Note: I wrote the following article as an experiment with an article distribution service. A client wanted ten article distributed through this service and the service offered one extra free submission, so I took it. It has been viewed almost 400 times there, while those I submitted on behalf of my client have been viewed only around 200 times each. Apparently more people are interested in “New Age” thinkers than are interested in buying appliances online.
David Icke and Ken Wilber are two of the most prolific “New Age” writers there are, though neither of them particularly likes the label. In Icke’s case, New Agers are as caught up in the Matrix as anybody else. Wilber likes to identify himself with academics and philosophers and so distances himself from fuzzy headed New Age thinking as much as possible. I can relate to both of these attitudes, but be that as it may, if you go to the bookstore and look for their titles, you will almost certainly find them in the New Age section. Let’s face it, folks – if we’re thinking outside the box, we’re labeled as New Agers whether we wear pastel colored clothes and dance with fairies or not!
I first stumbled across David Icke’s work just after 9/11, when I was trying to find out the facts about that fateful day. Aside from the mainstream stuff, there were a handful of blogs that questioned the official version of the story. Icke’s was one of those blogs. Intrigued by the 9-11 stories he had on his blog, I had a look around to see what he was all about.
In a nutshell, David Icke started out as an ultra-normal British bloke who liked football (soccer) so much he was able to make a career out of it as a television commentator. He was a respected household name in the U.K. until he had a flash of insight and saw that mankind was caught in a hideous matrix of unreality and that we were virtual slaves to a race of reptilian shapeshifters. Instead of keeping this information to himself, he chose to tell the world and in the process became the laughing stock of England. Score one for David Icke! Anybody with enough integrity to put himself on the line like that has to be admired.
Simply because the man had the courage of his convictions and didn’t back down, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and read some more. Although his “Reptilian Shapeshifters” theory was outlandish, I could relate to it on a metaphorical level. I had just begun my studies about the brain and spirituality and was going down a similar path, namely that our “reptile brain” (brain stem and related structures) highjacks our ability to see the bigger picture that our frontal lobes (higher consciousness) have access to. I had also discovered the difference between the way the left brain and the right brain think. David Icke was a right brain thinker. I liked that.
In 2004, I was stuck in the desert in Victorville, California for three months caring for my Dad, who was dying of stomach cancer. There was little I could do for him other than to find him a good hospice, put his affairs in order and pay him a visit every day. For a good chunk of each day and night I had nothing to do. My saving grace was the Victorville Barnes and Noble Bookstore. It was a big, well-stocked store complete with lounge chairs and a Starbuck’s.
I indulged in an orgy of reading while I was there in Victorville and was finally was able to buy a book by David Icke. I chose “Infinite Love is the Only Reality. Everything else is Illusion” because I liked the title.
One day while I was having a coffee in Starbuck’s, a magazine called “What is Enlightenment?” caught my eye. It’s an excellent question, so I picked up a copy and thumbed through it to see what they had to say on the subject. I wasn’t too impressed with the editor’s (Andrew Cohen) opinions, but another regular contributor was a guy named Ken Wilber, who seemed to be pretty intelligent and was billed as “the world’s greatest living philosopher.” After my coffee, I went back inside and looked for a book by that author. When I found nothing in the philosophy section, I asked a sales assistant where I might find his books. I should have known. They were in the New Age section under “W” for Wilber, just a few rows away from “I” for Icke.
After thumbing through a few of them, I purchased “A Brief History of Everything” because it looked liked the best introduction to Wilber’s thinking. I liked the book, but was not blown away by it. He seemed to think a little too highly of himself, but I liked the fact that he wasn’t afraid to think for himself. Wanting to know more about him and what he had to say, I checked out his Integral Naked website.
I was a little disturbed by his website because it seemed to have a cult-like feel to it, in spite of the fact that his readers seemed to be fairly intelligent people who were not cult types. I could live with that, but when Wilber dismissed Walt Whitman as a “nature mystic,” I rebelled. Walt Whitman has been an idol of mine ever since I read “Song of Myself.” These lines in particular hit me right between the eyes way back in 1969 and have stuck with me ever since:
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love
Was Wilber really that dumb? Had this “scholar” never read what Whitman’s contemporaries thought of him? R.M. Bucke, for instance, considered Whitman to be the greatest exemplar of cosmic consciousness who ever lived. Did Wilber really think his version of “Kosmic Consciousness” was superior to Whitman’s?
While Icke and Wilber both have agendas of their own, for some reason I don’t feel like Icke is trying to shove his down my throat. He still doesn’t seem to particularly care if anybody likes him or not. Wilber, on the other hand, seems to want people to like him and writes as if he is trying to impress his imaginary readers rather than writing from the heart. That’s the feeling I get from him, anyway.
So, that’s why I like David Icke better than I like Ken Wilber. I’m nobody, so I’m sure neither of them cares, but I have a feeling that Icke wouldn’t hold my lack of status in the world against me and would welcome me into his home. On the other hand, I get the feeling that Wilber would politely refuse me entry unless I paid the price of admission or was somebody important in his eyes.