A Talk with Andrew Cohen
Ultimately there is only one way to enlightenment, and that one way has two possible faces...
If we are fortunate, our journey through life and its many twists and turns may lead us to extraordinary insights and depths of cognition. We may be confronted with profound revelations and psychological discoveries that are huge in implication and intensity.
But such insights, while deeply resonant and valuable, do not bring spiritual freedom closer. The most profound revelations and visions of the possible are miraculous and beautiful gifts to be sure, but they will not set you free. Ultimately there is only one way to enlightenment – and that one way has two possible faces.
The first is one of absolute and unreasonable happiness – a sudden and overwhelming experience of pure joy that brings you to your knees in awe and gratitude, and that has no reason to exist other than the unadulterated bliss of existence and consciousness itself.
This kind of transcendent rapture shatters the ego, even if only for an extended moment. It is the instant that brings the death of separation. This holy instant is always the very same instant, exploding forever beyond time, beyond the mind, beyond the ego’s compulsive and incessant belief in separation.
The second face is one of unbearable suffering – the depths of absolute fear, grief and agony. Profound and overwhelming suffering can also bring us to our knees in a desperate plea for relief. Such intolerable pain can ultimately compel us to let go in a way that is total and without limit – and once again, the holy instant of enlightenment awaits us when we finally relinquish control completely and absolutely.
In the next of our bi-weekly series of talks, Andrew Cohen explores the two dimensions of experience that truly have the power to liberate, reminding us that ultimate freedom is never found in the maze of the mind, nor in our endless fascination with the frontal self.
In the end, we must always be brought to our knees by a secret that is exploding beyond time, and that cannot be held or understood by the mind in any way.