Evolutionary Enlightenment

Being Here Now is No Longer Enough

There has been nothing less than an explosion of interest in the spiritual ideal of enlightenment in the Western world over the last ten years. In spring 2009, for instance, twenty million people tuned in to listen to Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey’s ten-week online course about enlightenment. Spiritual titles top the bestseller lists, and what were once considered to be esoteric Eastern spiritual disciplines have become common pursuits.

And what do these modern-day mystics tell us? Live in the moment. Let go of the past and the future. Be here now. Sound familiar? Well, that’s because it is. In fact, today’s teachers of enlightenment offer more or less the same message we heard back in the Sixties, and all the way back to the time of the Buddha. And it’s still powerful and profound. But is a teaching that’s more than 2000 years old really equipped to meet the spiritual and practical needs of our time?

Andrew Cohen thinks not. In fact, he makes a bold claim: that Enlightenment itself is evolving. Over his 27 years as a spiritual teacher, Cohen has come to a kind of spiritual breakthrough: the discovery of a new kind of enlightenment, one rooted in the timeless transcendent ground of Being, and yet also embracing the unique challenges of our time and the scientific knowledge of evolution. Cohen calls his approach “Evolutionary Enlightenment.” It’s a compelling and provocative vision of spiritual evolution, and one that is catching the attention of more and more people at the leading edge of spiritual thought today.

“Andrew Cohen has arrived at an insight that is crucial for our historical situation. Enlightenment is not a movement out of the everyday world but is instead a profound entrance into deep participation in the evolution of the universe.”

—Brian Swimme, Ph.D., author of The Universe Story

An Authentic Spiritual Innovation

Evolutionary Enlightenment is not simply repackaging ancient wisdom for a modern world. It presents an authentic spiritual innovation, a comprehensive philosophy, path, and practice forged through more than two decades of transformative spiritual work with men and women around the world and in serious conversation with leading luminaries from almost every religious and spiritual tradition, both ancient and modern.

Cohen, founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning magazine EnlightenNext, has re-envisioned spiritual enlightenment in a context completely different than the one of the Buddha’s time. This context is, as he writes, nothing less than “the fourteen-billion-year epic of our cosmic evolution—a vast perspective that enhances and enlarges to almost infinite proportions our sense of the significance of what it means to be human.”

The essence of Cohen’s message is simple yet profound: Life IS evolution, and enlightenment is about awakening to what he calls “the Evolutionary Impulse” as our own authentic self, so we can consciously take responsibility for creating the future. Cohen describes this spiritual impulse as “that ecstatic urgency and blissful clarity that mysteriously compels us not only to awaken but also to evolve.”

>>Read about how Andrew discovered Evolutionary Enlightenment

Embracing Change As Your Spiritual Practice

Change is a constant in today's world. Technology is accelerating, globalization is making the world more and more complex, and the pace of life seems to be speeding up every day. While many popular forms of contemporary spirituality offer ways to feel better in the face of overwhelming change—to discover greater equanimity, detachment, or compassion—Cohen says that change is not something to be avoided, or merely tolerated, but an essential aspect of reality that needs to be consciously embraced. Change is in fact the spiritual essence of life itself and the source of a new enlightenment.

Through Cohen’s five fundamental tenets for living an enlightened life, Evolutionary Enlightenment empowers you to wholeheartedly participate in the process of change as your own spiritual practice. In doing so, you can not only makes deep sense of life today; but you’ll discover how you can play an active role in shaping the world of tomorrow.

“Evolutionary Enlightenment shows us how—not in some future time but now—each of us can respond to the evolutionary impulse seeking to emerge in, through, and as every human being, birthing an enlightened society.”

—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation

A Spiritual Path for Our Time

Cohen’s perspective and path of Evolutionary Enlightenment is neither abstract theory nor disembodied insight. It is the hard-won fruit of decades spent in the spiritual trenches, successfully helping people break deep-set patterns in the human psyche and belief structures that prevent us from changing and evolving. Evolutionary Enlightenment offers new answers to perennial spiritual questions about the nature of the Self, and provides a much-needed perspective for the contemporary seeker as he or she navigates the depths of consciousness and the complexities of our postmodern world.

This new path to spiritual awakening calls on those of us who care deeply about our collective future to become inspired, mature, spiritually awake, and caring human beings who can transform their own lives and in so doing, make a profound contribution to the evolution of culture. As his American philosophical predecessors did in the Transcendentalist movement a century and a half ago, Cohen’s Evolutionary Enlightenment has the potential to influence our culture in profound, forward-moving, and long-lasting ways.