Toward an Awakened Evolutionary Culture
How do we know if spiritual awakening is real? What is the human face of the discovery of the truth of non-duality or non-separation?
Depth of spiritual awakening can be clearly recognized by the degree of unshakable trust that the individual is able to manifest. Trust in the basic goodness and ungraspable mystery of ourselves as Pure Being or Consciousness and trust in the Life Process, which we ultimately recognize as being non-separate from who we are.
As we penetrate more and more deeply into this unfathomable mystery, through meditation and contemplation, as the patterns of habit, the fears and desires of the separate ego dissolve, then a profound and ever-deepening trust becomes our constant companion. We awaken to the self-affirming truth that Life is Good and that I am Life! This mind-transcending trust dissolves the pain of separation, our addiction to self-created unhappiness and the often-unconscious conviction that something is wrong. It blesses us with a wondrous freedom, peace and a sense of well-being that is not dependent on external factors and can become unwavering even in the midst of great challenges.
For many people who have discovered their own spiritual depth to a significant degree these benefits are more than enough to satisfy their existential hunger. But some of us may still feel that there is so much more to discover. That “more” is not coming from a sense of lack, that “something is missing” but rather from a fullness that is overflowing.
This overflowing is a movement that longs to connect with others in this new-found ground of unity and trust, for now our identity and care begins to encompass the predicament of the human race as a whole.
The inner experience of this shift is as if the one indivisible mystery has two aspects, like a coin. And when the coin turns over we experience the activation of an intuitive intelligence and creative stream flowing upward and outward that declares; “Now something is possible between us as human beings that was not possible before”. It is a call to transform our relationships and our world from the basis of primordial trust and prior unity.
This is the call of Evolutionary Love. Why “Evolutionary Love?” Because it calls us to come together as one, not only in peace and harmony, but as surrendered conduits for a sacred obligation. It is the call of the future arising in our spiritual hearts in the present and the felt experience of this call is an overwhelming and captivating passion. And this passion, this love, calls us to surrender our voice, head, heart and hands to the task of bringing heaven to earth, so that the transcendent timeless truth of unity can infuse the created world of time, form and manifestation.
So the adventure of creating an Awakened Culture is all about answering this call of Evolutionary Love or “Becoming” that arises organically out of the fullness of Being. It is the task of creating together a new order of relationship and creative expression based on values engendered by profound trust.
The opposite of trust is fear. We live in a world ruled and defined largely by fear. Primordial fear lies at the root of the separate ego, our anxiety, our anger, our pride, our shame and sense of unworthiness. And then there is the fear of what others think of us, the fear of not fitting in, the fear of stepping out of our comfort zone and breaking through our self-imposed limitations.
If the foundation of an awakened culture is trust and profound love, then it means that the experience of fear must be seen for what it is and dissolved by the light of truth and love. In this way ideally no separation based on fear will be allowed to accumulate. This means that our combined consciousness and intelligence becomes a kind of receiver and transmitter of a new collective human potential that does not yet exist in form.
What is popularly known, as “Unconditional Love” is the deeply healing, nurturing embrace and acceptance of all that is as it is. And this is indeed the emanation or radiance of Being when we are resting in that primordial trust and Love. However, from that pure radiance of Being, another aspect of Love can reveal itself that is an expression of the pure passion to bring the Divine Communion into manifestation. That is what I like to call Evolutionary Love, Love that has an inherent sacrificial demand within it. That Love consumes and burns up the petty concerns, fears and pride of the egoic self-contraction. It demands that we open, that we participate, that we feel the wound of loving so deeply that our heart breaks and overflows.
Indeed, it is the recognition that the many and the one, the created and the uncreated are ultimately One and the same. And while all is, at the deepest level, already perfect, the authentic realization of that truth will propel us to become a Giver. It is the realization, sudden or gradual, that our own individual and collective liberation can only unfold in all its fullness and richness through a life of continuous self-sacrifice, for it is this radical Love alone that truly infuses life with the Sacred.