“God is only as powerful in this world as those of us who have the courage and audacity to awaken in this way—to become one with our own impulse to evolve.”
– Andrew Cohen
Back to Before the Beginning
In order to answer the question “Who am I?”, in order to go back to before the beginning within your own experience, you have to put your attention on the deepest sense of what it feels like to be yourself right now, and simultaneously let everything else go. Letting go means falling so deeply into yourself that all that is left is empty space.
To discover that infinite depth in your own self, you must find a way to enter into a deep state of meditation—so deep that your awareness of thought moves into the background and eventually disappears. As your awareness detaches itself from the thought-stream, your identification with emotion and memory begins to fall away. When awareness of thought disappears, awareness of the passing of time disappears along with it. If you keep penetrating into the infinite depths of your own self, even your awareness of your own physical form will disappear.
If you go deep enough, letting your attention expand and release from all objects in consciousness, you will find that all the structures of the created universe begin to crumble before your eyes. Awareness itself—limitless, empty, pristine—becomes the only object of your attention.
As your attention is released from the conditioned mind-process, freed from the confines of the body and the boundaries of the personal self-sense, the inner dimension of your own experience begins to open up to an immeasurable degree. Imagine that you have been fast asleep in a small, dark chamber, then suddenly awaken to find yourself floating in the infinite expanse of a vast, peaceful ocean. That’s what this journey to the depths of your own self feels like. You become aware of a limitless dimension that you did not even know was there. Moments before, you may have experienced yourself as being trapped, a prisoner of your body, mind, and emotions. But when you awaken to this new dimension, all sense of confinement disappears. You find yourself resting in, and as, boundless empty space.
In that empty space, the mind is completely still; there is no time, no memory, not even a trace of personal history. And the deeper you fall into that space, the more everything will continue to fall away, until finally all that will be left is you. When you let absolutely everything go—body, mind, memory, and time—you will find, miraculously, that you still exist. In fact, in the end, you discover that all that exists is you!
The Universe Project
The dynamic, future-oriented, ecstatically inspired state of the evolutionary impulse is the new enlightenment that I am speaking about. The inner eye has become compelled by the ever-unfulfilled promise of creating the future at a higher level than what exists in the present moment. When the awakening to this powerful spiritual urgency becomes one’s irrevocable attainment and permanent state, one has surely landed on the yonder shore, where the evolutionary impulse has become the driving force of fundamental principle guiding the vehicle called the body, mind, and soul…
God is only as powerful in this world as those of us who have the courage and audacity to awaken in this way—to become one with our own impulse to evolve. That’s the awesome significance of being a human being who is awake. When you realize this for yourself, you discover what an extraordinary blessing it is to be who you are, in this world, right now. In fact, the whole point of the creative process is to be here—to participate fully, radically, consciously in the Universe Project.
In this evolutionary context, the point of enlightenment is not merely to transcend the world so that you can be free of it but to embrace the world completely, to embrace the entire process as your self, knowing that you are the creative principle incarnate, and you have a lot of work to do. As an individual, you are instantaneously liberated, simply through taking that step, but your personal liberation is a mere by-product of finally embracing the awe-inspiring burden of the Universe Project, which in truth has been yours all along.