Evolutionary Enlightenment

Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening

Andrew Cohen:
ISBN 978-1-59079-209-4, 208 pp.,
SelectBooks, Inc. 2011

“You see, the big bang is not just a metaphor or a disputed scientific theory about what occurred fourteen billion years ago. It’s happening right now. Something is coming from nothing every second.”  —Andrew Cohen

In Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen invites readers to reverberate along with the big bang. The creation of the universe was not something that happened in the past, he argues, it is something that is happening right now, and we are all in on it.

If he’s right, what awe-inspiring responsibility, and potential, we have.

Cohen is a writer, teacher and retreat leader who has been exploring cosmic consciousness since 1986. His ideas have support from some powerful opinion leaders in the area of enlightenment. Deepak Chopra wrote the foreword for this book. Ken Wilber, Joan Borysenko and Brian Swimme, among others, offered words of support. With that kind of mind power behind the book, the reader can expect to find in it insights that will shake up slumbering brain cells. And this book does offer some of those—if you are open to them.

Your willingness to open yourself to the ideas in this book might rest in your world view. Cohen explores the different ways that people look at life and the big bang.

“When something came from nothing, was it a big YES? A big NO? Or a big NEUTRAL?”

Those with fast-held religious views might see life in this world as suffering from which we want to escape, or in other words, a big NO. Scientific materialists would see life as a material event, scientifically unfolding but devoid of any purpose or meaning. A big NEUTRAL. But others see life as a big GOOD at a fundamental level. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything that happens in life is good,” he writes. “Of course, many things occur within the process that are tragic, painful, senseless and even evil. But “. . . the essence of the experience is fundamentally good.”

Those in the first two categories might find this book a bit of a trial. Those in the third category will read this book with interest.

“That which burst into being fourteen billion years ago has become you.”

The seeds of you were planted billions of years ago, and the evolutionary impulse continues to pulse through you. If you awaken to it, you recognize your ongoing need to move forward, to become better. He calls this “the evolutionary impulse.”

“While Being feels like eternal peace, Becoming feels completely different. The evolutionary impulse is felt as a sense of tremendous urgency, an ecstatic urgency. At the level of consciousness, it is experienced as a sense that something unthinkably important must occur NOW.”

This is good news for people who feel their thumbs twitch at the thought of sitting still. But it is surprising, maybe even unwelcome or abrasive, news for those who have spent a lifetime seeking inner peace through stillness, meditation and prayer. Those who rely on “The Power of Now” to find peace might find the idea of spiritual enlightenment through Becoming rather than Being counter-intuitive.

But as Chopra wrote in the foreword: “. . . to limit spirit to inner peace—or even the inner world—was misleading.” Cohen agrees. The big bang set in motion an outer world of choice and relationships and in every moment, every now, we have the power to choose what comes from nothing for the next moment. “. . . when people ask me what the self is, I say that the self is the one who is making the choices,” he writes.

The trick is to align our choices with spiritual aspirations for “conscious evolution.” To do this, Cohen outlines five tenets of evolutionary enlightenment: Clarity of Intention The Power of Volition Face Everything and Avoid Nothing The Process Perspective Cosmic Conscience

If you see the big bang as a big GOOD, and if you want to move beyond inner peace to outer enlightenment, this book will be a good guide book for your new evolution.

If he’s right, what awe-inspiring responsibility, and potential, we have.

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on May 2, 2012, in Books provided by publishers, Non-fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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