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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.


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.

Eros and Sex

It’s all about sex, and it’s not about sex at all because… The sexual models the erotic, it doesn’t exhaust the erotic. The erotic, remember the song we just heard? Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, the erotic and the holy are one. The sexual models the erotic, it doesn’t exhaust the erotic, and the erotic and the holy are one. So that is to say the quality of desire, of yearning, yearning for what? For deeper contact.

What does deeper contact mean? Again, brother James, they use the word contact, the best places, ’cause no one wants to say touch. What does contact mean? Contact. Reach out and touch someone. What does it mean? I was really touched by that. It was really touching. What does really touching mean? It was contact. Right? It didn’t just fly by me. That was a really touching moment. It was authentic. It was real. It was unmediated.

Sex is love in the body. Love is the larger field of Eros, of desire, of intimacy. Sex isn’t divorced from that field, it’s an expression of that field. There was twelve billion years of Eros. Reality desiring, moving to ever higher levels of intimacy and wholeness, beginning from quarks, all the way up through the evolutionary chain. So sex is part of that larger field of love. So when we want to understand the human being, and we wanna understand the sexual, we can only understand it in the larger context of a universe story. Reality is a love story. It’s moving towards ever deeper levels of intimacy. Desire is always evolving to larger and deeper wholes, and within the context of a narrative of identity.

The narrative of identity is the answer of the question of who are you? Right, we talked about that in Unique Self sexing, in level six of the seven levels of sexing. Who are you? But let’s take the last step. Who are you? You are an irreducible unique expression of the desire of reality. You’re an irreducible unique expression of the love intelligence and love beauty and love desire and love fuck that is the initiating Eros, desire and fuck of all that is that lives in you as you and through you as your unique set of allurements. As your unique set of clarified desires. As the unique configuration of fuck that lives in you as you and through you that participates in the larger field of desire. That participates in the larger field of fuck.

All desire is on loan from the bank of desire. There is no localized desire that lives in you. The desire that lives in you is a unique configuration of the larger field of desire. There is no desire for fuck that lives in you independently of the reality that God is fuck. But God is fuck means that fuck is God. Human fuck, small fuck, intercourse fuck, is part of the larger field of fuck. So who are you? You’re an irreducibly unique expression of the field of fuck that lives in you as you and through you. And as such, as irreducibly unique expression of that love intelligence and love beauty that is the initiating and animating Eros of all that is that lives in you as you and through you … as such, your desire and your fuck can fuck it open.

Eros and Pleasure

The interior experience of Eros is, anyone? Pleasure. Eros feels pleasurable on the inside. When Eros falls apart, when Eros is deconstructed, the feeling’s not pleasurable. It’s pain, it’s alienation, it’s fragmentation.

It’s a structure of reality. We live in an intimate universe. The quarks that are allured to each other and they form subatomic particles. Protons, neutrons, electrons. The protons, neutrons, and electrons go through all their processes. We talked about a lot of the levels. They come together and they form atoms.

What drives them? Allurement. Allurement. There’s this interior structure of allurement. The atoms come together and they form molecules and they form complex molecules. What drives them? The movement towards intimacy. Allurement. The molecules come together, and complex molecules form. They then deepen their experience of intimacy in a relationship and then, voila. The second Big Bang. Biological evolution.

Eros and Evolution

The first big bang, cosmological evolution. Second big bang, the big bang, cosmological evolution meaning all the way, all the way, all the way through till life. Just stay with me for a second. Was there Eros before sex? Of course. There’s 12 billion years of Eros before there’s sex. Everyone get that? In other words 12 billion years of Eros until we get to sex. Then we get to the biological world which starts before sex of course but cellular world, biological evolution. Then we hit the neocortex with a frontal lobe. We get to cultural evolution. Then cultural evolution moves, moves, moves, moves, moves, moves, moves until about 300 years ago. About 300 years ago two huge fucking awesome, dramatic, critical things happened.

Number one, evolution awakened to itself. In other words we became aware that evolution was happening. Unconscious evolution became conscious evolution. The unconscious process, unconscious to us of evolution actually awakened and became conscious evolution.

Number two, the birth of the individual which laid the groundwork for the itegration of western and eastern enlightenment into the realization of unique self which is I have a unique contribution to make. I am evolution. Not I have a unique contribution, Myers Briggs test. Not I have a unique contribution the corporate HR department trying to figure out where to place me based on a series of politics and economic structures and some interest of the company and how will I serve the company, no. I am Homo Amor. I’m a unique expression of evolution. The evolutionary impulse actually awakens uniquely in me. I am Homo Amor and I … There’s a corner of the world that’s unlove that won’t become love until I give my unique gift which is my Homo Amor outrageous gift of love intelligence.

What organizes me? What self-organizes me? What self-organizes reality? Homo Amor, unique self.

Cosmo-Erotic Universe

What do we mean when we say the cosmo erotic universe? By the way, we can take a look at one of the new books, Return to Eros, there’s two big chapters on the cosmo erotic universe. What does that mean?

It means that Eros is not merely a personal human quality, it’s a quality of cosmos. Reality is a cosmo erotic universe all the way and all the way down. Reality is the movement, of what I call, lines and circles coming together, attraction and repulsion, autonomy and communion, all the way and all the way down. Now, Homo Amor Universalis, homoe amore universalis, amore if we’re speaking Italian. Homo Amor Universalis is the cosmo erotic universe in person awakening to itself.

So we live in an intimate universe and an intimate universe, structurally, relationships are everything. The deepening of intimacy and relationships is the core movement of cosmos and the transformation of relationship or the evolution of self, which is what we’re going to do today here in the room. Who am I? Is the core driver of reality itself on all levels? Reality is driven by new configurations of intimacy.

Here’s an example, and Shimon’s gonna sing this example later. Okay? This dance of intimacy takes place, not just an electromagnetic attraction, but in the gravity, which is the allurement or the fuck, both between bodies and stars. Take but one example, There’s an erotic relationship between the Earth and the Sun. It’s the precision of that erotic relationship that gives every one of us life. It’s kind of a shocking, right? Right. That’s actually the structure

Now watch for a second. Here’s just one small dimension of this relationship between attraction and repulsion, autonomy, independence, and communion, allurement that actually defines the Eros or the fuck between the Earth and the Sun that holds everyone in this room in this very second. We’re actually being held in that literally in this very second now.

Now to actually become more intimate with my reality is to actually become aware of the fact that that’s true. Does that make sense? We’re not intimate when we don’t realize it’s happening. Right? Let me read you … The surface temperature of the Earth, right? I think Gafni wrote this – with Kincaid. The surface temperature of the Earth cannot change too far in either direction or life will become extinct. For a very long time, deep into the last century, life on earth was thought to be a blessed result of the balance between centrifugal force and gravity, which placed the sun at precisely the right distance from the Earth, 93 million miles away.


When I’m not in Eros, Victor … When I’m not in Eros … Give me a drum roll in the room. Give me a drum roll in the room. Give me a drum roll in the room. Let’s move it around. Shake your body. Move it around. Move it around. Move it around. Move it around. Move it around. Give me a drum roll. Whoo. Give me a drum roll. Help me out. Help me out here. Help me out here. Give me a drum roll in the room. Yo. Shake that out. Shake it. Shake it out. Ken, help me out back there. You okay, okay?

So, let’s just kind of check that. When I’m not in Eros, which is the movement of radical aliveness seeking ever greater contact, touch and ever larger wholes, then I split off part of reality. Does everyone get that? I’m no longer in Eros, I’m in Pseudo-Eros. That’s that distinction we’ve been working with. Pseudo-Eros means that I actually can’t get alive. I can’t actually be fully gorgeously aroused and enlivened by ordinary life. I’m caught in the hole and I can’t sit in the hole long enough, because I’ve got no narrative of identify. I don’t know who I am. I’ve got no narrative of power. I’ve got no Universe story. The hole is wildly painful, so I do everything I can to cover up the hole. That’s Pseudo-Eros. Pseudo-Eros means I can’t sit in the hole until it fills up, so I do everything I can to cover up the hole because it’s too painful.

Every form of addiction, and every form of acting out, and every form of violence. It’s all a form of Pseudo-Eros, and I’m split from the larger field of intimacy, from the larger field of Eros.

Eros and Ethics

The erotic and the ethical are one.

Eros and ethics don’t clash. Eros means my experience of the fullness of my being. I feel alive, full, delighted, engaged. Whenever my Eros collapses my ethics collapse. Every failure of ethics, every single failure of ethics comes from an erotic breakdown. We’re used to hearing that the erotic and the ethical clash. I’m going to be ethical by tamping down the Eros. Then I’ll be ethical. The opposite. Every single, ethical breakdown, every collapse, every addiction, every falling apart, every depression, every disease all happens from erotic breakdown. All ethical failure is erotic breakdown.

Now, here it is. What’s the source of my Eros? My unique self. James’ Eros and my Eros are not the same. If I try and act, I try and plug into James’ Eros you know what’s going to happen? Electrocuted. That’s what’s going to happen. That’s actually true. That’s imitation. The goal of being alive and this is self-evident. Here it is, really simple, gorgeous simple sentence, is to be original.

Unique Self

So actually, your Eros, your aliveness, is actually completely dependent on accessing your Unique Self. Now, the only possible risk you could take is not to access that Unique Self. All ethical breakdown, it’s not based on some dude or dudette who just said, “I’m not going to play the rules because I’m a bad dude, I’m a bad dudette.” It doesn’t happen that way. All ethical breakdown is based on a failure of Eros, and Eros is aliveness, Eros is the experience of radical liveness seeking ever deeper contact and ever greater wholes. So when Eros fails, when your creativity fails, what happens is your ethics breakdown because you feel empty, you feel diseased, you feel devastated. You’re in the hole H-O-L-E, and you’re desperate, I’m desperate, we’re desperate to cover the hole.

Every form of acting out and all violence and abuse and all degradation is based on trying to cover up the hole with some form of addictive pseudo Eros. What I have to do to be alive is I got to participate in the Unique Self-symphony, and that’s the new form of community. That’s what the new form of community is.

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