When enlightenment is seen in an evolutionary context, the challenge for the individual is tremendous. You recognize that your own liberation is no longer the goal of the spiritual path, but merely the starting point from which you must boldly endeavor to take responsibility for the evolution of consciousness itself.
It is truly an awe-inspiring task, but I believe it is possible for anyone who is deadly serious to do this. The willingness is all it takes, but it must be nothing less than a heroic willingness—a willingness that is unconditional. You have to realize the dramatic scale at which this process is operating. When you awaken to the fact that the spiritual impulse is moving at a species level, you will begin to see your own choices, including your relationship to your own mind and emotions, to time, and ultimately to life itself, on a literally cosmic scale. You will see your own presence here on earth in relationship to the evolution of the cosmos itself, at the level of consciousness.
If your orientation is not that big, you are always going to fall short. Our habitual ways of thinking are just too small-minded, petty, and painfully personal, and that is why we keep slipping back into an unenlightened perspective and wondering why we aren't making any progress. It's simply because of where our attention is. So in order for authentic, profound, and meaningful transformation to occur, we have to make the effort to see all of our choices in light of this literally cosmic context. And that is evolution. That's what our next step is: awakening to a cosmic orientation in relationship to being a human being, here on earth, right now.