According to Wilber, the non-rational stages of consciousness what Wilber calls "pre-rational" and "trans-rational" stages can be easily confused with one another. Freud considered mystical realization to be a regression to infantile oceanic states. Wilber alleges that Freud thus commits a fallacy of reduction. Wilber thinks that Jung commits the converse form of the same mistake by considering pre-rational myths to reflect divine realizations. Likewise, pre-rational states may be misidentified as post-rational states. Wilber sees science in the broad sense as characterized by involving three steps: [24] [25] specifying an experiment, performing the experiment and observing the results, and checking the results with others who have competently performed the same experiment.

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Shelves: non-fiction , cancer Recommended by a good friend I love and respect, a psychologist by profession and warm and sensitive spirit by nature, when she heard my brother was battling pancreatic cancer.

It took me a long time -- 3 years, actually -- to get to this book. I have to admit, the reason was that I was afraid to read it. I finally Recommended by a good friend I love and respect, a psychologist by profession and warm and sensitive spirit by nature, when she heard my brother was battling pancreatic cancer. I finally picked it up this year, and as fate would have it, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while I was reading it.

So much for avoiding reading it during a trying time in my life As it turns out, though, my fears were pretty well unfounded. As my friend had said herself, Grace and Grit was a very uplifting story of someone who was transformed over the course of her 5-year battle with recurring cancer, who reached a new level of understanding and peace in her life and served as an inspiration to all who knew her as well as to many who have read her story since.

The story is that of Treya Killam Wilber and her husband Ken Wilber, who meet and fall instantly in love, are married within months, and just weeks later are hit with the devastating news that Treya has been afflicted with breast cancer.

The book is also an examination of their spiritual progression, and much space is given over to explanations of spiritual seeking and practices from Ken Wilber, a well-known expert in the field of what most people would characterize as new-age-type spiritualty, As a result, I would say that reading this is not for the faint of heart.

The best and most interesting parts of the book were those that had to do with Treya. I have my own struggles with against? For example, when Treya gets her first diagnosis of cancer, she captures in her journal her feelings of untethered isolation and bewilderment at the future, writing simply: "Should I prepare to live? Or should I prepare to die? I do not know. No one can tell me.

They can give me figures, but no one can tell me. The first and most important complaint I have about the writing itself is that I finished the book really feeling that Ken failed to show, rather than tell, his readers about the kind of person Treya was.

Again and again, Ken remarks on how wonderful she was, how everybody not only loved her but was inspired, moved, transformed by her. If you really want to convince me, help me feel what was special about her. As my high school composition teacher taught us, use examples to make your point, illustrate with details. But at the same time, throughout the book women -- but not men -- are always introduced with some comment about their good looks.

It really felt like no woman who entered the narrative was described without reference to her physical beauty. And despite the obvious deep-soul connection Ken has with Treya, most descriptions of why he loves her or why he was attracted to her begin first with a comment about how beautiful she was.

I found it really condescending and trivializing toward women. If he did the same thing with men, it would sound ridiculous -- it would sound as ridiculous as it is. Take this description of one woman, for example: "She was tall, statuesque, good-looking, with black hair, red lipstick, a red dress, and black high heels.

Now imagine he said of a man they had just met: "He was tall, magnificent, handsome, with sandy hair, shiny white teeth, a blue suit, and black wingtips. Pretty basic stuff, Ken.

Time to read up on a little feminism. Therefore, if you administer an agent to the body that kills cells when they divide, then you will kill some normal cells but many more cancer cells. That is what both radiation and chemotherapy do. Of course the normal cells in the body that grow more rapidly than others -- such as hair, stomach lining, and mouth tissue -- will also be killed more rapidly, hence accounting for frequent hair loss, stomach nausea, and so on.

But the overall idea is simple: Since cancer cells grow twice as fast as normal cells, then at the end of a successful course of chemotherapy, the tumor is totally dead and the patient is only half-dead. When I read this, I thought not so much of forgiveness, but of my field, grassroots rights work and community organizing.

Real help for oppressed people comes from a compassion that is rooted in solidarity -- I am not helping you with your struggles; rather, your struggle is my struggle. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. Without this solidarity, what you have is not compassion; it is patronizing, it is paternalism.


Grace & Grit: Spirituality & Healing in the Life & Death of Treya Killam Wilber



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