Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Posted by & filed under Blog, Community, Marc Gafni, Outrageous Love.

The Center for Integral Wisdom team wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

There is so much that we at the Center are grateful for this year, from the many friendships around the world and the Outrageous Love we all share to the projects, large and small, that we have completed or are still in full swing:

  • Our WebPlex launch

  • The Pleasure Map course and its first live class with people engaging pleasure on whole new levels

  • An awesome board meeting in March

  • Books, courses, and activist projects in play

  • Talks and workshops given at conferences or churches, our in-depth Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain, and the 8-day Summer Festival of Love in Holland

  • And so much more…

On a global level, the outrageous pain seems to grow more and more intense with millions of refugees fleeing from war, hunger, and violence, ongoing terror in many places around the world, as well as the quiet desperation of loneliness and disease. With that we are even more committed to fulfill on the mission of the Center: to articulate, evolve and deliver a new, Integral narrative for living – which transforms each individual, culture and life itself – creating a world of Outrageous Love, through Outrageous Love.

“The only response to outrageous pain is Outrageous Love,” as CIW Co-Founder Marc Gafni reminds us. This starts with resisting “the gravitational pull of UnLove” in our personal relationships and turning them into authentic Unique Self encounters.

“To enter a Unique Self encounter, you must resist the gravitational pull of UnLove. You must identify as part of the larger field of love. You experience yourself as part of the seamless coat of the Universe. This is the source of your authentic power. This will allow you to receive hurt inflicted by others as a wound of love and not as an insult. You wear your hurt as a battle scar in your struggle for love. You bear it with pride and dignity. You are freed from the compulsive need to inflict pain on the one who hurt you in order to prove you exist. You know you exist because you are in divine communion, that is to say, identified with the larger whole beyond your particular part nature.

The trance-ending of ego into Unique Self-realization is animated by the quality of love. Love motivates and manifests the spontaneous action of care and compassion. Egoic self-contraction is the quality of fear. Fear motivates and manifests the reactive rituals of egoity.

To live and act as love means to keep your heart open through the pain of heartache and hurt.

To live and act as fear means to allow the pain to close your heart. You can practice love by practicing opening your heart even when you feel hurt.

Rather than turning away, closing down, and striking out, you keep your heart open. This will help you act skillfully instead of reacting clumsily in these situations.

When you practice opening as love moment to moment in the face of the hurt, the power of the past weakens. Old wounds are in the past. If you open your heart in the present, time after time, the power of the past recedes.

You will probably always feel the pain when you meet UnLove in relationship. But you do not need to feel the closure, which deadens your heart and your life force. You can continually practice love rather than closing down into UnLove. You can feel your self-contraction and choose to change the way you react.

You are not a victim of your past. When you stop either ignoring or overdramatizing past events, you also stop unconsciously using life trauma from the past to avoid giving the depth of love that is yours to give in the present moment.

The pain of the past may have come to you through another. Your present reaction is yours. You are doing it. You must assume responsibility for your own complex of reactivity. Reactive emotion and reenactment do not need to be a fact of your nature. You can take your armor off. You can unguard your heart and trust yourself to live and love from an intense armorless vulnerability. This is the safest place from which to live.

For some people, especially those with fortunate childhood circumstances, opening through hurt is not so hard. For others, it may be the work of a lifetime. For all of us, it is perhaps the most important work we can do for our own love and freedom, and the love and freedom of the others in our lives.

To be weak in love is to exclusively identify with your separate self, which is always already insulted and empty with craving.

To love is to know that we are all lost and found in the same reality together. To love is to stay open in gratitude and joy even as you know that love breaks your heart.”

Marc Gafni, Your Unique Self

Read more about the Sixth Law of Unique Self Encounters>>>

From our hearts to yours, we send you love and light this Thanksgiving season.

In deep gratitude and evolutionary partnership,

The CIW Team

Enacting New Synergies of Love’s Expression in the World

Posted by & filed under Agape International Spiritual Center, Announcements, Audio & Video, Blog.

Learn more about the partnership between the Agape International Spiritual Center and the Center for Integral Wisdom in our beautiful Agape Portal on the WebPlex. Agape, as a progressive spiritual community, is enacting gorgeously many of the core Integral Unique Self values of the Center for Integral Wisdom.

The founder and spiritual director of Agape, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, is a member of the Executive Board of the Center for Integral Wisdom.

Watch his Welcome here:

Guest Speaker at Agape Marc Gafni

Dr. Marc Gafni, President of the Center for Integral Wisdom, serves as Guest Speaker at the Agape International Spiritual Center.

Enjoy the rich content in our Agape portal and watch Marc’s talks on Outrageous Love in March 2015 here>>>

From the About Page on the Agape Website:

A community…
A practice…
An embodiment of evolving consciousness

“We are on the planet to be and express the Divine Love of God that is alive in every fiber of our being, waiting to be released through us onto our world. Living as love is a way of life that brings heaven on earth.”

Michael Bernard Beckwith, Founder and Spiritual Director

Since its doors opened in 1986, Agape’s active teaching and practice of the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality has expanded into a trans-denominational movement and community of 9,000 local members and 1,000,000 friends worldwide. Through Dr. Beckwith’s weekly services, Agape’s University of Transformational Studies and Leadership classes, ministries and other outreach programs, the heart of Agape reaches deep into local and global communities teaching individuals about the transforming, healing power of prayer, meditation, and selfless service.

We invite you to explore Agape’s Website and learn more about our dynamic, intentional community and the broad scope of opportunities we offer you for enhancing your life-experience from a foundation of personal spiritual empowerment. We especially direct you to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) link where you may learn about the universal principles found in the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality.

Welcome to the Path and Practice of Writing Outrageous Love Letters

Posted by & filed under Blog, Marc Gafni, Open up, Outrageous Love.

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

The way to awaken as an Outrageous Lover is the practice of writing Outrageous Love Letters. The ultimate awakening of the Outrageous Lover is the realization that your life itself is an Outrageous Love Letter. This path and practice will be fully described in the Outrageous Love Process in last section of the book.

Insight:

Outrageous love is awakened through the practice of writing outrageous love letters. Evolution becomes conscious to itself through your awakening to the realization that your life itself is an outrageous love letter. You are a messenger that forgot your message. Your message is You! You awaken by remembering that you are the personal face of the evolutionary impulse. Through your own evolution of consciousness you participate in the evolution of love.

To awaken as an outrageous lover is to become intimate with reality itself. You recognize that you are living in an intimate universe in which you are seen, witnessed, addressed and called. You are called to realize that existence needs you as an intimate partner. Reality needs your service. Your Outrageous Acts of Love become the text of the Outrageous Love letter which is your life.

Your life is your Outrageous Love Story. Living your life as an Outrageous Love letter comes from the realization that all of existence needs your intimate witnessing and partnership.

By awakening as the evolutionary impulse and activating your capacity for outrageous acts of love, you come into intimate union with the universe, and the universe comes into intimate union with you.

Read the whole article>>>

Explore more in our Outrageous Love Letters Portal>>>

“Psychaflowering” Source Code: A Unique Self Psychology Perspective – Part I

Posted by & filed under Blog, Integral Psychology, Portal Top Right, Unique Self Psychology and the New Enlightenment Blog, Unique Self Recovery, Unique Self, Health & Medicine.

By Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D.

“Culture is a gadget; it’s something we inherit. And you can fix it the way you can fix a broken oil burner.” – KURT VONNEGUT

I started this blog after the shootings at Umpqua College in Oregon. I realized that to discuss the “source code” that underlies our delusional gun culture I would first have to offer a Unique Self Psychology “take” on culture in general. As Kurt Vonnegut’s words remind us, the contents of culture are not a destined reflection of human nature. Culture is a gadget that can be fixed by human nature once the ocean of culture we are swimming in becomes an object of awareness.

As I write this I am realizing that the phrase “object of awareness” is drier than a California reservoir. I’ve been using the phrase “object of awareness” for years in my writing about psychology. Time for a change. Making culture (or anything) an object of awareness doesn’t take the fun out of it like the dryness of the phrase implies. In that spirit I have made up the word “psychaflower” to denote making something an object of awareness as in “I psychaflowered my anger in therapy” or “As a culture we are psychaflowering our attitude toward marriage equality.” Isn’t that more fun? It’s sort of like the grammatical difference between a scientific discussion of urgency in mammalian reproduction and watching the neighbor’s dog try to hump the mailman’s leg. And of course what is psychaflowered can be pollinated but more on that later. Now that I’ve invented a wonderful new word (unlikely to show up in peer-reviewed journals anytime soon), back to business (or “busyness” if you prefer).

Unique Self Psychology begins discussion of “mental illness” by outlining what is meant by “mental.” In my last blog I offered a Unique Self Psychology description of “mind” that includes not only self-awareness, but our embodiment (including all the neuroscience bells and whistles), our environment, our interactions with others and of course our culture. “Mental” also includes our field of awareness and the things that arise in our field of awareness – the things we can psychaflower. Psychaflowering offers not just understanding but a toy chest of ways to change what was psychaflowered (again, fun everywhere you look!).

That which a “people” agree to focus on in large part form our various “cultures.” “Culture” is an artifact of what a “people” choose as important from things arising in their field of awareness. They may then psychaflower that which they have said is important or simply go with the flow on psychological autopilot. Mind you the default position in all of us for this process is autopilot. We usually have to practice observing, questioning and ultimately psychaflowering. We only begin to master our awareness some years after we are born and by then we have been bathed in the cacophony of what our “people” considered our “culture.” Occasionally one of our people will be good at teaching us to psychaflower cultural assumptions that have been foisted on us but this is usually pure luck if it happens (though many of us were blessed with a “crazy” Aunt or Uncle or laughed at and questioned everything).

A very funny (funny as in “ha-ha” and as in “strange”) thing about culture is that it is reified in 20th -21st century psychologies. This leads to both irony and suffering. Here is an experiment you can do: go to a psychology conference and sanctimoniously invoke the word “culture.” Within minutes you’ll have a strange collection of graduate students and assistant professors groveling at your feet (really – try this – it is amazing). They can’t explain this reflex of course because they have not psychaflowered their conception of culture – they have merely turned it into a monstrous god who rules their intellect with all the compassion of a rabid groundhog. So in Unique Self Psychology we begin by slaughtering this “Golden Calf” (or “Plastic Groundhog” if you like) of culture. We do it humanely of course, like cruelty-free beef where all cows go to Disneyland before going to the butcher.

From a Unique Self Psychology perspective, culture is an artifact of humanness that can range from a rich, fulfilling context for growth to a dung heap of aggression, repression and cruelty. The only “given” or destiny about culture is that humans will create cultures as surely Republican politicians will pray before first kickoff of the Super Bowl. By psychaflowering our culture we become aware of the source code underlying it. We are then free to pollinate the psychaflowered source code so that it increasingly produces cultural artifacts that guide each person toward their Unique Self. These cultural artifacts are the “blossoms” of a Unique Self source code and become increasingly concerned with the preservation of life rather than the ruthless control of life.

Now having established (I hope) a basic understanding of source code in relation to culture, my next blog will specifically examine what a people have to believe to allow a parade of senseless gun violence and mass killing. And of course I will discuss what the source code would have to be for people to believe that a senseless parade of gun violence is inevitable. I will also discuss how 20th and 21st century psychologies do little to dissuade such atrocities. I will not, however merely “muckrake.” I will then go on to discuss how a Unique Self Psychology can liberate each of us from the bleak vision of mental health forged in the 20th century. In this vision, as Alan Watts wrote, mental health is the state of mind you are in driving to work Monday morning. A Unique Self Psychology vision of mental health is more akin to the afterglow of sexual embrace or the laughter of children playing senseless games. I will discuss how this vision of mental health, and the cultural artifacts that promote it, can be written into the source code of our species and how this can alleviate so much of the senseless suffering related to things like gun violence.

Read More by Elliott Ingersoll on his CIW Unique Self Psychology and the New Enlightenment Blog

CIW Partners with Initiative for a White House Council on Boys & Men

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Audio & Video, Blog, CIW Board, White House Council on Boys & Men.

CIW-Logo-PieceWe would like to introduce you to what we think is an important step forward in the evolution of human awareness and compassion. It’s a group that has proposed a White House Council on Boys and Men to President Obama. Headed by Warren Farrell the group has written a proposal that outlines the many reasons why this Council is needed.

Dr. Warren Farrell & The Center for Integral Wisdom

Dr. Warren Farrell, the Vice President of CIW for Gender Issues, is the author of books published in 17 languages, including international best-sellers The Myth of Male Power and Why Men Are the Way they Are. Farrell, Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni have done numerous interviews together. Farrell, Gafni and John Gray are co-authoring Beyond Mars and Venus. Dr. Farrell’s popular and profound talk Why Love is Such a Mess, delivered at the Integral Spiritual Experience 2, shows how the real transition to gender liberation is the transition from Stage I survival to Stage II discovery of fulfillment—fulfillment that neither sex had in the past.

The Back Story

When Dr. Warren Farrell received a call from the White House in 2009 to be an adviser to the White House Council on Women and Girls given his background on the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC, he quickly consented. But he added there was also a need for a White House Council on Boys and Men.

The Commission

Dr. Farrell then organized a multi-partisan coalition of about three dozen of the nation’s leading authors, therapists and practitioners of boys and men’s issues.

The commission is working to bring a group of boys, girls, men and women to Iowa and New Hampshire. The hope is to personally tell the legislators about the hardships that are being faced. We need your help to make this happen.

Read more on our White House Council Portal>>>

Watch the coalition members speaking to the candidates


Visit our White House Council Portal>>>

Donate Here by Choosing as Fund “The White House Council Commission>>>

Welcome to the New Face of MarcGafni.com

Posted by & filed under Announcements, Blog, Marc Gafni.

We are BEYOND THRILLED to announce the launch of our website: MarcGafni.com.

In this new design we have organized for you some of the best and most cutting-edge content you can find today on Evolutionary Spirituality Reloaded: Radical Teachings on Outrageous Love, Kabbalah, Integral Wisdom, Eros, and Unique Self–most of which are open or in a Free Membership Area.

You can also get access to the older Hebrew Wisdom lineage teachings of Marc (including a lot of teachings in Hebrew) by signing up for the Premium Membership in our Media Store. With the same login credentials you get access to the Premium Membership areas of both sites: centerforintegralwisdom.org and MarcGafni.com.

Imagine what it would be like to source your life from the depth of your most potent creativity, aliveness and joy. Imagine what it would be like to have everyday access to that heightened experience of yourself, where you are wildly creative, purposeful and delighted with how you are showing up in life. Imagine having clarity about who you truly are and knowing the precise steps you need to fully become that person.

Who would you be? What would the impact be on the quality of your life, and everyone and everything you care about?

What would it mean to know that YOU are an irreducibly unique expression of the love-intelligence and love-beauty, the animating Eros of all of reality that at this very moment lives in you, as you and through you? That Your Unique Story has the potential to change the course of Humanity?

Welcome to a new ‘dharma,’ or meta-theory of meaning – a radical vision of Outrageous Love, that is paving the way for the evolution of consciousness that gives you a whole new access to living a life of passion, meaning and inspiration that you had always dreamed was possible.

Welcome to MarcGafni.com!

Dr. Marc Gafni is not only the co-founder and president of the Center for Integral Wisdom but also a visionary thinker, social innovator, passionate philosopher, and author of ten books, including the award-winning Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, the two-volume Radical Kabbalah, and the recently published Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter and Tears: Reclaiming Ritual, Integral Religion, and Rosh Hashana.

Read more about him>>>

What others say about him>>>

Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni: A New Renaissance of Evolutionary Love

Posted by & filed under Blog, Evolution of Love, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, Integral Planet, Marc Gafni, Outrageous Love, Science & Spirituality, Thought Leader Dialogues, Unique Self & Science, Wisdom for your Week Series.

Watch and listen to this beautiful first part of a 10-part dialogue with Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni in Tuscany on the topic of Evolutionary Love–envisioning a new Renaissance that will take us to the future.

In the dialogue they share about the Second Shock of Existence, the New Renaissance, Evolutionary Love, and Unique Self Enlightenment as well as cutting-edge topics like super-coherence, self-organization, and the Unique Self Symphony.

You can watch the whole dialogue here if you have subscribed and are logged in to the Premium Membership.

As a gift to you, we offer you the first key part of the dialogue for free here:

Marc opens the space with this:

  • After we have killed all the gods except for Aphrodite, although we worship at her altar of love, we have lost the meaning of the word love.
  • “I love you” is our sacred word but we have forgotten what it truly means.
  • If we begin with a reconstruction of love and its actual meaning, maybe from there we will develop a super-coherent vision of the patterns that connect.

Ervin then sets the stage for the rest of the conversation:

  • Love IS reconstruction. We need to reconstruct because the world is falling apart.
  • Love is the longing to become one.
  • We need unity in diversity and Love is that element of unity. It is what holds it all together.
  • It is there in the quantum world, the simplest systems, the planets… What makes a system whole is the sense of belonging of its parts.
  • In the sentence “I love you”, the YOU means everybody and everything.
  • Evolutionary Love is the love of reconnecting, of rebirthing the world, of becoming part of it.

Enjoy the first part of the dialogue for free here:

Sign up for the Premium Membership for only $15/month or for $129/year (a savings of $51!), and get streaming access to the rest of this dialogue and the entire archive of Integral Wisdom content, containing videos and dialogues exclusively offered through the Premium Membership.

Click here to subscribe>>>

Important Announcement from Ervin Laszlo, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Marc Gafni

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Announcements, Blog, Community, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, Integral Planet, Marc Gafni.

A New Coalition Is Forming to Catalyze the Evolution of Consciousness

The Center for Integral Wisdom, the Foundation for Conscious Evolution and the Club of Budapest are delighted to collaborate with a newly emergent broad coalition of partners and colleagues on a vital Integral Initiative.

We are–together with other vital leadership partners who be announced–initiating a project that we feel will be a crucial global catalyst for the Evolution of Consciousness.

We are entering into a collaborative project whose purpose is no less than to galvanize an Integral Planetary Awakening to Connect Co-Creators World-Wide. It will launch an invitation to people in every culture, field and endeavor to place what they are doing that is creative, useful and good, to demonstrate what is working in the world. It will be a first expression of the emerging world already arising in our midst.

The purpose of our shared initiative is to evolve, articulate and disseminate the core dimensions of this most vital political, social and spiritual vision. Our aim is to convene, face to face and virtually, leading thinkers and activists, and inspired individuals from around the world, to participate in the urgent formulation and advancement of this vision of the emerging world.

Connecting individual and collective actions offered by Unique Selves motivated by the deep impulse of creativity and love, paves the way for the next step, the emergence of what we have called together the Unique Self Symphony. This is the music that emerges when human beings engage their unique instruments of self together to give their Unique Gifts of Love-intelligence towards the healing and transformation the planet. We understand the Unique Self Symphony to be an emergent property of the Self Organizing Universe.

Read more…

Daniel Schmachtenberger on the Inability to Accept Unnecessary Suffering and the Unprecedented Universe

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Audio & Video, Blog, CIW Board, Integral Planet, The Emergence Project, Wisdom for your Week Series.

DanielSchmachtenbergerDaniel Schmachtenberger is the Founder of the Emergence Project and has recently come on board with the Center for Integral Wisdom as a scholar.

At the CIW board meeting in March 2015 in Texas, Daniel gave a fantastic talk about his outrageous dream: that one day, the sentence “We live in a world of outrageous pain” is no longer true.

Listen to his talk below and join him in his outrageous dream.

Here are some key points he makes during the talk:

  • The universe is unprecedented; every emergence of evolution is unprecedented.
  • Our stakeholders are all sentient beings now and forever.
  • We need to become conscious agents for symbiosis, organization, synergy, and the advance of novelty and uniqueness.
  • Trying to solve a problem – without recognizing how it is interconnected with all the other problems – externalizes harm to something else that matters.
  • What would I be without the rest of the universe?
  • Daniel’s Unique Gift: His inability to accept unnecessary suffering
  • Daniel’s outrageous dream: One day the sentence “We live in a world of outrageous pain” is no longer true.
  • We live in a world of outrageous pain – not because of duality, but because of collective insanity.
  • Evolution does a kind of iterative evolution and then discrete jumps. These jumps happen both when they can and when they have to.
  • When the kind of consciousness that can externalize harm has the technology representing an existential risk for all of us, that consciousness has to shift.
  • Earth is a tiny spaceship floating through space.
  • How do we trigger the emergence of a self-organizing, effectively self-governing, self-evolving global civilization so that we are not solving problems that we are still structurally causing, inducing and incentivizing?
  • How can we make obsolete the basis of all of our problems by not conditioning harm-causing, dysfunctional human behavior in the first place?
  • We can translate all our global problems to groups of humans doing particular activities that are causing them, and we can look at what conditioned these patterns of behavior in those people.
  • There are determinants of behavior in all quadrants (internal/external, individual/collective).
  • We need to optimize for all life, for all things that matter, simultaneously; as not in conflict with each other but rather, symbiotic with each other.
  • Reconciling paradox is part of an Integral consciousness. How do we get from either/or to both/and?
  • All of it matters, and all the things that matter are not mutually exclusive; they are mutually supportive to each other.
  • When we value the scarcity of things we artificially manufacture the scarcity of things.
  • How can we condition omni-considerate, integrally developed behavior in everybody, intrinsically, as a basis for self-governance?
  • Nothing less than that is adequate to what we want to do. So, that’s our task.

Marc Gafni then frames this conversation in relation to the Center. While CIW invests major efforts in reweaving the narrative of existence–which is mainly about interiors–Daniel and the Emergence Project emphasize the systemic, structural questions–thus mainly exteriors. Long mutual conversations resulted in the choice at CIW to bring those two perspectives and projects together in synergy.

Listen to Daniel here (with introduction by Marc Gafni):

[Read more...]

Unique Self and the Future of Medicine

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Announcements, Blog, Community, Portal Top Right, Science & Spirituality, Unique Self & Science, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self Media, Unique Self, Health & Medicine, White Papers.

Our Board of Directors members Venodhar Rao Julapalli, M.D. and Vinay Rao Julapalli, M.D., F.A.C.C. have written an exciting white paper about Unique Self and the Future of Medicine and we have just published it on our website.

Credit: http://www.glsciencesinc.com - /images/Word_Collages/

Credit: http://www.glsciencesinc.com – /images/Word_Collages/

There is a dire need for the integration of the art, science, and morality of medicine. This paper explores the deep implications of the Unique Self in integrating medicine. Co-authors and physicians Venu and Vinay Julapalli call on their extensive understanding of the promises and pitfalls of modern health care to reconceive the practice of medicine. The paper provides the framework to evolve medicine through the emergent Unique Self insight. At stake is no less than the future of how we care for ourselves and each other.

Read the introduction and download the whole article here.


The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 6

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Free Membership, Integral Theory, Marc Gafni, Portal Top Right, Translineage, Unique Self & Development, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self, Authentic Self & Evolutionary Spirituality, Unique Self, Perspective & Integral Theory, White Papers.

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 6)

Two Faces of All That Is

This is the animating impulse that moved eastern spiritual teaching, motivated by love, to seek to free you from the illusion of separate self. Their great mistake was to jettison Uniqueness along with separateness by conflating the two in a way that was both unnecessary and wrong. This confusion of separateness and uniqueness forgot that you could be both part of the whole and a distinct part at the same time. The recovering of that memory is essential to healing the fractured and broken self. The dignity of the part can be held even as your are connected to the whole. You are part of the seamless coat of the universe. Seamless, but not featureless.  You can transcend your exclusive identification with your part nature, the ego, even as you identify with the larger whole. But that does not mean that your unique part nature is absorbed in the whole. Rather, it is integrated in the seamless coat of reality without compromising its unique features.


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The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 5

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Enlightenment of Fullness, EoF Uniqueness, Free Membership, Integral Theory, Judaism, Marc Gafni, Portal Top Right, Science & Spirituality, Translineage, Unique Self & Development, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self, Authentic Self & Evolutionary Spirituality, Unique Self, Perspective & Integral Theory, White Papers.

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 5)

God in the First Person:

"All at once I found myself wrapped in a flame-colored cloud. For an instant, I thought of fire and immense conflagration somewhere close by in that great city; the next I knew that the fire was in myself. Directly afterward there came upon me as sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination impossible to describe. Among other things, I did not merely come to believe, but I saw that the universe is not composed of dead matter, but is on the contrary, a living presence; I became conscious in myself of eternal life. It was not a conviction that I would have an eternal life, but a consciousness that I possessed eternal life then; I saw that all men are immortal, that the cosmic order is such that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world, of all worlds, is what we call love, and that the happiness of each and all is in the long run absolutely certain."

~R.M. Bucke

God in the Second Person addressing man:

I will be united with you in marriage forever

I will be united to you in marriage through justice and righteousness

I will be united with you in marriage through overflowing love and compassion

I will be united with you in marriage in complete trust

And you will erotically know the divine

Hosea the Prophet: 2: 21- 23

Only someone who lacks both of these realizations can identify all that is as merely a process or impulse. Realization teaches that the all that is expresses as a process or an evolutionary impulse, but that God is process plus personal, not process minus personal.


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The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 4

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Free Membership, Integral Theory, Marc Gafni, Portal Top Right, Translineage, Unique Self & Development, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self, Authentic Self & Evolutionary Spirituality, Unique Self, Perspective & Integral Theory, White Papers.

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 4)

It is precisely this fellowship of prayer and prophecy, which we might refer to as the second face of God. In this pointing out instruction, God in the first person would be the face of god you feel flowing through you in meditation. God in the third person would be the face of God reflected in your radical amazement at the wonder and infinite intelligence displayed in every nook and cranny of existence. God in the second person is in the mystery of the encounter between God and Man. A relationship of intimacy is revealed between the finite and the infinite.  All of the infinite power, glory, and intelligence of the first person and third person of the divine were felt and revealed as relationship in the second encounter between the prophet and God. The precise flip side of prophecy is prayer. In their essence, they are the same. Both are expressions of the fellowship between man and God. The difference is simply this. In prophecy, God initiates and God invokes. In prayer, man initiates and man invokes.


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The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 3

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Free Membership, Integral Theory, Marc Gafni, Portal Top Right, Translineage, Unique Self & Development, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self, Authentic Self & Evolutionary Spirituality, Unique Self, Perspective & Integral Theory, White Papers.

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 3)

The sense of peril resulting from direct contact with the divine ground has nothing to do with any ideas that the people are sinful or the god wrathful. It is more like the famous question of the Bhagavad Gita: "Suppose a thousand suns should rise together in the sky,” what would happen to our reality? How can the individual hope to survive contact with Source? Source incarnates all the energy and power in the Cosmos and infinitely beyond.

Presence by its very nature overwhelms all individual existence.

This strange and awesome paradox is resolved not by theory, but in the very experience of the encounter itself. The living presence of the divine “which is the suchness and substance of all that is” not only IS but is also FOR man. The person experiences an overpowering concern, in which they are held, cared for, recognized, and loved--within the very encounter itself. So the paradox of the encounter is that it is, on one hand, overwhelming and at the same time radically affirming. The individual is rendered powerless, almost lifeless before the divine, even as the individual is enlivened and empowered.


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The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 2

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Free Membership, Integral Theory, Marc Gafni, Portal Top Right, Translineage, Unique Self & Development, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self, Authentic Self & Evolutionary Spirituality, Unique Self, Perspective & Integral Theory, White Papers.

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 2)

The most powerful expression of this realization is in the prophetic encounter with the divine mystery. This encounter runs like a thread from Abraham and Sarah to Moses, Miriam, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the larger legions of prophecy. As America's second president John Adams has already noted, the best of everything Western man knows about freedom, love, ethics, and responsibility emerges from the great encounter between the finite and the infinite.

The Encounter with other marks the emergence of the pre-personal slumber. The baby encounters other even as the emergent human being who experiences his separate self turns to other. The  encounter–relationship–is born as the central dynamic of human existence.


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The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 1

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Free Membership, Integral Theory, Marc Gafni, Portal Top Right, Translineage, Unique Self & Development, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self, Authentic Self & Evolutionary Spirituality, Unique Self, Perspective & Integral Theory, White Papers.

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 1 of 6)

The realization of the personal which has been derided as the separate self or ego is so important that I want to ask you to enter this even more deeply with me. You need to feel a sense of this realization in your own being. You need to feel the love and care implicit and explicit in the loving personal address of the Cosmos.

There is clear a moment in where you will need to move beyond separate self and realize the underlying unity of all that is as the seamless coat of the universe. You will need to trance-end the merely personal to realize the next station on the road to your  enlightenment. This will engender in you a profound love. It will open your heart in a radical and unconditional way. It will move you beyond alienation into full integration and power.


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Foundations for World Spirituality: Learning the Language of God (Part 5 of 5)

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Blog, CIW Founders, Enlightenment of Fullness, Enlightenment Teachings, Evolutionary Spirituality, Free Membership, Integral God, Integral Religion, Kabbalah, Language, Marc Gafni, Sacred Text Study, Spirit's Next Move, Translineage, Unique Self Institute, Unique Story, Calling & Sacred Autobiography, White Papers, World Spirituality Project.

silence

Editor's note: The following essay is published as a white paper of the Center for World Spirituality think tank. Our Spirit's Next Move blog is pleased to announce the paper's availability.

Implications: A Great Voice Which Does Not Cease

Some teachers have taught that revelation heard long ago at Mount Sinai when God spoke to human beings was an event occurring once in the lifetime of the universe, calling it according to its biblical phrasing, “A great voice which did not continue.” Again, the mystics insist that another reading is possible. In the original Hebrew, the phrase “did not continue” can paradoxically be read as “did not cease.” The voice of Sinai is accessible even after the echoes of the original revelation are long since lost in the wind. The voice of revelation has never ended.

So if the voice still continues, in what form does it live on?

It thrives in the voice of the human being who speaks from the silence. This is what I have termed Silence of Presence. When we listen deeply, we are able to uncover the God-voice within us. We become present in the silence. We are called by the presence--the God-voice within us--that wells up from the silence.

Indeed the entire cultural –spiritual enterprise of the Judaic spirit in the post biblical age is to hear the voice, even in - some would say especially in - the silence. The Biblical age ended when God stopped talking. For the Buddhist, even if one were to assume some notion of divinity – there is clearly no such absurdity as a talking God. For the Hebrew however, the essence of divinity is a talking God. Indeed the Hebrew God of the Bible talks almost endlessly, pouring out 24 books of divinely spoken or inspired word - the Hebrew Canon. What to do then when God stops talking and retreats into silence? In the interpretive reaction to this silence Judaism and early Christianity parted ways. For Christianity the cessation of speech by a talking God could only be a portent of divine withdrawal of favor. They interpreted the silence as a silence of absence. God no longer talked to the Hebrews for he had chosen a New Israel. The post prophetic Hebrews however refused to accept this understanding of God's silence. This is the silence, not of abandonment they insisted – but of mature love. It is not silence of absence but silence of presence. Imbued with intense and profound religious passion they listened to the silence and insisted that they heard God talking. That speech is the Halachic enterprise, which insists on the radical presence of the divine in every facet of existence. It is only in this sense that we understand the Rabbinic comment after the temple's destruction, “God's presence in this world now rests in the four cubits of Halacha”. It is not a statement of dejection or resignation – it is rather the confident commitment of the lover.


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Foundations for World Spirituality: Learning the Language of God (Part 3 of 5)

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Biblical Myth and Mysticism, Blog, CIW Founders, Enlightenment of Fullness, Enlightenment Teachings, Free Membership, Integral God, Integral Religion, Kabbalah, Language, Marc Gafni, Sacred Text Study, Spirit's Next Move, Translineage, Unique Self Institute, Unique Story, Calling & Sacred Autobiography, White Papers, World Spirituality Practice, World Spirituality Project.

rams-horn

By Marc Gafni

Editor's note: The following essay is published as a white paper of the Center for World Spirituality think tank. Our Spirit's Next Move blog is pleased to announce the paper's availability.

The Second Stage: from Silence to Sound

The beginning of freedom is the emergence of voice. This stage is expressed both by the initial cry of the Israelite slaves that broke their silence, as well as by Moses' arrival on the scene. “When Moses came, voice came,” writes the Zohar. Moses does what the charismatic revolutionary always does: he gives voice to the people. Indeed, biblical myth text records the beginning of redemption with the following words: “”¦It came to pass in the course of many days that the King of Egypt died and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage and they cried out and their cry came up unto God.” The enslaved Israelites are received by the presence of God at the point when they move from the dumb silence of the slave to sound which is the beginning of speech, the characteristic of a free people. This “cry” is not an elegantly articulated protest – it is a cry as in the cry of a wolf, or the cry of an infant. It is primal, impassioned, pre-civilized, a howl of protest that makes it into the halls of heaven, heard by God himself.

For the first time the enslaved can express distress. They seek to articulate words that are not yet ready to form themselves on their lips. At this stage of moving toward freedom, we do not yet know how to tell our story. We do not know what we would do with the world if it were given over to our stewardship. We just know that we must protest.

The biblical myth symbol (Leviticus 25) for the transition from slavery to freedom is the primal blast of a ram's horn. No trumpet of gold, it is rather the rawness of the ram's horn that captures the slave's first fitful sounds. The first thing a revolutionary movement must do is sound its ram horn--start a newspaper, set up a radio station, build an internet site. It is not by accident that the fundamentalist and totalitarian states are trying to disallow or severely limit internet access. Freedom's beginnings are expressed in the first shouts of protest.

The sixties and seventies were such second-stage revolutionary generations. This helps explain why so many sixties hippies became late seventies and early eighties yuppies and then transformed again into the establishment of the nineties. The feeling of distress generated protest – sound and even the first glimmerings of voice--but there was no alternative vision of society to generate “speech.” Similarly, many third world revolutionaries reflect such second stage thinking. Consequently, as we all know, that not a few third world revolutionaries became the leaders of far more repressive regimes than the ones they overthrew. Because they lacked speech to articulate the primal manifestations of voice, they needed to repress all of their own pain, the very distress and disease that initially led to the revolution.


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Protest as Prayer (Part 15): Did he blow out the candles?

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Biblical Myth and Mysticism, Blog, CIW Founders, Integral God, Integral Religion, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, Prayer & Chant, Protest as Prayer Series, Sacred Text Study, Spirit's Next Move, The Emergence Project, Translineage, White Papers, World Spirituality Practice, World Spirituality Project.

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Candles Flickering

Photo Credit: Dey


By Marc Gafni

This post concludes the “Protest as Prayer” series. It is continued from post 14.

It was late one Friday night, with the Sabbath candles flickering in the darkness, when the Rebbe stood up. He had been especially pensive this night: wrapped in thoughts and prayers of his own. He walked purposefully to the table, spat on his hands and snuffed out the Sabbath candles. In the sudden darkness the shocked Chassidim heard the cold fury and despair in their Rebbe’s voice resounding in the gloom as he intoned: “There is no Judge, and there is no Judgment.”

Rebbe Menachem-Mendel of Kotsk then walked out of the synagogue, locked himself in his room, and never came out. For over twenty years until his death he remained in isolation and spoke not another word. But his Chassidim did not reject him as a blasphemer, nor a madman. In his silent solitary rage the Rebbe of Kotsk became more respected, more loved than ever before, as the Kotsker Chassidic tradition flourished in all its contradictions.

Somehow the Chassidim understood that ultimate Doubt, ultimate challenge, when conducted from within deep relationship, paradoxically can become the ultimate service, the ultimate worship.


Protest as Prayer (Part 14): Three Truths

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Articles & Essays, Biblical Myth and Mysticism, Blog, CIW Founders, Integral God, Integral Psychology, Integral Religion, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, Prayer & Chant, Protest as Prayer Series, Sacred Text Study, Spirit's Next Move, The Emergence Project, Translineage, White Papers, World Spirituality Practice, World Spirituality Project.

Job

By Marc Gafni

This post is continued from Part 13.

We began with three truths. God is good. God is powerful. Good people suffer. These are the three truths of Job. We hold all three. We can live in the deep and painful uncertainty of not always knowing how all three fit together. Those unable to hold the uncertainty emasculate God. This is Harold Kushner’s basic move. God can’t do anything about evil — God is nice but not powerful.

Others, unable to hold the uncertainty, emasculate man. That is pious orthodox thinker Gottlieb’s move. He has theo-logically solved the problem of suffering. He denies the rage, the protest, the unanswered question which defines Jewish text. He cannot live with the uncertainty of the question so he must argue that certainty has been achieved and the question answered.