We would like to introduce you to what we think is an important step forward in the evolution of human awareness and compassion. It’s a group that has proposed a White House Council on Boys and Men to President Obama. Headed by Warren Farrell the group has written a proposal that outlines the many reasons why this Council is needed.
Dr. Warren Farrell & The Center for Integral Wisdom
Dr. Warren Farrell, the Vice President of CIW for Gender Issues, is the author of books published in 17 languages, including international best-sellers The Myth of Male Power and Why Men Are the Way they Are. Farrell, Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni have done numerous interviews together. Farrell, Gafni and John Gray are co-authoring Beyond Mars and Venus. Dr. Farrell’s popular and profound talk Why Love is Such a Mess, delivered at the Integral Spiritual Experience 2, shows how the real transition to gender liberation is the transition from Stage I survival to Stage II discovery of fulfillment—fulfillment that neither sex had in the past.
The Back Story
When Dr. Warren Farrell received a call from the White House in 2009 to be an adviser to the White House Council on Women and Girls given his background on the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC, he quickly consented. But he added there was also a need for a White House Council on Boys and Men.
The commission is working to bring a group of boys, girls, men and women to Iowa and New Hampshire. The hope is to personally tell the legislators about the hardships that are being faced. We need your help to make this happen.
Watch the coalition members speaking to the candidates
A New Coalition Is Forming to Catalyze the Evolution of Consciousness
The Center for Integral Wisdom, the Foundation for Conscious Evolution and the Club of Budapest are delighted to collaborate with a newly emergent broad coalition of partners and colleagues on a vital Integral Initiative.
We are–together with other vital leadership partners who be announced–initiating a project that we feel will be a crucial global catalyst for the Evolution of Consciousness.
We are entering into a collaborative project whose purpose is no less than to galvanize an Integral Planetary Awakening to Connect Co-Creators World-Wide. It will launch an invitation to people in every culture, field and endeavor to place what they are doing that is creative, useful and good, to demonstrate what is working in the world. It will be a first expression of the emerging world already arising in our midst.
The purpose of our shared initiative is to evolve, articulate and disseminate the core dimensions of this most vital political, social and spiritual vision. Our aim is to convene, face to face and virtually, leading thinkers and activists, and inspired individuals from around the world, to participate in the urgent formulation and advancement of this vision of the emerging world.
Connecting individual and collective actions offered by Unique Selves motivated by the deep impulse of creativity and love, paves the way for the next step, the emergence of what we have called together the Unique Self Symphony. This is the music that emerges when human beings engage their unique instruments of self together to give their Unique Gifts of Love-intelligence towards the healing and transformation the planet. We understand the Unique Self Symphony to be an emergent property of the Self Organizing Universe.
Ken Wilber, Integral Theory, and The End of The World as We Know It
by Dr. Zachary Stein
These are some reflections on the work of Ken Wilber. I’ve been studying his writings for almost half my life. We’ve met a couple times (that is Ken, Rollie, and me pictured), talked at some length on the phone, and exchanged countless e-mails. Ken’s got vocal critics and Kool-aid drinking followers. I’m neither of those. I’m more of what is sometimes called an “integral kid,” meaning I’ve been reading Ken since before I could drink legally. There is a unique kind of indebtedness to those teachers who brought you out of adolescence. But it also means I’ve grown up with, in, and out of this way of thinking. So I have a special kind of distancing and even reactivity and withdrawal from it, again, like one also has with one’s best teachers. All things considered, I think you gotta love and be fascinated by all his books…
Anyway, this is mostly just me yawning at all the simplistic and pedantic Wilber haters….
Theorizing at the edge of history
If we are going to take a step in the transition from civilization to planetization, we will need a map. Each of us carries within, an image of space and time, and this cognitive map tells us who we are, where we come from, and where we are going…. [This map is] an imaging of personal values and cultural forms…. A culture provides an individual with a mapping of time and space, but as the culture goes through a period of change and stressful transformation, the [map] becomes distorted. In periods of intense cultural distortion, the [map] becomes so changed as to be almost obliterated. Then the individual becomes lost, profoundly lost in the ontological sense of not knowing who or what he is, where he comes from, and where he is going. For some this can be a moment of terror, for others, a time of release. In a moment of silence in which the old forms fall away, there comes a new receptivity, a new centering inward, and in an instant there flashes onto the screen of consciousness a new re-visioning of the [map]. There in the receptive silences of meditation the new possibilities of time and space announce themselves, possibilities that lie beyond the descriptions of the old institutions of the old culture. This is the prophetic moment, the annunciation of a new myth, and the beginning of a new culture.
—Thompson (1977 p.14)
Philosophers work in socio-cultural contexts, under historically specific conditions, with access to certain communication technologies, libraries, and media. Ken Wilber has been publishing books since 1971, producing a corpus that spans well over 10,000-thousand pages. He has worked with the changing times, from pen and paper to word processor, to the personal computer, and eventually to Internet facilitated multi-media educational initiatives. Moreover, Wilber has worked in response to a dynamically transforming American culture during a period of tremendous global change.
Popular philosophical movements are especially symptomatic of their times. In retrospect historical moments are often best understood in terms of the ideas that thrived during them. Athenian Democracy and the Sophists and Socrates, Medieval Europe and the Church, The American and French Revolutions and the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and Darwinism and Romanticism—no trick of critical historiography could disentangle these groupings of ideas and events, these civilizational eras. What ideas will be associated with the past 60 years, the era since the start of the so-called American Century? What have been the popular philosophies in the post-industrial social systems that emerged after World War II? This question is complicated by the dynamics of the era, which witnessed explosive advances in informational technologies that enabled an unprecedented diffusion of ideas before a growing global public. It is too soon to tell, but the culture of late capitalism—post-modern culture—may very well be defined in terms of its having lacked dominant comprehensive doctrines (Habermas, 1990; Jameson, 1992). This has affected all aspects of life, from the media-saturated textures of our action-orienting self-understandings to the economic policies that structure national geographies.
The dharma of Outrageous Love, Eros, and Unique Self has never been more alive than during those last couple of days. Evolutionary Relationships and Unique Gender are connecting the dots between the Awakening as a Unique Self and the Unique Self symphony.
“We are the erotic mystics reweaving and evolving the source code of reality.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015
Marc Gafni first published a version of the lines and circles teaching in his book, The Mystery of Love (Atria, 2003).
The teaching has evolved dramatically over the last 13 years. He gave a more advanced version of it in Venwoude several years ago to a small inner group at the community. The version we heard at the Festival is the deepest and most advanced version we have of this dharma.
“All forms of reality that don’t have in them
the marriage of masculine and Feminine
are no reality at all.
There is no higher form.
They have no potency and no blessing in them.”
“Blessing only flows when the Masculine and the Feminine dance in their Higher One.”
– The Zohar
Testimonial by participant David Steel:
What an incredible blessing this week has been. I have had the opportunity to study and learn with one of the great teachers of our time. I know that in many ways I will never be the same. I have truly begun to understand and appreciate my “Unique Self.”
The following is a condensed summary of the dharma of the second part of the festival with many quotes or paraphrased statements from the teachings.
In the evening of day 5, Ken Wilber called into the Conference adding his wisdom on Gender from an AQAL perspective, engaging “in the kabbalistic process of Tzimtzum,” as Marc called it, and “contracting brilliance and light into a single point of ten minutes which communicated something profound and potent and game changing.”
At the end of his talk Ken concluded (paraphrased from his talk):
We as humanity are at such a high level of consciousness that we actually have a choice which characteristics we want to embody. Each Unique Self is a unique embodiment of lines and circles. For the first time in history we can select our own gender profile.
The participants responded with love, appreciation, and a standing ovation for him.
On day 5 and 6, a profound healing of the Masculine (or what we preferred to call the line quality) in its beauty happened, it radiated from every face of both men and women as well as from the spaces in between. We were and still are in awe of what is possible in just a few days together in devotion to the dharma, when the Unique Self symphony comes alive.
On day 7, we finally entered the circle. This is what I wrote immediately after the teaching to capture some of the essence of what happened:[Read more…]
In their Summer Edition, the Independent School Magazine of the National Association of Independent Schools published an article by CIW Board Member Kathleen J. Brownback on The Unique Self in a Contemplative School. In this article, Kathy clearly and eloquently articulates both the dharma of Unique Self and the need for that dharma in education.
As a teacher for religion and philosophy at Phillips Exeter Academy she skillfully weaves her experience with her students and their need for answers and meaning in the fields of Self, God, and the patterns that connect together with her deep understanding of the dharma of Unique Self as developed and taught by Dr. Marc Gafni.
She places this dharma into the context of contemplative education and mindfulness that has lately reached the mainstream and thereby speaks to teachers and educators who hold such important keys to the evolution of consciousness and love.
A longer version of her article will be published in a special edition on Unique Self of the Integral Leadership Review in Fall 2015.
As practices promoting mindfulness and embodiment become more prevalent in contemporary society, a natural set of questions emerges among educators: What role should contemplative practices play in the academic curriculum?
For much of the modern era, the answer to this question was no role whatsoever. Mind-body practice was generally linked to particular religious traditions, and so was understood to lie outside the objective goals of academic study.
But the last 40 years or so have brought a new understanding of mindful or contemplative practice as embodied self-awareness. These practices involve the movement of the mind and body in ways that are not primarily cognitive, centering on the use of the breath and the stilling of the “monkey mind.” Think of yoga or meditation, or solitary walks in nature, or dance, or the playing of a musical instrument with this focus. Their central goal is to draw us into direct awareness and experience of the present. An increasing number of people are choosing contemplative practice as a way to relate to others differently, to manage strong emotions such as anxiety and anger, to live a more centered and less reactive life, and to find a clear sense of focus and purpose. There is nothing abstract or philosophical about these goals. They emerge from the heart, from questions about human nature and direction. Students ask them of parents and teachers; teachers and parents ask them of themselves and each other. Thus the growing interest in schools.
The Unique Self Coaching Training Program is a 9-month program that teaches coaches, therapists, spiritual directors, clergy and other professionals to utilize the Unique Self Coaching Process with individuals and groups. Co-developed by Unique Self teachers and Integral Coaches Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard in close connection with Dr. Marc Gafni, the program is a practical, elegant structure rooted in the Unique Self Teachings and Integral Theory, designed to facilitate the emergence of one’s Unique Self.
In this recent interview with Conscious 2, Claire speaks about the difference between True Self and Unique Self and she reveals some of the key practices that facilitate Unique Self emergence.
The European training program begins on October 21, 2015 at the Venwoude Retreat Center in Lage-Vuursche, The Netherlands.
The US training program begins on November 11, 2015 at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California.
Program descriptions and application forms are available on the Unique Self Coaching Collective website at www.uniqueselfcoaching.com.
Contact Claire or Barbara at email@example.com with any questions. They will be happy to talk with you.
Watch the video here:
Daniel Schmachtenberger is the Founder of the Emergence Project and has recently come on board with the Center for Integral Wisdom as a scholar.
At the CIW board meeting in March 2015 in Texas, Daniel gave a fantastic talk about his outrageous dream: that one day, the sentence “We live in a world of outrageous pain” is no longer true.
Listen to his talk below and join him in his outrageous dream.
Here are some key points he makes during the talk:
- The universe is unprecedented; every emergence of evolution is unprecedented.
- Our stakeholders are all sentient beings now and forever.
- We need to become conscious agents for symbiosis, organization, synergy, and the advance of novelty and uniqueness.
- Trying to solve a problem – without recognizing how it is interconnected with all the other problems – externalizes harm to something else that matters.
- What would I be without the rest of the universe?
- Daniel’s Unique Gift: His inability to accept unnecessary suffering
- Daniel’s outrageous dream: One day the sentence “We live in a world of outrageous pain” is no longer true.
- We live in a world of outrageous pain – not because of duality, but because of collective insanity.
- Evolution does a kind of iterative evolution and then discrete jumps. These jumps happen both when they can and when they have to.
- When the kind of consciousness that can externalize harm has the technology representing an existential risk for all of us, that consciousness has to shift.
- Earth is a tiny spaceship floating through space.
- How do we trigger the emergence of a self-organizing, effectively self-governing, self-evolving global civilization so that we are not solving problems that we are still structurally causing, inducing and incentivizing?
- How can we make obsolete the basis of all of our problems by not conditioning harm-causing, dysfunctional human behavior in the first place?
- We can translate all our global problems to groups of humans doing particular activities that are causing them, and we can look at what conditioned these patterns of behavior in those people.
- There are determinants of behavior in all quadrants (internal/external, individual/collective).
- We need to optimize for all life, for all things that matter, simultaneously; as not in conflict with each other but rather, symbiotic with each other.
- Reconciling paradox is part of an Integral consciousness. How do we get from either/or to both/and?
- All of it matters, and all the things that matter are not mutually exclusive; they are mutually supportive to each other.
- When we value the scarcity of things we artificially manufacture the scarcity of things.
- How can we condition omni-considerate, integrally developed behavior in everybody, intrinsically, as a basis for self-governance?
- Nothing less than that is adequate to what we want to do. So, that’s our task.
Marc Gafni then frames this conversation in relation to the Center. While CIW invests major efforts in reweaving the narrative of existence–which is mainly about interiors–Daniel and the Emergence Project emphasize the systemic, structural questions–thus mainly exteriors. Long mutual conversations resulted in the choice at CIW to bring those two perspectives and projects together in synergy.
Listen to Daniel here (with introduction by Marc Gafni):
Richard Barrett‘s long awaited book The Metrics of Human Consciousness has been released on amazon.
This book has been a major CIW Think Tank project over the course of last year.
The genesis of this book dates back to the time when Richard met Marc at a conference on Conscious Capitalism, held at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California in 2012. Richard was at the conference to present a paper on measuring the consciousness of leaders and organizations. Marc was at the conference to present a paper on the concept of the Unique Self. Very quickly, the conversation between the two of them turned to developing a metric for measuring the consciousness of the Unique Self.
After the conference Marc broadened the conversion with Richard to involve Zak Stein, the Academic Director of the Center for Integral Wisdom, and Ken Wilber, on of the co-founders of the Center. After several conversations, we (Marc and Zak) asked Richard to begin to explore the possibility of constructing a Unique Self metric. Richard accepted the challenge and joined the board of the Center as senior scholar. This books represents the first output of this exercise.
Richard Barrett offers us an exciting new direction for measuring consciousness. He has proven that the insights these measures bring can significantly improve our individual, organisational and societal performance. The work of the Barrett Values Centre stands as a testament to what can be achieved by seriously applying ourselves to the measurement of conscious.
Part of the ongoing conversation on these topics was this beautiful dialogue between Ken Wilber, Richard Barrett and Marc Gafni on the nature and necessity of Personal and Societal Transformation:
This Summer Festival of Love at our Teaching Center at the Integral Practice Community Venwoude in Holland has again exceeded all expectations. More than 175 participants came to love and be loved open, to break the boundaries of their smallness, and to participate in the evolution of love itself.
On a personal note, I, Kerstin, have been thoroughly cooked over the last 20 years with intense spiritual experiences at all kinds of events, retreats, and seminars. None of them have prepared me even vaguely for what I have found in retreats with Marc Gafni over the last 3 years: the depths of the dharma transmissions, the openings of hearts, minds, and souls, the embodiment of outrageous loving, the humility and audacity of his teachings, his passion and devotion that is deeply infectious, and the depths of community I have found here again and again. And although each time I think this is IT, that it cannot be any better, it always gets better. It deepens, opens, connects us to the greatest depths and highest heights, and opens the gates to heaven, flying higher and higher and higher.
In this Festival, everyone could feel the Goddess dancing among us again and again. And Marc danced her all the way, taking every one of us with him. And the wonderful community of Venwoude and of Center for Integral Wisdom created such a clear, warm holding container that new people could dive into it immediately with almost no resistance. Wow!
Let’s hear from two participants:
Blog post by Stefan Schoch: A Summer Festival of Love
“Actually” I just wanted to relax for 2 days, when I drove to Venwoude at the 4th day of the Center for Integral Wisdom/ Venwoude Mystery School of Love Festival (following a personal invitation).
In her recent white paper from January 2014 Kathy Brownback, Instructor in Religion and Philosophy at the highly respected Phillips Exeter Academy, discusses how the Unique Self teaching goes to the heart of the deepest questions that students have asked her throughout the years. In her words:
Most likely you’ve asked yourself some of the same questions I’ve been asked by […] students:
- “People keep telling me to be myself, but I don’t really know who that is. I feel pulled in so many directions.”
- Do we have free will, at all? Or are we totally determined by our genes, and conditioned by our environment?”
- “Why, in the midst of all they have, are so many people angry and dissatisfied? Can I hope to avoid this? Why is there so much addiction? Why depression, among people who have so much to offer?”
- “I haven’t found any kind of God I can believe in, yet I somehow feel there is something more to life. Your thoughts?”
- “Are science and religion looking at the same world? They seem so contradictory. Your husband is a physicist. Do you argue about this?”
- “Is there such a thing as truth? Is there anything I can be certain of?”
- “Do you think life has some kind of point, or meaning? Or is it, as Shakespeare said, ‘a tale told by an idiot’? It really feels that way. Then all of sudden, even though I have no real answers, the feeling goes away.”
She also asks what role contemplative practices should play in education and academic life and what they might have to do with the study of science, or the humanities and the arts. Should they have a place in the curriculum?[Read more…]
The Story of Krishna
We’re going to finish with a holy story that I will read you from my heart, from the mirror of the heart. It’s the great story of the goddess Radah.
You know that many mortal women make love to Krishna, and Krishna is the sensuous God, the child, the lover. He was often caught stealing butter. He would walk among the villages in the hot, moist, Indian land, and he called the women to join him for an afternoon of lovemaking. Age didn’t matter, the rolls of the belly didn’t matter, gray hair or black hair didn’t matter, curve of the breast didn’t matter, marital status didn’t matter. Krishna loved all women and all men, and Krishna wanted to be loved in turn.
Stream Audio here and read further below:
Working on our exciting new Web-Plex that is soon to be launched, we have just published a brand-new article by Annie Lalla & Marc Gafni about the spiritual path of “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment.” It will be a part of our new World Spirituality Portal as well as the book project by Chahat Corten Loving Your Way to Enlightenment which organizes Marc Gafni’s World Spirituality teachings on love as both the path and goal of spirituality.
And don’t miss Annie Lalla and Marc Gafni teaching at Kripalu Retreat Center on June 6-8, 2014 on Loving Your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of Outrageous Love – A weekend workshop with Marc Gafni & Annie Lalla: Through a set of powerful teachings, insights, meditative transmission, movement, chant, and partner work, Marc Gafni and Annie Lalla explore the path of the outrageous lover and teach you how to ignite the experience of outrageous love within yourself.
Loving Your Way to Enlightenment
by Marc Gafni and Annie Lalla
We have killed all the Gods except for Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the goddess of True Love. True Love is the altar before most of us still worship. Our new sacred credo is “I love you.” Our true sacred credo is usually revealed when the stakes are the highest—at our moment of death. When planes hit the World Trade Center and people had a few seconds to live, they called home and recited the credo, I love you.
And yet somehow our spiritual world of practice has become separated from our world of love. Our enlightenment studies seem to often point us beyond personal love, which is viewed as the realm of attachment and separate self.
It is for that reason that we want to invite you to a new spiritual path: The path of Loving Your Way to Enlightenment.
Enlightenment is knowing your true nature. Your true nature however is not just one taste as some are wont to say. It is two tastes. In Yoga terms we might say that your true nature is Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is being. Shakti is becoming. Shiva is your deep sense of being. It is the deep impersonal unchanging essence that lives in and as your deepest identity. Your Shakti nature is more connected to the dynamic dance of becoming. Shakti is the love intelligence that lives awake in you and as you. The impersonal enlightenment of Shiva may be available sitting in meditation alone. But if you awake to the realization that your true nature is personal Shakti love, then just sitting meditation will not get you there. This is not the personal before the impersonal but the personal beyond the impersonal. You will have to awaken to your true nature as personal love. Or said differently you have to “love your way to enlightenment.”
Spring has arrived, and we are excited to announce our 3rd Annual Mystery School, and our 1st Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference, both to occur during the week of our Summer Festival of Love at the Venwoude Integral Practice Community in Holland, the week of July 26 – August 2.
Being a scholarly think-tank, we do like to exercise a certain amount of restraint in describing our events, but honestly, we are still carrying the “Holy Buzz” from the Summer Festival and Mystery School of last year. We have received enthusiastic reports from all participants throughout the year, and clearly, the Summer Festival of Love has become a signature event for the Center for Integral Wisdom. Promotional Flyer here—>
Last year, 150 participants attended, filling all of the accommodations. This year Venwoude has promised room for 200 participants, and an early registration is recommended. Register here—>
With Marc Gafni leading, our previous Mystery Schools have attracted many participants from all over Europe and the Americas, contributing to the expansion of our European Center for Integral Wisdom faculty. Our faculty members in both Europe and the Americas are vital links in evolving the source code of human consciousness in all of our cultural and professional spheres.
We just completed a very special series of events at our Teaching Center at Venwoude in Holland. Dr. Marc Gafni taught two Valentine’s Day events in a very beautiful church in Amsterdam. This was followed by a wonderful and very intimate two-day retreat at Venwoude on Saturday and Sunday. Capping off the 4-day weekend, we had an outstanding presentation at Nijenrode University on Conscious Capitalism with Prof. Dr. Paul de Blot, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Ken Wilber (via Skype) in front of 150 enthused Entrepreneurs.
Valentine’s Day at Vondelkerk Amsterdam
A packed house of people celebrated Valentine’s Day in an old beautiful Church in Amsterdam with Dr. Marc’s Dharma on Outrageous Love. It was a day of profound new dharma, deep practices, and a stunning community of Outrageous Lovers. Dr. Marc took us deeply into a practice space with dyad practices, chanting, and intimate sharing. The evening session seemed to explode–after a very quiet and subtle beginning with hearts meeting in Chant and Meditation and finally and melting open into the Inside of the Inside–with a fireworks of Dharma on Outrageous Love and Unique Intimacy.[Read more…]
Our Board of Directors members Venodhar Rao Julapalli, M.D. and Vinay Rao Julapalli, M.D., F.A.C.C. have written an exciting white paper about Unique Self and the Future of Medicine and we have just published it on our website.
There is a dire need for the integration of the art, science, and morality of medicine. This paper explores the deep implications of the Unique Self in integrating medicine. Co-authors and physicians Venu and Vinay Julapalli call on their extensive understanding of the promises and pitfalls of modern health care to reconceive the practice of medicine. The paper provides the framework to evolve medicine through the emergent Unique Self insight. At stake is no less than the future of how we care for ourselves and each other.
Two Faces of All That Is
This is the animating impulse that moved eastern spiritual teaching, motivated by love, to seek to free you from the illusion of separate self. Their great mistake was to jettison Uniqueness along with separateness by conflating the two in a way that was both unnecessary and wrong. This confusion of separateness and uniqueness forgot that you could be both part of the whole and a distinct part at the same time. The recovering of that memory is essential to healing the fractured and broken self. The dignity of the part can be held even as your are connected to the whole. You are part of the seamless coat of the universe. Seamless, but not featureless. You can transcend your exclusive identification with your part nature, the ego, even as you identify with the larger whole. But that does not mean that your unique part nature is absorbed in the whole. Rather, it is integrated in the seamless coat of reality without compromising its unique features.
God in the First Person:
“All at once I found myself wrapped in a flame-colored cloud. For an instant, I thought of fire and immense conflagration somewhere close by in that great city; the next I knew that the fire was in myself. Directly afterward there came upon me as sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination impossible to describe. Among other things, I did not merely come to believe, but I saw that the universe is not composed of dead matter, but is on the contrary, a living presence; I became conscious in myself of eternal life. It was not a conviction that I would have an eternal life, but a consciousness that I possessed eternal life then; I saw that all men are immortal, that the cosmic order is such that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world, of all worlds, is what we call love, and that the happiness of each and all is in the long run absolutely certain.”
God in the Second Person addressing man:
I will be united with you in marriage forever
I will be united to you in marriage through justice and righteousness
I will be united with you in marriage through overflowing love and compassion
I will be united with you in marriage in complete trust
And you will erotically know the divine
Hosea the Prophet: 2: 21- 23
Only someone who lacks both of these realizations can identify all that is as merely a process or impulse. Realization teaches that the all that is expresses as a process or an evolutionary impulse, but that God is process plus personal, not process minus personal.
It is precisely this fellowship of prayer and prophecy, which we might refer to as the second face of God. In this pointing out instruction, God in the first person would be the face of god you feel flowing through you in meditation. God in the third person would be the face of God reflected in your radical amazement at the wonder and infinite intelligence displayed in every nook and cranny of existence. God in the second person is in the mystery of the encounter between God and Man. A relationship of intimacy is revealed between the finite and the infinite. All of the infinite power, glory, and intelligence of the first person and third person of the divine were felt and revealed as relationship in the second encounter between the prophet and God. The precise flip side of prophecy is prayer. In their essence, they are the same. Both are expressions of the fellowship between man and God. The difference is simply this. In prophecy, God initiates and God invokes. In prayer, man initiates and man invokes.
The sense of peril resulting from direct contact with the divine ground has nothing to do with any ideas that the people are sinful or the god wrathful. It is more like the famous question of the Bhagavad Gita: “Suppose a thousand suns should rise together in the sky,” what would happen to our reality? How can the individual hope to survive contact with Source? Source incarnates all the energy and power in the Cosmos and infinitely beyond.
Presence by its very nature overwhelms all individual existence.
This strange and awesome paradox is resolved not by theory, but in the very experience of the encounter itself. The living presence of the divine “which is the suchness and substance of all that is” not only IS but is also FOR man. The person experiences an overpowering concern, in which they are held, cared for, recognized, and loved–within the very encounter itself. So the paradox of the encounter is that it is, on one hand, overwhelming and at the same time radically affirming. The individual is rendered powerless, almost lifeless before the divine, even as the individual is enlivened and empowered.
The most powerful expression of this realization is in the prophetic encounter with the divine mystery. This encounter runs like a thread from Abraham and Sarah to Moses, Miriam, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the larger legions of prophecy. As America’s second president John Adams has already noted, the best of everything Western man knows about freedom, love, ethics, and responsibility emerges from the great encounter between the finite and the infinite.
The Encounter with other marks the emergence of the pre-personal slumber. The baby encounters other even as the emergent human being who experiences his separate self turns to other. The encounter–relationship–is born as the central dynamic of human existence.