God Is Love
Andrew Cohen is an American spiritual teacher, bestselling author, and founder of the global nonprofit EnlightenNext and its award-winning publication, EnlightenNext magazine. His original teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment redefines spiritual awakening within the context of cosmic evolution and highlights a new understanding of God or Spirit as the creative impulse toward change in both self and culture.
His bestselling book, Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening is the product of his 26 years of work and has garnered praise from some of today’s leading spiritual and cultural figures as one of the most important spiritual works of our time. Andrew lives and works at the EnlightenNext headquarters in Western Massachusetts and spends much of his time travelling around the world giving retreats, seminars, and public talks about Evolutionary Enlightenment.
A Meditation on the Indefinable Nature of the Divine
God is Love. How many times have we heard the word “love” being used to define that which is ultimately indefinable? I suppose it is because that’s the only word that can even bring us close to grasping the ungraspable. When we use “love” to define that which is transcendent, absolute, and metaphysical, we’re using it to describe qualities and attributes that are non-ordinary, that represent a higher dimension of human experience, intuition, and cognition. That is why the love that is God is transpersonal, because it points us far beyond our unique individuality or the unique individuality of any other.
God is love. When the most revered mystics from the world’s great religious traditions speak to us about the love that is God, they almost uniformly declare that the nature of that higher non-ordinary, transpersonal love is peace. They say that the love of God is experienced as a peace that is indescribable, a “peace that passeth all understanding.” A peace that is so rapturous and all-encompassing that in its embrace, all fear and self-concern vanish from consciousness. It is a peace, they say, that will set us free.
God is love. The reason the love that is God can set us free is because that unqualifiable peace was the very nature of existence before the universe was born. Before the universe was born, before time and space existed, there was only peace. When we dive into the deepest depths of our own consciousness, deeper than our thoughts and memories, deeper than even our awareness of the world around us, we discover this very same peace—a mysterious and infinitely compelling emptiness where there is no time, where nothing ever happened, where we are always utterly free.
God is love. The love that is God is the experiential discovery of that deepest dimension of our own selves and of reality itself that the Buddha called the “Unborn,” the “Uncreated,” and the “Deathless.” Spiritual masters refer to it as the Ground of Being. In order to discover it for ourselves, we need to follow in the footsteps of the great ones. That means to close our eyes, turn within, and let the world disappear. It means to pray and meditate with such utter sincerity that all that is left is Being—timeless, formless, infinite Being.
God is love. But the love that is God is not only peace! The love that is God is also the evolutionary impulse—the powerful desire to exist in and as the universe, the surging energy and intelligence that gave rise to the creative process. From nothing came something! God is the driving force at the heart of the entire cosmic unfolding.
God is love. The love that is God is Eros, the sexual impulse, the biological imperative to procreate. Eros is the felt experience of unbearable ecstasy and urgency simultaneously. It is the felt experience of the universe endeavoring to give rise to itself within our own bodies. Eros is the felt experience of the restlessness of God once he or she chose to create the universe unendingly.
God is love. The love that is God is the uniquely human urge to consciously create. Human beings are the only species that are driven by a compulsion to innovate—to give rise to that which is new. Indeed, the architects of human culture and civilization throughout history have been those great individuals, those rare geniuses, who have taken bold leaps forward in their own fields. Their evolution-inspired passion has created and continues to create our shared world anew.
God is love. Finally, the love that is God is the spiritual impulse, the mysterious compulsion to become more conscious. Why is it that some individuals are driven by a deep desire to penetrate the profound mystery and infinite complexity of existence, while others are not? It is because they are awake to the love that is God, as the spiritual impulse, that drive that compels them to pray and meditate and endeavor to develop without end. In fact, they will not stop until they make that perennial breakthrough that makes it possible to know the unknowable and grasp the ungraspable.
God is love. I believe the love that is God is both Being and Becoming. The love that is God is both the experience of that transcendent peace that passeth all understanding and the dynamic, ecstatic urgency of the evolutionary impulse—the energy and intelligence that created and is creating the universe.
God is love. The love that is God is One and not two. The love that is God is both the liberating bliss of transcending the world and it is also, simultaneously, the awakened inspiration and passion for its ongoing development and perpetual evolution.
The love of God is everything.
This post is part of a four part series on love:
Part 2: Piercing the Romantic Illusion
Part 3: What do You Mean by 'Love'?
Andrew Cohen is the best-selling author of Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening. To download a 38-page excerpt, click here.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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