About Kerstin Zohar TuschikKerstin Zohar Tuschik is the Executive Director of The Center for Integral Wisdom. She also functions as Scholar, Teacher, Author, and Chair for CIW Europe. Her studies have included subjects as varied as Human Resources Development, Integral Theory, Project Management, Professional Dance, Spirituality, Personal Development, and Physics. Studying with Dr. Marc Gafni since 2011, she became professionally involved with the Center soon after. Besides her extensive work for the Center, Kerstin has her own business as coach, project manager, trainer, and Senior Teacher for Unique Self, Evolutionary World Spirituality, Integral Wisdom, and Conscious Eros.
Our sixth Summer Festival AKA Mystery School of Love in Holland ended about four weeks ago and we are all finding back into day-to-day life.
What a fantastic time we had.
For me personally, the Festival and Dr. Marc Gafni’s beautiful teachings reminded me again of the urgency of our work in the world. There is still a narrow window of time where we, as humanity, have a choice between, as Marc put it in the Festival, “the dystopian world à la Homo Deus/ Hunger Games/ Blade Runner and the realization of our beautiful vision of a Planetary Awakening in Love through a Unique Self Symphony or the emergence of the New Human, Homo amore.” As Barbara Marx Hubbard likes to say, “crisis is an evolutionary driver.” In Marc’s language, “a crisis in intimacy generates new emergence” or “emergency creates emergence.” And yet, we need to wake up NOW.
Mystery School gives us an embodied sense of how it looks and feels like when the “Unique Self Symphony” comes alive and “Homo amore is born.”
The articulation and naming of new memes* like “Unique Self Symphony,” “Homo amore,” “Homo amore universalis,” and what we are calling “Cosmo-Erotic Humanism” emerge from a deep attunement with what Marc refers to as, citing Gabriel Marcel, “a memory of the future.” These dharmic terms carry a kind of gravitas. They act as what is known as a pointing out instruction in Tibetan Buddhism for the new memetic structures that have the potential to create that envisioned future.
Mystery School is the place where the dharma is clarified, where new dharma is “coming down”, brought down masterfully by Dr. Marc Gafni, our master-weaver of the dharma. He transmits into the space a field of enlightened consciousness that is so filled with outrageous love and insight that in that field people literally wake up to their own highest potential. And yet, Marc makes the center of the field not himself but the dharma. In that sense, it resembles the lineage that formed, as he reminds us again and again, not only around the teacher but rather the dharma and the community. Mystery School is a central sacred function of the Center’s and Foundation’s mission. From that all else flows: books, courses, personal and collective transformation.
The Festival of Love shows us that this awakening IS possible and it can happen in almost no time. Seven days of studying and practicing the dharma and living and creating together really IS enough for that to take place. The last day I found myself looking into people’s eyes and saw the new openness, the beauty, and love that were present. I heard it in every word that was spoken. I heard it in testimonials. I felt it in my body. I was home. We were home. Homo amore was born and taking its very first steps.
That’s the transformation in all four quadrants** that is so desperately needed. It is the only transformation that can really take hold. It is one of the “small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos” that, according to Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine, “have the capacity to shift the entire system to a higher order.”
That’s what we are working for. Being in this embodied dream at least once a year is essential to renewing our spirits. Our work serves the emergence of more and more of these islands that can then connect and shift the whole system.
What is needed for these islands, these embodied Unique Self Symphonies, to emerge, is exactly what is present during the Festival:
- There is a sense of allurement and urgency that brings people together and a sense of celebration and yearning for fulfillment. Marc has been introducing new core teachings on allurement for the last several years and they reached a scientific and mystical crescendo this year at Mystery School.
- We all stepped outside of our resignation, our comfort zone, and the ordinary limitations of what we think is possible.
- A core model Marc has articulated in a forthcoming book with Barbara Marx Hubbard and in the Homo Amore Manifesto with Dr. Zak Stein and Barbara Marx Hubbard, is the three levels of relationship: role mates, soul mates and whole mates. Dr. Warren Farrell, our esteemed colleague, friend, and board member talks about role mates and soul mates in sociological and psychological terms. Marc talks about these three levels in existential, evolutionary, and mystical terms. Marc’s particular focus is on level three, evolutionary relationships, or what he and Barbara are calling whole mates. At the Festival we engaged all three levels of relationship with each other.
- We are role mates: Everybody has a role to play and is fully committed to that role. We know that every role is necessary, everybody is recognized and appreciated for all they bring into their roles, the instruments they play in the symphony.
- There is real expertise and longtime experience that people bring to their roles. No one person could create the whole Festival without relying deeply on the expertise and experience of many others.
- To give but one example: Our awesome chefs not only know how to cook, create delicious meals, and take care of many special needs of the participants, they also know how to create their kitchen, order the right amount of high quality food for everybody, and hold a team of scholars who assist in the kitchen as their practice of outrageous love. And last but not least, they are deep in the dharma. For them, cooking IS the embodied dharma.
- We are soul mates: We see each other, we recognize each other, and we stand for each other’s greatness and full emergence as Evolutionary Unique Selves. We hold each other’s wounds and vulnerability even as we see each other’s greatness.
- We all have our moments of contractions but, unlike in our regular lives, it never takes long until we bump into another person who gives us a hug, looks into our eyes, reassures us that we are not alone, and gently but firmly invites us back into the interconnectivity of the whole, the intimacy that Marc has defined as “shared identity in the context of otherness.”
- That is the We-Space that is needed if we really want to live a transformed life. Without it, living our transformation can often feel like an uphill struggle.
- We are whole mates serving a shared evolutionary purpose. Without that, all of the above would not be sufficient. What makes the whole work is that – as Marc often says – “this is not a personal transformation seminar; we come together to change the source code of culture; we come together to serve the emergence of the New Human, Homo amore.”
- The Unique Self Symphony comes alive because it serves a purpose way greater than itself. That’s what makes us overcome obstacles that couldn’t be overcome without it. It makes us grow beyond our small ego selves. We are not serving anyone’s ego. We are in devotion to that shared purpose, that new emergence, that new dharma that makes the new emergence possible. That itself, the new dharma, is, in the language Marc began using in Evolutionary Church this year, “a new configuration of intimacy.” And yet, the dharma never trumps the individual. We are always in devotion to the Unique Self of every single person in the room, on this planet, and greater still, every sentient being in this whole universe.
- Perhaps what moves me most about Marc’s teaching is not the brilliance or the dazzling quality it has – although that is awesome – and not even his radical devotion to the dharma and to each one of us – although that is also pretty awesome – but rather, when people enter the field he is creating through the dharma and his own devotion and transmission, they become bigger, more beautiful, more powerful, and more kind and devoted to each other than anyone would think is possible. Everyone becomes more, and once Marc has generated the field, he quietly slips out of it to return to his study.
- Because of that devotion to our shared evolutionary purpose, our own transformational process is fueled by the whole. We know that through our own transformation we participate in the evolution of the all. It is exactly through this that every single person’s transformation is much greater and more profound than in any other personal transformation seminar I know of.
- We have a shared dharma, a shared framework or narrative that gives us shared values and a language for our deep conversations. Together, we are in devotion to and serve the evolution of that dharma. It is not a teacher-centric community. Rather, the dharma, the teacher, the community, and the multiple leaders in the community all interact together and form what Marc calls, drawing from cosmology, “the multiple centers of our Unique Self Symphony.”
- We have shared practices and actually practice together. We practice in dyads, small groups, guided practices, and workshops, while listening to the dharma with full devotion is a practice itself.
- There is lots of space for participation. Everybody is included. Nobody is excluded. If only one person steps out, even just internally, it is felt by the whole room. We invite each other back in, all the time.
- There is self-organization and real leadership.
- While Dr. Marc Gafni is creating the dharma, holding the whole system, and weaving it all together as the master-weaver he is, Claire Molinard and Chahat Corten are in the field, connecting with everybody, and holding both the organization and the energy.
- This year, Kristina Kincaid, James Bampfield, Micky Masset, Thomas Jaggers, and myself, along with an incredible staff of teachers and leaders, held key parts of the space.
- There are countless contributors holding their specific pieces and stepping into leadership in their fields, all of which are brought together in a daily contributors meeting that is essential in connecting the dots.
- Everybody is held and seen. Everybody is adored, recognized, desired, chosen, intended, and needed.
These are the ingredients for a Unique Self Symphony come alive, for the New Human, Homo amore, to be born.
The imaginal cells are coming together in a field of resonance.
Let’s go and create these new communities, these islands of coherence, these Unique Self Symphonies.
As Jesus said, so often quoted by Barbara Marx Hubbard, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Or as Marc would say, citing the ancient text: “The God voice dwells from in between the Cherubs above the Arc of the Covenant.”
That is the space in-between that is felt whenever we meet in, what Martin Buber has called, an I-Thou relationship, where everyone embodies their full unique eros, where a We is formed larger than the sum of the I’s, while every I is fully honored and held.
Let’s come together to study and practice, share our lives, our insights, and transformation with each other, and contribute to a higher evolutionary purpose. Step by step, breath by breath… we participate in the “evolution of love.”
Kerstin Zohar Tuschik
*Merriam-Webster defines a meme as an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. “Memes (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to life. Just as biological evolution is driven by the survival of the fittest genes in the gene pool, cultural evolution may be driven by the most successful memes.”—Richard Dawkins
**For more about quadrants in Integral Theory, see our Integral Theory Portal.
Join Our Evolutionary Church Collective
The Evolutionary Church Collective is our response to these times of global uncertainty, crisis and breakdown.
We are a group of pioneering souls who are committed to activating a new set of potentials within ourselves and within humanity so that we can cross the evolutionary threshold into a viable and sustainable solution for a radically new way of living in symbiotic relationship with each other where we all become agents of personal and social change.
An Invitation by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik
Many of you have asked us how they can contribute more – aside from donating money, which is of course always an option.
It is for YOU that we have designed our new program that we just launched with the first small team of outrageous lovers:
The CIW Intern Program is a program we are creating for people who are allured by our shared purpose of changing the source code of culture, participating in the evolution of love and consciousness, and co-creating what Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marc Gafni together have called the “Planetary Awakening through a Unique Self Symphony.”
This program is an opportunity for you to contribute to this purpose while simultaneously training yourself in the distinctions that are at the core of our dharma in real-life and work situations.
Next to me holding the structures of the Center as Executive Director and Treasurer, I am also responsible for several projects. One of these is the CIW Intern Program.
Another one, in co-creation with Dr. Marc Gafni, is what we call the Distinctions Project. We look at the different dharma distinctions that have the power to transform our worldview, our selves, and our culture, and ask questions such as:
- How can these distinctions be applied to our personal and professional lives?
- How can understanding these distinctions transform how we live our life NOW?
- How can they transform the way we work and collaborate?
- How do they become memes that can transform the culture we live in?
These distinctions are at the basis of our work together. This program is an invitation to participate in our emergent Unique Self Symphony.
Step inside by joining our new CIW Intern Program. By saying Yes to this invitation you commit yourself to…
- Contributing some of your time and your skills to the Center
- Applying the dharma distinctions and practices to your work and your life
- Creating breakthroughs in your own life and work through these principles
- Creating a Unique Self Symphony together and making mistakes in the right direction
You become a member of a dedicated team working together and receiving training and coaching in these distinctions.
You commit to contributing about 3 hours of work per week PLUS…
- Participating in a weekly team call with me and the other interns to regularly locate ourselves in the widest possible context.
- Attending a weekly half-hour buddy call to practice together.
- Completing at least one of our online courses every 3 months, which you will get access to as part of this program. – These courses provide the context for our work.
- Participating in a 2 hour training and coaching call with me and the other contributors about every 6 weeks to deepen our understanding and realization.
Some of the skills we are looking for right now include…
- Working with WordPress
- Video and audio editing
- Working with Infusionsoft
If you are interested in the program, please email me at kerstin (at) centerforintegralwisdom.org with a brief application:
Tell us who you are, what skills you have that are needed by us, and why you want to join the program.
What breakthroughs do you want to create in your life by applying the dharma and joining this program?
I am looking forward to getting to know you.
With outrageous love,
Kerstin Zohar Tuschik
The Center for Integral Wisdom
Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up Series with Lisa Engles and Marc Gafni
In this sixth installment of our series, Marc talks about joy and happiness as a byproduct of the passionate pursuit of your Unique Self.
Your Unique Self is your unique plug into the energy of reality, of all that is. By living your Unique Self you plug into the joy and energy that you need to commit your unique acts of Outrageous Love.
Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up Series with Lisa Engles and Marc Gafni
In this fifth installment of our series, Marc elaborates on the outrageous acts of love that the Outrageous Lover commits.
First of all, it is important to understand that the Outrageous Lover keeps every boundary that should be kept and breaks every boundary that should be broken. The boundaries that need to be broken are the boundaries of our contraction, our smallness, of living our beliefs, the belief that we are irrelevant, that we are an extra on the set.
The Outrageous Lover commits the outrageous acts of love that are the function of his or her unique perspective and quality of intimacy.
Evolution awakens in and as me in person. That is another profound shift in identity from Unique Self to Evolutionary Unique Self.
As Evolutionary Unique Self I am enlivened by all that is. This allows me to live a life of joy – the joy of purpose, of delight, and of being needed – which is unlike any other life.
We are proud to announce the launch of “our WebPlex.” As you know this has been a major project of the Center for quite sometime and we are beyond delighted to finally share our web cathedral of GREAT stuff with you.
We’ve put our heart and soul into the creativity needed to build out this online library of powerful new and archival content like: videos, audios, articles, courses, blog-posts… to help you play a larger game in every area of your life.
We’ve organized the content in a simple yet fresh new way to give you access to some of our best content. There are 23 portals ranging from Conscious Entrepreneurship and Success 3.0 through World Spirituality Based on Integral Principles to Outrageous Love, Eros, and Relationships. Each one is organized on our Navigation Tree to help you find whatever interests you the most. We think you’ll enjoy exploring the various areas of our Webplex and feel excited about what we’ve created for you.
We invite you participate in our online community. All you have to do is click on one of the tiles and sign up in any portal. You’ll gain immediate access to our free membership area which means you can access our Free Membership Media here, our Blogs, and Thought Leader Dialogues, plus receive a free gift.
We also offer telecourses and other products in our Media Store along with a Premium Paid Membership Area. In addition to all our Free Membership Media, for a small monthly fee, our Premium Membership Media contains some of our best video and audio recordings of recent events as well as telecourses from our archives, some of which are only offered here.
Feeling like you want come and hang? Then join us for our upcoming events. Check out our Programs & Events Section and pencil something into your calendar. We’d LOVE to have you.
We also have more than 100 thought provoking dialogues with thought leaders from around the world who have come to engage and apply the main tenets of Integral Wisdom to their respective fields. We’re positive you’ll get something good out of these dialogues. So please, go ahead and deep dive!
For those of you interested in Eros and relationship, check out this portal. In an evolving universe, and in our evolving lives, what is the future of love and relationship? In the Conscious Eros portal you will find answers to these and many more exciting questions.
Some time ago I was blessed to participate in a workshop in New York City with Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid about “The Radical Path of the Outrageous Lover.”
Before the actual workshop, there was a beautiful evening dialogue between Stuart Black and Marc Gafni diving into the depths of “The Future of Love, Sex and Eros.”
I was deeply touched by the vulnerability and respect both of them showed in their dialogue.
Stuart Black has been Director of the New York Institute of Core Energetics since 1989. He is the author of A Way of Life: Core Energetics, is an instructor in the international training classes, and has been leading groups for over 25 years. Stuart has been a teacher of the Pathwork in Mexico and in Phoenicia, NY, where he was both a member of the Board of Directors and spiritual leader of the Pathwork Studies program. He has been an instructor to both faculty and students of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing.
Marc Gafni is the co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom as well as a visionary thinker, social activist, passionate philosopher, wisdom teacher, 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.
Watch the dialogue here:
The dharma of Outrageous Love, Eros, and Unique Self has never been more alive than during those last couple of days. Evolutionary Relationships and Unique Gender are connecting the dots between the Awakening as a Unique Self and the Unique Self symphony.
“We are the erotic mystics reweaving and evolving the source code of reality.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015
Marc Gafni first published a version of the lines and circles teaching in his book, The Mystery of Love (Atria, 2003).
The teaching has evolved dramatically over the last 13 years. He gave a more advanced version of it in Venwoude several years ago to a small inner group at the community. The version we heard at the Festival is the deepest and most advanced version we have of this dharma.
“All forms of reality that don’t have in them
the marriage of masculine and Feminine
are no reality at all.
There is no higher form.
They have no potency and no blessing in them.”
“Blessing only flows when the Masculine and the Feminine dance in their Higher One.”
– The Zohar
Testimonial by participant David Steel:
What an incredible blessing this week has been. I have had the opportunity to study and learn with one of the great teachers of our time. I know that in many ways I will never be the same. I have truly begun to understand and appreciate my “Unique Self.”
The following is a condensed summary of the dharma of the second part of the festival with many quotes or paraphrased statements from the teachings.
In the evening of day 5, Ken Wilber called into the Conference adding his wisdom on Gender from an AQAL perspective, engaging “in the kabbalistic process of Tzimtzum,” as Marc called it, and “contracting brilliance and light into a single point of ten minutes which communicated something profound and potent and game changing.”
At the end of his talk Ken concluded (paraphrased from his talk):
We as humanity are at such a high level of consciousness that we actually have a choice which characteristics we want to embody. Each Unique Self is a unique embodiment of lines and circles. For the first time in history we can select our own gender profile.
The participants responded with love, appreciation, and a standing ovation for him.
On day 5 and 6, a profound healing of the Masculine (or what we preferred to call the line quality) in its beauty happened, it radiated from every face of both men and women as well as from the spaces in between. We were and still are in awe of what is possible in just a few days together in devotion to the dharma, when the Unique Self symphony comes alive.
On day 7, we finally entered the circle. This is what I wrote immediately after the teaching to capture some of the essence of what happened:[Read more…]
We are in the midst of day 3 of 8 of the Second Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference on Love, Eros, and Enlightenment also known as the Fourth Summer Festival of Love. The whole event is outrageously rich and full on so many levels. 240 participants are here – and the “field” is shimmering with love, practice, and delight. The evolution of love is happening right here, right now. Marc Gafni is bringing down new and gorgeously alive dharma every day and the community gathered here is wonderfully receptive, playful, and committed.
The first day started with a heavy summer storm that mirrored perfectly the bright explosion of the dharma brought into the room so passionately by Dr. Marc. The Venwoude community, as well as an awesome team of contributors and volunteers, in collaboration with The Center for Integral Wisdom, welcomed the participants.
Every day Marc gives beautiful and powerful teachings on the evolutionary emergence of the Unique Self symphony, Evolutionary Relationships, and Unique Gender. There is also a whole spectrum of workshops and practice groups as well as awesome conversations and fantastic food. The participants are loving it and the energy is building. This whole event is not only truly Integral but also outrageously rich and full on so many levels.
Some gems from the Dharma quoted and paraphrased from Marc:
We need to know–more than anything else in the world–that the universe is not a fact but a story. The universe is a story–not an ordinary story but a love story–not an ordinary love story, but an outrageous love story.
Evolution is Outrageous Love in Action. The best information we have today is that the universe is a love story, an outrageous love story. We are the central actors in it and the inherent plotline is love.
Love is not hard to find. It is impossible to avoid. The universe feels. And the universe feels love.
To awaken means to realize that the universe is whispering into my ear in every moment: I love you. I need you. I choose you.
In the newness of the moment is the healing of the moment. The power of NOW is that all of the past and all of the future is right here.
You can always ask yourself: Was newness born in this moment? Or is something dying? Maybe nobody else will know the difference but you will and reality will.
A new Dharma on Unique Gender
There are five great historical stages in western culture of how people looked at gender:
- For most of history, people thought there is man and woman, male and female.
- Culture used differences as a tool for oppression.
- Because of that, there was a great move in culture to level all differences.
- Neuroscience discovered through the use of FMRI that there are differences between the sexes that are real hardwiring.
- At the same time, neuroscience also discovered neuroplasticity: The culture we live and participate in can shift and transform the brain. Marc called that cultural neuroplasticity.
As a Unique Self, I am a Unique Gender, a unique integration of line and circle qualities, which is the Divine inner marriage–Hieros Gamos.
The divine marriage is happening everywhere. In an evolutionary relationship, a Unique We is born that has unique gifts to give together. You cannot get to this outer marriage without first having an inner marriage. That’s the democratization of Hieros Gamos, the Divine inner marriage.
Human beings are Eros waking up but not yet awake. For most of history there was no conscious choice. For the first time in history there is actually a choice on how to live your unique gender. Humanity is waking up. Eros is waking up.
What if the only discerning principle for human beings was: Are you an outrageous lover? That’s what makes you erotic.
Dr. Zachary Stein, the Center for Integral Wisdom’s Academic Director, gave a powerfully insightful and informative talk at our 2015 Board Meeting about his main research subject — metrics. Dr. Stein and this talk were introduced by Dr. Marc Gafni, and followed by a Q&A session.
Some questions he addressed:
- The surprising ways that metrics influence our everyday lives
- How metrics can enable or eradicate uniqueness
- How simple metrics can support our personal evolution
The Center for Integral Wisdom and the Agape International Spiritual Center are proud to announce:
Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marc Gafni: Loving Your Way to Enlightenment
New Source Code Teachings On the Evolution of Love
Sunday, March 15th 2:30 – 5:30pm
$40 in advance – $45 at the door
at the Agape Sanctuary
Barbara Marx Hubbard has been called “the voice for conscious evolution of our time” by Deepak Chopra and is the subject of Neale Donald Walsch’s book “The Mother of Invention.” A prolific author of 7 books, visionary, social innovator, evolutionary thinker and educator, she is co-founder and president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. She is the producer and narrator of the award-winning documentary series entitled Humanity Ascending: A New Way through Together. As a global ambassador for the conscious evolution movement she partnered with The Shift Network and formed a team to co-produce the world-wide multi-media event entitled, “Birth 2012: Co-Creating a Planetary Shift in Time” on Dec. 22, 2012 – a historic turning-point event; awakening the social, spiritual, scientific, and technological potential of humanity.
Marc Gafni is a visionary thinker, social activist, passionate philosopher, wisdom teacher, 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 Tears: Reclaiming Ritual, Integral Religion, and Rosh Hashana. He holds his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University, rabbinic certification from the chief rabbinate in Israel, as well private rabbinic ordination. He teaches on the cutting edge of philosophy in the West, helping to evolve a new ‘dharma,’ or meta-theory of Integral meaning that is helping to re-shape key pivoting points in consciousness and culture.
CIW Board Member Mark Divine recently interviewed Marc Gafni for his Podcast The Unbeatable Mind–which is now available on iTunes!
Mark Divine is an honored board member of the Center. He is the founder & CEO of SEALFIT and NavySEALs.com, and Creator of SEALFIT’s Unbeatable Mind podcast – recently listed as the #1 Health Podcast and #30 overall in iTunes!
“Being SEALFIT is a way of life, state of mind and a way of orienting oneself in the world. To be SEALFIT is to embody the character traits of discipline, drive, determination, service, self mastery, honor, integrity, courage and authentic leadership.”
“Mark Divine and his SEALFIT Coaching team take on guests with subject matters that follow along with Mark’s 5 mountain training path of developing your Mental, Physical, Emotional, Intuitive, and Kokoro (Heart) self.”
Being and Becoming: Beyond Peace and Into Peace
This article by Dr. Marc Gafni was featured on patheos Public Square as part of their Best Practices for Peace in 2015 series in January 2015.
“Ignorance is not clueless; it is insightful, but only partially so. Ignorance is to take part of the story and make it into the whole.”
In Buddhism, there is a beautiful articulation of mystical realization called peace. It is called One Taste. One Taste means that underneath it all, there is a unified field of awareness. This One Taste is not only eternal, it is eternity itself. It is unchanging radical presence that is both the ground and substance of All-That-Is.
It is also a hidden Chassidic practice that was lost in the Holocaust when most of the Chassidic Masters were killed. Marc has recovered this practice from what he calls the “Inside of the Inside.”
Having engaged this practice myself on a regular basis I can attest that it radically trains our love muscles.
Changing the Game: a New Outrageous Love Story
“The only community of people that has ever changed the story, is a community of people coming together and saying: We are going to love each other outrageously,” said Marc Gafni during the 5th annual World Spirituality Retreat at Esalen 2014 and “There is not only a covenant between God and the children of Israel but also a covenant between the children of Israel and their children and their children… a covenant between the generations. Israel are ‘those who wrestle with God.’ That is us. Every generation is responsible for the evolution of consciousness. It is our turn now.”
The transformation of the all includes our own transformation: If you work your issues just for yourself, transformation is difficult to achieve. If you work your issues for the sake of the evolution of love, that changes the entire game. The energy you now have available for your own transformation is huge. It is fueled by the evolutionary impulse itself that is living in you, as you, and through you.
But it doesn’t stop there. Seeing someone living their Unique Self, we cannot help but fall in love with them. That doesn’t mean we will engage them in a romantic sense, but it will inspire us and others to live their Unique Self as well.
That is what creates what Marc calls a “Unique Self symphony.”[Read more…]
This is the second part of a series. For part 1 click here.
As a lover of this trans-lineage World Spirituality Dharma that Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton wove together so beautifully during this Retreat and that is both deeply rooted in the age-old Wisdom Traditions and in the Integral Framework, I am always fascinated by how Marc weaves his magic again and again, how the Dharma stays fresh and alive and unfolds into ever more clarity and depths. And it was a pleasure to see Sally teach and get her transmission as well.
So, for starters, what is this Dharma we are talking about?
The following passage is a paraphrased summary of some of this weekend’s teachings.
First of all, Dharma is not Dogma. It is the best take on reality we have, based on pre-modern, modern, and post-modern insights, weaving together what we know about the patterns that connect.
Marc Gafni’s two sentence Dharma of this weekend:
“We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.”
So, what is the difference between ordinary love and outrageous love? Why doesn’t love do what it is supposed to do? Why doesn’t it have the healing powers we intuit it should have?
The 5th Annual World Spirituality Retreat with Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of Outrageous Love”
After a truly magical trip along the Pacific Coast from LA to Big Sur, with Elephant Seals, Sunshine, and last but not least my dear friends Liza Braude-Glidden (CIW Board Member, Scholar and Senior Teacher for Unique Self) and her husband Reed, we arrived there early enough to wander around a bit and see the myriads of Monarch Butterflies and a stunning sunset. Yes, Esalen IS a magical place.
Yet, the best was still to come.
Seeing these two master teachers, Dr. Marc Gafni, Co-Founder, Lead Scholar, and President of CIW, and Sally Kempton, Co-Founder, Vice-President, and Senior Fellow of CIW, teach together, “Two Tastes of the Same Voice” as Marc said so beautifully, was what I would call Third Tier Magic. They gorgeously modeled for us how two strong teachers from different lineages can come together, make room for each other, and teach together.[Read more…]
The Success 3.0 Summit, this amazing gathering from October 30th to November 2nd, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents that was co-initiated by the Center for Integral Wisdom was a wild success.
Among the speakers were thought leaders like Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos Inc), Arianna Huffington (Editor in Chief, Huffington Post), Alanis Morissette (Singer/Songwriter & Activist), Blake Mycoskie (Founder, TOMS Shoes), Barbara Marx Hubbard (Author, Social Innovator, Evolutionary Thought Leader), Casey Sheahan (former CEO, Patagonia), Lynne Twist (Global Activist & Author), Adam Bellow (Vice President, Harper Collins), Ibrahim Husseni, Business leader, Ben Jealous (former President & CEO of the NAACP), DJ Spooky (Composer, Musician & National Geographic Emerging Explorer), Tom Chi (Innovator & Founder, Google Glass), Jack Canfield (Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul), and many others.
The goal of the summit was to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact and to create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future. And that was exactly what happened. The partnership between Marc Gafni, the President of Center for Integral Wisdom, John Mackey, the board chair, Kate Maloney the co-board chair and Ken Wilber the Co-Founder of the Center was so clear and beautiful that it naturally manifested this powerful event which so many people in the room felt was perhaps the most powerful event of this kind that had ever attended in their lives. I want to particularly note the love and respect between Marc and Kate that was subtle and quiet in the space but clearly lit up the room.
In the Media
About 600 people attended the event live and thousands of people watched at least part of it through the live stream. The event was wildly shared through social media with many thousand tweets on twitter alone. Gaiam TV will screen the videos of it by the end of the month. And last but not least, many of the speakers and attendees were recorded alongside the event as part of a movie that will emerge from this. So, stay tuned.
Second Simplicity of Dharma
It was gorgeous to see the many ways the Dharma of Unique Self, Eros, Outrageous Love, and World Spirituality, that Dr. Marc Gafni has been articulating and outrageously transmitting for the last several years, has played a role in this amazing happening.
Most of the speakers started to use the 6-word Mantra Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up. Dr. Marc Gafni, Visionary Scholar, Wisdom Teacher, and Co-Founder and President of CIW, brilliantly transmitted these thought forms in his opening speech. He suggested that every generation needs to participate in the evolution of consciousness. And:
“It is our turn. We are here to articulate an ethics of success that is rooted in Outrageous Love. Outrageous Love demands a new vision of success.”
He also introduced one of his key terms, the word Second Simplicity. Second Simplicity is what he calls the Simplicity that comes after Complexity. After having really grasped the complex concepts, we can get to a stage where we can express them in a compellingly simple way–thereby reaching people from all stages of consciousness.[Read more…]
Last week, our initiatives were featured in different ways in two forums: Patheos.com and the Integral Church Blog.
Interview about Success 3.0 Summit on Patheos
Patheos.com is running an interview with Dr. Gafni about the Summit–on their front page. Read all about the interior vision for the Success 3.0 Summit coming up Halloween weekend in Boulder here. Patheos is the leading religion site on the World Wide Web today with seven million unique hits a month.
At the end of October, a select group of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents are gathering in Boulder, Colorado to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact. The goal? To create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future.
Leo Brunnick, co-founder and CEO of Patheos.com, invited Marc Gafni—author, World Spirituality leader, and co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom—to share the vision of the Success 3.0 Summit.
Marc, tell me about the Success 3.0 Summit. What’s it all about?
Success 3.0 Summit is an exciting gathering of the best hearts and minds around the one central issue that affects everyone: what does it mean to be successful? We all have hidden success myths that define our lives. We have a profound need to be successful, but in general we have separated being successful from being good. We have limited the criteria of success to things like money, status, or power, but have found that these things are not fulfilling or holistic or profound or joyous or energizing. In order to evolve the real source code of culture, we needed to rework this core issue.
Center for Integral Wisdom featured as key new emergent in Integral Lineage
Center for Integral Wisdom was also featured as a key new emergent in the Integral Lineage beginning with Rudolph Steiner and running all the way through Ken Wilber’s seminal Integral work and then with Marc and Ken founding the Center for Integral Wisdom; this was reflected in an independent scholar’s Timeline of Integral Spirituality by blogger, interfaith minister, and co-founder of the Integral Church in St. Petersburg in Florida (founded in 2012) Joran Slane Oppelt.
Starting with a lecture in Paris by Rudolf Steiner in 1906 where he commented on the “integral evolution of man,” through Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Pitirim Sorokin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Aldous Huxley, Jean Gebser, Allan Watts, Arthur Koestler, Jane Loevinger, Clare Graves, Michael Murphy, Ken Wilber, et al. to the foundation of the California Institute of Integral Studies, the Integral Institute, and CIW, this timeline tracks the emergence of many strands of Integral Thought and Spirituality.
For those of you interested in the history of the Unique Self Teaching, which is one of several–in Ken’s phrase–“evolutionary emergent teachings” for which Marc has been the lead theorist in the articulation of an Integral Spirituality, see here.
Unique Self was featured in a special edition of The Journal of Integral Theory & Practice (6:1), the two-volume academic treatise on Radical Kabbalah, the classic Unique Self book Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and a new work on Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter.
The story of the holy snuff box
A beautiful story retold by Marc Gafni
Everybody knows that Holy Beggars hold the world together. Thus would one modern master introduce the following sacred story. Never, never pass by a holy beggar, and they are all holy. Walk across the street. Go out of your way! Who knows who he really is? Who knows what great soul lays hidden in that tattered beggar? You never know… You never know. All you can know that is if someone asks, they must certainly need.
One day a beggar came to see the Holy Israel, Master of the Name. He was angry and depressed. “What kind of a God do you have. I used to be rich – I helped many people. But now look at me – I have lost everything. It’s not fair. How did such a fate fall upon me?!” And with that the beggar broke down into tears.
And now the master Israel had Yossele’s complete attention. For how did he know that his name was Yossele – and how could he know what he had done six years ago? Master Israel continued. “It was a fast day, the holiest day of the year. A day when we pray all day long. People on that day are at their weakest, but also at their highest. You remember, Yossele, that you brought the snuff box to the prayer service?” For although on this fast day eating is proscribed, fragrance is permitted. Often, as in the prayer fellowship I grew up in, snuff boxes would be passed around, to offer fragrance to revive the spirits for prayer.
”Do you remember, asked Master Israel, how you went around to all the congregants giving snuff to everybody?” Yossele, now spellbound, could only nod silently. “Well there was a beggar in the back of the room, lying lifelessly on a bench. You said to yourself – just for a second, ‘Why should I walk back there for him? He can come up to me to get his snuff.” Yossele was overwhelmed as he recalled for the first time that fleeting thought. “Well,” continued Master Israel “that beggar hadn’t eater for three full days. If only you knew how much he needed that pinch of snuff! He was so inside of his prayer that the heavenly gates were wide open… listening to his every word, his every sigh.
“When the holy angels saw that you did not walk back and give this holy soul some snuff, that was it – they were enraged! They decreed you should lose all your money and that the beggar should become wealthy instead of you. Well, that beggar is now the wealthiest man in your town.”
At this point, Yossele’s contrition turned to anger. “You mean that beggar has all of my money? What chutzpah! How do I get it back?”
“Actually, you can get it back,” answered Master Israel with a twinkle in his eye. “If you can find a time when you ask him for a pinch of snuff, and he refuses, at that moment all of that lost wealth will be returned to you.”
Check out this awesome Hangout with Mia Voss and Dr. Marc Gafni about Digital Intimacy:
Mia Voss chats with Dr. Marc Gafni on The Mia Connect Power Chat about Digital Intimacy and building your intimate tribe way beyond what the word intimacy implies.
During their lively and often humorous talk they engage topics like:
- How we have exiled all of our intimacy, Eros, and all the beautiful dimensions of life into sexuality
- How we can free sexuality and use it as a model for all the rest of our life to live life to its fullest
- What our worst living nightmare is
- How we need to show up in our Unique Self and live our Unique Story to really find our tribe–online or offline
- How we can live a happy and fulfilled life and contribute our Unique gifts to reality
- How we can use the web to create real intimacy
- How Unique Self values authenticity AND context and is able to bracket his/herself
- What it really means to love
- How the self-organizing universe works and how Unique Self is the most important technology for it