There are five fundamental principles (tenets) of how we can live an enlightened life. Understanding them is essential if we want to progress on the path of evolutionary enlightenment. We will look into each of them, in order to understand their relevance and significance on the path of spiritual evolution.
Wanting to Be Free More Than Anything Else
The First Tenet (the first principle) is called Clarity of Intention. It represents the necessity to cultivate the desire for moksha, spiritual liberation, inner freedom, oneness with the Absolute, samadhi. You need to ask yourself the following question: What is more important to me than anything else? Is my relationship with my spouse/children/money/power/sex the most important thing to me? Or is it, maybe, that the most important thing to me is my relationship with the Absolute? What comes first?
This is the most important question that a true spiritual seeker can ask themselves. Unless attaining inner freedom becomes more important to us than anything else, we cannot really live a spiritual life or attain moksha. This question becomes the foundation and the primary motivation of our spiritual life. The greatest spiritual seekers attain moksha because their desire to attain moksha was stronger than any other desire. To them, that desire became one-pointed, like a missile. Unless we get to that point in our sadhana, where we want to be free more than anything else, and we are ready to act on that, then we are probably not going to succeed in attaining moksha. Buddha left his kingdom and his wife behind in pursuit of liberation. He gave up everything for moksha. Many people are meditating because they are suffering from stress, fear and insecurity, and all they want to find is a way to feel more calm and less anxious. However, seeking moksha is very different than seeking relief from tension and anxiety. Very few of us have come to that point in our own evolution where the desire for moksha has come first and foremost in our lives. If you get to that point in your own seeking process, no-one in this entire Cosmos will be able to stop you or to interfere with the fulfillment of your spiritual desire.
Be Willing to Be Nothing Less Than a Spiritual Superhero
The Second Tenet is the Willingness to Take Unconditional Responsibility for All Your Karmas. You need to be able and ready to accept unconditional responsibility for all of your karmas, past present or future. There is a direct relationship between the experience of inner freedom in the present moment and my willingness to accept unconditional responsibility for myself and for all my karmas. This makes it possible for my Soul to become an independent entity in the Cosmos, to stand boldly and with profound independence and sovereignty. People who are not yet ready to take unconditional responsibility for their karmas are leaning on everyone else, and they cannot stand independently in the Universe. When we awaken to enlightened awareness, we have to embrace an absolute aloneness, and most people find it too overwhelming. The ultimate truth is that there is only One, and that this Universe is not Two. It is one thing to speak about this realization, but it is another thing to realize it at the level of our own Souls and to embrace that truth. We need to be willing to be nothing less than a spiritual superhero. It takes enormous courage and absolute boldness on the level of the Soul, to take responsibility for your own karma.
Making the Effort to Face Everything and Avoid Nothing
The Third Tenet is the hardest one. It says that, if you want to be free, to become enlightened, you have to be willing to Face Everything and Avoid Nothing in Every Single Moment. This is nothing more than a practice of awareness. You have to ask yourself: Am I paying attention to what is happening in every single moment — am I awake, am I aware, and am I paying attention? To face everything and avoid nothing means that there is nothing that arises in our mind in relationship to the world around us that we do not see or we are not aware of. This requires a lot of courage because most people face nothing and avoid everything. The tendency of the unenlightened Mind and unenlightened Soul is to face nothing and avoid everything. On the other hand, when we are willing to face everything and avoid nothing, our actions will take place in the context of profoundly awakened and liberated awareness. We are going to know who we are, where we are, what we are doing, and why we are doing it in every moment. To be free, we need to practice paying attention. We only create karma when we are not facing what we are doing, and when we are avoiding facing reality.
I Am the Creative Intelligence and Energy That is Giving Rise to the Universe
The Fourth Tenet is about our capacity to See and Observe The Human Experience as a Very Impersonal Process Rather Than a Personal Event. I need to begin to see that I am not having a personal experience. I need to realize that I am not a unique experience, and that who I really am is the energy and the intelligence that created the Universe; the energy and the intelligence that is creating the Universe right now, awakening to Itself through the body, mind and the personality of a particular individual. When I realize that who I am is not my body, my mind or my personality, and that I am the creative intelligence and energy that gave rise to the Universe (and is giving rise to the Universe), I begin to see my own human experience from the perspective of a very impersonal process.
The fact that I happen to be in the body of a particular person is rather arbitrary — I could be so many people. All these people are having the same human experience. There is no difference — there only appears to be a difference. We begin to see the human experience as being an impersonal process, not a personal experience. My body, mind and personality are rather vehicles through which this cosmic energy and intelligence can realize, manifest and express Itself. So, who I really am is the entire process of evolution. I am the whole Universe, awakening to Itself, and becoming aware of Itself through the unique body, mind and personality of each of us. This is opposite to the perspective of the unenlightened ego, where we see the Universe out there, all around us, and we see ourselves at the center of this body, mind and personality. We have to flip this perception into enlightened awareness, where we directly experience that we are the Universe. Our perspective changes from “I am a unique individual” to “I am the whole Universe.”
Becoming Faithful Stewards of the Evolution of the Entire Cosmos
The Fifth Tenet is called For the Sake of the Whole (or Cosmic Conscience). This is when I realize that the purpose of awakening is not so that I can become more conscious, nor so that I can experience spiritual love, less fear and more joy. Instead, it is so that I can awaken to a sense of care for the evolution of the Universe. Unenlightened persons are very concerned about themselves and the welfare of themselves and of their loved ones. On the other hand, an enlightened person is very concerned about the evolution of the whole Universe. When we awaken in a way that is truly significant, we become conscious of consciousness. In that awakening to consciousness we discover an overwhelming feeling of care, compassion and inspired concern for the evolution of the whole Cosmos. I am the whole Universe, and I care about the evolution of my own Self. We realize that consciousness is always seeking for Itself, and we realize that our initial yearning for enlightenment for moksha was never about us and for us. It was for the Universe. The Universe wants us to awaken so that we can care for It. The Universe is our Mother and our Father, It wants the human beings to awaken to the consciousness of consciousness, so that we can care for the evolution of the whole process. We can become faithful and trustworthy stewards of the evolution of the entire Cosmos, and that is the reason why we all need to wake up. A truly enlightened being cares passionately about the whole Universe.
You can watch the Global Master Talk on The Five Tenets of Evolutionary Enlightenment hosted by Pyramid Valley International and delivered by Andrew Cohen here:
About the Speaker: Andrew Cohen is an internationally respected spiritual teacher, and the founder of Evolutionary Enlightenment. A fateful meeting with the revered master H.W.L Poonja in 1986 sparked a life-changing awakening in him, and he quickly began developing a unique spiritual teaching. Departing radically from a traditional Eastern approach, Evolutionary Enlightenment calls not for transcendence of the world, but for a deep and heroic responsibility for its evolution.