By Michael Wombacher
In eleven Days on the area, the writer joins religious instructor Andrew Cohen—a self-described idealist with innovative inclinations—in an exploration of an rising new religious paradigm. during this paradigm the conventional revelation of enlightenment is explored within the context of the evolving universe with really mind-expanding effects. Cohen, as soon as a instructor of "personal enlightenment," now teaches enlightenment as a collective emergence – the emergence of a "higher we"—which he sees because the floor for the emergence of a brand new tradition of enlightened values. right here we discover that position the place our religious longing intersects with our deal with the area, empowering either to degrees neither may possibly reach by myself. Uncompromising in his demand human transformation, Cohen is gifted as an radical religious figure—unyielding in his call for for integrity—whose liberated cognizance and ruthless deconstruction of the cultural and religious establishment have saved all people conversing. In reputation of his contribution to the philosophy of non secular notion, in 2004 he was once invited to deal with the Parliament of worldwide Religions, an strange honor for a guy subsidized via no tested non secular culture.
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His wife snapped flash photos in one of the nearby side chapels. Further along I spotted a column of Japanese marching through with the efficient organization of a factory tour. These were followed by a gaggle of Spanish teenage girls dressed as if headed for spring break at Daytona Beach, the rapidly developing swells and curves of their femininity on easy display for all to see. And so on. I got up to leave, not as much offended as astounded. At that moment it occurred to me why those in the world who define themselves by tradition, who anchor their self-sense in orthodoxy and who cherish the values of conservatism are revolted by the vulgarity of a culture devoid of higher principles.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon meandering along the many branching paths that wound themselves like vines around the mountain and threaded together a string of abandoned stone dwellings, simple chapels and even a “holy cave,” like so many beads on a well-worn rosary. These had all, at one point or another, served as habitations for the various and sundry pilgrims that had walked these trails for the better part of a thousand years. My excursion ended on a small hill upon which stood a simple hermitage, its modest bell tower stretching humbly heavenward from the weathered tile roof, its courtyard decorated with a fountain around which a large mosaic of ornate beasts symbolized the Creation.
A phrase Andrew had coined for the horrific emotional outburst one would be subjected to when the ego of another was laid bare and exposed to the light of day with no possibility of avoidance, denial or escape. 11. It must be said, however, that there have been, throughout history, intrepid thinkers who have, here and there, carried the torch of evolutionary spirituality through their time. While, as is so often the case, they were thoroughly underappreciated by their contemporaries, they did hold Prologue: Into the Looking Glass • 37 taut a thread of development that is now beginning to bear fruit in a new time and culture.
11 Days at the Edge: One Man's Spiritual Journey into Evolutionary Enlightenment by Michael Wombacher