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by Deepak Chopra,Andrew Cohen

In Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew Cohen redefines spiritual awakening for our contemporary world—a world characterized by exponential change and an ever-expanding appreciation for the processes of evolution. Cohen’s message is simple, yet profound: Life is evolution, and enlightenment is about waking up to this fundamentally creative impulse as your own deepest, most authentic self. Through five tenets for living an enlightened life, Cohen will empower you to wholeheartedly participate in the process of change as your own spiritual practice. Evolutionary Enlightenment not only makes deep sense of life today; it will show you how to play an active role in shaping the world of tomorrow.
Download Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening epub
ISBN: 1590792092
ISBN13: 978-1590792094
Category: Religion
Subcategory: New Age & Spirituality
Author: Deepak Chopra,Andrew Cohen
Language: English
Publisher: SelectBooks; 1 edition (2011)
Pages: 240 pages
ePUB size: 1346 kb
FB2 size: 1869 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 202
Other Formats: azw rtf doc mbr

just one girl
I have to read this book again it was so wonderful. It's deep and really makes you think about spirituality in a new way. At some parts it wasn't the easiest read, which is why I'll need to read it again. You really need to pay attention and focus, but it's worth it. I highly recommend this book. I've even recommended it in a few spiritual groups I'm in on Facebook. I have to read more by this dude.
I have been following Andrew Cohen's conversation with Ken Wilber in the "The Guru and the Pandit" for nearly a decade, and reading his magazine much longer. I haven't read his other books or attended any of his events, but have read articles and watched videos of Andrew over the years. So, I decided not to buy his new book because I already knew what it would say. Recently I noticed that the Kindle price was less than $8 and after I looked over the endorsements on the jacket (at Amazon), a wild impulse of extravagance grabbed me and I decided to just -- go for it! I should mention that just the impressive list of endorsements and endorsers compels me to give the book a one star rating head start before I even read the first page.

As an overview, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. There is a lot of really good stuff in the book, and not as much ego as I expected. In addition Andrew weaves together the components into a rather neat and attractive package. To expand, let me start by describing my perspective. I have been investigating this subject matter (consciousness) for more than thirty five years (as an amateur), looking at it with an inquiry of "what is the truth" rather than "what is enlightenment." My study has not been influenced by any religion, philosophy or tradition, and needless to say, I end up with some different conclusions and some different insights than Andrew. At the same time I am in total agreement with much of what he says. I dislike the term "enlightenment" but I will use Andrew's terminology in my critique, keeping the perspective of "what is the truth."

Overall I see this book as an integration and refinement of those ideas, concepts and insights he has been discussing over the years, tied together with some new information in a well organized and efficient presentation. While Andrew should be congratulated for this outstanding work, I find it difficult to critique it exclusive of Ken Wilber and Craig Hamilton. These two guys along with Andrew seem to be the three musketeers of this new philosophy, this new brand of enlightenment for the 21st century, with Andrew leading the way. Wilber has been in public dialogue with Andrew for decades. I've read several of Wilber's books, and devoured a ton of videos, audios and articles. Hamilton is a relatively new voice (a very clear voice) in the discussion, and appears to be a hybrid of Andrew and Wilber. He has lineage from both "Mr. Enlightenment" and "Mr. Integral" bestowing on him the title, "Mr. Integral Enlightenment." I have not done any of his courses or workshops, but I am impressed with what I have heard from him to date.

Note: I have never met any of these three or had any contact with them.

Cutting to the chase, there are two main issues I have with the book, and they are related. First, it seems to me that much of the dialogue I have heard from Andrew and Wilber over the years has actually been about "what do you do after enlightenment?" These two guys have been living this stuff 24/7 for decades, and often fail to notice (or remember) that the majority of their audiences are not at their level. Their audiences are mostly on the way up the mountain, not on the way down like they are. I think this theme carries over into this book, and this "new enlightenment" is in fact more about what to do after enlightenment. Therefore I think the appeal of this book will be stronger with those well along the path, especially on the way down, less with those on the way up, and less yet with those just beginning. However, I would urge even beginners to read this book, because just the information it contains is worth the price of admission for anyone. The practices can be optional.

The other issue is the about the formula for this "new enlightenment." The formula for the old enlightenment is "100 percent Being." The formula for the new enlightenment is some combination of Being and Becoming, mostly Becoming. In the book Andrew says, " the new enlightenment the emphasis shifts from Being to Becoming." Wilber says, "You need to stop being here now," in one of the Guru and Pandit sessions. And in Hamilton's course outline there is a section entitled, "Why 'being in the now' is the least important part of spiritual life." All of these are contradictions to the heavy promotion (by all three) of meditation, which is the epitome of "being here now." They also contradict Andrew's definition of enlightenment.

"The conscious experience of Being, which is what enlightenment is..."
(Page 20)

These contradictions are not insignificant. They are saying "illusion" is more important than "reality," "ego" is more important than "spirit." The guiding light of Andrew's whole thesis, the evolutionary impulse, originates in the realm of Being. Who you really are is in the realm of Being. The LIGHT of enLIGHTenment is Being shining outward. I could go on but I won't.

In summary, my perspective "what is the truth" ends up at a different location than Andrew's "what is enlightenment." To me, this new program is more about what to do after enlightenment. I can see that our divergence in some of the issues originates in details back before it all began, and that is not a practical conversation here. What might be useful is to offer my answer to the question, "What is enlightenment?"
A short answer is: "'Reality' is `all possibilities.' From our individual perspectives, `all possibilities' appears to be `unlimited opportunities.' Enlightenment is embracing the opportunity to shine your light (being) as brightly as you can."
A longer answer is: "Enlightenment is the point in time before which, one of your top priorities is trying to incorporate a search for Truth into your life, and after which your only priority is to integrate your life into a personification of Truth."

One of my favorite comments about enlightenment: "If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose."--Jack Handey.

Next question; "What do you do after enlightenment?" My answer (after you chop wood and carry water), "Play the Game of Life as though your life depends on the outcome, knowing that from the perspective of who you really are, it doesn't matter."

I am as certain that "life is a game" as I am that "there is absolutely no evidence to support the notion that life is serious." The LIGHT in enLIGHTenment means LIGHTness.

If Andrew, et al., want to play the game "Evolutionary Samurai," I'm fine with that. It meets my criteria, as long as that game makes his light shine as brightly as possible and he remembers who he really is. But I think to play that game and get others to join him he needs to get clear on a formula for Being and Becoming that works. Time will tell. (Time is the best teacher; Unfortunately it kills all its students!)

As for the book, I think there is enough good information there to make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone, especially at Kindle prices. I recommend it.
This is a wonderful book. However I would re arrange the chapters. I would place the initial chapters at the end.

The author is no doubt a well seasoned meditation master and has deep experience with advanced meditation called Samadhi in Sanskrit and Buddhism. The initial six chapters assume from the reader such experience.

I do believe however, this is uncommon. Most of us do not have such detpth of meditation experiencie with which Andrew Cohen writes. But apart from this, it`s OK.

Since a lot of readers have NOT that experience in advbaced meditation; the first six chapter for me, were rather abstract and boring. To make a metaphor, to assume that most readers have lived and survived in the Amazon jungle for a period of weeks is not realistic either. So that`s that.

Undertanding the firts chapters--from a simple meditator experience--requires deep and meditation, which is not my case.

Although the author does not --explicitly--assume this, he doesn`t seem to care either. Therefore reading and understanding the first chapters took its toll for me. Some discouragement.

The introduction by Deepak Chopra is wonderful, readable and enchanting. A great summary of what is to come.

The middle and final chapters in which the five tenets are presented were fascinating.

I do suppose the book is aimed at people versed in consciousness evolution and some advanced knowledge of a new cosmic revelation. To say it succinctly from the Big Bang onward there were these stages: nothingness ( vacuum), energy, matter (things and objects), life, consciousness and self-awareness, the current stage.

The author does not care to present or give any references or sources. However it is easy to trace two major influences in this work: frontier cosmologist Brian Swime and of course the great Ken Wilber (to whom the book is dedicated).

This does not diminish in any way the author's proposal and originality, which stems from his own enlightment his extensive reflection and studies and his powerful community work.

References would perhaps would distract from the topic. One would assume he is liberated (from suffering) , enlightened (has overcome ego distortion) , very generous and is forming a world wide community of evolutionaries.

I commend and recommend the book.

Gustavo Jimenez-Lagos
Spring 2012 (Southern Hemisphere)
I chose four stars for this book because it resonates with me like two other books, "Evolutionaries," by Carter Phipps, and "Evolution's Purpose," by Steve McIntosh; together they are an outstanding glimpse of a coming worldview that is an incorporation of the whole creation story of the universe as a powerful part of human identity newly dedicated to being at the edge of the evolutionary process and creating through choice a new, integral way of being. I'd like to promote these books because they are introducing an elevated way of relating to one another and the world---with reverence and appreciation needed for human survival.