Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thoughts on "The Marriage of Sense and Soul" by Ken Wilber

The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and ReligionThe Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion by Ken Wilber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 I read this book in the fall of 1999, the first time, and it still holds up. His explanation of the Great Chain of Being and what others call Emergence has been a great help to me in reconciling science (which I live with everyday as a R&D professional and in which I have confidence)and religion (which I also have intimacy with by virtue of family, place, and personality).

We have names for different eras of time such as the Dark Ages, the Medieval Period, etc.  The age from the 18th to the 20th is generally considered to be the Modern Period and also the Age of Enlightenment.  It is the Enlightenment that gave us industrialization, the explosion of science, the movement of societies from religious to secular, and many other things.  But in recent decades there has been a recognition by many that we are at the beginning of the next stage.  Wilber begins by explaining and critiquing the Modern as an age that is emotionally and spiritually a "flatland", an era where enchantment and meaning have been negated.  Wilber also has critiques for critiques of modernism and works to arrive at synthesizing both in an intellectually and emotionally satisfying way.  Some call the new era the Postmodern.  I don't recall if he used that term or not.  But times are definitely different now and we have continued to move and develop into the Postmodern in the 14 years since he wrote the book. 

Another reason this book is important to me is that it prepared me to understand Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christian which I read three years later.  It was then that my inward life turned around and I could finally say I'd found what I'd been looking for since my early twenties.

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