Taking God Seriously
It’s a big challenge being a spiritual teacher in a secular culture. What could be more disconcerting than being a religious authority in a world where there is no consensus about whether God actually exists! In traditional cultures at least, there was some agreement as to who God was and where He lived and how He could be reached. But for those of us who live in a post-traditional worldspace, the Creator has long since disappeared from the sky above, and with Him has vanished any sense of that which is higher than, or transcendent to, our earthly existence. The rational values of the culture that we live in may have freed us from the myths of the past, but unfortunately they have also undermined our capacity to have any faith in the unseen metaphysical domains of our innermost interiors. So any individuals who are bold enough or crazy enough to assume the position of being representatives of that which is transcendent, within this culture of secular relativism and scientific materialism, are putting themselves in a very difficult position indeed.
I remember soon after I became a committed seeker in my early twenties being asked by a casual acquaintance what I “did.” After briefly describing to him my day job, I then proceeded to explain what I was really up to and what I was trying to attain. His puzzled look seemed to go on forever. Then there was the beautiful blonde I’d been flirting with at around that same time. All was going well until we went out to dinner one fateful evening and I inevitably shared my passion for enlightenment and higher consciousness and spoke of how fascinated and compelled I was by all the Eastern masters I was meeting and spending time with. That was the last time I ever saw her.
Awakened men and women are those who have recognized spiritual domains as being more real and true than anything else. But if our shared culture doesn’t have the eyes to see what they see and know what they know, such men and women usually end up being perceived as irrational, self-deceived, and deluded—as representatives of the false. Indeed, authentic holders of timeless spiritual truths are often thought to be hucksters and con artists because they boldly dare to bear witness to the unseen.
In the ancient premodern world, that ultimate context was validated by shared myths and religious beliefs and was empowered by the supercharged energy of awakened consciousness in inspired prophets and seers. Today we no longer have myths to rely on to validate our spiritual illumination. I believe that together we need to create a post-traditional consensus about the great significance and place of Deep Interiority in the human experience that makes sense for our time in history. In order to achieve this, it has to be generated by those of us who have seen beyond the veil of appearances and have experienced those deeper metaphysical domains to such a profound degree that we’re willing to bear witness in public. But to be taken seriously, we must do so in a way that points us not only beyond the myth and superstition of the ancients but also beyond the naïve idealism predominant in so much of New Age thinking. We must be ruthless in our rationality in order to authentically transmit the light of trans-rational Spirit in the twenty-first century. This is an enormous task, but our willingness to take it on will slowly but surely make a profound difference.
Join Andrew Cohen for a free series of monthly broadcasts. The next one is today, July 22nd, at 2pm ET and will be focused on the topic of meditation. Register here.
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.