It’s hard to believe that Evolutionary Church is quickly approaching its 1 year anniversary! Together, with your love and support we’ve initiated a grassroots movement that’s responding to our times of global uncertainty, crisis and breakdown with outrageous love.

We are a virtual, global Unique-Self Symphony of 6,000 people (and growing) who are answering the evolutionary call to create a world equal to our potential… and it’s exciting to feel the depth and breadth of goodness, truth and beauty that’s expressed in, through and as US every Saturday.

Our weekly live broadcasts of Evolutionary Church will always remain free of charge to anyone who wishes to join us! We now have a Facebook Page for Evolutionary Church! Please take 2 seconds to “like” our page here: www.facebook.com/EvolutionaryChurch!

AND:

Now is the time to deepen our commitment to a planetary awakening in love through a Unique Self Symphony by giving YOU a home to actively participate in creating a world equal to our potential.

And that’s why we created the Evolutionary Church Collective.

Evolutionary-Church-FB-cover

>> Learn More About The Evolutionary Church Collective <<

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by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

>>> Get your copy now <<<

Some Editorial Reviews

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

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

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by 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.

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

marc gafni, wisdom school, shalom mountainIn a popular culture that has re-packaged the great cultural revolutions of the 1960s we have to ask exactly where and what a “counter culture” could be in today’s world. One answer is that the counter culture has gone mainstream, it’s everywhere now—massive numbers are marching for women and the Earth, even more are engaging in political critique and ethical activism on social media. Cultural evolution proceeds via the center metabolizing the periphery; the fringes of culture move to the core. What was a rare view becomes common and identity formation and cultural production follow suit. Whole industries spring up around ideas and practices that used to be tucked away in obscurity. As the mainstream drifts to accommodate and commodify cultural innovations for the masses, true cultural innovation continues underground, as it always has been, articulated first and raw in some place off the map.

Across the centuries, mystics have convened mystery schools on the edges of civilizations and worldviews. Intentionally small and remote, peopled with trusted initiates, these schools have been the storehouses of innovations in consciousness, sourced in ancient traditions, guided by a memory of the future. Off stage and out of sight, a few have always been preparing seeds for planting in the compost of the rapidly degenerating culture of the so-called civilized.

The Catskills seem to be trying to hide Shalom Mountain in clouds and endless back roads, making it feel secluded enough to shout secrets into the air through a megaphone. The mystery school displaces the center of self and knowledge, shifting us to the surrounding realms of imagination, memory, instinct, and revelation. Everything is on the table, as Gafni becomes a trickster, weaving Tantric Kabbalah from ancient texts, modern science, and depth psychology. Paradox and laughter co-emerge in the dissolution of culture-wrought truncations of self, world, and God. Audacious sovereign greets audacious sovereign in a dance of co-empowerment and natural hierarchy. Gafni is repeatedly moved to tears by sacred texts, so much so that a late June thunderstorm is easily felt as God moved to tears by reading the book of Gafni’s life. So much was taught that I might only select one lesson—one from the calm in the morning after the storm.

T’shuvah means literally “to turn” and is usually translated as penitence or repentance, meaning roughly to turn towards one’s sins and mistakes, to understand them, and to fix them. This is exemplified in the tears shed by King David before the profit Nathan, followed by the King’s humble admission, “I have sinned.”  He had sinned, and would sin again. David, like others in the line of the Wisdom of Solomon, is identified as one whose greatness is intimately bound up with flaws and error. The finitude, limitation, and darkness of the human being have long been the mystical keys that open the heart of Tantra. We are exactly (precisely nobody but) the ones making mistakes, taking risks, landing in failure, illness, and shadow. Religions are built around the core idea of a fall. From Adam and Eve to maya and samsara, humans are destined to make mistakes and live with them. You and I will make mistakes again and again. On one view this is terrible—the fall is our shame, and it means that no one is innocent, no one is really truly good. On another view—the non-dual view—the fall is great news because everything is grist for the Divine Mill. The Good is not some static absolute innocence of non-action. The Good is making mistakes in the right direction. We can only learn and evolve by virtue of the mistakes we make and how we respond to them.

T’shuvah is a practical answer to the idea that because humanity is destined to make mistakes we are all tragically flawed. T’shuvah is a practice for turning mistakes into insight and transformation. The practice is clear, simple, and could not be any more radical in a broader cultural where mistakes in some areas of life are enough to mark someone as untouchable for life. What could be more radical than a practice allowing for an individual and collective turning toward sin, failure, and mistakenness? We can all lose face together, abandon the moral high ground together, and turn then toward each other before God, seeking only learning and transformation through and within our own and each other’s mistakes. Individually and as a culture we must turn towards our mistakes and thus toward our Unique Selves, which are fumbling toward actualization, making mistakes in the right direction.

Importantly, the situation and dynamics in which we make mistakes have occurred before and will occur again. History repeats itself, both personally and culturally. T’shuvah becomes a kind of mystical fixing when practiced as way of life. By turning towards the dynamic that caused us to fall, seeing it, and committing to change it into something new, t’shuvah liberates the memory of each person and culture, destined as they are always to carve a unique path of mistakes. History itself must be unwound from the trauma of repetition and freed from the faltering stutter of eternal return. Beyond and after the total reciprocal forgiveness of each and everyone there is a new planetary culture that is possible. The mystery school felt like a living visitation from the future of humanity, transformed from the fall, moving up from Eden.

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:

Until we can get to a place of sex without shame, we will live in a world of violence and depression.

Most violence in the world is in fundamentalist world, where sexuality is most repressed. The highest suicide rates in places with most sexual freedom, yet, no dharma, no sacred story of sexuality.

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.

5th Mystery School in Holland Coming Up from July 22 until July 29, 2017

Our theme this year:

A Return To Eros: Living The Erotic Life

  • Begin your day with body work and an Evolutionary Satsang
  • Open your heart, mind and spirit to Dr Marc Gafni’s teachings
  • Choose your afternoon workshop
  • Grow and transform

>> Join Us <<

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

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

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

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

He then offers the following plan:

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Watch this teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni as our special gift from the Mystery School 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

>> Download the Transcript of the Video Here <<


5th Mystery School in Holland Coming Up from July 22 until July 29, 2017

Our theme this year:

A Return To Eros: Living The Erotic Life

  • Begin your day with body work and an Evolutionary Satsang
  • Open your heart, mind and spirit to Dr Marc Gafni’s teachings
  • Choose your afternoon workshop
  • Grow and transform

>> Join Us <<

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

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

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

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

Are Religion and Art Critical to Restoring the Climate?

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the Trailer here:

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

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

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

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

Some of the Sub-Projects are:

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

Watch the Epilogue here:


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

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

Watch and listen to this fascinating thought experiment:

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

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

Engaging in this thought experiment a bunch of questions arise:

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

The Need for Meta-Theories

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

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

Listen to this exciting 20-minute talk and learn:

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

Enjoy the talk:


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.

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?

PERSON: Teaching.

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.

Marc Gafni - DDharma is not Dogma, but the best take on reality we have based on pre-modern, modern, and postmodern insights, weaving together what we know about the patterns that connect.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?

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During the last couple of weeks, the CIW team has been busy preparing our full public response to the smear campaign against Marc Gafni that started just over a year ago on December 25th.

Last week we finally launched our new site WhoIsMarcGafni.com.

Please take a moment to check out this new site dedicated to setting the record straight on the smear campaign against Marc Gafni and to addressing the meta issues involved here.

Who Is Marc Gafni?

Who Is Marc Gafni?

>> Check out WhoIsMarcGafni here <<

We also ask you to watch this video from our beloved Co-Chair Barbara Marx Hubbard sharing her story about the origins of the most recent smear campaign:

Barbara Marx Hubbard

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tom-goddard-100x100As 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.

Read the beautiful and audacious message here>>>

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.”


At the Center for Integral Wisdom, our intention is no less than to participate in the Evolution of Love.

In the world today we look around and see that we’ve made love small. We have exiled love to a particular transient emotion that takes place between particular human beings of a particular gender within a particular legal context.

In our CIW Think Tank, we have an understanding that love is an expression of a much deeper source. For us, love is the animating Eros, the love-intelligence and love-beauty of all reality.

As we wake up and grow up, as we show up in our lives, we become the clearest and most powerful vessels for that love. We are participating in the evolution of love by evolving our consciousness and emerging as our Evolutionary Unique Self.

Are you ready to play a larger game?

You are invited to participate in the Evolution of Love.

Watch our beloved Co-Board Chair Barbara Marx Hubbard and CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni as they explore the Mysteries of the Evolution of Love:

This film was made in November 2015.

Read more about the Evolution of Love in the Conscious Eros Portal>>>

Read this series on the Evolutionary Unique Self, Outrageous Love & the Unique Self Symphony>>>

In October 2016, a powerful Unique Self Tantra Training Program starts at our CIW Partner – The Institute of Integral Evolutionary Tantra – that offers profound personal growth through an in-depth experiential and conceptual learning matrix.

The program is a combination of the ancient art of Tantric wisdom traditions, the best of Integral and Evolutionary Theory, along with cutting edge transformative embodiment practices.

Wake Up to your Outrageous Lover, become an Outrageous Eros Practitioner, and support others in full bodied erotic living.

The Institute of Integral Evolutionary Tantra in New York City is led by CIW Board Member Dr. Kristina Kincaid. IET teaches, coaches and mentors individuals to take the next step in self-transformation. IET was created to develop cutting edge Leaders, Projects and Initiatives of conscious collaboration in the world. IET understands that in order to respond to the challenges that face our planet today, it is imperative to create a WE-space, where we as individuals and individual systems realize that enlightened consciousness is beyond ego, and is the essential next stage of self-transformation.

For more information go to www.IntegralEvolutionaryTantra.com or call 1-917-734-2197

Responding to the Second Shock of Existence

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

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

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

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

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

From the paper:

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

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

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

Read more…

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

From Zak’s Blog:

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

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

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

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

- Rawls on Civil Disobedience

The Inefficiency of Inrustice

- Democratic Schools and The Future of Testing

Read more…

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

In Barbara’s words:

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

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

Read Barbara’s full article…

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have crowd-sourced a witch hunt.

Read Marc’s full article…

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