Beyond enacted experiences
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Citation (published version)Lele, Amod. "Beyond Enacted Experiences." Journal of Integral Theory and Practice 7.2 (2012): 72-87.
Ken Wilber insists that valid knowledge must be derived from paradigms: sets of injunctions and social practices that lead to replicable experiences. In this article, I examine Wilber's claims that the theory still includes the essentials of premodern traditions, because the essentials of those traditions consist of a phenomenological core of practices leading to mystical experience. Drawing on the works of Robert Sharf and Wilhelm Halbfass and on close readings of primary texts, this article argues that mystical paradigms of replicable experience are not in fact the essentials of these traditions--neither for the majority of practitioners nor even for their revered teachers or masters. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of this point for constructive integral work.