Read Barbara Marx Hubbard’s and Marc Gafni’s recent articles on our website where they are speaking out for the Evolution of Public Culture.
In Barbara’s words:
One of the most dangerous problems we face in the world is extremism on behalf of belief. In many cases, extremists convince themselves that another faith or political system or individual is ‘evil’, and that they are justified in destroying them by any means necessary. We see this tendency, with tragic consequences, in the political sphere. We are now seeing it the so-called spiritual world. People who claim to be apostles of higher consciousness see no problem with trying to destroy others without due process, open dialogue, non-violent communication or the possibility of resolving differences with compassion, forgiveness and healing. Even more problematically they often hide their hidden agendas under the veneer of victim advocacy. The spiritual world is not exempt from malice. Malice, as Milan Kundera reminds us, “must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives”.
This kind of behavior is terrorism. Violence of this sort is very hard to respond to creatively without becoming a terrorist yourself. Yet we have to say NO! to terrorism of any kind, including our own.
Marc addresses in his article “how such a cyber-jihad campaign is done:”
1) You dredge up old stories—some outright false, some merely distorted—and make contact with your target’s old enemies, angry ex-wife, ex-students and professional rivals with axes to grind and hidden agendas, in order to get them to support your campaign.
2) Using loaded words like ‘sociopath’ and or ‘pedophile’ without any evidence as to their accuracy, you begin seeding a series of false or distorted allegations about your target around the web.
3) You might even go so far as to claim, as Stephen’s close allies have, that this so-called sociopath has occult or demonic powers. That way, anyone who associates with him can be said to be under some kind of spell, and anyone who wants to hear his side of the story is warned that they might be affected by his ‘demonic’ energy.
4) You then enroll a group of your friends and colleagues, by telling them that you are protecting ‘future victims’. You point to personal testimonials, none of which have been cross-checked for facts—just as, in the old witch trials, unreliable personal testimony was used to ‘prove’ that someone was a witch.
5) In a short time, using the tools of social media, you have formed an internet mob. Now it is nearly impossible to tell that most of the statements you have made about your target are grossly untrue. And, you have a contemporary Witch Trial by Internet – the modern form of a Salem Witch Trial.
You have crowd-sourced a witch hunt.
They both address in detail the specifics of the cyber-attack against Marc and the Center. And they both conclude with their hopes and wishes to find “a higher level resolution” and to meet “face to face, in a facilitated context whose intent is to create truth and reconciliation. That would require people being willing to admit having borne false witness, made false complaints and more. Everyone in the system—including myself—would need to hear each other and own their own responsibility for their part in the contribution system that led to this very moment. This is a context in which neither myself or my colleagues nor Stephen and his colleagues would be “on trial”; rather, it would be a place to give up being right and seek genuine transformation and peace. We could model this for ourselves and for the larger culture.” (Marc Gafni)
by Mary Ann Gray Voorhies
Following are the words of Thomas Hanna, quoted directly from his book Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility and Health. No one can explain the red light reflex better than Hanna himself.
The abdominal muscles and the withdrawal response
“It is surprising that a single lower-brain reflex could be the cause of so many of the body changes associated with aging. It is also enlightening, because it helps us toward both understanding and overcoming the myth of aging,
“For many decades neurobiologists have been fascinated with this human reflex because it also occurs throughout the entire animal kingdom. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘startle response;” and other times it is referred to as the ‘escape response” because it aids the animal in avoiding or evading a threat. It is a primitive brain reflex of survival. Its action in the central nervous system is usually mediated by ‘giant nerve fibers” large enough to allow the nerve impulse to travel more quickly. It is a ‘rapid motor act” that is built into the circuitry of even very simple organisms, helping them to survive by rapidly withdrawing them from danger.
“When you touch a sea anemone, its circle of small tentacles simply retracts, drawing back from the threatening stimulus. Fish respond with fast getaways, crayfish with a sudden tailflip response.
“Even in complex animals like humans, the reflex is quick and reflective. If a woman walking down the street hears the sudden explosion of a car backfiring, this is what happens: Within 14 milliseconds the muscles of her jaw begin to contract; this is immediately followed about twenty milliseconds later by a contraction of her eyes and brow but, before her eyes have squeezed shut, her shoulder and neck muscles (the trapezius) have received a neural impulse at 25 milliseconds to contract, raising her shoulders and bringing her head forward. At 60 milliseconds, her elbows bend, and then her palms begin to turn downward. These descending neural impulses continue by contracting the abdominal muscle, which brings her trunk forward, simultaneously pulling down her ribcage and stopping her breathing. And, immediately after that, her knees bend and point inward, while her ankles roll her feet inward. The muscles of the crotch tighten, and the toes lift upward. This sums up the red light reflex — the body’s withdrawal from danger. The body is flexed and crouched, almost as if to fall into a fetal posture …
We are delighted to have just completed our 6th annual board meeting of the Center for Integral Wisdom. The meeting took place over three days in Mill Valley, CA.
It was particularly gratifying to have the participation of all of of the leading partners in the Center for the last six years.
The theme of the meeting was “Integrity and Intimacy”. Fifty leaders of the Center participated. There were over thirty distinct talks reporting on all the key projects and initiatives of the Center. Each project involves the articulation, writing or recording of a distinct meme of evolutionary thinking on topics ranging from economics, identity, medicine, education, relationships, and conflict, to the evolution of public culture. Many board leaders felt that this was one of the most powerful and poignant weekends of their life.
One of the topics that was emergent in the Center’s vision was a new commitment to the evolution of public culture. There was much conversation about an upcoming symposium the Center is hosting, entitled “Sociopaths, Scapegoats and the Madness of Crowds: Anatomy of a Smear Campaign – On the Evolution of Public Culture.”
The Center renewed its commitment to the core principles of fairness, justice, fact checking and restorative justice, which are core to the evolution of consciousness and culture.
Part of the annual agenda of the board is always to appreciate the outgoing board team which is completing their terms, and to welcome the new leadership team — both professionally and in terms of the board leadership who are beginning their tenure.
It was particularly special to thank John Mackey for his outstanding service as board co-chair. As is the tradition for outgoing board chairs when they conclude their terms of service, John gave his closing talk to the the board and welcomed Barbara Marx Hubbard as the new board co-chair who gave her first opening talk. This passing of the baton that takes place whenever a leader terms out and a new leader begins their term is a particularly moving moment of partnership and community. Both John’s and Barbara’s talks, which were about the nature of genuine integrity, were particularly powerful.
We look forward to our best year ever. We are fully committed to evolving the source code of culture and consciousness. We are fully committed to the evolution of love.
Academic Director of CIW, Dr. Zachery Stein has been interviewed by PatternDynamics founder, Tim Winton.
“Zak and Tim discuss complexity, how to see it, how to manage it, and the power of values aligned with a ‘systems view’ in creating a more generative humanity. Zak is Chair of the Education Program at Meridian University. He received his Bachelor’s from Hampshire College, and his Master’s and Doctorate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Zak co-founded Lectica, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to promoting social justice through the reform of large-scale standardized testing, where he worked for over a a decade. Zak’s publications have bridged topics in the philosophy of education, neuroscience, developmental psychology, and psychometrics. He has recently completed a forthcoming book: Social Justice and Educational Measurement: John Rawls, the History of Testing, and the Future of Education (Routledge 2016).”
In the recording, Tim and Zak discuss the following:
Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marc Gafni in Dialogue during her Evolutionary Testament Webinar
We are excited to share with you the recording of this exciting webinar from Barbara Marx Hubbard’s online course about her newest book The Evolutionary Testament of Co-Creation: The Promise Will Be Kept. CIW-Founder Marc Gafni was invited as a guest speaker.
In this webinar, you will learn:
- Why God is not only the infinity of power but also the infinity of intimacy
- How YOU are God’s or evolution’s unique intimacy
- Why God (or reality or the universe) needs YOUR service
- How evolution creates newness through joining separate parts into a larger whole
- Why your birthday is the day when God decided that She couldn’t do without you
- How to Become the New Human by joining genius as Unique Selves
- What happens in the “tomb of metamorphosis”
- How Sacred Text Study can be recovered as an essential part of our Evolutionary Spirituality Practices
Within a lively Question and Answer section, Barbara and Marc express their desire to work together more deeply for the sake of the Planetary Awakening and the Unique Self Symphony coming alive. They are inviting a small group of about 25 people to Barbara’s Center in Berkeley for a Sacred Retreat on Evolutionary Spirituality in May 2016.
If you are interested, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch and listen to the webinar here:
The Three Levels of Sacred Text Study
- Hach’na’ah = Submission: A total surrender to the text, where we read the text as if it was written directly by God to us. This is the way fundamentalists read sacred text as the only valid way. In Evolutionary Spirituality we recover Stage 1 as an important but not exclusive practice.
- Havdalah = Separation: Here we take a step back and separate from the text to analyze it. We look at the historic context. We compare it to other pieces. We ask ourselves: “What might that mean?” This level is the scientific way of reading the text.
- Hamtaka = Sweetness: This level transcends and includes the first two. The reader penetrates the text while simultaneously fully receiving the text. In the non-dual merger between the reader and text, new revelation is born. This is the way of the evolutionary mystic.
Read more about Sacred Text Study here.
Center for Integral Wisdom Public Statement
Dr. Marc Gafni is under attack from certain quarters of the religious and spirituality worlds. Based on our careful review of extensive documentary evidence, numerous professional evaluations, and our collective experiences with Dr. Gafni, we fully trust that the claims of sexual harassment and abuse are false, and that other claims against him are maliciously exaggerated.
The Center for Integral Wisdom takes the strongest possible stance against all forms of sexual harassment and abuse. Before any of us became formally affiliated with the Center, we, collectively, carefully reviewed these allegations. We concluded, and reaffirm now, that the claims against Dr. Gafni are either untrue or significantly distorted. Furthermore, all of us have extensive professional and personal experiences of the most positive nature with Dr. Gafni, regularly observing his goodness, integrity and kindness. … [continued]
Why don’t many physicians know about sensory motor amnesia if it causes so much pain, disease, and postural distortion? Thomas Hanna explains this in Chapter 1 in his book Somatics. Here in chapter 1 is a case study of one client, (Barney), who had chronic pain in his right side:
“In addition, he would frequently lose his balance and stumble. When his physician heard his complaint she ordered x-rays but she saw no obvious deformity. She concluded that 42 years of vigorous wear and tear had caused arthritic deterioration of the hip joint. She told Barney, who was a tall man, that he had arthritis, typical of the aging process, and that he had to learn to live with it. She prescribed aspirin and bed rest on days when the pain was extreme.
Not satisfied with this treatment, Barney went to a chiropractor, who told him that the bones of his lower spine were out of alignment and needed adjustment. He adjusted Barney’s spine, but the hip continued to hurt. Barney then went to an acupuncturist, who determined which meridians were involved and inserted needles in the appropriate spots. That relieved Barney’s pain, but four days later it came back. So, with this history, which is typical, Barney presented himself to me (Hanna). He had heard that I do something unusual called Somatic education, which no one quite understood but which nonetheless was said to be highly successful. Having heard his story, I wanted to find where the pain was. Barney pointed to the back of his right pelvis in the areas between the hip joint and the sacrum. I felt the area. The line of pain was in the gluteus medius muscle, which extends across the buttocks from the top of the thigh to the back center of the pelvis. It is the muscle that we usually contract when standing on one leg. It braces the leg against the pelvis to maintain stability while we lean over to one side. Barney’s hip joint was not painful either to the touch or during the movement. It was the gluteus medius muscle that was painfully sore. I informed Barney that he did not have arthritis, but had a painfully overworked muscle that was sore from over-contraction. “Why did my physician tell me I had arthritis, he asked? I told him I did not know. I knew that x-rays do not show muscle tissue, painful or not, and I knew that it was common for physicians to tell patients suffering with chronic and medically incurable pain that they had arthritis and there was nothing to do for it. The ancient myth of aging is firmly embedded in modern medicine.
Unique Self Psychology and the New Enlightenment Blog by Dr. Elliott Ingersoll
And you may see me tonight
With an illegal smile
It don’t cost very much
But it lasts a long while
– John Prine
My father always said the best way to get into an argument is to talk politics or religion. In this blog I do both by discussing illegal drugs that are starting to be recognized as having medicinal and psychological benefits. Discussions about illegal drugs evoke passions powered by a zeal approaching religiosity as well as convictions equaling the propaganda of political conventions. Being as I am a psychologist with 20 years of experience studying psychopharmacology, I will focus on the psychological and even social benefits that may come from proper use of MDMA (“Ecstasy”), hallucinogens (LSD and psilocybin) and cannabis (marijuana). For many people the idea of these drugs being useful or even therapeutic is as ridiculous as ice dancers at a pig roast. Others believe the legal use of them would trigger a Grateful Dead apocalypse that would bring down the free world in an orgy of drumming and dancing. My sense is that the proper use of these agents will bring about a more humane society, decrease the prison population, contribute to a psychology of ecstasy and provide harmlessly fun anecdotes beyond the usual “…so we were drinking down at Rays Place…”
Make no mistake; all the drugs on my list are psychoactive substances that affect your brain, your state of mind and your choice of snacks. We do not understand terribly much about how they work but don’t let that bother you; we don’t really understand how any psychiatric medications “work” when they work (aside from stimulants like amphetamines and anti-anxiety drugs like Valium). Now I am not going to go on a conspiracy theory “rant” about our ignorance of the brain, drug companies or psychiatric medications but professionals like me are ethically obliged to tell laypeople at least three things that some of my fellow professionals consider somewhat, well, embarrassing:
Clinical somatic education, otherwise known as Hanna Somatic education, makes use of a major “mind/body” discovery. Its use and practice can prevent degeneration, stiffness, aches and pains, certain diseases and age-old health breakdowns in our middle age and older populations. It has the power to dramatically counteract the aging process. But, not only can it counteract the usual affects of aging, it also has the power to REVERSE them. Now, thanks to Thomas Hanna, we have an easy internal way to avoid the decline of bodily function, which is now usually thought of as the curse of getting older.
The fact is that during the course of our lives, our sensory motor systems respond to daily stresses and traumas with SPECIFIC MUSCULAR REFLEXES. These deep stress brain reflexes, when repeatedly triggered, create habitual tightening and shortening muscular contractions, which we cannot voluntarily relax. These muscular habits become so deeply ingrained, habituated, involuntary and unconscious that eventually insidiously we no longer remember how to move about freely. The result is stiffness, soreness, pain and a restricted range of motion. Along with this also in many cases the posture becomes distorted. Furthermore, the habitually shortened tight muscles impinge and pull on our organs, bones, tendons, ligaments and other bodily structures. This habituated state of “forgetfulness” is called SENSORY MOTOR AMNESIA (a state in which the sensory motor cortex has lost control of certain muscles and muscle groups). It is this insidious unconscious process and its secondary effects that we falsely think of as “just growing older.” Actually this “old age” is a STRESS-induced phenomenon that can really happen at any age. With the new knowledge of somatic education, humankind need not become infirm and decrepit.
The goal of an “integral psychology” is to honor and embrace every legitimate aspect of human consciousness by embracing what is true in each of them. This portal on the Center for Integral Wisdom multi-plex presents an integrative view of consciousness, psychology, and therapy.
The rise of an Integral Psychology is one of the greatest invitations of the century. It draws on pre-modern, modern, and postmodern psychological models to find patterns which are healing, transformational, and integrated in a model that includes mind, soul, and spirit.
The psychological models also include interior and exterior distinctions, levels or structures of consciousness, typologies, and states of consciousness. Integral Psychology is the understanding that we have this great new source of wisdom in the world which emerged.
There has been a huge contribution to thought in the past couple hundred years with Freud but also with our new understanding of the human mind which says that we hold in our conscious selves what we make unconscious, including the early drivers (wounds) that shape our personality and deconstruct the vital eros within us.
Integral Psychology offers maps, each of which offer a set of healings or techniques to return the human being to fuller human existence, a more effective being and becoming.
Each of the 11 or 12 major schools of psychology has a somewhat different map of existence, of the human mind, and distinct suggestions for what the best method is for transformation. What Integral psychology seeks to do is to recognize what is true in each of these seemingly exclusive models. Specifically, it recognizes that each of them is true but partial.
Each school of psychology speaks to and addresses a different level of human existence or consciousness. All of them are healing and need to be integrated into the healing wisdom of humanity.
In trying to evolve a global ethic for a global civilization, we need to integrate them into a seamless psychological model that includes all the elements of mind, soul, and spirit. Likewise all the interior and exterior dimensions must be included.
Finding the best practices of all the schools of psychology is one of the great invitations of this century.
In the Integral Psychology portal you find media, essays, and blogs on Unique Self & Psychology, Unique Shadow, Integral Psychology, and much more. Enjoy!
We at the Center for Integral Wisdom – together with leading thought leaders and change agents – are dedicated to transform and evolve the source code of culture through application of Integral principles.
In our Activist Think Tank, we 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. Our mission is to love outrageously, live outrageously, and create an extraordinary world.
Some of the core memes we have articulated are the memes of Unique Self and Evolutionary Love.
“We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is Outrageous Love.” – Marc Gafni
Outrageous Love is not ordinary love but Evolutionary Love.
Since the publication of Your Unique Self in 2012 by Dr. Marc Gafni and Integral Publishers, the teaching has evolved further into a coherent concept of how Evolutionary Love and the emergence of the Unique Self Symphony allows us to not only articulate a new Politics of Outrageous Love but to solve every problem that we are facing as humanity grows into the new stage of what Executive Board Member Barbara Marx Hubbard has come to call Conscious Evolution.
To give you an update on the newly emergent teaching on Evolutionary Unique Self, Outrageous Love, and the Unique Self Symphony, see our blog-series on UniqueSelf.com.
Here is the first part:
The Law of Feeling and Healing
The Law of Feeling and Healing, while simple in explanation, is quite profound. As the gateway to a seemingly impossible evolutionary shift, this law is our access to the divinity and untold amounts of love, joy, and connection.
Fifty years ago, God was experienced by the great realizers and religions as both all knowing and all potent and powerful. Only God knew of the immense pain in the world. Today, boundaries around knowledge cease to exist and images of unbearable suffering penetrate our hearts, bodies and minds hourly. Consequently, there is an enormous amount of Promethean talk about humans becoming God-like with the power we wield. Ignoring the fact that such talk does not take into account the infinite power of cosmos, these erroneous conversations forget divinity is not merely the infinity of power but also the infinity of pain. As our power of knowledge increases so does our awareness of the depth of suffering. In one way, we are potent like gods; we have the never previously known ability to acquire depths of understanding and graphic detail about the horrific pain happening across the planet. Yet, while we know an enormous amount about the reality of suffering around the globe, we experience ourselves as impotent. We feel powerless. Unlike the gods, we are rendered powerless to heal the hurt surrounding us. For most of us, the only way we are capable of responding is to close our hearts.
The Gap Between Feeling and Healing
Enlightenment teachers of all stripes say the reason we close our hearts is because our coiled ego clenches in a self-centered contraction. I don’t think so. We do not close our hearts—at least not primarily—because we are bad, asleep or narcissistic. We close our hearts because the gap between our ability to feel and our ability to heal is simply too great to bear. It is so hard to open our hearts when they have been broken so many times.
These broken hearts of ours hold outrageous pain. When our hearts break we become wounded and contracted. It becomes exceedingly scary to open our hearts again. We are afraid it will bring a pain that we simply cannot bear. Our wounds are further funded by the essential contraction of being a limited, fragile and mortal being. Our mortality itself is enough to break any awake heart. But the grief is not merely from our personal heartaches. We have more direct access to pain through unmediated images of horror and information about mass suffering than any previous generation in history. Our hearts are broken exponentially every time we log in. Facebook and Twitter offer us instant updates on happenings in every nook and cranny of the world. The moment we turn on CNN we see sickening videos from Syria, Congo and so many other crisis points. When we connect we feel utterly devastated. We also feel utterly helpless. We have never seen so much suffering and been so unable to heal it.
In this interview with Larry Michel, Daniel Schmachtenberger (CIW Scholar) talks about a new trajectory for humanity. Some of the best environment scientists who are deep in the metrics of how the biosphere is changing and how the life support systems of the planet are changing are deeply concerned about the sustainability of our species on this planet.
Watch this interview with Daniel to get a systems view of the root causes of our global issues and a vision for our emerging civilization.
Daniel Schmachtenberger, CIW Scholar, is the Founder of The Emergence Project and the previous think tank that lead to its formation — Strategic Global Solutions. His background in systems science, human behavior, and activism brought him to focus on the global systems that interconnect and drive our major global challenges.
He has spent much of the last decade studying the etiology, scope, magnitude, timelines, and interconnectedness of major issues; inventorying global resources and solutions; doing detailedcomparative analysis of economic and comparative analysis of economic and governance systems; and developing comprehensive systems solutions, adequate to the issues and realistically achievable.
Daniel has expertise as a social science, a social engineer and evolutionary philosopher and strategist. His aim is to develop an integrated set of technologies and processes capable of organizing and supporting a distributed and continually updating comprehensive critical path management system for humanity’s total evolution. He is working to repurpose and synthesize relevant state-of-the-art systems for information management, complexity processing, mathematical forecasting, and other data science tools into an integrated set of functions capable of global resource allocation planning and strategy. His aim is the shortest path to a fundamentally redesigned world-system that makes possible and supports the highest quality of life for all life, now and ongoingly. Specifically, his focus is on the development of new systems of economics and governance that intrinsically incentivize life-enhancing behaviors at all levels of agency, supporting distributed and spontaneous problem solving and conscious participation in our global evolution.
Whose Measures, Whose Future?
The post-modern world is overrun with measures and standards. And although we may not realize it, much of the anomie and injustice of the post-modern lifeworld is a result of the proliferation of measures and standards. Today we do not face the pathology of the “one-dimensional man” who is distorted to fit into one or a few abstract standards (although in some places and institutions, we still face that). The post-modern condition involves the fragmentation humanity, a multi-perspectival personality, refracted through a prism of standardized differentiations and mass-customizations…. Here is more footage from the ITC. The whole video can be purchased through the Meta-Integral Foundation.
I’ve placed the relevant excerpts from the paper below: Stein, Z. (in review). Desperate measures: the global crises of measurement and their meta-theoretical solutions. Paper prepared for the 4th Biannual Integral Theory Conference, Sonoma, CA. July 2015. [pdf] [pdf_slides]
Global Crises of Measurement: Whose Measures, Whose Future?
To help gain an overview the situation with regards to post-modern planetary measurement infrastructures, I’ll follow a common trope in critical meta-theory, from Habermas (1973) and Bhaskar (1993) to Harvey (2014), and talk in terms of a series of crises. What follow are best understood as crisis because they are systemic, endemic, and signal a need for deep structural transformation (in the strictly Wilberian (1995; 1999; 2006) sense of the term, as a need for vertical structural transcendence and reorganization). All of these crises are interconnected, ricocheting between the system and the lifeworld, and around the quadrants and planes of social being. I cannot detail each of the six crises here due to limitations of space, so I offer only overviews and allusions.
Economic crisis: poverty, inequality, and econometrics
It has been known for some time that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is a simplistic misrepresentation of the health of any national economy; it is also a poor index of cultural modernity, human rights violations, and democracy (Sen, 1982). Yet GDP continues to be discussed in a serious manner and continues to drive national economic agendas. Similarly, most representations of profit, the so-called bottom line, are also gross simplifications of what makes a company valuable. In both cases a simplistic quantitative index is use in summary, and in place of richer qualitative analysis, or even just a more complex quantitative analysis with multiple parameters.
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
From our hearts to yours, we send you love and light this Thanksgiving season.
In deep gratitude and evolutionary partnership,
The CIW Team
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:
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.
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.
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.
“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.
We 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 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.
Watch the coalition members speaking to the candidates
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.
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.
Daniel 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.