opt in buttonOALAn unedited first draft text from the forthcoming book The Path and Practice of Outrageous Love by Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid

Insight:

An Outrageous Lover commits unique acts of Outrageous Love.

Her outrageous acts of love arise naturally from her Unique Self.

The Action:

Be the Outrageous Love Activist of your own Outrageous Life.

Commit the Outrageous Acts of Acts of Love that are yours alone to commit.

What does an Outrageous Lover do? The Outrageous Lover commits outrageous acts of love. More than that, she commits the acts of Outrageous Love that are hers to commit, that belong uniquely to her. These are the acts that arise from within her Unique Self.

Jalal al-Din Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi philosopher was a teacher of Outrageous Love.  Listen to his words:

“There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about; but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life. It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do.  So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It’s a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on. You say, “But look, I’m using the dagger. It’s not lying idle.” Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny, an iron nail could be bought to serve the purpose. {To be a hanging peg and not a dagger is to} waste valuable keenness and foolishly ignore your dignity and your purpose.”

What Rumi understands is that you have unique outrageous acts of love to commit that can be done only by you. These are the outrageous acts of love that are a function of Your Unique Self.

It is through your uniqueness that you give your gift which completes the larger puzzle.

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Unique Self = Unique Perspective + Unique Intimacy = Unique Gift in response to Unique Need

You have an irreducibly unique perspective which gives you the capacity to address a unique need in the world in a way that no one other then you is able to address it. As a Unique Self, you occupy a unique place in the space-time continuum. Your unique perspective creates unique insight. Your unique insight expresses itself as unique gifts. When you give your unique creative gifts, you address a unique need in your unique circle of influence that can only be engaged by you. To be awake, aware, and aflame in Outrageous Love is to give the unique gifts which can only be given by you.

Every human being has outrageous acts of love to commit that are an expression of their unique self. Speaking in second person, “there is a dimension of reality that is UnLove that can only be addressed and healed by your outrageous acts of love. If you do not awaken to your true identity as an outrageous lover with outrageous acts of love to commit that are a natural function of your Unique Self, then there will be a corner of reality which is UnLove.” UnLove is the cause of all brutality, hurt, violence and abuse.

Now what if it were possible to kindle the storehouse of Outrageous Love inside of you, and trigger your capacity to love in every situation? You’d become heroic. You would awaken as an outrageous lover.

What does an outrageous lover do? Well, first the outrageous lover keeps every boundary that should be kept and breaks every boundary that should be broken.

Okay you say, I get that. But what does an outrageous love do? The outrageous lover commits outrageous acts love.  Both in her personal life and in the world. But which outrageous acts of love does an outrageous lover commit you ask? The answer: The outrageous lover commits outrageous acts of love that are a function of her Unique Self.

Here we need to introduce the essential distinction between different levels of self. The first level is Ego self or Separate self. At this level you experience yourself as a discrete independent unit. You are separate and distinct from all that is. There is truth in this level. But it is true but partial. The first step into awakening as an outrageous lover is to evolve from ego to essence. This is the evolution from ego self (separate self) to True Self. True Self is the underlying essence of all of reality. It is the interior essence of the field that the leading edge of physics are now pointing towards but which the mystics have always known. True Self is the field. The total number of true selves in the world is One. To awaken as True Self is to realize that you are not separate from this larger field. You are indivisible from the seamless coat of the universe.  The interior quality of the seamless coat of the universe is love. Outrageous Love. The Universe feels and the Universe feels love.

Outrageous Love. Outrageous love is both the initiating and animating Eros of all that is. It is the Eros that motivates existence into reality. It is the Eros that evolves reality. Some systems theorists refer to this evolutionary Eros as the fifth force.

Outrageous Love is the field of Eros which suffuses all of reality and in which all of reality is contained. When you awaken as True Self you realize that you are not separate from Outrageous Love. You awaken as the field and the field awakens as you.

But the field of Outrageous Love at this stage, does not yet have a way to speak or act through you.  So while the first step in awakening as an Outrageous Love is to awaken from separate self to true self, from ego to essence, there is a vital next step.

The next step in awakening as an outrageous lover is to incarnate outrageous love as an active force in your life and in your world. This happens when you awaken from True Self to Unique Self. You realize that while you are part of the seamless coat of the universe, the coat is seamless but not featureless. You are reality’s unique feature.

This is the answer to the great question of identity: Who are you? This is the mantra of outrageous love. It is the answer to the great question of identity. Who are you? You are an irreducibly unique expression of the outrageous love intelligence that is the initiating and animating Eros of all that is, that lives in you, as you and through you, that never was, is or will be ever again other than through you. Your Unique Self is birthed by your unique perspective and your unique taste. Your Unique Perspective sees the world unlike any other. Your Unique Taste is the unique quality of presence, essence and intimacy that incarnated as you and in no other human being that ever was, is or will be. Your Unique Perspective and Unique Taste foster your Unique Gift. Your Unique Gift addresses a Unique Needs in your unique circle of intimacy and influence that can be addressed by you and you alone. You may address that unique need through an action or you may address that unique need by presencing the unique taste of your being and becoming. To give your Unique Gift addressing that Unique Needs is your unique obligation. It is both the Unique Purpose and Unique Delight of your life. You are uniquely obligated to commit the unique outrageous acts of love that can be committed by you and you alone. You are needed by all that is to arouse yourself to commit Outrageous Act of Love that which only you are uniquely capable of committing. You must take responsibility for your own arousal.

That is what it means to awaken as the personal face of the evolutionary impulse. The motive force of evolution is Eros. Love by any other name. Seen from the outside we might label the movement in the kosmos towards higher and higher levels of complexity and beauty as the evolutionary impulse. However the interior quality of the evolutionary impulse is none other than love. When you awaken as the love intelligence incarnating uniquely as you, you are awakening as the personal face of the evolutionary impulse.

To really get what this means—to understand the intense and gorgeous beauty of it—we need to step inside of what it really means to awaken as the evolutionary impulse.

I want you to feel deeply, as best as you can, this sense of evolution happening. I’m going to take you on a meditative journey for a few minutes before we move to our exercise. In this meditative journey, we’re going to experience five Big Bangs. There’s not just one Big Bang. Big Bang is the name that science gave it. It was actually a pejorative term given by scientists who didn’t actually believe in the Big Bang. The Big Bang: that first great flaring forth, as Thomas Berry and some of his students like to call it. It’s not just the Big Bang. It’s a great flaring forth of reality, when the un-manifest explodes into the manifest.

We’re going to go on a meditative journey to actually feel this great flaring forth. To feel the five Big Bangs—and ultimately, the fifth Big Bang is no less than you awakening to your Evolutionary Unique Self.

When you realize that the next step of evolutionary creativity depends on you, when you realize that your next set of actions can shift and affect, through the internal mysticism of the internal cohesion of All-That-Is, the realization that everything is fully connected, that we’re in a system in which nothing’s separate from anything else. The great butterfly effect that we talk about in physics is true on all levels of reality.

A butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo and something happens in New Orleans. When you shift something in your consciousness, so much more happens than a butterfly flapping its wings. When you shift something in your consciousness, when you awaken to your Evolutionary Unique Self, something shifts in the entire system and you actually become responsible for everything.

Because, my friends, who was it who began the whole story? Where were you at the Big Bang? Where could you have been? Could you have been anywhere else than right there? In that moment of singularity, when it all happened, where could you possibly have been? As you read this right now, and we enter our meditation, try to remember. Remember that great event, my friends, that great event when you breathed out and created this entire cosmos. Remember the great emptying when you threw yourself out as the entire world wanting the evolution of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Remember the forms and the forces through which you have traveled thus far. You emerged as helium and oxygen and carbon, and you became galaxies, then you moved to planets, to verdant planets filled with vegetation, reaching upwards to the sun through the miracle of photosynthesis, until you became animal, stalking day and night, restless with your weary search, through primal men and women, primates millions of years ago yearning for the light, to the very person you are now, listening in this very moment.

Remember who and what you have been, what you have done, what you have seen, what you actually are in all of those guises; the masks of God and Goddess, the masks of your own original face, expressed irreducibly simply as your Evolutionary Unique Self. Feel into it, my friends. Feel into what we know in this generation that we’ve never known in any previous generation. We are the first generation to actually learn the comprehensive scientific dimensions of the universe story. We know that the universe is, in fact, a story. It’s got a beginning, a middle. We know, for the first time, that the universe scientifically has purpose. It has direction. It emerged 13.7 billion years ago. We now live on a planet orbiting our sun, one of the trillions of stars in one of the billions of galaxies in an unfolding universe that’s profoundly creative and interconnected.

Feel into it, friends. The single immense energy event that began in that tiny speck. You were there. You breathed out, and it unfolded over time to become galaxy and stars, palm and pelicans, the music of Bach, each one of us as Unique Selves alive today. It took 13.7 billion years of evolution to produce the unique singularity that’s the unique, irreducible you. All of reality waited for your birth. You’re not extra, there’s no one like you that ever was, is, or will be.

That, my friends, is the great discovery of contemporary science. All of evolution leads to you. And we realize that the universe isn’t simply a place, but it’s a story. It’s a story in which we were immersed, to which we belong, and out of which we emerge. Just as the Milky Way is the universe in the form of a galaxy, in an orchard is the universe in the form of a flower, you are the universe in the form of a Unique Self. Every time you’re drawn to look through your unique set of eyes, your unique perspective that no one else can see through, your unique way of looking, engaging, living, and breathing in the world, when you reflect uniquely and give your gift into the awesome, grander beauty and complexity of the universe, the universe is awakening to itself, to your Unique Self. Feel that. Feel that alive, awake in you, in this moment, right here, right now.

Yeah. Know it. Let’s begin, friends. Let’s go back together to the very beginning. How did it all start? There was a beginning, a beginning, a great flaring forth of light and matter, luminous matter that would eventually become stars and galaxies. And the dark matter that no one’s ever seen. All of space and time in mass and energy began as a single point that was trillions of degrees hot, and instantly rushed apart.

Feel it, feel it. The universe isn’t simply a vast space in which things existed, large things like stars and small things like atoms. That’s what we used to think. Scientists knew that matter changed form in the universe, but they assumed that the universe as a whole wasn’t changing. That was wrong.

The universe itself is unfolding, the universe itself is a story, and you’re a unique letter, a unique chapter in that story. In the beginning, the universe brings forth quarks and leptons, and the quanta collide and a gluey form called plasma emerges. Then, these elementary particles begin forming stable relationships. And those stable relationships, that initial bonding, begins the entire process of evolutionary emergence and unfolding.

Feel into it, my friends. 13.7 billion years ago we were a singularity, a single point. We were smaller than the head of a pin. Nothing, no thing, and in that no thing was literally everything. Everything was there.

We were there. You were there. We were all then there. Everything that was coming into existence was encoded, as scientists and emergence scientists know today. Scientists of emergence know all the information was encoded in that initial moment of the Big Bang. Once the Big Bang happens, all information, all possibility—because, remember, God is the possibility of possibility—so all possibility is encoded in that moment.

And then the impulse to evolve, part of that encoding, begins from inside that point. The great universe story, the great story, the history of God, the history of reality, begins to unfold. The evolutionary impulse begins to move. Cosmic firestorms, chaotic burning, wildness, slowly forces of bonding causing the universe to closer and closer to gather, burning balls of hydrogen gas, intensity, supernovas exploding, ultimately giving birth and intense heat to higher elements. Carbon and oxygen, those elements scatter across the galaxy and they organize again into planets, including Earth. That, my friends, is the first Big Bang. That’s cosmological evolution. That’s the evolution of the cosmos.

Understand this, get this, because it’s a bigger deal than you can possibly imagine. A hundred years ago, we didn’t know that the essence of reality was everything evolving in every moment. Einstein thought that everything was happening in an eternal universe. We now know it’s all evolving, the evolutionary impulse, the first Big Bang, in which nothing gives birth to something. Then the cosmos emerges.

So the Big Bang gives birth to the first great cycle, the first Big Bang of cosmological evolution. Then, it bangs again. The second Big Bang. The cosmos, the inert and inanimate cosmos, that is nonetheless sentient, self-organizing, ceaselessly creative, that ceaselessly creative cosmos then awakens in this huge leap of emergence unexplainable by any force; and life is born, the second Big Bang.

You unleash creative, dynamic life. Biological evolution comes into being; that movement in which quarks bond together, drawn together by the Eros, the animating Eros, the movement of higher and higher levels of mutuality, recognition, union, and embrace. That relationship, that attraction, that currency of connection that inheres in the cosmos and those quarks become atoms and those atoms become molecules. Those molecules become complex molecules. Then at some moment, against any possibility of chance, those molecules awaken, guided by what some emergent scientists are calling the Fifth Force—guided by an internal Eros.

An internal Eros, this is not intelligent design, this is not a Santa Claus God from the outside saying, “Let there be.” It’s the ceaseless creativity of the divine creative principle, the evolutionary impulse moving the cosmos itself, intelligent, awake. The cosmos is intelligent. The cosmos is infinite being and infinite intelligence, encoded information that guides the evolutionary impulse. In biological evolution, the second Big Bang takes place. The first Big Bang takes billions of years. The second Big Bang takes hundreds of millions of years. Then, after this second Big Bang, after biological evolution, after life awakens to single cell and then complex multicellular, then the first organisms, then, early, early plants. Then early animals then neural nets ultimately come to primates and the Triune brain. There is an entire process of evolution, the great second Big Bang.

Then it explodes again for a third time, and the third time you’re inside and you’re there. This is all happening with you, in you. The third Big Bang is the beginning, not of biological, but it’s the third grade movement of evolution. It’s actually cultural evolution. It’s only some fifty thousand years ago that this begins. Time begins to contract, things begin to move in real time.

The creative evolutionary impulse moves into the next phase. It’s the Big Bang of the human heart and mind. Culture is born. There’s artwork on cable, there’s this great leap forward, there is burial. There is celebration of cycles of moon and sun. Musical instruments honor the cycles of life and death, and cultural evolution—this new great emergent. And each emergent is undetermined by that which comes before it. Each one is drawn forward by the very Eros of the cosmos. And it goes through cycles. We go from early cycles of hunter-gatherer, then a horticultural; early farming instruments. Then more sophisticated farming instruments. Then to more dramatic and more advanced techno-economic basis until we finally come to the industrial revolution. We come to the information revolution some forty, fifty years ago. These are stages of evolution. Evolution moves, always, through stages. You’re organizing power from hunter-gatherer to horticultural to agrarian to industrial to information.

We move from cave paintings to crop circles, and from crop circles we move to pyramids, then we move from pyramids to Lao Tzu. From Lao Tzu we move to Shakespeare. The family unit moves from a two-, three-, four-person unit to a clan, to a bigger tribe, to a city, to a state, to a nation, to a global village. We move from preverbal to early symbol to early concepts, to verbal, to writing. We move from papyrus, to printing press, to phone, to fax, to Internet, to instant Internet.

We begin just barely walking and then we’re fully erect and then finally, there’s kind of a sled that carries us, then there’s a chariot. Then we’re riding horses. Then there’s a plane, then there’s a space shuttle. There’s cosmological, biological, cultural evolution, and it’s happening. Then, my friends, the fourth Big Bang happens. For the first time, a couple of hundred years ago, it’s just happened, the fourth Big Bang.

For the first time, evolution awakens to itself. We’ve become aware of evolution. Evolution begins to realize all the previous cycles. We’re able to look back at the story. We’re able to tell the story of the story. We begin to realize that there is a purpose, there is a direction, there’s a story. We’re going someplace. Evolution is moving to higher and higher levels of love, to higher and higher levels of recognition, mutuality, union, and embrace.

The human being erupts in this great cultural evolution. We begin with egocentric. Egocentric love. I love only those people who are connected to me and to my family. Then I awaken from egocentric to ethnocentric love. My felt sense of caring, concern, and love extends beyond me to my people. I’m willing to sacrifice for my people, and live and die for my people. I extend my love to my full people.

Then it bursts forth again, this force of evolutionary love. I begin to actually love, not only my people, not only my ethnocentric tribe, but I move from the ethnocentric to worldcentric. Then I actually begin to experience myself as a global citizen, that everyone’s part of this whole story, that I’m actually related to everybody in the globe. Although I may locate myself in a particular place, and I include my ethnocentricity, I transcend and include. My egocentric doesn’t disappear. I still care for myself and my family in a particular way. I transcend and include and I become ethnocentric in my love. That doesn’t disappear. I then become worldcentric in my love. My felt sense of caring, concern, extend to the entire world.

Then I awaken yet again. I become kosmoscentric. I awaken as True Self, as a unique expression of True Self, as Unique Self. I awaken as Evolutionary Unique Self, which is the fifth Big Bang. I awaken as Evolutionary Unique Self. Evolution awakens, not just generally, not just human beings seeing the evolutionary process. We actually begin to realize that we are the center of the process at this moment, that our creativity and our consciousness and our expanding circles of love, and our depth, and our creativity, and our Eros, and our evolving conscious uniqueness are actually the eyes of the universe, are the feet of the universe, are the hands of the universe.

Evolution awakens uniquely through us as the evolutionary impulse awakens as your Evolutionary Unique Self. So in this moment, if for the first time you’re actually experiencing yourself, or you’re re-experiencing yourself, as I am right now, myself, not just as a limited separate self, Marc Gafni, it’s my life way–what a pathetic and sad and tragic way to live my limited life, by myself in my skin-encapsulated ego: what a lonely, alienated way to live–but I actually realize, in this moment, that the evolutionary impulse is awakening through me. God is having a Marc experience. God is having a Terry experience. God is having a Mary experience. God is having a Tonya experience. God is having a Kristina experience, God is having a Judith experience, God is having a Kathleen experience, and a Leanna experience. God is having a Marge experience. Can you feel that?

The entire process of evolution is, in this moment, awakening to itself, realizing itself as Steve, as Brett, as Ken. ‘Oh my God’ takes on a new application, a new meaning. ‘Oh my God,’ meaning—you. You, oh my God, awakening in you, as you, through you.

When you feel that awakening of the fifth Big Bang awakening through your awakening, you realize that—wow—I’m part of the whole thing and the whole thing is part of me. The next minute depends on me. The next unfolding of goodness, of the good, the true, and the beautiful, depends on my ability to wake up and give the Unique Gift that emerges from my unique perspective and that is an expression of my unique creativity that no one in the world has but me.

So you think you need Prozac to make yourself feel like your life is meaningful, really? Now Prozac’s good, and drug stabilization is, of course, good. And you should use it, because it’s a wonderful new invention. And I mean that kind of half kiddingly. What I mean is, if you want to find and access your deepest sense of meaning, if you want to access joy, if you want to access a sense of being ultimately needed by All-That-Is—access, awaken to your Evolutionary Unique Self.

That’s what this meditation is about—the ability to awaken and experience reality as your Evolutionary Unique Self, as God living in you, as you, and through you, as a unique expression of the love intelligence and love beauty that initiated reality itself.

When you awaken in that way, you experience outrageous love. We said earlier, the only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love. Do you think the movement from the un-manifest to the manifest, from nothing to something was anything less than outrageous love? Then infinity being willing to contract itself into a point and to begin the entire story of evolution again? Is there anything less than outrageous in that? And you realize that that outrageous love moves through five great Big Bangs, through cosmological, through biological, through cultural evolution that then awakens as you in this moment. That the very next step of evolution in some particular unique expression of love, of love expression of love intelligence, expression of love beauty depends absolutely on you. There is no one else in the world who can speak to that corner of un-love in the way that you can, other than you.

Outrageous Acts of Love: An Outrageous Love Story

I was recently in Cracow Poland. I went there for many reasons. One of them was to find a grave in the Cracow Jewish cemetery. It was the grave of Yossele, the holy miser.

And this is the story of Yossele. It is the sweetest story in the world. Stories matter. In every chapter I will share with you an outrageous love story. Because my teacher always said to me, God loves stories so very much. The fewer stories you tell the less alive you are. Children are holy because they still know the truth of stories. A young person is someone who is telling stories. An old man is someone who stopped telling stories long ago. A true wise man is old and yet still a child because he listens to a story at a level which is even deeper than he did when he was only a child. The holy master Nahman of Breslav says, “when you dream, you dream only stories.” So this is for all the children. That live in us. This is what the holy master Israel of Rishin says, “the torah, the heart of the heart of the lineage, is told in stories, because the master of the world is the best story teller in the world”.

So allow me to tell you a story of outrageous love.

It is a true story. You know friends –what is the most god like act in the world? What is the greatest expression of outrageous love? Giving. When a person is truly giving he is so close to god. When a person is giving she literally is God. She is outrageous love. For that is the only true place from which to give. The only remnant of this story is in the old, old cemetery in Cracow Poland. I had the privilege to be there. So sacred, so awesome is that place. So sad and yet so full of life. Feels like darkest night and the place of the most beautiful and holy light.

Under a tree outside the cemetery there is a grave marker. I was there. saw it with my own eyes. It says, “Here lies Yossele, the holy miser.” It was 1550 when this story took place. The Jews then were so persecuted, so poor. But there was one rich Jew. But he was the greatest miser in the world. He never gave even one ruble to a poor man. People said to him, ”You must have a heart of stone.” A miser in the tradition is not part of the world. The world is created by God. You know, my beautiful friends, if you are not giving you are not part of society. No one would say good Sabbath and no one would wish him a good year. Kids would throw pebbles and say, “hey dirty miser.” Kids can be so cruel but no one stopped because it seemed like what they said was true. One day the burial society heard that he was dying. They rushed to his bedside. Yossele, you never gave any money to anyone…never helped anyone out. Give a thousand rubles to the burial society and we will give it to the poor and we will bury you with full dignity after you die. But Yossele–obviously has a heart of stone—said: I cannot afford more than fifty rubles. Yossele you cannot take the money with you. But he refused. I will not give you any more than fifty. We will not bury you then they said to him. He smiled what seemed to be a sad smile and said, “I will bury myself–I did a lot of things by myself.” And at that moment the last drops of breath were leaving his body. He said as he dies as all Jews did at that time. Shma Yisrael, Hear o Israel, the lord our god the lord is one. They thought, wow as he dies he must be thinking about the money he saved. He died on Sunday. They walked out and they kept their word. Yosele died Sunday night. They did not bury him on Sunday or on Monday. Or Tuesday. Wednesday. Wednesday night …after midnight they threw Yoselle on a wagon and they buried him outside the cemetery under a tree. You think this is the end of the story. Open your hearts friends. Yoselle, Yosselle, Yoselle.

At the time of Yossele, there lived a Rabbi, one of the great kabbalists of the generation. His name was Yom Tov Lipman Heller.

Late Thursday night a poor man knocked on the rabbi’s door. Rebbe, please give me some money for the honor of the Shabbos? On Sabbath every person buys food and wine and candles to celebrate the meaningful nature of reality and live for twenty four hours in enlightened consciousness. The rabbi says, of course I will be happy to give you some money. But I have known you for years and you never came to ask for money. Why now? What happened?  “Rebbe,” answers the poor man. I want you to know for twenty years I have not had a job. But every Thursday before the sabbath under my broken door, into my broken life there is an envelope. And in the envelope it says Le’kavod Shabbos, “in honor of Shabbos.” And it always has three rubles in it enough to feed my family and I for another week. But not today, but not today, today there was no envelope”. Two minutes later there is another knock at the door. Another poor man who tells a similar story. “Every Thursday morning there was an envelope, two rubles…”  That night all the poor people knocked on the rabbi’s door, each needing assistance. None of them had he heard from for many years.  And everybody told the same story. They told of their personal envelope which they received under their door every Thursday morning. In one envelope, three rubles, in another envelope there were four or six rubles. And everyone realized…. Yossele, Yossele, Yossele, Yossele ….Everyone realized… Yossele. “We did not even bury him” they all said. “But I do not understand.” asked the rabbi, “how did he know you so well to be able to give one person, two rubles, another five ruble and a third person seven rubles, each according to their own needs.” And this is the story that all the poor people told. “Every one of us at some time become so desperate that we thought, maybe I will get through to the stone heart of Yossele, the holy miser.” So the poor man would go and knock at the door trembling with trepidation and holy desperation. Yossele would open the door with so much love so much sweetness. They immediately would forget that they were talking to Yosselle the holy miser.

They opened their hearts. Yossele would say to them, tell me everything …tell me everything about your holy desperation. He would take out a quill and write what they said. They were so honored and moved by his interest. He would write every word with tears streaming down his face. “Where do you live? How much do you need a week to live?” And they would tell him everything. “Yossele, if you only have a heart please give me five rubles a week to keep my children alive?” He would bring them some wine and cake and they would be feeling so good. And suddenly without warning he would get up with eyes flaming anger. He was a very burly strong man. He would pick them up and throw them out of this house. “Go  far away from here and don’t you ever come back. Don’t you know who I am .I am Yossele, the miser, and I will never give you any of my money.” The poor man would be so shocked and so embarrassed by the whole thing. What was I thinking by going to ask Yossele, the miser. I am crazier than he is. Why did I subject myself to this? And he would not tell anyone, not even his wife that he has been to see Yossele and within a couple of days back in the routine of desperation he also would forget about the visit. But sometime in the future after he had forgotten, there would be, on a Thursday morning, an envelope with just enough money under his door to keep his family alive, and after that every week an envelope.

The rabbi and all the poor people were all crying so intensely. “He kept us all alive and our children would throw stones at him.” The rabbi said this Sunday let it be a public fast day, let everyone come to the synagogue and we’ll pray and ask forgiveness from holy Yossele. That Sunday the synagogue was full. There was not an empty seat. People were crying, Yossele, forgive me, Yossele bless me… Yossele. “I have the feeling we did not reach him,” said the rabbi. He opened the holy ark, “Yossele, give us a sign that you have forgiven us.” He fell to the floor. The townspeople thought he had a heart attack, but really he fell into a dream. In his dream he saw Yossele but not like he had appeared in Cracow but rather with such radiance. Yossele was so very beautiful. “Tell everyone to go home. I wanted it this way. I wanted the holy privilege of being an outrageous lover and giving without anyone knowing that I was giving. Thank you so much for pouring out your hearts to me when you came to visit. I was so honored by each and every one of you.

“So what is it like in the heaven,” the rabbi asked. “It is so beautiful,” said Yossele, “I am sitting here right next to God’s holy throne. So radiant and sweet beyond all imagination. But there is one thing I need. There is one thing I am missing. I would give up all of paradise for just one more Thursday morning. There are no poor people in heaven; there are no broken doors in heaven, no envelopes for the honor of Sabbath.”

Yossele was an outrageous lover. The Evolutionary impulse was awake and alive in him. The same Eros that moves Yossele to give out envelopes moves the infinite to manifest a cosmos at the moment of the big bang. Shimon Bar Yochai, in the great Zohar, reminds us of what we have always known: “Be-Chavivuta Talya Milta”. It all depends on love. On outrageous love. The Eros that moves atoms to become molecules and molecules to become cells is unconscious. The love that moves the sun and stars as well. But the love that moves Yossele to the life he lived is awake, freely choosing and conscious. Love has evolved. Yossele is the catalyst and incarnation of love’s evolution.

Outrageous Love is both the currency of connection between human beings and the essential Eros that drives the evolutionary process as a whole. Outrageous Love is the Eros of all relationship even as it is the very Eros of evolution itself. Personal and impersonal love are one. One love. Evolutionary love. Outrageous love.

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Yossele, the holy miser is an outrageous lover. He commits outrageous acts of love. But there are so many outrageous acts of love which need doing? Which acts of outrageous love should you do?

To answer this inquiry you need to reflect even more deeply on your essential nature. You are not merely love. Or said differently love is not generic. It is not a one size fits all mass brand. Rather love is specific and particular. Love is sui generis. That is to say it appears in every person as its own genre, unlike any other. This bring us to the next key question. The question of ultimate identity. The inquiry into the nature of self. Your Self. Who are you?

Integrating the deepest insight of the great mystics, modern psychology and evolutionary emergence theory we can now approach that question. Who are you?

You are an irreducibly unique expression of reality. You are an irreducibly unique expression of the love intelligence and the love beauty that is the initiating and animating Eros of all that is. There is no one just like you that ever was is or will be.

You are a Unique Self. You, as an individual, are a unique expression of the animating Eros of reality. The irreducibly unique love-intelligence lives in you and as you in a way that it never has, does or will ever again, other than through you. What does it mean to be a Unique Self? It is not merely the typology of your ego’s structure. Unique Self is not merely a function of your cultural, psychological or social conditioning. Unique Self is a property of essence. To realize your Unique Self is to realize your essence. Your Unique Self is the answer to your most essential question, Who Are You?

Your Unique Self is the healing for your worst nightmare. Your worst nightmare is that you do not matter, that you are an extra on the set.  Your Unique Self tells you, that You Matter.  You are an outrageous lover. There are outrageous acts of love which can be committed by you and you alone. These outrageous acts of love have waited to be remembered and committed by from the beginning of time.

Which outrageous acts of love should you commit? The answer is clear. Commit the outrageous acts of love that are an expression of your Unique Self. These are the outrageous acts of love that are yours to do, for which you were born, the purpose of your life. For to be a unique self is to be an outrageous lover. They are one and the same.

In your Unique Self the very Eros of evolution – indeed evolution itself – awakens in you. God is having a You-experience.

When we say God we do not refer to a mythic Santa Claus God. Rather, God is not less than evolutionary Eros that animates and drives all of reality and God is not less than the personal quality of essence that knows your name. All of reality itself is God’s outrageous love letter. Reality is – but all accounts intelligent and an expression of Eros. Within this great outrageous love letter called reality, God wrote a unique outrageous love letter as your name. You – your very self-are a unique outrageous love letter unlike any other. You have a message. That message is you. Most of life’s psychological suffering can be traced to a loss of identity. You are messenger who forgot your message. You are unlike any other that ever was or will be. You have a unique fingerprint, a unique atomic signature, and an irreducibly unique cellular signature. You are special, irreplaceable, distinct and distinguished. Your specialness, your uniqueness however does not separate you from any other. It rather connects you with all of reality. Uniqueness is the currency of connection. Your Unique Self is like a puzzle piece. The unique shape and contours of the puzzle piece are what connect the puzzle piece to the larger puzzle. Your uniqueness is the universe’s outrageous love letter written through and as you.

Imagine how your life will transform when you awaken to your true identity. You thought you were merely a skin encapsulated evil needing to grasp and brutally compete to survive. Everyone else you viewed as a potential enemy in a zero sum winners and losers universe. You know realize that you are an irreducibly unique expression of the love-intelligence and love-beauty of all that is. You are an outrageous love letter. On every level of your life, psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, everything begins to change, shift and transform.

You think that to love outrageously is beyond your capacity. Only saints or enlightened beings love outrageously.

It is to time for the democratization of enlightenment. It is time for the democratization of outrageous love. There is no prophet to wait for. The future is you. The old top-down world of religion and government is over. There is no messiah coming. He has already come. She is you. These are not words of love parading in pretty costumes. This is the deepest truth of the cosmos that emerges from a profound reality consideration of where we are today, as individuals and as a collective.

Who are you? You are an outrageous love letter. That is a shift in identity, which literally changes everything. This is not a fantasy or a dogma or pretty words. This is the best understanding of reality as realized by the leading edge of scientific and spiritual wisdom.

There are two core qualities of your unique self- your outrageous lover essence- that together invite and even demand your outrageous acts of love.

You address a unique need in reality that can only addressed by you. As a unique self, you occupy a unique place in the space-time continuum. You have a unique perspective. Your unique perspective creates unique insight. Your unique insight expresses itself as unique gifts. When you give your unique creative gifts to address a unique need in reality that can only be engaged by you. To be awake, aware, and aflame in outrageous love is to live your deepest purpose, which is to live your Unique Self. Which is to address the unique need that is yours to address in your unique circle of intimacy and influence.

This is what it means to awaken as the evolutionary impulse. You incarnate the unique face of the evolutionary process that pulses through you. You awaken as pulsing source. You are God’s verb. Remember the God you do not believe in does not exist. By god we do not mean the mythological god who sits in the sky demanding obedience and cruelly punishing poor sinners. Rather God is the impersonal evolutionary impulse that moves all of initiates and animates all of reality. You are a unique personal expression of the evolutionary impulse.

***

Your Unique Self however is not reducible to your unique perspective. Your Unique perspective remember, births your unique insight, which in turn fosters your unique gift, which ultimately manifests as your unique action. Unique Self also expresses itself as your unique capacity for intimacy: for intimate engagement with the reality, the world and all the beings in it. Said simply, you are God’s Unique Intimacy. Remember again, what we just said several sentences ago. The god you do not believe in does not exist. By god we do not mean the mythological god who sits in the sky demanding obedience and cruelly punishes poor sinners. Rather God is the infinity of intimacy. God is the intimate nature of the universe itself. God is the personal face of essence that knows your name and holds your deepest yearnings.

Who is God? The great traditions experience God as infinity. They emphasize particularly the infinity of power and knowledge. Omnipotence and Omniscience. Which simply means infinitely powerful and infinitely knowing. But the outrageous love mystic sense a different infinity in the divine. The infinity of intimacy.

Let’s feel into this. For we cannot merely think our way into intimacy. Intimacy feels and intimacy feels love. The deepest realization you can have, a person can have, is to know that you live in an intimate universe. Intimacy means to be seen, recognized, and witnessed. We are all systematically misrecognized. This is the pain of alienation. It is the suffering which comes from being invisible. Intimacy is the opposite of being invisible. Invisible man is not intimate. To be intimate is to be known. Intimate relations in the sense of sexual relations are described in the sacred texts as knowing. Hence the phrase carnal knowledge. To live in an intimate universe is to be known. It is to know that you are seen. To know that you are known. But witnessing does not exhaust intimacy. Intimacy involves also means to be addressed. The intimate must always address you. Even if that address is sometimes in the sounds of silence. If you are truly intimate with someone you address them. You engage in dialogue. To live in an intimate universe is therefore to know that the universe addresses you. In this sense it may be said that the most significant verse in the entire Hebrew scripture is, “God spoke to Moses.” Four words.

Moses is not only witnessed, he is addressed. There is conversation. Not only is man in search of god, god is in search of man.

But intimacy is more than even being addressed. Intimacy invokes three other core qualities: Caring, partnership and identification. Each one expresses a progressively higher level of intimacy. First intimacy invokes the quality of caring. The God-voice in the sacred biblical-mystical text not only addresses man but cares for man. Intimacy means I care for you. I am concerned for your welfare. I am willing to sacrifice myself for your sake. I am willing to suspend something of myself to support your existence. In mysticism this quality of intimacy is called Tzimzum. Tzimzum literally means, to step back or sacrifice some dimension of self for the sake of other. This is a core expression of care and concern. If I truly care for you I must be willing to give something up for your sake. I need to lose some of myself for you to find yourself. Paradoxically however in that losing of self, self is born to a higher level of realization.

In the shocking realization of Hebrew mysticism something new is born in the divine when divinity steps back to birth and nourish reality. Intimacy however goes beyond even care and sacrifice. Intimacy implies a level of profound mutuality and partnership. Mutuality and partnership first express themselves at the level of need. God cares for Moses but Moses also cares for God. In the language of the mystics Man needs God but God also needs man. “God needs your service” cries out 16TH century kabbalist Meir Ibn Gabbai. This is divine pathos. God in need of man. “Your deed is God’s need” is a core axiom of the intimate mysticism of Kabbalah. God invites man to the intimate mutuality of partnership. Man and God stand together at the abyss of darkness and create light. In the visionary metaphor of the sacred text God invites man’s partnership in the creative process. Even in the process of God creating the human being in his image. “Let us make man in our image” reads he sacred text. To whom does the divine plural refer, “Let us”? Is not the oneness of God a core axiom of biblical mystical thought? Who might God be addressing? The answer of the kabbalists: God is addressing man. “Come let us, you and me together, make you in my image.”

But it is even more than that. Intimacy implies not only mutuality of need but mutuality of identity. The fifth book of the Torah is called by many texts the word of god. Yet the text begins with the phrase,” these are the words that Moses spoke”. How can it be? Is it the word of god or the word of Moses? The mystics saw no contradiction. “God speaks as Moses” is the language of the Zohar, the classic text of Hebrew mysticism. Moses “erotically merges with the divine” in an ultimate act of supra-sexual merging. A shared identity is formed between man and god. The god voice speaks through and as Moses.

The Hebrew letters for Moses are – in reverse spelling- mean the name, as in- the name of God. When Moses is fully realized he merges intimately with the divine in an erotic process which the mystics called Zivug. Zivug literally means erotic union. This is the highest form of intimacy. There is no longer merely a You and a me. There is now a We. A new identity has been born. Intimacy is the miracle of We.

So intimacy means that we address each other. Intimacy means that We care for each other. Intimacy means that We need each other. We partner. And ultimately intimacy means that We merge into the realization of lovers. The realization of shared identity. The knowing that on some level we were never apart. Intimacy always means that–to some degree- we are merging a dimension of our identities.

Now we come full circle back to God. God is the infinity of intimacy. The human being, erotically merged with source, is God’s unique intimacy. Follow the play of the divine logic of intimacy. There is a dimension of the world which will remain alienated and cold if you do not awaken to your true nature as an outrageous lover. There is a dimension of reality which in this very moment awaits your love. The world is a waiting beloved. You are a waiting lover. A very particular dimension, situation or aspect of reality awaits your specific loving. The world is a waiting beloved pining for your love. And yours alone. That is what it means to be God’s unique intimacy.

This brings us back to our original questions? Are you ready to play a larger game? Are you ready to play the largest game? Are you ready to participate in the evolution of love? Are you ready to awaken to your true nature as an outrageous lover, as God’s unique intimacy?

God is the infinity of intimacy. And that infinity lives uniquely in you. Your incarnate a unique quality of that infinite intimacy that lives nowhere else that ever was, is or will be. You are God’s Unique Intimacy. There are outrageous acts of love that can be committed by you and you alone. That is what it means to be God’s unique intimacy.

Your Unique Self has two faces. It is both the irreducibly unique perspective that lives in you, as you and through you and the unique intimacy that lives in you, as you and through you. Two faces. Two faces of the one.

And in the face of your unique intimacy there are two distinct tastes. In the divine intimacy that lives as you is your being and becoming. In the taste of being is your spacious silence. In the taste of becoming is your ecstatic urgency. These are the two tastes of your outrageous love. Divine intimacy loves the world open uniquely, in you, as you, and through you. Divine insight and creativity evolves the world uniquely, in you, as you, and through you. Outrageous love lives creatively as you. Outrageous love is only the bliss of being but the ecstatic urgency of becoming. Love lives you not only as blissful being but as ecstatic and urgent action.

You have outrageous acts of love to commit that can be committed by no one else other then you, that ever was is or will be. Your Unique Self has outrageous acts of love to commit that heal a corner of the world that is Un-Love, which can only be engaged and healed by you. You are God’s irreducibly Unique Perspective. You are God’s irreducibly Unique Intimacy. Both as a unique perspective of the evolutionary impulse and as God’s unique intimacy, your life address a unique need in the cosmos that can only be met by you.

Love and Obligation mean the same thing

We need to reclaim the notion of obligation at a higher level of consciousness. As our vision of love evolves so does our vision of obligation. At a fundamentalist level the loving god loves only those who are his people and only if they are obedient. Obligation at that level means to fulfill the externally imposed obligation of the mythic God. As loves evolves we begin to experience God not only as the lap of Eros in which we are held but as the evolutionary love that animates and drives the whole process which ultimately awakens as us. We awaken as irreducibly unique expression of that love intelligence and love beauty that initiated and animates all that is. In this context our vison and experience of obligation does not disappear but rather evolves. This is the evolution of love.

What does obligation mean? Chovah is the Hebrew word for obligation. It actually has two meanings. It means obligation, and it means love. In the original Hebrew love and obligation are the same word. So when we talk about obligation we are not talking about an externally imposed obligation by some form of coercive mythological or religious consciousness. We are not talking about obligation imposed by mother, or father, or any other caretaker, or by government, or by an externality like religion, or by any structure of society. We are talking about evolutionary obligation which is synonymous with evolutionary intimacy.

We are talking about obligation that is a function of your awakening to your Evolutionary Unique Self enlightenment. Your only obligation is to commit the outrageous acts of love that are an expression of your unique perspective and unique intimacy –that is to say – your unique self. This is your unique gift.

The word love and the word obligation are the same because this is the obligation which naturally emerges from your intimacy. Intimacy is mutuality and therefore intimacy always creates both the desire and the capacity to respond to the beloved. Response-ability is the capacity to respond.  It is the desire to respond. Intimacy implies responsibility, obligation, ecstasy and delight. All at once with no split or contradiction between them. Obligation is a natural, ecstatically urgent quality of outrageous love. Natural inner obligation is the not different then intimacy.

Obligation is not an enforced or coerced necessity. Obligation is your evolutionary response -ability. It is your unique ability to respond. Obligation is your evolutionary joy. Obligation is simply you, uniquely expressing and incarnating the love intelligence and love beauty that initiated the cosmos that lives in you, as you, and through you. Your obligation- which remember in Hebrew is the same word as love – is you creatively addressing a corner of the world that is unlove. That means a corner of the world that is in outrageous pain. Obligation means your responding to outrageous pain with outrageous love.

You have the ability to address outrageous pain by giving your Unique Gift. You address outrageous pain by incarnating and enacting your unique love intelligence. That moment that you open your eyes in love, you recognize that you have unique love intelligence and that can address a unique need is the moment that you awaken to your Evolutionary Unique Self. You awaken as an outrageous lover. Obligation then is a natural corollary of Unique Self and outrageous love. You are obligated only to commit the outrageous acts of love that can only be committed by you.

You feel obligated, not in the sense of a difficult burden, but with the utter, radical ecstasy of meaning. It’s the ecstasy of obligation. What we have just done is actually quite shocking and of extreme important in the great reconstructive project of meaning that we are participating in. It is of crucial important in the move to articulate a global ethic for a global civilization.

To really land this notion of obligation allow us to share a tongue in cheek story.

You’re stuck with mother Teresa on an island. You have shipwrecked. And just between us, you don’t like Mother Teresa. She’s a great lady, I understand, but you read her three biographies. If you did you will see that she was a person who did an enormous amount of good and but she was apparently one of the most difficult people to be around on planet earth.

You’re shipwrecked on this island, and you are stuck- I apologize – with Mother Teresa. She is driving you out of your mind. Every word she says you find triggering and humiliating.  This has been going on for ten years. She’s driving you crazy. You don’t create a religious order out of the Vatican by being sweet.

Every day year in and year out she verbally assaults you, and degrades you. You’re about to die. You can’t believe it. Killed on a desert island by Mother Teresa. You cannot believe that is your fate. You’re stuck on the island. In this hypothetical situation, you’re never going to leave the island. No one’s ever going to know what happens on the island. What happens on the island, stays on the island.

Ten years later, a trunk washes up to shore.  Let’s make this a little comical. There’s scuba diving gear in the trunk which seems to have survived the shipwreck. You and Mother Teresa happened to know how to scuba dive.  So you go scuba diving. She gets caught in the coral reef and breaks both arms. You happen to be a doctor. What can you do? You set her arms in splints. Her hands are both straight out in front of her body. They need to be that way. It’s rackingly painful for her to move her body. She can’t move at all. She’s hungry. She needs to eat. There’s plenty of food on the island.

Do you, or don’t you have an obligation to feed Mother Teresa? I have asked his questions to tens of thousands of people over many years. Virtually everyone responded in the same way. Of course you have an obligation to feed her. It’s not a good deed or lovely thing to do! Rather you must feed her. You are obligated.  You have to feed her!  Why do you have to feed her? Why is there an obligation? Here we introduce the fivefold theory of obligation.

1) There’s an obligation because there’s a need.

2) There’s a genuine need – not a contrived need.

3) You clearly recognize the need.

4) You’re capable of fulfilling the need.

5) You realize that you’re uniquely capable to fulfill that need. You’re the only person on the face of the planet who’s able to address this need.

That is why you are obligated to feed mother Teresa.

Here it is, my friends: When you awaken to your Unique Self, you actually experience that that is the nature of your reality every single day.

To awaken as Unique Self is to know that there is a need, it is a genuine need, you are capable of recognizing that need, you have the capacity to fulfill that need, and that you are the only person on spaceship planet Earth that’s actually able to – in the unique way that you are able to – address that need. This is the core premise of the symphony of Unique Self. This is how an anthill works. You understand now how a slime mold organizes. You understand how cities self-organize. You understand how the cells in your body self-organize in order to evolve from a single cell to the incredibly dazzling gorgeousness that dazzles science fiction. Genuine science in fact is far exceeds science fiction. Just study meiosis and mitosis in molecular biology for ten minutes. How does the cell do that? It self organizes. It pays attention to the signals of its neighbors, and addresses the unique need invited by its neighbor.

That’s why the mystics said, “Love your neighbor,” is the great principle of wisdom. All you have to do is love your neighbor. Don’t love reality. Don’t love a great social cause and kill your neighbor. Actually love your neighbor. Pay attention to the signals of your neighbor. Act in your framework of reality. Act within your circle. Address through your Unique Self the need that can be addressed only by you. That is the obligation, privilege, and joy of your life. You begin to play your instrument in the Unique Self symphony of reality. You liberate a degree of human innovation, creativity, and potential that can literally create heaven on earth.

That is what it means to awaken to your Unique Self to realize you are a unique incarnation of the love intelligence and love beauty that initiated the cosmos itself. It’s to realize that you have a Unique Gift of Love. It’s to realize that your Unique Self creates your Unique Self obligation. The outrageous acts of love that are yours to perform come from, emerge from your Unique Self.

My outrageous acts of love are not the same as Alice’s. And Maria’s are different than Sandy’s. And Gillian’s, down in Australia, are different than Kristina’s, and Lesley’s are different than Paul’s. I become an outrageous lover by fully embracing the unique love intelligence incarnate as my Unique Self as my essential identity. Then I begin to commit outrageous acts of love. We need to create a bottom-up transformation of society. We can’t end this book just having transmitted an experience of personal awakening. We need to actually create an evolutionary We Space, where people are invited, where each one of us is invited to awaken as an Evolutionary Unique Self, commit outrageous acts of love, to awaken as your Unique Self is to awaken as an outrageous lover. We’re going to create, together, a self-organizing, viral wave, that ripples through the world, of people awakening as Unique Self, even if for a moment and committing outrageous acts of love. Remember, the outrageous lover keeps every boundary that should be kept and breaks every boundary that should be broken. So your outrageous act of love has got to be congruent with your Unique Self. Your love is aligned with your Unique Self. Your outrageous act of love is literally love in action. Evolution is love in action. Evolution is you committing an outrageous act of love. That’s what it means. It doesn’t mean something else. Evolution is Spirit in action, love in action, awakening as you, awakening to your Evolutionary Unique Self, committing an outrageous act of love, telling the story in an outrageous love letter. Wow.

Let’s wake up together. Let’s go for it. Let’s self-organize. Do you get it? It can’t be top down anymore. There’s no Messiah we’re waiting for. There is no teacher we’re waiting for. There is no Buddha who’s going to do it. It’s going to happen through the evolution of specialization, the radical division of labor, the fruitful exchange of ideas, accelerated through technology, in which we can all find each other. It’s going to happen through self-organization. When we actually choose not to be a pre-personal, unconscious anthill, but to be a conscious organismic reality that radically celebrates the insanely gorgeous uniqueness of every individual, the infinite, irreducible dignity of every human story. Every human being is a star. Then those stars come together and form a light of inner connectivity, of infinite creativity. Remember, our resources are finite, but our creativity – the function of our Evolutionary Unique Selves – is infinite. The way you express it is, you commit an outrageous act of love, that’s the first step. Commit an outrageous act of love.

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