CIW Board Member Kristen Ulmer has written a fantastic book: The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead.

Listen to her talking to CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni about her book, her own relationship to fear, and her (r)evolutionary approach to cope with fear in our lives.

In their dialogue, they also talk about what Marc calls Kristen’s sacred autobiography:

“How did you, Kristen Ulmer, in your experience of things, how did you come to be the person that the world needed to write this book?”

Here is the amazon description of the book:

kristen-ulmer-the-art-of-fear-book_cover_smallA revolutionary guide to acknowledging fear and developing the tools we need to build a healthy relationship with this confusing emotionand use it as a positive force in our lives.

We all feel fear. Yet we are often taught to ignore it, overcome it, push past it. But to what benefit?  This is the essential question that guides Kristen Ulmer’s remarkable exploration of our most misunderstood emotion in The Art of Fear.

Once recognized as the best extreme skier in the world (an honor she held for twelve years), Ulmer knows fear well. In this conversation-changing book, she argues that fear is not here to cause us problems—and that in fact, the only true issue we face with fear is our misguided reaction to it (not the fear itself).

Rebuilding our experience with fear from the ground up, Ulmer starts by exploring why we’ve come to view it as a negative. From here, she unpacks fear and shows it to be just one of 10,000 voices that make up our reality, here to help us come alive alongside joy, love, and gratitude. Introducing a mindfulness tool called “Shift,” Ulmer teaches readers how to experience fear in a simpler, more authentic way, transforming our relationship with this emotion from that of a draining battle into one that’s in line with our true nature.

Influenced by Ulmer’s own complicated relationship with fear and her over 15 years as a mindset facilitator, The Art of Fear will reconstruct the way we react to and experience fear—empowering us to easily and permanently address the underlying cause of our fear-based problems, and setting us on course to live a happier, more expansive future.

Enjoy the Dialogue and Read the Transcript Below:

Transcript:

Marc Gafni:                     

Hello Kristen Ulmer.

Kristen Ulmer:                

Hi Marc, how are you?

Marc Gafni:                     

I am delighted to hear your voice and delighted to be here with you for this long awaited dialog.

This is Marc Gafni. I am privileged to be the president of the Center for Integral Wisdom. Kristen Ulmer is both a dear friend, a board member, and a world leader in authority on the subject of fear.

We’re here, Kristen, to talk about, after we did an initial dialog, I think it was four months ago on our new book, Return to Eros, which is about reframing and evolving love in culture and articulating a new [sexual 00:00:52] narrative and a new narrative of Eros, we’re now coming full-circle in to understand, what’s the first step? In a certain sense we did the second step first. Return to Eros is about reclaiming Eros, re-eroticizing our lives on every level: innovation, creativity, sexuality, and transformation. But there’s something that stands in the way, and then that which stands in the way is fear. [See the dialogue below.]

It’s the hidden fears of our lives that are often hidden even from ourselves, and you have spent your life engaged in this topic. I remember when we were doing work together a decade ago as you were winding down the first phase of your skiing career, and me being Jewish told you that, “We only just buy ski clothes, we would never go down any of those mountains you go down.” Oh my god, no way. But you were one of the people in the world that created extreme skiing. You were the best woman extreme skier in the world for, I think, many years, and faced down fear of an incredible magnitude, literally the fear of death that goes with some of these beyond imagination, James Bond runs dropped in by a helicopter. You literally spend your life staring into fear.

Then you continued with an intensive process of zen training and zen buddhism with my colleague and friend and your teacher and friend, [inaudible 00:02:28]. And then you began to integrate those two, to integrate what you had studied in psychology, your expert practitioner status and living in the face of fear, your zen training, and really brought these different parts together into what I would call a new whole, a new synergistic emergence, a new evolutionary offering that never existed before. And that brought you to write your book which is just a great, great, great gift.

The center was actually excited to help facilitate the publication of the book through Adam Bellow and Harper Collins. Oh my god, congratulations, what a huge gift. Tell us the name of the book!

Kristen Ulmer:                

First of all, thank you for the amazing introduction. I don’t think I’ve ever had an introduction quite like that before so well done.

My book is called, The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead. Pay particular attention to the subtitle, Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead, because I actually don’t teach that fear is a holdback. It’s actually our reaction to fear, or our unwillingness to deal with our fear in an honest way, that’s what holds us back, not the fear itself.

Marc Gafni:                     

Beautiful, great. A great distinction. Fear is what is, it just is, and how we react to it, how we engage it is what can be a deadly obstacle.

Let’s maybe … Kristen, we’ll talk maybe about 20 minutes so that people can get a sense of just the depth of this or at least a taste of the depth as they go in order of the book.

Let’s maybe begin, if it works for you, with what we call in our distinction, “Sacred autobiography.” How did you, Kristen Ulmer, in your experience of things, how did you come to be the person that the world needed to write this book?

[Read more...]

by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

This blog post is based on a deep dive private study session I did in the Dharma of the Center for Integral Wisdom, the dharma of Unique Self, World Spirituality, and Evolutionary Eros, that I am studying and being initiated into by Dr. Marc Gafni, who is my teacher, my friend, my colleague, the co-founder and President of the Center of which I am the Executive Director.

In the first part of our session we talked about the innate modesty of the enlightened person.

The highest person, the highest Rebbe, the highest master is the one who can hold confidentiality. That is the nature of enlightenment. Not all must be shared. You might know great wisdom but you do not need everyone to know that you know.

The initiate into an esoteric tradition is the one who can keep a secret. He keeps the wisdom that he or she knows a secret. The word esoteric comes from the Hebrew word seter which means hidden. Keeping a secret means to live in the mind of God.

“Normal people,” when asked to keep a secret, will only tell two people… who will then tell two people… which is why there are no real secrets in the world anymore.

To live an enlightened life means to become essentially self-referential, to not be dependant on the passing fads of the frivolous because you do not have a grasping need for that extra hit of attention you get from telling a secret. You can be wise, do good, and change the world but you do not need to tell everyone.

That is the major teaching of the Eastern traditions. Enlightenment means that you are one with everything. There is no outside. So why would you need anything from anyone else. The very notion of there being anyone else outside of you is already a sign of your unenlightened state.

That is certainly true. Yet, the complete opposite is also true.

If you really get the nature of Enlightenment and you are in relationship with another person, that other person is all of reality just as you. So, when this person doesn’t call or doesn’t write back or is rude to you, it is not just your ego getting hurt by another ego. It is all of reality doing that to you.

To love from that place means to wait breathlessly for the other person to call or write. It is to empathize and feel and care so deeply, so completely that it hurts. From that place you want to share everything.

How is it possible that both of these are true?

In the Eastern traditions that is often seen as the dialectic of the absolute and the relative truth.

Absolute truth means that there is no other. It means to be totally self-referential. Absolute Love is a state of Oneness that is impersonal because there is no person left. There is only One Self that is No Self. There is no outside. And because of that there is no inside either. Inside and outside don’t even make sense.

Relative truth however is all about relationship. There are parts that are in relationship, that are attracted to each other, and that form greater wholes that are parts of an even greater whole… ad infinitum. Relative Love is all personal. It is about communion. It is about giving up your autonomy to become part of a greater whole.

However, in our Unique Self World Spirituality lineage of evolutionary mystics, we maintain that these two truths are one in the Mind of God. These are no absolute and relative truths that are in fact mutually exclusive opposites, but these seeming opposites live in a dialectical tension within the Absolute. The distinction between absolute and relative truth, absolute and relative love is a false dichotomy. It comes from a logical mind that cannot hold paradox.

Love in this dialectical sense is both absolute and relative, personal and impersonal. It is not only communion, nor is it just the autonomous state of All-Oneness. Love is exactly the sweet spot between autonomy and communion. It is the space in between – the space in between the Cherubs on top of the Ark in the Holy of Holies of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, as we call it in our lineage.

It is station 3 of the three stations of love that move from falling in love, through falling out of love, to falling in love again at a higher level that transcends and includes the first two… or from submission, through separation, to sweetness… from pre-personal oneness, through personal autonomy, to a communion or intimacy, in which both partners don’t lose their distinctness.

In dialectical thinking, the first two stations act like thesis and antithesis that seem mutually exclusive. Yet, at a higher level the dialectical tension is solved (not dissolved) into a new synthesis.

Synthesis-Sweetness

Real intimacy or communion are only possible between partners that are not separate but distinct. That goes further than the whole-part relationship that is often used in the two truths doctrine with the absolute being the ultimate whole, while the relative is built from wholes that are also parts of a larger whole and so on.

In Marc’s teaching the partners are not only parts of a greater whole. Rather, they are unique expressions of the whole that offer a unique perspective, a unique taste, and a unique intimacy into the whole, while also being animated by it.

This is a principle that goes all the way up and all the way down the evolutionary chain, which is what Dr. Marc Gafni means when he talks of the intimate universe, the evolutionary Eros, or that reality is relationships.

The Intimate Universe at the Most Basic Level

An example of that on a subatomic level became obvious to me through my study of physics earlier in my life. Looking at it tells me something about reality at the very basic level.

[Read more...]

On A Return to Eros

>>> Buy the Book on amazon Here <<<

In this dialogue, John Friend & Desi Springer, Founders of the Bowspring Yoga Method discuss with the co-authors of our Think Tank Book A Return to Eros, Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid, the importance of frameworks for a new sexual narrative and the embodiment of Eros.

Transcript

Marc Gafni:

Welcome, it is delightful to be here with you all. This is Marc Gafni. I’m here with Desi Springer, and John Friend, and Kristina Kincaid, and we are here to do a conversation on the Return to Eros, the new book that Kristina and I are delighted to have just put into the world through our Center for Integral Wisdom, where John, you’re been a board member for a number of years. And, John, you and Desi, Desi, you and John, are now doing this international global community built around this next leading age innovation in embodiment and yoga, the Bowspring Method.

So, maybe, let’s just start. Tell us, Desi, John, John, Desi, kind of a word about it.

John Friend:

Very good. We’re excited about the Bowspring Method as part of an emerging new modeling, a new paradigm that at first, it came out of the modern postural yoga world where four, literally, the last century, in the various styles, it came out of India, and spread through the West, have held a certain modeling, we consider quite patriarchal, very linear, based even on certain bio-mechanical ideas that the skeleton of the human hold the body up, and therefore to make it more upright, and you try to align your spine straight up and down. You pull your tailbone down and pull the top of your head up. This general alignment idea is all over the world.

Well, it was Desi, when I started working with her five years ago and collaborating, she said, “John, you know, have you really considered making the body more curvy?”

I said, “Well, if you do that, you’re gonna get compression in the spine. Believe me I’m an expert of so many years.”

She was very respectful and didn’t really push the argument, but in some time I started to see her point, and through certain evidence that we don’t need to get into right now, that it was, literally, helping my own body and many of our students and clients, not to follow into this modeling of just linearity and straight up and down, and the curviness, what Desi said, when you’re really in this state of true openness, when you are in a state of pure eros, in love, the body is gonna take a natural ecstatic form. If you look at it, it’s not straight up and down. It’s not this linear, like a military position. It’s a curvy, open position, and not just on the front. It’s on all sides so this has been a huge shift for us. We’ve been putting it out. Now, a large part of the modern postural yoga world is even shifting toward curvy, dynamic, functional movement. This is the really rage right now. We’re offering a very organized, systemized method, the Bowspring. That’s what we’re calling it.

[Read more...]

We Cannot Do It Without You

The Center for Integral Wisdom 5 Keys for Creating a World Worth SavingIn order to create a better world, a world in which there is freedom and justice and dignity for the lives of all humans and sentient beings, we need a new narrative of reality. We need a new story that’s not only compelling, but accurate in both the exterior and interior sciences.

At the Center for Integral Wisdom, we have identified five key areas that create the framework for this new story. When each of these keys become activated within the individual and within society, we believe that new potentials within humanity will emerge. These new potentials will give birth to viable and sustainable solutions for a new way of living in symbiotic relationship with each other and with the planet.

They are:

Key 1: Activate a New Identity

The only thing that affects long-term, sustainable change is a genuine transformation of identity that happens through proven insights about the true nature of ourself and the true nature of Reality. This set of interrelated insights, grounded in both interior and exterior sciences, allows us to link together pieces of information that didn’t previously make sense, and to suddenly gain profound understanding of how we fit into a new whole. Our personal identity up-levels to what we call our Evolutionary Unique Self. Activating a new identity is the prerequisite for the activation of new potentials in humanity.

Key 2: Activate a New Evolutionary Universe Story

While pre-modernity and modernity gave us a vision that drove personal transformation, innovation and progress, postmodernity has failed to give us anything more than a laundry list of the shortcomings of its predecessors.

The result? We find ourselves lost, personally and collectively – unable to effectively move towards a future that promises outcomes comparable to what we saw emerge from the Renaissance: a complete transformation of consciousness which birthed a new set of human potential within every sector including the arts, sciences, spirituality and medicine.

We find ourselves faced with a perilous future – the potential for devolution of our species and the planet unless we’re able to activate a new vision of reality… right now.

Our new narrative is one in which reality isn’t a fact, it’s a story whose creative source is the Evolutionary Impulse, and each of us is personally implicated in the story. With this realization, we’re able to take decisive action with our creative gifts because we know there are needs within our circle of intimacy and influence that only we can fulfill.

Key 3: Activate New Practices

Practices by themselves don’t create change. Practice in and of itself doesn’t work unless we have game-changing insight into the nature of who we really are and into the nature of reality and our place in it.

Within that new framework, we must then activate a new set of sustained practices that reinforce the resonant frequency of those insights so that they become part of our personal and collective consciousness.

Some of these new practices include:

  • Evolutionary Prayer
  • Outrageous Love Letters
  • Embodying Distinctions of the 5 Selves

Key 4: Activate a New Map

Our current maps of reality no longer work for us because they don’t accurately describe the territory that we’re experiencing. In the last decade we’ve experienced a quantum leap in our capacities and potentials in every sector from science and technology to education, medicine and the arts and spirituality. We’ve become a global community of people who can connect – in an instant, with a mobile phone or lap top computer – to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

But we don’t have a map that accounts for where we’re at on the Evolutionary spiral, much less a map that integrates all the information we’ve gained from looking back at our past spirals. And we don’t have a map that shows us where to locate our unique genius within a new vision of reality or that allows us to find others to join our geniuses to create what we most want to give. Which is why so many people have felt lost.

The Wheel of Co-Creation 2.0 is one map that we can begin using to locate ourselves within the story of creation and harness the creative potential of the collective.

Key 5: Activate A New Community

In every generation there are people at the leading edge who come together in communion, each holding a piece of the new consciousness. When the consciousness is held in this sacred space, it becomes the mechanism for evolution. Evolutionary Church has become one such community.

Our work at the Center is as much ecstatic as it is urgent and essential.

With these 5 Keys, we are bringing forth the necessary framework for awakening new potentials within humanity in order to co-create a world worth saving.

We are radically committed to this work, and have been able to continue because of the outrageous love and support we have received over the years from community members like you.

We are deeply grateful and have made the infographic below to show you exactly how you have re-sourced (as we say in Evolutionary Church) our projects since the beginning of the Center in 2011 through your contributions.

Help Us Resource the Center for Integral Wisdom! Your Donation Makes a Difference!

Center for Integral Wisdom Fundraising Infographic Final

>>> Donate Through PayPal <<<

>>> Donate Through Tithe.ly <<<

Or Donate the Old Way by Making Your Check Payable to:

The Center for Integral Wisdom

PO Box 702
San Anselmo, California 94979-0702

On A Return to Eros

>>> Buy the Book on amazon Here <<<

In this brilliant dialogue, Dr. Warren Farrell, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Dr. Kristina Kincaid discuss the newly published Think Tank Book A Return to Eros, the #MeToo Crisis, Shame, Male and Female Role Models, and the much needed new sexual narrative that the book offers.

Transcript of the Dialogue

Marc Gafni:                    

I am delighted to be here with Warren Farrell and Kristina Kincaid. Kristina Kincaid is my co-author and partner in this wonderful book that’s actually behind Warren there, A Return to Eros. Maybe Kristina will show us a copy of the book as well, awesome. And Warren is a dear friend of ours and a board member of the Center front of wisdom, which is our think tank that’s committed to evolving the source code of culture itself. Both in terms of scientific issues, economic issues, business and relationships, Eros are the social structure and fabric of our society. And we’re in the middle of this incredibly poignant, potent powerful and painful moments, which we’ve been talking about at the think tank for 70 years.

Which is the crisis of sexuality in the culture and the crisis of Eros. Right? The crisis of identity, right? The fact that there’s not a genuine narrative of identity, of purpose. There’s not a genuine narrative of sexuality, we don’t have a real universe story and finally, there’s no narrative of power. So four narratives that are missing, a narrative of power, of identity, of sexuality and a universe narrative. A narrative of meaningful universe itself. And in that absence, right? Every manner of the dogs of hells are loosed, right? Because of course sexuality is the single most powerful force that we meet in our everyday manifest world and yet we live in this world, where postmodernity has deconstructed all distinctions around sexuality.

And yet we sense the centers gravitas. It’s not quite like eating, right? And yet we have no distinctions around this gravitas, we have no rules of consent, we have no narrative of sexuality. And so Kristina and I, had that really delight when the think tank sponsored this project deeply. Right? To actually engage for a number of years and in authoring this book of A Return to Eros. Like it is the radical experience of being fully alive … That’s the full title of A Return to Eros – The radical experience of being fully alive – Sex, love, eroticism in every dimension of life. And in some sense we could say that a return to our Eros is the best response we think available today, to this me too moment.

I and so perhaps Kristina perhaps will begin with you, any thoughts you have on just A Return to Eros in response to me too. A Return to Eros, why it matters to you, right. Your just initial thoughts then we’ll go to Warren, right? We’re just to talk about the book and why the book matters. And why it actually has the capacity and to really change the source code, to really change the conversation. So Kristina.

[Read more...]

by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Kristina Kincaid

It was the sensual Persian poet Hafiz who understood the full power of erotic surrender in every arena of life. The ecstatic poem “Tripping Over Joy” transmits something about the power of surrender:

marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, gafni, surrender, hafiz, eros, a return to eros, kristina kincaidWhat is the difference

Between your experience of Existence

And that of a saint?

The saint knows

That the spiritual path

Is a sublime chess game with God

And that the Beloved

Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually

Tripping over Joy

And bursting out in Laughter

And saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,

I am afraid you still think

You have a thousand serious moves.

Loosening the Reins

The one master who saw it as his role to reclaim the erotic at the core of life was the Baal Shem Tov, Master of the Good Name. We have already met this master of Eros in this book, and we will encounter him many more times along the way. The Baal Shem Tov was an eighteenth-century magician, mystic, and healer who founded the movement of spiritual renewal, Hasidic Judaism, that swept Eastern Europe in the 1700s. The story is told of a fateful meeting between Jacob Joseph of Polnoye, a well-known religious master of the time, and the Baal Shem.

The master from Polnoye had apparently heard of the Baal Shem before but had refused to join his ecstatic movement. Then Jacob Joseph heard that there was a lone individual in the marketplace telling stories. His stories were preventing people from coming to the prayer house for morning prayers. He had his attendant summon the renegade storyteller with the intention of severely reprimanding him. The Baal Shem came to him, smoking his pipe.

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by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

Buy A Return to Eros on amazonWithout any marketing or press, one of our key think tank projects at the Center for Integral Wisdom, A Return to Eros: The Radical Experience of Being Fully Alive – co-authored by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid – is already #1 New Release on amazon.com in Sacred Sexuality right now. Many of our American friends have already received their copy.

Here is the review I wrote – since I had the pleasure of reading it already pre-publication – which amazon wouldn’t allow me to post:

Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid have written a very important book for our times. The way they talk about Eros, it takes it out of the bedroom and the context of our most intimate relationships into the largest context there is. Eros, as they understand it, is the interior of all the forces of attraction in our universe, the very forces that drive evolution to more and more complexity, more and more consciousness, and the potential for more and more and deeper and deeper love. In human beings, that same Eros manifests as a sense of radical aliveness, creativity, and wonder.

What becomes crystal clear upon reading: It is a failure of Eros that lies at the core of so many of our contemporary collective crises that threaten our very survival as a species. When we repress our sexuality, Eros breaks down, which is followed by a breakdown of ethics. When, on the other hand, we expect the sexual to fulfill all of our erotic needs, sexuality breaks down under the burden it cannot bear.

So, read this book and be amazed of the depth of insight and realization that awaits you by truly engaging its content.

If you feel numbed out and not able to access your full aliveness, read this book.

If you feel shamed about your sexuality and haven’t found a way out of it yet, read this book.

If you are an activist feeling more and more hopeless in your desire to make a real difference in the world, read this book.

If you are a spiritual seeker wondering about the relationship between sexuality and spirituality, this book is for you.

Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

>>> Get your copy now <<<

Some Editorial Reviews

“Marc and Kristina are going where few dare to to go and showing us what it means to live a fully erotic life!”

–Dr. John Gray, author of Beyond Venus and Mars

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by Dr. Zachary Stein – after the 15th and final Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain, which concluded a 10 year cycle

marc gafni, wisdom school, shalom mountainIn 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.

Venu-100x100Dr. Venu Julapalli, CIW Board Member as well as founder and president of Integral Gastroenterology Center, P.A., an active private practice in gastroenterology in Houston, Texas, is writing an amazing blog-series both on Medium and his personal blog about Conscious Medicine about the tenets of what he calls Health 3.0.

Health 3.0 is of course very much related to what he and his brother Dr. Vinay Julapalli, in collaboration with the Center for Integral Wisdom and Dr. Marc Gafni, have called Unique Self Medicine.

In his blog, Dr. Julapalli writes about the problem of medicine:

In one way or another, we all sense that our approach to our health is flawed.  But we are not as conscious about this as we could be, from both the patient’s and the doctor’s perspectives.

He then offers the following plan:

[Read more...]

Peter FiekowskyCIW Board Member Peter Fiekowsky is the founder of the Healthy Climate Alliance and a voice for possibility and action in a world going off the tracks. As an accomplished physicist, entrepreneur, and expert in language and brain science, he is developing pathways to achieve futures that humanity wants. His current project is giving our children a healthy climate, which he says can be accomplished by 2050.

At CIW, we know that for a bold vision like this we need to shift the collective consciousness. We need to evolve not only individually but as a culture. We need to evolve not only at the surface but at the deepest level possible (what we call the source code).

That’s why we are excited to announce this new blog-series by Peter Fiekowsky, where he links his scientific perspective with the discussion of memes and distinctions we are so passionate about at the Center.

Here is the first post in his series called Humanity Inventing Its Future:

Are Religion and Art Critical to Restoring the Climate?

“Would we have a better chance of giving our children a healthy climate if we set a goal of doing that?”

I have asked that question dozens of times, and have never gotten a “Yes”. I have also never gotten a “No”. I get stunned silence every time.

Scientists then respond, “It’s too expensive”, while economists say, “It’s impossible.” And then they stop. They implicitly agree that we have an obligation to give our children a healthy planet, and then they absolve themselves by saying it’s too expensive or just impossible. I would say that too–wouldn’t you?

[Read more...]

We are excited to announce the upcoming premier of a documentary called American Visionary about our beloved CIW Co-Chair Barbara Marx Hubbard and her life’s work at Illuminate Film Festival, where she will also receive a special award.

Enjoy the Trailer here:

Also, watch the epilogue to American Visionary that Barbara recorded very recently, where she talks about the new phase of her life that has just started.

She says that in this new life phase, in her quest for what we can do to shift this world from devolution to evolution, she isn’t working alone any longer.

She has joined Dr. Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom in a series of seminal projects.

The main project is called: The Planetary Mission: To Connect Co-Creators World-Wide on the Internet. It is hosted by the Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.

Some of the Sub-Projects are:

  • The Office for the Future at the United Nations as well as at local and regional levels.
  • The Great Library in Collaboration with Dr. Marc Gafni, Dr. Zak Stein, Daniel Schmachtenberger & other Thought Leaders to Develop the Books, Teachings, and Teaching Materials which influence the Source Code of Our Culture toward Ethical Evolution.
  • An Event in 2018 to celebrate what’s working in the world
  • The Planetary Awakening Accelerator, a year-long program together with Lisa Engles and Marc Gafni to accelerate our personal, spiritual, social, and creative potential toward participating in a Planetary Awakening in Love.

Watch the Epilogue here:


Idea Seed Banks, the “Nous Arc,” and the “Great Library”What do we need to give “our children” so they can prosper and grow into their highest potential—even though we don’t know what kind of challenges they will face in their lives?

That’s the real question underlying this beautiful talk by our Academic Director Zak Stein.

Watch and listen to this fascinating thought experiment:

What would be a “seed bank” of ideas that—if preserved—would allow us to recreate civilization from the ground up, in case humanity survived some sort of an apocalypse?

Playing off of Noah’s Arc, Zak calls it the “Nous Arc.”

Engaging in this thought experiment a bunch of questions arise:

  • Who gets to decide what should be in there?
  • What should be the content of this “Great Library?” or in other words:
  • How can we assure that we give the next generation everything they need?

The Need for Meta-Theories

In order to engage these questions, we need Meta-Theories. What are Meta-Theories?

While theories take the world as data, Meta-Theories take theories as data. Meta-Theories norm the norms of discourse.

Listen to this exciting 20-minute talk and learn:

  • What a new legitimate model of teacherly authority and intergenerational transmission could be
  • How our image of the ideal human looks like that we can teach into
  • Why we need a theory of Cosmos and Self
  • Which educational environments we need to create—in contrast to the informational environments that are stressful for most nervous systems

Enjoy the talk:


From an unedited draft of the forthcoming book Towards a New Politics of Evolutionary Love
by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein

Dixit-Motiwala-unsplashThe 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.

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Summer Festival of Love, marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, gafni, love, summer festival, center for integral wisdom

Eros is the principle of aliveness and magic inherent in all of reality. Something infinitely real animates everything. Reality is realness, which is another way of saying Eros or aliveness. Everything radiates an intense aliveness. The intensification of aliveness is the natural result of living an erotic life. Most people have had the experience of visiting a place and finding it vibrating with aliveness, color, and immediacy. Some years later they may visit the same place again and find it drab and dreary. Most likely it is not the place that has changed, but the person. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. When your eyes are alive, then the hills are alive. When your eyes are asleep, then even the most beautiful vista is deadened.

Our lives are a search for passionate aliveness. Our lives are a search for Eros. We remember well Eros lost. Until we are able to recover Eros, we are filled with an inconsolable longing that can be healed by no external balm.

We hunger for the depths of aliveness, for it is only from those depths that we are capable of love. It is only in the quivering of aliveness that we are capable of being all we can be. That is what it means to be holy. The opposite of holy is not unholy. The opposite of holy is superficial. The holy is the real. We long for what is real. That is why we yearn with all of our being to return to Eros.

We yearn with all of our being to return to Eros. Let’s start living an erotic life. #PoliticsOfLove


Not Synonymous

The sexual models the erotic. It doesn't exhaust the erotic. Dr. Marc GafniWhen we talk about Eros or the erotic, we suffer from any number of confusions. There’s an important relationship between the erotic and the sexual, but as we said above, they’re not the same thing. Eros is the essential aliveness of reality—it’s the experience of being on the inside. Like when you’re running and at some point you break through and you’re in the zone or the inside of experience.

There is a fullness of presence in Eros and a feeling that your yearning participates in the evolutionary yearning of being. In Eros you have a felt experience that you are not separate; you experience your own interconnectivity with the larger context, with the wholeness of it all. All blessings flow from Eros. The goodness of life, the color in a black-and-white world, and all ethics flow through the channels of Eros. The loss of Eros is the failure of ethics. Creativity, intimacy and relationship, politics, economics—nothing moves without the erotic. When there’s a disconnect from Eros, systems begin to break down both in the world of the personal and in the world of the collective.

When you feel fully alive, when you are in Eros, there is no question about the meaning of life. When you are in Eros, there is no question about the essential goodness of life. When you live in Eros, life is self-evidently meaningful and obviously good. Here is an example of how sex models Eros: when you are on the edge of orgasm, you are on the inside of life—yearning, totally present, ultimately connected, lost in the experience, and yet most radically your unique self.  When you are in Eros, you have no questions about the meaning of life. You are life.

At the edge of sexual explosion, you do not stop in the middle to contemplate philosophical issues or life’s meaning, nor do you question the natural goodness of life. You are fully alive and fully in. In fact, those five qualities—living on the inside, fullness of presence, yearning, wholeness and interconnectivity, and the experience of your unique identity—are the first five of the twelve faces of Eros that we will be exploring in this book. “Sex models Eros” means that sex models the experience of being on the inside, fully present and connected, deeply yearning, and ultimately yourself, in every facet of your life.

From an unedited draft of the forthcoming book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid

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Evolutionary ChurchAlign with the evolutionary impulse that is the inherent Eros of reality and become part of your evolutionary community at Evolutionary Church.

>> Register for Evolutionary Church Now <<

Responding to the Second Shock of Existence

Paper by Academic Director of CIW Zachary Stein & President Marc Gafni Published at World Future Review.

Abstract: Foreshadowing arguments from the forthcoming book, Towards a New Politics of Outrageous Love, this paper suggests that humanity is in the throes of a species wide identity crisis, precipitated by a broadening awareness of our impending self-inflicted extinction. This growing awareness that humanity is responsible for its own fate and the fate of the planet is referred to as the second shock of existence. The second shock has spawned a great deal of discussion about the need for revolutions in technological, economic, and ecological infrastructures, yet this focus on exteriors addresses only half the picture. Comparable revolutions of our interiors must also take place—radical transformations in the very structure of our consciousness and species-wide self-understanding. This is a call for attending to the interior dimensions of the current global crises, recommending in the strongest possible terms that tremendous energy and resources be rechanneled into planning for the vast educational reconfigurations facing humanity in the coming decades.

Keywords: Global crises; Integral Theory; Human Identity; Unique Self Theory; Cultural Evolution

Because of the current state of copyright law we only provide a pre-publication draft of this paper. There are bound to be errors that were corrected as the manuscript went through to press, so please track down the published version before citing any of this material or contact us for permission.

Stein, Z. & Gafni, M. (2015). Reimagining humanity’s identity: responding to the second Shock of existence. World Future Review. 7(1) 1-10. [pdf]

From the paper:

Today, in the maelstrom of post-modernity we are collectively facing the second shock of existence*, which is the realization that the survival of the entire human race is in danger.Moreover, we now face this second shock—this awareness of the mortality of the species—precisely because of the actions that followed in the wake of the first shock. Our attempts to build a world that would insulate us from death have brought us to a point where we must now face death on a scale that is almost unimaginable. The more perceptive among us know that it is our own actions that brought us to this point, and we know that it is only by our own actions that we might avoid the apocalyptic scenarios that haunt our collective imagination. Nothing defines our era more than the dawning awareness of the possibility of the self-inflicted extinction of the human race.   

We suggest that, in fact, the second shock of existence is an important, necessary, and world-historical millstone in the evolution of consciousness and culture. The first shock made us aware that death threatens the meaning of each individual’s existence; the second shock teaches that self-inflicted extinction threatens the meaning of the whole species’ existence. Just as the first shock was necessary in furthering humanity’s mature and complex relation to the universe, so the second shock is necessary as a further impetus toward greater maturity and complexity. However, whereas the first shock served to separate us from nature and each other, the second shock will serve to reunite us with the natural world and weave the diverse strands of our now fragmented global culture into a common humanity. The second shock is awakening us to the patterns that connect all of humanity as part of a common destiny, a destiny intimately tied into the future of the biosphere. The second shock is a deepening of humanity’s awareness of its place in the universe; it results in the dawning awareness of our profound ethical obligations as the sole stewards of humanity and the planet.

Humanity is now in a situation where we recognize (for the first time, really) that our ability to exploit nature is profoundly limited—we have run up against very real physical boundaries to our continued existence. At the same time, in some sectors, there is a dawning realization that we are already in possession of an unlimited resource—the power of human creativity and innovation, a realm in which there is no scarcity. The tensions between these two realities—dangerous scarcity alongside inspiring plentitude—define our age. It is an age in which heaven competes with hell for a chance to be born. Culturally, this has given us two camps: the pessimists and the optimists, both focused on the state of our techno-economic-ecological exteriors. Techno-Optimists see a future in which our current techno-economic systems are salvaged, re-designed, and made increasingly scientific, efficient, and profitable; we will avert ecological disaster by creating a hyper-scientific, human controlled Heaven on Earth. Pessimists see these very attempts at continued scientific control and economic growth as the problem, sensing that the technologically wrought future they yield will give us more of what we’ve already had for nearly a century: a techno-economic system that decimates communities and ecosystems, and that will eventually degrade the Earth until the biosphere is simply unable to sustain life. Both pessimists and optimists focus on external systems, processes, resources, technologies, and economies. When they speak of crises they refer to broken or scarce things (broken ecosystems, unhealthy food, toxic air, failing schools, etc.). When they speak of innovation, they mean the creation of new and better things (healthy forests, organic food, new energy technologies, fresh air, good schools, etc). The future is in the balance for both camps, no doubt, and they both set their focus on the impacts of science, with a focus on sustainability and the physical continuity of life as we know it.

Read more…

*The term Second Shock was coined by Mauk Pieper, see Pieper, M. Humanity’s Second Shock and Your Unique Self. (Independent Publishing, 2014).

From Zak’s Blog:

Finally, after years of work, my doctoral dissertation turned book is printed and for sale!

Here it is on Amazon. Some of it can be viewed via Google Books.

Social Justice and Educational Measurement is part philosophy of education and part historical-critical narrative of standardized testing practices in the United States. It represents years of reseach and collaborations with some of the greatest minds in the field of education. The book seeks to provide valuable frameworks and practices for teachers, students, and parents, as well as educational activists, scholars, and policy makers.

Here are some blog posts where I excerpt various sections of the book:

- Rawls on Civil Disobedience

The Inefficiency of Inrustice

- Democratic Schools and The Future of Testing

Read more…

Read Barbara Marx Hubbard’s and Marc Gafni’s recent articles on our website where they are speaking out for the Evolution of Public Culture.

In Barbara’s words:

One of the most dangerous problems we face in the world is extremism on behalf of belief.  In many cases, extremists convince themselves that another faith or political system or individual is ‘evil’, and that they are justified in destroying them by any means necessary.   We see this tendency, with tragic consequences, in the political sphere. We are now seeing it the so-called spiritual world.  People who claim to be apostles of higher consciousness see no problem with trying to destroy others without due process, open dialogue, non-violent communication or the possibility of resolving differences with compassion, forgiveness and healing.  Even more problematically they often hide their hidden agendas under the veneer of victim advocacy. The spiritual world is not exempt from malice. Malice, as Milan Kundera reminds us, “must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives”.

This kind of behavior is terrorism. Violence of this sort is very hard to respond to creatively without becoming a terrorist yourself.  Yet we have to say NO!  to terrorism of any kind, including our own.

Read Barbara’s full article…

Marc addresses in his article “how such a cyber-jihad campaign is done:”

1) You dredge up old stories—some outright false, some merely distorted—and make contact with your target’s old enemies, angry ex-wife, ex-students and professional rivals with axes to grind and hidden agendas, in order to get them to support your campaign.

2) Using loaded words like ‘sociopath’ and or ‘pedophile’ without any evidence as to their accuracy, you begin seeding a series of false or distorted allegations about your target around the web.

3) You might even go so far as to claim, as Stephen’s close allies have, that this so-called sociopath has  occult or demonic powers. That way, anyone who associates with him can be said to be under some kind of spell, and anyone who wants to hear his side of the story is warned that they might be affected by his ‘demonic’ energy.

4) You then enroll a group of your friends and colleagues, by telling them that you are protecting ‘future victims’.  You point to personal testimonials, none of which have been cross-checked for facts—just as, in the old witch trials, unreliable personal testimony was used to ‘prove’ that someone was a witch.

5) In a short time, using the tools of social media, you have formed an internet mob. Now it is nearly impossible to tell that most of the statements you have made about your target are grossly untrue. And, you have a contemporary Witch Trial by Internet – the modern form of a Salem Witch Trial.

You have crowd-sourced a witch hunt.

Read Marc’s full article…

They both address in detail the specifics of the cyber-attack against Marc and the Center. And they both conclude with their hopes and wishes to find “a higher level resolution” and to meet “face to face, in a facilitated context whose intent is to create truth and reconciliation. That would require people being willing to admit having borne false witness, made false complaints and more. Everyone in the system—including myself—would need to hear each other and own their own responsibility for their part in the contribution system that led to this very moment. This is a context in which neither myself or my colleagues nor Stephen and his colleagues would be “on trial”; rather, it would be a place to give up being right and seek genuine transformation and peace. We could model this for ourselves and for the larger culture.” (Marc Gafni)

Crowd Sourcing a Witch Hunt: An Eight-Step Guide to Internet Abuse

by Marc Gafni

I am greatly saddened by the necessity of writing this post. Recently, Stephen Dinan called for a boycott against a film, RiseUP, based on my original role in inspiring and galvanizing the movie. In his post, he refers to articles written against me in the last several months. The articles are part of a smear campaign that Dinan and his posse have catalyzed against me for the last five months. If necessary, at the right time, I will do a line-by-line refutation of the major deceptions in Dinan’s article.

In future posts, both in this forum and in others that are now being created I will address, in a direct and personal way, all of the key claims and actors, past and future, in the smear campaign. I have been silent for ten years, thinking that the dignity of silence, forgiveness and moving on to new creativity and contribution would cause the agony of these false attacks to fade away. By their own admission, the perpetrators of the (false) attacks against me ten years ago were shocked that I survived their attempted social murder. Sorry for the trouble folks. I know it is annoying to have to try it again and again. Sadly, they have – and this is well documented – spent much of their energy in the last eight years seeking avenues to complete the deed.

My commitment to integrity and intimacy no longer allows me to be silent. As of this post my decade of silence is over. I will respond fully via video posts, email records, as well as other forms of documentation and analysis to any and all false claims.

I stand fully against sexual harassment in all of its expressions. I stand fully against any form of victim shaming.

I also stand against all forms of name rape. Name rape often happens via false accusations which hijack the victim narrative to hide their own malice. And let me add that you cannot make false accusations and then ask not to be challenged by labeling any challenger a victim-shamer. This is a weirdly inverted form of the old adage, where the son kills his parents and then throws himself at the mercy of the court because he is an orphan. That just not okay in any way.

I also stand against the new form of cyber-bullying which is the orchestrated smear campaign.

For now, however, I want to focus specifically on the meta issues which underlie Stephen’s article, because they are more fundamental.

By his own admission in private emails, and in conversations with his colleagues, Stephen has been a key figure in an organized campaign to destroy my good name. In this, he has deployed the classic playbook of the Big Lie propaganda campaign, and adds to it some new virtual techniques.

To say it simply, Stephen is, in my best understanding, a self-styled jihadist. This phrase in regard to Stephen was coined not by myself, but by Barbara Marx Hubbard’s daughter after interacting with him in my regard. You can read Barbara’s relevant description of these sad events here.

By jihad, I mean holy war, launched by those with who are so fanatically persuaded of their righteousness that they move to destroy all who they deem infidel or heretic.

Stephen is not following the precepts of a particular fundamentalist religion. Far more insidiously, he is self-appointed. He and those attracted to, or aligned with, his vibration of jihadic consciousness are driven to save the world from demonic forces and evil. Conveniently, those that they deem evil or demonic are usually also those who arouse in them the kind of rage and grenvy – greed and envy –that is the source of malice.

Malice is a core feature of reality, which we recognize in the political, business and religious worlds but somehow we sometimes forget that it exists in the New Age Spiritual world as well. Malice is aroused, as Rene Girard reminds us, by those whose essence makes us feel somehow small, those who are professional competitors in some visceral way, as well as those who perhaps play Mozart to their Salieri, or Othello to their Iago.

Like all those engaged in various forms of jihad, Stephen is convinced of his righteousness. He has cast me as the infidel who must be both excommunicated (i.e. “don’t talk to him”) and, for the sake of the good, destroyed. In this distorted internal scenario, Stephen seems to be the self-appointed jihadist protector, protecting the purity of the helpless victims. Key to this process of course is to hide all of your own more base ulterior motives – be they financial, psychological or professional – under the fig leaf of the protector mantle. Let us state this clearly and fearlessly: this is a regressive meme that threatens the very soul of public culture.

Crowd Sourcing a Witch Hunt: An Eight-Step Guide to Internet Abuse

Here’s how such a cyber-jihad campaign is done:

1) You dredge up old stories—some outright false, some merely distorted—and make contact with your target’s old enemies (such as an angry ex-wife, ex-students and professional rivals with axes to grind and hidden agendas) in order to get them to support your campaign.

2) Using loaded words like ‘sociopath’ and/or ‘pedophile’ without any evidence as to their accuracy, you begin seeding a series of false or distorted allegations about your target around the web.

3) You might even go so far as to claim, as Stephen’s closest allies have, that this so-called sociopath has occult or demonic powers. The claim that I am demonic, made both in private conversation and in public posts, has been a major theme of Stephen’s campaign. Psychologists tell me that only such a disassociated projection allows one to make sense of the extremity of the smear campaign. I do not know. Such explanation is beyond the realm of my expertise. However, I do know that the ascription of demonic powers to me allows anyone who associates with me to be said to be under some kind of malevolent spell, and anyone who wants to hear my side of the story is warned that they might be affected by my ‘demonic’ energy.

(For those interested in further sources on this see René Girard’s critical work on scapegoating. See also Wilhelm Reich’s work on the Murder of Eros.)

4) You set up a system where there is no possibility of fact checking and no possibility of transformation. In terms of fact checking, I have invited a fair process of fact checking many times. Such a process would require all parties to take responsibility, including especially responsibility for the results of organizing and leveling false complaints.

I have also invited any individual who feels hurt to engage with me in a mediated process of resolution and transformation. I am not only open but very much want to learn if there is a way that someone feels genuine hurt, for which I owe an apology. Let’s have a genuine conversation in a mediated context and see transformation and healing.

But if you are organizing a cyber-jihad campaign you must endeavor to make sure that there is not a possibility of fact checking, mutual responsibility or resolution. That would defeat the entire goal of the jihad: the destruction of the infidel. Because the infidel is in some sense demonic, no true transformation or resolution is ever possible. The infidel must be killed.

5) You must hide your malice. After all, as Milan Kundera reminds us, Malice must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives. What are the motives that malice pleads? The perpetrator claims to be rescuing future victims or pretends to be a victim. This is famously referred to in Karpman’s “drama triangle”, or the victim triangle.

The other motives pleaded are that of being a protector. So the next step in the smear campaign playbook is to enroll a group of your friends and colleagues, by telling them that you are protecting ‘future victims’. You establish credibility by pointing to personal testimonials, none of which have been cross-checked for facts—just as, in the old witch trials, unreliable personal testimony was used to ‘prove’ that someone was a witch.

Remember again: Malice must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives.

It is a shockingly accurate description of the approach that Dinan and his two colleagues have taken in organizing this smear campaign.

6) The next step is to crowd-source your witch hunt. In a short time, using the tools of social media, you form an internet mob. The mob generates likes, tweets, posts, blogs and the like. Credible information no longer matters. In the outpouring of vituperation, it is nearly impossible to tell that most of the statements made about the object of attack are grossly untrue; He or She has become an object. Accuracy and integrity no longer matter much when attacking an object.

You have almost all the key elements necessary to have a contemporary Trial by Internet – the modern form of a Salem Witch Trial. Just one more step is necessary. Victim Voices.

7) A key move in such a campaign is to hide behind what are ostensibly “victim voices”. You gather first person testimonies with emotionally evocative power to front your cause. It is not dis-similar to the mafia using an ostensibly kosher business to cover up for the criminal rackets of murder and extortion. Evocative first person testimonies shift attention from the true ulterior motives of the smear organizers.

First person testimonies are powerful because they evoke emotional resonance. That is why these kind of personal testimonies were so central in the European witch trials that tortured and burned –according to some estimates – tens of thousands of women at the stake.

But of course anyone who is truly involved with working with victims, knows that first testimonies are by themselves not reliable. Just ask any African American family who has a family ancestor that was lynched because a posse of white women claimed that he was sexually in appropriate with them, and they will tell you that first person testimonies can be organized for the sake of murder. Once the horrific demonizing meme of the perpetrating black person with occult powers was set into play, then dozens of white women came out of the woodwork to testify.

That is why, in a rational society, we have evolved post-witch-trials and post-lynch-mobs. We gather evidence, we check for social ties that bind the ostensible victims and look for evidence of collusion and aligning of testimony between the “victims”[1]. We might investigate the influences behind the scenes that are pulling the strings, and check for subtle signs that there is social and psychological pressure or reward at play, influencing the narratives etc.

In the regressive meme of Trial by Internet, however, none of these checks are in place.

The facts of the first person testimonies are never checked or cross-checked. The idea is to create a virtual mob of victim voices, which is orchestrated and manipulated from behind the scenes. In an internet age this is relatively easy to do.

8) Deploying the strategy of the Big Lie: Where there is smoke there is fire

Is it not true that where there is smoke there is fire?

How does it happen that there are multiple accusations against one person? Indeed after closely researching the literature and interviewing a dozen people who are experts in the field, it turns out that the nature of the Big Lie is that it always generates multiple accusations. This lends a veneer of credibility to the smear campaign. This is how the principle of ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ is deployed to support to the Big Lie strategy. However, even slightly more careful scrutiny reveals that the accusers virtually always know each other and have close social, political or communal bonds. They emerge from the same network or have been drawn into the same network via the internet because they all represent disgruntled or offended ex partners, ex business associates, ex lovers, ex wives, ex students and the like. They enter into a kind of group-think in which subtle or not so subtle social reward and pressure move to align their stories and foster collusion, which is easily revealed once a process of cross-checking information and fact-checking is begun.

Let me give you a simple example of how these dynamics emerge. A leader/ teacher/ television personality/ corporate head etc. can work with tens of thousands of people over many years. 95% of the people may have had wonderful experiences. But they are the silent majority. They are living their lives productively, balanced and healthy. There will also often be five or ten percent that respond negatively to any kind of strong personality. They may also be dis-satisfied with their lives, or have any number of interior at issues at play, which are triggered by their meeting with the leader figure. Some amount of triggered folks is particularly probable if the leader is doing work that is edgy or provocative, or that demands a lot for people. If the leader him or herself is not pallid, but is, in his or her own ways edgy, demanding and provocative then it is even more likely to have a small percent of disaffected folks.  Usually those people are from the “ex” society, made up of ex partners, ex lovers, ex colleagues or ex students.

As long as there is no crisis of any kind, these voices are in right proportion to the majority of people having positive experiences. But once there is a crisis or trauma in the system – say, for example, the president of a hospital is sued – then victims begin to appear from all periods of the person’s life. Sometimes those victims are real. The powerful person has a genuine shadow side, which for example, could be that he consistently sexually harasses women. If the evidence is checked and that turns out to be true then we must deal with it appropriately.

It is important however to realize that just as often as these stories are true, they are just as often not true. Precisely however because these stories are sometimes true, and because we have seen so many of them in the media over the past two decades, there is a confirmation bias; that is to say, a tendency to believe them.

However they are just as often not true as they are true.

A good friend of mine in South America was sued about a decade back. She had run mental health clinics there for several decades with thousands of employees. When the suit happened, the overwhelming majority of her former employees rallied to her support. But because she is a strong and often demanding figure who calls people out on their stuff, over the decades she has accumulated several dozen enemies. These are former colleagues, staff she has fired, jealous competitors, angry ex lovers and the like. A face group group formed called “victims of Janet”. People reading superficially might assume, that there must some truth to the claims. After all, where there is smoke there is fire. But more accurately, in this case, where there is smoke there is a smoke bomb.

How did this happen. When her crisis – being sued in a very public case- hit the press, the persons pressing the suit – which was based on false claims, organized several dozen victims to speak against her. That is the source of the smoke bomb. They found people who had worked for her at different stages of her career over many decades. This was easy to do through the Internet. It would have been impossible in a pre-internet age. These victims then attempted –via internet attacks to – hijack the narrative of her life. They attempted to them claim that there was a pattern. Of course one of the first lessons of cognitive behavioral therapy is false pattern recognition. You create the illusion of a pattern by mobilizing a horde of victims sharing their public testimony, which to the sloppy and glancing eye of the internet consumer, might seem to evoke a pattern. Careful fact checking often eviscerates the initial seductive mirage of a pattern.

Where There Is Smoke There Is An Ember[1]

This does not mean that the leader is without responsibility. It might also be true that where there is smoke there is an ember. The leader may well have made genuine mistakes. It is however malice that fans an ember into a fire. It is however malice that attempts to turn mistakes, which take place in the normal arc of human relations, into wildly exaggerated and demonized pathology, which is termed evil, and according to the self appointed jihadist, must be eradicated at all costs. Malice fans an ember into a fire.

The ostensible victims have been in touch, sometimes for a decade or more, aligning their stories. There is a kind of group think victim consciousness which takes over. By participating the victim voices receive many social benefits and potentially avoid social censure within their communities.

Of course all of this is subtle and hidden. Particularly if your playground is the internet you can easily  hide all of the back stories that belie the integrity of the victim voice. You can avoid all forms of genuine fact checking, both at the level of deeds-what actually happened, and at the level of motives.

On the surface, in a plethora of internet posts, all you see are brave victims risking reprisal who are breaking the silence. When the stories are carefully checked and turn out to be true according to genuine standards of inquiry, then we have travesty of integrity and intimacy that must be righted. When the stories are not true however, which is no less often the case, then we have no less of  a travesty of integrity and intimacy that also must righted. The latter is precisely the case in the crowd sourced witch hunt of Dinan and his colleagues.

Spiritual Teachers

It is unbelievably painful to me that a group of spiritual teachers and growth movement professionals, who do not know me personally, but who have business relationships or financial ties with Stephen, have been persuaded to lend their names to this campaign without cross-checking the information being purveyed. I am certain however that once all the facts are known, the moral and formal liability of having taken such a stand will become self-evident.

It has also been most disheartening but not as unexpected to see people who have been colleagues who have close ties to Stephen, jump on Stephen’s bandwagon, some from fear, and some from self interest.

I do not know Stephen personally. I have never had a conversation with him, other then a passing hello at a public event. At several points, leaders in the Center have strongly urged Stephen to sit with me, our staff and team and carefully cross check facts and information before acting. They have also strongly urged me to sit with Stephen. Stephen has consistently refused.

I remain open to meeting Stephen directly – face to face, in a facilitated context whose intent is to create truth and reconciliation. That would require people being willing to admit having borne false witness, made false complaints and more. Everyone in the system—including myself—would need to hear each other and own their own responsibility for their part in the contribution system that led to this very moment. This is a context in which neither myself or my colleagues nor Stephen and his colleagues would be “on trial”; rather, it would be a place to give up being right and seek genuine transformation and peace. We could model this for ourselves and for the larger culture.

My colleagues at the Center for Integral Wisdom have responded directly to the smear campaign. Until this point we have only circulated our response to our own community and lists. But in light of Stephen’s rehashing of the same old canards again and again, we are sharing our public response. Following the Board of the Center’s public statement are 55 blog post by Center leaders.

I invite the reader to read each of them. They are short and wise and to the point. In reading them I hope you will actually get a direct sense of the quality of my life, relationships, and the work that we are doing at the Center for Integral Wisdom.

We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love. Outrageous love is not tepid or lukewarm. It is a fire that both warms and inspires even as it fierce and demanding. For the sake of goodness, truth and beauty, for the sake of my partners, my children and the many people with whom I am deeply in love, I will at the appropriate time respond in depth to every single false claim. I want to do so in a way which seeks not to destroy but to create, not to tear down but to build up, not merely to shout against the darkness but to add light.

Statement from the Center for Integral Wisdom

In response to the current attacks on Dr. Marc Gafni, The Center for Integral Wisdom has released the following statement:

Dr. Marc Gafni is under attack from certain quarters of the religious and spirituality worlds. Based on our careful review of extensive documentary evidence, numerous professional evaluations, and our collective experiences with Dr. Gafni, we fully trust that the claims of sexual harassment and abuse are false.

The Center for Integral Wisdom takes the strongest possible stance against all forms of sexual harassment and abuse. Before any of us became formally affiliated with the Center, we, collectively, carefully reviewed these allegations. We concluded, and reaffirm now, that the claims against Dr. Gafni are either untrue or significantly distorted.

Furthermore, all of us have extensive professional and personal experiences of the most positive nature with Dr. Gafni, regularly observing his goodness, integrity and kindness.

Over the years, Dr. Gafni has offered many times to engage in a professionally facilitated dialogue with the parties involved in making and disseminating these claims. However, these parties have not been willing to meet for mediated resolution in which all parties take responsibility for their part in the contribution system that created these conflicts.

Instead, over many years they have aligned with each other, coordinating their stories and efforts, avoiding forums which would allow for discerning fact checking and mutual responsibility. Given our common desire for peace in the world, it is more then unfortunate that there has not been the opportunity to engage in a productive process of resolution. The agenda of the parties has been to create public campaigns of character assassination intended to discredit Dr. Gafni in his professional and personal life.

If you would like a deeper sense of Marc, his collaborative work and character, the Center’s work, as well as a substantive refutation of the core negative stories on the web, you might want to read some of the posts below, as well as the Facts section on Marc’s personal website, WhoIsMarcGafni.com. You might also want to peruse the extensive material on the Center for Integral Wisdom website, or just read one of Marc’s books. In the next few weeks and months, Marc and other leaders at the Center will be sharing more specific information, as well as reflections on the larger issues at stake in this conversation.

Please see below for fifty-five blog posts from Center leaders that deal with these issues directly. We would urge any reader interested in deeper understanding and truth to read these posts with care, discernment and an open heart.

You can access the 55+ posts by clicking here.

Also read this beautiful analysis by Dr. Clint Fuhs titled: Anatomy of a Smear: The Internet Trial of Marc Gafni



[1] Where there is smoke there is an ember. In most of these stories there is a pattern of behavior that takes place over many years. Beware however of the common mistake of false pattern recognition. The ostensible pattern needs to be properly interpreted. If the issues at play are sexual, the pattern of interaction over many years may be primarily post conventional, with all of the messiness that sometimes implies or the pattern might be predatory. The difference is everything. To ascertain the distinction, there is all sorts of objective evidence that needs to be reviewed. That review is called fair process or integrity.



by Barbara Marx Hubbard

One of the most dangerous problems we face in the world is extremism on behalf of belief.  In many cases, extremists convince themselves that another faith or political system or individual is ‘evil’, and that they are justified in destroying them by any means necessary.   We see this tendency, with tragic consequences, in the political sphere. We are now seeing it the so-called spiritual world.  People who claim to be apostles of higher consciousness see no problem with trying to destroy others without due process, open dialogue, non-violent communication or the possibility of resolving differences with compassion, forgiveness and healing.  Even more problematically they often hide their hidden agendas under the veneer of victim advocacy. The spiritual world is not exempt from malice. Malice, as Milan Kundera reminds us, “must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives”.

This kind of behavior is terrorism. Violence of this sort is very hard to respond to creatively without becoming a terrorist yourself.  Yet we have to say NO!  to terrorism of any kind, including our own.

With this in mind I am called forth by my sense of justice to stand against the recent extremist process of cyber-attacks, initiated by a leader in the evolutionary spiritual community against Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom.  Using his marketing skills and a carefully orchestrated cyber campaign, my former colleague Stephen Dinan has written a series of letters, blogs and articles filled with factual distortions, subtle and gross smears about Gafni, turning the same attack process against anyone who stands with Marc or considers working with him.

Stephen runs a lucrative online network, The Shift, which creates profits and fame for dozens of teachers.  Many of these teachers depend on him for a major part of their livelihood.  Most of the teachers who have signed onto Dinan’s petition against Marc have business ties of one form or another, or outright financial dependency on Stephen. Many of them have signed without knowing Marc personally, based solely on untrue claims. None of the claims are new. They are recycled versions of old claims that Marc has responded to in depth and that have been professionally reviewed by many conscious people of great integrity. You are welcome to read the Facts section of Marc’s personal website to see much of this material.

The fact is, Stephen has refused even to have a conversation with Marc, and has set out to destroy the reputation and ability to teach of a remarkable spiritual, social and evolutionary innovator.

I along with leaders of the Center for Integral Wisdom are fully opposed to any form of sexual harassment or abuse. At the same time, I equally stand against false accusations to try and destroy a person’s integrity and ability to function in the world. Those of us who know the truth of who Marc is are speaking out, for the sake  of a new force in evolution, that is just as important for our world as the force we call democracy. This is about the evolution of our public culture. Those who first supported democracy were often killed for their courage.  In the emergence of a fully empowered evolutionary movement, the integrity of our means and methods around conflict is crucial. The evolutionary movement for social change needs to be based on the fundamental principles of modern justice, not on regressive memes which conduct trials by internet with no opportunity whatsoever for dialogue, fact checking, due process, or non-violent communication.

I attended two Center for Integral Wisdom board meetings with about seventy five highly conscious men and women, leaders in business, spirit, and education who were in attendance. As Warren Farrell said at the end of one meeting, “Marc is the only leader I have ever seen with so much personal depth, presence, and teaching ability who is able to step aside and create space for everyone to shine.”

In 2016, I became the Co-Chair of CIW, an office formally handed over to me by John Mackey, whose four-year term was complete.

Many CIW  board members are working actively on evolutionary projects with Marc. These include numerous books, online courses, media projects, radio shows, podcasts, and partnered initiatives—all of which focus on furthering the vision of the center, which is to influence the “source code of culture” toward ethical evolution.

Marc is author of eleven books, including two of the most powerful that I have read. First is Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, which includes a foreword and afterword by Ken Wilber.  This seminal work affirms the unique creative self within everyone and offers guidance to fully realize it.  Another is his scholarly, two-volume work, Radical Kabbalah, which reveals the origins  in Jewish mysticism of the modern concept that free spiritually-motivated human beings  embody the Divine. Marc has also authored The Mystery of Love, which speaks for the spiritual significance of Eros as force for evolution, genius and life itself.

He has written at least three unpublished seminal works which I have read that are only now being published and is deep in the middle of the next set of writings.

In Marc’s words, the goal of the center is to create “a genuine unique self symphony, in which each unique self brings their own unique gifts to create a new evolutionary we space.”

I would urge everyone to read the response to the smear campaign by the board of the directors of the Center for Integral Wisdom and especially the fifty plus blogs by Center leaders that follow it. You will feel the quality of the conversation at the Center, which is why I was honored to succeed John Mackey as co-chair of the board.

As an elder of that movement, and as a life-long advocate for the conscious evolution of humanity, I am compelled to speak up for the integrity of our means and methods to resolve conflict.

How did this well-organized attack on Marc Gafni happen?

This is a complex question; one which will be taken up directly in the future. But, here is what I personally know.

My work with Stephen deepened during a beautiful event sponsored by myself and the Shift Network. Called “Birth 2012” to celebrate the new era of evolution.

For many years, I had been describing and teaching about a coming global shift, instigated by the crisis we are facing on Earth. I know that in evolution, crisis precedes transformation.

The question for me and other evolutionaries has been how to respond to a crisis of global magnitude, one which may possibly lead to the extinction of our species. The answer is by deepening our commitment to furthering the 13.8 billion years of evolution that’s driven us toward higher consciousness, freedom, and order. The was the deeper purpose of Birth 2012.

During Birth 2012 leaders and small groups from around the world were connected in cyber-space as we celebrated this multi-media global television event at the Agape Spiritual Center in Los Angeles.

I continued to teach about and call for a full scale Planetary Awakening in the year 2020 seeing it as a critical date.

In August 2015, I invited Marc to be on a Skype call about 2020 with my friend, Ervin Lazlo, scientist and author of over 50 books. Marc, Ervin and I had a deep and delightful conversation. I asked Marc to write up a statement of our intention. Read it here and you will I am sure be as moved as we all were: “A New Coalition Is Forming to Catalyze the Evolution of Consciousness”. Marc knew nothing about Stephen Dinan’s interest in 2020 at that time. It was a wonderful conversation. I asked Marc to post it on the Center’s site and asked Ervin and my staff to post it on our sites.

Stephen told me he was furious. I called Marc and asked Marc to remove the post. He did so immediately. This is when the process of attack against Marc by Stephen began to reveal itself.

The next step happened on September 18, 2015.  I had completed a student retreat at the Shift campus in Petaluma.  Stephen announced his passion for 2020 — a new campaign for International Peace Day . He said wanted me to work under him again.

I replied that I would “be his partner, but not work directly under him and the Shift”, simply because I wanted to partner with others who were already working toward this date, with many kinds of events and celebrations.

“No,” he said very severely. I HAVE THE STRUCTURE. YOU WILL FAIL. YOU MUST DO IT UNDER ME.” His intense demand for control reminded me of how he behaved during Birth 2012, whenever I wanted to bring any other distinguished person in to work directly with me.

Stephen was treating me with obvious disrespect—demonstrating a not so subtle sexism, ageism, and bullying.

I mildly said that I would be his partner, but not work under him.

As I had promised, I began to introduce people to Stephen who were interested in the 2020 possibilities. I also tried to set up a conversation for Stephen to get to know Marc. He adamantly refused even to talk with Marc. I was shocked at the virulence of his refusal to communicate. He said, “I must not under any circumstances have anything to do with him.” He then told me that it would ruin my career to work with Marc. (He did not mention that he would be the person to try and ruin my career.) He handed me a stack of old attack material against Marc.

I told Stephen in subsequent conversations that there was extensive information that refuted these claims but he refused to meet or to check any of the evidence available that countered the false claims. I implored him to meet Marc and the many powerful and conscious women around him. He refused. Later I would realize that by that time he had already set his course to destroy Marc.

I myself have personally read several hundred pages of compelling information that has been meticulously gathered over the years. It is apparent that Marc has suffered injustice in many ways. I also know that he has always been and is now available to meet in mediated contexts with any individual, check evidence, take mutual responsibility, and create peace.

Stephen then gave me the number of Marc’s former wife, Chaya Lester, in Israel as well as Rabbi David Ingber in New York City. It was clear that Stephen, Chaya, and Ingber  were all in touch and connected as early as this past September. Ingber and Chaya who were involved in the attack on Marc a decade ago, were central figures in the current smear campaign.

I called them both. Ingber was highly antagonistic to Marc. Chaya told me during the conversation that she might be open to the possibility of reconciliation, but then later apparently plunged again into the smear campaign against her former husband, continuing a decade of attacking Marc. In depth response to these quarters will come I am sure at the right time and place.  But for now I will say that I have read a private letter circulated about Marc in 2008 which Chaya co-authored. The level of demonization is truly astonishing and ridiculous to anyone who knows Marc. The letters is so laced with virulence and so filled with “facts” that are factually untrue that the malicious intent to destroy, having nothing to do with protecting any victims, is obviously revealed.

Meanwhile, a personally offensive element of the attack began. Stephen contacted Steven Hassan, a self-published ex-cult member who calls himself “America’s leading Cult Expert.” Stephen asked Hassan to get in touch with my daughter about an “intensive intervention.” Stephen tried to frighten my daughter to persuade her to hire Hassan  (at a cost of $10,000) to protect her mother from Marc.

Stephen, Hassan and my daughter exchanged emails for several days. In the email exchange the outline of the smear campaign was clear. Marc was to be “stopped in his tracks”. The “world” would be saved from Marc. Stephen would organize a NY Times article to be the center of the campaign. The virulence of the tone was truly frightening.

My daughter forwarded me these emails from Stephen in mid October, at the same time that Marc heard from the NY times columnist who contacted Marc to do the article that was apparently intended to initiate the smear campaign. My daughter wrote me that she was being taken advantage of and manipulated by Stephen, and that Stephen’s motivation was not to protect me but to destroy Marc. She was deeply offended by what she called an action of Jihad extremism. My daughter said to me: “If anyone tried to do this to my daughter, I would have called the police! “

Subsequently, Stephen also told me directly that he was contacting the New York Times to do an article about Marc. I was dismayed and realized that he is actually trying to destroy Marc and everything Marc had built.

The Times article was published on Christmas Day—December 25, 2015—a sad day to launch the next round of attacks.  This article was the first in a line of many articles, some published by the Huffington Post, others in other forums re-cycling the same old material.  The attacks ignored all the material  Marc had already provided which  refuted the claims.

None of the key writers in the smear campaign, who appeared suddenly out of no where, and who seem to have been recruited, knew Marc. Some of them hung up on Marc’s staff who attempted to call and create dialogue or fact checking. They made many blatantly false claims about Marc. Marc was regularly referred to as a child rapist, statutory rapist, pedophile, wanted in Israel for sexual harassment and the like. Not one of these is true. False claims were written both on his Wikipedia page and all over the internet.  But none of the writers who were contacted were interested in facts or any form of alternative perspective.

Let me say it clearly. I and dozens of other powerful conscious women and men who work with Marc regularly are certain that Marc is neither a sexual harasser or a sexually abusive person in any way. Quite the opposite. He is deeply considerate, honoring and graceful, even in times of the most intense pressure, which would crack a lesser person. I have witnessed this myself, as have many others, countless times.

Is Marc strong, driving, larger then life, sometimes challenging in his demands on himself and everyone around him. Yes he is. He is a big person in every way and those of us who interact with him regularly, know that he is also one of the best people we know.

There were almost a hundred attack articles, Tweets and blogs during this period orchestrated behind the scenes.  Virtually all attempts to correct facts were ignored or mocked.

Meanwhile, Stephen began to call my colleagues and warn them about my relationship with Marc. They called me after talking to Stephen saying outright that if I worked with Marc they would no longer hire me or fund my projects. He called my staff and board of directors, telling them of the danger of my friendship with Marc and recommending they disassociate from me.  He insisted that my staff and board keep his ‘intervention’ secret, not telling me about his conversations with them. Several of them did resign. He called people who had invited me to speak at key events with Marc, warning them to disinvite me because of my friendship with Marc.

One of the claims made by the smear campaign is that people who speak out, risk “reprisal” from some supposedly powerful force massed to defend Marc.  The fact is that in the ten years these people have been agitating against Marc, there has never been any form of threat or attack from Marc or his friends. All the reprisals have come from Stephen, Ingber,  and their group of  activists claiming to ‘protect’ others against Marc. Their reprisals have been directed at many prominent persons, including myself, who stand by Marc. Marc’s friends and supporters have been subjected to outright and behind-the-scenes attacks, resulting in everything from ridicule to loss of funding, dismissal from professional associations, jobs, and conference centers. People have been dropped from the Shift Network and from  publishers—simply because they are known to stand up for Marc.

A public example of the attacks instigated by the smear campaign, is the way that former CIW Board Co-Chair John Mackey’s company, Whole Foods, has been subjected to smear attacks because he is not willing to speak falsely against Marc. The posts attack Mackey for associating “with pedophile Marc Gafni”. There is not one word of truth in this statement yet so many spiritual leaders have stood by or joined in without any true fact checking. This is not acceptable and that is why I am speaking out on these issues.

Most recently, Stephen has crafted a cyber-attack on me, sent to all my thousands of Shift Network students saying my life would be ruined, warning them that my teaching will be destroyed by working with Marc. Perhaps he is referring to my eight books, and all of the organizations I have helped found—The World Future Society, The Association for Global New Thought, and Evolutionary Leaders. Or perhaps he was concerned about the remarkable campaign in which my name was placed, along with Geraldine Ferraro, for nomination for the Vice Presidency on the Democratic ticket in 1984, where we proposed a Peace Room and an Office for the Future to scan for, map, connect, and communicate what was working in the world. I wouldn’t mention any of this except to reveal the extent of his malice to destroy my long life of service because I choose to work with one good evolutionary teacher and friend, after 86 years of dedication to seeking the next steps toward a positive future for all.

He refuses to give me access to my students’ emails, so I could respond to his criticism and his claims directly.  I want everyone to understand the depth of the problem here. I teach for Stephen and yet I have no access to the emails of my own students. So when Stephen attacks me I cannot respond and explain my position to my own students.

As I said, We are speaking for a new force in evolution itself that needs to be activated in society. This is my life-work, and this letter is an expression of that force.  True evolutionary movements cannot be destroyed. Like those who first supported democracy we will not be destroyed nor will our community.  We will be encouraged and reinforced by our participation in the vast citizen movement for positive change; one that does not at this time directly attempt to change existing government, but seeks to offer a “better design” that articulates common goals and matches needs with resources for the good of the greater community, as advocated so many years ago by one of my great teachers, Buckminster Fuller.

As of this week, Stephen went after the movie RISE UP, which is still in its fund-raising stage.  This remarkable and important film focuses on new, more humane and environmentally-concerned visions of success. Stephen is stoking fear in some of its extraordinary cast of business and thought leaders, attempting to persuade them to drop out of the film, by concerning them that their own reputations will be attacked and by sharing the mis-information that has been spread in the smear campaign.

As I finish this letter, I want to summarize some of my thoughts.

I want you all to know that I am dedicated to working with Marc, to teaching and writing with him. Of course I recognize that like all of us has imperfections and faults.

Marc is a scholar and an advocate of spiritual/evolutionary potential for humanity, deeply imbued with the ability to communicate and inspire the evolutionary impulse.  He honors and motivates people to fulfill the love and power they can each embody. There are many of us who work with him throughout the world who can attest to this experience with gratitude and deep appreciation.

I have spoken with colleagues in his teaching communities in Europe and the United States.  I have worked with members of his staff and find that he is deeply admired and loved by people he has worked with for years. His gift for friendship and collaboration is a blessing in the lives of countless people.

This deliberate effort to separate us, to destroy one another is especially dangerous, activating a process of rejection without dialogue. This is a movement  profoundly against the future we are all working toward.

What is needed now is not angry rejection and negativity, splitting Marc off as the Other in order to purify ourselves, but a new degree of connectivity among us that can shift the system forward toward greater complexity, freedom and synergistic order.

In the name of calling out the Shadow, Stephen and others have done exactly the opposite of what Carl Jung famously advocated. Jung described how each of us projects our undigested Shadow onto individuals and groups who serve as ‘hooks’ that reflect our own unacknowledged inner conflicts. What is the woundedness at play here that needs healing?

I am expressing my sadness over this situation and the loss of Stephen Dinan whom I considered to be a very good friend and dear colleague.

Let us seek a higher level resolution commensurate with what is being taught on Shift network such as peacekeeping, non violent communication, sacred democracy and transformation.

In conclusion I would like quote something that Marc wrote:  “I want to conclude with my impossible dream: What if the result of this explosion was the seeking of a higher clarification? What if over time, all the parties could sit together, fact check, and seek genuine truth and reconciliation? Some of the key actors in this story are the same people who demand that Israel sit and negotiate with the Palestinians. I understand that demand, despite the terrorism, killing of each others’ children, and countless atrocities.  Yes, Israel and Palestine must make peace. How can we demand that they make peace if we cannot, in far different circumstance, even make peace between ourselves?  I am ready and willing.”

With profound determination to protect and promote humane, just, and fair behavior, and the development of Sacred Democracy,

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Your Comments are Welcome

Also read this beautiful analysis by Dr. Clint Fuhs titled: Anatomy of a Smear: The Internet Trial of Marc Gafni

We are delighted to have just completed our 6th annual board meeting of the Center for Integral Wisdom. The meeting took place over three days in Mill Valley, CA.

It was particularly gratifying to have the participation of all of of the leading partners in the Center for the last six years.

The theme of the meeting was “Integrity and Intimacy”. Fifty leaders of the Center participated. There were over thirty distinct talks reporting on all the key projects and initiatives of the Center. Each project involves the articulation, writing or recording of a distinct meme of evolutionary thinking on topics ranging from economics, identity, medicine, education, relationships, and conflict, to the evolution of public culture. Many board leaders felt that this was one of the most powerful and poignant weekends of their life.

One of the topics that was emergent in the Center’s vision was a new commitment to the evolution of public culture. There was much conversation about an upcoming symposium the Center is hosting, entitled “Sociopaths, Scapegoats and the Madness of Crowds: Anatomy of a Smear Campaign – On the Evolution of Public Culture.”

The Center renewed its commitment to the core principles of fairness, justice, fact checking and restorative justice, which are core to the evolution of consciousness and culture.

Part of the annual agenda of the board is always to appreciate the outgoing board team which is completing their terms, and to welcome the new leadership team — both professionally and in terms of the board leadership who are beginning their tenure.

It was particularly special to thank John Mackey for his outstanding service as board co-chair. As is the tradition for outgoing board chairs when they conclude their terms of service, John gave his closing talk to the the board and welcomed Barbara Marx Hubbard as the new board co-chair who gave her first opening talk. This passing of the baton that takes place whenever a leader terms out and a new leader begins their term is a particularly moving moment of partnership and community. Both John’s and Barbara’s talks, which were about the nature of genuine integrity, were particularly powerful.

We look forward to our best year ever. We are fully committed to evolving the source code of culture and consciousness. We are fully committed to the evolution of love.