The Way that can be told of is not an Unvarying Way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind.
These are the opening lines of Tao Te Ching. After Wilber read this book, he went on to read all kinds of great books, Eastern and Western, on the meaning of life and the pursuit of happiness. I find it interesting that one young American student was so impressed that his world view changed completely. Perhaps he received a message from Lao-Tzu, suggesting that he should approach even his own thoughts with a measure of skepticism. In any case, his long journey to higher consciousness began with this book. But soon he found that his reading was only confusing him, because the ideas the books contained were so often contradictory. While Freudian ego psychology maintained that the strength of the ego was a barometer of mental health, for Buddhists, non-ego was the ideal state. Cognitive behaviorism saw answers hidden in a lifetime of learning and conditioning. On the other hand, Gestalt psychology emphasized the "here and now." Wilber was driven by a desire to organize these theories and doctrines, and to reconcile their apparent contradictions. Two ideas that would become representative of his thought were the spectrum of consciousness and the transcendental unity of religions. It is clear from his books that these two concepts are based in Wilber's Zen training and his experiences with Gestalt therapy.
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