Ken Wilber on Integral Theory and the Intellectual Dark Web | Future Thinkers | Integral Life | Rebel Wisdom

What’s The Problem With The World Today?

This is the beginning of our series of interviews with Ken Wilber.

Ken Wilber is the author of over 25 books and the creator of Integral Theory, which has been one of the most influential frameworks for understanding the stages of human development. For that he’s been sometimes called the “Einstein of consciousness studies”.

This is a multi-part interview, and we start by talking about Integral Theory from a historical perspective, and the current stage of societal development. Ken also offers his comments of Jordan Peterson’s interpretation of awakening and Greta Thunberg’s climate activism.

In Part 2, we talk about the transition to so-called 2nd tier stages of human development. Ken comments on the Metamodernism movement, and identifies the people who embody 2nd tier thinking right now.

There is enormous amount of truth out there, but most schools focus only on one little area – @TheKenWilber CLICK TO TWEET

In This Episode of Future Thinkers:

  • What is the main problem with the world today?
  • Integral Theory and AQAL framework
  • Historical perspective on consciousness and developmental studies
  • Why “growing up” is not included in any major religious or spiritual system
  • What is the obstacle to resolving climate crisis?
  • How we can cooperate better to solve global problems
  • Ken’s commentary of Greta Thunberg’s climate activism
  • Eight stages of human development
  • Ken’s commentary of Jordan Peterson’s awakening process
  • Metamodernism movement and Integral Theory
  • The percentage of people who are on 2nd tier stage of development right now
  • What we can do to arrive to the tipping point of 10% of people at the 2nd tier
  • Who are the people who embody the 2nd tier thinking

Resources and Mentions From This Episode:

Recommended Books:

Practices for Higher Stages of Development

We are continuing our long interview with philosopher Ken Wilber, the creator of Integral Theory and one of the key figures in the area of consciousness studies of our time.

In these parts of the conversation we talk about useful practices for waking up, growing up, cleaning up, and showing up for life, i.e. for transitioning from the 1st onto the 2nd tier of human development.

We also discuss what “killing Buddha on the road” really means, what are the “pros” and “cons” of going through the waking up process, and how to deal with nihilism and desire for certainty on the path of personal and spiritual development.

Very few people escape childhood without some sort of significant shadow material – @TheKenWilber CLICK TO TWEET

In This Episode of Future Thinkers:

  • The practices that individuals can do right now to support their development process
  • Why start from cleaning up the unconscious and repressed shadow material
  • Taking the role of other and 3-2-1 practice for integrating the shadow
  • How you can start practicing waking up with Neti Neti observation
  • Growing up process – conventional vs. true self
  • Showing up for reality – integrating all 4 quadrants of the Integral framework
  • The Good, The True, The Beautiful and how it relates to the development process
  • What are the 3 stages of moral development
  • Who are the people who are practicing waking up, growing up, cleaning up and showing up best?
  • Potentials of technology to mediate growing up and collective intelligence processes
  • Overcoming the stumbling blocks on the path to enlightenment
  • Waking up – why do it, why not do it?
  • How much time it takes to wake up, and why ”ego death” is not permanent
  • The delusion of quantum physics and the desire for certainty

If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. – Ludwig Wittgenstein CLICK TO TWEET

Resources and Mentions:

If you die before you die, then when you die you won’t die. – @TheKenWilber CLICK TO TWEET

Book Recommendations:

The Flaws of Integral Theory

In the last part of our interview with philosopher Ken Wilber, we discuss the potential flaws of Integral Theory and Integral movement, as well as the problem of charismatic leaders who have a lot of unchecked shadow material.

You can check all the earlier parts of the interview HERE or on our YouTube channel. For anyone just getting familiar with the work of Ken Wilber, we suggest starting with short videos to get a thorough introduction to Integral theory and all the other topics that we discussed in sizeable chunks.

In This Episode of Future Thinkers:

  • What are the potential flaws of the Integral Theory and Integral Movement
  • The problem with seeking “the ultimate truth
  • How to approach cognitively developed people who haven’t done cleaning up and have a lot of shadow materials
  • Dominator hierarchies vs. growth hierarchies
  • The lack of teaching growing up and cleaning up in all major spiritual schools


The garden of Eden wasn’t a transpersonal state, it was a pre-personal state. – @TheKenWilber CLICK TO TWEET

Resources and Mentions:

Book Recommendations:

The Intellectual Dark Web, an Integral Conversation?

The Integral philosopher Ken Wilber has been predicting the emergence of a new way of thinking since the 90s – one that embraces paradox and nuance, and lets go of the ideology and fixed thinking of the past – an “integral” consciousness. He believes that the Intellectual Dark Web is the start of a genuinely next level – or Integral – conversation.

What’s Missing in the Intellectual Dark Web

Ken Wilber

The Intellectual Dark Web—the term was coined by IDW member Eric Weinstein—refers to a loosely bound worldwide internet community of over a hundred major thinkers (and hundreds of millions of views) who do not find any present day intellectual trends to be that inviting. They don’t like the far Right, but they don’t like the far Left either—they’re looking for a much more unified and inclusive ways of thinking.

In an article posted on the Rebel Wisdom website — a website that was created in part due to a very positive response to the work of Jordan Peterson — David Fuller makes the following observation:

“It was while watching these two interviews in quick succession—Dave Rubin’s talk with Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson, and his discussion with Eric and Bret Weinstein—that I came to my conclusion of what the conversation actually represented! It mapped clearly onto a model I was familiar with—the philosopher Ken Wilber’s idea of ‘Integral’ consciousness as an essential evolutionary leap. I’m going to argue that the conversation is an early but spontaneous manifestation of a more advanced way of thinking that Wilber calls ‘Integral.’ I’m going to apply Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory to the Intellectual Dark Web….”

Integral Theory—or technically, Integral Metatheory—seems to be applicable here because it is basically an attempt to draw together as many different approaches to truth as we possibly can and integrate them in a unified framework. Integral sometimes refers to all these different truths as ones that include Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, Opening Up, and Showing Up.

Welcome to the “Integral Dark Web”.

Below you will find a series of videos by Ken Wilber, where he will take an in-depth look at the Intellectual Dark Web though the lens of Integrative Metatheory. Feel free to watch these videos in any order you wish.

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