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No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2011
i read a lot, but have never encountered a "spiritual/life" book which encompasses so much and explains the subjet matter so well, it really makes for a hugely enjoyable learning experience... i can`t recommend this book enough....
quite literally....mind blowing .....complex but very simple at the same time.
it`s left me feeling a bit shell shocked... it sort of reminds you what you have always intrinsically known but have completely forgotten along the way.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 1998
Perhaps one of the best books on the market trying to understand the relationship between Eastern Religious and Philosophical traditions and the development of Western Psychology. Ken Wilber develops an interesting and perhaps complete picture of the paradigms which these two world try to deal with. The book also helps to explain why the East never really developed psychology and why the West almost lost it's mystic heritage. "No Boundary" synthesised much of what I thought that I understood, but could never explain.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2009
The most authentic book on consciousness I 've read to-date. There's no Integral Theory in this book. Given the inherent limitations of language in representing experience, this book comes closest to what could be possible. The last chapter appears complex at first, but is actually the crowning glory of simplicity. For any and every seeker in this world, this book will provide a new perspective to the act of seeking itself.

Some pearls from a book which is a veritable necklace:

Something very simple happens when answer the question, 'Who are you?' You draw a boundary between your perception of 'self' and 'not-self'. 'Who are you?' means 'Where do you draw the boundary?'

The actual world contains lines but no real boundaries. A real line becomes an illusory boundary when we imagine its two sides to be separated and unrelated; that is, when we acknowledge the outer difference of the two opposites but ignore their inner unity.

If we carefully look at the sensation of 'self-in-here' and the sensation of 'world-out-there', we will find that these two sensations are actually one and the same feeling. It is true that anything I see is not the Seer- because everything I see is the Seer. As I go within to find my real self, I find only the world.

You thus have nowhere to stand but in the present moment, and thus nowhere to stand but in eternity.

I looked, and looked, and this I came to see:
That what I thought was you and you.
Was really me and me.

As a pure witness, your relationship to your mind-and-body becomes the same as your relationship to all other objects.

Honsho-myosho therefore means that true spiritual practice springs from, but not toward, enlightenment.

There is neither creation nor destruction,
Neither destiny nor free-will;
Neither path nor achievement;
That is the final truth. (Sri Ramana Maharshi)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This may well be the best book to start reading Ken Wilber from though it comes from earlier in his writing career. A number of times, Wilber has written a scholarly book in which he has tried to build his theoretical model of consciousness, which he then followed up with a simpler exposition perhaps aimed more at the general reader. This is the case here because "No Boundary" is a simpler version of the ideas is his first book The Spectrum of Consciousness (Quest Books).

Both books are worth reading, and are very readable, though "the Spectrum" is considerably more complex because of its exhaustive references to philosophy, science and psychology. The basic thesis here is that human consciousness can be considered to have several layers like in a spectrum. There are various ways to access these layers such as yoga, meditation as well as various therapies aimed at mind and body. He details these in this book suggesting that each of these addresses issues at a certain level, thus none is invalid, but each also may have a limit to its applicability.

Wilber has taken ideas expressed here further in later books like A Brief History of Everything and A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality. In these Wilber expands, and possibly improves, the ideas described "No Boundary" to create a theory of experience and knowledge that encompasses science, spirituality and society. They too are worth reading, though the ideas are more complex. Hence, this is probably the best place to start that journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2013
Ken has an amazing way of describing Buddhist Mahamudra from a completely scientific perspective. This book is a true gift to anyone who is on a path to enlightenment or just a better understanding of the eternal question, who are we, and what are we doing here?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2010
I have now read this book about 4 times and I recommend it highly. As is often the case in these profound matters, one understands the key issues much better if one supplements the reading with other good quality material, such as are itemised in the recommended reading in Ken Wilbur's book. However, I found that the best additional book that helped me enormously in my reading of No Boundary was Steve Hagen's "Buddhism Plain And Simple", but this does not appear in Wilbur's recommended reading, as it was not written when "No Boundary" was written.
Regarding the content: The real message of the book lies in the tenth and last chapter when the author outlines Unity Consciousness with great clarity and insight. Most of the book before this point is concerned with the spectrum across which Unity Consciousness is broken down by our drawing conceptual boundaries. In this sense the author took on a very difficult task as, at each stage, he outlines the position from what he knows to be a distorted and illusory prespective.
I felt that the book's weakest areas were 1) The ninth chapter, which pokes into all manner of mystical and obscure mental imagery and which I feel is full of rubbish. It would have sufficed to merely say that every man is born with various inherited instincts which can therefore be considered trans-personal and not particular to any particular person. 2) The chapters that were concerned with Psychology, as opposed to direct perception and consciousness seemed to be the author's immersing himself too deeply into what is after all a conceptual and symbolic arena all of its own. There are so many theories and interpretations in this arena that I felt that the immediacy and clarity of the author's basic message about Unity Consciousness was obscured.
When the author really gets his teeth into his subject of direct perception and experience then he excels. I think he describes very clearly man's dilemma of confronting reality in its unadorned simplicity (Unity Consciousness), but then turning away by overlaying this with boundaries and concepts and forgetting that he has done so. This results in a confused and deluded perception.
If you are really earnest in your wish to understand the dysfunction of society and the individual within it then this is a book to read again and again.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 1997
Ken Wilbur is one of the most intelligent and cohesive thinkers I have ever read. He unites many branches of philosophy and psychology in this book. He provides understanding why so many truths contradict each other. Ponder this: (paraphrased from the text)Unity consciousness, or no-boundary consciousness, by definition has no boundary. As such, you could say that there is no boundary which seperates us from It in this moment. Logic tells us that this must be true. The only thing which prevents us from experiencing No-Boundary Awareness right now, is our resistance to it. The book is not exactly "light" reading, but if you are willing to put on your thinking cap, it is certainly fascinating.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2009
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is fairly easy reading, approaching the subject of higher consciousness through the technique of breaking down boundaries. I personally had some very eye opening experiences whilst reading this book. Although i believe these things happen when you ready for them, this book was an important catalyst for me. i cannot thank Mr Wilber enough.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 1998
I found this a pretty easy read, and very good, although a little repetitive. As far as writing style goes, he needs to find different ways to quote people (think, "paraphrase"). I understand the need for repetition though; his thesis is really very unnerving and hard to fathom if one is not familiar with these concepts, although personally I find it irrefutable. When we truly realize that we are inseparable from each other, we will finally stop hurting ourself. If you want a no-nonsense, rational, plain-speaking and clear explanation of the highest goal of much of Eastern and some of Western philosophies & religions, do not hesitate to read this book!
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on 26 October 2013
I've read it once and need to read it again. I found it fascinating and insightful. I also found it at immense help in 'moving me on'spiritually.
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