Watch and listen to this 15-minute video, the second part of a 10-part dialogue with Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni in Tuscany on the topic of Evolutionary Love–envisioning a new Renaissance that will take us to the future. Listen to the first part here.

Enjoy the second part of the dialogue here:

Marc Gafni introduces the first and second shocks of existence:

  • The first shock of existence is the emergence of separate self. We move from hunter/gatherer, whose concern is survival in a small clan to early horticulture, the emergence of the human being. The emergence of separate self confronts the human with death, and culture unfolds to confront death.
  • After we evolve through 7 culture ethics (instinct, early farming, mythological, industrial, informational, and post informational) the second shock of existence unfolds: The second shock of existence is the awareness of the potential death of the species (vs. death of the individual). We’ve out-used our resources in terms of our core fuels.
  • How do we move forward from this? A fundamental shift in our consciousness.

Ervin Laszlo talks in depth about the creation of the individual and their place in society:

  • From the observer’s viewpoint, this world is falling apart because the discovery of self during the renaissance era. A transition from roles in society that had individuals such as kings and heros with communities that were designed with roles (those who pray, those who fight, those who rule)  has now come to such lengths that everyone is an individual. We serve the individual, the individual becomes dominant. Your role or place in the larger community is secondary.
  • The individual has no particular place and is supreme in this model. The individual becomes expressed in the seeking of power, wealth, and satisfaction. This has lead to a coming apart of natural relationships that create a community.
  • Looking at it through the lens of system theory, you could say you’ve sub-optimized the system. The individual parts of the whole can not all be the greatest part.
  • We must recover our oneness, our unity within a larger whole, to meet evolutionary love. In a way that doesn’t give up our personality or self but integrates the self in a larger whole. We can support both at the same time.

Marc Gafni Summarizes:

  • The individual lives within the context of a larger whole. The mass flowering of the individual happened in the renaissance. The self emerges, then gradually gets decontextualized. The self must validate their existence and they do this through consuming (wealth, power), while losing their connection to the larger context, leading to emptiness, which leads to more consumption.
  • The system begins to pull apart with depleted energy, depleted resources, and disconnection from the larger context. We’re looking to recover the larger we-space while reclaiming the individual within the larger system.
  • The individual remains a unique expression of that system, with unique dignity and unique creativity, which paradoxically becomes the currency of connection, not separation. My Unique Self, that’s part of the larger context, serves the larger context in love and the larger context loves and holds me in return.

>>> You can watch the whole 10-part dialogue here <<<

In their dialogue they share about the Second Shock of Existence, the New Renaissance, Evolutionary Love, and Unique Self Enlightenment as well as cutting-edge topics like super-coherence, self-organization, and the Unique Self Symphony.


If you like the dialogue, you may be interested in our online course “ Becoming a Future Human”

Becoming a Future Human, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marc Gafni, Daniel SchmachtenbergerWho do we need to become in order for humanity to make it though its current dangerous technological adolescence and to create a world that is truly commensurate with our full human, scientific, social, spiritual, and technological capabilities? If you are here to embody your unique gift fully for the benefit of all life and play your role as a steward of the cosmos and the birth of a new humanity, then welcome! This course is for everyone that knows humanity is at the brink of an epochal shift, that believes we can create the world the great sages knew was possible, and that wants to be a part of co-creating that world together.

>>> Learn more about the course here <<<

Watch and listen to this 10-minute video, the beautiful first part of a 10-part dialogue with Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni in Tuscany on the topic of Evolutionary Love–envisioning a new Renaissance that will take us to the future.

Marc Gafni opens the space:

  • After we have killed all the gods except for Aphrodite, although we worship at her altar of love, we have lost the meaning of the word love.
  • “I love you” is our sacred word but we have forgotten what it truly means.
  • If we begin with a reconstruction of love and its actual meaning, maybe from there we will develop a super-coherent vision of the patterns that connect.

Ervin Laszlo then sets the stage for the rest of the conversation:

  • Love IS reconstruction. We need to reconstruct because the world is falling apart.
  • Love is the longing to become one.
  • We need unity in diversity and Love is that element of unity. It is what holds it all together.
  • It is there in the quantum world, the simplest systems, the planets… What makes a system whole is the sense of belonging of its parts.
  • In the sentence “I love you”, the YOU means everybody and everything.
  • Evolutionary Love is the love of reconnecting, of rebirthing the world, of becoming part of it.

Enjoy the first part of the dialogue here:

>>> You can watch the whole dialogue here <<<

In their dialogue they share about the Second Shock of Existence, the New Renaissance, Evolutionary Love, and Unique Self Enlightenment as well as cutting-edge topics like super-coherence, self-organization, and the Unique Self Symphony.


The Evolution of Love Course ImageThe Evolution of Love: Activating Evolutionary Relationships & Unique Gender

An 8-Week Online Video Course with Dr. Marc Gafni

The Evolution of Love, Relationships, & Gender in 8 Steps

  1. Session 1: The Principles of Transformation, The Evolution of Love, & The 3 Levels of Relationships
  2. Session 2: Unique Self & Unique Self Symphony, Love Languages, The Six Big Bangs, & The Emergence of Evolutionary Relationships
  3. Session 3: From Man/Woman through Genderqueer to Unique Gender – Lines & Circles All the Way Up & All the Way Down
  4. Session 4: Light & Shadow, Hierarchy & Status, & the Beauty of the Line
  5. Session 5: The Universe: A Love Story – Entering the World of Lines
  6. Session 6: Take Responsibility for Your Own Arousal & Embrace Your Unique Risk
  7. Session 7: The World of the Circle: Enlightenment Is Intimacy with All Things
  8. Session 8: Potent Precision, & Spacious Expansion: The Higher Integration of Lines & Circles – Liberation from Loneliness through Evolutionary Relationships

>>> Learn More about The Evolution of Love <<<

The Boy Crisis Meets A Return to Eros – A Dialogue between Dr. Warren Farrell & Dr. Marc Gafni – Part 3

In this discussion between Marc Gafni, Warren Farrell, and the board members of the Center for Integral Wisdom we explore answers to several evolutionary questions such as:

  • How do we eliminate male disposability?
  • What impact has the charter school movement had on the boy crisis?
  • Do you find a different number of women who are willing to be a champion for men, than willing to be a champion for boys?
  • Kids that do the mass shootings are disproportionately white, is that fair to say? And if so, what do you think of that?
  • Men and women desire each other and we seem to have gotten to the point where men are asked to hold all of the desire in society. How did we get out of balance?

Enjoy the video here:

For the beginning of this dialog between Marc Gafni and Warren Farrell, check out part 1 and part 2.



A Return to Eros: The Radical Experience of Being Fully Alive

marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, gafni, eros, a return to eros, kristina kincaid– On Sex, Love, and Eroticism in Every Dimension of Life, from Drs. Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid, reveals the radical secret tenets of relationship between the sexual, the erotic, and the holy. They reveal what Eros actually means and share the ten core qualities of the Erotic, which are modeled by the sexual. These include being on the inside, fullness of presence, yearning, allurement, fantasy, surrender, creativity, pleasure, and more.

A Return to Eros shows why these qualities of the erotic modeled by the sexual are actually the same core qualities of the sacred. The relationship between the sexual and the erotic becomes clear, teaching you how to live an erotically suffused existence charged with purpose, potency and power.

To be an Outrageous Lover—not just in sex but also in all facets of your life–you must listen deeply to the simple yet elegant whisperings of the sexual. This book will forever transform your understanding and experience of love, sex, and Eros.

>>> Buy A Return to Eros Here <<<


___________________


Reclaiming Eros

with Dr. Marc Gafni

marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, gafni, eros, reclaiming eros, online course, ciwprogramsImagine 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 the ideal companion to our think tank book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid.

>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros <<<



marc gafni, gafni, Dr. Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of LoveOur sixth Summer Festival AKA Mystery School of Love in Holland ended about four weeks ago and we are all finding back into day-to-day life.

What a fantastic time we had.

For me personally, the Festival and Dr. Marc Gafni’s beautiful teachings reminded me again of the urgency of our work in the world. There is still a narrow window of time where we, as humanity, have a choice between, as Marc put it in the Festival, “the dystopian world à la Homo Deus/ Hunger Games/ Blade Runner and the realization of our beautiful vision of a Planetary Awakening in Love through a Unique Self Symphony or the emergence of the New Human, Homo amore.”  As Barbara Marx Hubbard likes to say, “crisis is an evolutionary driver.” In Marc’s language, “a crisis in intimacy generates new emergence” or “emergency creates emergence.” And yet, we need to wake up NOW.

Mystery School gives us an embodied sense of how it looks and feels like when the “Unique Self Symphony” comes alive and “Homo amore is born.”

The articulation and naming of new memes* like “Unique Self Symphony,” “Homo amore,” “Homo amore universalis,” and what we are calling “Cosmo-Erotic Humanism” emerge from a deep attunement with what Marc refers to as, citing Gabriel Marcel, “a memory of the future.” These dharmic terms carry a kind of gravitas. They act as what is known as a pointing out instruction in Tibetan Buddhism for the new memetic structures that have the potential to create that envisioned future.

Mystery School is the place where the dharma is clarified, where new dharma is “coming down”, brought down masterfully by Dr. Marc Gafni, our master-weaver of the dharma. He transmits into the space a field of enlightened consciousness that is so filled with outrageous love and insight that in that field people literally wake up to their own highest potential. And yet, Marc makes the center of the field not himself but the dharma. In that sense, it resembles the lineage that formed, as he reminds us again and again, not only around the teacher but rather the dharma and the community. Mystery School is a central sacred function of the Center’s and Foundation’s mission. From that all else flows: books, courses, personal and collective transformation.

The Festival of Love shows us that this awakening IS possible and it can happen in almost no time. Seven days of studying and practicing the dharma and living and creating together really IS enough for that to take place. The last day I found myself looking into people’s eyes and saw the new openness, the beauty, and love that were present. I heard it in every word that was spoken. I heard it in testimonials. I felt it in my body. I was home. We were home. Homo amore was born and taking its very first steps.

That’s the transformation in all four quadrants** that is so desperately needed. It is the only transformation that can really take hold. It is one of the “small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos” that, according to Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine, “have the capacity to shift the entire system to a higher order.”

That’s what we are working for. Being in this embodied dream at least once a year is essential to renewing our spirits. Our work serves the emergence of more and more of these islands that can then connect and shift the whole system.

What is needed for these islands, these embodied Unique Self Symphonies, to emerge, is exactly what is present during the Festival:

  1. marc gafni, gafni, Dr. Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of LoveThere is a sense of allurement and urgency that brings people together and a sense of celebration and yearning for fulfillment. Marc has been introducing new core teachings on allurement for the last several years and they reached a scientific and mystical crescendo this year at Mystery School.
  2. We all stepped outside of our resignation, our comfort zone, and the ordinary limitations of what we think is possible.
  3. A core model Marc has articulated in a forthcoming book with Barbara Marx Hubbard and in the Homo Amore Manifesto with Dr. Zak Stein and Barbara Marx Hubbard, is the three levels of relationship: role mates, soul mates and whole mates. Dr. Warren Farrell, our esteemed colleague, friend, and board member talks about role mates and soul mates in sociological and psychological terms. Marc talks about these three levels in existential, evolutionary, and mystical terms. Marc’s particular focus is on level three, evolutionary relationships, or what he and Barbara are calling whole mates. At the Festival we engaged all three levels of relationship with each other.
  4. We are role mates: Everybody has a role to play and is fully committed to that role. We know that every role is necessary, everybody is recognized and appreciated for all they bring into their roles, the instruments they play in the symphony.
    • There is real expertise and longtime experience that people bring to their roles. No one person could create the whole Festival without relying deeply on the expertise and experience of many others.
    • To give but one example: Our awesome chefs not only know how to cook, create delicious meals, and take care of many special needs of the participants, they also know how to create their kitchen, order the right amount of high quality food for everybody, and hold a team of scholars who assist in the kitchen as their practice of outrageous love. And last but not least, they are deep in the dharma. For them, cooking IS the embodied dharma.
  5. We are soul mates: We see each other, we recognize each other, and we stand for each other’s greatness and full emergence as Evolutionary Unique Selves. We hold each other’s wounds and vulnerability even as we see each other’s greatness.
    • We all have our moments of contractions but, unlike in our regular lives, it never takes long until we bump into another person who gives us a hug, looks into our eyes, reassures us that we are not alone, and gently but firmly invites us back into the interconnectivity of the whole, the intimacy that Marc has defined as “shared identity in the context of otherness.”
    • That is the We-Space that is needed if we really want to live a transformed life. Without it, living our transformation can often feel like an uphill struggle.
  6. We are whole mates serving a shared evolutionary purpose. Without that, all of the above would not be sufficient. What makes the whole work is that – as Marc often says – “this is not a personal transformation seminar; we come together to change the source code of culture; we come together to serve the emergence of the New Human, Homo amore.”
    • The Unique Self Symphony comes alive because it serves a purpose way greater than itself. That’s what makes us overcome obstacles that couldn’t be overcome without it. It makes us grow beyond our small ego selves. We are not serving anyone’s ego. We are in devotion to that shared purpose, that new emergence, that new dharma that makes the new emergence possible. That itself, the new dharma, is, in the language Marc began using in Evolutionary Church this year, “a new configuration of intimacy.”  And yet, the dharma never trumps the individual. We are always in devotion to the Unique Self of every single person in the room, on this planet, and greater still, every sentient being in this whole universe.
    • marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, summer festival of love, mystery schoolPerhaps what moves me most about Marc’s teaching is not the brilliance or the dazzling quality it has – although that is awesome – and not even his radical devotion to the dharma and to each one of us – although that is also pretty awesome – but rather, when people enter the field he is creating through the dharma and his own devotion and transmission, they become bigger, more beautiful, more powerful, and more kind and devoted to each other than anyone would think is possible. Everyone becomes more, and once Marc has generated the field, he quietly slips out of it to return to his study.
    • Because of that devotion to our shared evolutionary purpose, our own transformational process is fueled by the whole. We know that through our own transformation we participate in the evolution of the all. It is exactly through this that every single person’s transformation is much greater and more profound than in any other personal transformation seminar I know of.
  7. We have a shared dharma, a shared framework or narrative that gives us shared values and a language for our deep conversations. Together, we are in devotion to and serve the evolution of that dharma. It is not a teacher-centric community. Rather, the dharma, the teacher, the community, and the multiple leaders in the community all interact together and form what Marc calls, drawing from cosmology, “the multiple centers of our Unique Self Symphony.”
  8. We have shared practices and actually practice together. We practice in dyads, small groups, guided practices, and workshops, while listening to the dharma with full devotion is a practice itself.
  9. There is lots of space for participation. Everybody is included. Nobody is excluded. If only one person steps out, even just internally, it is felt by the whole room. We invite each other back in, all the time.
  10. There is self-organization and real leadership.
    • marc gafni, gafni, Dr. Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of Love, chahat corten, Claire MolinardWhile Dr. Marc Gafni is creating the dharma, holding the whole system, and weaving it all together as the master-weaver he is, Claire Molinard and Chahat Corten are in the field, connecting with everybody, and holding both the organization and the energy.
    • This year, Kristina Kincaid, James Bampfield, Micky Masset, Thomas Jaggers, and myself, along with an incredible staff of teachers and leaders, held key parts of the space.
    • There are countless contributors holding their specific pieces and stepping into leadership in their fields, all of which are brought together in a daily contributors meeting that is essential in connecting the dots.
    • Everybody is held and seen. Everybody is adored, recognized, desired, chosen, intended, and needed.

These are the ingredients for a Unique Self Symphony come alive, for the New Human, Homo amore, to be born.

The imaginal cells are coming together in a field of resonance.

Let’s go and create these new communities, these islands of coherence, these Unique Self Symphonies.

As Jesus said, so often quoted by Barbara Marx Hubbard, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Or as Marc would say, citing the ancient text: “The God voice dwells from in between the Cherubs above the Arc of the Covenant.”

That is the space in-between that is felt whenever we meet in, what Martin Buber has called, an I-Thou relationship, where everyone embodies their full unique eros, where a We is formed larger than the sum of the I’s, while every I is fully honored and held.

Let’s come together to study and practice, share our lives, our insights, and transformation with each other, and contribute to a higher evolutionary purpose. Step by step, breath by breath… we participate in the “evolution of love.”

Kerstin Zohar Tuschik


*Merriam-Webster defines a meme as an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. “Memes (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to life. Just as biological evolution is driven by the survival of the fittest genes in the gene pool, cultural evolution may be driven by the most successful memes.”—Richard Dawkins

**For more about quadrants in Integral Theory, see our Integral Theory Portal.


Join Our Evolutionary Church Collective

The Evolutionary Church Collective is our response to these times of global uncertainty, crisis and breakdown.   

We are a group of pioneering souls who are committed to activating a new set of potentials within ourselves and within humanity so that we can cross the evolutionary threshold into a viable and sustainable solution for a radically new way of living in symbiotic relationship with each other where we all become agents of personal and social change.

>>> You’re Invited to Join the Collective <<<

The Boy Crisis Meets A Return to Eros – A Dialogue between Dr. Warren Farrell & Dr. Marc Gafni – Part 2

Join Dr. Marc Gafni as he explores our primal need to be needed, the uniqueness of identity, The Boy Crisis and the #MeToo phenomena in the light of our much needed return to eros. 

In this video, you will learn…

marc gafni, return to eros

  • How we as human beings die when we don’t experience ourselves as being fundamentally needed
  • About the power, gorgeousness and universality of sexual energy and desire – and how we are all a part of #MeToo
  • About the demonization of male desire
  • That uniqueness is a core structure of reality and reality intends uniqueness
  • What happens to boys when their desires are shamed

Enjoy the video here:


Partial Summary

As human beings, and this is absolutely critical, we die if we don’t have something in the world which calls us and requires our attention, if we don’t experience ourselves as being fundamentally needed. We have an enormous amount of neuroscience on the importance of being genuinely needed in the world.

[Read more…]

The existential risks we are facing “are not different in kind, but they are different in magnitude and speed,” says Daniel Schmachtenberger in a recent podcast—called the 2050 Podcast, The No Fluff Podcast about the Big Picture, Positive Impact & Life Purpose. The exponential tech we created cannot “be put back in the bag,” so we need to create what he calls “anti-rivalrous environments that make us safe stewards of the level of power that exponential tech brings, or the human experiment completes.”

In a more poetic way he elaborates further that exponential tech is bringing us the power of Gods. Now we have to have the love, prudence, and wisdom of Gods to guide us.

Daniel says that creating an anti-rivalrous environment has never been done and there are a few prerequisites that need to be built into the prototype system:

  • We need to make sure that the system doesn’t incentivize harm.
  • The prototype needs to be big enough, so it can be a close-loop system—meaning it needs to be something like a city-state.
  • The system needs to be anti-fragile and autopoietic.

In order to create it, we need to tap into a different sense of our humanity, says Daniel.

>>> Listen to the 2050 podcast with Daniel Schmachtenberger here <<<

 

How Do We Create a Unique Self Symphony?

This new sense of our humanity is what we at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution call the new human, Homo Amore Universalis, that is enacted by all people realizing their Evolutionary Unique Selves and coming together in a Unique Self Symphony.

Learn more about how to create a Unique Self Symphony in our 5-part video series “The Power of a Unique Self Symphony” on MarcGafni.com:

marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, gafni, unique self symphony

How can we create “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” that Charles Eisenstein alludes to in lots of his work? How do we co-create a world that works for 100% of humanity, as Buckminster Fuller has called it?

>>> Read more and watch the video with Dr. Marc Gafni here <<<

[Read more…]

From Sexual Ethics to Sexual Eros Part 4

This is an excerpt from the book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid. Here you can read Part 1Part 2 , and Part 3 of the Series.

marc gafni, gafni, dr. marc gafni, marc gafni book, a return to erosLet us give two very simple examples of the body’s knowing: diets and sexual partners. New diet books proliferate, with dozens of them being published every year. Every new diet claims to have cracked the code to easy weight loss. The well-known fact, however, is that diet books have a minimal impact on people. People cannot regulate the most visceral function of the body—eating—based on external rules. The truth is that we do not need diet books. The law of the body always knows when you have had enough to eat and what kinds of foods you should be eating. But when the wisdom of the body is drowned out in the din of our busy lives, we turn to diet books. The diet books almost inevitably fail us if we do not first reconnect to the erotic ethics of the body.

To hear the voice of the body, we need to become proficient in our discernment between Eros and pseudo Eros. Let’s say we feel hurt by some event in our lives. We fall into the hole. We are afraid to stay in the hole, so we seek to fill the emptiness with pseudo Eros. We reach for a Baby Ruth candy bar. We get an immediate rush of sugar. It is damaging to virtually every system in our body. Our consumption of sugar violates our Eros. Candy bars are pseudo Eros. But you do not need a diet book to tell you that. Just feel the experience in your body after one, two, and then three candy bars. When we deny the truths of the body, we begin to read diet books, in all the arenas of our lives. Our Eros becomes blocked, and we lose access to the living divine presence that flows through us.

In the second example, we consider our sexual partners. With whom should we have sexual relations? There are many relationship and religious books that answer this question. But actually, in order to know whom to have sex with, we need only to access the truth of our bodies. Our bodies know perfectly the distinction between sex that is an expression of our vitality and sex that is a violation of our vitality. Relationship books or laws governing sex will not get you there.

The Rejection of Body Absolutism

But that does not mean that diet books or ethical books are unnecessary. Akiva writes, “If the Torah would not have been given, we would have learned all wisdom from the Song of Solomon.” We have cited this Tantric teaching several times in order to open up the radical wisdom of the body. But that does not in any sense imply that we want to revert to the body as our sole source of ethics. The Secret of the Cherubs rejects a kind of body absolutism in which the body becomes the sole Holy Grail. This rejection of naive body absolutism is essential for three primary reasons:

In the body there are states of profound expansion that yield great wisdom. This is the natural state of the body when the character armor is shed and the force of the divine flows unobstructed.

[Read more…]

From Sexual Ethics to Sexual Eros Part 3

This is an excerpt from the book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid. Here you can read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Series.

The old split between body and soul that lies at the heart of Western civilization has not healed or transformed our world. There is a better way to live. Imagine a world in which we called the courtesan a sacred intimate and the great enlightenment implicit in the sacred secrets of the body became known to every man and woman, young and old. What if a new sexual humanism began to teach us what it means to live in Eros in all dimensions of our lives?

marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, eros, return to eros

The principle we just articulated—that all failures of ethics have their source in a breakdown in Eros—reminds us just how vital a return to Eros is. There is only one choice at this crucial juncture in history: love or die. Love outrageously, or die. It is not enough merely to love one’s family. We must participate in the evolution of love. This happens when we realize that love is not an ego strategy for comfort. Real love is outrageous, not merely sweet human sentiment but the very essence of existence itself. Outrageous love is the evolutionary love that animates and drives the self-organizing universe. Outrageous love is Eros, suffusing and driving all reality.

Love in the Body

Sex is but love in the body. In Hebrew Tantra, the body is not merely a vessel to hold the light. Rather, it is the highest form of light. In the image of Hebrew Tantra, at the moment of the world’s inception (called “cosmogenesis”), a divine shaft penetrates the divine circle, and vessels are formed that hold light. The light is too intense for the vessels. In a defining primordial event, the vessels shatter. Some of the light from the vessels returns to its original source in the Godhead. Some of the light descends downward, where it becomes trapped in the shards of the broken vessels. This is taken to mean that hidden in our physical world of embodiment—which is a world of broken vessels and broken hearts—there is light that can be liberated by the one who has attained mastery.

[Read more…]

From Sexual Ethics to Sexual Eros Part 2

This is an excerpt from the book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid. Here you can read Part 1 of the Series.

marc, marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, vulnerability, a return to erosIn sexuality we are all vulnerable. To be a great lover in the sexual, technique is woefully insufficient. Genuine sexual Tantra has nothing to do with circulating the energy up your spine through practiced breathing. Genuinesexual Tantra is about making love with an unguarded heart. This requires radical vulnerability. Authentic sexual Tantra is about merging your heart with your yoni and phallus. Yoni and phallus are not merely exterior forms of genitalia. They are qualities of being that live in every man and woman. It is only from that place that you can be vulnerable enough to risk being ultimately fierce and ultimately tender. It is only from that place that you can risk sexing your partner open to God or letting your partner sex you open to God.

Both of these wonders require your total surrender. The ethics of the sexual is the ethics of vulnerability. You have to be willing to let your partner witness both the surrender of your power and your surrender to your power. Your small self and contracted ego disappear in erotic sex. In sex Eros, we bypass ego and access our most sacred, scared, and secret selves.

Sexual Humanism

A new vision of human possibility emerges from our vulnerability. “Sex is ethics” means that we are radically loyal to the vulnerability aroused by our sexing. We are loyal even after the ego rushes back in, eager to reassert its dominion. Loyalty means that we do not—years later—tell a different story in which we negatively revise our experience of the sexual. Sex that was beautiful, mutual, and vulnerable cannot ethically be recast as predatory or abusive. Regret is not rape, just as arousal is not consent. That is a violation of the Holy of Holies. Remember the two teachings of Akiva: “All the [biblical] books are holy” and “The Song of Solomon is the Holy of Holies.” The sexual love song is the Holy of Holies. To falsely narrate a sexual experience or to break sexual boundaries without invitation is to violate the Holy of Holies.

[Read more…]

From Sexual Ethics to Sexual Eros Part 1

This is an excerpt from the book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid.

marc gafni, dr. marc gafni, gafni, kristina kincaid, eros, lines and circles, sexualityWe recently had dinner with a colleague who has written some significant work on Eros. It is far more nuanced than virtually anything else out there. In general, we think her work is studded with insight, and we are delighted to recommend it. However, we believe she makes two important mistakes that need to be addressed in the spirit of public debate because they are so impactful in terms of how we experience our lives.

First, she collapses the sexual and the erotic. For her, Eros is a term that for the most part refers to the sexual. She is talking, however, not about banal sex but about what is often called great sex. By Eros she means sex that is, at least on some level, hot and deep. She then makes a very dramatic claim: that Eros by its very nature is transgressive. With this we take exception. The nature of the erotic (including the sexual) is subversive but not transgressive. The difference between these two positions is vast.

Transgressive means to violate an appropriate value or boundary. Subversive implies the intentional subverting of cultural values or boundaries for the sake of a higher vision. Transgressive undermines that which should not be undermined. Subversive is revolutionary, undermining that which needs to be overthrown. The difference is subtle but highly significant.

Our colleague is somewhat of a sexual anthropologist. She looks at the practice of sexuality and finds that what is most alive in people’s sexual lives involves transgression—by which she means transgression of the cultural mores held by society or even by the people themselves. Of course, that is exactly the point we were making in the previous chapter. But we would argue that transgression is not the ideal state of the sexual but what one might call the unconscious or shadow expression of the sexual. It is descriptive of the fall of Eros. The goal is to move from the unconscious to the conscious, from shadow to light. When we liberate Eros, we are able to access the aliveness of transgressive sex in the context of our committed relationships of whatever nature they might be. The way to do so is to restore temple consciousness—that is to say, a world in which sex is not transgressive but subversive.

Sex is subversive in that it points to an order of being beyond the conventional. Ordinary reality involves pragmatic surface relationships in which each person looks out for his or her own self-interest. The basic social contract of society is built on precisely such notions of individual self-interest and civil interaction. Sexuality models the possibility of breaking the boundary of the superficial to enter the deep. Sex, in its ideal form, subverts the “normal” order of society.

[Read more…]

We are happy to announce our new Courses Site: CIWPrograms.com.

Eight wonderful courses are ready to be taken. Whether we are new to the dharma or deeply cooked in it, these courses offer a fantastic opportunity to deepen our understanding and engage in our own transformation from the comfort of our homes.

Learn more about the courses by clicking on the graphics or links below!

The Evolution of Love Course ImageThe Evolution of Love: Activating Evolutionary Relationships & Unique Gender

An 8-Week Online Video Course with Dr. Marc Gafni

The Evolution of Love, Relationships, & Gender in 8 Steps

  1. Session 1: The Principles of Transformation, The Evolution of Love, & The 3 Levels of Relationships
  2. Session 2: Unique Self & Unique Self Symphony, Love Languages, The Six Big Bangs, & The Emergence of Evolutionary Relationships
  3. Session 3: From Man/Woman through Genderqueer to Unique Gender – Lines & Circles All the Way Up & All the Way Down
  4. Session 4: Light & Shadow, Hierarchy & Status, & the Beauty of the Line
  5. Session 5: The Universe: A Love Story – Entering the World of Lines
  6. Session 6: Take Responsibility for Your Own Arousal & Embrace Your Unique Risk
  7. Session 7: The World of the Circle: Enlightenment Is Intimacy with All Things
  8. Session 8: Potent Precision, & Spacious Expansion: The Higher Integration of Lines & Circles – Liberation from Loneliness through Evolutionary Relationships

>>> Learn More about The Evolution of Love <<<


Becoming a Future Human Course Image 02aBecoming a Future Human: Changing the Source Code of Reality

A 9-Week, Self-Paced, Online Video Course with Barbara Marx Hubbard, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Daniel Schmachtenberger

A Gift and a Call To Play Your Full Role in the Birth of a New Humanity

Who do we need to become in order for humanity to make it though its current dangerous technological adolescence and to create a world that is truly commensurate with our full human, scientific, social, spiritual, and technological capabilities? If you are here to embody your unique gift fully for the benefit of all life and play your role as a steward of the cosmos and the birth of a new humanity, then welcome! This course is for everyone that knows humanity is at the brink of an epochal shift, that believes we can create the world the great sages knew was possible, and that wants to be a part of co-creating that world together.

>>> Learn More about Becoming a Future Human <<<


God is Eros Course ImageGod Is Eros: Seven Tastes of Sexing

with Dr. 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

>>> Learn More about God Is Eros <<<


Reclaiming Eros Course ImageReclaiming Eros

with Dr. Marc Gafni

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.

Uncover the Secret Powers of Eros in Order to…

  • Become fully alive, fulfilled, and at home in your own life
  • Live a life of passion, purpose, and integrity to fulfill your most important goals
  • Discover a new relationship to sexuality as teaching you how to live erotically in all the non-sexual dimensions of your life
  • Enrich not just our personal existence but our whole society
  • Find the power to kindle radical Outrageous Love in your life for your loved ones and beyond
  • Reimagine your life and all of the reality to create the world that works for everyone
  • Find joy, vitality, and success in every area of your life

This is the ideal companion to our think tank book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid.

>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros <<<


loving your way to enlightenment Course ImageLoving Your Way to Enlightenment

with Dr. Marc Gafni

In this video course, professionally filmed on location during the First Festival of Love in Holland, you will learn in just 8 weeks, how to

  • Live an epic life of passion and purpose
  • Play a larger game in your life and your relationships
  • Find healing in the embrace of the Divine Mother
  • Move beyond loneliness
  • See with God’s Eyes in order to Love and keep your heart open under all circumstances
  • Experience deep connection and shared purpose in your relationships

Participate in the evolution of love itself and become a force of healing and transformation in the world

>>> Learn More about Loving Your Way to Enlightenment <<<


Pleasure Map Course ImagePleasure Map

with Adam Gilad and Dr. Marc Gafni

The universe is sending you unique gifts of pleasure every second!

Are you receiving them?

With The Pleasure Map, you will not only gain the skills of experiencing pleasure completely, but also you will discover how this allows you deeper love, purpose, inner peace and impact on the world beyond your dreams.

This program, delivered in over 50 short video lessons, gives you both a Map and accompanying practices to help you re-chart your life from pleasure. In the end, this opens for you a whole new integrated dharma of love.

>>> Learn More about the Pleasure Map <<<


Awakening Your Unique Self Course ImageAwakening Your Unique Self

with Dr. Marc Gafni

In just 10 weeks, learn a simple step-by-step process to awaken and activate the full potential of your life. The program takes you on a journey of waking up, growing up, and showing up as your most gorgeous Unique Self.

In order to do that, the course uses one of the most powerful psychoactive technologies to facilitate your awakening.

Through that, you discover your life’s purpose and learn how to bring an awakened, heart-centered intelligence to the sobering challenges facing our rapidly evolving world through world service and lived purpose.

>>> Learn More about Awakening Your Unique Self <<<


WakeUp GrowUp ShowUp Course ImageWake Up – Grow Up – Show Up: Up-Level Your Consciousness

A 4 Week Online Self-Study Course with Dr. Marc Gafni

In this course, Dr. Marc Gafni takes you through a psychoactive process to up-level your own consciousness. By participating in this short course you will be directly participating in the evolution of consciousness which is the evolution of love.

>>> Learn More about Wake Up – Grow Up – Show Up <<<

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…]

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…]

Today is the first day of Chanukkah and we, the team of the Center for Integral Wisdom with our President Dr. Marc Gafni, want to give you a little gift.

Get a little taste from our Reclaiming Eros Self Study Online Course

Listen to the Story of the Holy Snuff Box


>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros Here <<<


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Marc Gafni has also told the Story of the Holy Snuff Box on his blog:

marc gafni, gafni, dr. marc gafni, holy snuff boxEverybody knows that Holy Beggars hold the world together. Thus would one modern master introduce the following sacred story. Never, never pass by a holy beggar, and they are all holy. Walk across the street. Go out of your way! Who knows who he really is? Who knows what great soul lays hidden in that tattered beggar? You never know… You never know. All you can know that is if someone asks, they must certainly need.

One day a beggar came to see the Holy Israel, Master of the Name. He was angry and depressed. “What kind of a God do you have. I used to be rich – I helped many people. But now look at me – I have lost everything. It’s not fair. How did such a fate fall upon me?!” And with that the beggar broke down into tears.

“Sweet Yossele,” said Israel, Master of the Name. “All the mysteries are in your own life. Think back to Yom Kippur six years ago.”

And now the master Israel had Yossele’s complete attention. For how did he know that his name was Yossele – and how could he know what he had done six years ago? Master Israel continued. “It was a fast day, the holiest day of the year. A day when we pray all day long. People on that day are at their weakest, but also at their highest. You remember, Yossele, that you brought the snuff box to the prayer service?” For although on this fast day eating is proscribed, fragrance is permitted. Often, as in the prayer fellowship I grew up in, snuff boxes would be passed around, to offer fragrance to revive the spirits for prayer.

>>> Read the whole story here <<<


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros Here <<<

RE-Product-Course-Image_FINALImagine 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.

Uncover the Secret Powers of Eros in Order to…

  • Become fully alive, fulfilled, and at home in your own life
  • Live a life of passion, purpose, and integrity to fulfill your most important goals
  • Discover a new relationship to sexuality as teaching you how to live erotically in all the non-sexual dimensions of your life
  • Enrich not just our personal existence but our whole society
  • Find the power to kindle radical Outrageous Love in your life for your loved ones and beyond
  • Reimagine your life and all of the reality to create the world that works for everyone
  • Find joy, vitality, and success in every area of your life

>>> Learn More about Reclaiming Eros Here <<<

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

This course is the ideal companion to our wonderful think tank book A Return to Eros:

>>> Buy A Return to Eros Here <<<

Buy A Return to Eros on amazon

On A Return to Eros

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

In a recent dialogue, Swami Chetanananda (“Swamiji”), the abbot and spiritual director of the Movement Center, a teacher in the lineage of Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, who is a powerful presence and a source of great nourishment for those who come in contact with him and John Friend who has developed two major systems of yoga and is a master and transmitter of the yoga tradition in an embodied form, came together with CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni to discuss the recent book of the Think Tank A Return to Eros.

They discuss…

  • Why we so desperately need a new narrative of Universal Eros as it is layed out in the book
  • Why it is essential to overcome the fear of our own bodies and fear of our own sexuality that is so deeply engrained in our culture
  • Why sexual ethics needs to be grounded in a sexual Ethos
  • How this new narrative of Eros results in a new narrative of the sexual that is both deeply grounded in the old traditions and yet evolves way beyond it

Transcript of the Dialogue

[Read more…]

A Meditation from the “Awakening Your Unique Self” Online Course you can buy by clicking here!

Enjoy the Meditation with Dr. Marc Gafni and Read the Transcript Below

Transcript

Dr. Marc Gafni, marc gafni, gafni, unique self, true self, meditationGet 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.

[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.

[Read more…]

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

[Read more…]

by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of Love, A Return to Eros, Shame, Sexuality, Evolution of Love, Enlightenment of FullnessA couple of days ago, many of us returned from the fifth annual Mystery School with Dr. Marc Gafni in Holland. Still basking in the aftertaste of it, we are in the process of integrating it all into our bodies and our lives.

At the Center for Integral Wisdom, our mission is to evolve the source code of culture by evolving the memes and distinctions that govern both our personal and collective lives. The Mystery and Wisdom Schools are our Dharma labs for the new distinctions that we are developing and learning how to deploy into culture to evolve the source code.

As our Academic Director Dr. Zachary Stein has stated so beautifully in a previous blog-post:

“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.”

Mystery School is where we come together as evolutionary mystics, the Wheel of Dharma turns, new dharma is coming down, SHE dances, and we can literally feel the source code shift.

Mystery School is not a personal growth seminar. And yet, paradoxically, personal transformation happens at much higher rates than at any personal transformation event. All of us committing to evolving the source code of culture, to the conscious evolution of the all, is exactly what fuels our own transformation with the power of the all.

Once we realize that we are not separate from, but unique embodiments of, the Evolutionary Impulse it all starts to make sense.

As long as it is about MY transformation, I separate myself from the all and I am narcissistically lost in ego. Once I begin to serve the evolution of the all, that same impulse becomes alive in me and my own transformation becomes a byproduct of the evolution of the all.

When you read my testimonial below and the ones of my colleagues linked to at the end, keep in mind that they are written with great delight from within the energy of the Mystery School. They are not 3rd person accounts but rather 1st person mystical testimonials.

Each year at the end of the Festival we say: This cannot get any better! And then it does get better. And OMG, we did it again! This was the most awesome Mystery School of Love EVER!!!

Deepest bow to CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni, our dharma teacher, who opened the space again and again, every morning, every moment with open heart, penetrating insight and clarity, deep humility, devotion, purity, and holy audacity. He has been more humble, devoted, pure, open, and audacious than ever, serving the dharma, serving the Goddess, serving the collective field and the awakening of every single human being in the room and on this planet while dancing with us to the end of love, the end of shame, and the leading edges of culture.

[Read more…]

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.