Walking the Razor’s Edge
At certain times in our lives, if we are fortunate enough to be visited by a state awakening experience that really shakes the foundations of everything we have known, for a miraculous moment it seems that we could never again return to the life we lived before.
The aliveness we experience in those moments makes us wonder how we could have been so blunted, so oblivious, to the miracle of life and incarnation. This is why the experience is described as awakening. It is literally as if we sit bolt upright having awoken from a dream – or a nightmare.
But experience is fleeting. Barely before the paint has dried, it is merely a memory, a thing that happened to us once. Of course, the obliteration of our frontal self or ego in the blinding light of the absolute may have had a profound and positive effect on our personality. But as the experience fades, the deepest dimensions that were revealed to us are invariably forgotten, as the ego quickly and efficiently reasserts its control of the narrative.
Yes sure, it was important, really important, that voice in our head tells us. But not THAT important. Imperceptibly, incrementally, we become once again blunted to the enormity and majesty of what was revealed. Without realizing it, we are sleepwalking once again.
Even when we are practicing diligently, seemingly swimming strongly and steadily, we can be very far away from the shoreline. Then when enlightenment strikes us once again, we are shocked awake. We sit bolt upright and wonder where we have been – and how we can remain awake this time.
At a certain point, it starts to become clear that spiritual practice is not a pastime. It is not recreational, or something that helps us in our goal of greater self-actualisation. We realize that we are going to have to work very hard to keep ourselves awake for more and more of the time.
Eventually, as we develop the musculature to be able to bear the truth of our own awakening, we realize that walking this path is literally like walking the razor’s edge. It is nothing less than a matter of life and death.
In this provocative talk, Andrew Cohen looks at what it takes for each of us to reach that point in our own development where our soul – our deep spiritual musculature – is developed enough to take on the profound implications of our own enlightenment.
It is only at this critical point that awakening begins to make sense at a transpersonal and transrational level. Finally, the radical joy and aliveness we touched in those peak experiences begins to be expressed – and evolution itself begins to make its voice heard – through the vehicle of the body-mind.
- 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.