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:
Unique Self Psychology and the New Enlightenment Blog by Dr. Elliott Ingersoll
And you may see me tonight
With an illegal smile
It don’t cost very much
But it lasts a long while
– John Prine
My father always said the best way to get into an argument is to talk politics or religion. In this blog I do both by discussing illegal drugs that are starting to be recognized as having medicinal and psychological benefits. Discussions about illegal drugs evoke passions powered by a zeal approaching religiosity as well as convictions equaling the propaganda of political conventions. Being as I am a psychologist with 20 years of experience studying psychopharmacology, I will focus on the psychological and even social benefits that may come from proper use of MDMA (“Ecstasy”), hallucinogens (LSD and psilocybin) and cannabis (marijuana). For many people the idea of these drugs being useful or even therapeutic is as ridiculous as ice dancers at a pig roast. Others believe the legal use of them would trigger a Grateful Dead apocalypse that would bring down the free world in an orgy of drumming and dancing. My sense is that the proper use of these agents will bring about a more humane society, decrease the prison population, contribute to a psychology of ecstasy and provide harmlessly fun anecdotes beyond the usual “…so we were drinking down at Rays Place…”
Make no mistake; all the drugs on my list are psychoactive substances that affect your brain, your state of mind and your choice of snacks. We do not understand terribly much about how they work but don’t let that bother you; we don’t really understand how any psychiatric medications “work” when they work (aside from stimulants like amphetamines and anti-anxiety drugs like Valium). Now I am not going to go on a conspiracy theory “rant” about our ignorance of the brain, drug companies or psychiatric medications but professionals like me are ethically obliged to tell laypeople at least three things that some of my fellow professionals consider somewhat, well, embarrassing:
We at the Center for Integral Wisdom – together with leading thought leaders and change agents – are dedicated to transform and evolve the source code of culture through application of Integral principles.
In our Activist Think Tank, we articulate, evolve and deliver a new, Integral narrative for living – which transforms each individual, culture and life itself – creating a world of Outrageous Love, through Outrageous Love. Our mission is to love outrageously, live outrageously, and create an extraordinary world.
Read more about our mission here>>>
Some of the core memes we have articulated are the memes of Unique Self and Evolutionary Love.
“We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is Outrageous Love.” – Marc Gafni
Outrageous Love is not ordinary love but Evolutionary Love.
Since the publication of Your Unique Self in 2012 by Dr. Marc Gafni and Integral Publishers, the teaching has evolved further into a coherent concept of how Evolutionary Love and the emergence of the Unique Self Symphony allows us to not only articulate a new Politics of Outrageous Love but to solve every problem that we are facing as humanity grows into the new stage of what Executive Board Member Barbara Marx Hubbard has come to call Conscious Evolution.
To give you an update on the newly emergent teaching on Evolutionary Unique Self, Outrageous Love, and the Unique Self Symphony, see our blog-series on UniqueSelf.com.
Here is the first part:
The Law of Feeling and Healing
The Law of Feeling and Healing, while simple in explanation, is quite profound. As the gateway to a seemingly impossible evolutionary shift, this law is our access to the divinity and untold amounts of love, joy, and connection.
Fifty years ago, God was experienced by the great realizers and religions as both all knowing and all potent and powerful. Only God knew of the immense pain in the world. Today, boundaries around knowledge cease to exist and images of unbearable suffering penetrate our hearts, bodies and minds hourly. Consequently, there is an enormous amount of Promethean talk about humans becoming God-like with the power we wield. Ignoring the fact that such talk does not take into account the infinite power of cosmos, these erroneous conversations forget divinity is not merely the infinity of power but also the infinity of pain. As our power of knowledge increases so does our awareness of the depth of suffering. In one way, we are potent like gods; we have the never previously known ability to acquire depths of understanding and graphic detail about the horrific pain happening across the planet. Yet, while we know an enormous amount about the reality of suffering around the globe, we experience ourselves as impotent. We feel powerless. Unlike the gods, we are rendered powerless to heal the hurt surrounding us. For most of us, the only way we are capable of responding is to close our hearts.
The Gap Between Feeling and Healing
Enlightenment teachers of all stripes say the reason we close our hearts is because our coiled ego clenches in a self-centered contraction. I don’t think so. We do not close our hearts—at least not primarily—because we are bad, asleep or narcissistic. We close our hearts because the gap between our ability to feel and our ability to heal is simply too great to bear. It is so hard to open our hearts when they have been broken so many times.
These broken hearts of ours hold outrageous pain. When our hearts break we become wounded and contracted. It becomes exceedingly scary to open our hearts again. We are afraid it will bring a pain that we simply cannot bear. Our wounds are further funded by the essential contraction of being a limited, fragile and mortal being. Our mortality itself is enough to break any awake heart. But the grief is not merely from our personal heartaches. We have more direct access to pain through unmediated images of horror and information about mass suffering than any previous generation in history. Our hearts are broken exponentially every time we log in. Facebook and Twitter offer us instant updates on happenings in every nook and cranny of the world. The moment we turn on CNN we see sickening videos from Syria, Congo and so many other crisis points. When we connect we feel utterly devastated. We also feel utterly helpless. We have never seen so much suffering and been so unable to heal it.
“Culture is a gadget; it’s something we inherit. And you can fix it the way you can fix a broken oil burner.” – KURT VONNEGUT
I started this blog after the shootings at Umpqua College in Oregon. I realized that to discuss the “source code” that underlies our delusional gun culture I would first have to offer a Unique Self Psychology “take” on culture in general. As Kurt Vonnegut’s words remind us, the contents of culture are not a destined reflection of human nature. Culture is a gadget that can be fixed by human nature once the ocean of culture we are swimming in becomes an object of awareness.
As I write this I am realizing that the phrase “object of awareness” is drier than a California reservoir. I’ve been using the phrase “object of awareness” for years in my writing about psychology. Time for a change. Making culture (or anything) an object of awareness doesn’t take the fun out of it like the dryness of the phrase implies. In that spirit I have made up the word “psychaflower” to denote making something an object of awareness as in “I psychaflowered my anger in therapy” or “As a culture we are psychaflowering our attitude toward marriage equality.” Isn’t that more fun? It’s sort of like the grammatical difference between a scientific discussion of urgency in mammalian reproduction and watching the neighbor’s dog try to hump the mailman’s leg. And of course what is psychaflowered can be pollinated but more on that later. Now that I’ve invented a wonderful new word (unlikely to show up in peer-reviewed journals anytime soon), back to business (or “busyness” if you prefer).
Unique Self Psychology begins discussion of “mental illness” by outlining what is meant by “mental.” In my last blog I offered a Unique Self Psychology description of “mind” that includes not only self-awareness, but our embodiment (including all the neuroscience bells and whistles), our environment, our interactions with others and of course our culture. “Mental” also includes our field of awareness and the things that arise in our field of awareness – the things we can psychaflower. Psychaflowering offers not just understanding but a toy chest of ways to change what was psychaflowered (again, fun everywhere you look!).
That which a “people” agree to focus on in large part form our various “cultures.” “Culture” is an artifact of what a “people” choose as important from things arising in their field of awareness. They may then psychaflower that which they have said is important or simply go with the flow on psychological autopilot. Mind you the default position in all of us for this process is autopilot. We usually have to practice observing, questioning and ultimately psychaflowering. We only begin to master our awareness some years after we are born and by then we have been bathed in the cacophony of what our “people” considered our “culture.” Occasionally one of our people will be good at teaching us to psychaflower cultural assumptions that have been foisted on us but this is usually pure luck if it happens (though many of us were blessed with a “crazy” Aunt or Uncle or laughed at and questioned everything).
A very funny (funny as in “ha-ha” and as in “strange”) thing about culture is that it is reified in 20th -21st century psychologies. This leads to both irony and suffering. Here is an experiment you can do: go to a psychology conference and sanctimoniously invoke the word “culture.” Within minutes you’ll have a strange collection of graduate students and assistant professors groveling at your feet (really – try this – it is amazing). They can’t explain this reflex of course because they have not psychaflowered their conception of culture – they have merely turned it into a monstrous god who rules their intellect with all the compassion of a rabid groundhog. So in Unique Self Psychology we begin by slaughtering this “Golden Calf” (or “Plastic Groundhog” if you like) of culture. We do it humanely of course, like cruelty-free beef where all cows go to Disneyland before going to the butcher.
From a Unique Self Psychology perspective, culture is an artifact of humanness that can range from a rich, fulfilling context for growth to a dung heap of aggression, repression and cruelty. The only “given” or destiny about culture is that humans will create cultures as surely Republican politicians will pray before first kickoff of the Super Bowl. By psychaflowering our culture we become aware of the source code underlying it. We are then free to pollinate the psychaflowered source code so that it increasingly produces cultural artifacts that guide each person toward their Unique Self. These cultural artifacts are the “blossoms” of a Unique Self source code and become increasingly concerned with the preservation of life rather than the ruthless control of life.
Now having established (I hope) a basic understanding of source code in relation to culture, my next blog will specifically examine what a people have to believe to allow a parade of senseless gun violence and mass killing. And of course I will discuss what the source code would have to be for people to believe that a senseless parade of gun violence is inevitable. I will also discuss how 20th and 21st century psychologies do little to dissuade such atrocities. I will not, however merely “muckrake.” I will then go on to discuss how a Unique Self Psychology can liberate each of us from the bleak vision of mental health forged in the 20th century. In this vision, as Alan Watts wrote, mental health is the state of mind you are in driving to work Monday morning. A Unique Self Psychology vision of mental health is more akin to the afterglow of sexual embrace or the laughter of children playing senseless games. I will discuss how this vision of mental health, and the cultural artifacts that promote it, can be written into the source code of our species and how this can alleviate so much of the senseless suffering related to things like gun violence.
Read More by Elliott Ingersoll on his CIW Unique Self Psychology and the New Enlightenment Blog
Ken Wilber, Integral Theory, and The End of The World as We Know It
by Dr. Zachary Stein
These are some reflections on the work of Ken Wilber. I’ve been studying his writings for almost half my life. We’ve met a couple times (that is Ken, Rollie, and me pictured), talked at some length on the phone, and exchanged countless e-mails. Ken’s got vocal critics and Kool-aid drinking followers. I’m neither of those. I’m more of what is sometimes called an “integral kid,” meaning I’ve been reading Ken since before I could drink legally. There is a unique kind of indebtedness to those teachers who brought you out of adolescence. But it also means I’ve grown up with, in, and out of this way of thinking. So I have a special kind of distancing and even reactivity and withdrawal from it, again, like one also has with one’s best teachers. All things considered, I think you gotta love and be fascinated by all his books…
Anyway, this is mostly just me yawning at all the simplistic and pedantic Wilber haters….
Theorizing at the edge of history
If we are going to take a step in the transition from civilization to planetization, we will need a map. Each of us carries within, an image of space and time, and this cognitive map tells us who we are, where we come from, and where we are going…. [This map is] an imaging of personal values and cultural forms…. A culture provides an individual with a mapping of time and space, but as the culture goes through a period of change and stressful transformation, the [map] becomes distorted. In periods of intense cultural distortion, the [map] becomes so changed as to be almost obliterated. Then the individual becomes lost, profoundly lost in the ontological sense of not knowing who or what he is, where he comes from, and where he is going. For some this can be a moment of terror, for others, a time of release. In a moment of silence in which the old forms fall away, there comes a new receptivity, a new centering inward, and in an instant there flashes onto the screen of consciousness a new re-visioning of the [map]. There in the receptive silences of meditation the new possibilities of time and space announce themselves, possibilities that lie beyond the descriptions of the old institutions of the old culture. This is the prophetic moment, the annunciation of a new myth, and the beginning of a new culture.
—Thompson (1977 p.14)
Philosophers work in socio-cultural contexts, under historically specific conditions, with access to certain communication technologies, libraries, and media. Ken Wilber has been publishing books since 1971, producing a corpus that spans well over 10,000-thousand pages. He has worked with the changing times, from pen and paper to word processor, to the personal computer, and eventually to Internet facilitated multi-media educational initiatives. Moreover, Wilber has worked in response to a dynamically transforming American culture during a period of tremendous global change.
Popular philosophical movements are especially symptomatic of their times. In retrospect historical moments are often best understood in terms of the ideas that thrived during them. Athenian Democracy and the Sophists and Socrates, Medieval Europe and the Church, The American and French Revolutions and the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and Darwinism and Romanticism—no trick of critical historiography could disentangle these groupings of ideas and events, these civilizational eras. What ideas will be associated with the past 60 years, the era since the start of the so-called American Century? What have been the popular philosophies in the post-industrial social systems that emerged after World War II? This question is complicated by the dynamics of the era, which witnessed explosive advances in informational technologies that enabled an unprecedented diffusion of ideas before a growing global public. It is too soon to tell, but the culture of late capitalism—post-modern culture—may very well be defined in terms of its having lacked dominant comprehensive doctrines (Habermas, 1990; Jameson, 1992). This has affected all aspects of life, from the media-saturated textures of our action-orienting self-understandings to the economic policies that structure national geographies.
By Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D.
The word “psychology” was coined in the 16th century from the modern Latin psychologia which in turn is taken from the Greek psykhe meaning “breath, spirit, soul.” If these words signified similar things to the 16th century Greeks as they do to us you’d never know it. To sign up as a psychology major in any of the world’s mainstream universities in the early 21st century “psychology” is still described as “the science of mind and behavior.” As all historians of psychology know most of the emphasis in the last 200 years has been on the “behavior” piece. We are still “fuzzy” on the “mind” piece. If by “mind” we mean our mental experiences, sentience, and the field of awareness that these arise in we still come up short. There is growing evidence that “mind” is also a social phenomenon being sculpted dialectically by our interactions with other creatures and the environment. Also there is mounting evidence that at least the experiences of “mind” may be more affected by things like our gut bacteria than ever thought possible even 20 years ago. This may be thought of as another “interactional” dynamic. We carry more DNA for the bacteria that symbiotically work with us than the DNA of our own cells. All these interactions affecting our mental experience and what we call our “mind” seem to suggest more of a field effect than a solitary reality.
In physics, the field effect refers to modulating the electrical conductivity of a material by the application of an external electric field. I try to be very cautious about using similes from physics to discuss psychology. Here I want to relax my caution to use the simile two ways implying the “material” in the description of physics field effects is akin to our solitary experience of “mind” and the “field” in physics akin to the cacophony of situations and stimuli we are immersed in from cradle to grave. What I am pondering is whether what we colloquially refer to as “our mind” is possibly only one aspect of a vast and potentially infinite array of interactions, influences, and overlapping fields.
Ok so back to the two ways I am playing with the simile of field effect: First we know that much of our being relies on electrical activity including our brain. And we know that human brains electrically (and otherwise) entrain with other brains in the presence of certain stimuli. Some stimuli (experiences) are more entraining than others. Drumming and all music have the potential for strong entrainment as do physical activities done in groups like dance, sports, sex (imagine a dyad if the group thing bugs you here), and various “crowd phenomena like so-called “mob psychology” (and “no” this is not psychoanalysis of Vito Corleone but rather how people will do things in crowds they won’t do alone and where the increase of energy is almost wave-like in a so-called “mob happening.”).
Second I feel playing with the simile of field effect to describe “mind” is valid because we are all immersed in a series of fields whether you think of them concentrically or as an overlapping cacophony of potential influences. Part of training “mind” is discerning, focusing, and choosing from among those influences. Some are such that we can make them objects of awareness then “choose” to focus on them (for example choosing those people we will allow emotionally closest). Others are things we are totally immersed in and necessary for survival (like gut bacteria) or characterized by chaos patterns that make them more variable (crowds, things that happen to us, elements in the environments we physically inhabit).
In Personality Psychology or Psychotherapy Theory it is common to hear people describe themselves as a “community of selves.” Mind seems a similar phenomenon in that it is a seeming solitary experience that is one aspect of a vast and potentially infinite field of influences, interactions, symbiosis and accidents. In future blog entries I will discuss levels of the field of psychology in the context of Unique Self Psychology. We will also explore why “soul” keeps popping up in etymological explorations of the word “psychology.”
Integral Psychologist and Associate Academic Director for CIW Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and clinical counselor in Ohio. He is professor of counseling/counseling psychology and “Distinguished Faculty Member” at Cleveland State University. His research interests span a broad spectrum including psychopathology, mental health diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and spirituality in counseling and psychotherapy. He has authored or co-authored six books and dozens of peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on mental health related topics.
Elliott has been inspired and influenced by the Free Thought movement of the late 19th century and particularly by Robert Green Ingersoll, a leading freethinker of that time. He believes the most important skill for a human being is critical thinking seasoned with compassion. Elliott also is a singer/songwriter and creator of “FreeThought Folk Music” which he performs throughout Northeast Ohio. His CD “American Infidel” was released in 2013.
He has worked with Ken Wilber and the Integral Psychotherapy Team at Integral Institute since 2004 developing the Integral Psychotherapy approach. Integral Psychotherapy draws upon all validated psychotherapeutic approaches to help clients deal with psychological symptoms or live more fulfilling lives by removing barriers that come from living unconsciously. As an Integral Coach, he helps clients take action through motivation, methods of inquiry, and assisting clients in using the Integral Model to achieve their goals and improve their lives.
We wish all our readers a good and sweet year: L’Shanah Tovah U-Metukah. Read more about the cosmocentric rereading of the ritual of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year holiday, by Dr. Marc Gafni, here>>>
In Evolutionary Love,
The Center for Integral Wisdom Team
Presenting Clinical Somatic Education
(Otherwise known as Hanna Somatics, created by Thomas Hanna, Ph.D.)
by Mary Ann Gray Voorhies, Clinical Somatic Educator
Clinical Somatic Education, according to Thomas Hanna in his article of the same name, is as follows. These are his words:
The flowering of a series of developments that have led to a discipline that is as consistently effective as any branch of medical science … This type of somatic education is the use of sensory-motor learning to gain greater voluntary control of one’s own physiological process. It is somatic, meaning that the learning occurs within the individual as an internalized process. Prior to the advent of this teacher/learner form of somatic education, the same self-transformatory events have been commonplace in human history.
“Miraculous” cures and healings and radical changes in physical skills and health are the common lore of martial arts and religious history. Because the mechanisms of such healings performed by shamans across the globe were hidden within the internal process of individuals, they have always (heretofore) had the aura of mystery — the mythology of “good” and “bad” spirits or “good” or “bad” energies. It is this same hiddenness that causes the work of 20th century somatic educators to be “miraculous” in the same mysterious way that the pre-scientific world viewed shamanic work. In a series of articles it will be my task to reveal to the reader an understanding of the somatic world in general — and of somatic education in particular, so that the mystery and mythology can be dispelled.[Read more…]
This is the second part of a series. For part 1 click here.
As a lover of this trans-lineage World Spirituality Dharma that Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton wove together so beautifully during this Retreat and that is both deeply rooted in the age-old Wisdom Traditions and in the Integral Framework, I am always fascinated by how Marc weaves his magic again and again, how the Dharma stays fresh and alive and unfolds into ever more clarity and depths. And it was a pleasure to see Sally teach and get her transmission as well.
So, for starters, what is this Dharma we are talking about?
The following passage is a paraphrased summary of some of this weekend’s teachings.
First of all, Dharma is not Dogma. It is the best take on reality we have, based on pre-modern, modern, and post-modern insights, weaving together what we know about the patterns that connect.
Marc Gafni’s two sentence Dharma of this weekend:
“We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.”
So, what is the difference between ordinary love and outrageous love? Why doesn’t love do what it is supposed to do? Why doesn’t it have the healing powers we intuit it should have?
The Success 3.0 Summit, this amazing gathering from October 30th to November 2nd, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents that was co-initiated by the Center for Integral Wisdom was a wild success.
Among the speakers were thought leaders like Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos Inc), Arianna Huffington (Editor in Chief, Huffington Post), Alanis Morissette (Singer/Songwriter & Activist), Blake Mycoskie (Founder, TOMS Shoes), Barbara Marx Hubbard (Author, Social Innovator, Evolutionary Thought Leader), Casey Sheahan (former CEO, Patagonia), Lynne Twist (Global Activist & Author), Adam Bellow (Vice President, Harper Collins), Ibrahim Husseni, Business leader, Ben Jealous (former President & CEO of the NAACP), DJ Spooky (Composer, Musician & National Geographic Emerging Explorer), Tom Chi (Innovator & Founder, Google Glass), Jack Canfield (Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul), and many others.
The goal of the summit was to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact and to create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future. And that was exactly what happened. The partnership between Marc Gafni, the President of Center for Integral Wisdom, John Mackey, the board chair, Kate Maloney the co-board chair and Ken Wilber the Co-Founder of the Center was so clear and beautiful that it naturally manifested this powerful event which so many people in the room felt was perhaps the most powerful event of this kind that had ever attended in their lives. I want to particularly note the love and respect between Marc and Kate that was subtle and quiet in the space but clearly lit up the room.
In the Media
About 600 people attended the event live and thousands of people watched at least part of it through the live stream. The event was wildly shared through social media with many thousand tweets on twitter alone. Gaiam TV will screen the videos of it by the end of the month. And last but not least, many of the speakers and attendees were recorded alongside the event as part of a movie that will emerge from this. So, stay tuned.
Second Simplicity of Dharma
It was gorgeous to see the many ways the Dharma of Unique Self, Eros, Outrageous Love, and World Spirituality, that Dr. Marc Gafni has been articulating and outrageously transmitting for the last several years, has played a role in this amazing happening.
Most of the speakers started to use the 6-word Mantra Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up. Dr. Marc Gafni, Visionary Scholar, Wisdom Teacher, and Co-Founder and President of CIW, brilliantly transmitted these thought forms in his opening speech. He suggested that every generation needs to participate in the evolution of consciousness. And:
“It is our turn. We are here to articulate an ethics of success that is rooted in Outrageous Love. Outrageous Love demands a new vision of success.”
He also introduced one of his key terms, the word Second Simplicity. Second Simplicity is what he calls the Simplicity that comes after Complexity. After having really grasped the complex concepts, we can get to a stage where we can express them in a compellingly simple way–thereby reaching people from all stages of consciousness.[Read more…]
An Esalen Weekend with Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni, November 21st-23rd
Loving Your Way to Enlightenment is an annual weekend workshop that Marc Gafni and I do each autumn at Esalen. Though the topic is always love, each workshop is different, and each is a unique combination of talks, discussions, partner work, chanting, and of course, meditation. This year, the theme is the multi-leveled experience of love as the union of masculine and feminine–both in our inner world, and in the structures of our experience of the many forms of personal and transpersonal love.
We’ll discuss the masculine and feminine as inner principles, and how they function uniquely in each of us. We’ll access the inner Beloved as a personal archetype and as a form of the inner Self. We’ll unfold the principles of subtle Eros as a cosmic principle and as a personal experience. We’ll open the powerful evolutionary field of mutual awakening through dialogue and partner meditation. We’ll meditate deeply, invoke deity energies, and chant.
And, most of all, we’ll awaken our hearts.
My co-leader, Marc Gafni, is a dynamic and inspired teacher of evolutionary wisdom, a scholar of Jewish mysticism, and a master of chant. He has a gift for empowering community, opening hearts, and creating innovative paradigms that give us new ways of looking at our experience. And, he’s funny.
Last week, our initiatives were featured in different ways in two forums: Patheos.com and the Integral Church Blog.
Interview about Success 3.0 Summit on Patheos
Patheos.com is running an interview with Dr. Gafni about the Summit–on their front page. Read all about the interior vision for the Success 3.0 Summit coming up Halloween weekend in Boulder here. Patheos is the leading religion site on the World Wide Web today with seven million unique hits a month.
At the end of October, a select group of the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and change-agents are gathering in Boulder, Colorado to articulate a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact. The goal? To create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future.
Leo Brunnick, co-founder and CEO of Patheos.com, invited Marc Gafni—author, World Spirituality leader, and co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom—to share the vision of the Success 3.0 Summit.
Marc, tell me about the Success 3.0 Summit. What’s it all about?
Success 3.0 Summit is an exciting gathering of the best hearts and minds around the one central issue that affects everyone: what does it mean to be successful? We all have hidden success myths that define our lives. We have a profound need to be successful, but in general we have separated being successful from being good. We have limited the criteria of success to things like money, status, or power, but have found that these things are not fulfilling or holistic or profound or joyous or energizing. In order to evolve the real source code of culture, we needed to rework this core issue.
Center for Integral Wisdom featured as key new emergent in Integral Lineage
Center for Integral Wisdom was also featured as a key new emergent in the Integral Lineage beginning with Rudolph Steiner and running all the way through Ken Wilber’s seminal Integral work and then with Marc and Ken founding the Center for Integral Wisdom; this was reflected in an independent scholar’s Timeline of Integral Spirituality by blogger, interfaith minister, and co-founder of the Integral Church in St. Petersburg in Florida (founded in 2012) Joran Slane Oppelt.
Starting with a lecture in Paris by Rudolf Steiner in 1906 where he commented on the “integral evolution of man,” through Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Pitirim Sorokin, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Aldous Huxley, Jean Gebser, Allan Watts, Arthur Koestler, Jane Loevinger, Clare Graves, Michael Murphy, Ken Wilber, et al. to the foundation of the California Institute of Integral Studies, the Integral Institute, and CIW, this timeline tracks the emergence of many strands of Integral Thought and Spirituality.
For those of you interested in the history of the Unique Self Teaching, which is one of several–in Ken’s phrase–“evolutionary emergent teachings” for which Marc has been the lead theorist in the articulation of an Integral Spirituality, see here.
Unique Self was featured in a special edition of The Journal of Integral Theory & Practice (6:1), the two-volume academic treatise on Radical Kabbalah, the classic Unique Self book Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and a new work on Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter.
The story of the holy snuff box
A beautiful story retold by Marc Gafni
Everybody 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.
”Do you remember, asked Master Israel, how you went around to all the congregants giving snuff to everybody?” Yossele, now spellbound, could only nod silently. “Well there was a beggar in the back of the room, lying lifelessly on a bench. You said to yourself – just for a second, ‘Why should I walk back there for him? He can come up to me to get his snuff.” Yossele was overwhelmed as he recalled for the first time that fleeting thought. “Well,” continued Master Israel “that beggar hadn’t eater for three full days. If only you knew how much he needed that pinch of snuff! He was so inside of his prayer that the heavenly gates were wide open… listening to his every word, his every sigh.
“When the holy angels saw that you did not walk back and give this holy soul some snuff, that was it – they were enraged! They decreed you should lose all your money and that the beggar should become wealthy instead of you. Well, that beggar is now the wealthiest man in your town.”
At this point, Yossele’s contrition turned to anger. “You mean that beggar has all of my money? What chutzpah! How do I get it back?”
“Actually, you can get it back,” answered Master Israel with a twinkle in his eye. “If you can find a time when you ask him for a pinch of snuff, and he refuses, at that moment all of that lost wealth will be returned to you.”
In their September newsletter Shalom Stories CIW Partner and Teaching Center Shalom Mountain Retreat Center has been featuring the Shalom and CIW Wisdom School with a series of articles, testimonials, a musical creation with soundbytes from the recent Wisdom School in March as well as the announcement of the upcoming 11th Wisdom School. Enjoy!
Loving your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of the Evolutionary Lover
Wisdom School October 9-12, 2014
*For this special event, Tuition Assistance may be available to those who qualify,
as well as use of accrued Retreat Credit.
Loving your Way to Enlightenment: The Path of the Evolutionary Lover
Reclaiming Your Own Awakening As the Primary Desire in Your Life:The Ten Tenets and Ten Practices of the New Enlightenment
by Marc Gafni
The principles of evolutionary awakening will forever change the way you live, love, be, become and make choices in life, ranging from your relationships, employment, spiritual practice, sexuality and just about everything else. If you are ready for a bold leap into the future of God and the future invitation of your life, join us at this extravaganza of mind, body and spirit.We are used to thinking about enlightenment as the precise opposite of evolution. Enlightenment is thought to reveal the permanent, eternal, unchanging nature of being while evolution addresses the shifting, unfolding world of change and becoming. Not so!!
This is the old understanding of enlightenment which invited you to move beyond the busy world of becoming into the world of being. It is this old enlightenment that writers like Ecckart Tolle and Byron Katie address in their teaching. The only problem with the teaching is that it is not true. Or better yet it is a partial truth masquerading as a whole.
Enlightenment means to understand not only the joy of your being but also the ecstasy of your becoming.
In this retreat, we will unpack the ten tenets and ten practices of the New Enlightenment.
The next stage in the evolution of God, in the evolution of all that is, is directly connected to your understanding your specific and clear role in the evolutionary context. What this might mean is one teaching in a cluster of teachings which we call the Evolutionary Unique Self Enlightenment.
This is not a spiritual aphorism but a core principle of evolutionary awakening, the next great edge of spirit’s revelation, both in your life and the life of the planet.
In the teachings and practices of Biblical Mystic Luria, to the realized Hindu teacher Aurobindo, to the Idealist thinkers Fichte Schelling and Hegel, to Teillard de Chardin, Gerard Heard, and Abraham Kuk, we find the greatest breakthrough of spirit and enlightenment in our time. This is the path of Evolutionary Unique Self Enlightenment. This is the largest game there is. Awakening as an Evolutionary Lover and participating in the Evolution of Love.[Read more…]
Board Member Dr. Kristina Kincaid and Cynthia Kagoshima are starting a new Experiental Process Group in New York City on Embodied Eros: The Path of the Outrageous Lover.
This committed group begins October 1st, 2014 and meets bi-monthly Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm.
It is presented by our Teaching Center in New York, the Institute for Integral Evolutionary Tantra, founded a year ago by Kristina Kincaid in collaboration with teacher-in-residence and founder of CIW Dr. Marc Gafni.
For more information on the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute click here.
From the flyer:[Read more…]
Marc Gafni, together with Michael Ellsberg, Jennifer Russell and Robert Beinstock, organized a series of leading-edge cultural talks and panels at one of the most active Burning Man camps: Camp Mystic. This camp attracts an incredible group of well-known thought leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, musicians, and healers who are dedicated to continuing to evolve themselves and the people they interact with.
This year’s theme was ”The Emergent New Story of Humanity’s Evolution”, exploring topics like futurism and where humanity is heading, the history of evolution, conscious capitalist and post capitalist economies, post modern spirituality, evolutionary relationships, conscious sexuality, new paradigms of family, sex, and relationship, new paradigms of feminine leadership, the future of masculinity and femininity, how we can build a regenerative civilization, and much more!
You can check out the complete 2014 speaker lineup online at http://campmystic.org/events.
A new certification program in Unique Self Coaching designed by Integral Master Coaches Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard at the request of Marc Gafni launched its first training in June 2014 as the Unique Self Coaching Collective. The program will run over a 9-month period, with three intensive meetings and nine months of both personal coaching and supervised Unique Self Coaching of volunteer clients.
The foundation of the training is Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and Marc Gafni’s Unique Self dharma. The process facilitates one diving inward to clarify the front edge of their development and engaging in practices that connect to Creative Source to engage one’s unique potential and embody the stabilized emergence of Unique Self consciousness. Unique Self Coaching Collective Training Brochure 2015-16
The first participants are all experienced in varying degrees of Integral Theory and Unique Self teachings. I am profoundly delighted to be among this professionally diverse, talented and accomplished group of thoughtful and heart-expanding evolutionaries. We are collectively full of praise and gratitude for the elegant and comprehensive program designed and taught by Barbara and Claire.
Future programs are scheduled to begin in the U.S. in June 2015, and in Europe during July 2015. Claire and Barbara recently joined Marc and the amazing Venwoude community for the Summer Festival of Love in Holland. They were honored to be one of the workshop contributors and appreciated the opportunity to introduce their upcoming training to be held at Venwoude starting in July 2015.
Check out this awesome Hangout with Mia Voss and Dr. Marc Gafni about Digital Intimacy:
Mia Voss chats with Dr. Marc Gafni on The Mia Connect Power Chat about Digital Intimacy and building your intimate tribe way beyond what the word intimacy implies.
During their lively and often humorous talk they engage topics like:
- How we have exiled all of our intimacy, Eros, and all the beautiful dimensions of life into sexuality
- How we can free sexuality and use it as a model for all the rest of our life to live life to its fullest
- What our worst living nightmare is
- How we need to show up in our Unique Self and live our Unique Story to really find our tribe–online or offline
- How we can live a happy and fulfilled life and contribute our Unique gifts to reality
- How we can use the web to create real intimacy
- How Unique Self values authenticity AND context and is able to bracket his/herself
- What it really means to love
- How the self-organizing universe works and how Unique Self is the most important technology for it
Tune in to the replay! A shout-out to the great listeners and all their comments, which you can see with the replay.
Also this page with time-stamped sections by theme!
This Summer Festival of Love at our Teaching Center at the Integral Practice Community Venwoude in Holland has again exceeded all expectations. More than 175 participants came to love and be loved open, to break the boundaries of their smallness, and to participate in the evolution of love itself.
On a personal note, I, Kerstin, have been thoroughly cooked over the last 20 years with intense spiritual experiences at all kinds of events, retreats, and seminars. None of them have prepared me even vaguely for what I have found in retreats with Marc Gafni over the last 3 years: the depths of the dharma transmissions, the openings of hearts, minds, and souls, the embodiment of outrageous loving, the humility and audacity of his teachings, his passion and devotion that is deeply infectious, and the depths of community I have found here again and again. And although each time I think this is IT, that it cannot be any better, it always gets better. It deepens, opens, connects us to the greatest depths and highest heights, and opens the gates to heaven, flying higher and higher and higher.
In this Festival, everyone could feel the Goddess dancing among us again and again. And Marc danced her all the way, taking every one of us with him. And the wonderful community of Venwoude and of Center for Integral Wisdom created such a clear, warm holding container that new people could dive into it immediately with almost no resistance. Wow!
Let’s hear from two participants:
Blog post by Stefan Schoch: A Summer Festival of Love
“Actually” I just wanted to relax for 2 days, when I drove to Venwoude at the 4th day of the Center for Integral Wisdom/ Venwoude Mystery School of Love Festival (following a personal invitation).
On the other hand, I already suspected (after the experiences with Marc in 2011) that it might touch me deeper.[Read more…]
Sometimes, people wait to the last minute, and then decide to jump into a major life event because of an inward pull and calling… an impulse that is not to be denied! If you are having this calling regarding our 3rd Annual Mystery School, and our 1st Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference… now is the time to act so you can be at the Summer Festival of Love at the Venwoude Integral Practice Community in Holland, the week of July 26 – August 2.
Many are still carrying the transformative “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment” vibe from the Summer Festival and Mystery School of last year… really fantastic reports of authentic growth and change. Promotional Flyer here—>
With Marc Gafni leading, our previous Mystery Schools have attracted many participants from all over Europe and the Americas, contributing to the expansion of our European Center for Integral Wisdom faculty, and to a dramatic evolution of CIW teachings and workshop opportunities in the past year. The Summer Festival of Love is truly a signature event among all of the teachings for the year.
There are few spaces left… you may register here. Register here—>
The dialogue between Michael Murphy and Marc Gafni ends on a contemplation of the vast, infinite complexity and beauty of an ever-expanding Universe expressed also as the infinite complexity and beauty of each soul… of each irreducibly Unique Self… ever-evolving… ever-expanding.