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Thou Shalt Not Judge?

Section Introduction
by Andrew Cohen

section introduction

The problem with the "spiritual" way of being these days is that no one is supposed to have an opinion. If you are really spiritual, you see, you're supposed to have risen above messy irrelevant complexities like views and opinions. Oh boy! Now that's going to make life really easy or make it incredibly difficult, depending on which way you look at it. If you don't have any opinions (but everybody does), then you can go whichever way the wind blows (or at least pretend to) and feel pretty good about how free you are. On the other hand, if you are one who happens to be cursed with strong views about things, at least you will know where you stand, but you're going to end up in all kinds of hot water and maybe find yourself persona non grata with the spiritual crowd because it just ain't politically correct to feel too strongly about anything (except to feel strongly about not feeling strongly about anything).

The magazine you're holding in your hands is an expression of strong views and opinions about all things "spiritual"—which I guess, at least according to some people, is a contradiction in terms (even though they'd never admit it!). That's the whole point of What Is Enlightenment?—to express strong views and opinions and to ask questions. To ask relevant and important questions that will hopefully enable as many of us as possible to think more deeply about our own experience—to think about the human experience in such a way that will help us to embrace more and more of this confusing adventure that we all find ourselves in the midst of. Now, is it possible to ask truly relevant and important questions if one does not already have a strong view or opinion about the subject at hand? No, not really . . . Actually, it's only having strong views and opinions that puts us in a position to be able to ask questions that are genuinely significant in the first place. And that, in fact, is the secret of what this magazine is all about (even though I hate to admit it—just kidding!). So, here are two thought-provoking interviews with two highly respected authorities who both have very strong views and opinions on the subject of enlightenment. But so do we. And what happens when strong views and opinions meet strong views and opinions about the same subject? Most likely, a clash in views! But that's the good news, because it's only when our deepest convictions about that which is most important are challenged that a deeper and higher understanding can emerge.


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This article is from
Our Anniversary Issue