Infinity Foundation Spirit Award Declined
March 23, 2006 20:46
Today, Ken declined the $10,000 Infinity Foundation Spirit Award. Here are the relevant emailsóColin.
Sent: Wed 3/22/2006 10:11
To: Ken Wilber
Subject: Spirit Award Chicago
Infinity Foundation serves others by providing courses in personal, professional and spiritual growth, and consciousness. Infinity celebrates its 10th anniversary May 19, 2007 at its annual benefit when we honor a person with the Infinity Foundation Spirit Award. Some of our recipients include Surya Das, Ram Dass, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Gary Zukav and others. On behalf of the Infinity Foundation Board of Directors, we invite you to receive this award on May 19, 2007 for the evolutionary contribution you make to humankind. Upon receiving the award, we ask that you speak on any topic for 45 minutes. In conjunction with the benefit weekend we ask that the recipient also give a workshop the following day, May 20. I know you usually have a panel or dialogue type of seminar and I'm sure we could work that out to your liking. We pay $10,000 plus airfare and hotel. If you are available, I'd be happy to talk to you more about it. Thanks.
Nancy Grace Marder
From: Ken Wilber
Sent: Wed 3/22/2006 13:29
Subject: Re: Spirit Award Chicago
Thank you very much for this honor; I do very much appreciate the spirit in which it is offered. I am sorry to say that I must decline, however. The problem is that some of the previous recipients have, in my opinion, considerably, if unintentionally, harmed the cause of an authentic spirituality through what amounts to deep confusion and misapprehension of the nature of spirituality itself, which is surely integral if it is anything. What I and my fellow colleagues at Integral Institute are trying to do is to present a spirituality that clearly demarcates itself from the narrower and often reductionistic--and occasionally even mean-spirited--approaches represented by some of your recipients. Because we are trying to offer clarity and direction in the field itself, to be associated with people who are working against exactly that, would be unethical on my part. I truly regret this, because Infinity Foundation is clearly a terrific organization with a noble intent. Nonetheless, Integral Institute can only offer one thing, and that is a certain purity and clarity with regard to integral spirituality itself, and I must abide by that light.
Integral Institute, of course, is open to any and all who wish to join us in the adventure of spiritual unfolding. We are radically inclusive in that sense. But an award--a public statement of this sort--associating with those who do not understand the meaning of inclusivity would be a very unwise move on my part. This is nothing personal, and I would hope that your organization and Integral Institute might find friendly ways to work together in the future.
Honestly, I am personally very touched by your gesture. So I would like to send my very best wishes to you and everybody at your organization.