Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Saying 'Yes' to Conscious Evolution and Life

Andrew Cohen, Editor-in-chief,
EnlightenNext magazine.
"Evolution," says spiritual teacher, Andrew Cohen, "really means we are part of a process that is going somewhere in time." In this, Cohen shares the view of a raft of spiritual teachers and philosophers from the Buddha to modern era sages like psychologist Richard M. Bucke, the Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin and the polymath philosopher/author Gerald Heard.

"(But)," asks Cohen, "(t)o what degree are we actually aware of the fact that we are part of a process that is becoming more complex and more self-aware in time, and that our own experience of consciousness and cognition is the very leading edge of that movement?"

"It is very interesting," he notes, "especially for those of us that are interested in the evolution of consciousness and culture, that as we make heroic spiritual effort - as we make the spiritual effort to become more conscious (and) more self-aware - as a result of making that spiritual effort we begin to feel our own movement."

"For the evolutionarily enlightened individual," Cohen observes, "that perspective really points us back to ourselves. And it says: 'To what degree are we enabling and encouraging this process of evolution to occur within this evolving cosmos as a result of our own heroic efforts?' Because," he notes, "ultimately . . . especially at the next stage of human cultural development, the ultimate source of meaning and purpose for the individual is going to be found through how much we are actually contributing to the process of evolution that made it possible for us to be here."

EnlightenNext Magazine
Cohen's teaching of 'Evolutionary Enlightenment' is a modern perspective that picks up the metaphysical gauntlet thrown down to post-modern spiritual seekers by his lineage in the Advaita Vedanta. Cohen's evolutionary teaching at once gibes with what we now know of humanity's origins and challenges the spiritual seeker to become an active and conscious participant in the imperative we have to chart the next leap forward in humanity's cultural and spiritual development.

In the following video, Cohen re-contextualizes the traditional Bodhisattva's vow in addressing the question of what comes next for us.

"Your whole life, when you take it seriously," Cohen notes, "becomes an expression of spirit in action, because you realize that is the whole thing, that is what you are doing here, (and) that's the whole point of this existence. Without that, life doean't mean anything. Otherwise you are just living a materialistic life satisfying narcissistic and selfish desires (that) ultimately doesn't mean anything."

"We are the luckiest people that have ever been born," Cohen observes, "so we have a different burden. We have to get over our ego so we can take responsibility for our tremendous good fortune."

"Ultimately, what we need," Cohen notes, "is a moral, philosophical (and) spiritual approach to life that makes sense of it all, because the post-modern predicament . . . doesn't make any sense. (We) are highly developed, intelligent people that don't know what (we) are really doing here. When we find out absolutely what we are doing, then we can discover the kind of conviction that can get us out of the ego and into the (evolutionary) process."

"Saying 'yes' to evolution has very powerful spiritual implications for the individual, and it involves saying 'yes' to life in ways that we never really have before," Cohen concludes. "And then saying 'yes' to eternity, and (then) saying 'yes' to the future, we have to take responsibility for all of it; (and) that means we have to become 'God,' so to speak, both metaphorically and literally."

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