In this sneak preview of the “Guru and Pandit” dialogue from the upcoming issue of EnlightenNext, spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen and integral philosopher Ken Wilber discuss one of the most significant spiritual challenges of our time: staying connected to a higher perspective even when humanity’s survival hangs in the balance.
WILBER: At times like these, our spiritual practice becomes essential. We have to develop a heightened awareness of our own internal mechanisms and of what can throw us back into a contracted, survivalist mode. That’s really important, because there are some very serious survival issues right now. We might not make it as a species. And being able to watch yourself contract in the face of that is a supreme teacher. It’s a chance to really learn how you allow the survivalist mode to knock you out of your true self and your already-free awareness.
COHEN: Yes. And the reason it’s so important is that it isn’t just our feeling experience that contracts; it’s our perspectives and our values. We fall out of touch with that which is higher, that which has inherent glory, and we contract into a very fearful orientation to life. Often, those who are able to really make a difference in times like these are those who are able to see global events and crises in the biggest developmental context—to see it all as part of a larger process, which itself is indestructible. Never losing touch with that perspective is critical, because when we lose touch with the bigger perspective, we lose touch with the best part of ourselves.
Don’t forget to join Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber for their first live virtual seminar — “Living Evolutionary Spirituality and an Integral Life” — on Saturday, May 9, from 12:00 noon to 5:00pm ET. In this special event, Cohen and Wilber will explore the evolution of enlightenment, spirituality, and culture and discuss how each of us can become a fully awake, purposeful, and integral human being. For details and to register, click here.