Does Prayer Accelerate Human Development? by Ken Wilber

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listening to god

One of the best Shikantaza instructions I've ever heard came from Catholic nun mother Theresa. When asked how she prays, she replied: "I just listen." Ok, the reporter asks, what does God say? "He just listens too."

I love that.

But this recording is a good example of what Ken WIlbur's problem is, and why he's far from a Buddhist. This is just typical new-ager, THE SECRET Bull-shitzu.

Here's the basic thing:The dao that can be told is not the real dao.

The more words you pile on top of it, the more it's hidden and confused. And that's what Ken Wilbur does better than anybody! God dang he'd probably write you a brilliant, six-volume tome if you asked for directions to the corner store!

One direction mind can go in is toward "waking up" to this concrete reality some people call "dao." The opposite direction is toward increased mental narrative. In one direction, the cold, bare tangible world. When stripped of all the layers of BS we pile on it, it's radiant! It's holy without the need of a "spirit" level to make it so. In the other direction, just more mental images and words to obscure what's real and vital.

Which direction does most Christian prayer move in?

For most, it's all about the "spirit" level, which in Buddhism, does not exist. So with most prayer, (But not Mother Theresa's!) we're moving in the opposite direction of Buddhist truth: we're covering over the truth with images of God and spirit and all sorts of mental narratives about morality and so on.

So it makes perfect sense that Wilbur would miss this distinction, since his WHOLE BUSINESS is covering Buddhist truth over with layers of his brilliant words, charts distinctions and narratives of how cool, sexy and brilliant Ken Wilbur is.

If you look into the history of the Catholic church, you'll find the kind of prayer Mother Theresa advocates for, Contemplative prayer, isn't compatible with most Christianity. The kind of insights that arise naturally from such practices, such as Shunyata, or emptiness, tended to get Christian mystics burned at the stake.

I fear they would be no less welcome in most Christian congregations today (outside of the Quakers and Unitarians.)

Posted by anonymous (not verified) on March 18, 2010 - 8:13am