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Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,233 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The goal of an "integral psychology" is to honor and embrace every legitimate aspect of human consciousness under one roof. This book presents one of the first truly integrative models of consciousness, psychology, and therapy. Drawing on hundreds of sources—Eastern and Western, ancient and modern—Wilber creates a psychological model that includes waves of development, str ...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published May 16th 2000 by Shambhala (first published 1999)
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Barnaby Thieme
"The will to a system lacks integrity." - Nietzsche

I would think that a person such as myself would be an ideal audience for Mr. Wilber's ruminations on mind and spirit. Like the Pandit, I have a broad interest in interdisciplinary approaches to the psyche and the spirit. We share a taste for Eastern and Western philosophy, psychology, and the emerging discourses of self-organization and systems analysis. Yet for the life of me I cannot understand what this book is supposed to add to our underst
...more
Brian
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Wilber always amazes me with his ability to cut right to the heart of so much of modern thinking on particular issues. I know so little about modern psychology that I feel at a loss to rate the job he does in explaining the cardinal works and major interpretations of those works in this book, but most of the information I had prior knowledge of coming into this book he was spot on with. I really like the approach that Wilber takes to philosophy/spirituality/psychology/etc. but am skeptical of th ...more
Ed Smiley
Ken Wilber is in perhaps a good sense a latter day scholastic philosopher. His audacious intent is to attempt a synthesis of scientific rationality, mystical experience postmodernism, and eastern philosophy. The weakness of such synthesis is that, although interesting, it tends to be schematic, and based on meta-writing, rather than experiential test (scientific experiment, meditative practice etc.*) However it brings forward a wealth of ideas and patterns for your consideration.












* Wilber has sci
...more
Ricche Khosasi
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
amazing works!!!
David
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, integral
Having read several books by Wilber I was really looking forward to finally reading this one (first published in 2000).

Ken Wilber drives me crazy

I find so many of Wilber's books seem to repeat themselves and in the same way. He gives an overview of his basic theory (telling me about quadrants, levels, lines, states, inner/outer...) but rarely fills in the details to a level I would like. For example, in this book I was really hoping to get a better description of what he suggests are the most
...more
S
The last couple months, I've been talking to my coworkers about this weird author I can't figure out. I tell them, my coworkers, that I can't decide if he's a honest-to-God systems philosopher or a crazy person. Don't get me wrong: I have a special fondness for crackpots (because I worry about how I myself have crackpot tendencies: trying to read graduate level stuff without a grad-degree, drawing diagrams in my little hovel, not on the cognitive level to build up a bibliography like Joseph Tain ...more
Richard
Jan 31, 2013 rated it liked it
So this is my second wilber book... but it was exactly like my first wilber book...well, for the most part. THe new thing was the "streams of consciousness" thing that he'd added since "Brief History of Everything." Ok - interesting. But why did I want to read all of the "integral" ideas again? I just felt it was a missed opportunity. with a title like "Integral Psychology", I thought He'd show how to weave together all of the psychological thinkers and their approaches. I guess I'm looking for ...more
Willa
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a very exciting book, recontextualising Psychology and exploring formerly taboo-areas like spirituality. From an integral, wholistic perspective it only makes sense that psychology can't be complete without spirituality, but this is still very much taboo. Wilber not only creates a great, easy-to-read overview of developmental psychology but explores its higher dimensions and where we could start to create a completely new view of psychology - one that incorporates our mysterious longing ...more
T. Sebastian
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Started reading Wilber in '97 and developed a profound respect for his writing. Learned a lot about human development. Integral Psychology is one of his best. His work is heavily researched and cited. This makes for pretty heavy reading. It also broadens your knowledge base giving you lots of other works and writers to look into. Wilber's writing is like watching a huge jigsaw puzzle of concepts being put together. There may be some missing pieces though, that's why he writes the next book. And ...more
J-
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
In short, I would give this text a score sliding from 3 to 5.
5 if you have never read any or only a little "Integral Theory"

The book had some interesting ideas and started to unpack some of the treasures of an integral psychology, but a problem I have with so many of Wilbers works is that they generally present something like 5-20% new material.

If that 5-20% new material was 80%, then Id give the text a 5, but because it doesnt seem to be so I personally give it a 3/5.
Donna
Nov 25, 2008 is currently reading it
Hope I get past the introduction before my head explodes! Bless my heart, I keep trying to understand Wilbur...
Johnny Danell
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mind-stuff
For how engaging the book was overall I give it four stars. For Wilber's overall effort both with this book and his vision in general I give top top marks! This is a book that is both informative on the history of mainly developmental psychology (a part of psychology that don't get as much credit as it should these days) but also psychology overall. But Wilber then goes further in trying to integrate psychology into his integral framework which is both interesting and probably necesary to take t ...more
Noah Skocilich
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really beautiful book that organizes and clarifies so much knowledge from across the breadth of the ‘Great Tradition’.

I feel I understand the overall historical situation of humankind much better for having read this book.
Stephen M. Theriault
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Metaphysical proof that there are hierarchies of Spirit.
Jeremiah Oakes
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book.
Andrew Nelson
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
These reads just keep on coming to me at the right time.
Isaac Montgomery
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Many good insights on lines and levels of development. Wilber was the first person to truly understand what was and is happening with human conciousness at the turn of the 21st century. His idea of a "pre/trans fallacy" is absolutely invaluable.
culley
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: meridian, psychology
The big picture has never been so big.

A common refrain in this book is something like "Any psychology which hopes to affect a truly integral approach will need to contain”. Apparently a truly integral approach would contain a huge amount of graphs, charts and footnotes. This book is 75% reference. Ken Wilber has the mental processing capacity of 5 or 6 people— he is clearly a genius. And yet, in describing where the world population falls in regards to the Graves Diagram on page 48, when you add
...more
Tami
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Integral Psychology is a must have text that examines the history and most pertinent philosophies of psychology over the years. The book begins with a brief history of psychology. Like every social science, from the beginning psychology has been both criticized and praised for its non-scientific foundation. In this way, early on, theorists searched for an appropriate model of consciousness that could provide some aspect of scientific control. Integral Psychology looks at the various models and p ...more
Zaven
While clearly an important volume in his works, this book didn't grip me the way some of Wilber's others have. Perhaps this is because I am already familiar with the integral approach and with Ken's models. But even read as a general introduction and description of what an integral psychology would look like, the book too often becomes list after list of other authors and their work.

The fleshing out of the Great Nest of Being idea was useful, as was the explanations of the defining features of M
...more
Michael Paone
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this. All I can say is "Wow." I'm continually overwhelmed by the integral project, and I do believe this type of transmodern thinking is the next paradigm, and a true re-integration of the best of human achievement ancient and modern. We're going to need this paradigm dearly in the days ahead. The first step to solving problems is dispelling confusion and resting on a solid paradigm. But the kicker is this: In order to see from that paradigm, we have look within and do some serious ...more
Vicky
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
"Integral Psychology" is one of the most complex books I ever read. The book looks at reality and consciousness through the multilayered, multileveled complex system. The main idea here is a unification or integration of different philosophies, views, types of psychologies under one system. Consciousness is understood in a relation with the environment, culture, inner level of development and many other components. It is a fascinating work that opens new horizons and explains many aspects of min ...more
Rick
Dec 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: psychology students
This was probably my favorite of the Wilber books I have read. This may be because I read it within the structure of a graduate-level theory course. Wilber's knack for capturing the big picture is on full display in this book. It helped me to wrap my head around two years of study in the field, and challenged me to think beyond the traditional Pscyology theoretical thinking. This is perhaps the most unique treatment of Psychology that I read in my entire two years of a 2-year MSW program.
Theodora
Mar 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books09
This was, hands down, the WORST book on integral psychology I have ever read. WOW. Ken Wilber has a big head and uses these very very very woo-woo terms that circle around any kind of point he is trying to make. Negative points, again, for saying that in the highest point of spiritual evolution we evolve out of religion. and his ranking system seemed really racist as well. I was glad to let this book go!
Travis
Jun 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another great, if somewhat derivative work by Wilber. One of his 'worth reading' books. Puts a wide range of psychological contructs and 'theories' in context of eachother, including some seemingly way out stuff that when you match it up with mainstream stalwarts like Piaget, doesn't look so way out.
Suzanne Hazelton
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this would be a "heavy" read, but actually found it well written. This may be of interest to you if you're interested in development, and especially understanding where East meets Western traditions. Not hugely practical - although p. 113 describes activities to develop in "all level, all quadrant".
Michelle Tannenfolletti
Wilber has taken all my favorite psychologists, and expanded them to their highest point of actualization. I can't deny he is fairly fundamentalist, but I cheer his cause. I am not yet as enlightened as he.
Kerry
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in the connection betweent spirituality and self
An academic read but amazing! It brings together so many ideas which have influenced me: hypnotherapy, spirituality, anthropology, history. It has given me confidence to use those ideas in my private practice.
Cate Montana
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Astonishing book. Lucid, chock full of info, dense, intellectual, sometimes funny and very pertinent to understanding the state of the world today. Can't recommend it enough. And read the footnotes and Appendix!
Jessica
Apr 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
I think I would really like this book if I could only understand it. Ken Wilber is too smart for us normal people to grasp easily.
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Ken Wilbur 4 18 Aug 14, 2013 09:38AM  

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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. So ...more

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“this regard, a hotly disputed topic is whether the spiritual/transpersonal stages themselves can be conceived as higher levels of cognitive development. The answer, I have suggested, depends on what you mean by “cognitive.” If you mean what most Western psychologists mean—which is a mental conceptual knowledge of exterior objects—then no, higher or spiritual stages are not mental cognition, because they are often supramental, transconceptual, and nonexterior. If by “cognitive” you mean “consciousness in general,” including superconscious states, then much of higher spiritual experience is indeed cognitive.” 1 likes
“Man lives on earth not once, but three times: the first stage of his life is continual sleep; the second, sleeping and waking by turns; the third, waking forever.” 1 likes
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