Thursday, December 07, 2006

Worried About Wilber

I read this morning that, according to his personal assistant Colin, Ken Wilber was unconscious but stable in the ICU of a Denver hospital from an "extremely serious, but not catastrophically so" condition that a "whole team of wonderful doctors" was working to figure out and treat, and that Wilber's good friend Roger Walsh was flying in to be with him. Since then, I have been scanning the blogosphere and elsewhere without success for revealing updates on Wilber's condition.

Two things have struck me about these unfortunate events.

First, I'm puzzled over why there isn't more information available about Wilber's condition. I understand that the doctors are trying to get a handle on it, but why haven't details been released on what led up to Wilber's hospitalization? Did he suffer a fall? Was he ill (or more ill than usual here of late), and, if so, what were his symptoms? Was he found unconscious, or did he lapse into unconsciousness later on? What is his condition right now? Is he now conscious, or still unconscious? If he's conscious, is he lucid? What do doctors know or speculate right now?

Some might argue that no one's had time to write about this, but couldn't someone who's at the hospital call someone who has the time and means to write about it and give them the information we all want to know? Some might argue that this is personal and privileged information, but what is the point in holding it back from a vast, worldwide community of people who care as much about Ken as they do about their own families? If a family member of mine were unconscious in an ICU, I'd want to know as much as I could about what had happened and what was happening now. Wouldn't you? I'm struck--no dumstruck--by just how little information is available!

Second, nobody seems to be talking about what it would mean if Ken died or were permanently disabled mentally as well as physically. But it seems to me that if he is or was unconscious in an ICU, there is something pretty seriously wrong with him, and death or debility COULD result. I confess that I've been thinking a lot about this over the past few hours, and I'm talking about it now because I don't believe that thinking about it or even talking about it here is going to magically make it any more likely to happen than if I don't think and talk about it.

But what I believe it CAN do is get us freshly focused on what Wilber and integral philosophy means to us and what we as individuals and communities are willing to do, with or without Wilber's continuing contributions, to advance an integral understanding of the world and an integral life practice in the world.

I can't think of a better time to contemplate this than right now.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing. i'm very worried about ken too ... and trying to keep questions about the future at bay

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel and turned it down.

He stuck with physics and not politics--he knew where his talents lay.

Wilber needs to stay out of the hospital as much as possible. One can pick up bacterial infections that are drug resistant and hard to treat.

If Wilber keeps getting sick every time things get stressful, and discussion stops because of the illnesses, the problems at II will never be resolved.

If his pattern of illnesses continue, K should take better care of himself by putting someone else in charge of II and retire.

In private life he can manage his health better, reduce the stress load, stay out of the hospital and concentrate on writing.

Meanwhile, others can do the very necessary task of discussing and the best way to untangle internal affairs at II.