Daily Wisdom Post: Aleph

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

The third stage to which Hebrew mysticism invites us–each in our own way–is the experience of unity consciousness as the guiding principle of our lives.  This is the final stage on our journey.  It is an invitation to Aleph consciousness.  Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  In Hebrew each letter is also a number.  So Aleph is echad, one.  Aleph has no sound of its own.

Aleph is the ecstasy that is beyond.  It is an invitation to the highest and deepest part of your soul, which is part of the oneness of God. Experience it, even for a moment, and your life will never be quite the same again.

Now the mystery of love can be fully revealed.  Love is the perception of the essential oneness of all of reality.  The Hebrew mantra of the Shema–“listen so that you know God is one”–is in biblical myth law the only prayer mantra that one recites every day. This Shema mantra is directly preceded by the word love and directly followed by the word love.  A love sandwich.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 307

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

Daily Wisdom Post: Radical 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.

Love is a radical redrawing of boundaries and complete revisioning of the whole notion of self-interest.  A revisioning is, of course, a deepening of perception.  The truth is, we all know that our narrow definition of the self–closed behind the walls of the ego–is not our highest truth.

The underlying metaphysics are really quite simple.  We are made of divine substance.  This is the homo imago dei that biblical myth speaks of, which teaches us that every life is sacred.  “There is no place devoid of Him,” writes the Zohar.  “I am the light that illumines all things.  I am all.  Split a piece of wood and I am there; pick up a stone and you will find me there,” teaches the Gospel of Thomas.  To love is to perceive the infinite divinity in everyone and everything.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 309

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

Daily Wisdom Post: The Festival of Seeing

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In the ecstasy of the festival the pilgrim reaches the consciousness  which moves him to cry out, “If I am here all is here.”  The Zohar explains that if I who am the Shechina is here then all is here.  The description is one of virtual unio mystica.  A shift in perception takes place in which the individual leaves his isolating identity behind and imagines himself as part of the divine body.  This results not in a loss of self but in the total reinvigoration of self as an infinitely unique reflection of God’s face. When the pilgrim feels seen and loved, he is able to open his heart and let it overflow in joy. He himself becomes a lover. That joy and love, writes the medieval sage Maimonides, must express itself in acts of kindness and love, which he in turn does for others.

The pilgrim becomes a lover once again.  He is able to love himself, God, the world, and most importantly, his community and family.

This is the essence of the Holy of Holies:  to become a lover and a seer.  To love is to become God’s verb.  To love is to see with God’s eyes.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Pages 126, 127

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

Daily Wisdom Post: A Light Motif

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

The core intuition of all the great systems of the spirit is that love and eros are captured best by the image of light.  The Kabbalah teachers say that the light that fills the vessels of creation is love.  The word Torah itself –an all-encompassing Hebrew term meant to refer to all divine wisdom–means “light.”  (The root of Torah is orah, which is the Hebrew word for light, which is also the basis for the English word aura.)

When you give in love, much like a candle, you are able to illuminate many people without ever losing any of your own luminescence.  Giving love only creates more.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 133

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

Daily Wisdom Post: The Creative Gaze

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

The Kabbalists were often referred to as mistaklim or chozim, roughly translated as the Looker or Seers.  To get a handle on what that might mean, just imagine how we feel when someone looks at us with erotic, loving eyes.  We feel energized, uplifted, and embraced.  We become more vibrant, audacious, and alive.  We feel safer in the world.  The sense of alienation, separateness, and loneliness of our empty days and painful nights seems to lift.

The more steady the loving gaze is, the more we can steady ourselves and chart our direction and purpose on the path of being.  It begins with the loving eyes of mother and father–our first lovers–and continues throughout our lives.  Love’s eyes sustain us, nourish us, and connect us to the essential aliveness that courses through the universe.  Being seen makes us alove and alive.  The same is true of God.  The gaze of the mystic sustains and even “creates” God.

Once a few years back, my son Yair walked into the room. He sat and started playing with his Gameboy.  I began looking at him, but really looking, perceiving him, loving him, with all my heart pouring out through my eyes.  I was seeing every beautiful detail of his being as he sat there innocently playing.  Suddenly he started singing. Yair singing?!  A rarity.  Could it have been from my love pouring out in his direction?  He got up and sort of danced his way out of the room.  Yair dancing?!

Well, proper scientific data it is not.  But it was enough for me. It was exhilarating!  Since then I have done this practice in a thousand different places–in streets, lecture halls, pubs, churches, libraries and synagogues.  As a result, the world has been much more full of singing and dancing.  I realized that a loving gaze can transform reality.  We call this in formal theology imatatio dei, the imitation of the divine force.  Just as God looked lovingly into the darkness and there was light, just as God’s gaze made it good, so too can our loving perception transform darkness into light and chaos into harmony.  Try it!

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Pages 125, 126

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

Daily Wisdom Post: As You Love Yourself

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

Of course, to remind another of their full beauty you have to be fully aware of your own.  The Baal Shem Tov has a wonderful teaching on the biblical mandate “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  First it is a statement of fact–you love your neighbor precisely as much as you love yourself.  For in the end, you can only perceive another’s greatness if you have glimpsed and believe in your own.  Self-love is self-perception.

If this is so, then a powerful question arises.  How do you love yourself when you know all of your foibles, pathologies and blemishes?  Isn’t self-love self-perception?  And does not honest perception yield forth all of the reasons why we are not lovable?  And yet most of us manage, at least to some degree, to love ourselves.  Is it just self-deception?  No, not at all.  Love is not merely perception, it is a perception-identification complex.  Self-perception means that although you are aware of the full complexity of your personae–the good, the bad, and the ugly–you identify the essence of who you are with your good–your good, loving, giving, creative, and generous self.

That does not mean that you deny your beast.  It is, of course, critical to integrate all of you into your self picture.  To love yourself is to identify yourself as part of the Shechina.  Writes the Baal Shem Tov, “To love yourself is to love the Shechina.”  Not to love yourself is to send the Shechina into exile.  So proclaim the Kabbalists, to which Rumi adds:

By God, when you see your beauty
You will be the idol of yourself.

In your deepest nature you must know that you are the hero of your story.  In your deepest nature you are love and grace and strength and splendor.  Now you must decide to identify with your deepest nature.  Do you focus on your innocence or your guilt?  Do you focus on your ever-inevitably dirty hands, or on your ever-eternally pure soul?  To love yourself or anyone else, you need to know that your innocence is your essence.  That you always remain worthy of love.  That your innocence is never lost.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Pages 121, 122

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

Daily Wisdom Post: Soul Print Hints

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Biblical Myth and Mysticism, Blog, CIW Founders, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Daily Wisdom, Integral Psychology, Integral Religion, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, The Emergence Project, Unique Self Institute, Unique Story, Calling & Sacred Autobiography, World Spirituality Project.

A word in the Zohar used for those souls who are living their story is lechisah, meaning “whisper.”  To live your story is to be able to hear the intimate whisper of divinity erotically caressing your life.  We are all recipients of cosmic love notes.  Paul Tillich reminds us that we can only hear through the love that listens.  Buber captured the spirit of biblical myth when he wrote, “To live means being addressed.”

To live one’s story is erotic in the resonance of its melody and the fullness of its canvas.  The world, when we are in our story, is no longer empty.  The soul is not here just pay back karmic debts.  It has a contribution to make from the depth of its infinite specialness.  Through making that contribution a human being feels ful-filled.  That is the eros of living one’s story.

The universe is full of whispers, and they are talking directly to you.  And here is the paradox–the more you act as if you are being addressed, the more you will be. The world is filled with soul print hints.  It may be the lyrics of a song, a sign on a building, an old friend you meet after years of not seeing each other, or a book that grabs your attention and demands to be read.

Each person has their unique talent, pleasure, obligation, form of silliness, and pathology.  These are all personal soul print hints that direct you toward living your story.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Pages 243, 244

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

Daily Wisdom Post: To Greet with God’s Name

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

Calling out “the Name” is evoked the world over in greetings.  The Spanish hello–hola–originated in Arab Spain from the term “O’Allah” — Allah of course being the Arab appellation of God.  In Austrian German they say Gruss God.  In Hebrew, the common response when asked how you are doing is Baruch Hashem–Praise God, or Thank God. The Hebrew greeting Shalom is actually a name of God.  In English, we still follow this custom when we part from someone and say “Godspeed” or “God be with you.”

In a wonderful and mysterious passage, the wisdom masters talk of a special decree made nearly three thousand years ago.  It taught that one should greet his friend with the name of God.  Although the Third Commandment proscribes such “idle use” of God’s name, this new law legislated special permission to use the divine name in casual greeting.  The source for the decree is said to be the verse “In a time to do for the Name (God) you may override the Torah.”

[Read more…]

Daily Wisdom Post: To Receive …

Posted by & filed under Biblical Myth and Mysticism, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Integral Religion, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, World Spirituality Project.

The ultimate model for reality is the divine. The most central teaching of the Kabbalah is that God’s highest gift to world is to receive the human being as a partner in the perfection of the world. God allows himself, as it were, to need us.

This is God’s ultimate gift to humanity.  It is therefore not at all surprising to learn that the very word Kabbalah means to receive – for to receive in imitation of God is the highest level of giving – and is thus the most profound form of spiritual service.

A friend and colleague tells a wonderful story about going to a class in Kabbalah. The teacher handed him an apple. He stretched out his hand to take it. No, said the master withdrawing the apple. This process repeated itself several times until my friend finally understood. Instead of stretching forth his hand to take the apple he cupped his hand to receive the apple. And this is the essence of Jewish mysticism – to be a vessel, Kabbalah, to receive.

Certainty and Uncertainty
Dr. Marc Gafni

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

Daily Wisdom Post: Ten Sefirot

Posted by & filed under Biblical Myth and Mysticism, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Integral Religion, Kabbalah, Marc Gafni, Sacred Text Study, World Spirituality Practice, World Spirituality Project.

Each one of these ten levels of divine presence represents another dimension of God in our world. They are referred to as the Ten Sefirot. When we perform a commandment, says Luria, we participate in one of these levels of the divine.

Indeed the mystical writers point out that the word Mitzvah has more than one meaning. Simply of course it mans commandment. The human in doing a mitzvah is thus seen as responding to a divine command which comes from outside the human being.

There is however a second sense of the word Mitzvah. It means Tzavtah – to be together with. When one performs a mitzvah one literally merges with divinity. One is together with God. Each Mitzvah in the mystical understanding moves me toward merger with a different Sefira, a different level of divinity. However, says Luria, we are only able to participate in the lowest seven levels. The human being, trapped in mortality, can never touch the highest three levels of divinity in this world. And yet one word can reach the heights. Ayeh.

Ayeh in Hebrew has three letters, alef, yod, hey. Alef, says Luria, is the letter that represents Keter – the divine crown, the highest sefirah – level of divinity in the world. Yod represents Chochmah – wisdom, the second highest level. And Hey is Binah – intuitive understanding, the third highest level. When the human being cries out to God in uncertainty – ayeh – he expresses the highest three levels of divinity and in so doing reaches beyond his mortal limits to touch “the highest.” Luria affirms that the expression of uncertainty in God does not contradict spirituality, but rather is the highest expression of the human search for divine connection.

Ayeh – where are you – the ultimate uncertainty – is then the highest level of religious authenticity

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

Daily Wisdom Post: Unique Obligation

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

… there is no person who does not possess Unique Gifts that respond to unique needs. From a nondual perspective, it is your Unique Gift that creates your Unique Obligation. To live your Unique Self and offer your Unique Gifts is to align yourself with the evolutionary impulse and fulfill your evolutionary obligation.  The realization of your Unique Self awakens you to the truth that there is a Unique Gift that your singular being and becoming offers the world, which is desperately needed by all that is, and can be given by you and you alone. There is no more powerful and joyous realization available to a human being. It is the matrix of meaning that fills your life and is the core of your Unique Self enlightenment.

Your Unique Self
(in press)
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 33


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

Daily Wisdom Post: Unique Self, Unique Gift, and Unique Obligation

Posted by & filed under Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Marc Gafni, Unique Self Institute, World Spirituality Project.

“Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again.”

HERMANN HESSE

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

Daily Wisdom Post: Every moment …

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

What IS, as the mystical principle of constant creation teaches, changes every moment.  To go against what is in any given moment is therefore to lose touch with the God force of love in the cosmos.  All failures in love are rooted in losing touch with the love that is in the moment.

The mystery of love returns us to full presence. By doing so it reconnects us with the healing power of time. When we fully live in any moment we become powerful. We have complete presence and confidence. The infinity experienced in that time enriches us beyond measure. Indeed it is priceless.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 293

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

Eros Audio Series: The Sexual Models the Erotic, but it Doesn’t Exhaust the Erotic

Posted by & filed under Audio & Video, Blog, Conscious Eros Creativity Relationships, Enlightenment of Fullness, Enlightenment Teachings, EoF Creativity, EoF Embodiment, Eros Audio Series, Evolution of Love, Evolutionary Spirituality, Free Membership, Marc Gafni, Qualities of Eros, Sexuality, Spirit's Next Move, World Spirituality Practice, World Spirituality Project.

The fall of the temple symbolises the exile of the Erotic energy. Where did it go? The erotic is exiled in the sexual! We have to understand, that the sexual models the erotic, but it doesn't exhaust the erotic.

Listen to this audio clip from the Erotic and the Holy audio series by Dr. Marc Gafni.

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Daily Wisdom: Unique Self Is a Quality of Presence

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

Uniqueness is not a concept! Unique Self is a quality of presence that shows up when the ego is set aside””even temporarily””and our deeper being and becoming emerges in all of its resplendent beauty. When someone shows up in their Unique Self, you are aroused to love them and intensely desirous of being loved by them. In Christianity this exercises itself as the personal relationship with Jesus Christ that so many sectors of Christianity understand so profoundly””and which is so derided by New Age teachers caught in the impersonality of so much misunderstood Eastern teaching.

In Hinduism the goddesses hold you in radical personal embrace. In classical Judaism the G-o-d loves you and knows your name, while in Sufism and Kabbalah she is your most intimate erotic partner. None of this is dogma. It is the first and second personal realization that the interior face of the kosmos is the infinity of intimacy. And it is the revelation of the infinite, who yearns to love you personally and uniquely.

Dr. Marc Gafni
Your Unique Self
page 92

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

Daily Wisdom: Radical Awakening, Evolutionary Obligation

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

At any point in which you are moved to respond to your evolutionary obligation, you can heal the past. You can heal the past with sincere right action or sincere right intention. There is no such thing as being too late.
The potential for radical awakening and change is present at every moment.

You are then radically shocked and wildly ecstatic when you realize the complete and total identity between your purpose and God’s purpose. This is the true meaning of evolutionary alignment with the ecstatic God-impulse that lives in you and calls you to service.

Your Unique Self
Dr. Marc Gafni
Pages 132, 133

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

Daily Wisdom: For and By My Unique Story

Posted by & filed under Activist Think Tank, Blog, CIW Founders, Daily Wisdom, Enlightenment Teachings, Integral Wisdom Publishing, Marc Gafni, Unique Obligation, Unique Self Institute, Unique Story, Calling & Sacred Autobiography, World Spirituality Project.

To be connected to your Unique Self means to know that your story is sufficiently important, significant, and wonderful, and that the entire world was created for its sake. The dignity of your story demands no less than that you get up every morning and know that your very next action has the power to shape the destiny of our collective future.



Your Unique Self,
Marc Gafni
page 161,162

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

Daily Wisdom: One Love is Us!

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

Love, which previously was cloaked in third-person as an impersonal force, becomes obvious in second person and first person. This is the awesome realization that impersonal kosmic love and personal human love at their highest levels are one and the same. One love expresses itself all up and down the great chain of being, and all up and down the evolutionary ladder. We see love in action in our lives and feel love as Source from which we live. More than that, we are capable of articulating our first-person love and sharing it in second-person conversation and third-person reporting. This is the momentous evolutionary leap of love at the leading edge of human consciousness.

Your Unique Self
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 122

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

Daily Wisdom: The Eros of Living Your Story

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

Eros seduces man toward evolution, toward greater consciousness. Love seduces man to love. Eros is the inner animating quality of the ecstatic evolutionary impulse of the Ground of Being, evolving toward the most aware and noble expression of itself. It is love persuading us to ever-deeper levels of love.




Marc Gafni
Your Unique Self
p. 135

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