In our contemporary age of the individual, there has never been so much personal freedom and choice available to so many people on the planet. But while the benefits of increasing independence and autonomy are numerous, many have also identified the concurrent tendency toward increasing narcissism and materialism as serious barriers to higher spiritual, moral, and cultural evolution.
In this special Unbound video, taken from a lecture in New York City, EnlightenNext editor in chief Andrew Cohen lays out a cosmic context for both the challenge and the opportunity presented by the extreme individuation that characterizes our age. Drawing upon integral philosophy, evolutionary theory, and his own exploration of spiritual development over twenty-two years as a teacher of Evolutionary Enlightenment, Cohen describes the history of the cosmos as one of “consciousness disembedding itself from matter” through the gradual emergence of greater and greater complexity and individuality.
But in order to access the extraordinary potential that this individuation enables, Cohen suggests, we have to grapple with its dark side—the narcissism and materialism that blind us to the deeper significance of life. And transcending this “cultural disease” requires us to become more concerned with the evolutionary process itself than we are with our own self-centered fears and desires.