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This Narrator: Andrew Cohen, Ken Wilber
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Authenticity and Trust in Spiritual Teachers by Andrew Cohen

Authenticity and Trust in Spiritual Teachers

by Andrew Cohen


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Audio Original
Running Time
40 Min.
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Andrew Cohen is a unique and fiery voice in today's spiritual scene. Author of numerous books and publisher of the highly respected magazine What Is Enlightenment?, Andrew brings a profound sense of depth and urgency to spirituality.

The following is part of an ongoing series of dialogues between Andrew and Ken, some of which are being published in What Is Enlightenment? What you will hear on the following Integral Naked audio is what did not get published in the magazine.

This dialogue contains a few technical concepts, an understanding of which is not necessary to follow the conversation. For those interested, however, these concepts include the notions of:

“levels and lines”—a human being contains “multiple intelligences” or developmental lines—such as emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence, musical intelligence, etc. These lines unfold in developmental levels or stages; a person can be highly developed in some lines and poorly developed in other lines—hence, levels and lines. This helps explain how some spiritual teachers can be highly developed in meditative capacities but perhaps not well developed in interpersonal, psychosexual, or moral development, with unpleasant consequences.

“states and stages”—in addition to developmental levels or stages of consciousness, there are states of consciousness. Major states include waking, dreaming, deep sleep, nondual, meditative states, altered states, and peak experiences. A person can have “state experiences” at virtually any stage they are at, but they tend to interpret the state according to their stage.

“relative and absolute perfection”—according to many spiritual traditions, human beings possess both finite and infinite natures. In our infinite nature, we are perfect exactly as we are. In our finite nature, however, we need to grow and develop in order to be able to hold or carry a profound realization of our infinite nature. Some spiritual teachers tend to confuse relative and absolute, assume that my absolute perfection applies to my everyday self, and thus lose the “evolutionary tension” that is required for growth and development.

“boomeritis”—is a confusing between relative and absolute, and thus assuming that my ego, just as it is, is divine. Another term for this is a narcissism prevalent in the Me generation, but it tends to afflict the ego wherever it appears.

Integral Naked is an online behind-the-scenes exploration of cutting-edge thought. From philosophers to musicians to spiritual adepts, get naked with some of the most provocative thinkers on the planet today.


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