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Enlightenment at the Speed of Life

How does the experience of enlightenment itself respond to the changing life conditions of the twenty-first century?

We asked twelve spiritual teachers ...

Interviews by Craig Hamilton


As humanity heads into the third millennium, the world is changing in ways that would have seemed like good science fiction only decades ago. From biotechnology to nanotechnology, from the information revolution to the deterioration of the biosphere, from globalization to global warming, life in the twenty-first century is becoming increasingly complex, chaotic, and unpredictable. The challenge of keeping up with the speed of life has never been greater and, according to most futurists, we haven't seen the half of it. They tell us that the rate of change itself is increasing exponentially, and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. This recognition has led many of the most forward-looking thinkers of our time to the conclusion that in order to meet the increasing demands of life in our evolving world, new capacities are going to be required from all of us—not the least of which will be an unprecedented willingness to change and keep changing in order to respond to new life conditions as they emerge.

You are a teacher of what has traditionally been called Enlightenment—the life-transforming realization of our ultimate nature, which is widely considered to be not only the summit of all spiritual seeking but the greatest and final aim of human existence. This profound spiritual awakening has often been described as the realization of the changeless, the timeless, the unborn, the uncreated—that absolute reality which remains forever untouched by anything that happens in the world of time, evolution, and becoming. What I would like to ask you is this: What does the discovery of this timeless dimension of being have to tell us about how to respond to the challenges of a world in which time itself seems to be accelerating out of control? How can the realization of the changeless help us to navigate a future in which constant change may well be the only constant?

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This article is from
Our Future Issue