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.
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.
What we call matter is actually not as solid as we often think it is. On a subatomic level, there are not even particles. Most of the times, what we call elementary particles don’t appear as particles at all. They don’t have a clear location but move through space as so-called probability waves.
These probability waves determine where the particle can or cannot materialize in the moments when it does. These waves are of course fully merged with everything else. They travel through space and time and are not limited to one place but rather expand throughout the universe. And yet, they are attracted/allured to each other. When two particle waves of, e.g., opposite electrical polarity “meet”, they will move towards each other. Once they get close enough, their wave crests and troughs interfere with each other forming so-called interference patterns:
This is what we can see in the so-called double-slit experiment. A coherent light or electron beam is sent through a double-slit, which divides the beam into two. In some distance of that slit these photon or electron beams fall on a screen displaying exactly the interference patterns that one would expect from two waves that in some places cancel each other out, while strengthening each other in other places:
When falling on the screen these same beams that clearly display wave like behavior when passing through the double-slit equally clearly behave as particles when hitting the screen. It seems like half a particle traveled through one slit, while the other half traveled through the other, which is of course impossible.
So in a thought experiment*, researchers would measure through which slit the particle came. And yes, it was clearly so that each particle came through just one of the slits. However, in THIS new experiment, there was no interference pattern on the screen anymore. Just two separate beams of particles hitting the screen at two distinct locations.
So, what happened here? The somewhat esoteric explanation I have often heard is that the observer somehow influences the experiment through his or her intention or consciousness. That would be quite miraculous indeed. Yet, how would that work?
To understand that, we need to look at what observation really means. When we normally observe an object, we put it into the light, in order to “see” it. The light particles (photons) falling on the object (and then on our eyes) are almost infinitely smaller than the object they fall upon. That is why we can simply ignore the interaction between the object and the photons in our observation.
This is of course not the case when we want to “see” a photon or electron. In order to measure through which slit the particle came, we need to have it interact with another particle, which is about the same size of the electron being measured. So, clearly, in this case we cannot ignore the effects of that interaction.
To assume that it is indeed that interaction that causes the original particle to localize itself in one place, can explain a lot of the weird effects of this wave-particle duality. In the moment of the interaction, the probability wave collapses and “materializes” or “incarnates” as a particle. So, it is paradoxically when two particle waves come closest to each other, in that moment of “intimacy” between them, they don’t merge with each other but emerge as particles.
Right after the interaction** they merge with the larger field again as probability waves. It is as if the separate particles only come into existence for a moment of relationship and intimacy.
However, through the interaction both of them have been changed. For example in the double-slit experiment the two separate beams now don’t interfere with each other anymore. The two particles may have changed directions and impulse. Or, when a photon falls on an object, it interacts with an electron in one of the atoms the object is built of, absorbing it and then emitting it again at another wavelength, which is why we see that object as red or green or whatever color.
Sometimes – very rarely – under the right circumstances with the right amount of energy – there is even a third entity that emerges through the interaction and stays in existence thereafter: an entity that transcends and includes both of them (a larger particle, atom, molecule…). This new entity becomes a little more concrete (= particle-like) because it keeps the wavicles it consists of in constant interaction (=intimacy). An atom for example, although really consisting of overlapping and interfering probability waves, acts much more like a particle as a whole, than all the elementary particles/wavicles it consists of. That is exactly why, the larger the entities become, the more we can disregard these quantum effects and treat them as objects in classical mechanics.
So, in that sense, intimacy is not merging into an undifferentiated one. It is two emerging as two, or – very rarely – under the right circumstances with the right amount of energy, as three.
It is the probability of I and the probability of You emerging as I and You and – sometimes – as holy We that transcends and includes both You and I.
And all of that is happening in the One Mind of God.
*see Wikipedia Double-slit experiment:
Despite the importance of this thought experiment in the history of quantum mechanics (for example, see the discussion on Einstein’s version of this experiment), technical feasible realizations of this experiment were not proposed until the 1970s. (Naive implementations of the textbook gedanken experiment are not possible because photons cannot be detected without absorbing the photon.) Currently, multiple experiments have been performed illustrating various aspects of complementarity.
An experiment performed in 1987  produced results that demonstrated that information could be obtained regarding which path a particle had taken without destroying the interference altogether. This showed the effect of measurements that disturbed the particles in transit to a lesser degree and thereby influenced the interference pattern only to a comparable extent. In other words, if one does not insist that the method used to determine which slit each photon passes through be completely reliable, one can still detect a (degraded) interference pattern.
**Some other weird effects that have been found in actual experiments suggest that we need to look at the whole field of space and time together (rather than thinking of linear before and after timelines) in order to determine the probability where a particle can be detected when it is detected. However the process of detection always involves interaction.