August 16, 2018

A Crisis of Imagination

From Mystery of Love by Marc Gafni:

The greatest crisis of our lives is neither economic, intellectual, nor even what we usually call religious. It is a crisis of imagination. We get stuck on our paths because we are unable to reimagine our lives differently from what they are right now. We hold on desperately to the status quo, afraid that if we let go, we will be swept away by the torrential undercurrents of our emptiness.

The most important thing in the world implies wisdom master Nachman of Bratzlav, is to be willing to give up who you are for who you might become. He calls this process the giving up of pnimi to reach for makkif. Pnimi, for master Nachman, means the old familiar things that you even hold on to, even when they no longer serve you on your journey. Makkif is that which is beyond you, which you can reach only if you are willing to take a leap into the abbys.

Find your risk and you will find yourself. Sometimes that means leaving your home, your fathers’ house, and your birthplace, and traveling to strange lands. Both the biblical Abraham and the Buddha literally did this. But for the Kabbalist the true journey does not require dramatic breaks with past and home. It is rather the journey of imagination.

“If I don’t live on my edge, I lose my aliveness. If I don’t take my Unique Risk, I will take risks that are not mine to take.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015

Words of Appreciation from the Summer Festival of Love

After the Summer Festival of Love, some of the contributors shared their experiences in a private email thread. We are happy to have their permission to share these Outrageous Love testimonials with you!

Dr. Kristina Kincaid, Director of the Outrageous Love Project at the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Director of the Integral Evolutionary Tantra Institute in New York City, wrote this Outrageous Love Letter about the Festival:

Hello Outrageous Lovers!

I had the profound honor and wild pleasure of participating with a most astounding team of Holy Rockstars standing audaciously together supporting Marc as the Living, Breathing, Alive, Aflame, Awakened, Dharma as he liberated Eros, in front of a crowd of over 250 people! WOW!

This is not a polite essay or an endorsement, but a mystical testimony…

Read the whole first part here>>>

Read the second part here>>>

Marc Gafni at FreedomFest 2015

FreedomFest is the most unusual and exciting liberty conference of the year, and this year Marc Gafni will be there – meeting with thousands of attendees as well as hundreds of speakers and fellow exhibitors…all to share in the intellectual feast about freedom, prosperity, individual rights, and much more.

You’re invited to join FreedomFest 2015, July 8-11, at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for three and half days that could change your life.

What’s FreedomFest All About?

Philosophy, history, science & technology, geo-politics, money and business, art and literature, healthy living, music and dance…..and to learn, network, socialize and celebrate liberty. Click here for the Conference Agenda.

FreedomFest has gathered the best and the brightest — experts, authors, professors, scientists, philosophers, artists, musicians, and first rate thinkers – over 200 speakers in all with hundreds of breakout sessions, panels and debates. All the major think tanks and freedom organizations will be there in the “Trade Show for Liberty.” Click here for the list of this year’s FreedomFest Speakers.

Dr. Marc Gafni of the Center for Integral Wisdom will be among a number of featured speakers. The event, which is billed as “The World’s Largest Gathering of Free Minds,” is held annually and will run from July 8 through July 11, 2015. He is scheduled to speak twice on Saturday, July 11, first participating in a philosophical debate at 10:30 a.m. and then appearing again as a featured speaker for a lecture scheduled for 4 p.m.

Known as a visionary in a number of fields and a highly regarded philosopher, teacher and social activist who is the author of 10 books and the co-founder of the Center for Integral Wisdom, Dr. Marc will be taking part in a debate titled “Spirituality vs Materialism,” which will also feature Ronald Bailey, John Mackey and Dr. Michael Shermer, with the debate being moderated by Alexander Green. He and John Mackey will take one side of the issue, while Michael Shermer and Ronald Bailey will represent the opposing viewpoint during the debate.

Later that afternoon, he will be the featured presenter while giving a keynote titled, “The Erotic and the Ethical: Next Steps in Libertarian Awakening.” The content of the 50-minute lecture will draw on the dharma of Unique Self, Eros, and Outrageous Love that is front and center at CIW and is elucidated in his award-winning book, Your Unique Self, as well as in his book The Mystery of Love.

Please join us!

If you ask, surely you must be in need

The story of the holy snuff box

A beautiful story retold by Marc Gafni

Everybody knows that Holy Beggars hold the world together. Thus would one modern master introduce the following sacred story. Never, never pass by a holy beggar, and they are all holy. Walk across the street. Go out of your way! Who knows who he really is? Who knows what great soul lays hidden in that tattered beggar? You never know… You never know. All you can know that is if someone asks, they must certainly need.

One day a beggar came to see the Holy Israel, Master of the Name. He was angry and depressed. “What kind of a God do you have. I used to be rich – I helped many people. But now look at me – I have lost everything. It’s not fair. How did such a fate fall upon me?!” And with that the beggar broke down into tears.

Chinese Mother of Pearl Lacquer Box with Peony Decor“Sweet Yossele,” said Israel, Master of the Name. “All the mysteries are in your own life. Think back to Yom Kippur six years ago.”

And now the master Israel had Yossele’s complete attention. For how did he know that his name was Yossele – and how could he know what he had done six years ago? Master Israel continued. “It was a fast day, the holiest day of the year. A day when we pray all day long. People on that day are at their weakest, but also at their highest. You remember, Yossele, that you brought the snuff box to the prayer service?” For although on this fast day eating is proscribed, fragrance is permitted. Often, as in the prayer fellowship I grew up in, snuff boxes would be passed around, to offer fragrance to revive the spirits for prayer.

”Do you remember, asked Master Israel, how you went around to all the congregants giving snuff to everybody?” Yossele, now spellbound, could only nod silently. “Well there was a beggar in the back of the room, lying lifelessly on a bench. You said to yourself – just for a second, ‘Why should I walk back there for him? He can come up to me to get his snuff.” Yossele was overwhelmed as he recalled for the first time that fleeting thought. “Well,” continued Master Israel “that beggar hadn’t eater for three full days. If only you knew how much he needed that pinch of snuff! He was so inside of his prayer that the heavenly gates were wide open… listening to his every word, his every sigh.

“When the holy angels saw that you did not walk back and give this holy soul some snuff, that was it – they were enraged! They decreed you should lose all your money and that the beggar should become wealthy instead of you. Well, that beggar is now the wealthiest man in your town.”

At this point, Yossele’s contrition turned to anger. “You mean that beggar has all of my money? What chutzpah! How do I get it back?”

“Actually, you can get it back,” answered Master Israel with a twinkle in his eye. “If you can find a time when you ask him for a pinch of snuff, and he refuses, at that moment all of that lost wealth will be returned to you.”

Read the whole story here…

 

From the Holy of Holies: The Pain of Intimacy

From Shalom Mountain Wisdom School teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni. Transcribed by Adael Bullock.

Photo by Julie M. Daley

Photo by Julie M. Daley

Divinity is not only the infinity of power; divinity is the infinity of pain.  It is the infinity of tears.  Divinity at its core is the infinity of intimacy. The infinity of intimacy feels your pain and doesn’t relegate it to separate self.  Is there part of your pain and my pain and all of our pain that comes from an obsessive grasping in the realm of separate self?  Of course.  Is that unnecessary pain?  Of course.  And can we liberate from that pain by awakening?  Of course. That doesn’t end the story of pain.  That ends the unnecessary pain in the world.  But then, there is the legitimate and the real pain that comes with being incarnate.  That is where the Christ consciousness got it better than the Buddhist consciousness.  The Christ consciousness didn’t say there is no pain; the Christ consciousness said, I die for your sins.  That is a very different move.  That is not the same spiritual move.  One is, “life is suffering” because your mind is fucked up, so unfuck your mind, and you will not suffer – the 4 Noble Truths.  The second is, suffering is so fucking intense, there is nothing you can do, so I am going to die for you. [Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Being an Insider

(c) 2011 photo courtesy of Exsodus

2011 photo courtesy of Exsodus

To be a person of Torah, to be enlightened, is to live from the inside. To be an insider, to feel — oh my God — I have a place. It’s important that I exist. I am called uniquely to do something in the world that nobody else in the world is capable of doing except myself. The experience of my irreplacability is the beginning of my joy. The experience of my replacability is the beginning of my depression. Life is about finding out, disclosing, revealing that I am an insider. [Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Eros and Ethics Merge

imgres-6The Hebrew phrase or koan of “loosen the reins” is too wonderful not to share with you. “Harpeh et HaMoshchot.” Harpeh, meaning “loosen,” is also the word for heal. There is something powerfully healing in letting go of the tightness – loosening the fixities. The word for reins, moshchot, also means attraction or desires. Let your desires breathe; your deepest attractions are wise. Listen to them.

Implicit in the sexual circle are three levels. Circle: unchecked raw sexuality.  Line: sexuality delimited and controlled by ethics.  Circle: The Secret of the Cherubs.  The sexual models but does not exhaust the erotic. This is not an abandonment of ethics. It is a higher ethic which has absorbed the sacred intrusions of the line even as it  reintegrates the primal longings of the circle. Eros and Ethics merge.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

 

Wisdom for Your Week: A Gift for You from the Summer Festival of Love at Venwoude

Marc Gafni teaching at Venwoude

Marc Gafni teaching at Venwoude

The second annual Mystery School of Love has begun and is already in full swing. More than 150 people have come to celebrate with us this year’s theme: “Reclaiming Eros.” Many participants were here with us last year and are excited to be here again!

The festival revolves at its core around Dr. Marc’s several hours of Dharma transmission each morning. In the beginning of the day, spiritual teacher Chahat Corten — a leading luminary at Venwoude and a direct dharma student of Dr. Marc — begins the morning with a day-opening ceremony. Dr. Marc then meets with the twenty or so teachers gathered on the faculty of the Mystery School. Included are leading teachers who are each in their own right bright stars and key leaders of the Venwoude community where Dr. Marc serves as the World Spirituality Teacher in Residence. We will post a bit later a special piece about all the the wonderful teachers, each worthy of note and great appreciation.

The center of the emergence is the field of radical dharma and outrageous love that is woven and rewoven by Dr. Marc. The attendance at the festival has doubled in the last year and we expect that to keep doubling every year. Dr. Marc weaves a field of precise and powerful–truly “source-code-changing”–teaching, which transforms minds and explodes hearts. Dr. Marc’s mind and heart seem to merge as one and he lives for everyone as an overflowing and brilliant weaver of meaning, meta theory and grand narrative—even as he opens up spaces of genuine enlightenment that seem to shift the earth beneath people’s feet. It is an enlightenment teaching pure and simple, and the process is, as Dr. Marc calls it, Loving Your Way to Enlightenment!

To give you a little taste of it, we want to share with you just the first few minutes of Marc Gafni’s opening dharma talk, where he sets the frame by giving us 6 principles and commitments for the upcoming week. This is before any of the real dharma got started – this was the first hello:

[Read more…]

Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #17: Justice or Injustice

(c) 2011 Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.

©2011 Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.

by Dr. Marc Gafni in Your Unique Self.

The ego is angry at what is done to it. It very rarely feels the same outrage at what is done to someone else. The Unique Self is not merely outraged against injustice done to its own person; it is hurt and outraged by any and all injustice. The ego often fights large causes of injustice as a way to bolster its grandiosity. Unique Self fights the battles of injustice in its own backyard, even when there is potential collateral damage to its own power and status.

 

Further Discussion:

 

One of the things this distinction reminds us of is the importance of responding to real hurt in the world.  In one call from the Living Beyond Complexity telecourse Dr. Marc Gafni co-taught with Clint Fuhs, Nicole Fegley, and Zak Stein, Marc spent one entire phone call expounding upon the “problem of evil” in the world, also referred to as a “theodicy.”  In the course of the call, he explained that the level-three response to enormous suffering in the world is to cry out “Why?” in pain, to feel the pain, and to question the injustice behind it, which is part of the tikkun, or fixing, of the injustice.  In one of his earlier manuscripts entitled Uncertainty, (a book that will be rereleased along with his manuscript for Certainty), Marc explores the Talmudic teaching on this.  An excerpt of that discussion is reprinted below from the chapter entitled “The Path of Wrestling”: [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

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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Ethics is an erotic expression of our deeper divinity

imgres-4If we come to understand that ethics is an erotic expression of our deeper divinity, we are truly moved to the ethical. For at that point we realize that it is an expression of our deepest selves, a  response to the call of our own voice. Ethics, to be compelling and powerful, must be an expression of your erotic divine nature and not a contradiction to it. So when the prophet insists that God and the God within you is beyond nature, and can therefore act ethically against nature, they are referring only to your first nature, not to your deeper second nature. Your deeper nature is God.

The marriage of the erotic and the ethical, when it takes place not merely intellectually but in all of your being, makes you the greatest of lovers.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

Daily Wisdom: The Choir of Creation

imgres-2Lines and circles dance together in the hierarchy of nature. For chains for example are key to every eco-system. A chain is hierarchical, yet it is also made up of interloped circles! The balance of nature means that there is an appreciation for each, at every level. That you can’t be where you are without the other being where they are!

The erotics of interconnectivity however extend beyond the community of human beings. We are not alone on this planet. A wonderful encounter is recorded both in the Zohar and in an ancient Hebrew mystical text called the Perek Shira, the Chapter of SongThe Chapter of Song is a stunning tract which knows to tell that every creature on the planet has its own unique song. Moreover, it cites a sacred text from the Torah as the source of every creature’s song. The implication is radical and beautiful. The Torah, which includes all twenty-four sacred books of the Hebrew Bible, does not address humans alone. Both speak to and express in some mystical way all of creation.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

The Victorious Surrender

imgres-5God is waiting for us to give up the imitations in our lives so that we can receive the real thing. Imagine what would happen if we really opened up to the knowledge that there is a force holding things together without our being in control. What if we surrendered to that force and allowed it to guide us in our lives? What if we stopped to realize that the planet is constantly supporting our lives?

The very air we breathe – unless we interfere with the natural systems – is constantly made available to our lungs by plants and ocean plankton through an incredible process of photosynthesis. The universe is consciously supporting us and breathing life into our souls at every moment. For the Hebrew mystic, creation is not a one-time event. It is instead a continuous process, hinted at by modern quantum physics, in which the universe recreates itself in love at every second.

This essential giving up of control does not mean that we do not expend enormous effort and energy in trying to chart our destinies and repair the world. It does mean that we need to do so in a way where we understand that even as we labor mightily, we know that it is simply not all up to us. Knowing that, we consciously invite the universe to partner in our efforts, breathing its life and energy into and through us.

The spiritual process of giving up control is called by the Hebrew mystics bittul. Usually, this is explained as self-nullification to God. In reality, it means something quite different. Rather than abnegation, it is a way of making ourselves transparent to God. We give up lower self control because we desire the higher divine self to flow through us. This is the experience of eros modeled on the sexual. We can access it in creativity, prayer, sexuality, study and any other arena of life in which we are willing to be lovers.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

Daily Wisdom: Enlightened Lovers, Shared Vision

One of the key values a couple must share in the biblical myth vision is a commitment to make the world a better place. They must be lovers not only to each other but to the world. This means that they are committed to looking beneath the surface of reality to search for the sparks of the sacred that can be hidden in the most unlikely of places. This is the commitment to love as perception: to find the good – the God points – hidden behind the obfuscating veils of an often painful reality. They are committed to healing and repairing the world even as they understand that they are not in control.

Their commitment to be lovers of the world together, and not only of  each other, finds a beautiful expression under the wedding canopy. In Hebrew mystical tradition, the bride and groom break a  glass to conclude the ceremony. Why do we break a glass?  The answer in the sources is zecher le churban ha mikadah, to remember the destruction of Temple in Jerusalem. We know that the Temple with its intertwined cherubs atop the ark is the symbol of eros and love – beyond the merely sexual. The couple is affirming the mystery of love hidden in the cherubic secret. They commit to make their lives a model for living erotically as lovers in the world.

Deeper still – the Temple is a symbol of a redeemed world. A world without stomachs distended from hunger, without soldiers killed at 18 and 19, without millions of people going to sleep alone, missing the warmth and comfort of another body. The world is filled with broken people. That is something we can never forget – especially under the wedding canopy, which is a symbol of hope and healing.

When we break the glass under the hupah, the broken pieces represent all the broken people in the world. We invite all of them, from Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Gaza and Jerusalem to come under the canopy with us. We invite them to participate in our moment of perfect joy when we are on the inside of the inside. The newlywed couple promises never to forget the emptiness. They commit to do something in their lives to make this world a better place to live, for everyone. This is the spiritual contract entered into by every bride and groom with each other. This is shared vision.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

Daily Wisdom: Alexander and the Eye of Acquisition

A Story from Marc Gafni:

The rapist, the corporate raider, the Don Juan, and the conqueror are always taking. The sad result is that they never give and therefore never receive. Therefore, the more they take, the less they have. As a result they always remain empty. For many of the biblical mystics, the symbol of conquest was Alexander the Great. He took almost the entire known world of his day. Yet, insisted the masters, without becoming a lover, Alexander would necessarily remain empty.

The legend tells of Alexander finding the Garden of Eden, symbol of all fulfillment, on the African continent. Now the Talmudic masters have a little bit of a soft spot for Alexander. They saw in him not only a conqueror but also a wisdom seeker. So along the way to Eden, Alexander is depicted as growing wiser and slowly divesting the personality of a pure taker.

In one of his adventures Alexander is confronted by an army of women warriors – mythological symbols of Eros and Shechina. They say to him, “It is not worth your while to attack us. For if we kill  you – you will be known as ‘the king killed by women,’ and if you kill us you will be known as ‘the cruel king who killed women.’” A lesson in the futility of taking.

[Read more…]

CWS supports International Day of the Girl

As these words are written, Malala Yousafzai is in critical condition in a hospital. The girl, now 14 years old, came to fame when the world learned she was the pseudonymous BBC blogger who advocated for girls’ education and criticized the atrocities of Islamic extremists in her city. She has been a contender for a prestigious international peace prize for children. Yesterday, on the eve of the International Day of the Girl, she was shot in the head and neck.

The world is outraged at the Taliban’s act of terror which is described like so by the Christian Science Monitor:

“Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all,” a hooded, bearded Taliban militant asked a bus full of schoolgirls on their way home earlier this week. “She is propagating against the soldiers of Allah, the Taliban. She must be punished,” the Taliban militant shouted louder. Then, recognizing her, he shot her at a point blank range.

We pray for Malala’s recovery and honor her courage and contribution to peace and the rights of girls. Let us keep the 14-year-old girl, truly a world leader, in our thoughts and prayers. Taliban officials claimed responsibility for an attack on her which leaves her in critical condition at this time, citing her work on behalf of education for girls as an “obscenity.” Let us keep them in our prayers as well, praying that fundamentalist extremists everywhere would wake up and grow up!

The struggle for girls’ rights is one face of Spirit’s next move, and we are all called to love and compassion to aid them. It is fitting on this day that the leadership team of the Center for World Spirituality expresses our support for the International Day of the Girl, a new day for working to make the world a better place for girls everywhere.

[Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: The Lovers’ Art of Attention

So far, the two major qualities of the erotic lover have been perception and giving. We have seen how the sexual models the erotic, hinting to us how we can live a deeper, more profound existence in all areas of our lives. In order to give in the realm of the sexual, we must be great listeners – fully attentive to the subtlest nuances of our lover’s desire. Similarly, to be a giver in all arenas of being requires our mastering the lover’s art of attention.

Just as the sexual lover listens deeply to the needs of the beloved and thereby brings the beloved to satisfaction, so too must the erotic lover, in all facets of life, be deeply listening and attentive to the needs of the beloved.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

Daily Wisdom: Love is as Love Does

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new. — Ursula K. LeGuin, The Lathe of Heaven

Loving and giving are inextricably bound up. The great medieval philosopher Maimonides teaches that to love God is to know the divine in both world and self. Maimonides understands well that to know and not to love is not to know. But he goes one step further; to love and not to do is not to love. Love is as love does.

So when Maimonides lists what it might mean to love God, he talks about a broad range of simple acts of goodness that we do for other people. Helping the poor, rejoicing with the bride and groom, escorting the dead at a funeral, and the list goes on and on.

Small deeds, simple acts of kindness – that is what makes me a lover of God. People are God incarnate in this world. Each person is a different face of God. To love people by being a giver is to love God. There is no great deed of loving God. There are only small deeds of giving to people – done with great love!

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at support@ievolve.org

What does it mean to be fair?

Snow White

By Marc Gafni

What does it mean to be fair? In one sense being fair means to be just and good. To be fair is to be honest and have integrity.

Fairness implies appropriate weights and measure. To be fair means to give things the right weight and measure accurately.

When my sons were young the phrase that would indicate that they were the most upset or disturbed was the mixed English and Hebrew idiom, “Zeh Lo Fair.” It’s not fair. When they said that, they were appealing to a universal standard of the good and the just, which has ultimate natural authority.

The word “fair,” however has a second meaning as well. To be fair means to be beautiful. [Read more…]

Where Americans import conservatives from overseas

Gay Methodist

Photo Credit: Religion News Service

 

By Joe Perez

In certain places in America, conservatives are so scarce they’ve begun to import them from abroad. Specifically, in Tampa, Florida, where 1,000 delegates gathered for the United Methodist Church’s General Conference. While liberal American Methodists pleaded for tolerance for gay people, conservatives from overseas compared homosexuality to bestiality. [Read more…]

Towards a World Spirituality theology of gay marriage

Gay Men

Photo Credit: bodies-of-art

by Joe Perez

In a World Spirituality perspective, the theologian is more like an symphony composer, with theologians from different theological traditions translating the musical notation for the musicians of different instruments. Clearly there is give and take between the symphony composer and the composer for piano, violin, drums, etc.; but ultimately they are creating new music together.

In our times, a major crisis has emerged for theology which could help to doom religion in many countries unless it is redressed: the crisis of homosexuality within the churches. No, not the crisis that gay people are religious (there have always been gay people in churches, probably in disproportionately large numbers). The issue is that our religious traditions have holy traditions and scriptures dating to pre-modern times when there was no contemporary understanding of homosexuality or modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities (LGBT).

[Read more…]