"Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit"
~ Jawaharlal Nehru

The Spectrum of Consciousness ~ Ken Wilber

Rajiv Butalia reviews Ken Wilber's path-breaking book on transpersonal psychology which integrates Western and Eastern thought.
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
Price: Rs. 250/-

Ken Wilber successfully integrates various disciplines reconciling the approaches adopted by Western psychology and Eastern philosophies to explore human consciousness. Spectrum of Consciousness lets in fresh air into increasingly polarised belief systems and tunnelled perceptions and provides excellent reading for anyone interested in exploring the nature of human consciousness and of his own mind.

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Ken Wilber, in a very systematic way, suggests how the psychological systems of the West can be integrated with the contemplative traditions of the East. He uses the analogy of the spectrum created by different wavelengths of light and radiation to show that there is a similar spectrum created by differing wavelengths of consciousness and that different psychologies and philosophies are essentially addressing different bands of this spectrum.

While it might be appropriate to talk of integrating and strengthening the ego at one level of the spectrum, at another level one aspires to transcend it. Western psychology helps a person to strengthen the ego and integrate the self, useful at the shadow, ego and biosocial levels of the spectrum. Eastern systems on the other hand are useful when the individual is at the transpersonal level of consciousness where he has to transcend the ego to attain liberation or enlightenment.

This book is an analytical study of levels of consciousness as synthesised and redefined from various schools of thought. It provides valuable insights and possible tools for self-analysis and therapy. It bridges the divide between eastern and Western schools of thought and is recommended reading for anyone interested in the subject.

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.