September 23, 2018

Integral Wisdom Blog: Mile-high Manjushri

Ken Wilber, Integral Theory, and The End of The World as We Know It

by Dr. Zachary Stein

zakThese are some reflections on the work of Ken Wilber. I’ve been studying his writings for almost half my life. We’ve met a couple times (that is Ken, Rollie, and me pictured), talked at some length on the phone, and exchanged countless e-mails. Ken’s got vocal critics and Kool-aid drinking followers. I’m neither of those. I’m more of what is sometimes called an “integral kid,” meaning I’ve been reading Ken since before I could drink legally. There is a unique kind of indebtedness to those teachers who brought you out of adolescence. But it also means I’ve grown up with, in, and out of this way of thinking. So I have a special kind of distancing and even reactivity and withdrawal from it, again, like one also has with one’s best teachers. All things considered, I think you gotta love and be fascinated by all his books…

Anyway, this is mostly just me yawning at all the simplistic and pedantic Wilber haters….

Theorizing at the edge of history

If we are going to take a step in the transition from civilization to planetization, we will need a map. Each of us carries within, an image of space and time, and this cognitive map tells us who we are, where we come from, and where we are going…. [This map is] an imaging of personal values and cultural forms…. A culture provides an individual with a mapping of time and space, but as the culture goes through a period of change and stressful transformation, the [map] becomes distorted. In periods of intense cultural distortion, the [map] becomes so changed as to be almost obliterated. Then the individual becomes lost, profoundly lost in the ontological sense of not knowing who or what he is, where he comes from, and where he is going. For some this can be a moment of terror, for others, a time of release. In a moment of silence in which the old forms fall away, there comes a new receptivity, a new centering inward, and in an instant there flashes onto the screen of consciousness a new re-visioning of the [map]. There in the receptive silences of meditation the new possibilities of time and space announce themselves, possibilities that lie beyond the descriptions of the old institutions of the old culture. This is the prophetic moment, the annunciation of a new myth, and the beginning of a new culture.

—Thompson (1977 p.14)

Philosophers work in socio-cultural contexts, under historically specific conditions, with access to certain communication technologies, libraries, and media. Ken Wilber has been publishing books since 1971, producing a corpus that spans well over 10,000-thousand pages. He has worked with the changing times, from pen and paper to word processor, to the personal computer, and eventually to Internet facilitated multi-media educational initiatives. Moreover, Wilber has worked in response to a dynamically transforming American culture during a period of tremendous global change.

Popular philosophical movements are especially symptomatic of their times. In retrospect historical moments are often best understood in terms of the ideas that thrived during them. Athenian Democracy and the Sophists and Socrates, Medieval Europe and the Church, The American and French Revolutions and the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and Darwinism and Romanticism—no trick of critical historiography could disentangle these groupings of ideas and events, these civilizational eras. What ideas will be associated with the past 60 years, the era since the start of the so-called American Century? What have been the popular philosophies in the post-industrial social systems that emerged after World War II? This question is complicated by the dynamics of the era, which witnessed explosive advances in informational technologies that enabled an unprecedented diffusion of ideas before a growing global public. It is too soon to tell, but the culture of late capitalism—post-modern culture—may very well be defined in terms of its having lacked dominant comprehensive doctrines (Habermas, 1990; Jameson, 1992). This has affected all aspects of life, from the media-saturated textures of our action-orienting self-understandings to the economic policies that structure national geographies.

[Read more…]

Unique Self Psychology and the New Enlightenment Blog: What Is “Mind?”

By Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D.

The word “psychology” was coined in the 16th century from the modern Latin psychologia which in turn is taken from the Greek psykhe meaning “breath, spirit, soul.” If these words signified similar things to the 16th century Greeks as they do to us you’d never know it. To sign up as a psychology major in any of the world’s mainstream universities in the early 21st century “psychology” is still described as “the science of mind and behavior.” As all historians of psychology know most of the emphasis in the last 200 years has been on the “behavior” piece. We are still “fuzzy” on the “mind” piece. If by “mind” we mean our mental experiences, sentience, and the field of awareness that these arise in we still come up short. There is growing evidence that “mind” is also a social phenomenon being sculpted dialectically by our interactions with other creatures and the environment. Also there is mounting evidence that at least the experiences of “mind” may be more affected by things like our gut bacteria than ever thought possible even 20 years ago. This may be thought of as another “interactional” dynamic. We carry more DNA for the bacteria that symbiotically work with us than the DNA of our own cells. All these interactions affecting our mental experience and what we call our “mind” seem to suggest more of a field effect than a solitary reality.

In physics, the field effect refers to modulating the electrical conductivity of a material by the application of an external electric field. I try to be very cautious about using similes from physics to discuss psychology. Here I want to relax my caution to use the simile two ways implying the “material” in the description of physics field effects is akin to our solitary experience of “mind” and the “field” in physics akin to the cacophony of situations and stimuli we are immersed in from cradle to grave. What I am pondering is whether what we colloquially refer to as “our mind” is possibly only one aspect of a vast and potentially infinite array of interactions, influences, and overlapping fields.

Ok so back to the two ways I am playing with the simile of field effect: First we know that much of our being relies on electrical activity including our brain. And we know that human brains electrically (and otherwise) entrain with other brains in the presence of certain stimuli. Some stimuli (experiences) are more entraining than others. Drumming and all music have the potential for strong entrainment as do physical activities done in groups like dance, sports, sex (imagine a dyad if the group thing bugs you here), and various “crowd phenomena like so-called “mob psychology” (and “no” this is not psychoanalysis of Vito Corleone but rather how people will do things in crowds they won’t do alone and where the increase of energy is almost wave-like in a so-called “mob happening.”).

Second I feel playing with the simile of field effect to describe “mind” is valid because we are all immersed in a series of fields whether you think of them concentrically or as an overlapping cacophony of potential influences. Part of training “mind” is discerning, focusing, and choosing from among those influences. Some are such that we can make them objects of awareness then “choose” to focus on them (for example choosing those people we will allow emotionally closest). Others are things we are totally immersed in and necessary for survival (like gut bacteria) or characterized by chaos patterns that make them more variable (crowds, things that happen to us, elements in the environments we physically inhabit).

In Personality Psychology or Psychotherapy Theory it is common to hear people describe themselves as a “community of selves.” Mind seems a similar phenomenon in that it is a seeming solitary experience that is one aspect of a vast and potentially infinite field of influences, interactions, symbiosis and accidents. In future blog entries I will discuss levels of the field of psychology in the context of Unique Self Psychology. We will also explore why “soul” keeps popping up in etymological explorations of the word “psychology.”

Integral Psychologist and Associate Academic Director for CIW Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and clinical counselor in Ohio. He is professor of counseling/counseling psychology and “Distinguished Faculty Member” at Cleveland State University. His research interests span a broad spectrum including psychopathology, mental health diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and spirituality in counseling and psychotherapy. He has authored or co-authored six books and dozens of peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on mental health related topics.

Elliott has been inspired and influenced by the Free Thought movement of the late 19th century and particularly by Robert Green Ingersoll, a leading freethinker of that time. He believes the most important skill for a human being is critical thinking seasoned with compassion. Elliott also is a singer/songwriter and creator of “FreeThought Folk Music” which he performs throughout Northeast Ohio. His CD “American Infidel” was released in 2013.

He has worked with Ken Wilber and the Integral Psychotherapy Team at Integral Institute since 2004 developing the Integral Psychotherapy approach. Integral Psychotherapy draws upon all validated psychotherapeutic approaches to help clients deal with psychological symptoms or live more fulfilling lives by removing barriers that come from living unconsciously. As an Integral Coach, he helps clients take action through motivation, methods of inquiry, and assisting clients in using the Integral Model to achieve their goals and improve their lives.

We wish all our readers a good and sweet year: L’Shanah Tovah U-Metukah. Read more about the cosmocentric rereading of the ritual of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year holiday, by Dr. Marc Gafni, here>>>
In Evolutionary Love,
The Center for Integral Wisdom Team

Elliott Ingersoll: How Do We Make This Real?

Dr. Elliott Ingersoll, Associate Academic Director of the Center for Integral Wisdom, gave a talk at our recent board meeting in Texas about how the Dharma of Outrageous Love and Unique Self is going to transform the field of psychology.

Dr. Marc Gafni introduces Elliott as the Integral psychologist (according to Ken Wilber) and the most popular professor for psychology at Kent State University.

In his serious, yet humorous way Elliott talks about his work at the Metro Health Medical Center and how through collaborative interdisciplinary efforts people’s lives have been changed because their stories have been heard. By having their stories heard people feel seen and loved.

“In being loved they are experiencing a wholeness that for whatever reasons they didn’t get in other parts of their lives… and their recovery is progressing at a pace that far outstrips what we were doing before…” Elliott reports.

He shares about his hope that Unique Self Psychology will transform the field: Students learning how to hold space and to really see the other person and experiencing themselves as being seen will carry that experience into their therapy sessions. This –although a little scary in the beginning–is pretty contagious and it is what will transform the field.

“Nature loves diversity–genetically, psychologically and spiritually. Every one of us has a plate. Every one of us has a way to deal with our plate. And that’s the piece of Unique Self that we want to bring into psychology.”

Listen to Elliott as he takes us on a journey from the flatland psychology that has “physics envy” through the effects of psychotropic medication to the possibilities of a psychology transformed by Outrageous Love and Unique Self:

 

Some interesting statements and questions Elliott raises in his talk:

  • Who will be a voice for those people who don’t have a voice?
  • Outrageous Love is missing in so much of our health care.
  • The uniqueness of people is muted with psychotropic medication.
  • There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain. We don’t have one physiological marker for any mental disorder.
  • You cannot medicate anger out of a person.
  • WHEN psychotropic medication works, we don’t know how.
  • Outrageous Pain cannot be held by ego. Unique Self can hold it and can deal with a piece of it and be excited about what’s on “my plate.”
  • When people are being seen they stay and get the treatment they need to get better.

To listen to Dr. Marc Gafni’s teaching during The Shakti Summit 2015 on Outrageous Love and a new vision for the Masculine and the Feminine Beyond Venus and Mars, click here>>>

The Climax of the Summer Festival of Love 2015: Evolutionary Relationships, Unique Gender and the Unique Self Symphony

The dharma of Outrageous Love, Eros, and Unique Self has never been more alive than during those last couple of days. Evolutionary Relationships and Unique Gender are connecting the dots between the Awakening as a Unique Self and the Unique Self symphony.

“We are the erotic mystics reweaving and evolving the source code of reality.” – Marc Gafni at the Summer Festival of Love 2015

Marc Gafni first published a version of the lines and circles teaching in his book, The Mystery of Love (Atria, 2003).

The teaching has evolved dramatically over the last 13 years. He gave a more advanced version of it in Venwoude several years ago to a small inner group at the community. The version we heard at the Festival is the deepest and most advanced version we have of this dharma.

“All forms of reality that don’t have in them
the marriage of masculine and Feminine
are no reality at all.
There is no higher form.
They have no potency and no blessing in them.”
“Blessing only flows when the Masculine and the Feminine dance in their Higher One.”
– The Zohar

Testimonial by participant David Steel:

What an incredible blessing this week has been. I have had the opportunity to study and learn with one of the great teachers of our time. I know that in many ways I will never be the same. I have truly begun to understand and appreciate my “Unique Self.”

The following is a condensed summary of the dharma of the second part of the festival with many quotes or paraphrased statements from the teachings.

[To read a summary of the first three days, click here: “Lines & Circles: A new Dharma on Unique Gender at the Venwoude Summer Festival of Love“.]

In the evening of day 5, Ken Wilber called into the Conference adding his wisdom on Gender from an AQAL perspective, engaging “in the kabbalistic process of Tzimtzum,” as Marc called it, and “contracting brilliance and light into a single point of ten minutes which communicated something profound and potent and game changing.”

At the end of his talk Ken concluded (paraphrased from his talk):

We as humanity are at such a high level of consciousness that we actually have a choice which characteristics we want to embody. Each Unique Self is a unique embodiment of lines and circles. For the first time in history we can select our own gender profile.

The participants responded with love, appreciation, and a standing ovation for him.

On day 5 and 6, a profound healing of the Masculine (or what we preferred to call the line quality) in its beauty happened, it radiated from every face of both men and women as well as from the spaces in between. We were and still are in awe of what is possible in just a few days together in devotion to the dharma, when the Unique Self symphony comes alive.

On day 7, we finally entered the circle. This is what I wrote immediately after the teaching to capture some of the essence of what happened: [Read more…]

Zak Stein on the What, How, and Why of Metrics

Zak Stein, the Center for Integral Wisdom’s Academic Director, held a great talk at our 2015 Board Meeting about his main research subject of metrics. The talk was introduced by Marc Gafni and followed by a Q&A session.

Some questions he addressed:

  • The surprising ways that metrics influence our everyday lives
  • How metrics enable or eradicate uniqueness
  • How simple metrics can support our personal evolution

Listen here:

Also enjoy this brief talk about the Mystery School of Love at Venwoude (Holland) by Board Member Chahat Corten. Join us for the Mystery School coming soon!

Nijole Sparkis & Marc Gafni on Healing the Shadow in Relationships

The Difference Between Ordinary Love and Outrageous Love

Watch this awesome dialogue between Nijole Sparkis and Marc Gafni from her awesome interview series “Heal the Shadow in Your Relationships 2!” Read the beautiful introduction Nijole wrote in her email to the participants of this series announcing this interview:

Heal the Shadow in Your Relationships 2 video series

Click here to learn more about this powerful interview series!

GET BLOWN OPEN to the irreducible unique expression of Love Intelligence awakening as YOU. The clarion call to Shadow integration is much more than just knowing that you have drives that are darker than you want on the front page of the New York Times, and being aware of it. Shadow integration is actually an expression of profound enlightened consciousness.

Beloved cutting edge wisdom teacher Dr. Marc Gafni says your Shadow is your unlived life. And when you don’t live part of your life, you lose a critical dimension of your own Life Force. When you lose your Life Force, your energy devolves, your whole system protests & says “Give me back my essence!” Live your story! Live the missing piece of your story. And when you don’t do it, your system acts out. It acts out with Shadow qualities – pettiness, anger, contraction, rage, jealousy, or promiscuity which violates your own interior values.

Dr. Marc shares with us:

  • The huge distinction between Shadow and Shadow qualities
  • How the Oneness of the Universe may be seamless, but not featureless
  • A live case study of how to follow your Shadow back to the Light!
  • The solution for women who attract abandoning or non-committal men
  • The solution for men who attract non-receptive or angry women
  • The difference between love, romance, and infatuation
  • How to live from Outrageous Love rather than Ordinary Love

… and so much more!

You CAN re-connect with your True Self, be nurtured by your aliveness, and create LONG love lists!

Wishing you Blown-Open, Outrageous Love,

Nijole (Neola)

P.S. Some of what I LOVE about Dr. Marc Gafni: He has inspired many, comforted the afflicted, and afflicted the comfortable. He reflects back to people their most gorgeous selves, shares teachings of love, pricks egos, and calls others, by his very being, to truth and integrity. For some Marc is a teacher, for others a spiritual friend, for still others a spiritual artist, and for still others a revolutionary catalyst of social change and evolution. Marc Gafni’s teaching is filled with love of people, love of God, and love of all of creation. It is also scholarly, hip, serious, deep, funny, profound, sometimes startlingly original, and always invested with the intent to transmit not only insight but also, and especially, an open heart.

Enjoy the interview:

[Read more…]

Unique Self Coaching Expands in Europe and US

The first participants in the Unique Self Coaching Collective have successfully completed the 9-month certification program that masterfully weaves Integral Coaching and Unique Self Realization into a new and beautiful program of deep Self-Inquiry practices that is very teachable to other coaches for use with their clients.

Unique Self Coaching was developed by Integral Master Coaches Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard with the support of Dr. Marc Gafni. They have upcoming 9-month certification programs in Europe and the U.S., and you’ll find more information on their website.

 

“We believe that everyone has a unique purpose and that joy arises naturally when one lives in the reality of their unique calling as a gift to the world. This is what it is means to be living as a Unique Self. Our vision and greatest hope is that Unique Self Coaching may serve as a skillful means to facilitate the emergence of the Unique Self in men and women of all ages so they may live happier, more successful and purposeful lives in service to the world.”

Integral Master Coaches and Founders of the Unique Self Coaching Collective, Barbara Alexander and Claire Molinard

 

 

Clinical Somatic Education: A New Discipline in the Field of Healthcare

Mary Ann Gray VoorhiesPresenting Clinical Somatic Education

(Otherwise known as Hanna Somatics, created by Thomas Hanna, Ph.D.)

by Mary Ann Gray Voorhies, Clinical Somatic Educator

Clinical Somatic Education, according to Thomas Hanna in his article of the same name, is as follows. These are his words:

The flowering of a series of developments that have led to a discipline that is as consistently effective as any branch of medical science … This type of somatic education is the use of sensory-motor learning to gain greater voluntary control of one’s own physiological process. It is somatic, meaning that the learning occurs within the individual as an internalized process. Prior to the advent of this teacher/learner form of somatic education, the same self-transformatory events have been commonplace in human history.

“Miraculous” cures and healings and radical changes in physical skills and health are the common lore of martial arts and religious history. Because the mechanisms of such healings performed by shamans across the globe were hidden within the internal process of individuals, they have always (heretofore) had the aura of mystery — the mythology of “good” and “bad” spirits or “good” or “bad” energies. It is this same hiddenness that causes the work of 20th century somatic educators to be “miraculous” in the same mysterious way that the pre-scientific world viewed shamanic work. In a series of articles it will be my task to reveal to the reader an understanding of the somatic world in general — and of somatic education in particular, so that the mystery and mythology can be dispelled. [Read more…]

Excitement Builds for Summer Festival of Love – July 26 to August 2

Summer Festival Icon

Sometimes, people wait to the last minute, and then decide to jump into a major life event because of an inward pull and calling… an impulse that is not to be denied! If you are having this calling regarding our 3rd Annual Mystery School, and our 1st Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference… now is the time to act so you can be at the Summer Festival of Love at the Venwoude Integral Practice Community in Holland, the week of July 26 – August 2.

Many are still carrying the transformative “Loving Your Way to Enlightenment” vibe from the Summer Festival and Mystery School of last year… really fantastic reports of authentic growth and change. Promotional Flyer here—>

Loving Your Way to Enlightenment

 

With Marc Gafni leading, our previous Mystery Schools have attracted many participants from all over Europe and the Americas, contributing to the expansion of our European Center for Integral Wisdom faculty, and to a dramatic evolution of CIW teachings and workshop opportunities in the past year. The Summer Festival of Love is truly a signature event among all of the teachings for the year.

Mauk Pieper, Chahat Corten and Dr Marc at the 2013 Summer Festival of Love

Mauk Pieper, Chahat Corten and Dr Marc at the 2013 Summer Festival of Love


 

 

There are few spaces left… you may register here. Register here—>

 

 

 

 

Unique Self & Reincarnation with Marc Gafni & Michael Murphy – Final Part 9: A Meditation from the Vast to the Personal in Powers of Ten

The dialogue between Michael Murphy and Marc Gafni ends on a contemplation of the vast, infinite complexity and beauty of an ever-expanding Universe expressed also as the infinite complexity and beauty of each soul… of each irreducibly Unique Self… ever-evolving… ever-expanding.

Unique Self & Reincarnation with Marc Gafni & Michael Murphy – Part 8: On Using Discernment: The Many Ways to Pray

We are multidimensional human beings… When we pray, from what part of our Being are we praying from? The discussion continues learning the practice of prayer not as dogma, but as an empirical and experiential practice that has proven results. Learning to pray not from our small and separate ego drives, but from our Unique Self, is consciousness changing and transformative.

Unique Self and Reincarnation Part 7: East-West Enlightenment and a New Empiricism

What are the practical implications of reincarnation when we deconstruct dogma and embrace the many forms of empirical knowledge… as many as seventeen types of empirical knowing… that inform us of deeper human existential realities? Marc Gafni and Michael Murphy discuss Integral Transformative Practice.

Part 7: East-West Enlightenment and a New Empiricism

 

Unique Self and Reincarnation Part 6: God With Form and God Without Form

Marc and Michael continue their discussion on reincarnation, in this piece, reflecting upon the pulses of cultural transmission from east to west, and that we are now in an exciting time period of being able to evaluate all past traditions and wisdom of the global village, evolving a deepened empirical understanding and experience of the nature of God and the journey of the soul through more than one physical embodiment.

Part 6 – “God With Form, and God Without Form”

Unique Self and Reincarnation Part 5: Prayer and the Cosmic Vending Machine

If we take all theology and dogma out of the discussion, and look at empirical evidence, where do rigorous conversations on topics such as the positive effects of prayer or the possible reality of reincarnation take us?

Part 5 – “Prayer and the Cosmic Vending Machine”

Unique Self and Reincarnation Part 4: “Coming of Age in Relation to God”

Part 4 – “Coming of Age in Relation to God”

Marc continues the dialogue with his observations on cognitive bias – how people come to believe what they believe. It takes willingness and courage to objectively look at empirical evidence, and because the conversation on reincarnation has become associated with fringe metaphysical thinking, there has been a damper on the conversation regarding reincarnation and true human potential. – SR

 

 

 

3rd Annual Mystery School and 1st European Integral Wisdom Conference on Love, Eros and Enlightenment

Summer Festival Icon

Spring has arrived, and we are excited to announce our 3rd Annual Mystery School, and our 1st Annual European Integral Wisdom Conference, both to occur during the week of our Summer Festival of Love at the Venwoude Integral Practice Community in Holland, the week of July 26 – August 2.

Being a scholarly think-tank, we do like to exercise a certain amount of restraint in describing our events, but honestly, we are still carrying the “Holy Buzz” from the Summer Festival and Mystery School of last year. We have received enthusiastic reports from all participants throughout the year, and clearly, the Summer Festival of Love has become a signature event for the Center for Integral Wisdom. Promotional Flyer here—>

Last year, 150 participants attended, filling all of the accommodations. This year Venwoude has promised room for 200 participants, and an early registration is recommended. Register here—>

Mauk Pieper, Chahat Corten and Dr Marc at the 2013 Summer Festival of Love

Mauk Pieper, Chahat Corten and Dr Marc at the 2013 Summer Festival of Love

 

With Marc Gafni leading, our previous Mystery Schools have attracted many participants from all over Europe and the Americas, contributing to the expansion of our European Center for Integral Wisdom faculty. Our faculty members in both Europe and the Americas are vital links in evolving the source code of human consciousness in all of our cultural and professional spheres.

[Read more…]

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 further discussion (by Kerstin Zohar Tuschik):

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…? [Read more…]

True Self Meditation for People with Dementia

by Steve Raymond

 

I met a lovely woman not much older than me in a coffee shop. She said something humorous, and we began a conversation that emotionally moved me because she was quite open with the fact that she is in Early Stage Alzheimer’s disease. She carried it well and very lightly, and shared her personal story with me quite eloquently.

In Monterey, I volunteered for too-short-a-time with the Alzheimer’s Association as a facilitator for a support group for people with Early Stage Alzheimer’s. The people in our group were mostly younger, ranging from 54 to 78, with three younger than 60. So, they were not just Early Stage, but also Early Onset. I say “too-short” because life changes brought me away from that work, and I felt very incomplete about it.

Photo by Julie M. Daley

Photo by Julie M. Daley

There are lots of sobering statistics and valuable information that are readily available at the National Alzheimer’s Association, with great advice for PWD’s (People with Dementia), and their caregivers. I have a somewhat different perspective to share.

Everyone in our Monterey group had clearly life-altering diminishment in their functional capacity. And yet, each person could be so acutely Present emotionally, and so aware of what was happening in their life and to their life.

One common thread in our conversations was the perceived stigma attached to the dementia. Very painfully, each described the experience of being stigmatized by the disease, as though they were now second-class citizens that are essentially written off by society as a hopeless case. This was what always brought forth the most visceral emotions, almost more than the experience of loss of abilities.

This prompted me to teach meditation to our group. In guided meditations, I would begin by having us find a place of calm centered Being-ness that existed separately from the false perceptions and judgements of others, and we would focus upon breathing in Self-Love, and owning the Truth that the dementia is a disease that is affecting their life, but that they could experience the Essence of Being entirely separate from the disease. I was always surprised that attention-span was not a problem. The group settled in comfortably for 20-minutes, and would emerge feeling a very peaceful and gentle sense of True Self Realization.
[Read more…]

The Nature of Loneliness by Joe Perez

By Joe Perez

“For most people, the move beyond loneliness requires us to share our story with a significant other. For the spiritual elite, the receiving of our own story — and the knowing that it is an integral part of the larger story of All-That-Is — is enough. But for most human beings, loneliness is transcended through contact with another person.”

– Marc Gafni

Your Supreme Identity is calling to you from the essence of all things. It is your own dwelling place, your unique life story not only told but lived and constantly recreated. It is the force which not only remedies loneliness but gives us solace in our solitude.

Paul Tillich once wrote: “Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”

Researchers tell us that loneliness may be painful, but it also associated with spiritual experiences and creativity. When being alone is freely chosen as an artist’s duty, it becomes a normal part of life. Indeed, being alone is part of the human condition in which we are often at our saddest, full of shame or fear or anger. It does not require us to be physically isolated; we can be desperately lonely in a crowd or amid loved ones if we have been prevented from being our true selves. [Read more…]

The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 6

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 6)

image courtesy of Stuart Miles (c) 2013

image courtesy of Stuart Miles (c) 2013

Two Faces of All That Is

This is the animating impulse that moved eastern spiritual teaching, motivated by love, to seek to free you from the illusion of separate self. Their great mistake was to jettison Uniqueness along with separateness by conflating the two in a way that was both unnecessary and wrong. This confusion of separateness and uniqueness forgot that you could be both part of the whole and a distinct part at the same time. The recovering of that memory is essential to healing the fractured and broken self. The dignity of the part can be held even as your are connected to the whole. You are part of the seamless coat of the universe. Seamless, but not featureless.  You can transcend your exclusive identification with your part nature, the ego, even as you identify with the larger whole. But that does not mean that your unique part nature is absorbed in the whole. Rather, it is integrated in the seamless coat of reality without compromising its unique features. [Read more…]

The God of the Encounter: The Glory of the Personal, Part 5

by Dr. Marc Gafni

(part 5)

image courtesy of Stuart Miles (c) 2013

image courtesy of Stuart Miles (c) 2013

***

God in the First Person:

“All at once I found myself wrapped in a flame-colored cloud. For an instant, I thought of fire and immense conflagration somewhere close by in that great city; the next I knew that the fire was in myself. Directly afterward there came upon me as sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination impossible to describe. Among other things, I did not merely come to believe, but I saw that the universe is not composed of dead matter, but is on the contrary, a living presence; I became conscious in myself of eternal life. It was not a conviction that I would have an eternal life, but a consciousness that I possessed eternal life then; I saw that all men are immortal, that the cosmic order is such that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world, of all worlds, is what we call love, and that the happiness of each and all is in the long run absolutely certain.”

~R.M. Bucke

God in the Second Person addressing man:

I will be united with you in marriage forever

I will be united to you in marriage through justice and righteousness

I will be united with you in marriage through overflowing love and compassion

I will be united with you in marriage in complete trust

And you will erotically know the divine

Hosea the Prophet: 2: 21- 23

Only someone who lacks both of these realizations can identify all that is as merely a process or impulse. Realization teaches that the all that is expresses as a process or an evolutionary impulse, but that God is process plus personal, not process minus personal. [Read more…]