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
The existential risks we are facing “are not different in kind, but they are different in magnitude and speed,” says Daniel Schmachtenberger in a recent podcast—called the 2050 Podcast, The No Fluff Podcast about the Big Picture, Positive Impact & Life Purpose. The exponential tech we created cannot “be put back in the bag,” so we need to create what he calls “anti-rivalrous environments that make us safe stewards of the level of power that exponential tech brings, or the human experiment completes.”
In a more poetic way he elaborates further that exponential tech is bringing us the power of Gods. Now we have to have the love, prudence, and wisdom of Gods to guide us.
Daniel says that creating an anti-rivalrous environment has never been done and there are a few prerequisites that need to be built into the prototype system:
- We need to make sure that the system doesn’t incentivize harm.
- The prototype needs to be big enough, so it can be a close-loop system—meaning it needs to be something like a city-state.
- The system needs to be anti-fragile and autopoietic.
In order to create it, we need to tap into a different sense of our humanity, says Daniel.
How Do We Create a Unique Self Symphony?
This new sense of our humanity is what we at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution call the new human, Homo Amore Universalis, that is enacted by all people realizing their Evolutionary Unique Selves and coming together in a Unique Self Symphony.
Learn more about how to create a Unique Self Symphony in our 5-part video series “The Power of a Unique Self Symphony” on MarcGafni.com:
How can we create “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” that Charles Eisenstein alludes to in lots of his work? How do we co-create a world that works for 100% of humanity, as Buckminster Fuller has called it?
by Dr. Zachary Stein – after the 15th and final Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain, which concluded a 10 year cycle
In a popular culture that has re-packaged the great cultural revolutions of the 1960s we have to ask exactly where and what a “counter culture” could be in today’s world. One answer is that the counter culture has gone mainstream, it’s everywhere now—massive numbers are marching for women and the Earth, even more are engaging in political critique and ethical activism on social media. Cultural evolution proceeds via the center metabolizing the periphery; the fringes of culture move to the core. What was a rare view becomes common and identity formation and cultural production follow suit. Whole industries spring up around ideas and practices that used to be tucked away in obscurity. As the mainstream drifts to accommodate and commodify cultural innovations for the masses, true cultural innovation continues underground, as it always has been, articulated first and raw in some place off the map.
Across the centuries, mystics have convened mystery schools on the edges of civilizations and worldviews. Intentionally small and remote, peopled with trusted initiates, these schools have been the storehouses of innovations in consciousness, sourced in ancient traditions, guided by a memory of the future. Off stage and out of sight, a few have always been preparing seeds for planting in the compost of the rapidly degenerating culture of the so-called civilized.
The Catskills seem to be trying to hide Shalom Mountain in clouds and endless back roads, making it feel secluded enough to shout secrets into the air through a megaphone. The mystery school displaces the center of self and knowledge, shifting us to the surrounding realms of imagination, memory, instinct, and revelation. Everything is on the table, as Gafni becomes a trickster, weaving Tantric Kabbalah from ancient texts, modern science, and depth psychology. Paradox and laughter co-emerge in the dissolution of culture-wrought truncations of self, world, and God. Audacious sovereign greets audacious sovereign in a dance of co-empowerment and natural hierarchy. Gafni is repeatedly moved to tears by sacred texts, so much so that a late June thunderstorm is easily felt as God moved to tears by reading the book of Gafni’s life. So much was taught that I might only select one lesson—one from the calm in the morning after the storm.
T’shuvah means literally “to turn” and is usually translated as penitence or repentance, meaning roughly to turn towards one’s sins and mistakes, to understand them, and to fix them. This is exemplified in the tears shed by King David before the profit Nathan, followed by the King’s humble admission, “I have sinned.” He had sinned, and would sin again. David, like others in the line of the Wisdom of Solomon, is identified as one whose greatness is intimately bound up with flaws and error. The finitude, limitation, and darkness of the human being have long been the mystical keys that open the heart of Tantra. We are exactly (precisely nobody but) the ones making mistakes, taking risks, landing in failure, illness, and shadow. Religions are built around the core idea of a fall. From Adam and Eve to maya and samsara, humans are destined to make mistakes and live with them. You and I will make mistakes again and again. On one view this is terrible—the fall is our shame, and it means that no one is innocent, no one is really truly good. On another view—the non-dual view—the fall is great news because everything is grist for the Divine Mill. The Good is not some static absolute innocence of non-action. The Good is making mistakes in the right direction. We can only learn and evolve by virtue of the mistakes we make and how we respond to them.
T’shuvah is a practical answer to the idea that because humanity is destined to make mistakes we are all tragically flawed. T’shuvah is a practice for turning mistakes into insight and transformation. The practice is clear, simple, and could not be any more radical in a broader cultural where mistakes in some areas of life are enough to mark someone as untouchable for life. What could be more radical than a practice allowing for an individual and collective turning toward sin, failure, and mistakenness? We can all lose face together, abandon the moral high ground together, and turn then toward each other before God, seeking only learning and transformation through and within our own and each other’s mistakes. Individually and as a culture we must turn towards our mistakes and thus toward our Unique Selves, which are fumbling toward actualization, making mistakes in the right direction.
Importantly, the situation and dynamics in which we make mistakes have occurred before and will occur again. History repeats itself, both personally and culturally. T’shuvah becomes a kind of mystical fixing when practiced as way of life. By turning towards the dynamic that caused us to fall, seeing it, and committing to change it into something new, t’shuvah liberates the memory of each person and culture, destined as they are always to carve a unique path of mistakes. History itself must be unwound from the trauma of repetition and freed from the faltering stutter of eternal return. Beyond and after the total reciprocal forgiveness of each and everyone there is a new planetary culture that is possible. The mystery school felt like a living visitation from the future of humanity, transformed from the fall, moving up from Eden.
Enjoy this beautiful introduction and story by Dr. Marc Gafni from our recent CIW Board Retreat:
The Story of Levi Isaac of Berdichev Told by Dr. Marc Gafni
from the book Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni
When you fail to hold the personal, you may begin to engage in manipulation or possibly even psychological abuse. When you begin to see yourself as aligned with the process, which was the great teaching of Hegel, you may inadvertently give birth to the worst evils of Fascism, Communism, and Nazism, all of which were very heavily influenced by Hegel’s teaching that demanded that the individual must awaken and identify with the great evolutionary process of divine unfolding in absolute spirit. In Hegel’s powerful clarion call to align with the ecstatic impulse of historically unfolding evolutionary God, the holiness of the individual was somehow crushed in all the grand rhetoric, with devastating results for God and humans. The process must always remain personal.
For me it was always the Hasidic master Levi Isaac of Berdichev who radically reminded me of the primacy of the personal even when in the throes of evolutionary ecstasy. Levi Isaac was once leading the prayers at the close of Yom Kippur services. Yom Kippur is a fast day and the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar. The twilight hours at the end of the fast are filled with potency. According to the evolutionary mystics of Kabbalah, the enlightened prayer leader, during that time may potentially enter the virtual source code of reality and effect a tikkun; that is, effect a momentous leap in the evolution of consciousness for the sake of all sentient beings, in all generations. This is precisely what Levi Isaac—greatest of all enlightened evolutionary prayer leaders—was doing on that Yom Kippur. Night had already fallen, the fast was officially over, but the ecstasy of Levi Isaac was rippling through all the upper worlds. All beings held their breath in awe of the evolutionary power of Levi Isaac’s consciousness. All of reality was pulsating with him towards an ecstatic evolutionary crescendo. Just as the great breakthrough was about to happen at the leading edge, Levi Isaac spotted out of the corner of his eye an old man who was thirsty. The fast had been very long and the old man needed to drink. So in the midst of his ecstasy, Levi Isaac brought the whole evolutionary process to a halt. He immediately ended the fast and personally brought the old man a drink of water.
From an unedited draft of the forthcoming book Towards a New Politics of Evolutionary Love
by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein
The core structural principle from Integral Meta-Theory involved in the formation of a Unique Self Symphony is the scientific principle of self-organization. The idea of self-organization is according to many the single most important scientific idea to emerge in the last sixty years. It exists at every level of reality and across all four quadrants. While many scientific accounts focus only on self-organization in systems and structures in biology or cybernetics (i.e., Lower-Right reductionism), there is a whole history of work in psychology and social theory dedicated to modeling how minds and cultures are complex dynamical systems, that evolve and self-organize in remarkable ways.
Multiple scientific fields, when held in an Integral embrace, tell us that self-organization is a basic principle of reality at all levels. Most forms of evolutionary emergence are a function of this ubiquitous tendency of all life and matter toward self-organization. This leads to the idea of an inherently creative cosmos, always evolving and organizing at higher and higher levels. Throughout the evolution of the world it appears that self-organization is often catalyzed via the leveraging of uniqueness. When you look at the emergence of complex processes in nature that display remarkable forms of self-organization, such as an ecosystem like swamp or rainforest, they are always complex symbiotic systems in which there are an endless number of unique niches.
This is why one of the core ideas behind the new politics of outrageous love is enabling self-organization at the level of human culture. So we must ask, what enables self-organization at the level of human culture? The answers is clear and in keeping with both the best of what we know about evolutionary theory and the best of our ideas for political and personal Enlightenment: the catalyst of self-organization in human socio–cultural systems is the Unique Self. Paradoxically, this means that the “shape” every human needs to assume in order to contribute to the creation of a healthy social organism is unique. Strange as it may sound, a just and healthy society needs to “socially engineer” for uniqueness, especially the institutions that shape human personalities and self-understandings: schools, news media, entertainment industries, computer technologies industries, etc. The whole social system would be like an incubator for uniqueness.
Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marc Gafni & Daniel Schmachtenberger in Conversation
Enjoy this powerful conversation on the “Homo Co-Creator” between three new humans, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marc Gafni & Daniel Schmachtenberger. It provides a brief peek into the forthcoming Video Course “Becoming the New Human” that is to be released in 2017.
This is the group discussion after a Module on the “Homo Co-Creator” with Barbara Marx Hubbard.
The full course is a call to action to play your full role in the birth of a new humanity. It asks the question:
Who do we need to become in order for humanity to make it through its current dangerous technological adolescence and to create a world that is truly commensurate with our full human, scientific, social, spiritual, and technological capabilities?
In this session you will learn how to:
Experience the fulfillment of knowing that your unique gifts are received by those who need them most
Find the delight, beauty and joy of being part of the Unique Self Symphony, which is your Evolutionary Family
- Expand your capacity to create loving partnerships without becoming “suprasexually promiscuous”
Enjoy this 15 minute dialogue:
In this love-filled conversation, Barbara, Marc and Daniel spontaneously agree that they are part of an Evolutionary Family and delight in the joy of this! They continue to explore the themes of suprasex, the Co-creative Masculine, discovering vocation, and how to expand our love lists beyond romantic partners.
Daniel remarks that one of the great teachings of suprasex is the question it begs:
What am I committed to create in the world that is as significant as creating human life, that engages as much of my capacity, and that I am as committed to?
Call your extended Evolutionary Family together and have a family meeting.
What would our world look like if we looked at our leaders as the potential Outrageous Lovers that they already are, instead of looking at them through the lens of suspicion and mistrust?
That does not mean that we abandon healthy skepticism, fact checking, or any of that. It does mean a shift in perception, in which we look for the highest in a person and through the potency of that perception, we call people to actually be their most noble self. For in truth that is the deepest yearning of every human being.
I shared this thought in a several talks at Evolutionary Church and in other forums and in a series of tweets over the last couple of weeks.
Here are the tweets as well as links to the last evolutionary churches. We would love to see you there.
Evolutionary Church Replay