadow and projecting them onto others).

I found the chapter about removing the boundary between mind and body helpful. I particul
Jan 29, 2013 Hira rated it it was amazing
This book has expanded my views on consciousness in ways that I could not even imagine. The concepts of nunc fluens (the eternal present) and unity consciousness are described in a language that is beautifully simple and beautifully poetic. Everything else too. My favourite parts of the book:

1) The concept of boundaries. Between our self and not-self. Our minds and our bodies. Our shadow and our persona. How we erect each of these one and by one and find ourselves spiritually limited and narrowe
Headley Mist
Jan 04, 2014 Headley Mist rated it really liked it
The book starts with several nice ideas and finishes with a raving new age propaganda.

Seriously, I don't know where to put it.

It doesn't seem to be a working meditation guide, as there are too many words all and all, and techiques are just kind of mentioned between one thing and the other (though in reality the ratio of talking/doing seems to be quite the opposite, my limited and personal experience tells me).

It doesn't look like a valuable scientific research, as after the first chapters the au
Jul 01, 2011 Gopi rated it really liked it
I am also reading "Introduction to objectivistic epistemology' by Ayn Rand...

both books seems to be two polar opposites (I have to plough through both books before I can say my own view with confidence!)

perhaps Ken Wilber's concept of noself transcends Ayn Rand's 'Ego',
perhaps Ken's mystic view may have some fallacy outlined by Rand as 'stolen concept' (i.e denying something by using the very same thing!)...

sure both authors epistemology seems to be very different!

is it possible both are right..
Alex Delogu
Jul 03, 2016 Alex Delogu rated it it was ok
The best thing about this book is its attempt at locating the focal point of different therapies, ranging from counselling to transcendental, "unity-consciousness". I think it achieves this to the degree that it oversimplifies the practices presented. I can't help but think that this is inevitable from the "integral" approach, that wishes to collapse all manners of thinking about these things into one. I'm not sure what the point of this is, a fear of difference, or a misguided attempt to unite ...more
J.B. Lawrence
Jul 10, 2015 J.B. Lawrence rated it it was amazing
Again, there are not enough stars to click for this work.

Ken Wilbur goes deep and explains A LOT in a little time about consciousness and the boundaries that we all run the risk of letting guide our daily actions, thoughts, and life. His language is clear and not bogged down with any difficult discourse.

A great work for those seeking balance. Yogi's will appreciate and find this work potentially mind blowing, as did I. Any spirit seeking, aspirant will need to read this work.

Funny thing, a goo
Sparker Pants
Talk about expanding your consciousness. At some points I feel like Owen Wilson and Matthew I-Don't-Wear-Shits-Thank-You McConaughey should show up with a bong or some peyote to help me understand sentences like ". . .that core sensation of being a feeler who has feelings is itself just another feeling. The 'feeler' is nothing but a present feeling, just as the thinker is just a present thought and the taster is just present tastes."

Yeah. Understand that and become one with the universe. I'll b
girl writing
May 15, 2011 girl writing rated it liked it
Chapter 5 of this book was recommended to me by a yoga instructor. Checked the book out of the library and loved chapter 5 so much I bought the book with the intent to read the whole thing. While there are some good take aways, chapter 5 is the most accessible (at least to me) chapter of the book. The rest of it had so much circular thoughts that I had to read may lines multiple times to get close to the meaning. It did make me appreciate (even more) Eastern philosophy and approaches to life. Ho ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Nina1982 rated it it was amazing
This is a concise and profound book at the same time as it gives a great framework about various levels that we can approach if we want to achieve some spiritual growth. As Wilber uses many disciplines his book discusses Western psychological and philosophic approaches together with Eastern practices. Together it all creates an accurate and approachable way of thinking and further orienting oneself based on her needs and mainframe.
Nov 24, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it
I learned so much from this book. In fact, it kinda broke my brain. It breaks down the levels of consciousness in easy to understand ways without babying the reader. It helped me understand concepts that I previously thought to be too lofty. There are some exercises that Wilber describes that I have already started to implement into my day to day life. Here's to hoping they become actual habitual practices that I will carry with me for years to come (and possibly BEYOND!)
Dec 07, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Life-altering. This is the best book I've read for this genre. The psyche's complexities are explained with easy-to-follow information. Ken is so scrupulous and the book so well-researched. I highly highly highly recommend reading if you are looking for a clear path to personal growth and development. Did I mention I highly recommend?
Oct 14, 2015 Shreyas rated it it was amazing
Awesome read , probably my 2nd favorite book right next to Siddhartha. Opens up a whole new way of thinking and healing. Very easy to follow. The last chapter is a little more complex but all winds down to a great finish. Highly recommend it to anyone who wants to relax and read something very interesting.
Alex Giurgea
Apr 12, 2015 Alex Giurgea rated it it was amazing
O sinteza a principalelor abordari de dezvoltare personala si autocunoastere din ultimele doua mii de ani. Aseaza toate aceste modele intr-o logica extraordinara si iti permite abordarea lor intr-un cadru mai larg, largindu-ti perspectivele asupra psihologiei umanitatii, transcendentei si spiritualitatii.
Sep 21, 2010 Natalie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't find self-help stuff very..... helpful. That said, there were some very good concepts in this book. There were just a lot of boring concepts as well, and the author was incredibly repetitive. Also, he quoted people right and left, but left not a single citation. Shoddy academic work doesn't establish any extra credibility with me.
Nov 23, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing
I have shelves and shelves of "spiritual" books. This one and Krishnamurti's Freedom From The Known are the two "moderns) I come back to most often (okay, also Alan Watts). For those seeking to get beyond the dualism, the conceptual illusions that fuck us up so badly, do yourself a favor and check these books out at some point.
Rich Schefren
Feb 28, 2014 Rich Schefren rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read... Instantly turned me in to a ken wilber fan, his ability to synthesize so much knowledge and present it in a way that is brief, clear, and actionable is amazing... This is the book that put me on the proper path of the inner work that I've been pursuing for quite a while.
Dory Herman
Jun 15, 2011 Dory Herman rated it it was amazing
Great Book. Great place to start for introductory philosophy. He does a great job of being able to transcribe information from one of thinking to the next and makes it tangible. I still love to discuss Wilbur work with friends, some I try to apply in my own daily practice and I hope to read more from him.
Jan 05, 2009 Jean rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
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Ken Wilber is the most widely translated academic writer in America, with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages, and is the first philosopher-psychologist to have his Collected Works published while still alive. Wilber is an internationally acknowledged leader and the preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development, which continues to gather momentum around the world. Hi ...more
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“That all opposites—such as mass and energy, subject and object, life and death—are so much each other that they are perfectly inseparable, still strikes most of us as hard to believe. But this is only because we accept as real the boundary line between the opposites. It is, recall, the boundaries themselves which create the seeming existence of separate opposites. To put it plainly, to say that "ultimate reality is a unity of opposites" is actually to say that in ultimate reality there are no boundaries. Anywhere.” 24 likes
“The simple fact is that we live in a world of conflict and opposites because we live in a world of boundaries. Since every boundary line is also a battle line, here is the human predicament: the firmer one’s boundaries, the more entrenched are one’s battles. The more I hold onto pleasure, the more I necessarily fear pain. The more I pursue goodness, the more I am obsessed with evil. The more I seek success, the more I must dread failure. The harder I cling to life, the more terrifying death becomes. The more I value anything, the more obsessed I become with its loss. Most of our problems, in other words, are problems of boundaries
and the opposites they create.”
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