The Center for Integral Wisdom team wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!
There is so much that we at the Center are grateful for this year, from the many friendships around the world and the Outrageous Love we all share to the projects, large and small, that we have completed or are still in full swing:
Our WebPlex launch
The Pleasure Map course and its first live class with people engaging pleasure on whole new levels
An awesome board meeting in March
Books, courses, and activist projects in play
Talks and workshops given at conferences or churches, our in-depth Wisdom School at Shalom Mountain, and the 8-day Summer Festival of Love in Holland
- And so much more…
On a global level, the outrageous pain seems to grow more and more intense with millions of refugees fleeing from war, hunger, and violence, ongoing terror in many places around the world, as well as the quiet desperation of loneliness and disease. With that we are even more committed to fulfill on the mission of the Center: to articulate, evolve and deliver a new, Integral narrative for living – which transforms each individual, culture and life itself – creating a world of Outrageous Love, through Outrageous Love.
“The only response to outrageous pain is Outrageous Love,” as CIW Co-Founder Marc Gafni reminds us. This starts with resisting “the gravitational pull of UnLove” in our personal relationships and turning them into authentic Unique Self encounters.
“To enter a Unique Self encounter, you must resist the gravitational pull of UnLove. You must identify as part of the larger field of love. You experience yourself as part of the seamless coat of the Universe. This is the source of your authentic power. This will allow you to receive hurt inflicted by others as a wound of love and not as an insult. You wear your hurt as a battle scar in your struggle for love. You bear it with pride and dignity. You are freed from the compulsive need to inflict pain on the one who hurt you in order to prove you exist. You know you exist because you are in divine communion, that is to say, identified with the larger whole beyond your particular part nature.
The trance-ending of ego into Unique Self-realization is animated by the quality of love. Love motivates and manifests the spontaneous action of care and compassion. Egoic self-contraction is the quality of fear. Fear motivates and manifests the reactive rituals of egoity.
To live and act as love means to keep your heart open through the pain of heartache and hurt.
To live and act as fear means to allow the pain to close your heart. You can practice love by practicing opening your heart even when you feel hurt.
Rather than turning away, closing down, and striking out, you keep your heart open. This will help you act skillfully instead of reacting clumsily in these situations.
When you practice opening as love moment to moment in the face of the hurt, the power of the past weakens. Old wounds are in the past. If you open your heart in the present, time after time, the power of the past recedes.
You will probably always feel the pain when you meet UnLove in relationship. But you do not need to feel the closure, which deadens your heart and your life force. You can continually practice love rather than closing down into UnLove. You can feel your self-contraction and choose to change the way you react.
You are not a victim of your past. When you stop either ignoring or overdramatizing past events, you also stop unconsciously using life trauma from the past to avoid giving the depth of love that is yours to give in the present moment.
The pain of the past may have come to you through another. Your present reaction is yours. You are doing it. You must assume responsibility for your own complex of reactivity. Reactive emotion and reenactment do not need to be a fact of your nature. You can take your armor off. You can unguard your heart and trust yourself to live and love from an intense armorless vulnerability. This is the safest place from which to live.
For some people, especially those with fortunate childhood circumstances, opening through hurt is not so hard. For others, it may be the work of a lifetime. For all of us, it is perhaps the most important work we can do for our own love and freedom, and the love and freedom of the others in our lives.
To be weak in love is to exclusively identify with your separate self, which is always already insulted and empty with craving.
To love is to know that we are all lost and found in the same reality together. To love is to stay open in gratitude and joy even as you know that love breaks your heart.”
Marc Gafni, Your Unique Self
From our hearts to yours, we send you love and light this Thanksgiving season.
In deep gratitude and evolutionary partnership,
The CIW Team