Cosmos Café [4/9] - The Integral Egghead and the Freudian Caveman

(Douglas Duff) #1

The Integral Egghead and the Freudian Caveman

Recorded 9 April 2019

Ken Wilber (the integral egghead) was born January 31, 1949, “the Day of Poetic Song” according to The Secret Language of Birthdays, which posits that those born on that day have as characteristic strengths, “attractive, admired, appreciated”, and weaknesses can be, “dependent, misunderstood, depressive”. Mark Jabbour (the Freudian caveman) was born November 24, 1949, “the Day of Contentious Conviviality”, with strengths being “loyal, spirited, involved”, and weaknesses can be “escapist, isolated, argumentative”. Both men were born into a USAF family, and thus traveled extensively growing up, rejected religion as adolescents, excelled in school, did not go to war in Vietnam, bussed tables in graduate school, all while self-educating themselves in a non-traditional manner. They are both now 69 years old and have always been white.

This is a prelude to a look at how similar both philosophers’ worldviews are and where they differ, based upon the recent two and one-half interview with Wilber, and Jabbour’s recent book Election 2016: The Great Divide, The Great Debate. Both works focus on “the great divide” now raging in America (and the world) with regard to the human condition, and, what the future might look like? Considering that divide and its intersection with emerging technologies.

Reading / Watching / Listening

Ken Wilber on the evolution of consciousness in the age of Trump.

<--- Clicking this black triangular pointer will reveal marked places in the egghead’s talk (signified by the timeline’s time markers) and then corresponding page numbers in Mark Jabbour's book that reference the same person, subject, or point. Also marked are persons and subjects that have come up in previous cafes.

24:48 Abraham Maslow (p.1, 9, 84, 93, 124, 140, 150n68, 180, 211, 229, 279, 285, 288n148)

35:41 Sigmund Freud (p. xvi, xvii, 9, 22, 34,79, 125, 133, 147, 156, 211, 275)

36:39 Aurobindo and Gebser

48:00 Value structures (p. 36, 84, 141n62)

56:35 Growing up … integral framework (p.114, 232, 279)

58:30 Human Evolution (p.27, 60)

1:06:00 Human intelligence, integral thinking, slavery, sexual selection, AI, etc. (xvii, 135, 138, 174, 168, 204, 281, 290n151, 294)

1:22:00 Evolutionary theorists (p.9)

1:24:00 Evolutionary selection pressure, Whitehead (p. 153, 191, 195, 208, 294 ‘reverse Darwinism’)

1:30:00 E.O. Wilson (p. 189)

1:34:00 de Chardin (p.290n151)

1:45:00 Trump election (p. xvii- 333)

1:46:00 OCEAN (p. 99, 176, 314)

1:58:00 Multiculturalism, relativism, pluralism, postmodernism, identity politics (p.57, 141, 174n82, 195, 204, 211, 226, 281)

2:08:00 Hierarchies (p.1, 175n83, 234)

2:09:00 Basket of deplorables (p. 205, 218n121, 227, 242).

2:14:00 Conflict (p.8n7, 87, 129n55, 142n63, 150, 150n67, 155, 180, 200, 318)

2:19:00 Modern Postmodern Philosophers (p.114)

2:20:00 At this point Wilber begins to talk of his future plans for writing books as a continuation of his 2002 novel Boomeritis:a novel that will set you free (p.57) and how the tantric sexual act is the apex of the human experience, “sex becomes a path to enlightenment” or unity with the universe. Seems like he’s coming back to Freud and his libido drive theory? (p. 149, 232)

The caveman takes the egghead head on in Election 2016 (p. 174-75 n82-3-4)

Seed questions:

  • How is language used to divide people?
  • How does one’s Time allocation contribute to understanding?
  • What is your futuristic outlook for the people and the planet?
  • Do you agree with Wilber’s integral theory and subsequent conclusion?

Context, Backstory, and Related Readings


(LaughingCryingDancing) #2

Wilber & Freud embrace their APENESS differently & so DO I…Let the Play Begin!!!


(Ed Mahood) #3

Tip o’the chapeau to @Douggins for adding the time markers to the video. I never would have made it through without them. Thanks.

1 Like

(Douglas Duff) #4

And a tip of the brim to you, though credit goes to @Mark_Jabbour. And for the seed questions, which will keep the conversation churning. I will be in attendance.


(Mark Jabbour) #5

I’ve got a brief introduction readied (sort of - I tend not to rehearse) based upon my finishing Wilber’s novel Boomeritis: a novel that will set you free (2002) wherein he lays out his theory very well (it hasn’t changed. He was on to the “mean Green Meme” back then ); and attempt to “integrate” several theories about the “truth” of things.*Just to kick start the cafe’s yak. Should be fun. I’m sure we’ll run out of time unless we leap into “cosmic time”?


(Mark Jabbour) #6

Idk , @achronon. Seriously … I need a crew.
Great @ccafe … we might, or not see, yes?


(T J Williams) #7

Just got to this last night. Really good presentation and discussion of frameworks. And of assumptions.

My presumptuous assumptive $0.02:
“Consciousness” does not transcend or negate our human biology, but it does give us means to reflect on that biology - and then to reflect on those reflections, etc… The way(s) we shape the various social, political, and economic institutions with which we build (or tear down) our world(s) are a result. I remain wary of even using the word ‘evolution’ when discussing cultural history; human society is not just life efficiently adapting to the external environment, but also a deliberate and sustained attempt to reshape that environment technologically and/or metaphysically. That feedback loop is itself too much of a moving target to reduce to a simple story of ‘increasing complexity’ or some other teleological proposition (as useful as these can be to organize thought at times).

“On the Structures of Consciousness”, Vytautus Kavolis, Sociological Analysis, Vol. 35 #2 (Summer 1974), p. 115:
"My own usage of the term ‘structure of consciousness’ derives from [sociologist Benjamin] Nelson’s earlier publications, but I use it in the sense in which it works for me, as an inferred relatively stable constellation of basic assumptions about the character of order and of disorder and the relations between them. (1)

[footnote on same page] “(1) The structure of consciousness has to be inferred from the acts in which consciousness appears to be manifested. Whatever an individual is conscious of in his own consciousness, it is normally not the structure - the ‘taken-for-granted’ general principles of organization for interrelating the specific contents of his consciousness. Strictly speaking, a structure of consciousness is an inference the analyst is making from a body of empirical evidence that he needs to make sense of some characteristics shared by most of that body of evidence, characteristics which he considers to be fundamental for the analytical purpose he has in mind.”

(Strictly speaking, this is how The Ever-Present Origin is set up. Gebser pointed out repeatedly that he was up against his and his readers’ mental structure instincts while trying to convey his sense of the “integral”. His keenness to examine underlying assumptions is one of the strengths of his work.)


(Ed Mahood) #8

Thank you for this, TJ. Very helpful, for it helps clarify just what is meant by “structures” in such a dynamic, and often confusing, context.

With which I couldn’t agree more, as this is a point of process that I can’t – and won’t – tire of emphasizing. It all starts with what we believe is so obvious that it need not be questioned, but that is precisely the point at which the most serious questioning must begin. It is also, BTW, the foundation of Collingwood’s Metaphysics, which takes a bit of a different tack toward this long-suffering notion.