by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik
A 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.
Deep bow to Chahat Corten holding space for the sangha every morning in Evolutionary Satsang and creating the foundation for the dharma with her open heart and compassionate holding of every participant.
Deep bow to Claire Molinard, who has held the space in so many ways, so beautifully and courageously, making it all happen, an embodiment of the Goddess HERself.
Deep bow to Dr. Kristina Kincaid offering her embodied work around sexuality and Eros to create openings in the space and every single person to literally become the living embodied dharma.
Deep bow to our holy band of Outrageous Lovers, committing acts of Outrageous Love all day, be it as contributors, as cooks, as part of the kitchen crew offering pleasure through food, the tech crew, the Love in Action team, the music crew, long time and first time participants, ALL OF US.
We are all in this together, growing and evolving, each one of us needed by evolution, SHE, the uni-verse, all of reality…
A Return to Eros
The theme of this year was “A Return to Eros” and to Eros indeed we returned, yet, at a much higher level than we left off: Second Innocence… returning to the Garden of Eden like for the very first time, eating from the Tree of Life/Eros that transcends and includes the Tree of Knowledge.
All of it was held in the Principles of Tantra, of Dharma:
- The principle of Non-Rejection
- The principle of Tantra and Dharma being a trickster (it’s all about sex; it’s not about sex at all)
- The principle of tracing everything back to source, and
- The principle of holding paradox. The Holy of Holies doesn’t have an opposite. The Inside of the Inside doesn’t have an opposite. The Garden of Eden is not paradise but paradox.
Especially, we looked at what stands in the way of evolution:
Other than guilt that says that I did something wrong, shame is the hidden sense that I am wrong, that in my core I am not enough, that I am not a good child of the universe.
The sources of shame are
- Sexual shame, when pleasure stops short of infinity, which is a failure of my Eros (we are so shamed by Fuck that we made it into a curse word)
- The experience of “I don’t matter,” which is a failure of Telos/ Purpose, and last but not least
- The shame about our shame.
Shame is the root of all evil, we said. We live on a planet drenched in shame, which makes room for the murder of Eros and all kinds of atrocities, like the abuse of the sexual and the abuse of power in so many ways.
In order to heal shame, we need a new sexual narrative that is beyond the common narratives of sex negative, sex positive, sex neutral, or sex sacred because it creates babys. The new narrative sees sex as a model for Eros, all the way up and all the way down. What we mean by that is the interior of all the forces of attraction and allurement in the cosmos that draw together seemingly separate wholes as parts of greater wholes to create order from chaos, greater and greater complexity on the outside, greater and greater consciousness on the inside, greater and greater Love, Creativity, Uniqueness (that is more and more conscious of itself) on the Inside of the Inside.
We live in a cosmo-erotic universe. We are a unique configuration of intimacy and Eros. Within that new narrative we can reclaim the dignity of our desire. We see that sex is love in the body. We understand that arousal is not consent, and regret is not rape.
No matter how long the story, it is always a love story… maybe not a romantic love story, but an Outrageous Love Story. Conscious Sexing in all of its tastes doesn’t violate the values and integrity of the stories of the larger circles involved. It doesn’t distort the story.
Level 1 of healing shame happens when we get the new narrative. There were many moments where we could literally feel that shame had left the room.
For Level 2 of healing shame, we need to see that there is dignity in shame.
The Dignity in Shame
We do not shame shame but recognize that shame whispers in our ears that we are Kings and Queens. We are powerful. Evolution is not a process out there. We are personally implicated in the evolutionary process. The evolutionary process awakens in us, as us, and through us.
Until we declare our power, we will be shamed. Feeling powerless is the original shame. Shame is the mark on our forehead that reminds us of our greatness. When we feel discontent or yearning for more, that is not our personal pathology. It is divine discontent… the yearning of evolution itself.
To usher in the age of the Democratization of Enlightenment or the new humanity, we need to get that enlightenment is 2nd innocence. Enlightenment is sanity. Enlightenment is waking up and getting the joke: It’s me. I am not separate.
And yet, we are not disappearing into the One but appearing uniquely AS the One.
We get that in an intimate Universe there are no externalities. Every moment we are held by the Infinity of Intimacy. Every place we fall, we fall into the arms of the Beloved.
Kerstin Zohar Tuschik