When Shadow Meets the Bodhisattva: The Challenging Transformation of a Modern Guru

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Product Details

$22.99  $21.38
Inner Traditions International
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.8 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Andrew Cohen is a spiritual teacher, cultural visionary, and founder of the global non-profit EnlightenNext and its award-winning publication EnlightenNext magazine. After the collapse of EnlightenNext in 2013, Cohen took several years off from public teaching. In 2020, he and a group of collaborators launched Manifest Nirvana, a sanctuary for deep transformation, where 21st- century spiritual explorers and integral pioneers will find their home. The author of several books, including Evolutionary Enlightenment, he lives in India. Hans Plasqui is a writer, scholar, and spiritual practitioner who has studied with several teachers, including Saniel Bonder, Terry Patten, and Ken Wilber. He has specialized in Wilber's Integral Theory, which he studied at JFK University. The author of Sincerity Uncompromised, he lives in Belgium.


"Can one actually experience evolution? Or must it remain a scientific abstraction that can be mathematically modeled and genetically mapped but never really known as such? Moreover, and deeper still, do these Darwinian and genetic processes emerge from some deeper ground that is not in space and time at all? If so, how might these two levels of Becoming and Being be related, embraced, and practiced? Perhaps most importantly of all, are there moral pitfalls and problems awaiting us here? The present book is a most rare one--the story of the rise, fall, and re-emergence of a major modern guru by the guru himself. Andrew Cohen tells his story in these pages and explains both what went very, very right and very, very wrong. He takes responsibility for what happened and relates it to his own pride, authoritarianism, shaming techniques, and the traditional hierarchical role of the perfect mythical guru, but he also confesses those deeper evolutionary forces and absolute truths that have shone through his own Indian guru, himself as guru, and his gifted students all along. Here is an honest, open struggle through therapy, psychedelics, suffering, and further teaching--never perfect, never done, always frayed, and yet somehow also transcendent and true. We need this book. We need this Andrew Cohen. We need this evolution."-- "Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of The Superhumanities: Historical Precedents, Moral Objections, New Reali"
"This is an extremely important and highly recommended book. It's beautifully written and comes straight from the spiritual heart. Get it and read it--it will change your life."-- "Ken Wilber, author of The Religion of Tomorrow"
"Andrew Cohen has boldly and courageously shared his deeply compelling journey into the core of the evolutionary impulse through emerging from the shadow of mythic absolutism into the realm of the Radical Spirit, where breakthrough revelations, extreme transformation, and the fire to catalyze collective transcendence for the benefit of the greater good reside."-- "Diane Marie Williams, founder of the Source of Synergy Foundation"
"A brutally honest immersion into the creation and destruction of a spiritual group and the crucifixion of its leader. A primal pattern of hierarchical systems is at work--the hierarchical systems that dominate our lives and are even at work in spiritual movements that seem to preach the end of hierarchical leadership but embody the ecstasy of submission that only groups with leaders generate."-- "Howard Bloom, author of The Lucifer Principle"
"Andrew Cohen's experiences are universal to all those who answer their transcendent calling in life: the rise to prominence, the wounding, and ultimately the reckoning that annihilates our former selves. It is in that place of surrender that we discover our authentic Self and begin our long journey to this new forbidden field. Andrew's searing honesty and rare bravery in the pages of this book, along with the conversations he shares with people on the leading edge of consciousness, are nothing short of a new guide on how to transcend the ego and the shadow and become a modern-day integral guru. It's a compelling read. I couldn't put it down."-- "Said E. Dawlabani, gravesian developmentalist and author of MEMEnomics and The Light of Ishtar"
"Across the wide thematic context in Cohen's narrative, myriad paradoxical elements (each highly nuanced in themselves) are here: the nature of awakening and enlightenment; absolute and relative reality; epiphenomena and micro-phenomena; holons in dynamic systems; autonomy and communion; context dependency; freedom versus binary choices, causality, and co-arising; Advaita and Neo-Advaita; radical idealism; the pitfalls of the magic-mythic worldview and pursuit; mythic absolutism; guru function, mythical identity, and perfection; guru intervention and the mysteries of transmission and the numinous; the guru, dharma, and sangha; and finally, Cohen's predictions on the future of 'Triple Gem Integral' and 'Evolutionary Enlightenment.'"-- "Kurt Johnson, Ph.D., coauthor of The Coming Interspiritual Age, Fine Lines, and Nabokov's Blue"
"This is a book everyone who is sincerely on the spiritual journey should read. In every way, Andrew Cohen's rise, fall, atonement, and the fruits of his journey manifested in new understanding and vision--this is truly the drama of an archetypal hero's journey. Beyond the historical narrative of his passage, Cohen so often includes the larger significance of his experience and its relevance to the current evolutionary scene. He does this with the clarity and integrity so characteristic of his writings. Included in this book is a beautiful review of his teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment, a stand-alone gem. This book is also enriched by the many dialogues the author includes with several leading integral thinkers as they consider various questions raised by his journey. Make no mistake: this is a book that challenges the reader on many fronts. The reader is asked to balance perceived rights and wrongs of how the guru position was carried out in the community setting and the consequences to his students, to forgive the teacher's human failings and to acknowledge the validity of his transformation. Finally, it is the reader's heart and soul that must answer whether the guru's gift--the realization of one's true nature--is worth it all."-- "Ron Friedman, M.D., cofounder of Vistar Foundation"
"A marvelous and enlightening book for any teacher or practitioner on the edge of cultural and spiritual evolution who wants to make the world a better place."-- "Martin Ucik, integral relationship facilitator and author"