Watch This Featured Clip by Dr. Marc Gafni
Welcome, everyone. It’s a hard time. It’s a painful time. We live in a world of outrageous pain, and the only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love. One of the things that we’re trying to do here at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution and we’re also trying to do it in a broadcast program that’s its own world that spun off originally from the center and the foundation and is now an independent and beautiful movement which is called One Church: Many Paths, One Mountain—we broadcast every week and we’re together every week; it’s an incredible community of some 10,000 people around the world—what we’re trying to do is what I would call sensemaking. We live in a moment of decentralized sensemaking. We don’t rely at this point on the government or the church. Our information ecologies are broken. Our sense of larger patterns and larger worldviews has been fractured and fragmented.
So as we find ourselves in the middle of this outrageous pain, the pain of the coronavirus, which is now a collective pain across the world, I just read an amazing set of stories about five Italian doctors, heroes, heroes of outrageous love who died this week, and the stories abound across the world. And we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re doing everything we can to flatten the curve, but we’re not doing enough. Will we be able to flatten the curve? What are the timeframes? There’s an enormous amount that needs to happen now.
But what I want to talk to you about in this moment is the sensemaking that we need to do. Now, sensemaking takes place in the context of action, so clearly the very first thing that needs to be done now is to heal the sick, to have enough ventilators, to have enough beds in hospitals, to not collapse the medical system, to not collapse the economy, because the economy is about people being able to buy basic necessities. It’s about survival in the most essential of ways. Let’s take the United States just as an example. Seventy percent of the families in the United States live from paycheck to paycheck.
So the amount of pain and dislocation and disruption and suffering is intense and real and we need to respond to it, and the only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love, and outrageous love means that there are outrageous acts of love to perform, and it’s not just the Italian doctors who are being the most incredible—this is a moment where Italy truly is filled with outrageous lovers, unbelievable beyond imagination—but it’s not just those Italian doctors. It’s all of us who need to be, in this moment, heroes. We need to protect our elderly who are more precious than precious. We need to provide every resource we can. We need to share our homes when it’s appropriate within the context of physical distancing. We need to share our resources, which means our money and our time. We need to share our hearts. We need to join hands. We need to respond to outrageous pain with outrageous love.
This beautiful eulogy was given by Dr. Marc Gafni during our Evolutionary Church Memorial. The written version below is taken from the lightly edited transcript. For the video of the service scroll all the way below.
Introduction by Dr. Marc Gafni
Every week we’ve been doing Evolutionary Church with Barbara and Lisa and myself and thousands of us from around the world. It’s been the heart and the throb of where we’re going and the vision we want to articulate together. Barbara and I loved Evolutionary Church. We started 131 weeks ago, and every week we would write a code together, and we’re now in Evolutionary Church.
For those of you who are wondering what to expect, there’s going to be two memorial services.
Barbara said to me, “Marc, when I pass, have a memorial service at church and have then a big evolutionary party. So, at that evolutionary party we are going to see lots of Barbara’s work and Barbara’s clips, and now we’re in church and we’re going to follow the order of church. …
Today in place of the sermons, I’ll gently and humbly offer a eulogy to Barbara, and all through we’re going to be resonating with Barbara, who’s here with us.
Just a few days ago, we heard Barbara say, “I declare the continuity of consciousness.” So, Barbara, right in this moment we declare with you the continuity of your consciousness and know that you’re here with us.
Last Friday night I was talking to Barbara about the code for the next day, but then by the next morning I called and Barbara wasn’t vocal and they didn’t quite understand why. I asked the nurse to put her on the phone. They held the phone to her ear, and Barbara said, “Marc,” and she was excited about church, and then she wasn’t able to speak afterwards. Ultimately, she went into a coma and wasn’t able to wake up and began her transition, but Barbara’s not silent. Her silence in this moment is not a silence of absence. It’s a silence of presence, and it’s up to us to carry that torch.
Barbara’s passing the torch and it’s every single person in this church today that is invited to their, what Barbara called vocational arousal. In order for each of us to light the world on fire with that teaching, with that message, with that aliveness, with that Barbara-ness, and in that, Barbara then shifts now not to silence of absence but to silence of presence. Barbara’s going to become more present in her continuity of consciousness, more available, more alive, more impactful than even ever before.
So as we enter, I’m going to ask everyone just to write three words in the chat box, “Barbara inspires me.”
We actually feel Barbara here. Barbara inspires me. Barbara, can you feel that, love? Feel that everybody. Barbara inspires me, It’s not silence of absence. We’re actually triumphing over death, and the triumph over death was one of Barbara’s deepest heart’s desires, and we’ll talk about heart’s desire. Barbara inspires me. Feel that, feel that just ripple. Let’s lift that like a prayer to the sky. Barbara inspires me.
Barbara was, I believe, the greatest evolutionary storyteller of our time. Barbara was the feminine co-creator. She thought beautifully. She had a clear and sharp and wonderful mind, and anyone who’s read Evolutionary Synthesis, which is about 45 pages, she wrote in 2007 that we’re going to actually reissue, you’ll see the clarity as she gathered thoughts and extensively cited and wove the thoughts together. But Barbara’s essence was to inspire. Barbara told the evolutionary story. Barbara became the campfire. Barbara became the Word. She was the Logos.
Barbara inspires me, and in mysticism and all the great traditions we say that the challenge of death is that a person becomes non-dynamic. They become static. They can no longer influence and impact, which is why in mysticism what we do is, in order to give the person, and in this case, the great leader, the great visionary, the wondrous woman who passed, to give our Barbara, our beloved Barbara, the strength, the energy to take the next step in the journey of the continuity of consciousness. She’s turning to us now and she’s saying “Activate me.” She’s saying “Let me impact you so that I’m fully alive.” So when we write “Barbara inspires me,” it directly impacts and affects all the worlds, upper and lower, and it supercharges, if you will, it animates Barbara’s consciousness to take the next steps. Barbara inspires me. We’re ready to be impacted.
Enjoy this beautiful Video Tribute to Barbara Marx Hubbard
It was part of the Evolutionary Church Memorial for Barbara on April 13th – Created by the Executive Producer of Evolutionary Church and Executive Vice-President of the Center for Integral Wisdom Lisa Witter. If the embedded video doesn’t work for you, click here.
Eulogy by Dr. Marc Gafni
Could we be eulogizing you?
Barbara, you were so not ready to go. You were not done. You were in your 90th year. You are an evolutionary force of nature.
Here we are about to speak your eulogy. I promised you an evolutionary party, and so we’re going to have a big evolutionary party eulogy. Now we’re in church that you loved so much.
Let me begin with a word from my teacher, Barbara, that we spoke about so many times, Dr. Soloveitchik. He spoke about eulogy, drawing deeply from the lineage of the mystics, who said that eulogy is not a whitewash. Eulogy is not pretty words as Hafiz says, when he mocks eulogy.
Eulogy is two things. One is we ask your forgiveness, Barbara. We’re here to ask your forgiveness and we’re asking your forgiveness for not having fully recognized you, not having fully seen you, for somehow taking for granted that we could call you and that irrepressible, gorgeous, relentlessly alive, infinitely positive voice would always be there. It’s almost like we lived in this beautiful home on the ocean, but the ocean was just there, and we stopped quite seeing it. So we ask forgiveness.
Two, in the teaching of the mystics, in eulogy and the days after Barbara’s passed, as her spirit’s, in the continuity of consciousness, is both fully with us and moving beyond the world, in this moment, there is the last opportunity in this lifetime to liberate the person who’s passed, to liberate Barbara, from loneliness.