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Ken Wilber's Spectrum Model: Identifying Alternative Soteriological Perspectives

Schlamm, Leon (2001) Ken Wilber's Spectrum Model: Identifying Alternative Soteriological Perspectives. Religion, 31 (1). pp. 19-39. ISSN 0048-721X. (doi:10.1006/reli.2000.0306) (KAR id:11270)


I identify two problematic strands of Wilber's transpersonal theory. First, I question Wilber's claim that his spectrum model is supported by the materials of all the world's major mystical traditions. I argue that his integral, hierarchical perspective privileges some traditions but distorts others. Drawing heavily upon Andrew Rawlinson's recent, taxonomic study of mystical traditions, which identifies four authentic routes to spiritual emancipation (Cool Structured, Cool Unstructured, Hot Structured and Hot Unstructured), I argue that while Wilber's model, itself Cool (the source of spiritual liberation lies within oneself) and Structured (developmental, hierarchical), provides a valuable cartography of transpersonal structures and states of consciousness, it cannot adequately handle the materials of the alternative, soteriological paths of Hot traditions (emphasizing the numinous, and as other than oneself) and Unstructured traditions (affirming that there can be no gradual, or progressive, spiritual development at all). Second, and more cursorily, I argue that it is Wilber's Cool Structured perspective that informs his categorisation of Jung as an elevationist. I try to demonstrate that Jung's psychic model of the conjunction of opposites is a Hot Structured one, which provides an alternative, soteriological path for persons whose spiritual needs are different from those addressed by Wilber.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1006/reli.2000.0306
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: L.P. Schlamm
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 14:53 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Schlamm, Leon.

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