Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #12: Victim or Player

By Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

"Worried Young Woman On Bed" 2012. Photo Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

©2012 "Worried Young Woman On Bed" Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici 


In your ego, you cling to every petty detail of your story. You never let go of any of your wounds. Your mantra is “I hurt, therefore I am.” Therefore, your ego can never wholeheartedly forgive. If it does, the ego's forgiveness is a tactic, not a sacrament. Your Unique Self forgives freely without giving up your own truth.

From the evolutionary context of your Unique Self, you realize that you have a Unique Gift to give to All-That-Is. You are animated, driven, and drawn by that larger vision and obligation. This allows you to place your wounds in a larger perspective. Your Unique Self is not a victim. It is an audacious player in the Great Story of the evolution of consciousness. This larger perspective allows you to begin to let go of the story of your wounds. As it is replaced by the greater story of your Unique Self, delight and obligation begin to emerge.

From the place of your Unique Self, you are able to intuitively balance your outrage at injustice with an intuition about when to give up being right and move on. Because you are able to give up being right without giving up your core identity, it becomes infinitely easier to forgive.


Further Discussion:

As Dr. Marc reminds us, life is what we do with our hurt, which means that we can choose to be victims or we can choose to be players in the evolutionary context. In Your Unique Self, Marc writes, “Hurt is not an objective reality that gives you license for cruelty under the cover of ”˜I was hurt.' Hurt is a state, and it is interpreted through your stage or level of consciousness. As you evolve, your relationship to your wounds naturally shifts. More than any other single barometer, what you do with your hurt reveals to you and others your genuine level of consciousness. When you feel hurt, the masks of piety and the guises of liberation from ego are stripped away, and your naked heart is revealed to yourself and those with eyes to see” (426).

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Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #11 – King or Servant

Fallen Leader by podpad, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Fallen Leader by podpad, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

Ego is the servant pretending to be a king. You are avoiding stepping into your Unique Self for fear of being a king. Your ego thinks it is God but does not really believe it, so your ego insanely tries to make itself the God it knows it is not. Your Unique Self knows it is God, so it acts in the world with majesty, audacity, and grace.



Further discussion:

We can take a lot of different perspectives on today's issue. Let's try on a couple of them.

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Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #10 – Authentic Freedom or Pseudofreedom

by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self.

Your ego is a slave that wants to be free. Freedom is the quality that we call autonomy. Your ego, however, understands and experiences freedom/autonomy as freedom from external influence. Only then does ego feel free to do what it wants. Unique Self is free. Unique Self understands and experiences freedom as the freedom to live your Uniqueness and give your deepest gifts in the world.

When you feel yourself demanding your egoic freedom, stop for a moment and feel into it. Do not cover over the emptiness that lies at the root of your desire for freedom and autonomy. Feel into the emptiness. Feel into the hole.

For example: Perhaps you are in a relationship that you want to leave. You are chafing to get out of the relationship. But as you contemplate this, stay in the discomfort that you can palpably feel””which lies at the root of this desire. For now, do not give the feeling words. Instead feel the quality of the vacuity and emptiness that arouses the desire.

If you stay in it long enough, the emptiness will begin to fill up with being and presence, with your Unique Being and Presence.

(c) April 2011 Courtesy of Graur Codrin

(c) April 2011 Courtesy of Graur Codrin

What happened?

You have discovered that the root of your desire to be free from another was your disconnection from your own personal essence, your Unique Self. When your Unique Self filled the hole, the desperate desire you felt to leave the group””or the marriage or the job””faded away. That does not mean that you should necessarily stay in the marriage or the job. It does however mean that you will make the decision from a grounded place of full presence as your Unique Self, and are therefore far more likely to make the right decision.


Further discussion: Three Steps in to the Distinction

“This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them anew each day.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Eros or Grasping: Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #9

Eros Cupid Statue London by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, www.freedigitalphotos.net

Eros Cupid Statue London by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee


by Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self

The ego is not erotic. Unique Self lives in Eros. To live in Eros means to live with fullness of presence and with a felt sense of wholeness. It is to yearn urgently and ecstatically, without grasping and to experience interiority, the feeling of being on the inside. This is the experience of Unique Self. The ego lives with the feeling of always being on the outside. It fragments, grasps, and never shows up fully present to other. Unique Self lives in Eros.


For further discussion:

What is Eros? And what does it mean to live an erotic life?

Well, clearly: It is not sex!

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Open Heart or Closed Heart – Distinction between Unique Self and Ego #8

By Dr. Marc Gafni from Your Unique Self.

(c) 2012 Courtesy of Stuart Miles

(c) 2012 Courtesy of Stuart Miles


When the ego’s heart breaks, then the heart closes and contracts. When the Unique Self’s heart breaks, the heart opens through the pain into greater love. For your ego, the interior face of the kosmos is at best a concept. For Unique Self, the interior face of the kosmos is the infinity of intimacy.







Further Discussion:

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Joy or Fear: Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #7

Multicolored Ink Drop by posterize, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by posterize

by Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self

The Unique Self is in joy. Joy is the natural by-product of living your Unique Self story. The ego is rarely happy and often plagued by an underlying feeling of fear, deadness, or depression. The happiness that the ego does experience is of a heavier and less richly textured quality than the joy of the Unique Self. The joy of the Unique Self is lighter and freer, often verging on the ecstatic.


For further discussion:

“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.” ~ Erich Fromm

Joy has become front and center in our everyday psychology. And we often feel that there is something wrong with us when we don't feel happy all the time. The pursuit of happiness is even one of our constitutional rights.

But what do we mean by that? And why is joy called a by-product here if it is that important?

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Ego or Unique Self Story – Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #6

From Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni

ID-1005646Enlightenment requires your ability to discern between your ego story and your Unique Self story. Your separate-self egoic personality has needs. It wants to make itself feel secure. So your ego tells you a story about yourself that makes you feel safe, valuable, and worthy. The inability to feel safe, valuable, and worthy is a devastating experience for the ego, one it will ward off at virtually all costs. So the ego hijacks everything that happens to you, and everything that you do, into a story about its own goodness, value, and worth.

The ego has a simple if ingenious mechanism for doing this. It disguises its ambition, its drive for power, or its insecure grasping, and converts them into narrative material that supports its own positive self-image. This is how the separate-self ego story develops. It is this story that teachers of True Self correctly tell you to leave behind when they say, “To be enlightened, you must let go of your story.”

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Enough or More: Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #5

Tree In Blossom by dan, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by dan

by Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self

Your ego thinks that there is never enough to go around. It always needs more to feel like it exists at all. Your Unique Self knows that it is enough. Your Unique Self knows that there is enough to go around.

Your Unique Self strives for more, not to fill the emptiness but as an expression of the fullness of its being””bursting forth as the evolutionary impulse of the kosmos.


For more on distinctions between ego and Unique Self, check out the upcoming Unique Self telecourse starting April 24.  This is a not-to-be missed course on the new spiritual book and teaching that everyone is talking about!



For further discussion:


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Satisfaction and Greed: Distinction between Unique Self and Ego #4

thumb_COLOURBOX3022407By Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self

Your separate self is driven by greed. Greed is not the want of anything specific. Rather, it is insatiable want that creates perpetual anxiety. Insatiable want is a structure of the egoic mind, which seeks more and more identity enhancers to confirm its existence. Satisfaction and ego are opposites.

Give the ego everything, and it will not be satisfied. Give the Unique Self anything, and it will be grateful and satisfied. Satisfied, not resigned. Satisfaction emerges from the fullness of whatever the moment brings.

Satisfaction comes from contact with Being and from doing your radical, intense best in the world of Becoming without attachment to outcome. Being is all one, so any moment of Authentic Being gives infinite satisfaction. Becoming is an expression of the evolutionary impulse and not merely of the egoic drive to achieve. So for Unique Self, your very best is always good enough. For your ego, your very best is never good enough. This is why the ego is the source of all your suffering. It always wants more to fill its greed.

Greed, however, is not a root evil. At its core, greed is your ego's distortion of a quality of essence, the quality of pure infinite desire. Infinite desire is the natural expression of the endless creativity of essence.  It is this quality that creates constant yearning, especially the yearning to grow, to create. This yearning, however, lives in paradoxical harmony with satisfaction.

For more on distinctions between ego and Unique Self, check out the upcoming Unique Self telecourse starting April 24.  This is a not-to-be missed course on the new spiritual book and teaching that everyone is talking about!

Further discussion:


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Imitation or Originality: Distinction between Unique Self and Ego #3

Brain Design By Cogs And Gears by MR LIGHTMAN www.freedigitalphotos.net

by MR LIGHTMAN


from Dr. Marc Gafni‘s Your Unique Self.

Ego imitates. Unique Self is original. Your ego is trapped in imitation. For the ego is, by its very definition, in limitation. Limitation leads to imitation. So the ego is always living the life of limitation based on imitation, which leads to mindless competition. Your ego is in constant competition, which leads to compulsive comparison and dissatisfaction. Originality, which is a quality of Unique Self, freed from the tyranny of comparison, is by its nature both urgently creative and self-satisfied.

Your ego never thinks an original thought. Originality emerges from your Unique Face, which is evoked by contact with your Original Face. “Original Face” is the Buddhist way of describing the experience of sustained contact with the eternal, transcendent Ground of Being. Originality gives birth to action beyond reaction. Your Unique Becoming emerges from your immersion in Being.

We are excited to announce a transformational 10-week Unique Self telecourse that starts April 24th!


For further discussion: Here is what some famous people have said about originality.

“The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.” ~ Arthur Koestler

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” ~ C. S. Lewis

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” ~ Herman Melville

“The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

What is YOUR take on it? Where does originality show in your life?

Where do you already live from your original face? From your Unique Self?

What do you like about it? What seems to be difficult?


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section – here or on our Facebook page.

Enlightenment of Fullness — Yetzir and Yetzirah, Part I

Looking for more on the wisdom tradition that aligns you with your deepest creativity? In a three-part excerpt from the long version of Soul Prints, Marc Gafni writes that we can transform and raise our passion and artistic creativity into a powerful drive for the sensual and the holy, realizing that, in a redeemed world, they are one and the same. As long as our spirituality remains vapid and empty, we indeed need to repress the more primal, creative passion, lest it overwhelm us. Primal passion unrealized is soul print or Unique Self destiny unrealized.

You can view Part II of this essay in full by clicking here>>

You can view Part III of this essay in full by clicking here>>

Yetzer and Yetzirah: Raising the Primal Sparks of Creativity and Passion

by Dr. Marc Gafni
from "The Way of the Dragon" in the long Soul Prints.

Part I.colorful
In biblical spirituality, information about God is relevant for one reason only. Information about God is information about us. We are commanded to be little Gods – to imitate God. Just as God stood at the abyss of darkness and said let there be light, so are we commanded to stand at the abyss of our darkness and say let there be light. A little bit of light dispels so much of the darkness. Further, just as God is a creator – creating, sculpting, painting, composing a gorgeous physical world – so, too, are we invited to create, to sculpt, to paint, and to make music.
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Action or Reaction: Distinction between Unique Self and Ego #2

from Dr. Marc Gafni’s Your Unique Self.

Lightbulb (c) 2012 Courtesy of Master Isolated Images

©2012 Courtesy of Master Isolated Images

Ego reacts. Unique Self acts. Your ego is constantly in reaction to outside stimuli. It never thinks a spontaneous thought. It rarely acts because it is moved to do so by a freely arising thought or desire.

Unique Self is moved to action by the power and joy of its own authentic original impulse.

We are excited to announce a transformational 10-week Unique Self telecourse that starts April 24th!


Further discussion:

For an example of this distinction at work, view Dan Pink’s summary of motivation science through this link. Pink describes how researchers have found over and over that contingent or extrinsic motivations, which appeal to the ego, block original thought, while intrinsic motivations, which appeal to the Unique Self, lead to more innovative solutions to difficult problems.  Pink explains that across cultures people are motivated by:

–autonomy–the desire to direct our own lives,

–mastery–the desire to get better and better at something, and

–purpose–the desire to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

Unique Self is the route to the deepest and truest expression of all three.

Special or Not Special – Ego and Unique Self Distinction #1

Hummingbird by Christian Meyn, www.freedigitalphotos.net

by Marc Gafni  from  Your Unique Self

Your ego thinks that you are special because you are better or worse than other people. Your Unique Self knows you are special because you are yourself. For the ego, “special” means “better than.” For your Unique Self, “special” or “different” means distinct and free from any comparison or point of reference. Your specialness is your spontaneous experience of your essence.


For more distinctions between Ego and Unique Self listen to and watch the minicourse.


For further discussion:

Everybody has his or her own way of feeling special in the sense of ego specialness – every type, every level of consciousness. For some it might even be the belief that everybody else is special except me. Basically all those patterns are based on the insecurity: Does my life count at all? Do I have a right to exist if I am not more or better than…?

Going through the spiral dynamics model we find a couple of those “specialties”:

1. Beige: I am more vital and physically stronger than you.

2. Purple: I am closer to the spirits and the inner circle of the family or tribe than you.

3. Red: I am more powerful.

4. Blue: I am more righteous and closer to the Absolute.

5. Orange: I am more successful.

6. Green: I am more sensitive.

7. Yellow: I am more knowledgeable and developed.

8. Turquoise: I am more connected to the Whole and the Evolutionary Impulse.


Consider:

Watch these tendencies in yourself today.

And also recognize when your Unique Self shows up: When firmly anchored in the inherent specialness of our own essence, our Unique Self, we can relax, sink into Being, and allow the other person to BE as well. Then we immediately fall in love and awe when we look into each other’s eyes and faces, really recognizing our shared essence as well as each other’s absolute unique specialness.

Please share your thoughts and experiences on this in the comment section – here or on our Facebook page.

For more information on Spiral Dynamics and Unique Self, see the dialogue between Don Beck and Marc Gafni.


Sex & Spirit: Wisdom of the Spiritually Incorrect

divine-erosBy Marc Gafni

Note: The following article appeared in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Common Ground Magazine.

If you stop to think even for a short moment, you realize that sex really is the great mystery of our lives. Two groups, however, suggest very different approaches to sex, and both of them are wrong.

One powerful group of forces is arrayed in culture to prevent us from getting sex. They tell us that sex is somehow wrong, immoral, or sinful. Even when we think we have gotten free of them, they pop up again inside our hearts or heads, wagging their fingers disapprovingly. And they remind us constantly of all the trouble sex has gotten the world into ”” from the Trojan War to the Clinton/Lewinsky drama. Not to mention the trouble it has gotten you and me into””emotionally, psychologically, personally, professionally, and physically. You have to admit that the sexual conservatives have a point. If you want to keep life simple, clean, and orderly, forgoing or limiting your sexual experience might be an excellent choice. If you like spiritual exercises, take a few minutes to list all the times sex has gotten you into trouble.

Lots of conventional moralists and organized religion fall into this category. Religion wants to affirm love and passion as virtues but to divorce them entirely from sex. So moralist religion works hard to erect boundaries that will protect us from the pitfalls of sex. Yet while we all know that sex requires some discipline, and that context and commitment count, most of us know in our hearts that the moralists are wrong, and that sex is ultimately””and overwhelmingly””good, and not merely a side benefit of achieving loving relationship.

To read the entire article, download it as a PDF file. 

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Our Unique and our Authentic Self (Tom Steininger and Sonja Student in Dialogue; Translated by Kerstin Tuschik)

WakingUp-225Note: The following article is an English translation by Kerstin Tuschik of an article by Tom Steininger and Sonja Student regarding perspectives of a new spirituality for our times. It was first published in the German magazine EnlightenNext Impulse

TOM STEININGER: Of late we have spoken a lot about the Authentic Self and the Unique Self. [The Authentic Self teaching is widely associated with spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen among others and the Unique Self teaching with Marc Gafni and his book Your Unique Self.] This discussion is about how we can find a new understanding of spirituality in the 21 century. Is there also a new self-perception emerging through this new spirituality, a new spiritual self-concept?

SONJA STUDENT: Yes, at first we realize that in a new spirituality the evolutionary perspective plays a very important role. In the spirituality of today it is not only about realizing the timelessness or the primordial ground of being. In our inside we have to attend to other dimensions as well. This exceeds the classical terms of enlightenment. In these matters we cannot rely exclusively on the mystical traditions or the great world religions any longer. This is why the Integral Theory says that it is not only about waking up, but simultaneously about the process of growing up. We have to take care of becoming adult and developed personalities as well.

TS: Yes, we need both. The mystical teachings are about waking up, enlightenment. Many integral or evolutionary interested people forgot how important the dimension of the Absolute is, how important transcendence is. This dimension however takes center stage in all the traditional, mystical paths. In the East one speaks about the experience of Being, in Buddhism about the emptiness, the Christian mystics called it the direct experience of God.

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Your Unique Self: What It Means to Be a Lover … from God’s Eyes

buddha-lilyBy Marc Gafni

Note: The following article appeared in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Common Ground Magazine.

The true nature of your values is always revealed in death. In eulogies, both in what is spoken and unspoken, there is something of the essential nature of your life and loyalties. Sometimes, however, before you die you are strangely privileged to declare where your ultimate loyalty lies.

It was September 11, 2001. The planes had just crashed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan. Victims had moments to use their cellphones. No one called asking for revenge. No one offered philosophical explanations or profound insights into the nature of reality. People did one thing and one thing only: they called the people close to their hearts to say, “I love you.”

“I love you” is our declaration of faith. Implicit in those words is everything holy. Yet we no longer know what we mean when we say it.

It used to mean, “I am committed to you. I will live with you forever.” Or it might have meant, “You are the most important person in my life.”

But it no longer seems to mean that. And when you no longer understand your own deepest declarations of love, you are lost. You become alienated from love, which is your home. Despair, addiction, and numbness become your constant companions.

To read the entire article, download it as a PDF file.

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Marc Gafni on Unique Self Relationships

unique-relationshipBy Marc Gafni

There's something I call Unique Self evolutionary relationships, what we called in the Soul Prints book “soul print encounters”. In a genuine Unique Self encounter, we each hold a piece of the other's story. The ethical obligation implicit in the encounter itself is to return to the other Unique Self that we are meeting the piece of their story that we are holding. That's very deep.

The words are signifiers. They are pointing to this sense that we are interdependent in a very profound way. There are accentuated points of interdependence. There are people we are more dependent on than other people. Not the people we often think. Not the people who are paying our rent or providing me with a job although that may be. They are people who are part of our story, and they are holding a piece of our story because they're helping us to enact our lives because they hold a piece of insight about our story. So a Unique Self encounter is when our stories intermesh, intertwine, and we recognize that we are each part of each other's story and holding a piece of our story.

your-unique-self-cover-small-squareWe're holding a piece of each other's story. It's a meeting that's not about manipulation or mutual gain. It's beyond win/win. It has that dimension, but it's the creation of a larger story in which each person gives the other a piece of their story that is missing and a larger narrative emerges. That's a Unique Self encounter. That's an ethical obligation. In other words, the ethical obligation is to give the exchange of gifts that are demanded implicitly of the encounter. It can't be legislated by any formal canon or convocation or magisterial authority. Rather, it can only be legislated by the internal command of the Unique Selves themselves, and through discernment they are able to recognize the part of each other's story that they are holding and give that gift as the highest obligation of essence. That's what we mean by obligation. That's exciting.

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What is the difference between presence of absence and presence of fullness?

bad-first-dateBy Marc Gafni

The following text is a transcript of a short video, part of "Awakening to Your Unique Self," originally published in May 2010.

(Silence.)

So that's how a pointing out instruction works.

If you feel into the silence, pointing out instruction, I distinguish between silence of presence and silence of absence.

As we open our eyes and step back into the personal space, the personal that's now been breathed on, infused, touched by by the transpersonal. We would talk about it in Integral language as a state-stage. Or in Sufism, the distinction between hakim and makim. It invites us in. We engage in what Luria called “I see God from behind.” Aftertaste.

Watch the video and read the transcript:

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Discovering Spirit in Nature

imgres-1Posted today on Marc Gafni’s Tumblr blog, “The Third-Person Path to Spirit” – a loose transcript of a video with Marc Gafni:

What’s the path of third person? The path of third person is the path of wonder, utter and absolute wonder in which I engage not in a human face-to-face relationship, not in a dialogue. Not in a place in which there’s a conversation that takes place. It’s about the path of awe and wonder where I step back and I allow myself to be overwhelmed by the full and infinite wonder, texture, beauty, complexity, infinity of All-That-Is.

There’s a great little short movie called 10 where you have a couple laying in a park, and you take a  look at them and they seem ordinary couple having a nice afternoon. But then we extract 10 powers – ten squared, ten squared again, farther and farther again, into the galaxy, and we reach a larger perspective”¦ we go 10 square up, again and again, and we reach the infinite vastness and complexity of all the infinite galaxies to the end of the reach of human grasping and we set them in this large context. And then the camera shifts and goes inside, 10 times down, back to the couple, and into the skin, the man’s skin particularly on his hand, 10 powers squared as it were, in and in and in and in, into the organ, into the cell. And you realize that actually going inside and expanding there’s this huge expanse.

You finish this film and Wow your entire mind has been shifted and expanded when you realize that this small self is this external signifier, a sign post we’re living in it, but there is infinite depth within us and infinite depth in the context in which we live. There are these two frames of infinity that hold us. Wow. That’s third person.

Read the entire transcript or watch the video.

Three Steps to the Democratization of Enlightenment

This white paper, “Three Steps to the Democratization of Enlightenment,” by Marc Gafni suggests that the Democratization of Enlightenment is the evolution of an enlightened society, with Enlightenment defined as knowledge of one’s own True Identity. Accordingly, three conclusions are drawn: First, that enlightenment is sanity and hence a necessary ingredient for all individuals, not merely for elites. Second, attaining Enlightenment does not involve denying individuality, but grasping a key distinction between separateness and uniqueness. Third, the goal of enlightenment is said to be not the evolution beyond ego, but beyond exclusive identification with ego. After these three findings, the Marc Gafi suggests that the Democratization of Enlightenment is essential both for individual mental health as well as planetary survival.





“Three Steps to the Democratization of Enlightenment” was originally published in the October 2012 issue of Integral Leadership Review.