Tuesday, 3 July 2012

This would not go down well with Oprah

On the fundamental nature of ultimate reality, I do not see eye to eye with Andrew Cohen, one of evolutionary spritualiaty’s leading proponents. However, I was surprised to discover that I agree with some of what he says in his blog today. And I think his thoughts are in direct conflict with some other new age authors, speakers and advocates such as Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra and the whole happiness brigade. Cohen asks:

"Why, for the luckiest people who have ever been born, should happiness be a birthright?  And in light of our good fortune, why should our spiritual aspirations be so focused on the pursuit of inner peace?  Do we really think God created the universe so that you and I, at the beginning of the 21st century, could be happy?  Is that really the ultimate purpose of this fourteen-billion-year process?”

He goes on to conclude, "I don’t believe the purpose of life is just to be happy…It’s my conviction that we are here for a reason, that there is a grand and great purpose to our presence in this universe, and that none of us are going to truly find what we are looking for unless we get over our misguided pursuit of personal happiness and connect with that greater sense of purpose – that ultimate reason for being.”

This sounds much like my own blogpost of the 19th of April on the summum bonum. 

Cohen and the other evolutionary/integral worldview champions say that their form of spirituality is the most evolved of all faiths or truth claims on earth.  I find it therefore ironic that Andrew Cohen has just discovered the idea that happiness is not the highest good, as over 2000 years ago God made it clear to us that our holiness is more important to Him than our happiness.  This is because happiness is conditional on endowments and conditions and can change like the weather.  True joy is something far deeper and more sustainable; it comes about through a personal relationship with and commitment to follow his Son.  True joy can withstand the difficult process of transformation  - called sanctification - that is needed to make us complete and mature, not lacking anything. 

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