The Birth of Evolutionary Enlightenment

12 years ago today I was blessed to be part of an extraordinary communal spiritual baptism, beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I wrote this article about this most transformative and defining event of my life about 5 years ago. I publish it here in honour of that day and of all the unthinkably positive new potentials, visions and evolutions of consciousness that have transpired since. 



“Resistance to new ideas increases as to the square of their importance”

Bertrand Russell

“He who ain´t busy being born is busy dying”

Bob Dylan

“In the actual state of humanity, it is the individual who must climb to this height as a pioneer and precursor.  But if a collectivity or group could be formed of those who had reached the supra-mental perfection, there indeed some divine creation could take shape; a new earth could descend that would be a new heaven, a world of supra-mental light could be created here amidst the receding darkness of this terrestrial ignorance.”

Sri Aurobindo

On the night of July 30th 2001 we had a men´s meeting together that was unprecedented in the history of Spiritual Teacher Andrew Cohen’s students. From the very beginning each individual spoke with a pure passion, transparency and authenticity that expressed only their highest and deepest experience. The circle rapidly ignited into a ring of spiritual fire as we found ourselves consumed and transported beyond all knowing into the uncontainable mystery of a collective enlightened consciousness.

All distinctions between the One and the Many rapidly dissolved in a searing conflagration of unity. Every individual, mysteriously more fully themselves then ever before, melted into a glowing field of luminous energy. There was only One Heart, One Mind, and One Voice that hungered to speak. But what was so new and utterly awe inspiring was the unmistakable presence of a greater and higher intelligence that was emerging in this context of seamless autonomy and communion.

This revelation was far more than a spiritual experience. It was the palpable sensation of becoming a conscious part of an even more infinitely conscious Whole. It was as if we had somehow forged ourselves into a great unified Receiver that was now able to pick up a signal that was always there but had hitherto been beyond our reach. A new matrix of awakened consciousness, literally a new Being, unshackled from any vestige of separation, was surging into manifestation through us and as us. It vibrated with a luminous insistent call that seemed to erupt from the depths of our souls and from the infinite vastness of the overarching cosmos simultaneously. It had its own agenda and was pregnant with a purpose that held the fruition and resolution of the human predicament within it. This was implicitly and simultaneously known by us all beyond the mind, and yet we were miraculously able to express it.

One after another we gave voice to our recognition that in this emergence lay the potential for not only the end of all conflict, but the creation of a new order of human relationship and a new world. A new epoch of limitless possibility was dawning and breaking over us in ecstatic waves of revelation. We spoke of the sensation of standing on the threshold of a new understanding of human existence peering into our collective evolutionary future – the status quo of separation and conflict superseded by a miraculous context of unity and resounding creative purpose. We had miraculously penetrated together to the very fount of Creation and we were being called to be its servants. In light of this we knew nothing could ever be the same again and the implications of what we were here to bring into being, were far beyond what we had ever considered possible.

The meeting came to a seamless and natural close as the last person spoke and the whirlwind of that transcendent higher intelligence seemed to spiral upward and out of the room. We sat absolutely stunned in silent awe, drenched in a Love that knew no bounds that had emptied us of all self-importance. 

Andrew was completely delighted when he heard about this. He, and we, marked this event as the birth of “Radical Impersonal Evolutionary Enlightenment” (or something like that!), the fully actualized expression of a collective enlightened consciousness infused by the passionate urgency of the Creative Impulse. There was a tacit shared recognition that this was the true beginning of what he had worked so hard with us to make manifest. This was why he had refused to compromise and had pushed us to our limits. This was why he had been willing to risk everything. This was the sacred potential that he knew all along was latent in all of us. And now we were all on our knees before it, humbled and transfigured by the enormity of what was being birthed in and between us.

This extraordinary phenomenon continued and gathered momentum as we met almost every evening over the ensuing weeks. I was reeling  in awe and wonder at what was occurring. As I surrendered more and more I found myself soaring into realms of knowing far beyond anything that I could hope to render in words. Often the intensity of the awakened passion that would spontaneously stream out of me in the meetings shocked me because I could not recognize myself in it. It was coming from somewhere so absolutely Other and yet it was absolutely and undeniably my Self.

Then, after our volcanic meetings I would go back into the silence of the retreat that many of us were doing and dissolve once again into the unfathomable depths of meditation and silent ecstasy. Never had I felt so at One with the Totality of existence, never had I experienced such overwhelming passion, never had I seen with such penetrating revolutionary vision. And what I saw and felt burned into the depths of my soul.

There were many more trials, wrong turns and even failures to come, as this spiritual baptism would meet with further rounds of individual and collective egoic blowback, but that knowing, passion and vision of what is possible in and between human beings has never left me and remains to this day the defining arrow of my life.


If you enjoy the amazing images of my friend Patrick Bryson check out his website to see more.