Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening

Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening

4.8 17
by Andrew Cohen

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In Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen redefines spiritual awakening for our contemporary world—a world characterized by exponential change and an ever-expanding appreciation for the processes of evolution. Cohen’s message is simple, yet profound: Life is evolution, and enlightenment is about waking up to this fundamentally creative impulse as


In Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen redefines spiritual awakening for our contemporary world—a world characterized by exponential change and an ever-expanding appreciation for the processes of evolution. Cohen’s message is simple, yet profound: Life is evolution, and enlightenment is about waking up to this fundamentally creative impulse as your own deepest, most authentic self. Through five tenets for living an enlightened life, Cohen will empower you to wholeheartedly participate in the process of change as your own spiritual practice. Evolutionary Enlightenment not only makes deep sense of life today; it will show you how to play an active role in shaping the world of tomorrow.

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SelectBooks, Inc.
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Meet the Author

William J. Murray is the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition in Washington, DC. For more than two decades he has been at the forefront of social conservatism. He continues to work for the rights of Christians in America and persecuted Christians around the world and is the author of seven books.

Andrew Cohen is a spiritual teacher, cultural visionary, and founder of the global nonprofit EnlightenNext and its award-winning publication EnlightenNext magazine. His original teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment redefines spiritual awakening within the context of cosmic evolution and highlights a new understanding of God or Spirit as the creative impulse toward change in both self and culture. After a transformative meeting with the renowned Advaita Vedanta master H.W.L. Poonja in 1986, Cohen began teaching internationally and almost immediately started reshaping the larger cultural conversation about the purpose and significance of enlightenment in our time. He founded EnlightenNext magazine almost twenty years ago as a forum for serious spiritual and philosophical inquiry, and has since become known for his unique capacity to foster culture-changing dialogues among leading thinkers from a wide array of traditions and disciplines.

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Evolutionary Enlightenment 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
TomSteininger More than 1 year ago
I am deeply impressed by this book, on so many levels, the clarity of the unfolding of the writing, the tone of the language, the human connection that is created and which holds the reader to lead him or her deep into the vastness of this perspective. Last night when I got my advance copy, I decided to make a night shift to read the book -- and it really took a night. But six hours or so, later I could put aside the last page, knowing that I read a book that will leave a big mark in our cultural landscape. After the first chapter I was immersed in a deep enlightened perspective and I know that this writing will have the power to open for many this sacred space. It gave a deep authentic experience of what Andrew was describing through the pages. At the same time this book is a hands-on manual how to live an evolutionary enlightened live. I can see many living with this book reading chapters again and again because this is a textbook that shows you how to do what you need to do in order to live it - not just theory or philosophy, but path and practice. There is an intriguing hands-on rationality that flows through the sentences argument by argument, example by example to open up for the reader an evolutionary enlightened worldview. It is so convincing common sense in the way how it leads one to the most unheard-of perspectives. And, again and again I was excited by the tone of the writing, how Cohen communicates with the reader as an enlightened master and a human being who is talking to a human being. It is this tone that will allow many to follow to the open horizons of this teaching. And in the end of the book, the last pages open up to a big cultural vision, a vision that places this teaching firmly in our time and in our culture showing a perspective where we as humanity and particular we, the lucky ones, who have so much privilege can set the next step for us as a human species. Tom Steininger, Ph.D.
RosalindBennett More than 1 year ago
I picked up Evolutionary Enlightenment, started reading, and couldn't put it down it until the last page. Time had stood still, as the words penetrated way beyond my mind and I was transported into an enlightened dimension that was vibrating through every part of my being. Andrew Cohen's words directly touched my soul with searing depth and simplicity. The power of this "spiritual masterpiece," as Dr. Jean Houston described Andrew Cohen's new book, is a must read if you are concerned about making the world a better place, because it really has the power to change your life and the world as you see it. "Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening" provides the answers to many existential questions and concerns, it explains how to make deep sense out of human existence in the 21st century and not only that, it gives you direct tools to facilitate your own spiritual transformation for the sake of a purpose so much greater than yourself. This book is a rare and authentic spiritual jewel.
petebampton More than 1 year ago
This book is a groundbreaking tour-de-force of spiritual transmission that will significantly change the face of contemporary dharma. Distilled from the wisdom gleaned from Andrew Cohen's remarkable 25 year odyssey as a spiritual teacher and his transformative work with hundreds of students, Evolutionary Enlightenment offers a profoundly rational, ecstatically mystical, deeply comprehensive, and urgently relevant spiritual teaching for the 21st century. Beware all ye who enter here for this book is not merely theoretical intellectual fodder for a philosophic mind and nor is it mystical entertainment for the spiritual dilettante. Open yourself up to the laser-like immediacy of Cohen's narrative and you may never be the same again! Evolutionary Enlightenment will illuminate untapped potentials of human consciousness as it plunges you into the depths of primordial emptiness and propels you into an awe-inspiring embrace of the evolving cosmos as the manifestation of your very own Spirit-in-action right here and now. Comprehensive in scope and penetratingly pragmatic in its exploration of the human condition in both its personal and cultural manifestations, Evolutionary Enlightenment provides invaluable tools for transformation and elucidates the evolutionary dynamics that reveal themselves at the emerging edges of human potential. The unwavering arrow of Andrew Cohen's inquiry articulates a New Enlightenment which transcends and includes the traditional Eastern Enlightenment and resurrects the unmistakable clarion call of that which is sacred in a world starving for unifying higher meaning and purpose. In a post-modern culture in which far too much "enlightenment spirituality" amounts to a smug nihilism or is diluted to be palatable to the narcissism of the highly individuated ego, Evolutionary Enlightenment thunders with a transmission that speaks directly to the dignity, integrity and passion of a sincere human heart. Non-duality, if it is truly non-dual, has to embrace everything, and, if it is authentic, will always bring genuine aspirants to their knees in awe, wonder and moral obligation. Evolutionary Enlightenment is both a desperately needed gift and challenge in our tipping point times, giving us keys to unlock the sinews of our personal and cultural malaise while placing the responsibility for our individual and collective future firmly in our own hands.
IntegralEvolutionary More than 1 year ago
Today I devoured the advance copy of this book, I spent the whole day reading on buses, trains, and planes, and finished just as I drove into my destination. This book is amazing, and fully integral. It lacks any of the integral or spiritual lingo - the language is fresh and authentic, and very accessible. This is the only book I've seen so far that doesn't talk *about* spirituality or integral consciousness, but *is* it. It is going to have a tremendous impact. After many years of no publications, it so satisfying to read the full teachings of Cohen's Evolutionary Enlightenment, all at once, the whole thing. Cohen re-phrases many of his own concepts, getting away from misunderstandings or connotations that are still rooted in tradition. By the end of reading it, I was completely moved and blasted. I feel I will have to read it again - but more slowly. I have to admit that I read it the way a big dog just back from a run drinks his water: totally carried away!
jpitney More than 1 year ago
The first book I read by Andrew Cohen was 8 years ago. It was called Embracing Heaven & Earth and it hit me like a lightening bolt. What struck me more than anything else was the clarity of Andrew's thinking and the powerful call for deep integrity, which I found quite rare and refreshing for a contemporary spiritual teacher. Now, 10 years after that book was published, Andrew has written a new book and true to its message, it represents a serious evolution in his thinking, in the depth of his transmission, and in the vast breadth of the perspective he brings to the spiritual path. And once again, it blew me away completely. Reading this book is like attending a month-long intensive retreat with Andrew (and I have been on several), in that he perfectly guides you through a process of discovery that starts from a place of cosmic depth, then dives into the nuts and bolts of human development, then explodes out into the cosmic significance of Evolutionary Enlightenment on an even grander scale. And while it may seem a bit grandiose, I truly think that this book could be like the Rosetta Stone for the evolutionary spirituality of the coming century. I have a feeling that its true philosophical and spiritual significance will only be revealed in time as it reflects a perspective that is so far beyond even the rest of the leading edge today that it will stand for decades if not centuries (depending on how fast evolution moves from here on out!). I find it hard to believe that any lover of rationality with even an inkling of interest in the spiritual dynamics of the self, could not find liberation in the way Andrew writes about the power of conscious choice that each one of us has to truly shape ourselves and even the direction of humanity. This is so sharp and deep all at the same time and I found myself lifted into a higher state of awareness with nearly every sentence and also more educated about my own experience of being human. This book is going to change a lot of lives, I'm sure of it.
IgalMoria More than 1 year ago
My experience reading the first pages of Evolutionary Enlightenment was like stepping into a wind tunnel--being forcefully sucked into a current of meditation. The words are simple and very contemporary, yet the transmission of transcendence--of what Cohen and other teachers call "The Ground of Being"--is palpable, reminiscent of the books of Ramana Maharshi, Ananda Mayi Ma or Nisargadatta Maharaj, or much older texts such as the poems of the Sufi mystics or the writings of Theresa of Avila. But powerful as these beginning chapters are, it's from part 2 (of 4) that Cohen starts treading territories that very few spiritual writers have treaded in the past: connecting the thousand-year-old impulse to transcend the world, to find God in that which is beyond everything, to the impulse to create, to progress, to evolve, and see that as the other face of the Absolute. He manages to transmit--with incredible passion, yet using logical, step-by-step arguments that make sure no reader is left behind--the new enlightenment, Evolutionary Enlightenment, which does not only transcend the world, but also includes it ,embraces it, and takes responsibility for it as conscious co-creators in the driver's seat (yes, you and me!). As someone who has been involved with the teaching of Andrew Cohen for the past 13 years, I have read all of his other books, and I can surely say that this one is by far the best of all the books he has written so far, the product of almost a decade of focused work. In fact, of the many, many spiritual books that I have read in the past four decades, this is surely one of the most exquisite. This is a very inspiring and a truly enlightening book. It's a very well written book. And it's authentic. What's more, it resonates deeply with that part of us that knows that with all its imperfections, Life is inherently GOOD. Evolutionary Enlightenment emanates this goodness, passion, creativity and enlightenment and awakens it in us.
JonBertelsen More than 1 year ago
Reading this book, I was struck by the succinct yet comprehensive scope of it. And as I was reading it, I felt catapulted into a higher state of consciousness. It has a very powerful transmission and communicates directly what our culture needs right now to take the next step. It's the perfect prescription for Danish insular cultural conditioning because it sets all of us in such a big and inclusive context - it doesn't get much bigger than cosmic evolution! But it's written in such clear and accessible language it makes this big message available to a very large audience. I can't wait to get this book out in Denmark!
michael_wombacher More than 1 year ago
When I got my advance copy, I put everything aside so I could read it in its entirety. There is so much to respond to in this book that it's hard to know where to start. So I guess I'll start by appreciating what is undoubtedly a huge labor of love putting together this clear and concise articulation of the deepest spiritual truths that are, through this work, for the very first time finding their way into the consciousness of humanity. I can see the care that was taken with each turn of the phrase to capture the nuance and essence of each point that's being made. The seemingly effortless fluidity with which the book reads is a testament to both the extraordinary depth of both the vision and the deep care with which these ideas are being brought into the world. Also, the flow and structure of the book are logical, compelling, and profoundly integrated and non-dual. I recalled the metaphor of enlightenment being like continually turning over a multifaceted diamond, which you can approach from any of its sides and still be pulled into the same luminous center. Opening with the powerful transmission of the deepest nature of our ultimate identity as both the Ground of Being and the Authentic Self - our cosmic identity - into the relative and absolute dimension of the self, the choosing faculty and the moral imperative that that brings into the postmodern value sphere is incredibly elegant and powerful. This book awakens readers to the glory of our cosmic nature and then from that glory highlighting postmodernism and facing us with the deeply implicating nature of the moral fork in the road at which we stand. And then providing a way forward - with the five tenets of Evolutionary Enlightenment exquisitely outlined. And finally the pinnacle - what all this is for -cultural change, the higher we, that radical possibility for a new level of human relationship. In short, Andrew has ingeniously tied together so many of the threads of life's fabric from the most cosmic to the most personal with airtight spiritual logic in an integrated non-dual matrix that makes so much radical sense out of the human experience. This book is dharma on steroids - a powerful contribution to the world's spiritual literature and humanity's spiritual knowledge akin to the Buddha, Shankara, the authors of the Upanishads and the other great spiritual revolutionaries without whose presence our world would be a sad one indeed. To put it differently this book is also an instruction manual for the creation of an evolutionarily enlightened culture in which individual human aspiration and transformation are connected both to the complexities of the human predicament and of God's cosmic predicament. And by turning a number of conventional notions about God and Spirit upside down - for instance if we back down God loses more than we do or that we transcend ego by recognizing our cosmic significance not insignificance - the radical moral implications of the teachings stand as a challenge to a culture stuck in the evolutionary dead end of relativism and narcissism. And they also stand as fire and fuel for spiritual aspiration of the highest order. In short, this book is a milestone in our moral and spiritual evolution and a powerful marker for the emergence of a new axial age.
KBayer More than 1 year ago
This book speaks to your heart and mind and opens possibilities for our human potential that are completely thrilling. It's both an original articulation of mystical insight and a pioneering philosophical model. I found every chapter of this book to be a meditation and contemplation in itself. Cohen communicates profound spiritual understanding in such an accessible way that you're pulled along in a current of spiritual depth. And at the same time, the intellectual rigor challenges you to dig into your own thinking and explore the concepts presented for yourself. Cohen is looking creatively at the relationship between the deep spiritual experience of "being" and the fact that we live in a fast-paced world of continuous "becoming" where the reality of evolution is at the leading-edge of our conceptual horizon. He takes you through a step-by-step process to awaken to your own deepest experience and then to understand the components of developing individually and collectively in a context that holds both enlightenment and evolution. Discovering what this context is and the possibilities it lays open for us at this point in human history is what makes this book such an exciting and potentially transformative read. I've been a student of academic western philosophy, evolutionary spirituality, and specifically Cohen's evolutionary enlightenment. In my 20+ years of study, I haven't come across anything that synthesizes spiritual experience and a rational philosophical argument that's relevant to our lives today, and revolutionary in its implications, in the way this book does.
Catherine244 More than 1 year ago
This book is really a must read for anyone interested in evolution, spirit and enlightenment. It is written with a great simplicity and concision and will take you from a journey from traditional enlightenment to the most up to date ideas about evolution. This book has the potential to open your horizons, make you think deeply about the meaning of life and most of all, it is incredibly inspiring. The idea that consciousness itself can evolve is an all time subject of contemplation, and the author makes it resonate as a real, almost reachable possibility. This read was a life changing experience.
robertheinzman More than 1 year ago
Be prepared to be sorely disappointed by this book, that is if you found yourself compelled by pop phenomenon like The Secret or The Celestine Prophesy or anything to do with our collective appointment with destiny in 2012. For that matter, if any spiritual-but-not-religious best-sellers have successfully cat-called your longing for depth and purpose, this may not be the book for you. But if they did, consider this: you should read Evolutionary Enlightenment. You're likely to realize by the end of the first chapter that these earlier explorations were blind alleys on the road to authentic depth. And by depth, I mean something very specific - the discovery of an innate sense of purpose that answers every big question about what we are meant to do about the mysterious fact that we exist. This book does so in the traditional sense, for this is a book about Enlightenment. But the significance of this book is that it is about the new Enlightenment. Through coherent and artful prose it also answers the big questions in in the world that Darwin built, in the world of Hubble images, our world. It places you right in the middle of an evolving cosmic process, guiding you to literally see within yourself that you are that very process. Which is a big deal.
WesleyRosacker More than 1 year ago
Evolutionary Enlightenment is a gift to humanity. When we look at the history of human beings, we find that We have been profoundly compelled from very early on to find answers to the two most fundamental questions, "Who are we" and "Why are we here." As our culture has evolved over thousands of years, our answer to these two fundamental questions has also evolved. In Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen offers us the most developed answer to date. He clearly articulates how the more recent discovery of Evolution profoundly impacts how we relate to and interpret the perennial wisdom of spiritual illumination and Enlightenment. Andrew writes "the awakening of the spiritual impulse in the human heart and mind is the universe becoming conscious of itself through its own emerging creative process." Such a synthesis of Enlightenment and Evolution provides us with a more complete view of spirituality that is relevant for the 21st century. A culturally relevant spirituality is one that embraces transcendence and engagement, mysticism and rationality, Being and Becoming. Andrew addresses all of these essential components with intellectual rigor and enlightened awareness. I have been desperately seeking the answer to "Who am I" and "Why am I here" for over fifteen years, reading hundreds of books on the subject, living in spiritual communities, and meditating till my legs were about to fall off. This book offers the Most Complete Answer I have ever found. I, wholeheartedly, recommend Evolutionary Enlightenment to anyone who yearns to more deeply understand our place as human beings in the Kosmos.
ulinagel More than 1 year ago
The study of the teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment has been changing my life more than any other thought-system or knowledge, because it is giving it an infinitely larger context and deep meaning and purpose. I can say that this book is the clearest and most accessible expression of this radically new philosophy and practice yet. Can there really be anything new in the arena of spirituality? Yes! Andrew Cohen, by synthesizing western scientific, rational thought and insight with the timeless wisdom and subjectivity of spiritual revelation follows in the footsteps of both evolutionary philosophers and mystics throughout the ages. His book points the way towards a profoundly positive relationship to life, beyond the cynicism and self-preoccupation so prevelant in our materialistic times. In Evolutionary Enlightenment he helps the reader to recognize their own yearning for change and spiritual enlightenment as the very taste and expression of the desire of the universe to evolve, as it has done for the past 14 billion years. By placing humans smack in the middle of the picture of cosmic evolution, he reveals both the extraordinary freedom and the awe-inspiring responsibility we hold as the most highly developed, conscious manifestation of the eternal journey from energy to matter to life to consciousness. Evolutionary Enlightenment describes this context in very clear language and lays out the very practical path each of us can take towards creating a future worthy of the highest human potential.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some it was "over my head" I kept feeling like I had missed some basic premise he was trying to convey????? Still there seemed to be gems of insight that made the reading worthwhile and maybe later I might "get it"!
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