In evolutionary or integral psychology and spirituality, the evolution of consciousness is a key element. Taping into and consciously working with the evolutionary process is also a key element, and an essential way of tapping into the evolutionary process is by attempting to connect with the guiding force of evolution itself.
Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen call this force the “evolutionary impulse:”
“The evolutionary impulse is the consciously experienced choice-in-action to take form and become the whole universe. It is the energy and intelligence that burst out of nothing, the driving impetus behind the evolutionary process, from the big bang to the emerging edge of the future. And that impulse is active right now, throughout the life process, and at every level of your own human experience. In fact, that life-pulsation is the most important part of who and what we are. When you locate that impulse in the depths of your own self, you will become aware that it is inherently free and explosive in its freedom. It is dynamic and completely unrestrained in its nature. While Being feels like eternal peace, Becoming feels completely different. The evolutionary impulse is felt as a sense of tremendous urgency, an ecstatic urgency. At the level of consciousness, it is experienced as a sense that something unthinkably important must occur NOW” (Andrew Cohen, Evolutionary Enlightenment).Jean Gebser called this guiding force the “inner commission” and saw it as pointed to a greater force or intelligence at work within our lives:
“How do we live? Whichever way we may live, we need to remember that we are also lived by an authority or a power for which there are many names. And, above all, we must remember one thing, namely that whichever way we live, we follow, whether we know it or not, an inner commission that points beyond ourselves” (Jean Gebser, The Ever-Present Origin).When we explore the teachings of the various spiritual traditions and the personal anecdotes of those who have attempted to seek, receive and follow guidance from a perceived Divine Source, we discover that at the heart of the guidance experience is that the guidance always appears to be guiding us toward a higher stage of evolutionary development. Each tradition has their practices for seeking, for receiving, and for following, from purification practices that attempt to help us remove the obstacles in our personality and consciousness that keep us from accessing and receiving the guidance of the “evolutionary impulse” to mindfulness/awareness practices to help us be fully open and present to receive to discernment practices to help us understand, clarify, validate, and act on the guidance received. This evolutionary guidance appears to be communicated through many different forms, including 1st Person inner promptings, like hearing an inner voice or getting a “gut feeling;” 2nd Person messages from a higher “Thou” or outer “others,” like receiving a message through the presence of a Divine other or having something that someone else says resonate into a deeper and higher meaning; and 3rd Person lessons from external events and circumstances.
One of the simplest and most universal ways of connecting with Divine or evolutionary guidance is attempting to be in the present moment and holding all that is happening as the guidance you need in that moment…
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment” (Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth).
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