Wilber purports that many claims about non-rational states make a mistake he calls the pre/trans fallacy. According to Wilber, the non-rational stages of consciousness (what Wilber calls "pre-rational" and "trans-rational" stages) can be easily confused with one another. One can reduce supposed "trans-rational" spiritual realization to pre-rational regression, or one can elevate pre-rational states to the trans-rational domain. For example, Wilber claims that Freud and Jung commit this fallacy. Freud considered mystical realizations to be regressions to infantile oceanic states. Wilber alleges that Freud thus commits a fallacy of reduction. Wilber thinks that Jung commits the converse form of the same mistake by considering pre-rational myths to reflect divine realizations. Likewise, pre-rational states such as tribal thinking, groupthink, and the occultism of the Nazis or Charles Manson may be misidentified as post-rational states. Interestingly, Wilber characterizes himself as having fallen victim to the pre/trans fallacy in his early work.
The article goes on like this for some ten pages. Is this good writing? The author stockpiles words like
pre/trans fallacy, non-rational stages of consciousness, trans-rational stages, trans-rational spiritual realization, pre-rational regression, pre-rational states, trans-rational domain, infantile oceanic states, fallacy of reduction, pre-rational myths
at a rate that makes me pant for breath. It seems that the author has made a serious attempt to make his writing serious, complicated and impressive sounding. (And he did a damn good job of it). What does the following sentence actually mean?
One can reduce supposed "trans-rational" spiritual realization to pre-rational regression, or one can elevate pre-rational states to the trans-rational domain.
Is there any substance behind this? Hard to tell without a translator. Could it be said simpler? If there is any substance Iâ€™m sure it could, but then it would probably not impress us very much. If there is no substance then it canâ€™t be said simpler since otherwise it would be reduced to nothing at all.