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Ken Wilber is the author of over twenty books. He is the founder of Integral Institute, a think-tank for studying integral theory and practice, with outreach through local and online communities such as Integral Education Network, Integral Training, and Integral Spiritual Center.
Wilber (A Brief History of Everything) shifts (sort of) from philosophy to fiction in this story about a young MIT grad student's journey to self-discovery, which is finally little more than a thinly veiled attempt to outline and promote a theory of consciousness. Dubbed Ken Wilber, just like his creator, the novel's protagonist finds answers in his search for identity when he attends a series of consciousness lectures at an institute called the Integral Center. There, Wilber is exposed to an eight-level theory of consciousness and buys into the lecturer's premise that baby-boomers made the first step into higher awareness before they got "stuck" in their own narcissism and self-absorption, leaving it to subsequent generations to take things to the next level. Wilber makes a halfhearted effort to inject some plot elements as he tracks his friends' romances and their reaction to the theory, but most of this book is a lengthy rant about the shortcomings of boomers, padded with analysis of various thinkers, political movements and the effect of computers on modern thought. Wilber (the author) has some interesting ideas but, philosophical issues aside, this isn't much of a novel, and Wilber's failure to develop a coherent narrative, some semblance of a plot or interesting characters will deter many readers. (June 11) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"A highly entertaining postmodernist novel . . . destined to be a cult classic."--Library Journal "Wilber, a hip and loquacious philosopher-guru, turns to fiction to flesh out, as it were, his provocative theories about humanity and the Boomers, the generation everyone, including themselves, loves to hate. His erudition is matched by a parodic sense of humor."--Booklist "Boomeritis is brilliant."--Denver Post "Wilber, a brilliant and prolific philosopher, serves up some hilarious and cutting commentary in Boomeritis. He hits the mark."--San Francisco Chronicle "Ken Wilber, America's bad-ass bodhisattva, is the best philosopher-sage alive--and now this! The great postmodern novel. Characters that are so alive, so outrageous, and most of all, so damn lovable! I had a dozen satoris reading this novel, and so will you. It's a manual for falling awake."--Stuart Davis, Singer/songwriter
Wilber here introduces concepts discussed in his Integral Psychology in the form of a highly entertaining postmodernist novel. Wilber's central character, also named Ken Wilber, is a student at MIT who is energized by his belief that within 30 years artificial intelligence (AI) will have so progressed that humans can upload their consciousness and move from carbon-based to silicon-based life forms. One day he stumbles into an integral psychology seminar and comes to realize that what humans do with these next 30 carbon-based years will greatly affect the AI of the future. The entire seminar is presented within the framework of the novel, along with lunchtime synthesis and analysis presented by Ken and his friends (representatives of Gen X and Y), with Ken's sexual fantasies intruding at regular intervals. Integral psychology is based on levels of consciousness, along with the belief that Gen X and Y will be the first to enter the second tier of consciousness. The boomers came close but then got bogged down in egocentrism and ethnocentrism. Unfortunately, as Ken and his friends are discovering, boomers are ruling the world and trying to perpetuate their flawed philosophies. Boomeritis is destined to be a cult classic and is recommended for all libraries. Debbie Bogenshutz, Cincinnati State & Technical Coll. Lib. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.