Ken Wilber’s Critique of Deep Ecology and Eco-Spirituality
By David Johnson
Few can deny the increasing environmental problems facing the planet and the communities that live on it. Over the last three decades philosophies such as Deep Ecology have arisen looking to present the environmental crises within a spiritual framework. There has also been an increased interest in Earth-based faith traditions.
Philosopher Ken Wilber has been a loud voice in criticism of these approaches. This paper will examine what he has to say about philosophies which are apparently helping people at this time, and some believe are playing a part in solving the problems facing us.
Over the years of my interest in the deep ecology movement and eco-spirituality, I had come across one or two articles making reference to Ken Wilber’s critique of eco-spirituality. Not knowing who he was and comfortable with my engagement with deep ecology/eco-spirituality, I chose not read these articles. However, now more aware of Wilber’s standing within the philosophy world, I feel that his thoughts need to be heard by those drawn to eco-spirituality, and concerned about the environmental problems effecting the planet.
It is with this in mind that I have chosen to research Wilber’s critique for this paper. First I would like to present a background to deep ecology, especially looking at its spiritual implications, before moving onto looking at Wilber’s critique.
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DAVID JOHNSON hold a Masters Degree in Transpersonal Psychology with a concentration in Ecopsychology from Naropa University. He is a practicing Buddhist and lives in Portland, Oregon.