This is the first phase of Ken Wilber’s thought, and it emerges in his early works The Spectrum of Consciousness and No Boundary. In it, he attempts to integrate the essentials of esoteric traditions from both the East and the West. The thesis is similar to what is found in Theosophy as well as the Traditionalist thought of Frithjof Schuon and René Guénon. From this perspective, esoteric and mystical components of the major religious and spiritual traditions adhere to the insights concerning a fundamental Godhead or Logos despite exoteric and erroneous differences between them.
This initial birth of integral theory sees a fundamental Ground of Being that splits from its subtle base to progressively more limited dimensions in progressively coarser domains. Some critics see in Wilber’s subsequent rejection of this first phase an illegitimate rejection of the fundamental ontological significance of feeling. Wilber later goes on to reject preoccupation with feeling as “regressive,” leading to a conflict between his own that and that of the California Institute of Integral Studies. At this point in his thought, Wilber believed:
“The goal in psychospiritual development here is to reunite each duality and reclaim the unity underlying each split until finally one attains the monistic cosmic consciousness of the consummate mystic and realises one’s identity with the Absolute Reality. The different strata or divisions are each associated with different psychoanalytical methods, as shown in the diagram above.