It’s easy to make an idol out of one’s own theology, model or theory. The truly humble thinker is able to offer his or best ideas while still declaring (in a very Socrates-esque manner), “This is likely not the final answer, and someone else’s ideas will very likely improve and replace mine at some point in time.”
I was caught off guard—and pleased—by this type of comment from author Ken Wilber in the introduction of his phenomenal book, A Theory of Everything. I’m having to read this book a second time to fully grasp its criteria supporting an “integral vision” for business, politics, science and spirituality. Although published in 2000, the true publication date should be at least 2015—for Wilber’s ideas are still far ahead of our time, and even a decade from now readers will still declare, “This is the book I’ve been longing for.” (As leadership guru Warren Bennis does on the front cover.)
Few writers I know, including me, can keep pace with Wilber; this is but one of his books that attacks multiple disciplines from devastatingly fresh angles, in the quest for holistic approaches that can lessen human suffering and increase global collaboration And Wilber’s willingness to blatantly admit, “Hey, even my theory of everything might disappear one day,” gives him even greater credibility from my perspective. He writes:
“It is not a fixed or final theory, simply one that has served its purpose if it helps you get to a better one. And, in the meantime, there is the wonder and the glory of the search itself, drenched in the radiance of being from the start, and always already completed before it even begins.”
We often lose the “wonder” of our creative ideas and discoveries when our ego starts insisting upon their superiority and permanence. The ego thrives on fear and the prevention of loss, while consciousness that transcends ego sees a greater good. How would the world be different if a majority of the great thinkers in every discipline—especially business, politics, science and spirituality—passionately explored and shared their ideas, while holding them loosely enough to hear, celebrate and implement the ideas of others?
We might never fully get to this world; but, as Wilber encourages, grabbing just a slice of it is better than nothing, and you can’t discount the thrill of the chase.