Phi Beta Iota: Harrison Owen considers this one of Ken Wilber’s most important contributions to humanity.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Painful History of Mankind- and a way Beyond…, July 12, 2002
By Nicq MacDonald (Sioux Falls, SD United States)
After the success of his initial works (The Spectrum of Consciousness and No Boundary), Ken Wilber gave his “spectrum” model a serious reappraisal and found it woefully lacking. It seemed that he had made a mistake that he goes on to chide others for in his later books- he confused prerational myths with transcendental truths, and confused the spiritual fall with the scientific fall. He makes up for his previous errors with “Up From Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evolution”.
In UFE, Wilber covers the historical development of consciousness, from the animalistic/uroboric level to the typhonic, and then to the development of the Solar ego, the disassociation of the mind from the body, and the development of the rational mind. But he takes it a step further as well, discussing the development of transrational consciousness throughout history, and discussing the differences between magical fetishism and psychic Nirmanakaya and between mythic religion and subtle archetype. Drawing upon Freud, Jung, Campbell, and a ream of Anthropoligical and Archaeological data, Wilber paints us a fascinating picture of society, it’s history, and it’s discontents. Lastly, he finishes the book by discussing his ideas for a politics of the transrational, in a fascinating chapter titled “Republicans, Democrats, and Mystics”.
As far as Wilber’s older books go, this is one not to be missed. Although some concepts are better elucidated in Wilber’s later “Sex, Ecology, Spirituality”, nowhere does he draw on more anthropological support for his theories than in “Up From Eden”.