by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Kristina Kincaid
It was the sensual Persian poet Hafiz who understood the full power of erotic surrender in every arena of life. The ecstatic poem “Tripping Over Joy” transmits something about the power of surrender:
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.
Loosening the Reins
The one master who saw it as his role to reclaim the erotic at the core of life was the Baal Shem Tov, Master of the Good Name. We have already met this master of Eros in this book, and we will encounter him many more times along the way. The Baal Shem Tov was an eighteenth-century magician, mystic, and healer who founded the movement of spiritual renewal, Hasidic Judaism, that swept Eastern Europe in the 1700s. The story is told of a fateful meeting between Jacob Joseph of Polnoye, a well-known religious master of the time, and the Baal Shem.
The master from Polnoye had apparently heard of the Baal Shem before but had refused to join his ecstatic movement. Then Jacob Joseph heard that there was a lone individual in the marketplace telling stories. His stories were preventing people from coming to the prayer house for morning prayers. He had his attendant summon the renegade storyteller with the intention of severely reprimanding him. The Baal Shem came to him, smoking his pipe.
It’s hard to believe that Evolutionary Church is quickly approaching its 1 year anniversary! Together, with your love and support we’ve initiated a grassroots movement that’s responding to our times of global uncertainty, crisis and breakdown with outrageous love.
We are a virtual, global Unique-Self Symphony of 6,000 people (and growing) who are answering the evolutionary call to create a world equal to our potential… and it’s exciting to feel the depth and breadth of goodness, truth and beauty that’s expressed in, through and as US every Saturday.
Our weekly live broadcasts of Evolutionary Church will always remain free of charge to anyone who wishes to join us! We now have a Facebook Page for Evolutionary Church! Please take 2 seconds to “like” our page here: www.facebook.com/EvolutionaryChurch!
Now is the time to deepen our commitment to a planetary awakening in love through a Unique Self Symphony by giving YOU a home to actively participate in creating a world equal to our potential.
And that’s why we created the Evolutionary Church Collective.
(which will aid in the evolutionary unfolding of homo universalis)
Let me start off by saying that you might think that I am jumping from one subject to another. Since many of us have been conditioned to believe that the body and the mind are separate, we have a tendency to understand things in a certain way. What I will try to do in this paper is to weave these two seemingly separate entities together so that the reader will understand that they are really ONE.
Many of the world’s religions teach that the spiritual journey involves transcending the ego. What is the ego? It is the learned historical self that tyrannizes us. We become enslaved by habits, fixed beliefs and knee-jerk reactions that don’t serve us. When we are under the tyranny of the ego we are enslaved by habitual perceptions and ways of being. These ways of being, which are these habituated patterns of acting, are the somatic structure of what we call personality and character (see Thomas Hanna’s “Body of Life: Creating New Pathways for Sensory Awareness and Fluid Movement”). If we understand this, we realize that we are our own worst enemies. When we are under the ego’s control, we are on automatic. We are puppets or automatons. The only way out is so look within.
For a more comprehensive description for what the ego actually is and does, see the book “Your Unique Self” by Marc Gafni. Thomas Hanna also wrote a book about the how the ego tyrannizes us. The title of this book is “The End of Tyranny.” Hanna also writes about how sensory motor amnesia tyrannizes us and causes bodily pain the disease. So, the whole human (SOMA) becomes tyrannized by habits — habituation that enslaves us in every way — body, mind, and spirit. This is known as the false self. It is my purpose in this article to show how we can gain freedom from this inner tyranny that causes so much human suffering. It is also my purpose to show a way out of this suffering through SOMATIC EDUCATION.
by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik
Without any marketing or press, one of our key think tank projects at the Center for Integral Wisdom, A Return to Eros: The Radical Experience of Being Fully Alive – co-authored by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid – is already #1 New Release on amazon.com in Sacred Sexuality right now. Many of our American friends have already received their copy.
Here is the review I wrote – since I had the pleasure of reading it already pre-publication – which amazon wouldn’t allow me to post:
Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid have written a very important book for our times. The way they talk about Eros, it takes it out of the bedroom and the context of our most intimate relationships into the largest context there is. Eros, as they understand it, is the interior of all the forces of attraction in our universe, the very forces that drive evolution to more and more complexity, more and more consciousness, and the potential for more and more and deeper and deeper love. In human beings, that same Eros manifests as a sense of radical aliveness, creativity, and wonder.
What becomes crystal clear upon reading: It is a failure of Eros that lies at the core of so many of our contemporary collective crises that threaten our very survival as a species. When we repress our sexuality, Eros breaks down, which is followed by a breakdown of ethics. When, on the other hand, we expect the sexual to fulfill all of our erotic needs, sexuality breaks down under the burden it cannot bear.
So, read this book and be amazed of the depth of insight and realization that awaits you by truly engaging its content.
If you feel numbed out and not able to access your full aliveness, read this book.
If you feel shamed about your sexuality and haven’t found a way out of it yet, read this book.
If you are an activist feeling more and more hopeless in your desire to make a real difference in the world, read this book.
If you are a spiritual seeker wondering about the relationship between sexuality and spirituality, this book is for you.
Kerstin Zohar Tuschik
Some Editorial Reviews
“Marc and Kristina are going where few dare to to go and showing us what it means to live a fully erotic life!”
–Dr. John Gray, author of Beyond Venus and Mars
This workshop will introduce the Unique Self Emergence Process through practices that are immediately applicable in your life. You will leave this intensive with a clear map to guide your own Unique Self emergence, one you can work with immediately. By engaging in a series of core practices, participants will gain an embodied experience of the three states of consciousness that characterize the journey from Separate Self to Unique Self. You will also gain a vision for how the Unique Self Emergence Process might be used to facilitate emergence in individuals, couples and groups.
In this two day workshop you will:
- learn the basic principles of the Unique Self Teachings.
- explore how Integral Theory, Developmental Psychology, the Enneagram, neuroscience, as well as the ancient and modern spiritual traditions, are woven into the process
- discover how the USEP’s core practices facilitate the journey from Separate Self to Unique Self.
Join us in an experience that will open your heart & imagination to the creative possibilities of the process.
WHEN: Friday September 22nd from 9:30 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday September 23rd from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
COST: $40.00, which includes snacks & lunch
RETREAT FACILITATOR: Barbara Alexander and a team of certified USE Facilitators
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: September 13, 2017
by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik
A couple of days ago, many of us returned from the fifth annual Mystery School with Dr. Marc Gafni in Holland. Still basking in the aftertaste of it, we are in the process of integrating it all into our bodies and our lives.
At the Center for Integral Wisdom, our mission is to evolve the source code of culture by evolving the memes and distinctions that govern both our personal and collective lives. The Mystery and Wisdom Schools are our Dharma labs for the new distinctions that we are developing and learning how to deploy into culture to evolve the source code.
As our Academic Director Dr. Zachary Stein has stated so beautifully in a previous blog-post:
“Across the centuries, mystics have convened mystery schools on the edges of civilizations and worldviews. Intentionally small and remote, peopled with trusted initiates, these schools have been the storehouses of innovations in consciousness, sourced in ancient traditions, guided by a memory of the future. Off stage and out of sight, a few have always been preparing seeds for planting in the compost of the rapidly degenerating culture of the so-called civilized.”
Mystery School is where we come together as evolutionary mystics, the Wheel of Dharma turns, new dharma is coming down, SHE dances, and we can literally feel the source code shift.
Mystery School is not a personal growth seminar. And yet, paradoxically, personal transformation happens at much higher rates than at any personal transformation event. All of us committing to evolving the source code of culture, to the conscious evolution of the all, is exactly what fuels our own transformation with the power of the all.
Once we realize that we are not separate from, but unique embodiments of, the Evolutionary Impulse it all starts to make sense.
As long as it is about MY transformation, I separate myself from the all and I am narcissistically lost in ego. Once I begin to serve the evolution of the all, that same impulse becomes alive in me and my own transformation becomes a byproduct of the evolution of the all.
When you read my testimonial below and the ones of my colleagues linked to at the end, keep in mind that they are written with great delight from within the energy of the Mystery School. They are not 3rd person accounts but rather 1st person mystical testimonials.
Each year at the end of the Festival we say: This cannot get any better! And then it does get better. And OMG, we did it again! This was the most awesome Mystery School of Love EVER!!!
Deepest bow to CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni, our dharma teacher, who opened the space again and again, every morning, every moment with open heart, penetrating insight and clarity, deep humility, devotion, purity, and holy audacity. He has been more humble, devoted, pure, open, and audacious than ever, serving the dharma, serving the Goddess, serving the collective field and the awakening of every single human being in the room and on this planet while dancing with us to the end of love, the end of shame, and the leading edges of culture.
By Mary Ann Gray Voorhies
Unique Self Somatology is a path that is not tied to any one culture. The main thrust of the practice is to overcome “bad” habits or habits that do not serve us well. In somatic language this is called habituation. The goal of this somatic learning is somatic freedom. It occurs by reprogramming the whole brain. Clinical Somatic Education is a discipline that helps to reprogram the sensory motor cortex. When the reprogramming of the frontal lobe/neocortex occurs and when both of these disciplines are practiced together, this is called somatology or holistic somatics. The reprogramming of the neocortex is commonly known as growth and spirituality.
I have practiced both of these disciplines and am certified in both of them. Education for Living seminars is a series of workshops that helps to provide somatic experiential learning that leads to more wisdom, self-understanding, love for others, and somatic freedom from automatic knee-jerk behavior. It also leads to freedom from emotional suffering as clinical somatics leads to freedom from physical suffering. My passion in life is to help to spread these two new fields of somatic learning.
Just as Marc Gafni talks about the democratization of enlightenment, I too, envision through the practice of these two somatic disciplines that the process of becoming more healed and whole human beings can happen at a remarkable rate. This freedom from our own conditioning is what Thomas Hanna called THE FAIR STATE. In the article WHAT IS SOMATICS? Thomas Hanna said that somatics is optimal, physical, and MENTAL health. He also says that this is a great leap for mankind and because of the knowledge that we have now, we have landed upon a new continent. In his book BODIES IN REVOLT, he talks about the fact that the human race is evolving and mutating. And it is because of our new somatic understanding that somatology will provide a giant leap for mankind.
by Dr. Zachary Stein – after the 15th and final Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain, which concluded a 10 year cycle
In a popular culture that has re-packaged the great cultural revolutions of the 1960s we have to ask exactly where and what a “counter culture” could be in today’s world. One answer is that the counter culture has gone mainstream, it’s everywhere now—massive numbers are marching for women and the Earth, even more are engaging in political critique and ethical activism on social media. Cultural evolution proceeds via the center metabolizing the periphery; the fringes of culture move to the core. What was a rare view becomes common and identity formation and cultural production follow suit. Whole industries spring up around ideas and practices that used to be tucked away in obscurity. As the mainstream drifts to accommodate and commodify cultural innovations for the masses, true cultural innovation continues underground, as it always has been, articulated first and raw in some place off the map.
Across the centuries, mystics have convened mystery schools on the edges of civilizations and worldviews. Intentionally small and remote, peopled with trusted initiates, these schools have been the storehouses of innovations in consciousness, sourced in ancient traditions, guided by a memory of the future. Off stage and out of sight, a few have always been preparing seeds for planting in the compost of the rapidly degenerating culture of the so-called civilized.
The Catskills seem to be trying to hide Shalom Mountain in clouds and endless back roads, making it feel secluded enough to shout secrets into the air through a megaphone. The mystery school displaces the center of self and knowledge, shifting us to the surrounding realms of imagination, memory, instinct, and revelation. Everything is on the table, as Gafni becomes a trickster, weaving Tantric Kabbalah from ancient texts, modern science, and depth psychology. Paradox and laughter co-emerge in the dissolution of culture-wrought truncations of self, world, and God. Audacious sovereign greets audacious sovereign in a dance of co-empowerment and natural hierarchy. Gafni is repeatedly moved to tears by sacred texts, so much so that a late June thunderstorm is easily felt as God moved to tears by reading the book of Gafni’s life. So much was taught that I might only select one lesson—one from the calm in the morning after the storm.
T’shuvah means literally “to turn” and is usually translated as penitence or repentance, meaning roughly to turn towards one’s sins and mistakes, to understand them, and to fix them. This is exemplified in the tears shed by King David before the profit Nathan, followed by the King’s humble admission, “I have sinned.” He had sinned, and would sin again. David, like others in the line of the Wisdom of Solomon, is identified as one whose greatness is intimately bound up with flaws and error. The finitude, limitation, and darkness of the human being have long been the mystical keys that open the heart of Tantra. We are exactly (precisely nobody but) the ones making mistakes, taking risks, landing in failure, illness, and shadow. Religions are built around the core idea of a fall. From Adam and Eve to maya and samsara, humans are destined to make mistakes and live with them. You and I will make mistakes again and again. On one view this is terrible—the fall is our shame, and it means that no one is innocent, no one is really truly good. On another view—the non-dual view—the fall is great news because everything is grist for the Divine Mill. The Good is not some static absolute innocence of non-action. The Good is making mistakes in the right direction. We can only learn and evolve by virtue of the mistakes we make and how we respond to them.
T’shuvah is a practical answer to the idea that because humanity is destined to make mistakes we are all tragically flawed. T’shuvah is a practice for turning mistakes into insight and transformation. The practice is clear, simple, and could not be any more radical in a broader cultural where mistakes in some areas of life are enough to mark someone as untouchable for life. What could be more radical than a practice allowing for an individual and collective turning toward sin, failure, and mistakenness? We can all lose face together, abandon the moral high ground together, and turn then toward each other before God, seeking only learning and transformation through and within our own and each other’s mistakes. Individually and as a culture we must turn towards our mistakes and thus toward our Unique Selves, which are fumbling toward actualization, making mistakes in the right direction.
Importantly, the situation and dynamics in which we make mistakes have occurred before and will occur again. History repeats itself, both personally and culturally. T’shuvah becomes a kind of mystical fixing when practiced as way of life. By turning towards the dynamic that caused us to fall, seeing it, and committing to change it into something new, t’shuvah liberates the memory of each person and culture, destined as they are always to carve a unique path of mistakes. History itself must be unwound from the trauma of repetition and freed from the faltering stutter of eternal return. Beyond and after the total reciprocal forgiveness of each and everyone there is a new planetary culture that is possible. The mystery school felt like a living visitation from the future of humanity, transformed from the fall, moving up from Eden.
from the Mystery School of Love 2015 and the forthcoming Online Course “God Is Eros”
Some Statements by Dr. Marc Gafni in this video:
Guilt means I did something wrong. Shame means that I am wrong. Shame is the root of all evil.
Click to Tweet:
In best sexual moments, the meaning of life is self-evident.
Sexual shame is the experience that I cannot come home in the sexual.
The start of the Irak war was directly related to our sexual confusion.
The video ends with an invitation to a practice:
Explore how the sexual has influenced your life by writing your own sexual sacred autobiography.
God Is Eros: Seven Tastes of Sexing with Marc Gafni
In order to create the bright future that we yearn for, we need a bold vision of the deepest and most Outrageous LOVE that will prompt us to “be and become” the greatest possible version of ourselves.
The key to our joy and personal fulfillment is to engage erotically in all areas of our lives…
Discover the Secret of Eros in Order to…
- Experience pleasure, adventure, and freedom in your life
- Live passionately in your life, all of your relationships, and the work you do in the world
- Return to innocence but on a whole new level
- Cultivate an enlightened sexuality that enhances your ability to live more powerfully in all areas of your life
- Receive the power to live epically & be powerful in the face of challenge
Dr. Venu Julapalli, CIW Board Member as well as founder and president of Integral Gastroenterology Center, P.A., an active private practice in gastroenterology in Houston, Texas, is writing an amazing blog-series both on Medium and his personal blog about Conscious Medicine about the tenets of what he calls Health 3.0.
Health 3.0 is of course very much related to what he and his brother Dr. Vinay Julapalli, in collaboration with the Center for Integral Wisdom and Dr. Marc Gafni, have called Unique Self Medicine.
In his blog, Dr. Julapalli writes about the problem of medicine:
In one way or another, we all sense that our approach to our health is flawed. But we are not as conscious about this as we could be, from both the patient’s and the doctor’s perspectives.
He then offers the following plan:
By Mary Ann Gray Voorhies
In my last blog post I talked about what usually precedes spiritual growth, and the answer was pain or suffering. In Thomas Hanna’s book “The Lyrical Existentialists” he quotes a well known Danish Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard who was also a psychologist and peer to Friedrich Nietzsche — both of whom came to generally the same conclusions about spiritual growth and health and unhealthy states of mind. It was the concept of the healthy individual that guided them in all researches. The working concept that both of these scholars had of health was that it was a condition in which all constituent aspects of an individual’s existence are allowed to have full play in the conscious life. The implications of such a concept are that the given drives, impulses, emotions and frustrations experienced by the human psyche are not to be thwarted, ignored, or repressed but rather are to be consciously faced, expressed, and accepted. There is usually some event. The event does not take place in the world that is outside of us. It takes place in individual consciousness. Hence, by the very nature of things, can be known only within each of us in our solitude.
“My soul is so heavy that thought can no more sustain it. Over by inmost there broods a depression, an anxiety, that presages an earthquake.” These are the words of an individual in psychological trouble: something in the world has failed him or her, disappointed him, abandoned him, something is not right. There are the classical literary figures of Marie Beaumarchais is Goethe’s “Clavigo,” Donna Elvira in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” and Margaret in Goethe’s “Faust.” All of them have found something in the world in which they gave themselves in complete confidence and passion, and all of them were betrayed and came to grief. The spectacle of these women being deceived by their extraordinary lovers is the concrete exemplification of how the individual can be deceived by the world.
Watch this teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni as our special gift from our Online Course on Reclaiming Eros:
Some of the themes Marc Gafni covers in this video:
- The lineage of the “Einstein’s of Consciousness”
- King Solomon, his wives, and the Temple in Jerusalem
- The Raiders of the Lost Ark – The Ark of the Covenant
- The Practice of Jewish Yoga
- The Talmudic Story of the Poisoned Cookies
- Temple Consciousness and Sexuality
- Eros in Exile
- Reclaiming Eros = Reclaiming Temple Consciousness
Imagine being fully expressed with an unstoppable life force that aligned you with the will, the desire, the knowledge and the creative impulse to engage ALL areas of your life full-on; without fear or shame stopping you from moving forward. Imagine the transformative power and positive impact you’d have on your personal relationships and potentially be a major influence in the world.
This is what you will learn and become through taking this 9-week video course, professionally filmed on location during the First Festival of Love in Holland.
CIW Board Member Peter Fiekowsky is the founder of the Healthy Climate Alliance and a voice for possibility and action in a world going off the tracks. As an accomplished physicist, entrepreneur, and expert in language and brain science, he is developing pathways to achieve futures that humanity wants. His current project is giving our children a healthy climate, which he says can be accomplished by 2050.
At CIW, we know that for a bold vision like this we need to shift the collective consciousness. We need to evolve not only individually but as a culture. We need to evolve not only at the surface but at the deepest level possible (what we call the source code).
That’s why we are excited to announce this new blog-series by Peter Fiekowsky, where he links his scientific perspective with the discussion of memes and distinctions we are so passionate about at the Center.
Here is the first post in his series called Humanity Inventing Its Future:
Are Religion and Art Critical to Restoring the Climate?
“Would we have a better chance of giving our children a healthy climate if we set a goal of doing that?”
I have asked that question dozens of times, and have never gotten a “Yes”. I have also never gotten a “No”. I get stunned silence every time.
Scientists then respond, “It’s too expensive”, while economists say, “It’s impossible.” And then they stop. They implicitly agree that we have an obligation to give our children a healthy planet, and then they absolve themselves by saying it’s too expensive or just impossible. I would say that too–wouldn’t you?
We are excited to announce the upcoming premier of a documentary called American Visionary about our beloved CIW Co-Chair Barbara Marx Hubbard and her life’s work at Illuminate Film Festival, where she will also receive a special award.
Enjoy the Trailer here:
Also, watch the epilogue to American Visionary that Barbara recorded very recently, where she talks about the new phase of her life that has just started.
She says that in this new life phase, in her quest for what we can do to shift this world from devolution to evolution, she isn’t working alone any longer.
She has joined Dr. Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom in a series of seminal projects.
The main project is called: The Planetary Mission: To Connect Co-Creators World-Wide on the Internet. It is hosted by the Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.
Some of the Sub-Projects are:
- The Office for the Future at the United Nations as well as at local and regional levels.
- The Great Library in Collaboration with Dr. Marc Gafni, Dr. Zak Stein, Daniel Schmachtenberger & other Thought Leaders to Develop the Books, Teachings, and Teaching Materials which influence the Source Code of Our Culture toward Ethical Evolution.
- An Event in 2018 to celebrate what’s working in the world
- The Planetary Awakening Accelerator, a year-long program together with Lisa Engles and Marc Gafni to accelerate our personal, spiritual, social, and creative potential toward participating in a Planetary Awakening in Love.
Watch the Epilogue here:
That’s the real question underlying this beautiful talk by our Academic Director Zak Stein.
Watch and listen to this fascinating thought experiment:
What would be a “seed bank” of ideas that—if preserved—would allow us to recreate civilization from the ground up, in case humanity survived some sort of an apocalypse?
Playing off of Noah’s Arc, Zak calls it the “Nous Arc.”
Engaging in this thought experiment a bunch of questions arise:
- Who gets to decide what should be in there?
- What should be the content of this “Great Library?” or in other words:
- How can we assure that we give the next generation everything they need?
The Need for Meta-Theories
In order to engage these questions, we need Meta-Theories. What are Meta-Theories?
While theories take the world as data, Meta-Theories take theories as data. Meta-Theories norm the norms of discourse.
Listen to this exciting 20-minute talk and learn:
- What a new legitimate model of teacherly authority and intergenerational transmission could be
- How our image of the ideal human looks like that we can teach into
- Why we need a theory of Cosmos and Self
- Which educational environments we need to create—in contrast to the informational environments that are stressful for most nervous systems
Enjoy the talk:
Humanity is facing extinction level crises in not one but in multiple and distinct sectors. That alone could throw us into a personal crisis of overwhelming dimensions—without even beginning to take into account the many crucial personal existential challenges most of us face in our own lives.
How can we possibly look seriously into the face of global existential risk, manifest as extinction level threats and be motivated and energized into the joy of our lives? That is the question that Marc addresses in this very moving video.
How does Existential Risk become the catalyst to profound joy and awakening into the Outrageous Love we are capable of instead of shutting us down? That is the invitation that we all stand for at the Center for Integral Wisdom.
CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni has recorded a half hour video, where he shares some of the thinking that emerged from many of the great conversations during and after our CIW board meeting:
- How do we live with and constructively respond to the existential risk we live in?
How can we use it to motivate us instead of shutting us down?
How can we make fear conscious so it enlivens instead of paralyzes us?
Listen to this inspiring talk by Dr. Marc Gafni:
My purpose in writing this series of articles is to show the way these two concepts can be weaved together to explain how the evolutionary New Human will be able to evolve much more quickly. Using these distinctions together the Center’s goal of the democratization of enlightenment can be accomplished much sooner and on a much larger and more accelerated scale.
The Unique Self, according to Marc Gafni’s book Your Unique Self, is what the human evolves into when he trance-ends the ego. It’s not that we get rid of the ego. We can never get rid of the ego. We all need our egos. But when we reach the Unique Self, the ego takes a back seat and we no longer identify with it. Marc goes on to explain by our Unique Self is like no other Unique Self. We all have different and unique perspectives and gifts that only we can give. “I have noticed that this Unique Self, which has a unique perspective, is like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Since we’ve all lived different lives with different experiences and have been on different paths, we are all different observers. So, no two of us is alike. I have noticed that most all the spiritual traditions teach that we must transcend the ego, which is the false learned small self. Maybe these traditions don’t use those words, but here is an example of what I mean. “Jesus said unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3.)” Saint Paul said in one of his letters that when this happens “we become A NEW CREATION – behold all things are new (2 Corinthians 5:17).[Read more…]
Enjoy this beautiful introduction and story by Dr. Marc Gafni from our recent CIW Board Retreat:
The Story of Levi Isaac of Berdichev Told by Dr. Marc Gafni
from the book Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni
When you fail to hold the personal, you may begin to engage in manipulation or possibly even psychological abuse. When you begin to see yourself as aligned with the process, which was the great teaching of Hegel, you may inadvertently give birth to the worst evils of Fascism, Communism, and Nazism, all of which were very heavily influenced by Hegel’s teaching that demanded that the individual must awaken and identify with the great evolutionary process of divine unfolding in absolute spirit. In Hegel’s powerful clarion call to align with the ecstatic impulse of historically unfolding evolutionary God, the holiness of the individual was somehow crushed in all the grand rhetoric, with devastating results for God and humans. The process must always remain personal.
For me it was always the Hasidic master Levi Isaac of Berdichev who radically reminded me of the primacy of the personal even when in the throes of evolutionary ecstasy. Levi Isaac was once leading the prayers at the close of Yom Kippur services. Yom Kippur is a fast day and the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar. The twilight hours at the end of the fast are filled with potency. According to the evolutionary mystics of Kabbalah, the enlightened prayer leader, during that time may potentially enter the virtual source code of reality and effect a tikkun; that is, effect a momentous leap in the evolution of consciousness for the sake of all sentient beings, in all generations. This is precisely what Levi Isaac—greatest of all enlightened evolutionary prayer leaders—was doing on that Yom Kippur. Night had already fallen, the fast was officially over, but the ecstasy of Levi Isaac was rippling through all the upper worlds. All beings held their breath in awe of the evolutionary power of Levi Isaac’s consciousness. All of reality was pulsating with him towards an ecstatic evolutionary crescendo. Just as the great breakthrough was about to happen at the leading edge, Levi Isaac spotted out of the corner of his eye an old man who was thirsty. The fast had been very long and the old man needed to drink. So in the midst of his ecstasy, Levi Isaac brought the whole evolutionary process to a halt. He immediately ended the fast and personally brought the old man a drink of water.
Reported by: Mary Ann Gray Voorhies
This is what Thomas Hanna said to his student in his class of 1990.
We as students practice with each other so that we can experience what the sensations are like with our clients. This experience guides us how to help others. These are not just manipulative techniques. Our experience guides us. We do this so that we can learn to control our hands in such a way that we can almost tell the effect on the client. It’s important to understand what that other person feels. Become very aware. How can I help this person? This leads us into an understanding of what Carl Rogers came up with as an innovator in psychotherapy in relating to another person.
Instead of the one person imposing an authoritarian stance on the other person, we as somatic educators must learn unconditional positive regard for this person as though we were that person. It’s not that you pretend to love this person but to always have RESPECT for the person no matter who that person is. For if we have this attitude we realize that this person is me. Very few people do this.
From an unedited draft of the forthcoming book Towards a New Politics of Evolutionary Love
by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein
The core structural principle from Integral Meta-Theory involved in the formation of a Unique Self Symphony is the scientific principle of self-organization. The idea of self-organization is according to many the single most important scientific idea to emerge in the last sixty years. It exists at every level of reality and across all four quadrants. While many scientific accounts focus only on self-organization in systems and structures in biology or cybernetics (i.e., Lower-Right reductionism), there is a whole history of work in psychology and social theory dedicated to modeling how minds and cultures are complex dynamical systems, that evolve and self-organize in remarkable ways.
Multiple scientific fields, when held in an Integral embrace, tell us that self-organization is a basic principle of reality at all levels. Most forms of evolutionary emergence are a function of this ubiquitous tendency of all life and matter toward self-organization. This leads to the idea of an inherently creative cosmos, always evolving and organizing at higher and higher levels. Throughout the evolution of the world it appears that self-organization is often catalyzed via the leveraging of uniqueness. When you look at the emergence of complex processes in nature that display remarkable forms of self-organization, such as an ecosystem like swamp or rainforest, they are always complex symbiotic systems in which there are an endless number of unique niches.
This is why one of the core ideas behind the new politics of outrageous love is enabling self-organization at the level of human culture. So we must ask, what enables self-organization at the level of human culture? The answers is clear and in keeping with both the best of what we know about evolutionary theory and the best of our ideas for political and personal Enlightenment: the catalyst of self-organization in human socio–cultural systems is the Unique Self. Paradoxically, this means that the “shape” every human needs to assume in order to contribute to the creation of a healthy social organism is unique. Strange as it may sound, a just and healthy society needs to “socially engineer” for uniqueness, especially the institutions that shape human personalities and self-understandings: schools, news media, entertainment industries, computer technologies industries, etc. The whole social system would be like an incubator for uniqueness.