In response to Ken Wilber’s recent essay “Trump and a Post-Truth World: An Evolutionary Self-Correction”, there has been quite a bit of comment flying around the internet.
I am sure I am aware of only the tiniest bit of the discussion on Wilber’s essay, but a few observations I have read have struck a particular chord.
My response to Wilber’s Essay, “Ken Wilber Calls For Compassion” was shared on the “Wisdom School Community” facebook page where it generated the following two comments:
Kalindi Those who are blinded by hatred are, at least temporarily, impaired in their ability to access a sense of compassion. Those who already value compassion are probably the ones best suited to lead the way right now. It’s hard, though. We are tempted to fight and be right at any cost, because that’s what we perceive coming at us. Wilber addresses the arrogance that can befall those of us who believe we are morally superior.
Ryan If we really want change (and by we, I mean those of us who make claims to and about such things as pluralism, equality, compassion) we must lead, and be the change. We cannot expect those at red and blue to even show up at the table. But if we are going to truly make a difference, we must learn to live up to our own narrative, not just use it as a weapon to beat those who are less developmentally privileged down.
Cynthia Bourgeault also posted a response to Wilber at the Northeast Wisdom website, where one comment struck me as particularly helpful and insightful:
In thinking about ways in which the Green needs evolutionary correction, I’ve been thinking about how well-meaning politicians are handling the current administration. Just as an example: the Elizabeth Warren and Betsy Devos encounter. The folks at the orange level are looking to Betsy, regardless of whether this is who she is or not, as the “millionaire with the grade 8 education”. America loves that kind of story a lot more it seems than the intellectual who becomes rich. You see this with people accepting the term “blue collar billionaire” for the president. Regardless of whether he’s ever been blue collar, he sort of acts that way…..
It seems that the orange levels are on the defence for reasons of patronization. Their guy is in the house right now so a deeply hurtful, provoking tone is coming from the orange level and is wreaking havoc. The greens don’t know how to combat this provoking tone with anything other than patronization, because they’re not yet at the level of kenotic love, so will protect themselves with strong intellectualism that walks circles around those who are less able (which may or may not be an act).
I may be wrong, but it seems that patronization can feel equally violent to an orange. So they end up paddling the same boat toward toxicity and violence and taking up all the air in the room.
When I am at my worst, I resort to patronization to defend myself. It is its own form of abuse and its own form of violence.
I know what dropping the guard of patronization looks like personally for me, but I have no idea how that would play out in the political field. Just some thoughts.
a further comment from Wisdom School Community:
Reading and re-reading Wilbur. How do we make space for red and amber and orange and green without compromising ourselves or failing to protect the vulnerable? I know in my heart he is right – transcend and include is the only possible evolutionary path. I arrive over and over at the conclusion that my specific job is to seek difference with compassion. Am I personally able to make space (hold space) with love and grace and wisdom – space that feels more complex, more differentiated, more autonomous, more directional? I would love to hear stories of others attempting this work.