Books and Book Projects by Marc Gafni

First Steps in Jewish Thought

Soul Prints

Mystery of Love

Reclaiming Uncertainty

Re-defining Certainty

Radical Kabbalah: Non Dual Humanism

Radical Kabbalah: The Solomon Sources

Your Unique Self

SELF – Two Models of Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism

Tears: Reclaiming Ritual, Integral Religion and Rosh HaShanah

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment (a collection of my talks, edited by Chahat Corten)


Outrageous Love Manifesto

The Laws of Outrageous Love

Towards a Politics of Evolutionary Love, Unique Self Symphony and other Social Miracles

Trauma and Outrageous Love

Success 3.0 and Unique Self

The Evolution of Love: The Next Stage of Relationship

Beyond Venus and Mars

Evolutionary Spirituality

Lillith and the Sacred Feminine

(In this last book there has been a dispute about authorship, which came up for the first time in the aftermath of the false complaints. My co-author was a major supporter of the false complaints and is socially and politically aligned with its organizers. I wrote about that here.)

Books in process: (both solely authored by me, or co-authored)

Evolutionary Love

In a Unique Voice

Unique Self Psychology

Your Unique Gender (in process)

Unique Self Business

World Spirituality Guidebook

Unique Self Process

Unique Self Recovery

The Pleasure Bible

Embodied Unique Self

Dark Eros

Reclaiming Fantasy

On the Erotic and the Holy

Scapegoats, Sociopaths and the Madness of Crowds

Sacred Autobiography

Becoming the New Human

An Introduction to Marc Gafni’s Wisdom Teachings

D3C_9523From the Introduction to Tears

We have collectively read thousands of books in our lifetime. Only very rarely do we have the experience that we are reading one of the great minds and hearts of the generation. I (Gershon) had that experience when I read Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Buber, and Joseph Solovietchik. We have that experience when reading Marc Gafni. Before introducing the volume in front of you, we want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Marc, the thinker, the activist, the teacher, and the thought leader, particularly in the areas of Self, World Spirituality, Eros and Intimacy, Success 3.0, Enlightenment, approaches to God, Gender, and a new Integral Universe Story. What marks all of the work is a message, sometimes hidden and sometimes revealed, which Marc refers to as Outrageous Love. We used to think that the best characterization of Gafni’s work was brilliance bathed in love. We now think that it is love bathed in brilliance. In the last two years all of this teaching has been introduced with one potent sentence. “We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.” Gafni’s teaching today emerges both from his broken heart, holy audacity, and Outrageous Love.

Gafni spent the first half of his adult life as one of the great teachers of Torah in this generation. His Torah was and is among the most profound that we have ever studied. And, we are not easy with such superlative adjectives. He planted many seeds in the Jewish lineage path, which are now sprouting in the works of the many who were influenced, both directly and indirectly by his work and teaching. Early in those years he was the star summer Rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue for several summers where thousands of people heard him teach.

He then evolved a beautiful Jewish presence in New York City public schools, developing a large and highly effective organization called Jewish Public School Youth, which he revitalized and took to an entirely new level of depth and effectiveness. At a pivotal moment, he energized the Orthodox Jewish community of Boca Raton and, under his leadership, the synagogue reached its first tipping point.

When Marc moved to Israel, he was able to do the same thing for the Israeli settlement of Tzufim. In a key period, he helped the leadership of Tzufim move the settlement to a tipping point of stability, which allowed its continuity and growth. These are only a few examples of Marc’s impact as an active communal leader, deeply committed to oral teaching and service.

While Marc is primarily an oral teacher, he has developed a very significant body of writing over the years which we are convinced will stand the test of time and become part of the core Jewish and World Spirituality Library. He wrote the Orthodox Jewish response to Harold Kushner’s book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, published in Tradition, the premier intellectual Journal of Modern Orthodoxy when he was in his early twenties. He, then, wrote two articles in Hebrew about creating a shared spiritual language between religious and secular Jews published in leading intellectual journals in Israel, Nativ and Machanayim. He also wrote some important pieces in the West Bank Settler magazine, Nekudah. The most important article protested the use of the incendiary language by right wing settler leaders which he said would lead to political assassination. This was only two years before the Rabin Assassination. He wrote a short book on Jewish values and law for Russian immigrants in the mid nineties. He created several pivotal seasons of an Israeli television show, which he wrote and hosted on spirituality, culture and values. The show was highly popular and beloved among many sectors of Israeli society. The show was called Tachat Gafno, Under His Vine, which is a phrase from the bible describing enlightened consciousness. He then went on to create three other seminal television series. One was with leading Israeli comedian Gil Kopatch on the weekly biblical Torah reading. The second was a series of twenty-five minute mini shows. These shows opened Israel’s leading channel’s morning program with a wisdom download from Marc. The third was a series of seven short programs Marc prepared as a spiritual response to be aired on national Israeli television after terrorist attacks with civilian casualties.

The First Stage: Five Major Jewish Books

Marc’s writing falls into two distinct stages. In the first stage, he wrote five major Jewish books with two CD sets. The books are Soul Prints, Mystery of Love, Lilith (with Ohad Ezrahi), Certainty, and Uncertainty. Each is groundbreaking. We will offer you a brief review of his core work so you will be able to contextualize the work in front of you, Tears, within the overall arc of his work. Soul Prints appears in English and Hebrew. In Hebrew, it has extensive original source footnotes, which he prepared together with Abraham Leader. Soul Prints became a National Best Seller and also a PBS special. It introduces the idea that every human being has a soul print and that to fully live your life is to know, live and evolve your soul print. In this book, he introduces some of his core themes and terms. The recognition of loneliness, the move from loneliness to singularity, sacred autobiography, the embrace of personal story as an expression of enlightenment, the centrality of voice, soul print calls, We Space created though Soul Print Encounters, a new vision of parenting, the idea and term Unique Self, as well as startlingly original and beautiful new readings of classical Jewish sources, texts and traditions. Besides all of this, Marc appears in the book as a master storyteller, and perhaps most important with an overflowing heart and brilliance bathed in love. Soul Prints hit the best seller lists in the United States and has an accompanying six CD workshop.

His second book, Mystery of Love, is thought by many to be one of the most insightful and original works today on sexuality and Eros. This work is accurately called Kabbalistic Tantra. It maps the relationship between the erotic, the holy and the sexual. Gafni transmits the following core teaching: Eros is holiness. The sexual models the erotic, it does not exhaust the erotic. He then outlines the ten major qualities of the erotic. He shows how all these qualities of Eros are modeled by the sexual. But then in paradoxical tour de force he shows how living in the sacred requires us to liberate the erotic from its exile in the sexual. Human beings need to live erotically in every dimension of life. Expanding Eros beyond the sexual to every dimension of life, based on the ideal model of the sexual is the practice of Kabbalistic Tantra outlined in this book. There is an accompanying six cd set of teaching on this material entitled The Erotic and the Holy.

Marc’s third book is on Certainty. This book is currently only available in Hebrew. It is slated for release in English by Integral Publishers. In this book Gafni redefines the place of certainty in our lives according to a deep reading of sacred text and the human situation. In the old spiritual world, “certainty” meant, “It is true.” It referred to specific beliefs and dogmas. Today certainty has a deeper nature. It no longer simply means, “It is true.” Certainty is no longer certainty of dogma. Rather, certainty means, “I am true.” The figure that incarnates this sensibility, this core certainty of being, is Judah. The Judah figure is profoundly unpacked in this book and in later works by Gafni. He is the archetype of Messianic consciousness in that he embodies a deep rootedness in his own true identity, his God Self. Judah is the model for the fully embodied human. Gafni makes seminal links between the Modeh Ani morning prayer and the Judah story in the biblical text that shine prisms of light on the inner meaning of Hebrew ritual, prayer and sacred text in way that truly opens everything up at a higher level. It is precisely this core certainty of being that, according to Gafni, allows the awake human being to hold uncertainty.

Gafni’s fourth work is Uncertainty. Like Certainty, it is written in Hebrew and slated for publication in English by Integral publishers. Gafni’s point of departure is a claim made by a well-known religious author that uncertainty is the opposite of faith. This author points out that the word Safek, which in Hebrew means uncertain, does not appear in the Hebrew bible. Gafni takes exception and re-visions living in uncertainty as the very hallmark of the genuine homo-religious. He essentially reclaims uncertainty as a core spiritual value. To do so he cracks a biblical code and uncovers a new genre of hidden biblical stories that he labels as the Ullai, the “Maybe Stories” of the book of Genesis. He points out that while the word Safek does not appear, the word Ullai, maybe, does appear time and again. He uncovers this previously unnoticed code in the Genesis text, which revolves around the word Ullai, maybe. Each story in this hidden genre of Maybe Stories pivots on the ability or inability to engage uncertainty. In this book, Gafni also dramatically evolves our understanding of the great issue of theodicy, why a good God apparently allows bad things to happen to good people. In Gafni’s re-visioning, deeply rooted in re-reading of original source texts, the great question of Why, itself becomes the answer. The answer lies in the question itself. In this re-reading, the problem of suffering is not, as he puts it, a theo-logical problem, it is a relational problem. It is an intimacy issue, rather than a theo-logical issue. Gafni’s approach turns the entire discussion of theodicy on its head. In the very screaming of the question against God, the ruptured intimacy with God is reestablished. The question is the answer.

Gafni’s final book in the first half of his writing is called Lilith Re-reading Feminine Shadow in Rabbinic Literature. This book was originally published in Hebrew by Gafni and Ohad Ezrahi and is now available in English at the Center for Integral Wisdom website. The essence of this work is to help catalyze the emergence of the powerful feminine, particularly the integration of Lilith into the sacred, through an audacious act of mystical scholarship, which re-read and evolved deep structures in biblical and Kabbalistic thought, Isaac Luria and the great Biblical archetypes of the book of Genesis.

Stage Two: The Evolutionary Emergence of Unique Self

Stage Two of Gafni’s work began in 2010. In stage two Marc produced five new volumes. The first two volumes are Radical Kabbalah, called by Sally Kempton a magisterial work unfolding what he calls non-dual or acosmic humanism. Prof. Richard Mann has already fruitfully compared this work to the work of Elaine Pagels on the Gnostic Gospels. In this work, Gafni reads the Hassidic writing of Mordechai Lainer of Izbica. He discloses a hidden textual code in his work based on what Gafni identifies as the Goddess sources, which Lainer refers to as the Wisdom of Solomon sources. This is the source of Non Dual Humanism. In this work he unpacks the kabbalistic roots of what would later become his Unique Self enlightenment teaching. The implications of this work are then drawn out in his third volume, a highly acclaimed masterwork Your Unique Self, The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment. This work, which won the USA books, best spirituality book award in 2012, was called by Andrew Harvey “one of the most brilliant, provocative, and original books of the new century.” Ken Wilber called it “a seminal work, which forever evolves the nature of enlightenment.”

These three volumes together with the Suny Press academic journal volume on Unique Self (Journal of Integral Theory and Practice 6:1) which Gafni edited and to which he contributed to major essays, together constitute a landmark contribution to human evolution and consciousness. They reveal a core structure of human consciousness, the Unique Self. In Gafni’s language, “The Unique Self is not a function of social, psychological or cultural conditioning. Rather, Unique Self is the personal face of essence.”

Gafni’s fourth work is a short work with a long title, Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism, Two Models and Why They Matter. It offers a comparison between what he calls Unique Self an alternative construct of Self expressed by Andrew Cohen and his students, which is popularly termed Authentic Self or Evolutionary Self. Gafni argues that at this pivotal moment in the formation of a new world spirituality dharma, foundations are essential. The conception of self is particularly foundational. For this reason, Gafni devotes this short volume to critiquing the Authentic Self model of self. This model views awakening as an ultimately impersonal function, severely critiques the personal, mistakenly identifies the personal with ego, and views the process as primary.

Gafni’s final work in stage, which you are holding in your hand, is called Tears: Reclaiming Ritual, Integral Religion and Rosh Hashanah. The first draft of this book was completed in April 2006 and a second draft in April 2014. The book has two major goals. First, it re-visions ritual through the prism of the New Year Ritual that is central to biblical thought, popularly known as Rosh Hashanah. In Gafni’s rigorous and beautiful re-reading, the core theme of Rosh Hashanah is tears. Gafni then unfolds a compelling hermeneutic in which ten major forms of tears are shown to weave the tapestry of Rosh Hashanah. Each form of tears is revealed through a combination of spiritual, emotional, literary, poetic and psychological prisms. The second goal of the book is to place tears front and center in human consciousness. Tears are seen as a core expression of the Eros which needs to guide our lives. The third goal of the book is to demonstrate how Integral philosophy informs the emergence of an Integral Religious consciousness within a great tradition, in this case Judaism. This work is startlingly original, brilliant, and moving. Key rituals like the blowing of the shofar and biblical archetypes are re-read with fresh eyes, pouring new life and Eros into the Hebrew lineage tradition.

It is perhaps worth appending here before concluding a few lines that Gafni recently penned which links some key part of his work. It was written not for the general reader but to students familiar with his work:

“In Certainty we charted the path of Judah. This is the biblical matrix for the emergence of what I would later call Unique Self. Judah is born in the certainty of the blessing of the Mother. Judah is, of course, the ancestor of David, Solomon and ultimately the lineage of Messiah. What that simply means is that Judah births Messianic consciousness into the world. One might, from a Kabbalistic mystical perspective replace the word messianic with the word enlightened. Judah is the spiritual, psychological, and mystical birth of enlightened consciousness. Judah represents what we call in Certainty, ‘core certainty of being.’ This is called “Yechidah” by the mystics. (See the writing of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Hasidic master of Chabad, on Judah as Yechidah). This internal core certainty of being is birthed by his mother, Leah. Leah, as we point out in the book Lilith, is the powerful mind and powerful seductive sexual feminine. She is, however, also the mother. In liberated consciousness there is no split between the mother and the sexual woman.

It is precisely through internally integrating the properties of mother and the audacious intellectual/sexual feminine, that Leah is able to be the great matriarch who breaks the pattern of her conditioning and gives Judah the experience of his own core certainty of being. The full integration of the sexual as a model of the erotic is the basic theme of the Mystery of Love work on the erotic, the sexual, and the holy. That work is only the beginning of our work on sexuality. In a later (still unpublished work), we show that the life affirming embrace of the sexual is itself the essential source of human dignity, core certainty of being, and ultimately enlightenment. The full experience of the sexual state when awakened into full consciousness is the enlightened state in which the human beings realize that she is both beloved and love itself. Sexuality is an expression of what we call Outrageous Love.

Outrageous Love is the initiating and animating evolutionary Eros of reality itself, which appears in one guise as the sexual. It is, therefore, essential that Judah consciousness is born of Leah, who in a careful read of the biblical story claims her sexuality and her man. She thwarts Rachel to claim Jacob (29 Genesis). She claims him a second time (30 Genesis). These texts are explained in the Lilith book and in the Uncertainty book. She demands that Jacob come to her bed. Leah is Lilith in Luria’s reading. Luria’s reading however is based on a close read of the biblical narrative.

It is Tamar, however, who fully brings Judah to consciousness. We explain this story (38 Genesis) in the Certainty book. Tamar, like Leah, is an expression of She, the goddess. She uses the sexual to awaken Judah. It is only in claiming the goodness of his sexual encounter with Tamar that he is able to reclaim himself. This is what Tamar demands of Judah. According to Izbica, as we point our in Radical Kabbalah, it is through Judah clarifying his desire (Berrur) particularly his sexual desire and recognizing the goodness of his sexual encounter with Tamar – by claiming the sacred nature of his desire and attraction for her – that Judah incarnates Shekinah, owns his core certainty of being through the sexual, and emerges as the Judah archetype which is the model for Unique Self.

Later, in Radical Kabbalah we unpack the Judah archetype that is the core structure of consciousness in the work of the great teacher Mordechai Lainer of Izbica. The Judah archetype is the one who sources his core certainty of being in his radically unique expression of divinity. This is the essence of the Judah archetype. When Judah sources on that level of self he becomes the Torah. He moves from a position of obedience to the wisdom of the sacred law to an incarnation of the wisdom of the sacred law in his own uniquely personal being. The Judah archetype for Lainer incarnates the law. Judah is what we termed Unique Self. In the second volume of Radical Kabbalah, we show that the Judah archetype is really an expression of the Goddess. This is what Lainer calls the Wisdom of Solomon.

Solomon is in the Judah line and represents the incarnation of Eros and goddess She, installed in the first person in the human being. This is not a generic installation but a singular installation, which makes the person a primary source of revelation. This was the state of consciousness of Solomon. The sacred rabbinical tradition was designed to inculcate wisdom in a way, which allowed for moral development and the survival of the exile. This was the way of the law, based on precedent, which had the organizing power to unite the people and insure their survival.

Solomon’s way was well beyond his time. It represented a proto postmodern integral consciousness of Unique Self. It is precisely this consciousness, which we sought to articulate in the Unique Self book, Your Unique Self. The Unique Self is not prone to fall prey to false certainties because she holds her own core certainty of being. This is the expression of Judah that we began to draw in the Certainty book. It is not by accident that, as we point out in volume two of Radical Kabbalah, Judah in the Zohar is seen as the Shekinah. Shekinah is She or the Goddess. In Mystery of Love (chapter two), we show that Shekinah is Eros. The full equation is Shekinah = Eros = holiness. We might add to this = Judah = Unique Self. In Mystery of Love, we point out, as well, that the sexual models the erotic. This means at the deepest place that the sexual is the enlightened experience of Eros which is the holy.”

Stage Three: Integral Wisdom

We asked Gafni for the sake of this piece to get a sense of the intention for the third stage of his work. He describes the unfolding of the third stage of his work “with God’s help” as follows:

“There are several core themes, which I am now working on, all of which are expressions of what might be called the Integral Wisdom or World Spirituality based on Integral principles. So this is the Integral Wisdom Stage. The first theme is to articulate a vision of the patterns that connect that might be the basis for a new Universe Story. Unique Self and the Evolutionary We Space that emerge from Unique Self play a key role here. The first work, which is now being prepared, is called Integral Wisdom and I am co-authoring it with Ken Wilber. This is the source code work that will, God willing, inform all the rest of the volumes. There are a number of key books or monographs that are now being prepared. They are part of a unified whole which I pray will contribute to evolving the source code of culture. The evolution of consciousness, which is the evolution of love, is the audacious, yet utterly humble, intention of these works. There are several new volumes that I am working on simultaneously, while at the same time re-issuing some old volumes in English (primarily Certainty and Uncertainty) and putting out a new English edition of Soul Prints with primary source footnotes, and re-issuing Mystery of Love as a four volume set entitled Notes on Eros. The core themes and topics of the new volumes are generally, The New Universe Story, Evolutionary and Integral Spirituality, Outrageous Love, The Laws of Love, Gender, Entrepreneurship, Conscious Capitalism, World Spirituality, Wisdom School Teachings, A New Vision of Success or The Good Life, Eros, the Future of Sexuality, Next Steps in Recovery, a new edition of Unique Self, and Sacred Activism. All of this work is being undertaken in the context of our think tank Center for Integral Wisdom. Virtually every one of the works is a collaboration with a leading thinker. Collaboration is the hallmark of the Center and my core commitment at this stage of my life.”

There is also a key academic anthology volume of Gafni’s work, under preparation called Enlightenment of Fullness. A first volume of Gafni oral teaching was just published called Loving Your Way to Enlightenment and a second anthology of his short teaching is slated for publication under the title Teaching From the Holy of Holies. The first volume was edited by Chahat Corten and the second by Elizabeth Helen Bullock, both senior editors at the Center, teachers, and senior students in the Unique Self lineage.

Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Author, Teacher

Kate Maloney, Prof. Clinical Psychology, Entrepreneur

Ken Wilber

If ordinary people don’t perceive that our grand ideas are working in their lives then they can’t develop the higher level of consciousness, to use a term that American philosopher Ken Wilber wrote a whole book about. He said, you know, the problem is the world needs to be more integrated, but it requires a consciousness that’s way up here, and an ability to see beyond the differences among us.” — President Bill Clinton, Foreign Policy

Ken Wilber is a leading voice in Integral Wisdom and the author of more than 25 books which have explored the frontiers of enlightened living in the 21st century. He is also the most widely translated academic writer in America, with some 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages. His works have been the most influential in defining Integral Theory, which is an emerging discourse striving for the coherent organization, coordination, and harmonization of all of the relevant practices, methodologies, and experiences available to human beings. His latest work is The Fourth Turning: Exploring the Future of Buddhism which suggests a practical but profound way forward for the Buddhist tradition.

Deepak Chopra calls Ken Wilberone of the most important pioneers in the field of consciousness.” And Stuart Davis has said: “Ken Wilber is a new kind of genius, a meta-genius, somebody who is a genius in numerous disciplines and has showed us the ways that they can be drawn together and integrated.” Wilber’s oeuvre began in 1973 when he completed the classic book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, which was published in 1977 by Quest Books. The book was hailed as “brilliant,” “the most important book written on consciousness in modern times,” and earned him comparisons to Freud and William James. Later he would even be called the “Einstein of consciousness.”

Wilber’s work is relevant to an extraordinary number of academic disciplines on the one hand as well as individual seekers and mystics on the other. This may be the case because in our time traditional, modern, and post-modern philosophies have been discredited and a significant number of people are looking for alternatives. Wilber’s version of Integral Theory charts a course out of the fog. He and other scholars have used Integral Theory to investigate and re-vision fields such as biology, business, cultural studies, developmental psychology, ecology, law, medicine, politics, religious studies and spirituality, and systems theory.

In 2000 Wilber co-founded the Integral Institute, a think and practice tank for studying issues of science and society in an Integral way. According to the Institute, its “vision is that humanity lives with the awareness necessary to compassionately integrate the fragmented and partial perspectives of differing pursuits of the good life.” The Institute published the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice which has devoted an entire issue to Unique Self, the next chapter of Integral thinking in personal enlightenment. The Meta Integral Foundation continues to publish this important academic publication.

Ken Wilber is–next to Marc Gafni–the initiating Thought Leader and Co-Founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom. He has served as the Leading Voice on the Wisdom Council of the Center and has helped to shape the emerging Activist Think Tank. Together with Marc Gafni he is co-writing the main think tank book in progress of the Center on Integral Wisdom.

For Ken Wilber Dialogues Audio, click here>>>

For Ken Wilber Dialogues Video, click here>>>

For other Ken Wilber Media on CIW, click here>>>

For Blog Posts with Content by Ken Wilber on CIW, click here>>>

About The Founders

Dr. Gafni is the Co-Founder, together with Ken Wilber and Sally Kempton, of the Center for Integral Wisdom where he serves as its co-President. Together with Dr. Zak Stein, they are co-leading a team of thinkers, articulating a new vision of meaning for the world.

Previous Chairs of the Center include Barbara Marx Hubbard, Lori Galperin, John P. Mackey, Carrie Kish, Kate Maloney, and Adam Bellow. Our current chairs are Shareef Malnik and Gabrielle Anwar.

Read how Dr. Marc Gafni is honoring some of his “partners in crime,” the Co-Founders of the Center for Integral Wisdom: Sally Kempton, Mariana Caplan, and Lori Galperin.

Welcome to the Center for Integral Wisdom Founders portal.

My name is Marc Gafni. We founded the Center under its first name, the Center for World Spirituality, in 2011.

Sally Kempton, my best friend in the world, my dharma sister and awesome being in the world. She is one of the great teachers of meditation in the world having developed a system called Awakened Heart Meditation. One of her books Meditation for the Love of It: Her publisher Tami Simon said it was the best meditation books she ever read. A more recent and equally awesome book Awakening Shakti carries the deep lineage energies of her main tradition Kashmir Shaivism. She has been a central key co-conspirator to animate the Eros of this vision. I give a deep bow of love and appreciation and gratitude to Ken and Sally.

Mariana Caplan is the mother of my son Zion. She had this radical commitment to have a child and I stepped up somewhat post-conventionally to partner with her in having this child. She has written some seven books standing at the cross-roads of psychology and spirituality. I would recommend Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path. She is developing a new field of thought called Yoga and Psyche. She is a wonderful human being, a shining and radiant presence. She co-founded with me the center and was a key force in its initiation.

Lori Galperin, my partner, stunning, gorgeous human being who is one of the five or six leading trauma therapists. She is a deep soul who feels the pain of the world and spends her life as a healer. Her formal structure is with her colleague Mark Schwartz: they started in the field of sex therapy, and they discovered there were deep traumas. They have also gone into eating disorders and other areas. They have taught 75,000 therapists and started a trauma clinic. They are deeply wise healers, and Mark and Lori are masters of several interdisciplinary areas that they have integrated. She has been the Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees. She is also joining with me and others in writing a new manual on intimate relationships as well as developing and writing about the new field of Unique Self Recovery.

Welcome and deep honor to the co-founders … and there are many wonderful people actively engaged in the CIW.


Home portal content goes here

Lori Galperin

Lori Galperin serves as a Member of the Board of the Center for Integral Wisdom.

She is a clinician, writer and teacher who began her 27 year career working in the area of sex & marital therapy. Training at Masters & Johnson Institute, she eventually became co-director, co-founded the first inpatient sexual trauma program in the country, and ultimately established and clinically co-directed three such programs. Her work spanned diverse populations including incest families, sex offenders, victims of sexual abuse and individuals struggling with sexual addiction.

In 2000, Lori turned her attention to another under-served population: eating disorder clients, co-founding and clinically directing 3 residential treatment centers over the next 13 years. Most recently she has been working with populations with co-occurring disorders in a context that utilizes all prior skill bases.

“Amidst 27 years of teaching, writing and program innovation runs the animating desire of bringing together all the ‘necessary and sufficient’ elements of healing.”

At long last, the diverse fields that constitute mental health as a whole are beginning to awaken more fully to the necessity of meaning making. In this nascent recognition, the illusory separation of mind, body & soul is finally fading, thankfully, allowing a framework, one hopes, more encompassing & integrative to begin to emerge.

Lori currently resides on the Monterey Peninsula of N. California, where she recently participated in the founding of the Monterey Institute of Mental Health. She is also hard at work in collaboration with Dr. Marc Gafni on a book project entitled: Unique Self Recovery, a distillation & application of the heart Marc’s Unique Self teachings to the process of healing.

For more information, visit the Unique Self Recovery portal.

For media with Lori Galperin, click here>>>

Mariana Caplan

Mariana Caplan, PhD, is a psychotherapist, professor of yogic and transpersonal psychologies, and the author of seven books in the fields of psychology and spirituality, including The Guru Question: The Perils and Awards of Choosing a Spiritual Teacher and the seminal Halfway Up the Mountain: the Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment. Her recent release, Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path, won five national awards for best spiritual book of 2010.

Mariana has spent 20 years researching cutting edge and controversial topics in Western Spirituality, and focuses her consultation and psychotherapy practice on somatic approaches to healing trauma and spiritual issues. She is the co-founder of The Center for World Spirituality that is now being transformed into the Center for Integral Wisdom and an adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Naropa University. She has degrees in cultural anthropology, counseling psychology, and contemporary spirituality, and is a teacher and practitioner of yoga philosophy and asana.

For Dialogues with Mariana Caplan, click here>>>

For other Media with Mariana Caplan, click here>>>

For Blog Posts on CIW with Mariana Caplan, click here>>>

Sally Kempton

Sally Kempton is one of the Founders of Center for World Spirituality, which is now transformed into Center for Integral Wisdom. She serves as Vice President and a member of the Board of Trustees.

She has been practicing and teaching in a Hindu tradition for 30 years, twenty of them as a Swami, or Hindu monk of one of the Dasnami order of sannyasins. A former New York journalist who wrote extensively for the Village Voice, Esquire, New York Magazine, and The New York Times, she left her career in the early 1970s to study with her guru, Swami Muktananda. In the 1980s, she became one of the key teachers in the Siddha Yoga tradition as well as the first editor of a magazine, Darshan, which aimed at finding the shared truths within different spiritual traditions. Sally has spent many years studying Kashmir Shaivism and yoga philosophy, as well as investigating esoteric mysticism as it appears in different traditions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Sufism.

Since 2002 she has lived and taught as a lay teacher of meditation and spiritual wisdom. Her work aims at bringing the wisdom of non-dual philosophy and yoga into the problems and challenges of daily life. Sally’s teaching is based on the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, on the core texts of yoga and devotional Hinduism, and deeply influenced by Integral theory. She is the author of two books, The Heart of Meditation and Meditation for the Love of It, writes a column, “Wisdom,” for Yoga Journal, and teaches regular teleconference classes as well as retreats and workshops at conference centers like Kripalu, Esalen and Mt. Madonna.

Sally says, “I was originally drawn to the spiritual path through the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a radically prescient nineteenth-century Indian saint who realized God through the practices of several different traditions. My deepest conviction is that all the traditions contain authentic pathways to mystical realization, as well as authentic guidelines about how to live. As we move outside of conventional religious frameworks, it’s imperative that our practice carry an authenticity and rigor that is comparable to the rigor of the traditions, even as it acknowledges and works with the gifts and questions of modernity and post modernity.

“I am excited that Center for Integral Wisdom has the potential to define a trans-lineage spirituality that is powerful enough to hold practitioners steady in the radical transitions of our times, and to lead us in working with the transformative energies all around us for the highest good. To me, World Spirituality holds a promise that as a group, we can discover pathways to full self-realization and skillful enlightened action, which are rigorous, authentic, dogma free, and capable of riding the energy of this pregnant moment in human evolution.”

One of her most recent works is her book Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddess of Yoga. Read more about it in our blog.

For more books and CDs by Sally Kempton, see her website>>>.

In conjunction with CIW, Sally is teaching–together with Dr. Marc Gafni–our Annual World Spirituality Retreat at Esalen as well as frequent workshops at Pacific Coast Church.

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Marc Gafni

Dr. Marc Gafni is a visionary thinker, social activist, passionate philosopher, and author of ten books, including the award-winning Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, the two-volume Radical Kabbalah, the recently published Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter and Tears: Reclaiming Ritual, Integral Religion, and Rosh Hashana.

He holds his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University, and received rabbinic certification from the chief rabbinate in Israel, as well private rabbinic ordination. He teaches on the cutting edge of philosophy in the West, helping to evolve a new ‘dharma,’ or meta-theory of Integral meaning that is helping to re-shape key pivoting points in consciousness and culture.

He has been a guest editor of the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice on issues of integral spirituality, and a faculty member of JFK University. He is the co-founder, together with Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton, and Mariana Caplan (now also joined by Lori Galperin), of The Center for Integral Wisdom, a leading activist think tank dedicated to articulating a practical politics of love, and to catalyzing an emergent personal and global vision of ethics, Eros and meaning.

Together with author and social innovator Barbara Marx Hubbard, he is working on a series of new works revolving around Evolutionary Spirituality.

As co-initiator in 2014 of the Success 3.0 Summit with John Mackey of Whole Foods Market and entrepreneur Kate Maloney, Gafni is known for his visionary work on evolving a post-dogmatic shared language of meaning and success, rooted in the entrepreneurial values of Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up and Outrageous Love. The Success 3.0 Summit’s method and movement is to bring together key thought leaders and change-agents to collaboratively evolve a bold new Integral vision of Success. The event hosted key business and thought leaders including, 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), 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.

Known for his rare combination of brilliant mind and overflowing heart, Gafni is a leading public intellectual impacting the source code of global culture, and has been called a trail-blazing visionary in opening up new possibilities for love, Eros and relationship. He has led international spiritual movements and learning communities, as well as created and hosted for several seasons a popular national Israeli television program on culture, meaning, and spirit on Israel’s leading network.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Gafni has developed educational programs and workshops rooted in traditional wisdom and yet fully adapted to the needs of the contemporary world.

Gafni is well known for his love of Integral Theory and its profound importance. As an expression of that importance, he has engaged with Ken Wilber over the last twelve years in dozens of discussions designed to clarify and evolve key dimensions of Integral Theory in relation to Unique Self, World Spirituality, Prayer and the Second Person of God, Evil, Eros and the the Future of Love and Relationship.

Wilber, in his introduction to the Your Unique Self book, called Unique Self “a new chapter in Integral Theory.”

Similarly JITP devoted an entire issue to Unique Self with the leading article by Gafni entitled “The Evolutionary Emergent of Unique Self, A New Chapter in Integral Theory“.

Sean Esbjorn Hargens in his preface to Radical Kabbalah has already noted Gafni’s important contributions to Integral theory.

It is worth adding that Gafni has contributed to evolving Integral theory in terms of emergent understandings of what he has called “the democratization of enlightenment,” a second tier theory of moral obligation, a second tier realization of prayer, of what he has called World Spirituality, Evolutionary Eros, Integral Sexuality, Conscious Entrepreneurship, Theodicy, and the beginning of an Integral theory of Unique Self.

[Click here for Dr. Marc Gafni’s in-depth biography on his personal website…]

For more on his work, see

What others say about Marc…

Barbara Marx Hubbard, Founder of The Foundation for Conscious Evolution, about Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom:

Marc Gafni is a rising star attracting us toward a future of outrageous love, creativity, wisdom and pleasure as our Unique Selves. He is paving the way for a new psychology and spirituality for evolving humanity to fulfill our enormous potential. He has incorporated the 13.8 billion year Evolutionary Impulse of Creation directly in the heart of humanity as our motivation to love, to grow to become our Unique Selves, the future human. It is a joy to work with Marc. He combines kindness, humor, great erudition and a passionate desire to draw us together in a movement for positive self and social actualization. He is inspiring us to change the “source code of success” as winning over one another, to the new source code of co-creating and co-evolving with one another for the good, the true and the beautiful. He radiates the joy of “joining genius to co-create.”

I very much enjoy working with Marc and Daniel Schmachtenberger on a course to be offered through the Center from Integral Wisdom, “Becoming a Future Human,” on exploring with him sacred texts, (as I am publishing a new book: Evolutionary Testament of Co-Creation: The Promise Will Be Kept— an evolutionary perspective on the Gospels, Acts and Epistles), and co-conceiving with him and others some remarkable initiatives that have the possibility of truly serving the world. I look forward to working with Marc and others at the Center for Integral Wisdom. For me, as a life long advocate of the world view of Conscious Evolution it is like home coming within an evolutionary family.

Barbara Marx Hubbard, Founder of The Foundation for Conscious Evolution

Sally Kempton introducing Marc Gafni on the Integral Spiritual Experience 2 – The Future of Love:

What’s the “bigger game” Marc is up to in the world?

Marc’s prayerful commitment is to participate in and help to catalyze the articulation of a shared global framework of meaning and responsibility–which is the urgent need and great planetary adventure of our time. Such a framework honors the singularity of every great wisdom tradition, even as it identifies the underlying depth structures and unique contributions of each. When taken together, these begin to articulate an authentic “users guide to the universe.” The Center for Integral Wisdom is the great renaissance project of our time, inviting outrageous love in response to outrageous pain, audaciously and lovingly demanding that each of us step up to being All In For All Life.

The Center for Integral Wisdom is engaged in a series of “source code evolving” landmark projects in the areas of Conscious Capitalism & Entrepreneurship, Unique Self, Eros, World Spirituality, Gender, Relationship, Medicine, Education and Psychology. We believe that these projects will help to unfold–for the first time in the post-modern era–a shared vision of meaning: an authentic world philosophy based on Integral Unique Self principles.

Our work in the world is focused in several areas: leading-edge scholarship, books & white papers, large scale virtual courses and public events, and other projects which are collectively re-shaping key pivoting points in consciousness and culture.

Marc’s favorite quote:

There is nothing more whole than a broken heart.

Marc’s favorite “little-known” book:

Ecclesiastes: Written by King Solomon chalk full of stunning advice on life, relationships and business.

For more on his work, see

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