On the Edge of Unknown Territory – by Andrew Cohen

The following is an excerpt from spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen and integral phisosopher Ken Wilber’s popular “Guru & Pandit” dialogue series:

Andrew Cohen: It’s rare for an individual to realize that he or she is literally on the edge of unknown territory. Most human beings are born and die within a preexistent cultural context that they don’t necessarily feel is up to them to define. But at this particular time in history, for new evolutionary stages, structures, and potentials to emerge, it requires heroic individuals who are willing to bear the emotional, psychological, philosophical, and spiritual overwhelm of realizing that they have to be real pioneers. Where we’re going now is uncharted territory. More and more people at this edge are working very hard to lay down these new structures, but the truth is that there’s no panel of experts or ascended masters who have already figured this out for us. This is something we’re all working through and need to work through together, with other individuals that have that same pioneering spirit and have awakened to the conviction that this needs to happen and we’re the ones who have to do it. This adds a certain kind of weight, gravitas, and, of course, excitement and thrill to the endeavor of spiritual transformation and evolution at this particular time.

Ken Wilber: Absolutely! That’s one of the things that makes being on an evolutionary edge so “good news/bad news.” On the one hand, it’s a pioneering edge; it’s being at a place that has more perspectives than previous positions, that sees more and embraces more and understands more. But it’s also a situation where, as you say, these things haven’t been figured out; they are all being tested as we go along. People are still trying to work into what the exact meaning is of a truly evolutionary enlightenment, a truly integral enlightenment. And there’s no book that gives us the final answer. It’s all being done right now in the hearts and minds of those individuals who are treading the path. That’s where the book is being written. And that also means that it can be very, very hard on individuals who are moving along this new path. And, as you say, there is no final tribunal, no court of judges or enlightened masters that have gone down this path before. We’re all making it up as we go along, but we’re grounded in our understanding, in our growth, in our inner development and realization.

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