A Time Between Stories
Join Dr. Marc Gafni and Andrew Cohen in Dialogue
We are truly living in “a time between stories” – a phase-shift in human history. We face either unimaginable utopia or dystopia, and it is far from clear which of these two parallel universes we will ultimately choose.
The apparently sturdy, reliable, fixed structures that have held our world together are on the brink of collapse. We are collectively realizing that we are not too big to fail – and in the face of such overwhelming insecurity, we may well lose sight of our moral compass completely.
Cohen and Gafni both believe strongly that unless we are in control of our internal environment – in particular our capacity for radical sovereignty and sense-making – the outcome will be immeasurable suffering for billions of people.
Cohen asserts that such sovereignty naturally arises from the liberating power of what he terms “spiritual self-confidence” – a position of deep trust that arises out of an unshakable certainty in the absolute, and an anchoring of the self-sense in that which cannot be grasped by the mind.
Similarly, Gafni describes an intention to live one’s life as “Outrageous Love” – a condition in which true sovereignty and authentic spiritual self-confidence naturally come into being. Rather than a dogmatic assertion that “it is true”, Gafni speaks of a radical knowing that “I am true”.
Cohen’s approach has always been grounded in the direct experience of nondual enlightenment, and this transmission of the ground of being – prior freedom and unity consciousness – is absolutely foundational to his teaching. For Cohen, a profound inner breakthrough from which there is no return is a prerequisite.
However, Cohen’s pioneering realisation is that such an awakening only begins to make a significant difference when it is shared, intersubjectively, between two or more individuals. He has long emphasised the need for enlightenment to make the evolutionary leap from the individual to the collective, and has pioneered practices which reliably enable profound intersubjective coherence.
Likewise, Gafni sees radical enlightenment in terms of a higher individuation beyond ego. What he calls the “Evolutionary Unique Self” participates in a new quality of consciousness – the evolutionary intimacy of a Unique Self Symphony. He describes the process of attainment as “loving your way to enlightenment”.
Gafni adds to this the need to democratize the possibility of human sovereignty, proposing a new “universal grammar of value” that integrates the best of premodern, modern and postmodern wisdom as a generator function for a new humanity. It is from within this shared human story woven from what he calls First Principle and First Values that Gafni envisions a radical re-making of policy and refashioning of culture.
Both Cohen and Gafni see a deep and abiding virtue in humanity – a truth, beauty and goodness that is real and tangible, even amid the sometimes painful limitations and vulnerabilities that we are reminded of, and humbled by, on a daily basis.
Both men agree that for spiritual attainment to mean something, it cannot be only rooted in the ego self personality, and that any basis for real change must include a new hierarchy of values that places radical spirit at the apex of our attention. What this actually means in terms of our models and practices for invoking the new human will be one of the key themes of these conversations
These two distinct but strongly aligned approaches to the wicked problems faced by humanity ultimately point in the same direction – only through a radical reorganisation of our sense of value can our capacity for clear thinking, feeling and sense-making be unleashed.
About Dr. Marc Gafni & Andrew Cohen
Marc Gafni and Andrew Cohen are spiritual teachers and thought leaders who share a strong foundation in an evolutionary approach to spiritual awakening and practice. Both are original and innovative thinkers who have produced pioneering bodies of work in evolutionary spirituality, and formulated many of its core tenets.
Their teachings uphold and demystify the foundational principles of traditional, modern and postmodern wisdom streams, weaving them together into an integral whole. The aim of these dialogues is to generate a creative and dynamic evolutionary tension – to catalyze an awakening to higher and deeper states and stages of consciousness, liberating insights and life-affirming perspectives.
The dialogues will unfold organically over time as an inspiring example of emergent spirituality in action – one that gives rise to its own unique tapestry of coherence and meaning.
Dialogue on December 3rd
“The Ultimate Mystery That Lies Beyond Life And Death”
In their first dialogue, Marc Gafni and Andrew Cohen will share and explore their deepest insights into the ultimate mystery that lies beyond life and death.
From the deepest metaphysical perspective, what is the distinction between life and death?
Is life the manifestation of an eternal metaphysical source, or is it merely the extraordinary emergence of a fundamentally material process?
How do our conscious and unconscious convictions about the ultimate source of the evolving universe affect our moral and philosophical relationship to living and dying?
Is consciousness part of an unbroken developmental continuity in the cosmos, or merely an emergent epiphenomena of matter?
Is death the absolute end of what was, or a transition that is part of an infinite unfolding?
Is the nature of death a question of belief, or do we have real data to support our understanding of it? If there is data, then what is it and where do we find it?
Do we have a more enlightened relationship to death in the 21st century, or can the great wisdom traditions still illuminate our understanding?
Is the fear of death an experience to be transcended, embraced or both? Is living forever a wish that we would want fulfilled?
What are the political, social and economic implications of our relationship to death?