Book Review: No Boundary, by Ken Wilber
Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory had one of the most profound impacts on the way I look at my own development and the way I understand the world. Wilber’s insights into a combination of spirituality, psychology, and cognitive science are truly remarkable.
No Boundary is one of the first books written by Wilber back in 1971. In the book, he advocates that as humans we define the way we exist in the world by the boundaries we create between ‘me’ and ‘not me’.
Wilber’s novel idea is that there are three most important boundaries: between conscious mind and shadow, between our head and our body, and between what we consider our physical selves and the rest of the world. As one embarks on the quest for conscious growth, they start finding ways of removing boundaries. It means they gain clarity in their mind, get connected to their body, and find spiritual awakening.
These levels will later become Wilber’s (and other scholars’) approaches to vertical development.
As I read the book, I was thinking how great the notion of boundaries applies to the coaching work. Most of my clients were struggling because they realized the boundaries they couldn’t neglect anymore, which caused waves of suffering in their lives. For many, it is almost waging the war around these boundaries.
Here is a line I remembered the most:
“The simple fact is that we live in a world of conflict and opposites because we live in a world of boundaries. Since every boundary line is also a battle line, here is the human predicament: the firmer one’s boundaries, the more entrenched are one’s battles.”
Allowing people to realize the boundaries, and gain access to the idea that there might be no need to hold to them that tightly, is a source of liberation, and growth. This is one simple insight that I’d like to bring into my coaching practice.