Excellence Reporter: Andrew, what is the meaning of life?
Andrew Cohen: The meaning we give to life is entirely dependent upon the self we understand ourselves to be. All the thoughts that I share here about the meaning of life are given in the context of the different perspectives that emerge when our consciousness awakens and we become engulfed by the presence of enlightened awareness.
When we are in our happy ego, life seems to have the greatest meaning when we experience personal affirmation – worldly success, pleasing thoughts, positive feelings and quality time spent in the company of friends and family.
When we are in our unhappy ego, meaning is found in the relentless preoccupation with our own suffering. This wounded self defines itself through the desperate desire to escape from existential fear. Its sense of purpose is found in blame, anger and self-righteous rage.
In the practice of meditation, mind, time and ego disappear. We awaken to our True Self and directly experience the indescribable, unfathomable peace of pure Being. In that peace, there is a vibrating energy that speaks wordlessly about the meaning of life as the ultimate mystery – a mystery that only reveals itself when all paradoxes have been transcended.
When we awaken to the evolutionary impulse, the energy and intelligence that created the universe, we come profoundly alive as our Authentic Self. The Authentic Self is the experience of pure positivity, ecstatic urgency, and endless creativity. It expresses an unrelenting spiritually-inspired passion to bring more goodness, truth and beauty into the creative process.
In this evolutionary awakening we cease to have, to get and to become for our own sake. We no longer even desire enlightenment for our own sake. Now meaning is found only in serving the evolutionary process with all of our hearts.
~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 Western audience.
In his three decades of teaching and lecturing, he has developed a unique and powerful vision for a truly contemporary spirituality, integrating evolutionary theory and developmental practice with the timeless wisdom of the perennial philosophy. Departing radically from a traditional Eastern approach, Evolutionary Enlightenment calls not for transcendence of the world, but for a deep and heroic responsibility for its evolution.
From 1991 to 2010 he was the editor-in-chief of the award-winning EnlightenNext magazine, a widely cherished publication that explored the deepest existential questions of our time with some of the world’s most noted thought leaders.
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