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.
Excerpt of the Essay by Dr. Marc Gafni:
In their 2013 ITC conference presentation, Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton will explore “Integral God: Sacred Activism and Falling in Love with the Divine.” To explore this, they will consider two models of self in evolutionary mysticism and why these models matter. Both models emerge at the time of important updates to the source code of enlightenment. The first update is the understanding that all of reality, including spirit, is evolving, and this is a shared understanding of both Unique and Authentic Self teachings. The second update to the source code of the enlightenment teachings can be understood as the emergence of the awakened personal function, and this is a key area of divergence between the Unique and Authentic Self teachings. Read more in this excerpt from the introduction of the essay :
Unique Self and Authentic Self in Context:
Within the Integral context, two ways of thinking about self have emerged which are distinctive both in their shared contours and significant distinctions. One framework or model has been called Authentic Self, and the other, Unique Self.[i] Their implicit assumptions suggest both a shared worldview and subtle but important distinctions in their vision of the ideal homo religiousus. These distinctions are foundational with vast implications in virtually every dimension of life, and therefore, need to be laid out with clarity and precision. Each suggests a different understanding of what it means to wake up from the narrow identity as a separate self or ego self into a more enlightened and correct identity as, respectively, Authentic or Unique Self.[ii] Both the Unique Self and Authentic Self models locate themselves within the context of classical mystical enlightenment teaching. Neither emerges from a western flatland paradigm which views the self as an isolated and discrete unit, or what has been called a skin-encapsulated ego. For both Unique Self and Authentic Self, the first major step towards enlightenment is the realization that the person is not merely an ego or separate self, but rather that the person’s true identity is their absolute, essential, or true self.[Read more…]