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by Andrew Cohen

I can hardly believe that this is actually the thirty-fifth issue of What Is Enlightenment? I remember thinking to myself, after we produced the first one, way back in 1992 (in a twenty-page newsletter format!), “How could we ever do this again? How could we match this?” And to be honest, I often feel that way after we send the completed document to the printers. But to my ongoing amazement, the magazine just continues to evolve. And even though I probably shouldn’t say this, it seems to get better and better!

When two of my co-conspirators suggested that it might be time to do another issue about evolution, I was initially hesitant, because I was so proud of our first “evolution issue,” back in 2002, and wasn’t sure we could equal it. But indeed I think we have, because of course when the subject is evolution, there is literally no end to the journey. The result of our latest voyage of inquiry is due to the incredible creative energy of my wonderful team of editors who spent countless hours trying to figure out what the “real evolution debate” was all about, and audaciously attempting to categorize the vast array of evolutionary thinkers. As a matter of fact, they were all moving so fast that since my return from a recent lecture tour in Europe, I have been spending most of my time trying to catch up with them! The energy here has never been higher, or more inspired. There are so many fascinating topics we want to devote issues of WIE to exploring, right now, that when we meet we often feel like racehorses that can’t get out of the starting gate! Unfortunately, we have to do just one issue at a time, and that takes lots of hard work and, well, time...

If you can afford the twenty or thirty minutes that it takes to read through “The Real Evolution Debate,” I can almost assure you, you’ll have the experience of your mind twisting and turning, expanding and contracting, in unexpected ways. Every time I read through it, I marvel at how, through one theory after another, the extraordinary principle of evolution works its way from the mind of science to the heart of God and back again, always driven by the human spirit’s seemingly desperate sense of urgency to try to understand and articulate how the mystery of life unfolds.

If you have a little more time, I strongly encourage you to read three very special offerings in this issue. First, I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about human development from reading and rereading our captivating interview with clinical psychologist and evolutionary philosopher Robert Godwin. Unlike anyone else I know, he has a unique capacity to convey the fact that consciousness evolves, in such a way that one’s own understanding and perspective seem to miraculously expand in the very process of reading his words. And second, psychologist and philosopher of consciousness Zoltan Torey’s story of triumph and transformation in the face of what for most would be an overwhelming personal catastrophe is nothing less than awe-inspiring. Finally, this issue’s “Guru and Pandit” dialogue is of particular significance for me, because it chronicles the recent developments in the experiment in the evolution of consciousness that my students and I are engaged in.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. We’re thrilled, relieved, and excited to be embarking on the next one.


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This article is from
Our Mystery of Evolution Issue


January–March 2007