Shakazil Mar 16, Scott rated it liked it. Parts of it are a little outdated, as Wilber has since updated his theory of development, however the core is still unique in its endeavour of re-contextualising psychology for the 21st Century. English Choose a language for shopping. The Spirit of Evolution, Second Edition.
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Start your review of The Atman Project: A Transpersonal View of Human Development Write a review Shelves: have-read-twice With his usual brilliance and wide-ranging knowledge, Ken Wilber delivers stunning insights in this book regarding the nature of human development. Some readers may find the first third or so of the book to be somewhat laborious, especially if they are not familiar with psychoanalytic theory. Wilber marshals this theory as a jumping off point, reinterpreting it as he goes, to construct a coherent perspective on human development that goes well beyond the "healthy ego", or actualisation of the With his usual brilliance and wide-ranging knowledge, Ken Wilber delivers stunning insights in this book regarding the nature of human development.
Wilber marshals this theory as a jumping off point, reinterpreting it as he goes, to construct a coherent perspective on human development that goes well beyond the "healthy ego", or actualisation of the "autonomous", separate self level, at which conventional psychology stops. Indeed, as Wilber points out, psychology has tended to view any experience that transcends the ego, as with mystics, to be pathological and regressive.
Wilber very ably refutes this idea to show that there are stages of human development, potentially available to all, that transcend that of a well functioning and actualised ego, culminating in unity consciousness.
Although the whole spectrum of development is fascinating—and Wilber shows how the same principles of development apply to all levels—at the post-egoic stages things get much more interesting. Basically, Wilber argues that, at every stage of development, from the lowest to the penultimate, everything we do, everything we seek, desire and grasp for, every stage of development we traverse, is part of an "Atman project" in which we are constantly reaching for substitute gratifications to compensate for what we are all actually seeking but missing, that is, the Atman or Real Self or unity consciousness.
While we all intuit and implicitly "remember" the existence of this ground of our own being—the only "thing" that could ultimately satisfy us—and yearn for it, we seek it in ways that prevent us from finding it.
We desire it and resist it at the same time, because it involves the terror of the death of our current identification, whether that be with the physical, mental or subtle aspects of our being. Only by accepting the death of our present self can we transform to the next stage of identification, with each stage incrementally moving closer to the reunification with, and as, the Atman.
In my view, this perspective gives a meaning, a beauty, and a nobility to all of the otherwise seemingly random, chaotic, foolish, self-defeating behaviour that largely characterises human existence, with all its concomitant frustration and disappointment, as well as the heroic and inspired striving, at this and previous stages of our evolution. At this point, the Atman project is over, because we realise that we are the Atman.
And while this book does give meaning to what may appear to be meaningless, repetitive and perpetually disappointing struggles, as well as transient satisfactions, I also experienced it as a wake-up call to clearly recognise that our substitute gratifications are just that—substitutes, that can never permanently satisfy.
Wilber does not adopt a didactic tone in the slightest, but he does provide the insight that the reason we are unhappy is because we are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I highly recommend this book. Persistence with it pays off.
KEN WILBER ATMAN PROJECT PDF
The Atman Project: A Transpersonal View of Human Development