Dark Tunnel With Light by pakorn

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by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego strives for immortality it can never achieve, and therefore displaces its grasping for eternity onto projects of control and conquest. The Unique Self experiences authentically what the ego longs for mistakenly””namely the recognition that it is divine and therefore eternal.

This distinction is essential and therefore deserves a brief clarification. The separate self emerges at a certain stage of human history and at a certain stage in the development of the individual human being. As the sense of separate self solidifies, so too does the terror of death. The person feels correctly that death is wrong, that they should not have to die. They feel that they are eternal and should live forever. They are right. The core intuition of immortality could not be more correct. But locked as they are in separate self ego awareness, they mis-apply that core intuition in two ways.

First, because they are utterly identified with the ego, they apply their intuition of immortality to the egoic separate self. They think that the ego will live forever. Second, because they are identified with the now-eternalized ego, and yet at the same time are gripped by the fear of death, which is oblivion to the ego, they seek all sorts of Viagra-like identity enhancers. They make the finite goods of the world into infinite goods. Money, surplus goods, power, accumulated pleasures””all become identity enhancers for the ego. Their purpose is to give the ego a felt sense of its immortality. But since the ego is not immortal, all of these death-denying immortality projects are doomed to failure.

Even though the ego does make these two essential mistakes, the ego's intuitions are not wrong. When the mistakes are corrected at the level of Unique Self, the truth behind those intuitions can emerge. After you disidentify with your separate self, your Unique Self appears as a distinct and indivisible part of the eternal one. It is in your Unique Self that you realize your immortality. The Unique Self expresses correctly the mistakenly applied, but inwardly correct, intuition of the ego.


Further discussion:

A 2012 article in The Guardian has gone viral and is still circulating in social media: “Top five regrets of the dying.“ An Australian nurse in palliative care, Bronnie Ware, had for many years questioned her patients during the last 12 weeks of their lives about any regrets they might have. She has recorded their answers in a blog and eventually wrote a book about them.

When looking at these responses from a Unique Self perspective, we read of the patients regretting not having lived their Unique Selves: “I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me” was the most common answer.

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From Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni.

(c) 2013 photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong

©2013 photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong

The isolated ego is the root cause of murder, war, and virtually all human suffering. The ego feels its own fragility, its limits, and its ultimate powerlessness. As a result, the ego grasps for ways to assert power and experience aliveness. This causes the acting out of all forms of shadow. When you deconstruct your mistaken identity with the separate-self ego, and instead identify with your distinct path in the seamless quilt of the Uni-verse, the fear dissipates and the love returns. When the contraction of ego uncoils, your Unique Self experiences all of the good—personal love, responsibility, compassion, ethical action, activism, and all the rest—that you previously thought was accessible only through your assertion of a separate self.

The choice between personal love and immersion in True Self is a false choice. There is no contradiction between them whatsoever: The West—motivated by love and the desire to end suffering—affirmed the separate self because it thought this was the only way a person could gain the goods of the encounter, namely personal love, responsibility, contact, intimacy, accountability, compassion, and care. This was a mistake; all of those goods may be realized through the encounter between two Unique Selves who are not separate from each other, but consciously part of the same seamless coat of the Uni-verse. Personal love does not require two separate selves.

Further Discussion:

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Marc Gafni’s writing on the relationship between personal or relative love and absolute love.  As he says above in this distinction, “The choice between personal love and immersion in True Self is a false choice.” Elaborating on this further, Dr. Marc says:

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Corporate Social Responsibility In Word Collage by David Castillo Dominici

©David Castillo Dominici, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Listen to Richard Barrett, founder and chairman of the Barrett Values Centre and author of many books””e.g. What My Soul Told Me, The New Leadership Paradigm, and Building a Values Driven Organization””and Marc Gafni as they talk about an exciting new role that nations and our democratic systems can play in the evolution of consciousness, when they awaken to their Unique Selves, and what that might mean.

You can also listen to the first two parts of the dialogue and read a summary or partial transcript here:

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Exclusive Rubber Stamp by Stuart Miles

©Stuart Miles, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

Your ego always seeks the “special relationship”””in the egoic sense””to cover the pain of your emptiness, and thinks the “special relationship” is better than all the rest of your relationships. The Unique Self does not limit love to one person, even though the traditional definition of marriage or a committed relationship can limit you to one partner at a time. The Unique Self lives open as love in the world.



Further discussion:

VIP by Salvatore Vuono

©Salvatore Vuono,
www.freedigitalphotos.net

Our ego, which is our contracted self-sense of being merely a separate self, separate from the All-that-is, feels the pain of that separation and contracts even more. It wants to cover up that pain. It wants to cover up that nagging feeling of emptiness. So, it always looks for that one “special” person who is worthy of being connected to, that “special relationship” that will make “me” special, too. And because no one can ever do that, it will leave a trail of unhappy and often failed relationships.

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2010. Photo courtesy of jscreationzs.

©2010. Photo courtesy of jscreationzs.

This week’s audio wisdom meditation with Dr. Marc Gafni comes from Week 7 of the Awakening Your Unique Self 10-Week Telecourse, themed “Unique Self: A Paradigm Shift in Loving.” This beautiful meditation, created by Dr. Marc for the course, takes us into the embodied taste of our own openings and closings, teaching us to recognize each moment and our relationship to it.  In this meditation, Dr. Marc says, “Your true destiny unfolds freely when you live every moment open as Unique Self and shine as your unique offering of outrageous love.” So, to become Unique and Outrageous Lovers, we can learn to recognize how love is a “perception-identification complex,” which allows us to see with God’s eyes.  In living from an open rather than closed place, we access our purpose and greatest offerings of love.

Please sit back, relax, and prepare to experience the tastes of living open as love as part of this Wisdom for Your Week offering. You can also access the transcript to accompany the meditation below.

[Read more…]

From Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni.

(c) 2012 Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

©2012 Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

The ego lives in the past, thinking it is the present. Therefore, the ego unconsciously confuses past with present. The ego is unable to create intimacy, which means meeting each other in the fullness of the present moment. To make real contact, you must be personal and present. Only the Unique Self can make contact. For the Unique Self, the present moment consciously includes the past and anticipates the future.

The ego confuses the past and the present. When you are confused””thinking you are present in the present while you are actually lost in a past trance””you are unable to act effectively, lovingly, or powerfully in the situation that you are in. And the past remains always unhealed. Several years ago a friend and board member of my organization called me, angry at not being included in a particular email loop. Her anger was full of intensity and flaming aggression, which was vastly disproportionate to the ostensible exclusion from the email loop. I considered asking her to resign from the board, as this was not the first time such an overreaction had occurred. Of course, what was coming up was not her present exclusion, but a very old sense of being excluded. She held this sense of being left out from her early childhood as a girl with four brothers who were better loved by their father.

This inability to discern the past from the present has made her unable to effectively navigate her professional or personal world, because she is always prone to dramatic overreactions that undermine many key relationships. The Unique Self does not confuse the past with the present. When the past comes up in the present, the Unique Self recognizes it for what it is: the past coming up in the present.

The Unique Self then uses the present moment to heal the past. The Unique Self recognizes that the patterns of the past have no true foothold or power in the present.

Further Discussion:

As Dr. Marc says above, the ego confuses the past with the present, and the Unique Self recognizes the difference, escapes the past's dominion, and uses the present moment to heal the past. So, what, then, is the relationship between Unique Self or ego and the future?  Dr. Marc teaches, quoting Gabriel Marcel, that hope is a memory of the future.  He says:

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haertmeditation_markgafni

Dear friends,

Love is all around, and this newsletter is dedicated to all those wondrous ways that love shows up in the world and in our work at the Center for World Spirituality.

3,000 people take Unique Self Mini-Course: Awakening
We are delighted to announce that 3,000 people have participated in the Unique Self Mini-Course.

The Mini Course is a four week course with fantastic supplemental materials and has been described by many people who participated as life changing. It offers a core shift in your experience of yourself and the way you are able to show up in the world. You can still take this course right now. It is absolutely free – our gift to you and the awakening of Your Unique Self.

Also join us on Facebook here>>>

Ten-Week Deluxe Unique Self Course in Full Swing:

UniqueSelf_H_FullC_00The ten week Unique Self course has also exceeded even our wildest dreams. Each week of this ten week course people have gathered from all over the world to directly participate together in the Awakening of Unique Self. For those of you who are in the teaching, you know that Unique Self is not about being an isolated individual. Rather, Unique Self is the great connector. Unique Self creates a powerful evolutionary we-space in which every irreducible Unique Self shows up in full splendor and commitment.  Each week the course deepens, and course participants and all involved in the course are consistently reporting genuine experiences of transformative insight, awakening and community. This past week’s theme has been love: Love as a Unique Self perception, Love as the very force that animates the whole cosmos, Love as the strange attractor driving evolution, and Love as the decision to open up in every moment, even in the midst of pain and fear. As Dr. Marc said in a beautiful meditation during the call:

Even though you have habits of closure, right now, in this moment, you can always practice opening to feel; open to feel what you are feeling now, whatever it is, and when you open to it, your heart opens and melts away that which is in the way.

You can still join the course, listen to the previous sessions, participate in the online portal and this awesome community of likeminded people, get feedback from Dr. Marc, and ask your questions in the next Q&A session. To jump in wholeheartedly, sign up here.[Read more…]

Sunrise Over The Sea With Pier On The Foreground by tratong, www.freedigitalphotos.net

©tratong, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego is always splitting. It always sees dualities, and it cannot hold paradox or complexity. For the ego, others are either enemies or friends. Actions are either good or bad. The separate-self ego has a very hard time stably holding perspectives other than its own for extended periods of time. The Unique Self can naturally hold paradox. Contact with the transcendent within the large field of divine reality allows for the holding of opposites. Sacred outrage and equanimity live in paradoxical harmony within the Unique Self.


Further discussion:

Here we meet with one of the paradoxes of the Unique Self teachings, which is that we can wake up to realize Unique Self (as a state experience), since it is our very essence, which is always already present, yet, to really live it in a sustainable way, we need to also grow up to higher levels of consciousness and complexity.

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress. (Niels Bohr)

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arztsamui, www.freedigitalphotos.net

©arztsamui, www.freedigitalphotos.net

In the second dialogue of this 3-part series, our two leaders, Richard Barrett and Marc Gafni, speak about how the teachings on soul and Unique Self can be applied to organizations and lead to more success of the organizations as well as the individuals.

Listen to this wonderful and insightful dialogue and read the summary of their discussion below.

To read more about the extensive work of Richard Barrett and listen to the first dialogue on “The Unique Self and Soul Activation: The Path of Personal Transformation” you can click here.

The third part of the series “Unique Self, Organizational Leadership, and the Destiny of Nations” on “The Unique Self and Societal Development: The Path of Societal Transformation” will be held on June 15th, and you can still register for it here.

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File With Excuses Word by Stuart Miles

©Stuart Miles, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego very rarely takes substantive responsibility. When the ego attempts to take responsibility, it creates a painful, virtually unbearable contraction in the self. So the ego becomes the master of the excuse. The Unique Self is able to take responsibility spontaneously, lightly, and with full gravitas. The Unique Self holds with equal measure of gravitas and ease its own responsibility and its rightful anger at injustice. Usually, the ego advises the other person to “take responsibility,” while the ego itself wallows in the real and imagined offenses that it has suffered.



Further discussion:

Just hearing words like responsibility or obligation often lets our ego contract in pain and sometimes anger. From our separate selves the idea of taking responsibility often seems like pure impertinence. Finding the balance between taking the right measure of personal responsibility and being gentle with ourselves seems to be an important issue for most of us.

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(c) 2011 Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.

©2011 Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.

by Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

The ego is angry at what is done to it. It very rarely feels the same outrage at what is done to someone else. The Unique Self is not merely outraged against injustice done to its own person; it is hurt and outraged by any and all injustice. The ego often fights large causes of injustice as a way to bolster its grandiosity. Unique Self fights the battles of injustice in its own backyard, even when there is potential collateral damage to its own power and status.


Further Discussion:


One of the things this distinction reminds us of is the importance of responding to real hurt in the world.  In one call from the Living Beyond Complexity telecourse Dr. Marc Gafni co-taught with Clint Fuhs, Nicole Fegley, and Zak Stein, Marc spent one entire phone call expounding upon the “problem of evil” in the world, also referred to as a “theodicy.”  In the course of the call, he explained that the level-three response to enormous suffering in the world is to cry out “Why?” in pain, to feel the pain, and to question the injustice behind it, which is part of the tikkun, or fixing, of the injustice.  In one of his earlier manuscripts entitled Uncertainty, (a book that will be rereleased along with his manuscript for Certainty), Marc explores the Talmudic teaching on this.  An excerpt of that discussion is reprinted below from the chapter entitled “The Path of Wrestling”:

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Richard BarrettSquareJoin these two exciting authors as they discuss the Uniquely purpose-driven life in a post-fundamentalist environment for the creation of a better world.  In this dialogue, Richard Barrett, author of What My Soul Told Me, The New Leadership Paradigm, and Building a Values Driven Organization, discusses the ways the soul gives us our direction in life. He gives an overview of the seven levels of the Barrett index and his personal values assessment and describes the soul's role in connecting us to one another.  Dr. Marc Gafni, author of the recently published Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and Radical Kabbalah (two-volume set), adds to their combined map the five selves from Unique Self development along with the three levels of evolution.  Marc also brings to the conversation the role of the Eye of Spirit or the Eye of Heart, which moves beyond the Eye of Sense and Eye of the Mind. When these frameworks are brought together, they create the context for a sturdy values assessment and a means for liberating individuals, organizations, and nations from entropy.  Richard and Marc conclude this dialogue with audience participation and two exercises that you won't want to miss””one to discern Unique Self from separate self and one to find out what the Unique Self is inviting each one of us to do. Be sure to tune in for all three dialogues in this groundbreaking series:

Dialogue One, April 27 @ 10am PT (1pm ET):
“The Unique Self and Soul Activation: The Path of Personal Transformation”

Dialogue Two, May 18 @ 10am PT (1pm ET)
“The Unique Self and the Organizational Success: The Path of Organizational Transformation”

Dialogue Three, June 15 @ 10am PT (1pm ET)
“The Unique Self and Societal Development: The Path of Societal Transformation”

Richard Barrett (FRSA) is an author, speaker and social commentator on the evolution of human values in business and society. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Barrett Values Centre and an internationally recognized thought leader on values, culture and leadership. He is the creator of the internationally recognized Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT) currently being used in 60 countries to support more than 4,000 organizations and leaders in their transformational journeys. He is a Fellow of the World Business Academy, and Former Values Coordinator at the World Bank.

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by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self.

2012 Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

©2012 Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles


Your ego is always contracting and saying, “No.” Even when your ego says, “Yes,” it is only because it is afraid to say, “No.” Your Unique Self is always expanding and saying, “Yes.” Even when you say, “No,” it is only to make room for a more authentic “Yes.”


Further Discussion:

The following is excerpted directly from Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment (pp. 357-59), Chapter 25, “Say Yes”:

In Hebrew the word “yes”””kein””means “integrity.” Yes is the ultimate affirmation of our integrity. The question of your existence is whether you can say Yes to the unique destiny and adventure that is your life. That is self-love! From the place of ego you remain perpetually unsatisfied. Located in Unique Self, everything fills you.


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Baby's Hand Holding Mother's Finger by gubgib, www.freedigitalphotos.net

©Baby's Hand Holding Mother's Finger by gubgib, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

When you are in ego, people feel smaller when you walk into the room. They feel invisible before you. The result is that they feel depleted and in danger. When you are in your Unique Self, people feel bigger when you walk into the room. They feel seen by you. They feel your desire to love and give to them.



Further discussion:

Don't we all recognize that? Somebody walks into a room, and we immediately feel smaller? And in somebody else's company we feel great, empowered, seen, and loved?

But why is this so? Aren't those feelings of smallness and our dependency on other people's acknowledgement related to our own bad self-esteem, as much of the New Age popular psychology makes us believe?

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Bird And Shadow by Bill Longshaw, www.freedigitalphotos.net

© Bird And Shadow by Bill Longshaw, www.freedigitalphotos.net

In this last video of our seven-part dialogue series, our two authors (Your Unique Self and Conscious Capitalism) discuss the issue of shadow – both in the context of our personal life as well as in the context of business. In our modern world the narrative of business seems to have become the shadow story, while its heroic part of creating value for humanity and the world has become hidden.

Additionally, Dr. Marc Gafni brings the Unique Shadow into the discussion that can be easily recognized as the personal core-issue in each and every one of us that hints to and – when looked at – leads us back to our unlived Unique Self.

John Mackey is Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market, as well as the Co-Chair of the Center for World Spirituality Board of Trustees.

Don't miss this or any other video of this series on our website or the Whole Foods Blog.

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2011. Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici.

©2011. Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici.

By Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

When you are in ego, you might help friends who are successful and even friends who are down, as long as it does not threaten your position. But you are not capable of truly delighting in your deepest heart in a friend's large success. When you are in Unique Self, your deepest heart delights in your friend's success, even if there is nothing in it for you at all.




Further Discussion:

When two Unique Selves are in friendship or any kind of interpersonal relationship, significant transformation often awaits them, whether that means gaining deeper insight into themselves or being change agents for each other and sharing a purpose together in the world. This potential for transformation we sense in through the other may at first feel threatening to us because we could be drawn to a Unique Self who holds or demonstrates in some way a missing piece of our personal story. We intuit the missing piece, such as a talent he or she can help us nourish or see in ourselves, and it can often be painful for us to rise to the full invitation of this gift until we are ready to receive its message. In an article on the CWS website on Unique Self relationships, Dr. Marc Gafni writes:

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Heart Rotto by Idea go, www.freedigitalphotos.net

©Heart Rotto by Idea go, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego betrays. The Unique Self is loyal. When you are in your ego, and things go bad, you are willing—in your fear—to betray virtually anyone. Your ego is easily identifiable by the shallowness of its integrity. If you live in Unique Self and things go bad, you find your way, through thick or thin, to a deeper center of spirit.





Further discussion:

Betrayal: Isn’t this something from the soap operas on TV, but not something that we would ever do to another person? Can’t we all just relax and say: look at how advanced I am in living my Unique Self?

On the other hand: Haven’t we all had experiences where we felt betrayed? How do we react when we feel betrayed?

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John Mackey

John Mackey is Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market, as well as the Co-Chair of the Center for World Spirituality Board of Trustees.


In the sixth video of the seven-part dialogue series, Marc Gafni (author of Your Unique Self) and John Mackey (co-author with Raj Sisodia of Conscious Capitalism) define and discuss jealousy, malice, resentment, and envy in the framework of business, Unique Self, and Conscious Capitalism.  In this discussion, they reach the conclusion that every negative emotion has its own hidden virtue and that there's no negative emotion without a higher form. Join them as they unfold this understanding while pointing to the way that envy can be made conscious, can be understood with compassion, and can be transmuted into a higher form. As Marc says in the dialogue, when we are living from Unique Self, envy falls away and entrepreneurial creativity blossoms. Don't miss this or any of their other discussions from this series, which are available on our website and at the Whole Foods blog.

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By Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

"Worried Young Woman On Bed" 2012. Photo Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

©2012 "Worried Young Woman On Bed" Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici 


In your ego, you cling to every petty detail of your story. You never let go of any of your wounds. Your mantra is “I hurt, therefore I am.” Therefore, your ego can never wholeheartedly forgive. If it does, the ego's forgiveness is a tactic, not a sacrament. Your Unique Self forgives freely without giving up your own truth.

From the evolutionary context of your Unique Self, you realize that you have a Unique Gift to give to All-That-Is. You are animated, driven, and drawn by that larger vision and obligation. This allows you to place your wounds in a larger perspective. Your Unique Self is not a victim. It is an audacious player in the Great Story of the evolution of consciousness. This larger perspective allows you to begin to let go of the story of your wounds. As it is replaced by the greater story of your Unique Self, delight and obligation begin to emerge.

From the place of your Unique Self, you are able to intuitively balance your outrage at injustice with an intuition about when to give up being right and move on. Because you are able to give up being right without giving up your core identity, it becomes infinitely easier to forgive.


Further Discussion:

As Dr. Marc reminds us, life is what we do with our hurt, which means that we can choose to be victims or we can choose to be players in the evolutionary context. In Your Unique Self, Marc writes, “Hurt is not an objective reality that gives you license for cruelty under the cover of ”˜I was hurt.' Hurt is a state, and it is interpreted through your stage or level of consciousness. As you evolve, your relationship to your wounds naturally shifts. More than any other single barometer, what you do with your hurt reveals to you and others your genuine level of consciousness. When you feel hurt, the masks of piety and the guises of liberation from ego are stripped away, and your naked heart is revealed to yourself and those with eyes to see” (426).

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Fallen Leader by podpad, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Fallen Leader by podpad, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

Ego is the servant pretending to be a king. You are avoiding stepping into your Unique Self for fear of being a king. Your ego thinks it is God but does not really believe it, so your ego insanely tries to make itself the God it knows it is not. Your Unique Self knows it is God, so it acts in the world with majesty, audacity, and grace.



Further discussion:

We can take a lot of different perspectives on today's issue. Let's try on a couple of them.

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