July 12, 2012
The New Enlightenment
Andrew was recently interviewed for Intent.com about his teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment. Here’s one of his answers where he speaks about why his teaching is different from Traditional Enlightenment teachings:
Question: We wanted to begin by asking you about this concept of evolutionary enlightenment — What is it, and how does it differ from the traditional concept of enlightenment put forth in many Buddhist and Hindu texts?
Answer: Evolutionary Enlightenment is a new spiritual path and practice that brings together the perennial mystical insight that the ultimate nature of reality is Oneness and the scientific discovery that we’re part of an evolutionary process that is going somewhere.
In Evolutionary Enlightenment, we win our spiritual liberation through the experiential recognition that who we really are is not separate from the primordial energy and intelligence that created the universe. We experience that energy and intelligence as what I call the evolutionary impulse—the life-positive, perpetually creative inspiration that compels human beings to strive to give rise to new potentials. The realization that “I am the energy and intelligence that created the universe and not merely a psychological ego” is the fundamental insight that liberates the self in the new evolutionary spirituality.
Traditional mysticism, in contrast, is fundamentally about the experience of transcendence. Enlightenment, as the great traditions teach it, is about cultivating the experience of freedom from the body, freedom from the mind and emotions, freedom from the world. In the new evolutionary mysticism, we no longer seek freedom from this incarnate existence because the source of spiritual liberation is the realization that “I am the energy and intelligence that created the universe.” We find that we want to be here, as ourselves, in the world, so we can consciously create the future as an agent of that impulse itself.
When we awaken to the evolutionary impulse, as the urge toward higher creativity, it becomes apparent to us that the energy that is driving the process as a whole is inherently spiritual or divine. Spirit created and is creating the universe. What is this ceaseless creative striving in matter, nature, and culture? And where does it come from? What is it that mysteriously compels the universe to exist, life to emerge, and mind to appear? That which compels this complex and singular process to exist and develop is Spirit as the creative impulse.
And now that we, as human beings, have developed the extraordinary capacity to be aware of the entire process and that which gave rise to it, it makes no sense for our mysticism to be one of escape. We need a new spirituality that embraces our new knowledge and all of its implications.