Daily Wisdom: Perception as Creation

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Language, Marc Gafni, Qualities of Eros, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

The language of God is man. We are not just God’s messengers, we are God’s language and voice, the means by which she shares her message. This idea becomes a little easier to access in light of quantum physics. One of the essential mind-bending breakthroughs in quantum physics is that the observer is part of the experiment. That is to say, the perceiver influences the outcome of the experiment. Said more broadly, perception not only observes reality, it creates reality. To say that love is perception  is therefore to say that love–far more than a mere emotion–is  the erotic creative force which in-forms all of being.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni


For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: YES!

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Biblical Myth and Mysticism, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral God, Integral Religion, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, Translineage, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge


I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes”!
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It was to this that Emerson referred when he said, “Love is the affirmative of the affirmatives.” Love is the universe shouting out a joyful yes when our names our called.

In Hebrew the word yes – Kein – means integrity. Yes is the ultimate affirmation of our integrity. The question of your existence is whether you can say yes to the adventure that is your life. That is self-love!  When you wake up to a beautiful day which is simply divine – when you eat a piece of carrot cake which is just out of this world then you experience the universe embracing your with a resounding YES.

e. e. cummings always succeeds in capturing life’s little quintessential affirmations. I quote:

I thank you God for this amazing
Day: for the leaping greenly spirit of trees
And a blue dream of sky; and for everything
Which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: I Yearn Therefore I Am

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, Qualities of Eros, World Spirituality Project.

It is said that the Great Maggid would convene his inner circle  every night to teach them the sacred texts. All of his greatest students would gather. The Maggid would begin to speak, “And God said”¦” and Reb Zushya would leap up, overwhelmed with desire. He would yell out, “And God said! God said!” He would spin around and around like a leaf in the wind, and then faint, unconscious for the rest of the teaching. Every night it was the same thing. The other disciples would tease him, “Zushya, you’re missing all the holy teachings!”

This teasing went on for days and days until finally the Master said, “Leave him alone; he’s the only one who gets it.”

For the Hebrew mystic, unlike his Buddhist or Greek cousins, desire and longing are sacred.  Eros is the yearning force of being. I yearn therefore I am.  To be cut off from the eros of yearning is to be left in the cold of non-existence. To yearn is to be aflame.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: You are beautiful!

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Enlightenment of Fullness, Enlightenment Teachings, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, Open up, Qualities of Eros, World Spirituality Practice, World Spirituality Project.

The most important thing we can ever tell someone else is, “You are beautiful.” We were all made conveniently equipped with built-in mirrors – our eyes. They are the reflecting pool in which the person before us beholds herself. It is up to us to choose what she will see reflected there. To be a lover is to  make sure that whoever looks into your mirroring eyes will feel the embracing energy of  “You are beautiful”.

What a wonderful way to live! Spiritual tradition reminds us of what we often forget in the doldrums and tensions of the day-to-day. That is, that everyone is beautiful, and furthermore, that everyone is uniquely beautiful. Every human being on the face of the planet holds in his or her essence an utterly unique reflection of the infinite beauty of God.

We can respond to the biblical invitation to  “love everyone” by perceiving and honoring this light in all who cross our path. Lovers see infinity dancing in the looking glass of each other’s eyes. We need to become lovers again. It will make it all so different. And we want to. We all love being lovers. We have simply forgotten to look. We have forgotten to perceive that we are all stepping gently through God’s magnificent museum. Each soul we behold – a perfect masterpiece.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: Desire

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Enlightenment of Fullness, Enlightenment Teachings, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, Qualities of Eros, World Spirituality Project.

Eros is to be on the inside, including the inside of your desire. What being on the inside does is invite a person to clarify his desires, yet not transcend them. True desire is attained through the deep meditation in which you access the internal witness. From this place of detachment, you survey with penetrating but loving eyes all of your desires. This place of internal witness allows you to move beyond an addictive attachment to any particular one. At that point the person engaged in Birur– clarification – does not abandon desire. Rather she moves to connect to those desires which were truest to her deepest and most authentic self. It is in the empty space between the spasm and the desire that the person is born.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: It’s All Art!

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Art, Blog, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Creativity, Daily Wisdom, Enlightenment of Fullness, Enlightenment Teachings, EoF Creativity, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, Unique Self & Creativity, Unique Self Application & Research, Unique Self Art, Unique Self Institute, World Spirituality Project.

Whenever we keep eros confined to one narrow frame of being, while de-eroticzing the rest of the picture – the Shechina remains in exile. Sex is only one of the places where we exile the erotic. There is a wonderful Balinese saying which goes something like, “We do not have art – we do everything as beautifully as we can”. When we build ugly cities where beauty is abused and people are depersonalized and then build a beautiful art museum, the Shechina is in exile. We exile the eros of beauty to the constricted precincts of formal art.

The same is true of music. Music is not limited to symphonies or rock concerts. We are all musicians and life is overflowing with music. Remember the Broadway show “Stomp”? There was no dialogue; it was all music and dance. The catch was that no musical instruments were used. The instruments were adapted from the fabric of everyday living. Pots, pans, brooms, sinks, faucets, garbage can lids, bottles, bags, newspapers, hands, feet, virtually every part of the body – all of these became instruments of music. The implication is stunning; what we usually do is limit art to formal work by people we call artists, just as we limit music to formal instruments. Formal music and art need to model the erotics of sound and beauty in all of our lives and not just in their narrow provinces. Music and art need to pervade all of living. Every moment is a canvas and is possessed of its own melody.

Rumi knowingly instructs us:

Let the beauty that we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the Ground.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: Love Letters & Love Numbers

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral God, Integral Religion, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

In biblical mysticism love and oneness are identical. In Hebrew, there is a mystical technique called ”˜gematria‘ in which each letter, and thus each word, has a numerical value. The Hebrew word for love, ahava, has a numerical value of thirteen. Echad, meaning one, also has a numerical value of thirteen. To the Kabbalistic mind, this coincidence of number is more than coincidence. It is as if it is a mystical law has been encoded into the letters of these words. Love is Oneness and Oneness is Love. One is but another word for the erotic interconnectivity of all being.

But the rhyme of mystical meaning continues, for these two words added together equal twenty-six. Twenty-six is a central number in Hebrew mysticism because it is the numeral value of God’s four letter name: Yud Hei Vav Hei – יהוה – the divine name of healing and love. Thus, God is One Love.  Love is the universe’s way of embracing us and telling us we are not alone. We have a home, a bayit. We are connected.

One + One = One.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: Murmur

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral God, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

If I listen to the murmuring of my soul, I am in effect listening to the murmuring of the sacred God.

(Rabbi Mordechai Lainier of Ishbitz, a radical Hassidic teacher of the nineteenth century, teaches in his stunning work, Mei Shiloach, Volume One, p. 19, Column 2)

Excerpted from The Erotic and the Holy by Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: Inside, Outside

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

Blindfolding

Photo Credit: presta


By Marc Gafni

From my book, The Mystery of Love:

Love is all about insight–in-sight.  It is the ability to see in, to the inside of the inside, to the Holy of Holies that is your lover.  Eros is being on the inside.  Thus, love is an erotic perception of the highest order.  Naturally you have to move way beyond sexual seeing.  Sex only models eros.  To be an erotic lover you have to understand that “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

When something is far from you, you have to open your eyes really wide to see it.  As it gets closer you squint your eyes, when it gets really really close, you close your eyes.  Seeing with closed eyes is when we perceive way beyond seeing.  The adjective close and the verb close are the same word.  Closeness–intimacy–higher vision–all happen when we close our eyes.  We move beyond sight and invite the other faculties of perception to guide us.  Smell, sound, touch, and taste all become alive in a deeper way when we close our eyes.


In defense of the Qur’an (from a World Spirituality perspective)

Posted by & filed under Blog, Free Membership, Integral God, Integral Religion, Integral Theory, Islam, Spirit's Next Move, World Spirituality Project.

Quran

By Joe Perez

Today on the Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan asks his readers a fair question, crudely stated:

"If there is an argument for why the Quran is so good, please bring it forward. I've read the Quran several times and it's not that good. In fact, it's conspicuously bad as a moral map, and a spiritual map. You can wander blindfolded into a Barnes & Noble, and the first book you pick off the shelf will have more wisdom than the Quran. The Quran is uniquely barren of wisdom relevant to the 21st century. It's got a few good lines about patience and generosity, and the rest is just vilification of the infidel," - Sam Harris. Can any readers counter?

To which I responded today:

Dear Andrew,

The Qur'an is a classic of world spiritual literature far exceeding the disposable drivel that you will pick off the shelf in the vast majority of the books at a Barnes & Noble. I would have thought you know this and could have written a defense yourself. In any event, as non-Muslims, there are many people better qualified than you or I to give a defense of the Qur'an's merits as a guide to Islamic life and culture.

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Daily Wisdom Post: Inside, Insight

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

Love is all about insight–in-sight.  It is the ability to see in, to the inside of the inside, to the Holy of Holies that is your lover.  Eros is being on the inside.  Thus, love is an erotic perception of the highest order.  Naturally you have to move way beyond sexual seeing.  Sex only models eros.  To be an erotic lover you have to understand that “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

When something is far from you, you have to open your eyes really wide to see it.  As it gets closer you squint your eyes, when it gets really really close, you close your eyes.  Seeing with closed eyes is when we perceive way beyond seeing.  The adjective close and the verb close are the same word.  Closeness–intimacy–higher vision–all happen when we close our eyes.  We move beyond sight and invite the other faculties of perception to guide us.  Smell, sound, touch, and taste all become alive in a deeper way when we close our eyes.

The Mystery of Love
Page 114

Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: Journey to Love

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

We are on a journey to Love. For as the Zohar writes, ‘All the Paths (Shilin) lead to the Temple of Love.’ Wherever you are, wherever you are standing or kneeling or crouching — the place where you are is on your path to Love.’

The Erotic and the Holy

Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org


Daily Wisdom Post: Heart Love

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

In reaching for the awakening of love, we do well to bear in mind the teaching of mystical master Menachem Mendel of Kutz.  Writing in eastern Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century he offers an original deeply resonant re-reading of a biblical myth text.  “These words which I command you this day should be on your hearts.”

How do words sit on a heart?  Do they not either enter in or stay outside?  What could it mean to have words sit “on the heart?”  Answers the master, ‘When dealing in issues of heart-lev-love — one cannot force the heart’s opening.’  Love is mystery — the word mystery deriving originally from the Hebrew word Seter — meaning secret.  The greatest secret, the most wondrous mystery, is the openings and closings of the heart.  ‘The best we can hope to do – and that is alot – is to place our words on the heart–and when the heart opens the words fall in.’

The Erotic and the Holy

Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: The Great Dancer

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Creativity, Daily Wisdom, Integral Religion, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

The truly great dancer – like all lovers- flows with the fullness of being. She trusts the universe. She knows she will always fall right so she allows herself to fall into the erotic rhythm of life. To do so she must first empty herself to receive the flow.

The word ”˜dance’ in the original Hebrew is mehol. It has two virtually opposite meanings. Mehol is etymologically identical with the word hallul which means empty. From here springs the Hebrew word mehila –forgiveness. Forgiveness comes from the ability to empty myself to receive the full wonder, complexity and imperfection of another. Mehol however also means halah – fullness – used in the biblical myth text to describe the erotic fullness of a pregnant woman.

The Erotic and the Holy

Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: God in the first person

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Integral God, Integral Theory, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, Unique Self Institute, World Spirituality Practice, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

God in the first person is the experience of God flowing through you. God flows through you not by your denial of your unique perspective, or what Carlos Castaneda and many teachers influenced by him referred to as your  “personal his-tory” ”” rather, your unique perspective is precisely the place in which you the  human being meets and embraces the divine. Thus, God in the first person according to the Hebrew wisdom masters is realized not through generalized meditation which effaces one’s unique perspective, as is usually thought to be the case. Rather, it is accomplished by what Lainer of Izbica calls Berur – literally, clarification or purification.  Berur is a mystical technique which can take many forms, including meditation. The core of it, however, is that through Berur you merge with your  radically unique perspective.  This is your unique face.   It is only through the embrace of your unique perspective that you are able to transcend your narrow human perspective to embrace a divine perspective.

Book of Tears
Marc Gafni
Pages 10, 11

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: God seeing God

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral God, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

All lovers are revealers of the Divine in each other.  God seeing God.

All love is the love of God.
~ RECANATI, a renaissance mystic

Love is to perceive another person unmasked, in the pristine beauty of their spiritual and emotional nakedness.  Love is the pleasure produced by such a perception, when our loving awareness strips the beloved of all outer coatings until she stands fully revealed before the perceiving mind.

Love is a perception of the full divine wonder that is your beloved.

The Mystery of Love
Marc Gafni
Page 112

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: The Music of the Temple

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Art, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Creativity, Daily Wisdom, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

One of the places where we overcome alienation and step inside to an act of surrender is the sacred realm of music.  Eros cuts through ego and touches essence.  We feel alive and totally present in the fullness of our longing.  Mastery in song and music takes place precisely at the point where radical discipline and control are transcended.  At the intersection between control and surrender the singer or musician gives herself up, allowing herself to be played by the universe.  It is of course not an accident that an essential component of the Temple service was music.  The biblical myth text reads, “If you are searching for Shechina” then come to the Temple with its symphony of holy song.  Through music from exotic instruments and songs that opened the heart, the people were aroused to the erotics of desire and personal surrender.

Mystery of Love
Marc Gafni
Page 165

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: The Shechina is the feminine Divine

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral God, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

Her name means Indwelling Presence, “the one who dwells in you.” She is presence, poetry, passion. She is the sustaining God force that runs through and provides a womb for the world.  She is the underlying erotic, sensual, and loving force that knows our name and nurtures all being.

Shechina captures an experience, a way of being in the world, for which we do not yet have an English word. For this is a way of being that we in the West are hard-pressed to articulate.  It is the experience of waking up in the morning full of utter joy for the arrival of the day. It is weeping over the splendor of the sunset or the scent of the ocean or the fragility of a newborn. It is a way of living in love.

The Mystery of Love
Marc Gafni
Page 9

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: Evolutionary Love

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Enlightenment Teachings, Evolution of Love, Evolutionary Spirituality, Integral God, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, Science & Spirituality, Unique Self Institute, Unique Self, Unique We, Love & Relationships, World Spirituality Project.

The Gorge

The Eros of evolution dances up the evolutionary spiral to higher and higher levels of complexity, and consciousness emerges from the evolutionary soup. It is a continual process of self-organization through self-transcendence, in which self transcends itself to recognize and join other in higher embrace. Love by any other name. The evolutionary ladder continues to spiral to ever-higher and deeper levels of complexity and consciousness. Each higher level is always defined by ever-higher levels of mutuality, recognition, union, and embrace between the evolving cells and organisms. Plants, amphibians, mammals, then higher mammals, until we get to the full bloom of human consciousness. This is the Great Story of One Love: Evolutionary Love.

Your Unique Self (in press)

Dr. Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom Post: Teshuva and the Spiritual Time Machines, Part 4

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Religion, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

In our previous 3 posts we introduced a provocative Hebrew wisdom masters koan, “Great is teshuva, for in it intentional sins become great merits.”

Here is the third and final interpretation to help animate this koan in our lives:

The third understanding of the power of teshuva:  the spiritual time machine.  Teshuva literally means “to turn or return.”  To return to where?

It could man to return to the scene of the crime and not do it again.  If adultery with your best friend’s wife is the sin, then it means that you have the same opportunity–sexy and willing woman, available apartment, alibii, and the same level of attraction–but this time you set a sacred boundary.

Or it could mean something else entirely.  It could mean that you return not only to the same situation and even the same place, but also that time itself warps and you return to the same moment.  When the desire to make amends is driven by love, be it love of God, self, or other, then time warps and makes herself available.  The mystery of love modeled in the sexual is that time is not absolute.  It bends to the will of love and eros.

The Mystery of Love
Marc Gafni
Page 301

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org