The terms spiritual enlightenment and self-realisation, used in the charity’s objects, are often associated with the premise or belief that the cosmos is fundamentally unified and reality is non-dual. Our interpretation of these terms rests on the conviction that all things are not only one unified whole, they are interconnected and part of a radically creative process, one that has been developing in complexity and sensitivity for billions of years. From the human perspective, as participants in this complex unfolding, there are all kinds of regressive steps along the way, but, viewed as a whole, the process itself is moving forward in a way that is tremendously positive, radically creative, filled with purpose and ever new.

Our human experience is therefore seen as an expression of the same creative energy and inherent intelligence that continues to manifest as the developing universe itself. We are not separate from it. Our bodies are made of the same stuff as stars; our minds, the ever deepening inner dimension of this miraculous process.

Nor are we separate from that which is timeless and unchanging in this event. As many wisdom traditions have confirmed, the fundamental unity of the whole exists in our experience simultaneous with the flux and flow of creation.

The terms in the charity’s objects point to these complementary dimensions of the human experience, our co-creative agency as well as our fundamental unity with all that is.

Definition of Terms

Spiritual enlightenment

Spiritual enlightenment has been characterised as a profound shift of identity. This can be experienced as the realisation that consciousness or awareness itself is the source of our true self-nature, not the stream of thought and feeling that normally forms the basis of our limited sense of self. This shift of identification changes one’s view of life: from being problematic to being fundamentally unproblematic; and from being separate from objects in our awareness to being deeply connected to everything in awareness. This powerful realisation reveals the profound positivity and spiritual depth inherent in all of existence.

But in the context of a cosmos that is developing, this powerful shift of identification can also be experienced as a deep and compelling sense of one’s life purpose aligning with the energy and intelligence of creation itself. Who we are is not separate from that ceaseless creative process finding its way forward, transcending every obstacle to discover some new expression of itself. From this perspective, our true nature is realised to be creation itself, filled with purpose and infused with care for this great unfolding.

What is most significant about enlightenment, in this sense, is not our personal experience of it, but the effect it has on humanity, life, nature and the planet. One cannot help but share its energy and positivity with others. Whatever it is that moves us to act when we are inspired by this shift in perspective does so creatively and energetically. If we step aside and let ourselves be led by the depth of this awakening, it engages with the world through our natural and authentic response to life. When action in the world comes from a selfless depth, our most inspired interest, our passion and purpose, can be seen as a direct expression of the creative intelligence of the developing cosmos.

This does not mean that action in the world, when it arises from some form of enlightened awareness, is beyond error. All action is a response generated through an interpretation of reality. We are always vulnerable to our own ignorance and pride. But when activity in the world is generated from selfless care and a depth of purpose it is likely to recognise its error, take responsibility for ill effects, and correct its course.

Self realisation

It is possible to discover a space inside ourselves which answers our deepest questions and allows our true nature to flourish. This condition is usually identified as some form of self-realisation. But when realisation occurs alongside an awareness of our total immersion in the process of creation, where nothing is fixed, it is necessarily challenged to redefine itself again and again.

In this complexifying world we are called to act, to contribute our natural gifts in some shape or form for the development of life and humanity. If our contribution is generated from a deep trust in our true nature and the creative potential of the cosmos, it can be a powerful force for change in the world, one that arises from a care inside ourselves that is not really our own.

This care is expressed through the vast range of human talents and interests that characterise the human spirit. Its qualities typically include fundamental openness, curiosity and trust in the unknown, energetic engagement with others, a unique creative response to complex challenges and, most importantly, love. Through the love experienced in the individual human heart, the universe cares and creates for us all.

Moral and spiritual welfare

How are we to make the right choices when life is constantly challenging us to change? What is good or right in our response today, when seen from ever new and expanding perspectives, may appear tomorrow to be limited or even wrong. In a world that is changing ever faster, doing the right thing requires us to respond to life before we have moral definitions for our actions. Anyone who attempts to advance moral or spiritual welfare in this context, must be prepared to make mistakes, fall on one’s face, learn one’s lesson and keep going.

We have to honour and nurture the intention to participate in this process. Our willingness to change and the respect we have for our fundamental interrelatedness with others, all life and the planet is what keeps us moving forward. We can only surrender to this path of the greatest good, we never “find” it. When we approach life from this perspective something mysterious emerges in us which allows new and unexpected things to happen.


In the complex arena of human development education has less to do with conveying information from someone who already knows and more to do with helping an individual access their own innate sensitivities, their ability to question and their natural curiosity. In fact, education starts with the recognition that we don’t yet know the way forward and that our own interests and the interests of those with whom we are engaged are the energy of the developing universe lighting the way and leading us forward together.