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A Spiritually Inspired Future (Video)

What is driving us as we look towards the future? Is it fear of disaster or is it a spiritually inspired motivation to create a better world? This past Sunday, December 5, EnlightenNext founder Andrew Cohen joined Deepak Chopra for a discussion of these questions and others in a public dialogue hosted by New York’s Urban Zen Center (founded by Donna Karan). Moderated by political commentator Arianna Huffington, the wide-ranging conversation was a tremendous success and offered a compelling exploration of the role of Spirit in today’s world. If you missed the live event or webstream, you can now watch the 2-hour video recording for free online (scroll down) and you can also read a summary of the event by Alison Rose Levy on The Huffington Post (her post includes photos as well). Here’s an excerpt:

“We’re in a time of transition. One culture is dying. Another is being born. How do we move from struggle to grace?” Arianna posed the question to Chopra and Cohen as an audience of several hundred people gathered in Karan’s welcoming Urban Zen Center in downtown Manhattan, with other participants watching via live stream. “Let’s focus on what brings us together rather than what tears us apart,” she urged.

Arianna revealed that she had her own moment of truth when long work hours and too little sleep blended into a state of bone-deep exhaustion that lead her to nod off and fall face forward on her own desk, smashing her face. After the broken bone mended and the stitches healed, Arianna recognized the wake-up call and turned to yoga, longer hours of sleep, and mindfulness in order to help her to “get enough rest and enjoy life while achieving.”

Arianna recalled the words of her late mother, who once took her to task for opening her mail while speaking with her children, emphatically saying, “I hate multitasking.”

Deepak Chopra pointed out that all of us are multitasking all the time, navigating the four levels of ourselves: being, feeling, thinking and doing. Doing it consciously makes all the difference.

Andrew Cohen, the founder of EnlightenNext took up the question of how to live in the midst of great change, saying, “Our shared values all too often propel us towards competition, aggression and narcissism. The rate of change is not slowing down. The traditional solution offered by spirituality and meditative practices, offered a safe haven of calm and primordial peace.” . . .

The goal, he felt, was not to use meditation to escape from the world but to connect with it wholeheartedly. In contemplating this, he reported that he came to recognize that “saying we want to retreat reveals that we have a core ambivalence about life on earth.”

He invited the audience to contemplate the question, “Is life on earth good enough?”

Cohen pointed out that there are three possible answers: yes, no, and I’m not sure. He encouraged the participants to contemplate, get to the roots of their doubt and ambivalence, and discover the way to say a “big ‘yes’ to life.”

Read the complete post here.

You can watch the first ten minutes in the embedded clip below, then watch the full vid on Fora.tv:

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Filed Under: ConsciousnessCultural EvolutionCultureEnlightenNext Editors’ BlogEvolutionary SpiritualitySpirituality

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About the Author

Tom Huston is the Senior Online Editor of EnlightenNext magazine. Follow him on Twitter @KosmicTom.

Comments (70)

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  1. Aliya says:

    What are the chances to create “spiritually empowered future” for the people who even miss the present moment to live it fully and totally? The launched struggle towards some future spiritually empowered goal is a very clever device to distract people from their own present lives, from their own center of being. And a human being with no center is like a drift wood taken away by any kind of sick ambitions for achievements, for evolution, for becoming something else, somebody else. It shows a deep disapproval of your own being as it is now and here, a deeply rooted lack of love towards yourself, towards your own being. And a person who does not love him/herself is an easy victim in the skilful hands of any kind of manipulators, do-gooders, leaders.
    Then no surprise that some people as shown in this article, are so hating themselves that they are literally killing themselves with overwhelming ambition for achieving, leading them to “bone-deep exhaustion.” It simply shows a profound unhappiness and deep feeling of unworthiness. Then whatever you do, even if you start doing yoga, it will be the same suicidal effort to improve upon yourself, upon your own nature of being.
    Definitely it is not the meaning of any yoga and meditation, vice versa – it is exactly what yoga makes you aware of – the lack of love towards yourself, the deep disapproval of your own being you carry within.
    The most important thing before ever starting to project upon some future is to know yourself, to know who you are. For this to happen, you need first to love and accept yourself the way you ARE now, in this very present moment. Only Love can reveal your true nature of being, love is the best and godly way of knowing.
    A loving person is so full of the energy of love that he/she overflows with it and spreads it all around. For such a human being no ambition for achieving, no money, and no power is more important than his own being, his own individual flowering into Love, Truth and Bliss. Only such a being is free and authentic, only such a human being is an upsetting force for the vested interests to enslave him/her.

    • Caroline Hitch says:

      Aliya,

      You say: a loving person is so full of the energy of love that he/she overflows with it and spreads it all around.

      Are you aware that you NEVER express any love in any of your monographs? In fact, you are always only expressing angst against the world, as though someone has really kept you down and you need them to make reparation. It is this activity of yours that the term “projecting” describes. It is YOU that refuses to look at herself, my little confused fool!

      If you would, dear, please actually listen to the two hour video. You might learn something; i.e., get outside of your own sense of lack, for at least a little while…

      • Aliya says:

        Dear Caroline,

        Be aware that you see angst and fear where they are not! Therefore, these feelings must be your own feelings reflected on me. If you do not feel any love and concern in my words it is your ego which does not allow you to see the mysteries I reveal in here, though totally free of charge and at my own cost:)By the way, this is the way ego acts – it only feels attracted by something of paid value, more you pay more the ego feels fulfilled.
        If I was not a loving person I would not have spent so much time in answering and bringing more awareness in here. However, bringing awareness is not polishing egos, it is quite the reverse – awareness will destroy your ego, your prejudices, finally will destroy you the way you are and bring into life a new human being, the being of light and awareness.
        I am certainly not a philosopher to make a system of thoughts or beliefs for you. I am a mystic who conveys to you the mysteries as they have been revealed to me. I will confuse you!

    • Nada says:

      Dear Aliya,Even though the overall intention of your message is one of self-love or love,you undermine that message by the use of divisive language that is essentially attempting to point out the inadequacy or failure in a person,especially by saying,they “have sick ambitions for achievements,” “They are so hating themselves,” and “It simply shows a profound unhappiness and deep feeling of unworthiness,” and “suicidal effort to improve upon yourself.” Really,Aliya,”suicidal effort?” All of that language is truly detrimental, improper and downright rude, especially when the purpose of this site is to !CREATE! awareness!You may think you’re tearing down of the message is getting to the heart of a greater message (just Being), but it’s really just uninspiring, nihilistic – removing of personal meaning – and it cancels out any the positive energy of your intended message. And it’s not because you’re so “wise” and we’re so “ignorant,” that we’re somehow just being egoically reactive to your overwhelming pure nature. It’s because we contibute here specifically because we care about being spiritual activists;fostering and being a part of an intersubjective space that is a give and take that’s essentially a “Big Yes” to life!,but not!because we’re week,puny,needy losers that need to affirm ourselves with “suicidal effort.”
      You show yourself to be a mole in the garden, Aliya. You just have to gobble up every grub you can, but all the while you push up the flowers and make them wilt. You continually fail to see that you as the mole,the earth,the grub,the flower,sun and water, ALL of this is your Original Face, and you only wilt your-self in your process.
      Don’t you feel any need to CREATE with us? To GIVE, instead of remove or destroy? I would truly like to know that Aliya!!!

      • Aliya says:

        Dear Nada,
        Thank you for analyzing my writings, even though your analyses show deep misunderstanding of my words. Only for lie truth looks “detrimental and nihilistic”. And it is bound to be so – truth is the destroyer of lie.
        Awareness is not to CREATE more lies but to speak the truth whatsoever the cost is. And the cost is always known – your ego.

        • Nada says:

          I understand you perfectly, Aliya. In fact, you are too predictable; you always lead with your own dogmatic prescriptive for any and all. I understand that you have a story that you tell yourself that you are the only one who can “know” and discuss God,that your way is the only way and truth, and all other perspectives are invalid because you say so. You gather negative attention to yourself because you ache for recognition as a “mystic.” This is called a “script pathology” and I recommend a transpersonal therapist to help you…I say that in all seriousness and deep care.

          Ms. Huffington’s path and perspective are hers, not yours. Her Soul is her own to discover through God’s Grace only, not by your repressive methods of denial and avoidance. As I said, you wilt only your-self in your process.

          Have respect for diversity of perspectives and show that you have respect for yourself, and for the One Self common to all.

          AHIMSA

          • Aliya says:

            Dear Nada, You say: “Ms. Huffington’s path and perspective are hers, not yours. Her Soul is her own to discover through God’s Grace only”

            Here in your clear insinuation you miss one thing very essential – what do I have to do with this sentence of yours? Obviously it is you who have something to do with Ms. Huffington’s and that is why you even quote her name in here.

            • Nada says:

              Aliya, “bone deep exhaustion,” which you put in quotes in your first comment, has nothing to do with Huffington’s admittance of falling and breaking her jaw, because she was “bone deep exhausted”? Check yourself a little more thoroughly before responding.

    • Frank Luke says:

      Aliya’s statement begins in such a downbeat way though I have to be careful she’s speaking from the traditional view of spiritual practice.

      Her statement does present the solution traditional spiritual practice offers of individual enlightening and perfection of self with the aim of helping others and bettering the world.

      I think that by clinging to her traditional views that she fails to acknowlege the views of this site which is speaking and promoting the interconnectedness of humanity and less isolated cells of seekers working individually and often in isolatedness.

      By her participation online she has availed her interconnectedness in a broader way but her views still seem stuck in the traditional spiritual views. She uses “the only way” so frequently that this confirms her traditionalist views.

      • Aliya says:

        Re: “By her participation online she has availed her interconnectedness in a broader way but her views still seem stuck in the traditional spiritual views.”
        It is only because you, Frank, are stuck in the dualistic division to “traditional” and “evolutionnary”.
        Otherwise Truth is One, neither traditional nor evolutionary. It just IS. Just go our of concepts, open your eyes and see IT!
        You have a sincere heart and truth reveals itself only to sincere and open hearts.

    • jd hoy says:

      ….. What are the chances to create “spiritually empowered future” for the people who even miss the present moment to live it fully and totally?

      Truth is: You imagine (so to speak) the universe as it is. This being so, one will find that when his ‘world-view’ changes, so do his world. This is empowerment. Are you in the world, or is the world in you?

      jdh

      • Aliya says:

        Truth is you imagine nothing, you just ARE, whatever you are. If you start imagining, then you are in the illusion, which veil the ultimate reality from you. When this ultimate reality is, neither you nor the world are a reality anymore:)

        • jd hoy says:

          Who can argue Aliya? From this standpoint there is nobody, nowhere, at no time to speak of anything, and to speak of anything is to speak of nothing being that there is no speaker, nor is there a hearer to hear what is spoken. That being the case, what is it that comprehends this idealogical concept? What is the purpose of discussion? — afterall, is it not simply noise arising? But, what is it that is consciously aware of the noise? It is agreed, imagination presupposes an imaginer. Being, that in Reality there is no such animal, what is it that even understands the word imagine? Statements go on and on and on. Thousands of books have appeared attesting to this. But who, or what, has written them? Was it not You? What are You?

          • Aliya says:

            I am who I am, jdhoy, neither am I the speaker nor am I the hearer, but just the vehicle for the Eternity to speak and hear through me. One thing , however, is certain about me – I am neither an ideological concept nor am I an imagination. There is even no “I” in me, but only “amness” or better say it “suchness”

      • Nada says:

        That’s an excellent point,jd! Indeed,the world is in us, and our ability to not only stably develop this perspective, but to imagine and then stably develop to the depths of the interior Kosmos, is part of the Spirit-given drive as the Evolutionary Impulse. The imagination is a bridge to the intra-psychic capacities of the Soul or subtle level of development, which, like a sacred mandala, labyrinth or path, can take one thru interior worlds and dimensions which lead always and only to the Supreme Identity.

        The imagination is a superior tool to develop empathy and compassion, global awareness and local activism, as in “Think Globally, Act Locally,” and gives a wheelchair-bound or bedridden person the ability to run, dance and fly! Among many, many other amazing uses!

        Thanks for your perspective!
        LOL (:}

    • Nada says:

      Aliya,It is a “New Age” philosophy that one must “love and accept themselves FIRST,”before taking on “a project”,as you say.New Age-isms were long ago weighed,measured and found wanting,and I wholeheartedly reject the patent me-isms of “healing me,loving me FIRST!”If any individual devotes themselves to the discovery of their self-acceptance and self-love in the moment,as you say(which is what many people do anyway)all you get is more self-contraction,more petty self-serving,because this need for self-love first! is a closed loop,involved in the collective at shallow levels,and probably decidedly self-protective of its need to take care of “me first.”There’s a lot to be said for self-acceptance in the moment,but until this person is willing to push! at the boundaries of its need to learn/love itself first,that person is more than likely just substituting one type of self-help for another;New Age mythology has failed culture/spirituality.As you demonstrate above,N-Age is still prevalent.
      In the late 1980′s,I volunteered at Children’s Hospital.I wouldn’t have claimed self-love and acceptance then,but I knew I needed to serve something greater than myself and contribute what I could with*SELF-SACRIFICING* service.This wasn’t so I could pat myself on the back(“see how I display my self-love!”yuk!),nor did anyone at Children’s ask me if I “loved myself” before they allowed me to volunteer.I was grateful,they were grateful,a win/win for all!The administrators know that the impulse to volunteer is aleady an expressible measure of SELF-LOVE;perfectly in place wasn’t a requirement,and service(DOING)to the suffering of others,taking their pain into yourself(COMPASSION)reveals ABSOLUTE LOVE! I wouldn’t have transformed the way I did by waiting to accept myself first!
      LOL(;}

      • Nada says:

        PS, Aliya, It’s very evident that Ms. Huffington’s(and Andrew’s & Deepak’s) impulse to give to millions something of value to the Intersubjective, was nothing less than Heroic Self-Sacrifice(hurting herself with exhaustion). The Hero surrenders its health, and sometimes its very life,sometimes its own children(Buddha and Abraham, for example),to serve something greater than itself. The Heroic impulse is not willing to wait. Those individuals only wait poised to serve with self-forgetfulness, because what drives them is the “Ecstatic Urgency” of the Active Principles of God/dess, to reveal the awareness that “He(She) is the One that is the Many,”; All Manifestaton and The Divine are NOT-TWO! This takes active participation with these Principles;”Meditation is not enough!” said Andrew. The God/dess Principles are in your Soul; If you wait to find “self-love,” contract into me-isms, or even “just be in self-acceptance” you take the risk of denying their Grace and Union within your own awareness, and then, you deny the One Self common to all! God/dess loves and needs our active participation, because we are Spirit realizing Itself as Spirit; Ordinary, Common, Simple…

        Happy New Year!

      • Aliya says:

        Dear Nada,

        Only a human being who loves him/herself, who accepts him/herself the way he/she is, only such a human being can be full of love and be loving. Only such a loving human being can overflow with love and spread it all around – to all people, not only to children or needy people, but to all without exception. Because all is God, all is Godly.
        Then when such a loving human being gives love, he/she does not feel it as self – sacrifice, as you do. If you have this feeling of self – sacrifice when you give love away, it simply shows that deep in your subconscious you are hoarding your love, you feel giving love as depleting you. In addition the idea of self sacrifice can only arise in the mind of people who feel themselves unworthy, guilty and the self sacrifice is for them kind of deserved punishment.
        Giving love away is never sacrifice but the highest benediction there can be. Only when you give love and you expect nothing in return, even not recognition, not thank you, but are happy and thankful to the other that the other accepted your love.

        • Caroline Hitch says:

          Aliya,

          Your contradictions are legion. Here’s just a small list:

          1. You talk big talk about love but yet fear that connection is going to deprive you of your own self-love; so how can you possibly develop love for others? You can’t, and it shows. Likewise, while you harp on everything being One, you insist on seeing people as separate, isolated entities.
          2. You rail against the products of the mind, yet everything you espouse is only a product of the mind.
          3. You say everyone should just Be and enjoy the wonderful world around us, but you are incapable of getting enjoyment from anyone on this site, as though we are not a part of this wonderful world of yours. Note that when you do speak of this wonderful world, you only refer to trees and birds; etc., products of nature that don’t challenge you to grow in any way. You select what you want in your world–yet even then you are incapable of seeing the trees and birds for what they are in themselves; as though their existence was only made for you. All life struggles for existence–no exception. If there were no struggle, we would all still be at the level of the single cells, if even. Struggle is growth, something that you, in your immaturity are unable to appreciate as a good.

          Speaking of self love, don’t waste your time because there is no such thing, isolated from the whole. We are connected in ways that you cannot escape from. Every injury a person does to himself, he does to the whole, and every injury he does to others, he does to himself. When you blast others on this site (which is your only mode of communication here), you injure yourself. It would behoove you to worry less about self-love, which 30 years down the road you still won’t have, and concentrate instead of developing self-respect.

          • Aliya says:

            Self respect is only possible if you first love yourself. By loving your own being, by accepting it, only then will you be able to start seeing it more clearly. If you first love yourself, only then will you be able to remain open to yourself and to know yourself. And when a human being knows him/herself, nothing else is needed in the whole world. Knowing yourself you know the All.

            • Caroline Hitch says:

              Aliya,

              There is absolutely no difference between loving oneself and loving others–it’s the same chi energy. Loving ourselves only means to accept ourselves unconditionally. Loving others demands the exact same unconditional regard. There is no egg before the chicken, here, or vice-versa; and it is just this seamless reality that bespeaks of non-duality. Please don’t create duality where it is only in your imagination. That you think you need to love yourself first is only a product of your sense of lack.

              That you think you need to love yourself is quite true, but it’s not as you think. We are not talking about ego; is that right? So, can we safely say that there really are no categories that differentiate between what should be loved and what shouldn’t? Should Aliya be loved but not her neighbor? Should American’s be loved but not Palestinians?

              Aliya, try as you might, you cannot separate yourself from others–except in your imagination. Everything needs love; when we really love ourselves our love is not confined to our ego but radiates out to others–there is no dividing line. Chi is chi. It either is or it isn’t. That is why I said that 30 years down the road you still wouldn’t have discovered it…

              • Aliya says:

                Caroline, in order not to separate yourself from others you first need to know who you are and only then you will be able to melt all the separation lines, not before. And to know yourself you can by first accepting and loving yourself.
                If you do not love and know yourself all the beautiful statements about collective love will be a mere fantasy of your mind, linguistic exercises to show off.
                Only true knowing of your Being, only experiencing of your innermost core of being and connecting to it in love, bliss and truth will connect you to the Whole and All. The door to the “others” as you still call them, is through your own center of being, not outsideof you. This is the Golden gate of the Kigdom of God Jesus talks about, this is the innner space in your center whereas the Kingdom of God awaits for you from Eternity.

        • Nada says:

          Aliya, as usual you convolute my meaning to serve your own purpose to be “right.”

          Self-sacrifice is the highest form of Self-love, because you have no defended separation, you are giving yourself over to the self of the other, and in so doing, reveal that it was pure illusion that you didn’t love yourself in the first place, that it was the Love of the One Self that was Present the whole time.

          A person can spend their entire lives, and many do, “trying” to “accept and love themselves,” and this kind of pursuit is fruitless and self-contained, and “just being” isn’t enough either. By *working with* the deceptive energies of self-illusion, by being wholly present for the Self of another, an individual is serving the One Self, living life as spiritual service, and by Being and Doing, they reveal their own Nondual Nature and the Nondual Truth of all things. Among other things, this is what my voluntary service revealed for me. And the potentials of transformation are never about the personal self needing to “love itself”, but about complete self-forgetfulness to serve the All of the Divine Kosmos.

          So forget yourself, Aliya…forget that you need to “love yourself first,” because it serves nothing and nobody.

          LOL(;}

          • Aliya says:

            Nada,
            Self-sacrifice is the highest form of feeling unworthy, a sinner. The very idea of sacrifice is ugly and against the divine nature of the Being. Moreover, if “you are giving yourself over to the self of the other”, what is this monstrous other who would be willing to eat other people’s selves?!:) If, as you say “it was the Love of the One Self that was Present the whole time”, what would be the need then to give in replacement one self to another self?!:)

            Faked and poisonous ideas for the need for sacrificing are the real “deceptive energies of self-illusion”, while “just being” is the only reality there can BE. However, if you miss the Being, then there is “the complete self-forgetfulness”, you talk about. But then, if you have forgotten yourself, your own being, who will be the one to “serve the All of the Divine Kosmos”? You will be simply missing!!! Only your illusions for great doings and even greater sacrifices will remain from you:)
            The only way to serve the Divine is to JUST BE, the way the Divine created You, unique and incomparable, a child of God.

            • Nada says:

              A little quote from Ramana for you, Aliya;

              “The mind should now be allowed to wander toward wordly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed.”

              “All that one gives to others one gives to oneself. If this truth is understood, who will not give to others?”

              “When one’s self arises, all arises; when one’s self becomes quiescent, all becomes quiescent. To the extent that we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.”

              Your “self-love first” doesn’t serve others first as yourself. It serves only your own petty needs. Jesus didn’t say “love yourself first”; he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself”…kinda takes you away from your petty self concerns, right?

              A mature response in the world is always to serve others first, and I simply cannot agree with your philosophies.

              The One Self shines beyond any illusion of your encapsulated self-love.

              • Aliya says:

                Thank you, Nada, for bringing Ramana in here. I love that man! He says to you exactly the same I am saying to you: your very “desire” to project and impose your self-sacrifice on people should be “eschewed”! Because it is the desire of the mind. You first must render your mind “quiescent” as Ramana points it out very clearly:
                “When we turn the mind inwards, God manifests as the inner consciousness.
                When the mind is left without anything to cling to, it becomes still.
                The inquiry “who am I” turns the mind introvert and makes it calm.”
                Only in such a pure state of No-mind, of going beyond the mind, can you know yourself and only after that can you relate to others because then you will know that there is no such a thing as “self-sacrifice” for the others. Because there is no I, no one to sacrifice at the first place!

                • Nada says:

                  …and Ramana says NOTHING of “self-love first.”

                  Your prescription of “this must done,and that must be done first, and your only’s, and your always” just don’t apply to every person. EACH is different, EACH has their karmic propensities to be undone, EACH has their shadow, their conditioning, EACH has their motivations and intentions, EACH has their own pile of only’s that must be undone…

                  So, I’ll make the point again that in honoring perspectives, “ONLY” doesn’t apply.

                  Find a new way to state yourself that honors perspectives and the individual soul capacities…

                  they are not yours to apply your “only’s” to, Aliya.

                  Ahimsa

            • Nada says:

              Aliya, are you calling Jesus an unworthy, ugly sinner? He “sacrificed” himself to save all God’s children!

              How about Gandhi? Would you tell him what you’ve been promoting here about self-love first?

              I suppose you would tell the Haitian women who are being raped in the tent-camps to “just BE” and “love yourself first.” How about the women drugged, kidnapped, turned into addicts and forced into the sex trade; should they “just be” and flow? Or those still suffering from Katrina? How about the people of Burma? Is “loving themselves first” the answer to their strife?

              Yours is a philosophy for rich, advantaged people, an Oprahfied philosophy not meant to address the conditions of multitudes of people who need more than what “self-love” can provide (which is nothing).

              When caring others, who are compelled to serve those in strife, give their time, energy and recources, they do it out of a Love that has nothing to do with themselves. They are compelled from their depths to ease the suffering of others in any way they can. “Self-love” doesn’t even enter the picture, all they know is that they simply cannot rest while girls are being mutilated and raped, boys are being made into soldiers and suicide bombers.

              If you went to Buddha and said, “World-Honored One, I feel I need to love myself first before I serve others,” he’d wack you over the head with his Sword of Compassion and send you out to beg in the streets…

              Ahimsa

              • Aliya says:

                Nada,
                Such a long tirade of all people’s crimes you have enumerated in here?!:)
                One thing should be made very and basically clear to you – if people were loving themselves more they would have also cared about themselves more. No criminal has a love for himself, for his real being. All the crimes down the ages have been a result of sick mind and corrupted psyche, that overpowered one’s real being due to the lack of love and understanding of one’s own being. All crimes in the world ever committed are a result of lack of love for the Being. And when one lacks love and trust in the Being, then one is bound to be full of fear and its other face – the aggression, to go insane and mad. The only way to stay sane in this insane world is to start loving yourself and through loving yourself you will also learn what loving others means. Buddha says “Love yourself!, Be a light onto yourself!”.
                Respect yourself. Feel the joy and the pride that existence needs you; otherwise you would not have been here. Rejoice that existence cannot be without you. In the first place that’s why you are here: existence has given you an opportunity, a life with tremendous treasures hidden within you — of beauty, of ecstasy, of freedom. Your first responsibility is towards yourself. And just see: if everybody is loving himself, caring about himself, his intelligence will come to its peak, his love will be overflowing. To me, the philosophy of selfishness will make him really altruistic because he will have so much to share, so much to give, that giving will become a joy to him, that sharing will be a celebration to him. Altruism can only be a by-product of self-love. Because you don’t love yourself, you feel weak — because love is nourishment, it is your strength.

                • Nada says:

                  It’s all well and good to state it, Aliya, but the fact remains that humans are complex beyond the utopian simplicity you prescribe. The First Noble Truth is “All is Suffering”, and while this state is meant to help us reach for non-suffering, the complexity and diversity that the human condition encompasses entails more than what an across-the-board prescription of “self-love first” provides.

                  The Soul evolves on a continuum of multiple lives over eons, and each must come to its own conclusions based in its memory brought forth from re-birth after re-birth,death and intermediary state(Bardo). Each has specific tasks to learn, specific karmic propensities to undo, gaining “merit” specifically in its own way based in its contexts. According to Highest Yoga Tantra, loving yourself and just being are not enough to undo those knots, but instead, a radical engagement with material form and the various phenomena that arise are the “way” to undo habitual patterns of self-limitation, and to realize that form and emptiness are not-two.

                  Self-love may have been your way in this lifetime of yours, but it just doesn’t apply to any all, as much as you hold this opinion close to your own ideals and as beautiful a dream as that may be to you, it is a partial and specific modality.

                  Perspectives are unique and need to be honored, and if a person must first apply “suicidal effort” in order to come to peace, that is for them to determine, that is their unique path to be embraced and learned from as a progression with the arc of evolution that is their Soul.

                  Ahimsa

              • Aliya says:

                P.S. As far as the “sacrifice” of Jesus is concerned, thank you for bringing this theme in here, it has been long time I wanted to share about it!:)
                In fact, Jesus was sacrificed by the pharisees,by the knowlegeable people of that time. It is always the knowlegeable people who cannot stand the living truth when it comes, they are the biggest ennemy of the truth. Let us remember Judas also. He was jealous of Jesus, he could not stand it that Jesus was the One whom people trusted and followed, Judas wanted himself to be the great teacher, the messiah of God, because he thought he deserved it the most – he was the most educated one amongst Jesus followers. The others were simple and ignorant people, fishermen.
                Jesus was sacrificed by the hypocrites and the traitors. Jesus himself never believed in death, in murder, in betrayal. He was a young innocent man full of life and love, radiant and vital. However, church wants us to believe in the dead crucified man, agonizing on the cross, sad and “sacrificing” for the sinners (who remain sinners ever after…:). As all his 33 years of young active life full of love and truth spreading, he was instead hanging on the cross! Jesus believed in life, not in death! He taught life and love, not death and betrayal!

                • Nada says:

                  Aliya, please don’t call my comments “tirades.” It’s unnecessary language. I’d prefer a place of understanding with you; that indeed, your life experiences apply to you and mine to me, but if we share our knowledge and unique perspectives in debate without debasing, applying “only’s” and “this versus that” objectives, agreeing to disagree, we’ll find more common ground between us. I don’t agree with the negative language you apply to the quotes, and it’s problematic for many who witness your writing. And with your defended stance, we end up in fisticuffs that could be easily done away with if you could take of a position of honoring the perspectives of others, including Andrew Cohen. You don’t know what he knows, and you have to be willing to accept that others, even ego-identified others, know things you don’t know. If you want to effectively communicate in a public space in which others can comment to you, you shouldn’t be surprised that we consistently ask you to mellow out and greet us with equality and respect. I respect your perspective! But know how important correct language use and tone is to contribute a net gain, and not a net loss, to the intersubjective.Sensitivity to your tone will add much to this space.

                  Now,as far as the literal translation of the Christ Crucifixion goes; Jesus was full well in knowledge that “I and the Father are One”, and therefore, it was God’s wish that Jesus be sacrificed, buried and then rise from the dead. Taken to heart symbolically,”I” am Christ;I sacrifice my separate self in order to rise from the dead of the exclusive ego identifications, and due to this act and effort, I and the Father are One, and my “Death”, my self-sacrifice, benefits humanity because I have evolved. Self-sacrifice,taken this way,is beautiful,not ugly.

            • Frank Luke says:

              Hi Aliya, re: “Self-sacrifice is the highest form of feeling unworthy, a sinner. The very idea of sacrifice is ugly and against the divine nature of the Being.”

              I note you embrace the concept of sin which I feel is less worthy than the Buddhist notion of mistakes made rather than sin, which seems a condemnation rather than mistakes which can be corrected, apologized for and then put behind.

              If I understand the discussion of (self-sacrifice), I think (altruism) is more preferable since sacrifice has the connotation of giving up something whereas altruism is something rather spontaneously done and autonomic rather than conscious. It’s ingrained in those who are Awakened Spiritually to be committed to living with the Golden Rule ingrained in their mindset.

              I imagine you have comments I’d be interested to hear.

              • Aliya says:

                Frank, once again, I do not embrace any concepts, even less so of sin. Sin is an invention of the so called religious minds, who since ever have tried to impose on people the idea of guilt and sin, so that humanity can be easily manipulated. Out of these imposed beliefs, notions like sacrifice and self sacrifice appeared, which are nothing but a projection of the feeling sinner and guilty, unworthy of love. Then no surpise that people do not love themselves – how can you love a sinner?! And a human being who is uprooted of his capacity to love and to be loved is bound to become an easy victim of all kind of manipulators and dictators.

                • Nada says:

                  It’s really funny, Aliya, that you are so blind to the fact of your own concepts by saying, “I don’t embrace concepts.”

                  You show no ability to discriminate that every time you think and speak, concepts arise in your mind in which to formulate your thoughts, and that you share those thoughts at every turn that have their basis in a beginning concept.

                  If you say otherwise you are only denying the processes by which the human communicates, and you do communicate, Aliya, with quite strong opinions, and then deny that you have opinions at all. And I’m sorry, but the ongoing DENIAL of the fact that to communicate is to engage images, concepts and hold opinions of “this way is better than that way”, THAT denial is IGNORANCE of your own human processes.

                  You refusal to admit your ordinary human status is the blaring symbol obvious to all but you.

                  Please get Real…

                  Ahimsa

  2. Frank Luke says:

    I’d say what is driving us as we look towards the future for thoughtful people is both fear of disaster and a spiritually inspired motivation to create a better world.

    The concern brought on by the numerous and great challenges should make everyone regard solutions responsibly and seriously. What I note by listening to NPR, the BBC and other media venues is all the really great ideas offered in response to the challenges. It makes me heartened to think that out of all the constructive thinking there’s hope for humanity if anybody’s listening and take those ideas as springboards to get busy personally and put wings under their wings, writing to those in power and also getting their own hands dirty doing stuff that will further solutions to address the challenges.

    Even sending potent emails to the right parties is hopeful, collective energy in motion.

    Get busy, good people, and put your spirituality, hearts, minds, hands and fingers to work!

    Humanity’s and the planet’s survival depends on it!

    • Nada says:

      Hi Frank, I appreciate all you’ve said here. Your plain but exact statement that it’s essentially where the rubber hits the road,how and where we contribute via our *Actions* that makes the difference, was simultaneously illuminated in Andrew’s statement about “spiritual self-confidence,” and the importance of the individual developing from *within themselves*,an immovable, unshakable,indestructible confidence that what they are attempting to *manifest* for the greater good of culture and world, comes from “One Big Yes!” and that the process Is GOOD!!!(Is God!)
      So,I want to ask you about your statement that it’s “both fear of disaster and spiritually inspired motivation to create a better world” that’s driving thoughtful people. I’d like to know if You really feel “fear”, or would “an impassioned concern” be a more adequate description?
      Did you watch the whole video?I think the overall message was that what we take to the “entangled inter-subjective” is what we contribute, whether conscious or unconscious, and that if we are bringing a level of fear into that space from within ourselves,then fear is also what we will be projecting, even if it’s something you would call “caring fear.”
      Can you dig it?I feel “spiritual self-confidence” is an absence of fear, and that responding in the world with impassioned concern and love creates more lasting roads for others to potentially travel without fear; this is where the true rubber hits the road.When we ask ourselves “what kind of path am I leaving behind as I forge the new trail ahead”: Is it one that I would be willing to follow?If yes, we can then be creative agents that are spiritually self-confident, knowing that the process is good, no matter how imperfect,we feel we must try, always, fearlessly.
      What say you?LOL(;}

      • Frank Luke says:

        Hi Nada, re: “So,I want to ask you about your statement that it’s “both fear of disaster and spiritually inspired motivation to create a better world” that’s driving thoughtful people.”

        On bad news days, I do succumb to negative feelings and give in to darker thoughts than I generally attempt to uphold. I’m a spokesman and advocate of optimistic hope that humanity will come to our recognition of collective enlightened self-interest and turn away from what seems like self-destructive and belligerent, bellicose options to solutions.

        I admit to an attitude of “So be it” if it comes to it that humanity will self-destruct and we will go the way of the dinosaurs, becoming fossils in time. It will be a pity, to put it mildly, but I’m prepared to accept it in spite of all the efforts and intelligence humanity possesses if humankiind will not have succeeded in the ultimate lesson of having learned to co-exist with peace on earth for all it’s inhabitants.

        It puts the onus on each and all of us to attempt to bring that lesson’s realization to those who persist in their self-destructiveness that threatens humanity’s entire existence.

        • Nada says:

          That was perfectly and passionately stated, Frank. I can only be grateful for your care of and for the world. I, also, personally feel the sense that you describe of the fine line between forging on fearlessly and acceptance of the things that feel way out of our ability to have an impact on (nuclear armaments,for example), and I’m certain that this is the general sentiment of the masses.

          I also feel it is my responsibility to Spirit and the awareness I have of the “entangled intersubjective” to maintain an inner posture of peace and an outflowing of love; to be, as it were, not complacent or contracting or contibuting energy that unconsciously reaches for disaster by holding that image in my mind. And if an image does arise, from within or without, I turn it immediately into an image of The Tree of Life, to a clear eternal dawn and not the ravages of a hellish night. I choose, you see, to silently contribute the energy of my thoughts to the purposes of the Good,True and Beautiful. Spirit, that is the Heart, asks this of me and I can only obey.

          Peace, Joy and Love to You and Yours

          • Frank Luke says:

            Hi Nada!

            I appreciate your concurring with my comments that give me the feeling there are others out there, not just me who share these sentiments and beliefs.

            In Buddhism there’s the wisdom of non-attachment but that should not be taken as indifference which should be clear. Non-attachment can also mean deep concern for values stopping short of violent protest but should and can include appropriate pushback to counter wrong.

            Best wishes back at you!

      • Aliya says:

        Dear Nada,
        “Spiritual self-confidence” can only appear in you when YOU disappear.For the self confidence to be born in you, you have to be no more, you have to melt into Existence, into Truth, Love, Bliss. Then only Truth is, you are not, only truth speaks, you do not. Then you never make any “attempts to *manifest* for the greater good of culture and world”, because who is the one to manifest and to whom to manifest, you are no more, only the One IS.

        • Nada says:

          Aliya, As usual you speak in either/or terms, wrongly supplying a single dogmatic perscriptive for every person, which speaks only of your zealot extremism and dual nature.*Your* way is repressive and illuminates only your own gross reflecting mind, which is very judgmental of others “ways,” and your subsequent translation is full of provocation and your own distaste for a full embrace of Life and others.It’s very antithetical in the intersubjective, and a heinous crime against the collective to allow such expressions to flow..it serves only your continued need to be separate above all. That is to say,you serve nothing with that language.
          The Way or *Path of Love*,as exemplified by the Sufi Mystics, is one that respects and embraces the diversity and multiplicity of Souls as the Divine providence of God and God alone; Each must find his Way via his own individual Soul,until,by God’s Grace ONLY,that Soul dissolves in the Love of the Beloved.Since you have a fondness for Rumi,here is an example of the multiplicity of “ways” from his “Masnavi” story about the elephant in the dark room,in which many were left to feel and discover for themselves what was present.Each felt a part of the elephant but all proclaimed the object differently.This story illuminates that each can only express what they have felt, and there is no one formula to express the diverse perspectives and feelings for the One True Beloved.God works in the Soul and with the “outer capacities” of each individual;their propensities and conditioning are God’s,too.The Sufi’s say “God is closer to you than your own jugular vein.”
          You, Aliya, are not in any place as close as God is to that vein.Show respect for God by respecting perspectives as God’s unfolding;The Soul is God’s Truth, not your truth.

          AHIMSA

          • Aliya says:

            “Each must find his Way via his own individual Soul,until,by God’s Grace ONLY,that Soul dissolves in the Love of the Beloved” – THEN FIND IT, NADA!!!
            Why do you waste your precious time in creating more and more abusive words against other visitors in here in stead of just finding IT?!:)

            • Caroline Hitch says:

              Aliya,

              If you were whole; i.e., one in yourself, Aliya, you wouldn’t be compelled as you are to see other’s responses to you as abusive (which they are not) and you’d be able to see your own responses as abusive (which they are). Your program is ass-backwards. I know this comment is going to get you all riled up in a defensive tizzy but that’s only because you are such a baby. Boohoo, boohoo.

              • Aliya says:

                Dear Caroline,

                Do not please try to predict me. You can never predict a mystic. Your comments (and Nada’s) give me nothing then a baby belly laugh!
                I am enjoying each and every single moment in my life. As far as your and Nada’s comments are concerned, they are yours and talk about you. I have nothing to do with!

            • Frank Luke says:

              Hello, Aliya,

              Just to ask: what do you have to say to all those who are increasing in numbers who are finding or deciding that it’s possible to be good w/o a belief in the existence of a God?

              Would you deny that that is possible or are they all lost souls according to your belief?

              Best wishes for 2011!

              • Aliya says:

                Thank you for your good wishes, dear Frank! Wish you and all the EnlightenNext magazine people a New Year full of Love and Gratefulness!
                As far as your question is concerned, my answer has two sides to be understood:
                - first, I do not have any beliefs, I simply KNOW from my own experience and that knowing I share with you here.
                - If you want to be good, then what this good means for you? If you even think in terms of “good”, then the “bad” is also here, looking at you around the corner. Nothing in Existence is bad or good, everything just IS. The Energy of Existence is neutral and if you cling only to one side of it, then you inevitably pull towards yourself the other opposite side. As Lao Tsu says it:
                “Recognize beauty and ugliness is born
                Recognize good and evil is born”.

                There are no good people or evil people on Earth, there are only people who act in awareness and they create more awareness and light around; and there are people of unawareness, who live in darkness and chaos. The people of unawareness are asleep, a sleepy force which does not have strength of themselves. While only one man/woman of awareness, of light, can bring light to millions of other candles, to millions of other people on Earth.

            • Nada says:

              “clever device to distract”
              “sick ambitions for achievements”
              “shows deep disapproval”
              “deeply rooted lack of love”
              “easy victim in skilful hands of…manipulators,do-gooders,leaders”
              “so hating themselves”
              “literally killing themselves with overwhelming ambition”
              “profound unhappiness and deep feeling of unworthiness”
              “suicidal effort”
              “vested interests to enslave him/her”

              These are words you choose to use to describe people who truly care about the world…

              Only the mirror of the Self is reflecting your own “abusive words” back at you, telling you to WAKE UP!

              Why don’t you quit trying to find self-love and focus on ridding yourself of your self-violence, then self-love emerges naturally without effort.

              AHIMSA, Aliya, AHIMSA

              • Aliya says:

                Nada,

                Only people who truly care about their own being and the body/mind as the God given temple for the being to reside in, can be the people who can “truly care about the world…”

                • Frank Luke says:

                  Hi Aliya,

                  The commenter previous to yours commented “Why don’t you quit trying to find self-love and focus on ridding yourself of your self-violence, then self-love emerges naturally without effort.”

                  I’m picking up on the term(self-violence)and hope this is not offensive to you if I submit that the tone of much of your comments come across as somewhat on the hostile side like one who’s embattled and defending their postition and belief.

                  You often seem like a pedagogue who’s rather exasperated by her charges and is trying to straighten them out.

                  If I may suggest, if you’re cognizant of the Socratic method, where a dialogue is initiated with questioning without any ax to grind and with the objective of getting to the kernel of understanding what’s at issue for both the asker and the answerer, both interlocutors.
                  I think and hope this may be useful to you in continuing to comment here.

                  Best, Frank

                  • Aliya says:

                    Frank,
                    Personal attacks seem to be the priority of some people in here. I wonder what have personal attacks to do with spiritual sharing/!:)
                    You, and Nada, and Caroline, you want to impose on me your own visions, your own style of talking, your own words, even Socratic methods!?:) Socrates have never been indulging himself in personal attacks as you do!!! Helas, he himself has been a victim of personal attacks – he has been poisoned by some very knowlegeable people, who just could not stand his way of talking. And because they disliked the fact he was the pedagogue of Athens’ youth, they simply poisoned him.

                • Nada says:

                  Your unending “ONLY’s” Aliya, speak *only* of your limited ideas of Spirit, and of your limited realization. Spirit is a process where no “only’s” exist; potentials are not independently arising as “only”. Potentials are flowing co-dependents of the Causal Ground. “Only” is the identification of your mind only!

                  Your one-sided translation is incomplete and speaks of a lack of subtle development.

                  I’ll ask you again to speak with honesty from where you are, and not the illusion you manufacture.

                  Ahimsa

                  • Aliya says:

                    Nada,
                    I see “only” also in your comments, just the one below, for instance:)

                  • Nada says:

                    Aliya, I was speaking from the perspective of the Sufis who posit that the even the most yearning of souls must be Graced. But a wider, more Integral perspective shows that there is a “turning point” in evolution/meditation practice in which something like “Grace” decidedly enters the picture. St. Theresa speaks of the Spiritual Betrothal and the Spiritual Marriage, stating that no matter how much the soul desires union, it is “His Lordship” that must admit the soul and bestow upon it his “favours.” But since Buddhism doesn’t posit a “Creator God,” progression is held-up by the various diety forms present within the consciousness of the person, along with the karmic propensities whose knots must be undone.

                    So “only” exits within the perspectives of the person, just as your “only” exists within your perspective.

                    Ahimsa

            • Nada says:

              Grace can not be “found”, Aliya.It is given only when Spirit turns toward the prepared/evolved, humble Soul. If you had genuine mystical insight, you would know this.

              Why don’t you try relating to us from the “real” place that you are, and quit forcing your version of “wisdom,” because I don’t think you’re fooling anybody. There’s a reason, Aliya, that you receive such negative backlash. Your lack of humility and unwillingness to accept or learn from others perspectives presents only a narcissistic omnipotence, which is a turn-off to genuine relationship/communication within this format.

              It’s a neat little gig you’ve got by wrongly accusing everyone of unconscious motivations, projecting ego and such, but we’re not here to be “guru’ed” by you, and especially because you’re not effective with that tone and attitude.You fail to take responsibility for your divisive language and your flawed translation of the nondual perspective, and show yourself to be covetous and unrepentent;all signs of a lack of genuine stable development.

              Are you capable of honesty?Self-honesty and humility are the first steps in developing authentic relationship, to yourself first, then to others. Why don’t you care enough to listen, and just speak with honesty without manufacturing a facade of wisdom…facades always crumble under true tests of validity.

              Besides,those poised to genuinely teach know they are dependent upon the student;a teacher’s whole purpose lies in the potentials of the student and thinking you have this purpose and ability does not make it so. Buddha, upon Enlightenment, proclaimed his “ordinary humanity,” and knew this is how he had to present himself to others in order to teach them about their True Nature.

              Why don’t we start there?
              In Service of the Self,LOL

              • Aliya says:

                Nada, You are the one in here who uses the word “guru” and wants to impose on others “humility to accept or learn” from you “in repentance”.
                I respect you and the other visitors here much enough in order not to even think to try to guru you and to want to teach you. Everybody who wants to be your guru, who presents himself as your do-gooder, is disrespectful towards your authentic individuality and to your freedom. Guruing people means taking away their dignity of free human beings.

                Neither Buddha nor anyone enlightened on this Earth has ever been pretending to teach or guru others. All that enlightened beings, mystics do, is to share their own being with you. That is what I am doing – sharing my own being. Thank you for seeing is as an Wisdom.

      • Caroline Hitch says:

        Nada,

        This “Yes!” to Life is certainly core to what Life actually is, what the Universe is. We resonate with the whole movement when we affirm it. At the same time, we collapse the wave of possibility and thus, as you describe to Frank, forge a new trail. Of course these trails are electromagnetic circuits that feed into the shared nervous system here on Earth. Therefore, it’s clear to me that a Body is being built–no different in kind to a physical organism.

        Life has its “bad” side, of course. Parts of the carbon cycle really disturb me! Not to mention the pain and suffering that humans inflict on animals and other humans (dominators preying on the weak either for profit or self-aggrandizement are just examples of the food chain.) But watch how this food chain shifts with humans when they move from a “power-over” others mode to a “power-with” others. Just like when the physical organism builds itself and all the cells that comprise it become attuned to a win-win level of functioning, so too, will the organism that the Earth is bringing forth.

        As I see it, the process is simply one of enlarging the field of one’s trust. That is, our protoplasm expands to fill the area of what we mark as self; as opposed to what we mark as not-self. Ultimately, we will be marking the entire Earth, and all that it contains, as self.

        See? The dominator will be consumed by a “self” that is greater than itself.

  3. Caroline Hitch says:

    Huffington, Chopra and Cohen exhibited a marvelous complementarity of perspective that was able to effectively evoke a sense of the deeper self that we all are. Chopra’s entangled self, Cohen’s conviction of the goodness inherent in the Universe project and Huffington’s statement regarding personal connection (vs. impersonal connection) between all people, brought out in base-relief the territory through which energy will be traveling in the years ahead. That we are the Universe coming into awareness of Itself, I believe will be the over-arching idea that catalyzes our breakthrough into a new world. A very gratifying discussion. Great job, thanks!

    • Caroline Hitch says:

      Would also like to mention, during the questioning period, a woman in the audience spoke about the impact that we all have on each other. It was nice that she was able to elaborate on the theme of the entangled nervous system and bring home, at the end of the session, one way in which we are responsible to others.

      • Frank Luke says:

        Hi Caroline, re: “the impact that we all have on each other”

        I agree fully and like to reiterate that the personal and the planetary are interconnected–maybe more than is commonly acknowleged when we turn to hostility and anger in our personal relationships, when we ignore our consumer habits that support regimes we know do not observe human rights, and live as responsibly as we can with the info we acquire.

        And so forth, if we stop to think.

        • Aliya says:

          Re: “And so forth, if we stop to think”
          Exactly, just stop to think! And BE, enjoy your Being Here and Now, see the beauty of you being, the fulness of your present moment, the deliciousnesss of you being alive and surrounded by all this beauty vibrant of life! It is nothing you have done to receive this abundance, it is nothing you/we are worth of, but it is His gift to you/us, to each and every single being.

  4. Nada says:

    Since my experiences of Life and Spirit’s unfolding within me have been an impulse to both Be and Do/Create, I found the conversation between the “three” on this topic especially important as a Nondual perspective that can help individuals view the Present and the Future as not-two, but interwoven and inseparable as Cause and Effect only can be. The purposeful intentionality of our best selves right now!, helps to create the spiritual self-confidence of tomorrow, while simultaneously contibuting to the moment our confident mindfulness with the task at hand. Being mindful(cause!)is “meditation in action” as Trungpa wrote, but the amazing resonation(effect!) that this has on the “moments” of the future will astound the person who takes this as an ongoing habit and spiritual practice. The astounding effect can/will be experienced as synchronicity, that all things have fallen into place perfectly as they are. The lack of stress this creates on the system, “frees” the person to handle “multi-tasking” with ease and composure. I directly experienced this with simultaneous levels of awakening that were expansive and filled with clarity. This, too, was a surrender to Spirit’s purpose in me. I became more and more capable of following where I was being led; this is a “higher” level of Cause and Effect, which is always and only, Spirit!

    Take the meaning of this to Heart and create a practice of Being and Doing in every moment; Spirit is right there as the Ground of Being and the Doer/Creator in you, never absent, always Present.

  5. Caroline Hitch says:

    I take exception to the view, as expressed in the title of this blog, “A Spiritually inspired Future”, that anything conveyed within the video is “spiritual”. If you think about it, “spiritual” is just a term for androcentric superiority. What can possibly be spiritual when matter itself is God? There is not two, so saying there is matter on the one hand and spirit on the other is simply absurd. Matter, Life, etc., is spiritual so why create a dichotomy where one doesn’t exist?

    Andrew has done a fantastic job of bringing evolution to the forefront of the spiritual movement. But he’s eventually going to see that it’s not just a matter of pulling people out of the “being” trap, he’s going to have to pull them out of the “spiritual” trap as well. He’s probably aware though that he’d lose 98% of his following if he did…

    • Frank Luke says:

      As I understand and submit: spirituality though often thought of as mysterious and metaphysical, I see it as totally pragmatic and easily understood though difficult to really manifest. By this I mean that I see spirituality as simply and not so simply as
      a commitment to attempt the betterment of life for all the inhabitants of our planet, including the non-human and the “non-sentient” and the cosmos which is earth’s environment.

      If anthropocentric, this is also with the self-interest of creting a world we would all want to inhabit in a non-egoistic way, not for personal satisfaction but for the general welfare of all.

      • Nada says:

        You make an excellent point,Frank, spirituality is pragmatic and the truly “spiritual dimensions” can be difficult to manifest, but that’s also part of the whole point of communicating in the intersubjective without ego defenses and with the “Authentic” Self; Spirit is manifesting then thru the intentionality of creating more clarity and care in the world.

        In my experience, as I intended every moment of every hour and every day to be in service of care of the world, every moment then became “spiritually pragmatic” and the “spiritual label” was never really there,it just was what I intended, very pragmatic and genuine without any need of recognition. This is a base level of “spiritual” development, though. Making service to the One Self just simple and pragmatic, every moment of everyday, whether doing dishes or blogging or volunteering. I’ve experienced how people become overwhelmed with attempting “bigger intentions” then they are capable of because they haven’t first developed the up-close and immediate everyday intentionality. It’s all well and good to push creatively into boundaries, necessary in fact, but it should be done with the “Eye of Contemplation,” meaning, “if my project fails, I will contemplate how my intentionality was flawed or partial, and develop a greater capacity from that loss, making it a gain to a greater depth of intentionality in the process.” In other words, not put the cause outside the self, but take that responsibility and turn it into an avenue to greater self-awareness.

        That’s the pragmatic intention of Spirit in us; the drive to self-awareness and service of the world and the One Self is Spirit lived…no need to name it anything but Life.

        Good Journey! (:}

        • Frank Luke says:

          Hi Nada,

          I appreciate your statement that shows your understanding and commitment to betterment of status quo.

          I didn’t note your using of the term (non-egoistic)so can I assume that’s a component of your work? The Transcended Ego and the Authentic Self certainly embraces this MO w/o self-involved egoism and attempts work that should benefit most people, right? The more our work benefits large groups of people, the more humanitarian it is. I hope I don’t say anything you already know very well.

          Pardon my asking but we all need to keep that uppermost in the efforts we make to “better” the way things are.

          Periodically we all need to monitor ourselves to keep us on track, no?

          Best, Frank

          • Nada says:

            Thanks for your comment,Frank – very well stated. My direct experience is that the subtle realm(soul) and the ego are intimately intertwined, and after eight years of research(many others have written about this fact,too), I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no clear demarcation line betwee the two(they are in fact one), and that often,”healthy” ego development can, and often does, continue even while a person has surrendered exclusive identification with ego and is having direct access to the truly “spiritual realms.”So, it is an ongoing process of checking and balancing the “self,” a perpetual refinement of ego identifications,embracing and seeing thru shadow elements, all the while emergent unconscious structures are entering and being identified with. This is a time of great ferment within the person, and realistically takes years,and this is where being in a spiritual community is very helpful.It’s been shown that this is a dangerous time, too, when pathology like an “over-blown ego” can happen and come into claim spiritual experiences, becoming even more narcissitically identified, covetously defending of its “rightness” concerning spiritual matters.The ego becomes so blind to itself that it takes no advice from concerned, caring others.

            The danger of saying or thinking that you are doing anything without the ego involved is that the ego impulses can be repressed, and this is no good either. A refined discernment between ego motivation and self intention is a contemplative act and requires an intense commitment to self-honesty, a continual dedication to acknowedging that the self remains separate all the way to entering the Causal Ground(Dark Night)and emerging Enlightened.

            Thanks again for your care!

  6. Sumadi says:

    Some of us are inspired and others are driven by a Spiritually Inspired Future. And again there are also people who do not see a future at all. (There is only now) Personally I am one of the driven one’s. The discovery of evolution and the evolution of consciousness is very recent. Tradition tells us that the Absolute is the only reality, where there is no distinction and no separation, only Being, only ONE.
    Sri Aurobindo and also Teilard Dejardin are among others the the first who started to recognize Becoming in Conciousness. So they say that the Absolute is the only reality, where there is no distinction and no separation, there is Being and Becoming, and only ONE.
    What this means is that like Being is outsite of ego, there is Becoming outsite of ego. Andrew Cohen is the most articulate of this, as founder of the movement of Evolutionary Enlightenment. The recognition of Becoming without ego is very new. It is impossible to convince somebody from one or the other position, becaus it is all outsite of ego.

    • Aliya says:

      Becoming without ego is simply Being, Letting Go, Flowing with the river:) Then you are whatever you are and you go whereever you go, whereever life takes you, you flow with it.
      Ego always hankers for becoming something different, going somewhere else, because ego can only exist in projecting, in desiring, in fighting and going upstream. Ego is a great doer and more it does stronger it goes. If you simply relax and accept life as it is, ego ceases, it simply evaporates under the intensity and light of the only reality, the present moment.