Friday, December 2, 2011

Ken Wilber endorses violent gurus and protects gurus in trouble

Ken Wilber is the intellectual of the spiritual scene. Yet, strangely, he endorses violent gurus and protects gurus in trouble. Andrew Cohen is a cult leader who slaps his male disciples and dunks his female disciples in cold lakes, and here's Ken Wilber's enthusiastic endorsement of him:

…if you want Enlightenment… find yourself a Rude Boy or a Nasty Girl, the ones who make you uncomfortable in their presence, who scare you witless, who will turn on you in a second and hold you up for ridicule, who will make you wish you were never born, who will offer you not sweet comfort but abject terror…

Rude Boys know better. They are not here to console but to shatter, not to comfort but to demolish. They are uncompromising, brutal…

It will, in fact, be hell, and only Rude Boys are rude enough to tell you that, and to show you that—if you can stand the rudeness, stay in the fire, burn clean as Infinity and radiate as the stars.

Notice that Wilber sells Cohen as being a person who helps you to "radiate as the stars". Very glamorous.

Now Marc Gafni has been busted having sex with two of his own disciples while his wife is pregnant. This is after promising he wouldn't do such things (he's a repeat offender). And here's Ken Wilber's response to the public criticism of Gafni:
The problem with situations like this one is that several different issues get mixed in together and all treated as one, making decisions very difficult.

…we must reach for our own very highest capacity for spiritual discernment, judgment, compassion, mercy, insight, and awareness.

All information on this situation will never be available to the public.  There is simply no way to know fully.  At this point, we need to honor all the parties and let them get on with their lives.  And we need to get on with our Integral work.

So these women went to Gafni, who is supposed to care for their highest growth, and he dragged them down into sexual relationships with him, and Wilber says we should honour him and let him get on with his life.

Note the strange difference between his attitude regarding gurus and disciples. Gurus should be aggressive towards disciples, yet disciples should honour gurus. How screwed up is that? It's as though gurus are precious darlings and disciples are cannon fodder. We see this move in American politics where the elites are treated with remarkable deference just because of their positions, while the poor are used as political pawns.(See Glenn Greenwald's blog and new book for more on this.)

While Wilber is clever and creative in many ways, he is surprisingly undeveloped in many other crucial ways. He endorsed and glorified Andrew Cohen (and Adi Da, by the way), and now he protects and defends Marc Gafni. I wonder if Wilber's objectivity is clouded by his business interests with both men? I mean, how in your right mind can you endorse and protect the likes of Andrew Cohen, Adi Da, and Marc Gafni? These corrupt people are abusing people who are seeking the noblest goals.

Of course, I don't believe in the guru/disciple game, but for those who do, here's a suggestion. If a guru wants to have sex with a disciple, then that guru should send the disciple to another guru. After a month or so, they can meet again and begin their sexual relationship as equals outside of the guru/disciple relationship. Logical right? Ken Wilber is supposedly super wise, yet he can't even figure that out. Perhaps, people who believe in the guru/disciple relationship have boundary issues and by nature are unable to keep their relationships clear and above board.

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