From ‘Waking Up’ to ‘Growing Up’ With Ken Wilbur

M. David Bradshaw
4 min readJan 12, 2021

“Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! Let our affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Anyone can complicate matters, but it can take a genius to simplify matters.

And that is what philosopher, author and futurist Ken Wilbur is; a modern Einstein-like genius who has developed and written about integral thinking in his 25–30 books over the last half-century — of which my favorite is A Brief History of Everything.

My experience reading Ken two years ago — because he is such a big thinker — I was a bit challenged to hold all of his integrated thinking together while digesting his expansive vocabulary. In other words, his books can be tough sledding at first, for me anyway.

Which is why I was very pleased to discover how Ken has recently simplified his vital message of integration of 60+ life disciplines into a simple, how to lift your consciousness levels upward in his new 90-minute Mindvalley online webinar entitled “Integral Spiritual Life Practices.”

For example, rather than going into the details of the 6–9 levels of consciousness which have been detailed by a variety of psychologists (From Baldwin, to Freud, to Jung) and spiritual teachers (From Buddhism, to Taoism, to Hinduism, to Christianity) Wilbur offers a simple path to move from spiritually “waking up” to “growing up” … and beyond.

His premise is simple: As we move up in the four basic consciousness levels — from Egocentric…to Ethnocentric… to Worldcentric… to Cosmocentric — we follow the same pattern found in of all creation — which is while we transcend old levels we also include all previous levels.

(These 9-levels are explained in detail in a my story on spiritual attraction)

In other words, rather than judging the mindset of any/all previous lower consciousness levels, we are instead called to reflect a compassionate, loving acceptance of the mindset we once occupied prior to encountering some type of major “waking up” experience our self…