On A Return to Eros
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.
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.
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.
On A Return to Eros
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
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.
Enjoy the Meditation with Dr. Marc Gafni and Read the Transcript Below
Get comfortable. If you are listening to this while you are driving please don’t get comfortable. Anyone else, get comfortable, in a good posture, your back upright, not rigid. Your chest is lifted and open. Become aware of the sensations in your body. Feel your buttocks sitting on the seat. Feel your spinal cord lifting up to the heavens and down, rooted, as axis mundi, as what the Sufis call the pole, into the earth. Your Unique Self becomes the pole between heaven and earth. Feel the sensation of air against your skin, feel your clothes as they sit on your body, feel the air as it moves across your face, feel your muscles throughout your body. Feel your belly.
Be present with the sensations of your body, bring awareness to these sensations and when your mind wanders, gently bring your mind, in a nonjudgemental way, back to center and pick up from where you left off. Become aware of your breath. Feel the breath entering in and out of your nostrils. Feel the warm air, feel the parts of your body that move with the breath, feel your chest rising, your belly expanding and contracting. Feel your abdomen, feel your shoulders dropping.
Noticing, becoming aware, not directing your breath in any way, and stay there for a while, following your breath.
At the Center for Integral Wisdom, we are committed to changing the source code of culture to create a world of Outrageous Love, through Outrageous Love. At the core of that vision and mission is a new, Integral narrative for living that we articulate, evolve and deliver into culture through a set of groundbreaking books, courses, live and online events, and media.
This whole website that we lovingly refer to as our web-plex – because it is actually a whole set of websites – is brimming with exciting media that are conveying this grand narrative to you. Many of these media are totally free of charge to give everybody the possibility to study this important material.
And now we make it even easier for you to access these great teachings. As of now, we make all our free content available without sign up or login necessary.
Just start exploring our website now and you will find hundreds of media for FREE.
Welcome to a Guided Tour through the Web-Plex
Although you now have access to our whole free content throughout all our portals, feel free to sign up for as many Free Offers in as many portals as you like. These Free Offers contain some of our best content that we consider ideal for you to get started. And the best part is that you receive it right into your inbox in easy to handle portions. With your unique login, you will also be able to comment on many of our pages and blog-posts and start a dialogue by doing so.
Also make sure to join us for our weekly online Evolutionary Church with Barbara Marx Hubbard, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Lisa Engles.
Sign up for the Premium Membership for only $15/month or for $129/year (a savings of $51!), and get streaming access to the entire archive of Integral Wisdom content both here and on www.marcgafni.com, containing videos and dialogues exclusively offered through the Premium Membership.
For a clickable list of our free and premium media, click on this screen shot here:
from the Mystery School of Love 2015 and the forthcoming Online Course “God Is Eros”
Some Statements by Dr. Marc Gafni in this video:
Guilt means I did something wrong. Shame means that I am wrong. Shame is the root of all evil.
Click to Tweet:
In best sexual moments, the meaning of life is self-evident.
Sexual shame is the experience that I cannot come home in the sexual.
The start of the Irak war was directly related to our sexual confusion.
The video ends with an invitation to a practice:
Explore how the sexual has influenced your life by writing your own sexual sacred autobiography.
God Is Eros: Seven Tastes of Sexing with Marc Gafni
In order to create the bright future that we yearn for, we need a bold vision of the deepest and most Outrageous LOVE that will prompt us to “be and become” the greatest possible version of ourselves.
The key to our joy and personal fulfillment is to engage erotically in all areas of our lives…
Discover the Secret of Eros in Order to…
- Experience pleasure, adventure, and freedom in your life
- Live passionately in your life, all of your relationships, and the work you do in the world
- Return to innocence but on a whole new level
- Cultivate an enlightened sexuality that enhances your ability to live more powerfully in all areas of your life
- Receive the power to live epically & be powerful in the face of challenge
Watch this teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni as our special gift from our Online Course on Reclaiming Eros:
Some of the themes Marc Gafni covers in this video:
- The lineage of the “Einstein’s of Consciousness”
- King Solomon, his wives, and the Temple in Jerusalem
- The Raiders of the Lost Ark – The Ark of the Covenant
- The Practice of Jewish Yoga
- The Talmudic Story of the Poisoned Cookies
- Temple Consciousness and Sexuality
- Eros in Exile
- Reclaiming Eros = Reclaiming Temple Consciousness
Imagine being fully expressed with an unstoppable life force that aligned you with the will, the desire, the knowledge and the creative impulse to engage ALL areas of your life full-on; without fear or shame stopping you from moving forward. Imagine the transformative power and positive impact you’d have on your personal relationships and potentially be a major influence in the world.
This is what you will learn and become through taking this 9-week video course, professionally filmed on location during the First Festival of Love in Holland.
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:
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:
Humanity is facing extinction level crises in not one but in multiple and distinct sectors. That alone could throw us into a personal crisis of overwhelming dimensions—without even beginning to take into account the many crucial personal existential challenges most of us face in our own lives.
How can we possibly look seriously into the face of global existential risk, manifest as extinction level threats and be motivated and energized into the joy of our lives? That is the question that Marc addresses in this very moving video.
How does Existential Risk become the catalyst to profound joy and awakening into the Outrageous Love we are capable of instead of shutting us down? That is the invitation that we all stand for at the Center for Integral Wisdom.
CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni has recorded a half hour video, where he shares some of the thinking that emerged from many of the great conversations during and after our CIW board meeting:
- How do we live with and constructively respond to the existential risk we live in?
How can we use it to motivate us instead of shutting us down?
How can we make fear conscious so it enlivens instead of paralyzes us?
Listen to this inspiring talk by Dr. Marc Gafni:
Enjoy this beautiful introduction and story by Dr. Marc Gafni from our recent CIW Board Retreat:
The Story of Levi Isaac of Berdichev Told by Dr. Marc Gafni
from the book Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni
When you fail to hold the personal, you may begin to engage in manipulation or possibly even psychological abuse. When you begin to see yourself as aligned with the process, which was the great teaching of Hegel, you may inadvertently give birth to the worst evils of Fascism, Communism, and Nazism, all of which were very heavily influenced by Hegel’s teaching that demanded that the individual must awaken and identify with the great evolutionary process of divine unfolding in absolute spirit. In Hegel’s powerful clarion call to align with the ecstatic impulse of historically unfolding evolutionary God, the holiness of the individual was somehow crushed in all the grand rhetoric, with devastating results for God and humans. The process must always remain personal.
For me it was always the Hasidic master Levi Isaac of Berdichev who radically reminded me of the primacy of the personal even when in the throes of evolutionary ecstasy. Levi Isaac was once leading the prayers at the close of Yom Kippur services. Yom Kippur is a fast day and the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar. The twilight hours at the end of the fast are filled with potency. According to the evolutionary mystics of Kabbalah, the enlightened prayer leader, during that time may potentially enter the virtual source code of reality and effect a tikkun; that is, effect a momentous leap in the evolution of consciousness for the sake of all sentient beings, in all generations. This is precisely what Levi Isaac—greatest of all enlightened evolutionary prayer leaders—was doing on that Yom Kippur. Night had already fallen, the fast was officially over, but the ecstasy of Levi Isaac was rippling through all the upper worlds. All beings held their breath in awe of the evolutionary power of Levi Isaac’s consciousness. All of reality was pulsating with him towards an ecstatic evolutionary crescendo. Just as the great breakthrough was about to happen at the leading edge, Levi Isaac spotted out of the corner of his eye an old man who was thirsty. The fast had been very long and the old man needed to drink. So in the midst of his ecstasy, Levi Isaac brought the whole evolutionary process to a halt. He immediately ended the fast and personally brought the old man a drink of water.
How can you become a beacon of light and love in the midst of all the pain you face – both yourself and the pain you see in the world?
How can you become a beneficial healing presence on the planet?
These are the questions that we need to answer in order to create a Politics of Love and an Integral Planet.
In the video below, CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni shares a daily practice from his tradition called participating in the pain of Eros in exile. What that means is that you open yourself up to the pain of the world without becoming dysfunctional.
That means you plug into the portal of pain in a way that’s powerful rather than impotent.
In this mystical practice that Marc Gafni transmits in his video, you open up to the pain fully for 5 minutes a day. You might do it by getting silent, bringing to mind images of pain, and letting your mind dwell in it. You might do it by reading a newspaper article.
By opening yourself to the pain fully for a limited amount of time, you realize a deep mystical knowing: When you enter the pain, you find yourself participating in the sweetness of the Divine.
The alive personal intelligence of All-That-Is is both the infinity of intimacy and the infinity of pain. The Divine pain is infinite. In this sacred practice, you are entering into God’s heart and are participating in the pain of the personal Eros of All-That-Is. In that participation, an infinite sweetness emerges.
Yeats wrote of this sweetness, in the understated but raw Eros of his verse:
When such as I
Cast out remorse
So great a sweetness fills my breast
We can dance and we can sing
We are blest by everything
And everything we look upon
When you step inside, you are blessed by everything. The contraction melts away and you feel the aliveness and awakeness of the feminine Goddess Divine – the personal embrace of the loving intelligence of the universe.
You have the power to love and dance and sing and create.
You are empowered to become a beneficial healing presence on the planet.
Enjoy this video by Dr. Marc Gafni:
Watch this beautiful teaching from the Summer Festival of Love 2012 “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment” by Marc Gafni on Dharma and read the transcript below:
Transcript of Marc Gafni’s Teaching on Dharma
Marc Gafni: When I say going into the Dharma, what do I mean? Do I mean that we are going to be in a university class? No. What I mean is Dharma. So what does it mean? Anyone?
Marc Gafni: Okay, which might be true in a university class as well.
PERSONS: Deeper calling. / Vision. /Wisdom. /Transmission. /From the heart, from within. /A path. /Coming together in the Dharma.
Marc Gafni: There’s a deeper calling in the teaching, and wisdom, yeah. Who said transmission? The Dharma comes from inside, your inner-self response to it, right? And there’s a coming together in the Dharma. The Dharma is spirit, living spirit, in the same way that love is living spirit, that chant is living spirit, that Shikantaza and meditation are living spirit.
Dharma is not words; Dharma is not about the mind, even though we’re using the mind. There’s this crazy New Age idea that spread through the Western world that “wow, we’re having an experience, but for now, we’re just using the mind.” That’s nonsense, right? Dharma is the mind part, the embodied expression of spirit. So you respond to Dharma not just with your mind; your body knows whether Dharma is true, your body can feel it. The book of Job: “Through my body I vision God.” Your body knows if a Dharma’s true, your heart knows if a Dharma’s true, your mind can respond.
So when we engage in Dharma, like these mornings, we’re not doing a university lecture, we’re doing Dharma. We’re engaging whole heart, body and mind in getting a sense of the story of reality, of the grand narrative of reality, of the meta picture, of the patterns that connect. Do you begin to feel that? Let me give you a sentence, tell me if this sentence works for you: “One of the great yearnings in the year 2012 is a yearning for the patterns that connect.” Does that sentence make sense to you?
Enjoy this beautiful excerpt on Truth and Laughter from our recent Sacred Retreat.
Click to Tweet:
As are millions around the globe, CIW Board Member Tom Goddard was trying to find his way through the density of this week. He found and slightly edited this beautiful text by Marc Gafni and started to share it with friends and family – then on his blog “The Integral Company.”
He starts out with Marc’s famous lines:
“We live in a world of outrageous pain.
The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.”
And finally ends with:
“…an outrageous social vision, in which each person committing their unique outrageous acts of love participates in enacting a Unique Self Symphony that has the capacity to heal the entire story. An emergent politics of outrageous love begins to take form before our eyes. A politics of outrageous love that is as practical as it is lyrical.”
It seems like more than ever we need to hear this message of hope. More than ever we need to know that we can do something… that we are needed by all-that-is… that we can co-create the beautiful world that we yearn for… a world that works for everyone.
Let’s close with R. Buckminster Fuller:
„There is a young world very ready to embrace a one world revolution to create a world that works for 100% of humanity.”
Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up Series with Lisa Engles and Marc Gafni
In this sixth installment of our series, Marc talks about joy and happiness as a byproduct of the passionate pursuit of your Unique Self.
Your Unique Self is your unique plug into the energy of reality, of all that is. By living your Unique Self you plug into the joy and energy that you need to commit your unique acts of Outrageous Love.
Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up Series with Lisa Engles and Marc Gafni
In this fifth installment of our series, Marc elaborates on the outrageous acts of love that the Outrageous Lover commits.
First of all, it is important to understand that the Outrageous Lover keeps every boundary that should be kept and breaks every boundary that should be broken. The boundaries that need to be broken are the boundaries of our contraction, our smallness, of living our beliefs, the belief that we are irrelevant, that we are an extra on the set.
The Outrageous Lover commits the outrageous acts of love that are the function of his or her unique perspective and quality of intimacy.
Evolution awakens in and as me in person. That is another profound shift in identity from Unique Self to Evolutionary Unique Self.
As Evolutionary Unique Self I am enlivened by all that is. This allows me to live a life of joy – the joy of purpose, of delight, and of being needed – which is unlike any other life.
Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up Series with Lisa Engles and Marc Gafni.
In this fourth installment of our series, Marc talks about the difference between ordinary love and Outrageous Love.
“To know yourself is to awaken as an Outrageous Lover, an Evolutionary Lover.”
Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up Series with Lisa Engles & Marc Gafni
In this third installment of our series, Marc talks about what it actually means to be a unique expression of the Love-Intelligence and Love-Beauty of the Cosmos.
From the video:
The Love-Intelligence of the Cosmos is the understanding that the Universe is not only intelligent–that it drives to higher and higher orders of complexity and consciousness–but that it feels: The Universe feels love.
All of reality has exteriors and interiors. Love is not reducible to its exterior: the cocktail of neurochemicals that are secreted in a human being. Love has an interior that expresses itself as an exterior.
On the exterior of the Universe, there are the physical laws that drive particles, molecules, and cells to make contact and connect. On the interior we can call this drive love.
Looking at this, we can say that love and yearning are constituent features of the Cosmos.
When we say that you are an irreducibly unique expression of the Love-Intelligence and Love-Beauty of the Cosmos, we mean that this quality of allurement, this drive for contact, which drives all Cosmos, is now awakening in you. You are a unique expression of that quality of the Cosmos. You are a unique set of allurements that constitute your Unique Self.
Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up Series with Lisa Engles & Marc Gafni
In this second installment, Marc answers the question what it really means to live–as our beloved Co-Board Chair of the Center for Integral Wisdom, Barbara Marx Hubbard calls it–“telerotic” life?
The word telerotic combines the Greek words Telos meaning Purpose, End, or Goal and Eros that Marc defines as Radical Aliveness Moving towards Contact which Fosters Creativity.
To live a telerotic life means as Marc puts so beautifully “to be out there, to be in here, living the unique quality of intimacy that is you, giving your unique gifts, addressing that unique need, fulfilling the unique obligation which is the unique love-dance, love-gift of your life. That’s the beginning of wholeness, that’s the beginning of joy, that’s the beginning of radical aliveness, it’s the beginning of vitality, and it’s the beginning of ethics, it’s the whole story; and it all stems from one place: the answer to the question of “Who Are You?”
with Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marc Gafni
Watch this first in a series of 10, beautiful videos, with Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marc Gafni. In this piece they set their intention for the series. You can also read the transcript here.