Our 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:
- There 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.
- We all stepped outside of our resignation, our comfort zone, and the ordinary limitations of what we think is possible.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Perhaps 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- There is self-organization and real leadership.
- While 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.
Can We Give Our Children a Healthy Climate by 2050?
For CIW Board Member and Founder of the Healthy Climate Alliance Peter Fiekowsky that question can easily be answered with a resounding YES. The more interesting question is of course the question of HOW.
This question can be answered on two levels:
On the first, according to Peter, it is simply a matter of engineering – with solutions already in the making and many more coming – to lower the CO2 levels from the current 410 ppm (parts per million) to 300 ppm in our atmosphere by the year 2050.
On the second and deeper level it is a matter of capturing the public imagination.
According to a recent article on Forbes about him called The Man With The 300 / 2050 Vision, “Peter states…
…that 300X2050 is a second moonshot. We need to set the goal first (3oo ppm) and achieve it, some way, somehow, and very soon, by 2050. All our efforts need to be engineered to that outcome. But Neil Armstrong only stepped on the surface of the moon July 20, 1969 because it captured the public imagination, because there were so many stories to tell along the way, because we were with him, and the scientists of NASA the whole way. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” As a child, I built toy space ships. We played ‘astronaut,’ and followed each satellite and Apollo launch. Now today how do we inform and inspire the world on what will be our most important journey: to a sustainable planet, our gift to all who will follow? The science will be there. The money is there, trillions across the world now sitting on the sidelines. We lack only the political will, which will come if We the People take the lead and are ready to dream as big as we need to, given the scale of the problem — and the opportunity.”
On September 18, Peter Fiekowsky was part of a breakfast event at the UN SDG MediaZone, just outside the UN headquarters in New York City, to announce the launch of the 300×2050 online funding platform and an initiative to identify, fund and achieve a new climate goal—true Climate Restoration.
This workshop will introduce the Unique Self Emergence Process through practices that are immediately applicable in your life. You will leave this intensive with a clear map to guide your own Unique Self emergence, one you can work with immediately. By engaging in a series of core practices, participants will gain an embodied experience of the three states of consciousness that characterize the journey from Separate Self to Unique Self. You will also gain a vision for how the Unique Self Emergence Process might be used to facilitate emergence in individuals, couples and groups.
In this two day workshop you will:
- learn the basic principles of the Unique Self Teachings.
- explore how Integral Theory, Developmental Psychology, the Enneagram, neuroscience, as well as the ancient and modern spiritual traditions, are woven into the process
- discover how the USEP’s core practices facilitate the journey from Separate Self to Unique Self.
Join us in an experience that will open your heart & imagination to the creative possibilities of the process.
WHEN: Friday September 22nd from 9:30 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday September 23rd from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
COST: $40.00, which includes snacks & lunch
RETREAT FACILITATOR: Barbara Alexander and a team of certified USE Facilitators
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: September 13, 2017
Dr. 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:
CIW 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?
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:
From an unedited draft of the forthcoming book Towards a New Politics of Evolutionary Love
by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein
The core structural principle from Integral Meta-Theory involved in the formation of a Unique Self Symphony is the scientific principle of self-organization. The idea of self-organization is according to many the single most important scientific idea to emerge in the last sixty years. It exists at every level of reality and across all four quadrants. While many scientific accounts focus only on self-organization in systems and structures in biology or cybernetics (i.e., Lower-Right reductionism), there is a whole history of work in psychology and social theory dedicated to modeling how minds and cultures are complex dynamical systems, that evolve and self-organize in remarkable ways.
Multiple scientific fields, when held in an Integral embrace, tell us that self-organization is a basic principle of reality at all levels. Most forms of evolutionary emergence are a function of this ubiquitous tendency of all life and matter toward self-organization. This leads to the idea of an inherently creative cosmos, always evolving and organizing at higher and higher levels. Throughout the evolution of the world it appears that self-organization is often catalyzed via the leveraging of uniqueness. When you look at the emergence of complex processes in nature that display remarkable forms of self-organization, such as an ecosystem like swamp or rainforest, they are always complex symbiotic systems in which there are an endless number of unique niches.
This is why one of the core ideas behind the new politics of outrageous love is enabling self-organization at the level of human culture. So we must ask, what enables self-organization at the level of human culture? The answers is clear and in keeping with both the best of what we know about evolutionary theory and the best of our ideas for political and personal Enlightenment: the catalyst of self-organization in human socio–cultural systems is the Unique Self. Paradoxically, this means that the “shape” every human needs to assume in order to contribute to the creation of a healthy social organism is unique. Strange as it may sound, a just and healthy society needs to “socially engineer” for uniqueness, especially the institutions that shape human personalities and self-understandings: schools, news media, entertainment industries, computer technologies industries, etc. The whole social system would be like an incubator for uniqueness.