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A Return to Eros
This work written by Drs. Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid is one of the core source texts for the new meta-theory of the Center which we call Cosmo-Erotic Humanism. It has been widely recognized as a seminal work. Click here for our book projects in progress and a list of our available publications.
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Barbara Marx Hubbard
Barbara Marx Hubbard has been called “the voice for conscious evolution of our time” by Deepak Chopra and is the subject of Neale Donald Walsch’s book, The Mother of Invention. A prolific author, visionary, social innovator, evolutionary thinker and educator, she is co-founder and president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution and Co-Board Chair of CIW.
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by Dr. Marc Gafni and James Bampfield
A crisis has swept over our planet. As the virus has woven itself into the fabric of society, so have many aspects of our ordinary lives unravelled. We may be in fear about our health and that of our dear ones. We may find ourselves locked down at home, we may have found that our work has ground to a halt. Almost certainly, many of our plans have disintegrated like sandcastles in the oncoming tide. This wind of collective change is probably the strongest many of us in the developed world have felt in our lifetime.
Life feels different. The world feels a different place.
Instability and uncertainty are here to stay for a while.
In times of crisis, there are two equally important responses.
The first is immediate and practical: help and protect those most affected.
Attend to the frontline of suffering and disruption.
Acknowledge and feel the hardships round the world, acknowledge the privileged bubble in which many of us live – just having a garden is a massive bonus right now. Do what we need to do, take social responsibility.
The second imperative of a crisis is to make sense of it and learn from it.
Crisis is an ‘evolutionary driver.’ Crisis is a potential birth. If we look at the way evolution has worked in all domains – biologically, psychologically, culturally, politically, economically, spiritually – it has often taken a crisis to precipitate the next level of development.
- 0.1 >>> Download the Full Paper HERE <<<
- 0.2 >>> Download the Full Paper HERE <<<
- 1 Sense Making in Crisis
- 2 Decentralized Sense Making
- 3 The Realization of Unique Self
- 4 Blessed by Unique Self Heroes
- 5 The Next Step in Sense Making: Not Returning to Business as Usual
- 6 Our Crisis Is a Birth: Birthing the New Narratives
- 7 Outrageous Pain: Outrageous Love
- 8 Eros
- 9 The Infinity of Intimacy
- 10 The Fact Pattern of Corona: Expressions of the Global Intimacy Disorder
- 11 New Stories: Conscious Evolution and the Intimate Universe
- 12 Flawed Sense Making in Corona: Spiritual Bypassing and the Hubris of Control
- 13 From Unbearable Intimacy to the Intimate Universe
- 14 The Evolution of Intimacy
- 15 The Fear of Death: The First Shock of Existence
- 16 Forms of Avoidance
- 17 Death Demands Our Deepest Integrity
- 18 The Second Shock of Existence: From Catastrophic to Existential Risk
- 19 New Languages Tell New Stories
- 20 New Stories Emerge from the Second Shock
- 21 Flaws in the Storyline of Modernity
- 22 The Truth that Heroes Know
- 23 Just in Time for a Time Like This
By Dr. Marc Gafni
Note from the Editor: This article is based on the transcript of an oral talk given by Dr. Marc Gafni towards the end of March, 2020 as well as a longer article by Dr. Marc Gafni. The original talk is found here:
Sense Making in Crisis
As I churn through an inbox filled each day with articles, questions, and commentary about the Corona virus, I see the incredible range of our response. I read about health care workers risking their lives to save the dying, and friends sharing recipes and cocktails on Zoom, and everything in between. I say this with no judgment—there is no one way to respond to such a crisis. But whatever our response, most of us are asking what sense we can make of the meteorlike (but actually well-predicted) arrival of Covid-19 in our presence. The crisis reveals our lack of a map, and the need to articulate a new one. We need a shared story that includes but is underneath all our experience, no matter how varied. This is a time for sense making, both personal and collective. A shared story includes a sense of where we are—a shared universe story, together with who we are—a shared narrative of identity, and what we should be doing—a shared ethos.
Decentralized Sense Making
We need this because we live in a moment of decentralized sense making. We cannot rely on the government, the universities, the press, or the religious institutions and the alternative churches of the human potential movement in its New Age varieties. There is wisdom in each of those, but they are as fragmented as our sense of larger patterns and larger worldviews is fractured. We need to find our way back to a vision of goodness, truth, and beauty, based on the best information in the interior and exterior sciences that we have available to us. By exterior science I mean the hard and soft sciences with their measurement, experimentation, and data collection. By interior sciences, I mean the validated gnosis interior experience—the world of spirit, feeling, and inner wisdom. Together they are teaching us where we are, who we are, and what needs to be done in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The Realization of Unique Self
We are in a powerful moment of evolutionary reset. We have the potential now to redefine our identities as humans. The central knowing that is crystalizing in this evolutionary moment, sourced in the interior sciences, is that each of us is a Unique Self, with a unique perspective, quality of self and capacity for action. Our Unique Self is not simply our talent as separate monadic units. According to the best of the interior and exterior sciences, we are each—not fundamentally apart but rather—part of the larger whole of existence. But we are distinct parts. Each of us are unique emergents of the entire system. We are unique configurations of the larger field of life and consciousness. And therefore, we each have a unique gift to give that is needed by the whole. That is our core identity.
Blessed by Unique Self Heroes
This understanding of identity has not yet emerged into society. But more people are recognizing that we are not cogs in a production machine, nor merely a monadic separate self in a win-lose success struggle but rather—I am a Unique Self—had not yet emerged into society. The separate self identity still dominates culture almost entirely. But with the crisis of Covid-19 we have been blessed with so many heroes, Unique Selves in action every single one of them. Heroes, like poets, are often several steps ahead of culture. And as Unique Self the first response that our sense making demands is unique action. That is what it means to be the hero of your own life.
In the face of tremendous tragedy and urgent need we have seen so many people step up to give whatever unique gifts they have. They are not waiting for direction from others—they are putting their lives on the line and supporting others in every way possible. They are doctors coming out of retirement, they are teenagers delivering food, they are neighbors staging a drive-by birthday party complete with horns and balloons, they are sewing masks, they are applauding health care workers every night from their balconies, they are telephoning people who live alone, they are sending money to first responders and restaurant workers who lost their jobs. This is beautiful to experience, and tells us everything about one major thread of human nature—our inherent capacity to align with goodness and love even at great risk to ourselves. That makes sense only if we feel our identities to be unique and needed expressions of the large field of consciousness and love, not separate selves essentially alienated from the whole.
The immediate steps in sense making take place in the context of actions like these. The very first thing that needs to be done is to heal the sick, to have enough ventilators, to have enough beds in hospitals, to protect those who work in them, to make sure that everyone has access to basic necessities as we face a new economy.
Watch This Featured Clip by Dr. Marc Gafni
Welcome, everyone. It’s a hard time. It’s a painful time. We live in a world of outrageous pain, and the only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love. One of the things that we’re trying to do here at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution and we’re also trying to do it in a broadcast program that’s its own world that spun off originally from the center and the foundation and is now an independent and beautiful movement which is called One Church: Many Paths, One Mountain—we broadcast every week and we’re together every week; it’s an incredible community of some 10,000 people around the world—what we’re trying to do is what I would call sensemaking. We live in a moment of decentralized sensemaking. We don’t rely at this point on the government or the church. Our information ecologies are broken. Our sense of larger patterns and larger worldviews has been fractured and fragmented.
So as we find ourselves in the middle of this outrageous pain, the pain of the coronavirus, which is now a collective pain across the world, I just read an amazing set of stories about five Italian doctors, heroes, heroes of outrageous love who died this week, and the stories abound across the world. And we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re doing everything we can to flatten the curve, but we’re not doing enough. Will we be able to flatten the curve? What are the timeframes? There’s an enormous amount that needs to happen now.
But what I want to talk to you about in this moment is the sensemaking that we need to do. Now, sensemaking takes place in the context of action, so clearly the very first thing that needs to be done now is to heal the sick, to have enough ventilators, to have enough beds in hospitals, to not collapse the medical system, to not collapse the economy, because the economy is about people being able to buy basic necessities. It’s about survival in the most essential of ways. Let’s take the United States just as an example. Seventy percent of the families in the United States live from paycheck to paycheck.
So the amount of pain and dislocation and disruption and suffering is intense and real and we need to respond to it, and the only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love, and outrageous love means that there are outrageous acts of love to perform, and it’s not just the Italian doctors who are being the most incredible—this is a moment where Italy truly is filled with outrageous lovers, unbelievable beyond imagination—but it’s not just those Italian doctors. It’s all of us who need to be, in this moment, heroes. We need to protect our elderly who are more precious than precious. We need to provide every resource we can. We need to share our homes when it’s appropriate within the context of physical distancing. We need to share our resources, which means our money and our time. We need to share our hearts. We need to join hands. We need to respond to outrageous pain with outrageous love.