Relationships and Enlightenment
Some say that when we wake up, nothing changes; others say that everything changes.
In Evolutionary Enlightenment, it’s definitely the latter – if we do not end up profoundly changed by the deep implications of enlightenment, then what is the point?
If waking up is authentic and deep, it represents a seismic shift in values. The upheaval this creates can shake us to the core – our whole value system changes radically, and this has a profound effect on our relationship to literally everything in our experience.
That inevitably includes our personal relationships. When consciousness becomes our highest value and guiding principle, it has a dramatic effect on the way we relate to our own mind, heart and soul – and consequently the minds, hearts and souls of others too.
Everything in our experience is seen through a completely different lens, and the nature of our human relationships in particular undergoes a profound shift. Relationship takes on a new meaning, because it is happening within a radically different context.
We are meeting others in one sense within a context of eternity, of timelessness – of unmanifest perfection. Within the many, we recognise the “one without a second” that we always already are. Self and other become indistinguishable.
Yet in another sense, in the manifest world of time and space, our relationships become infused with eternal possibility and infinite potential. They become at once impersonal and yet more deeply personal, developing an intimacy that is heartbreaking in its intensity.
Awakening spiritually charges and contextualises one’s relationships, permeating them with deep metaphysical meaning. It changes their ultimate significance and purpose, and this is why awakening can sometimes have a devastating effect on marriages and friendships.
Such radical upheaval can even destroy some relationships, while simultaneously creating new ones – and when you understand this context, it’s easy to see why awakened human beings throughout the ages have sought refuge in what is traditionally known as “sangha”.
True sangha challenges us to reimagine the very meaning of personal relationship. It emerges when we naturally seek out the company of those who share our most profound yearnings, and creates an authentic intimacy based on the deepest and highest values.
In this teaching, Andrew Cohen explores relationships and enlightenment, and the significance of human relatedness within the context of the evolution of consciousness.
How we relate to others is arguably the most challenging and significant dimension of spiritual awakening, and could not be more relevant to our troubled times.
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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.