An Introduction to Evolutionary Enlightenment
“Traditional enlightenment is what I learned from my teacher, but Evolutionary Enlightenment is what I have discovered in my own work over the last three decades.
During this time, I have found a new source of emotional, psychological, and spiritual liberation that easily exists within anyone’s reach—anyone who has the eyes to recognize it and the heart to desire it.
To put it simply, enlightenment is evolving. It is no longer found only in the bliss of timeless Being; it is found also in the ecstatic urgency of evolutionary Becoming.
Until very recently we didn’t know what we know today: that we are all part of a developmental process that had a beginning in time, and that is going somewhere.
Only in the last two hundred years did we discover evolution, and only in the twentieth century did we come upon what is known as “deep time”—the incomprehensible span of fourteen billion years since the universe burst into being.
When we apply the perspective of evolution to the nature of enlightenment, it changes everything...
From the perspective of the eternal timeless ground, the traditional teachers are right. The highest spiritual truth is that nothing ever happened, you and I were never born, and the big bang never occurred. That’s enlightenment, that’s liberation, that’s samadhi, that’s satori.
But from the perspective of evolution, the entire picture changes. Modern science and cosmology have revealed that time doesn’t move in predictable cycles, returning again and again to the same point. It is, in fact, a linear process.
Fourteen billion years of development have produced all of manifestation—the entire known universe and everything that’s contained within it, including its greatest mystery: the capacity for consciousness itself.
The arrow of time is a creative process, and that capacity for creativity is the most extraordinary part of the whole dramatic unfolding—from the big bang to the present moment. This is not just another repetition of an endless cycle. This hasn’t all happened before. Where we are going is not predestined.
The most exciting part of this realization is that we discover, if we look deeply into our own experience, that our own emerging desire for spiritual freedom is not separate from the impulse that is driving the entire process.
I call this the Evolutionary Impulse. When we awaken to this impulse, we discover something miraculous: that that dynamic and ever-evolving creative principle is none other than our own Authentic Self.
When this Authentic Self is awakened within us, we no longer hold ourselves apart in any way from life and the entirety of the cosmos. We become compelled to participate deeply, both in our own awakening, and the unfolding process of life itself. Out of a deep care for the whole of life, we are called to co-create the future, in partnership with the primordial impulse that gives rise to it.
This is the new source of spiritual liberation in the teaching I have come to call Evolutionary Enlightenment. It’s not just about awakening to timeless being—it’s about awakening to eternal, ecstatic Becoming.
Evolutionary Enlightenment calls on us to awaken to both the timeless peace of Being, and the relentless passion of the Evolutionary Impulse.”
Zurich May 13th & 20th 2023
Vegelateria the Sacred
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Andrew CohenResident Teacher
Andrew Cohen is a spiritual teacher, author, cultural visionary and inspirational speaker. His work has been acclaimed by luminaries from all walks of life, from academics to philosophers to spiritual pundits.
Andrew has become known for his willingness to boldly cast aside the sacred cows of the spiritual world. His work grapples with demystifying the wealth of knowledge found in the great wisdom traditions, and with making enlightenment deeply relevant to a post-modern audience.