Various aspects of Eros – Video with Dr. Marc Gafni

Eleven video excerpts from the Summer Festival of Love 2018, in which Dr. Marc Gafni discusses the term Eros from several different angles.


Stay tuned for the new Online Course with Dr. Marc Gafni to be launched soon: Our First Steps as “Homo Amor”. The course was recorded during the last Festival of Love in Holland and is being produced right now. It will be launched on our CIW Programs Platform. Snippets of that course were used for the video above.

Transcript

What is Eros?

So in A Return to Eros, we tried to define what eros means. And we got almost there. It was one of the more depressing moments. We got like, just about there, then we published it, and then I realized it was one tad off. Right? And I just like, killing myself, calling the publisher, “Stop, stop, stop!” And he said, “Fuck you, don’t talk to me. No one cares.”

But here’s the best definition of eros. This is what eros … right, we got almost there in Return to Eros. And I apologize, we’ll correct it in the next edition.

Eros is … and listen. Try and look like, wildly excited about this, because this took me 20 years, this very simple sentence. So just look … just, even if you don’t get it, just like look, like, “Wow, that got so amazing. Like, that’s so fantastic.”

Okay, ready? So Eros is … eros is … Eros is the experience of radical aliveness moving towards ever-deeper contact and ever-larger wholes. W-H-O-L-E-S. And those of us who are hanging out with Joost someplace in France, we did that sentence over there, right?

Eros is the experience of radical aliveness which desires. It’s filled with dripping desire to make ever-deeper contact and create ever-larger wholes. That is the quality of eros. Eros is all the way up and all the way down.

Eros and Desire

Every single person in this room, and every single person in the world has some experience of our basic needs, the dignity of our desire, being fundamentally degraded. Desire is the quality of finitude. It’s not just the shame of aliveness, it’s the shame of finitude. It’s the shame when my basic needs are shamed. My fundamental desire for the first scene, food, and the second scene, touch. Your Need is My Allurement restores the dignity of personal need, which is not a psychological category. It’s not an existential category. It’s not even a spiritual category. The word’s too narrow. It’s not even just a scientific category, but it’s the essential structure of reality. The structure of reality is eros, desire, is the intimate Universe, and the entire intimate Universe lives in me.

What Whitehead called the Lure of Feeling for the primordial One, which drives every quark and atom, which is how we describe prehension, which moves atoms to come together, is alive in me all the way up and all the way down. When you have a structure of reality in which there’s no sexual narrative, and there’s no narrative of touch, and there’s no narrative of desire, and there’s not an understanding that I am a unique expression, a unique set of allurements, that allurement guides my life. Allurement is clarified allurement. I wrote 1000 pages on that. How do you clarify your desire, the clarification of desire? The distinction we’ve made between eros and pseudo-eros. Of course, that’s all in place. But, remember that all desire is the source of ethics.

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From Pre-Modernity, through Modernity, to Post-Modernity – Video with Dr. Marc Gafni

In this video excerpt from the Summer Festival of Love 2018, Dr. Marc Gafni paints a historical overview of how humanity landed in this critical moment, where we have all the power in the world but lack a story to give it meaning in a way that evolves us all.


Stay tuned for the new Online Course with Dr. Marc Gafni to be launched soon: Our First Steps as “Homo Amor”. The course was recorded during the last Festival of Love in Holland and is being produced right now. It will be launched on our CIW Programs Platform.

Transcript

Dr. Marc Gafni:

We’re ready? We’re ready? Yeah? We have a little drum roll in the house. Drum roll in the house. Yes, drum roll in the … oh my God. Here we go, and…

You think by the way, what we’re about, the conversation we’re about to have all week, you think this conversation is happening everywhere, it should be. It should be happening at the best conservative think tanks, and the best liberal think tanks of Europe, and Asia, and America. It should be happening at the leading university departments all over the world. But it’s not.

This is the conversation that everyone knows needs to happen, but it hasn’t happened in a real way since the Renaissance. That’s a very big deal. When I make an assertion like that … So, I’m trust able on some things. I don’t make casual assertions. I’ve spent my life hanging out way too many wild central nights with books. Till 5:00 in the morning I’ve plowed through thousands and thousands of volumes in my life. This conversation is not happening. It’s the single most important conversation we can have, which is after all of the deconstruction, Postmodernity. How many people have heard the term Postmodernity? Anyone?

Postmodern, postmodern means really simply. This postmodern moment which says that all the earlier stories of the past were wrong. Postmodernity says that pre modernity meaning up to the Renaissance. The great traditions, the great religions, up to the Renaissance these guys got it wrong in a really bad way. Voltaire leads modernity with the cry: remember the cruelties. The great evil of pre modernity that was unleashed through the power of sanctioned official religion. So, Postmodernity critiques the hell out of pre modernity, but forgets to make a distinction.

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This beautiful eulogy was given by Dr. Marc Gafni during our Evolutionary Church Memorial. The written version below is taken from the lightly edited transcript. For the video of the service scroll all the way below.

Introduction by Dr. Marc Gafni

Every week we’ve been doing Evolutionary Church with Barbara and Lisa and myself and thousands of us from around the world. It’s been the heart and the throb of where we’re going and the vision we want to articulate together. Barbara and I loved Evolutionary Church. We started 131 weeks ago, and every week we would write a code together, and we’re now in Evolutionary Church.

For those of you who are wondering what to expect, there’s going to be two memorial services.

Barbara said to me, “Marc, when I pass, have a memorial service at church and have then a big evolutionary party. So, at that evolutionary party we are going to see lots of Barbara’s work and Barbara’s clips, and now we’re in church and we’re going to follow the order of church. …
Today in place of the sermons, I’ll gently and humbly offer a eulogy to Barbara, and all through we’re going to be resonating with Barbara, who’s here with us.
Just a few days ago, we heard Barbara say, “I declare the continuity of consciousness.” So, Barbara, right in this moment we declare with you the continuity of your consciousness and know that you’re here with us.

Last Friday night I was talking to Barbara about the code for the next day, but then by the next morning I called and Barbara wasn’t vocal and they didn’t quite understand why. I asked the nurse to put her on the phone. They held the phone to her ear, and Barbara said, “Marc,” and she was excited about church, and then she wasn’t able to speak afterwards. Ultimately, she went into a coma and wasn’t able to wake up and began her transition, but Barbara’s not silent. Her silence in this moment is not a silence of absence. It’s a silence of presence, and it’s up to us to carry that torch.

Barbara’s passing the torch and it’s every single person in this church today that is invited to their, what Barbara called vocational arousal. In order for each of us to light the world on fire with that teaching, with that message, with that aliveness, with that Barbara-ness, and in that, Barbara then shifts now not to silence of absence but to silence of presence. Barbara’s going to become more present in her continuity of consciousness, more available, more alive, more impactful than even ever before.

So as we enter, I’m going to ask everyone just to write three words in the chat box, “Barbara inspires me.”

We actually feel Barbara here. Barbara inspires me. Barbara, can you feel that, love? Feel that everybody. Barbara inspires me, It’s not silence of absence. We’re actually triumphing over death, and the triumph over death was one of Barbara’s deepest heart’s desires, and we’ll talk about heart’s desire. Barbara inspires me. Feel that, feel that just ripple. Let’s lift that like a prayer to the sky. Barbara inspires me.

Barbara was, I believe, the greatest evolutionary storyteller of our time. Barbara was the feminine co-creator. She thought beautifully. She had a clear and sharp and wonderful mind, and anyone who’s read Evolutionary Synthesis, which is about 45 pages, she wrote in 2007 that we’re going to actually reissue, you’ll see the clarity as she gathered thoughts and extensively cited and wove the thoughts together. But Barbara’s essence was to inspire. Barbara told the evolutionary story. Barbara became the campfire. Barbara became the Word. She was the Logos.

Barbara inspires me, and in mysticism and all the great traditions we say that the challenge of death is that a person becomes non-dynamic. They become static. They can no longer influence and impact, which is why in mysticism what we do is, in order to give the person, and in this case, the great leader, the great visionary, the wondrous woman who passed, to give our Barbara, our beloved Barbara, the strength, the energy to take the next step in the journey of the continuity of consciousness. She’s turning to us now and she’s saying “Activate me.” She’s saying “Let me impact you so that I’m fully alive.” So when we write “Barbara inspires me,” it directly impacts and affects all the worlds, upper and lower, and it supercharges, if you will, it animates Barbara’s consciousness to take the next steps. Barbara inspires me. We’re ready to be impacted.

Enjoy this beautiful Video Tribute to Barbara Marx Hubbard

It was part of the Evolutionary Church Memorial for Barbara on April 13th – Created by the Executive Producer of Evolutionary Church and Executive Vice-President of the Center for Integral Wisdom Lisa Witter. If the embedded video doesn’t work for you, click here.

Eulogy by Dr. Marc Gafni

Beloved Barbara,

Could we be eulogizing you?

Barbara, you were so not ready to go. You were not done. You were in your 90th year. You are an evolutionary force of nature.

Here we are about to speak your eulogy. I promised you an evolutionary party, and so we’re going to have a big evolutionary party eulogy. Now we’re in church that you loved so much.

Let me begin with a word from my teacher, Barbara, that we spoke about so many times, Dr. Soloveitchik. He spoke about eulogy, drawing deeply from the lineage of the mystics, who said that eulogy is not a whitewash. Eulogy is not pretty words as Hafiz says, when he mocks eulogy.

Eulogy is two things. One is we ask your forgiveness, Barbara. We’re here to ask your forgiveness and we’re asking your forgiveness for not having fully recognized you, not having fully seen you, for somehow taking for granted that we could call you and that irrepressible, gorgeous, relentlessly alive, infinitely positive voice would always be there. It’s almost like we lived in this beautiful home on the ocean, but the ocean was just there, and we stopped quite seeing it. So we ask forgiveness.

Two, in the teaching of the mystics, in eulogy and the days after Barbara’s passed, as her spirit’s, in the continuity of consciousness, is both fully with us and moving beyond the world, in this moment, there is the last opportunity in this lifetime to liberate the person who’s passed, to liberate Barbara, from loneliness.

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– in Response to an Invitation of the German “Integrales Forum” in 2011

Thank you for your kind invitation to comment on the Integrales Forum position paper in regard to teacher-student relations. First let me congratulate you on this paper, which serves to initiate this important conversation. This topic is a worthy one in need of urgent address on many levels. Let me also commend your excellent deployment of the Integral framework in discussing these issues. It is the use of the Integral framework that allows for this discussion to hold the necessary complexity, multiples perspectives, and nuance that it deserves.

In broad terms, I agree with your conclusions in terms of the need for some essential standards in regard to spiritual teachers. Clearly we are all aware of the most horrific abuses that take place in the context of some pre-personal cults, as well as of some of the more subtle forms of psychological manipulation, financial dishonesty and sexual abuse that take place in these same contexts under the fig leaf of the teacher-student relationship for the sake of the dharma. To protect the potential victim and shield the powerless from the whims of the powerful is a core obligation of any community.

At the same time, as you indicate in your paper, much discernment is needed in this conversation to assure that the teacher-student function is upheld. For indeed, without this teacher-student function, both the transmission of wisdom as well as the personal and collective enlightenment of the interior face of the cosmos would be severely impaired. The teacher-student function is essential for these evolutionary goals.

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Watch and listen to this 15-minute video, the second part of a 10-part dialogue with Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni in Tuscany on the topic of Evolutionary Love–envisioning a new Renaissance that will take us to the future. Listen to the first part here.

Enjoy the second part of the dialogue here:

Marc Gafni introduces the first and second shocks of existence:

  • The first shock of existence is the emergence of separate self. We move from hunter/gatherer, whose concern is survival in a small clan to early horticulture, the emergence of the human being. The emergence of separate self confronts the human with death, and culture unfolds to confront death.
  • After we evolve through 7 culture ethics (instinct, early farming, mythological, industrial, informational, and post informational) the second shock of existence unfolds: The second shock of existence is the awareness of the potential death of the species (vs. death of the individual). We’ve out-used our resources in terms of our core fuels.
  • How do we move forward from this? A fundamental shift in our consciousness.

Ervin Laszlo talks in depth about the creation of the individual and their place in society:

  • From the observer’s viewpoint, this world is falling apart because the discovery of self during the renaissance era. A transition from roles in society that had individuals such as kings and heros with communities that were designed with roles (those who pray, those who fight, those who rule)  has now come to such lengths that everyone is an individual. We serve the individual, the individual becomes dominant. Your role or place in the larger community is secondary.
  • The individual has no particular place and is supreme in this model. The individual becomes expressed in the seeking of power, wealth, and satisfaction. This has lead to a coming apart of natural relationships that create a community.
  • Looking at it through the lens of system theory, you could say you’ve sub-optimized the system. The individual parts of the whole can not all be the greatest part.
  • We must recover our oneness, our unity within a larger whole, to meet evolutionary love. In a way that doesn’t give up our personality or self but integrates the self in a larger whole. We can support both at the same time.

Marc Gafni Summarizes:

  • The individual lives within the context of a larger whole. The mass flowering of the individual happened in the renaissance. The self emerges, then gradually gets decontextualized. The self must validate their existence and they do this through consuming (wealth, power), while losing their connection to the larger context, leading to emptiness, which leads to more consumption.
  • The system begins to pull apart with depleted energy, depleted resources, and disconnection from the larger context. We’re looking to recover the larger we-space while reclaiming the individual within the larger system.
  • The individual remains a unique expression of that system, with unique dignity and unique creativity, which paradoxically becomes the currency of connection, not separation. My Unique Self, that’s part of the larger context, serves the larger context in love and the larger context loves and holds me in return.

>>> You can watch the whole 10-part dialogue here <<<

In their dialogue they share about the Second Shock of Existence, the New Renaissance, Evolutionary Love, and Unique Self Enlightenment as well as cutting-edge topics like super-coherence, self-organization, and the Unique Self Symphony.


If you like the dialogue, you may be interested in our online course “ Becoming a Future Human”

Becoming a Future Human, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marc Gafni, Daniel SchmachtenbergerWho do we need to become in order for humanity to make it though its current dangerous technological adolescence and to create a world that is truly commensurate with our full human, scientific, social, spiritual, and technological capabilities? If you are here to embody your unique gift fully for the benefit of all life and play your role as a steward of the cosmos and the birth of a new humanity, then welcome! This course is for everyone that knows humanity is at the brink of an epochal shift, that believes we can create the world the great sages knew was possible, and that wants to be a part of co-creating that world together.

>>> Learn more about the course here <<<

Watch and listen to this 10-minute video, the beautiful first part of a 10-part dialogue with Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni in Tuscany on the topic of Evolutionary Love–envisioning a new Renaissance that will take us to the future.

Marc Gafni opens the space:

  • After we have killed all the gods except for Aphrodite, although we worship at her altar of love, we have lost the meaning of the word love.
  • “I love you” is our sacred word but we have forgotten what it truly means.
  • If we begin with a reconstruction of love and its actual meaning, maybe from there we will develop a super-coherent vision of the patterns that connect.

Ervin Laszlo then sets the stage for the rest of the conversation:

  • Love IS reconstruction. We need to reconstruct because the world is falling apart.
  • Love is the longing to become one.
  • We need unity in diversity and Love is that element of unity. It is what holds it all together.
  • It is there in the quantum world, the simplest systems, the planets… What makes a system whole is the sense of belonging of its parts.
  • In the sentence “I love you”, the YOU means everybody and everything.
  • Evolutionary Love is the love of reconnecting, of rebirthing the world, of becoming part of it.

Enjoy the first part of the dialogue here:

>>> You can watch the whole dialogue here <<<

In their dialogue they share about the Second Shock of Existence, the New Renaissance, Evolutionary Love, and Unique Self Enlightenment as well as cutting-edge topics like super-coherence, self-organization, and the Unique Self Symphony.


The Evolution of Love Course ImageThe Evolution of Love: Activating Evolutionary Relationships & Unique Gender

An 8-Week Online Video Course with Dr. Marc Gafni

The Evolution of Love, Relationships, & Gender in 8 Steps

  1. Session 1: The Principles of Transformation, The Evolution of Love, & The 3 Levels of Relationships
  2. Session 2: Unique Self & Unique Self Symphony, Love Languages, The Six Big Bangs, & The Emergence of Evolutionary Relationships
  3. Session 3: From Man/Woman through Genderqueer to Unique Gender – Lines & Circles All the Way Up & All the Way Down
  4. Session 4: Light & Shadow, Hierarchy & Status, & the Beauty of the Line
  5. Session 5: The Universe: A Love Story – Entering the World of Lines
  6. Session 6: Take Responsibility for Your Own Arousal & Embrace Your Unique Risk
  7. Session 7: The World of the Circle: Enlightenment Is Intimacy with All Things
  8. Session 8: Potent Precision, & Spacious Expansion: The Higher Integration of Lines & Circles – Liberation from Loneliness through Evolutionary Relationships

>>> Learn More about The Evolution of Love <<<

A Guided Meditation with Barbara Marx Hubbard

Follow along with this evolutionary meditation below:


Read Along with Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Evolutionary Meditation

Let’s take a meditative moment now. You can do this anytime, every day. Just place your attention at the origin of creation, in the mind of the divine, in the infinite, and just breathe up the core of that spiral of evolution. Universe, up through all the billions of galaxies. The planet Earth. The coming forth of life on earth, animal life of human life.

Now place that core of the spiral in your lowest Chakra, and let it be the source of security, the process of evolution within you. Now breathe the core of the spiral up through your generative organs. And realize, invite the core of the spiral to shift those cells within you from degeneration toward regeneration. Since you are a future human with evermore to express.

Now, bring that core of the spiral up into your solar plexus. Feel the yearning to empower, to give forth your power in all its fullest, holding that core of the spiral within it, and then let it go out and express the full radiance of your being.

Now let’s bring the core of the spiral up into your heart and feel within yourself the love of the process of creation itself, of the divine intention, of the impulse of evolution in your heart. And breathing it in for a moment, feel a person that you deeply love, and allow that impulse to go into the heart of that person. And then ask that person to let that impulse go into the people they love. And then, allow them to express that impulse to the people they love.

And allow the impulsive of love to spread further and further into the world. Each of us is only six degrees of separation from anyone in the world. And in this meditation let’s allow the impulse of creation to reach through our hearts, to those we love, to those they love, to all love one another.

And infuse the noosphere, the thinking layer of earth, with that energy that will bring our entire planetary consciousness alive, awake and aware of the emerging humanity that we are becoming.

And then, now just come back to center. Feeling yourself to be a member of a planetary communion, of pioneering souls everywhere on earth, arising, awakening, and feeling their connectivity throughout the planet. For this is actually the truth. It is happening now. Thank you.


This is an excerpt from the online course “Becoming a Future Human.”

Becoming a Future Human, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marc Gafni, Daniel SchmachtenbergerWho do we need to become in order for humanity to make it though its current dangerous technological adolescence and to create a world that is truly commensurate with our full human, scientific, social, spiritual, and technological capabilities? If you are here to embody your unique gift fully for the benefit of all life and play your role as a steward of the cosmos and the birth of a new humanity, then welcome! This course is for everyone that knows humanity is at the brink of an epochal shift, that believes we can create the world the great sages knew was possible, and that wants to be a part of co-creating that world together.

>>> Learn more about the course here <<<

by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

This blog post is based on a deep dive private study session I did in the Dharma of the Center for Integral Wisdom, the dharma of Unique Self, World Spirituality, and Evolutionary Eros, that I am studying and being initiated into by Dr. Marc Gafni, who is my teacher, my friend, my colleague, the co-founder and President of the Center of which I am the Executive Director.

In the first part of our session we talked about the innate modesty of the enlightened person.

The highest person, the highest Rebbe, the highest master is the one who can hold confidentiality. That is the nature of enlightenment. Not all must be shared. You might know great wisdom but you do not need everyone to know that you know.

The initiate into an esoteric tradition is the one who can keep a secret. He keeps the wisdom that he or she knows a secret. The word esoteric comes from the Hebrew word seter which means hidden. Keeping a secret means to live in the mind of God.

“Normal people,” when asked to keep a secret, will only tell two people… who will then tell two people… which is why there are no real secrets in the world anymore.

To live an enlightened life means to become essentially self-referential, to not be dependant on the passing fads of the frivolous because you do not have a grasping need for that extra hit of attention you get from telling a secret. You can be wise, do good, and change the world but you do not need to tell everyone.

That is the major teaching of the Eastern traditions. Enlightenment means that you are one with everything. There is no outside. So why would you need anything from anyone else. The very notion of there being anyone else outside of you is already a sign of your unenlightened state.

That is certainly true. Yet, the complete opposite is also true.

If you really get the nature of Enlightenment and you are in relationship with another person, that other person is all of reality just as you. So, when this person doesn’t call or doesn’t write back or is rude to you, it is not just your ego getting hurt by another ego. It is all of reality doing that to you.

To love from that place means to wait breathlessly for the other person to call or write. It is to empathize and feel and care so deeply, so completely that it hurts. From that place you want to share everything.

How is it possible that both of these are true?

In the Eastern traditions that is often seen as the dialectic of the absolute and the relative truth.

Absolute truth means that there is no other. It means to be totally self-referential. Absolute Love is a state of Oneness that is impersonal because there is no person left. There is only One Self that is No Self. There is no outside. And because of that there is no inside either. Inside and outside don’t even make sense.

Relative truth however is all about relationship. There are parts that are in relationship, that are attracted to each other, and that form greater wholes that are parts of an even greater whole… ad infinitum. Relative Love is all personal. It is about communion. It is about giving up your autonomy to become part of a greater whole.

However, in our Unique Self World Spirituality lineage of evolutionary mystics, we maintain that these two truths are one in the Mind of God. These are no absolute and relative truths that are in fact mutually exclusive opposites, but these seeming opposites live in a dialectical tension within the Absolute. The distinction between absolute and relative truth, absolute and relative love is a false dichotomy. It comes from a logical mind that cannot hold paradox.

Love in this dialectical sense is both absolute and relative, personal and impersonal. It is not only communion, nor is it just the autonomous state of All-Oneness. Love is exactly the sweet spot between autonomy and communion. It is the space in between – the space in between the Cherubs on top of the Ark in the Holy of Holies of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, as we call it in our lineage.

It is station 3 of the three stations of love that move from falling in love, through falling out of love, to falling in love again at a higher level that transcends and includes the first two… or from submission, through separation, to sweetness… from pre-personal oneness, through personal autonomy, to a communion or intimacy, in which both partners don’t lose their distinctness.

In dialectical thinking, the first two stations act like thesis and antithesis that seem mutually exclusive. Yet, at a higher level the dialectical tension is solved (not dissolved) into a new synthesis.

Synthesis-Sweetness

Real intimacy or communion are only possible between partners that are not separate but distinct. That goes further than the whole-part relationship that is often used in the two truths doctrine with the absolute being the ultimate whole, while the relative is built from wholes that are also parts of a larger whole and so on.

In Marc’s teaching the partners are not only parts of a greater whole. Rather, they are unique expressions of the whole that offer a unique perspective, a unique taste, and a unique intimacy into the whole, while also being animated by it.

This is a principle that goes all the way up and all the way down the evolutionary chain, which is what Dr. Marc Gafni means when he talks of the intimate universe, the evolutionary Eros, or that reality is relationships.

The Intimate Universe at the Most Basic Level

An example of that on a subatomic level became obvious to me through my study of physics earlier in my life. Looking at it tells me something about reality at the very basic level.

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Good news! Many of our Evolutionary Church attendees have requested an alternative to Paypal to make donations. We are now using the Tithe.ly app for Evolutionary Church offerings and other donations.

***Evolutionary Church is ALWAYS free of charge, and we never turn away anyone because of financial hardship.***

Donations are simply an option for those who feel called to give in this particular way.

Here is the tutorial on how to download the Tithe.ly app on your phone so that you can make your donation:

  • Find Tithe.ly in your App Store
  • Install it
  • Open it
  • Search for Center for Integral Wisdom
  • Click Give Now
  • Add a payment method (if you haven’t already)
  • Create your donation and choose a project to donate to
  • There is also a possibility to create a recurring donation

Or simply use this link:

https://tithe.ly/give_new/www/#/tithely/give-one-time/176954

A Meditation from the “Awakening Your Unique Self” Online Course you can buy by clicking here!

Enjoy the Meditation with Dr. Marc Gafni and Read the Transcript Below

Transcript

Dr. Marc Gafni, marc gafni, gafni, unique self, true self, meditationGet comfortable. If you are listening to this while you are driving please don’t get comfortable. Anyone else, get comfortable, in a good posture, your back upright, not rigid. Your chest is lifted and open. Become aware of the sensations in your body. Feel your buttocks sitting on the seat. Feel your spinal cord lifting up to the heavens and down, rooted, as axis mundi, as what the Sufis call the pole, into the earth. Your Unique Self becomes the pole between heaven and earth. Feel the sensation of air against your skin, feel your clothes as they sit on your body, feel the air as it moves across your face, feel your muscles throughout your body. Feel your belly.

Be present with the sensations of your body, bring awareness to these sensations and when your mind wanders, gently bring your mind, in a nonjudgemental way, back to center and pick up from where you left off. Become aware of your breath. Feel the breath entering in and out of your nostrils. Feel the warm air, feel the parts of your body that move with the breath, feel your chest rising, your belly expanding and contracting. Feel your abdomen, feel your shoulders dropping.

Noticing, becoming aware, not directing your breath in any way, and stay there for a while, following your breath.

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

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

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

AND:

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

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

Evolutionary-Church-FB-cover

>> Learn More About The Evolutionary Church Collective <<

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by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

Marc Gafni, Summer Festival of Love, Mystery School of Love, A Return to Eros, Shame, Sexuality, Evolution of Love, Enlightenment of FullnessA couple of days ago, many of us returned from the fifth annual Mystery School with Dr. Marc Gafni in Holland. Still basking in the aftertaste of it, we are in the process of integrating it all into our bodies and our lives.

At the Center for Integral Wisdom, our mission is to evolve the source code of culture by evolving the memes and distinctions that govern both our personal and collective lives. The Mystery and Wisdom Schools are our Dharma labs for the new distinctions that we are developing and learning how to deploy into culture to evolve the source code.

As our Academic Director Dr. Zachary Stein has stated so beautifully in a previous blog-post:

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

Mystery School is where we come together as evolutionary mystics, the Wheel of Dharma turns, new dharma is coming down, SHE dances, and we can literally feel the source code shift.

Mystery School is not a personal growth seminar. And yet, paradoxically, personal transformation happens at much higher rates than at any personal transformation event. All of us committing to evolving the source code of culture, to the conscious evolution of the all, is exactly what fuels our own transformation with the power of the all.

Once we realize that we are not separate from, but unique embodiments of, the Evolutionary Impulse it all starts to make sense.

As long as it is about MY transformation, I separate myself from the all and I am narcissistically lost in ego. Once I begin to serve the evolution of the all, that same impulse becomes alive in me and my own transformation becomes a byproduct of the evolution of the all.

When you read my testimonial below and the ones of my colleagues linked to at the end, keep in mind that they are written with great delight from within the energy of the Mystery School. They are not 3rd person accounts but rather 1st person mystical testimonials.

Each year at the end of the Festival we say: This cannot get any better! And then it does get better. And OMG, we did it again! This was the most awesome Mystery School of Love EVER!!!

Deepest bow to CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni, our dharma teacher, who opened the space again and again, every morning, every moment with open heart, penetrating insight and clarity, deep humility, devotion, purity, and holy audacity. He has been more humble, devoted, pure, open, and audacious than ever, serving the dharma, serving the Goddess, serving the collective field and the awakening of every single human being in the room and on this planet while dancing with us to the end of love, the end of shame, and the leading edges of culture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch this teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni as our special gift from our Online Course on Reclaiming Eros:


Some of the themes Marc Gafni covers in this video:

  • The lineage of the “Einstein’s of Consciousness”
  • King Solomon, his wives, and the Temple in Jerusalem
  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark – The Ark of the Covenant
  • The Practice of Jewish Yoga
  • The Talmudic Story of the Poisoned Cookies
  • Temple Consciousness and Sexuality
  • Eros in Exile
  • Reclaiming Eros = Reclaiming Temple Consciousness

>> Download the Transcript of the Video Here <<


Reclaiming Eros Course ImageImagine being fully expressed with an unstoppable life force that aligned you with the will, the desire, the knowledge and the creative impulse to engage ALL areas of your life full-on; without fear or shame stopping you from moving forward. Imagine the transformative power and positive impact you’d have on your personal relationships and potentially be a major influence in the world.

This is what you will learn and become through taking this 9-week video course, professionally filmed on location during the First Festival of Love in Holland.

>>> Learn more and register here for our online course Reclaiming Eros <<<

Enjoy this beautiful introduction and story by Dr. Marc Gafni from our recent CIW Board Retreat:


The Story of Levi Isaac of Berdichev Told by Dr. Marc Gafni

from the book Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni

When you fail to hold the personal, you may begin to engage in manipulation or possibly even psychological abuse. When you begin to see yourself as aligned with the process, which was the great teaching of Hegel, you may inadvertently give birth to the worst evils of Fascism, Communism, and Nazism, all of which were very heavily influenced by Hegel’s teaching that demanded that the individual must awaken and identify with the great evolutionary process of divine unfolding in absolute spirit. In Hegel’s powerful clarion call to align with the ecstatic impulse of historically unfolding evolutionary God, the holiness of the individual was somehow crushed in all the grand rhetoric, with devastating results for God and humans. The process must always remain personal.

For me it was always the Hasidic master Levi Isaac of Berdichev who radically reminded me of the primacy of the personal even when in the throes of evolutionary ecstasy. Levi Isaac was once leading the prayers at the close of Yom Kippur services. Yom Kippur is a fast day and the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar. The twilight hours at the end of the fast are filled with potency. According to the evolutionary mystics of Kabbalah, the enlightened prayer leader, during that time may potentially enter the virtual source code of reality and effect a tikkun; that is, effect a momentous leap in the evolution of consciousness for the sake of all sentient beings, in all generations. This is precisely what Levi Isaac—greatest of all enlightened evolutionary prayer leaders—was doing on that Yom Kippur. Night had already fallen, the fast was officially over, but the ecstasy of Levi Isaac was rippling through all the upper worlds. All beings held their breath in awe of the evolutionary power of Levi Isaac’s consciousness. All of reality was pulsating with him towards an ecstatic evolutionary crescendo. Just as the great breakthrough was about to happen at the leading edge, Levi Isaac spotted out of the corner of his eye an old man who was thirsty. The fast had been very long and the old man needed to drink. So in the midst of his ecstasy, Levi Isaac brought the whole evolutionary process to a halt. He immediately ended the fast and personally brought the old man a drink of water.

Dr. Marc Gafni: What causes the emergence of the post-tragic level of consciousness is always the deepening into what we might call emotional maturity or wisdom.How can you feel the pain of the world and still be empowered?

How can you become a beacon of light and love in the midst of all the pain you face – both yourself and the pain you see in the world?

How can you become a beneficial healing presence on the planet?

These are the questions that we need to answer in order to create a Politics of Love and an Integral Planet.

In the video below, CIW President Dr. Marc Gafni shares a daily practice from his tradition called participating in the pain of Eros in exile. What that means is that you open yourself up to the pain of the world without becoming dysfunctional.

That means you plug into the portal of pain in a way that’s powerful rather than impotent.

In this mystical practice that Marc Gafni transmits in his video, you open up to the pain fully for 5 minutes a day. You might do it by getting silent, bringing to mind images of pain, and letting your mind dwell in it. You might do it by reading a newspaper article.

By opening yourself to the pain fully for a limited amount of time, you realize a deep mystical knowing: When you enter the pain, you find yourself participating in the sweetness of the Divine.

The alive personal intelligence of All-That-Is is both the infinity of intimacy and the infinity of pain. The Divine pain is infinite. In this sacred practice, you are entering into God’s heart and are participating in the pain of the personal Eros of All-That-Is. In that participation, an infinite sweetness emerges.

Yeats wrote of this sweetness, in the understated but raw Eros of his verse:

When such as I

Cast out remorse

So great a sweetness fills my breast

We can dance and we can sing

We are blest by everything

And everything we look upon

Is blest.

When you step inside, you are blessed by everything. The contraction melts away and you feel the aliveness and awakeness of the feminine Goddess Divine – the personal embrace of the loving intelligence of the universe.

You have the power to love and dance and sing and create.

You are empowered to become a beneficial healing presence on the planet.

Enjoy this video by Dr. Marc Gafni:

View more videos by Dr. Marc Gafni on how to close the gap between our ability to feel and our ability to heal the pain here>>>


Watch this beautiful teaching from the Summer Festival of Love 2012 “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment” by Marc Gafni on Dharma and read the transcript below:

Transcript of Marc Gafni’s Teaching on Dharma

Marc Gafni: When I say going into the Dharma, what do I mean? Do I mean that we are going to be in a university class? No. What I mean is Dharma. So what does it mean? Anyone?

PERSON: Teaching.

Marc Gafni: Okay, which might be true in a university class as well.

PERSONS: Deeper calling. / Vision. /Wisdom. /Transmission. /From the heart, from within. /A path. /Coming together in the Dharma.

Marc Gafni: There’s a deeper calling in the teaching, and wisdom, yeah. Who said transmission?            The Dharma comes from inside, your inner-self response to it, right? And there’s a coming together in the Dharma. The Dharma is spirit, living spirit, in the same way that love is living spirit, that chant is living spirit, that Shikantaza and meditation are living spirit.

Marc Gafni - DDharma is not Dogma, but the best take on reality we have based on pre-modern, modern, and postmodern insights, weaving together what we know about the patterns that connect.Dharma is not words; Dharma is not about the mind, even though we’re using the mind. There’s this crazy New Age idea that spread through the Western world that “wow, we’re having an experience, but for now, we’re just using the mind.” That’s nonsense, right? Dharma is the mind part, the embodied expression of spirit. So you respond to Dharma not just with your mind; your body knows whether Dharma is true, your body can feel it. The book of Job: “Through my body I vision God.” Your body knows if a Dharma’s true, your heart knows if a Dharma’s true, your mind can respond.

So when we engage in Dharma, like these mornings, we’re not doing a university lecture, we’re doing Dharma. We’re engaging whole heart, body and mind in getting a sense of the story of reality, of the grand narrative of reality, of the meta picture, of the patterns that connect. Do you begin to feel that? Let me give you a sentence, tell me if this sentence works for you: “One of the great yearnings in the year 2012 is a yearning for the patterns that connect.” Does that sentence make sense to you?

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In order to live an awakened life, we need some wisdom to live by. It is the World Spirituality Dharma of Unique Self and Evolutionary Love that provides us with the Integral Wisdom to guide us every day. Our post-postmodern Dharma is not Dogma, but the best take on reality we have based on pre-modern, modern, and postmodern insights, weaving together what we know about the patterns that connect.

Enjoy this collection of 7 Dharma Quotes Graphics for Living an Awakened Life by Dr. Marc Gafni.

Apply these pearls of wisdom in your everyday life and become unstoppable in living and expressing the Outrageous Love at the core of your most gorgeous Unique Self.

Dharma

Dharma gives you the best possible prism to take you out of prison.

>> The World Spirituality Unique Self Vision of Dharma, Lineage, Students and Teachers <<

Life Is for Pleasure

The goal here is not to get more pleasure OUT of life—but to step so deeply INTO life that you realize that you are awake and aflame with pleasure even in the midst of pain. Your heart gets ripped apart over and over again—outrageous pleasure does not occlude pain—but rather wakes us into the pleasure of being—what’s been called the “aroused feminine waters”—of divine pleasure. This is when you so deeply step into the pleasure of being—you are literally making love with life.

>> Live a Life of Pleasure <<

The Highest Pleasure

The highest pleasure is to know that through my own transformation I transform the world.

>> Grow Up and Transform <<

[Read more…]

tom-goddard-100x100As are millions around the globe, CIW Board Member Tom Goddard was trying to find his way through the density of this week. He found and slightly edited this beautiful text by Marc Gafni and started to share it with friends and family – then on his blog “The Integral Company.”

He starts out with Marc’s famous lines:

“We live in a world of outrageous pain.

The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.”

And finally ends with:

“…an outrageous social vision, in which each person committing their unique outrageous acts of love participates in enacting a Unique Self Symphony that has the capacity to heal the entire story. An emergent politics of outrageous love begins to take form before our eyes. A politics of outrageous love that is as practical as it is lyrical.”

It seems like more than ever we need to hear this message of hope. More than ever we need to know that we can do something… that we are needed by all-that-is… that we can co-create the beautiful world that we yearn for… a world that works for everyone.

Read the beautiful and audacious message here>>>

Let’s close with R. Buckminster Fuller:

„There is a young world very ready to embrace a one world revolution to create a world that works for 100% of humanity.”