May 27, 2018

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

 

Michael Murphy and Dr Marc Gafni Reincarnation Dialogue Parts 2 & 3

One Integral definition of “a postmetaphysical discussion on reincarnation” could be to attempt to integrate empirical first person transpersonal experiences with third person academic research and writing on reincarnation. Each domain has its proponents and biases. The challenge is in incorporating a phenomenological approach with credible research. It is in this spirit that Michael Murphy and Dr. Marc Gafni continue their discussion in Parts 2 and 3 of their dialogue on Reincarnation. – SR

Part 2 – Does Anything Happen After You Die?

Part 3 – The Reincarnation Research from the University of Virginia

True Self, Unique Self and the Infinity of Intimacy

Dr. Marc Gafni and Michael Murphy held an evening dialogue at a recent leadership meeting. The topic was on reincarnation, and the inquiry was, “How does a think-tank hold a credible post-metaphysical discussion on reincarnation?” What do we really think about reincarnation, and what is the narrative we want to evolve within a framework of Integral Theory, Evolutionary Love, Conscious Capitalism, and changing the source code of human consciousness, a few among the many think-tank concerns and initiatives?

This is Part 1 of a 9-part video series of that very entertaining and excellent discussion between Marc and Michael. Since his founding of the Esalen Institute in 1962, Michael has directly witnessed and experienced the modern exploration of reincarnation through transpersonal and spiritual processes, and Marc’s lifelong exploration of the nature of human existence and his evolution of Unique Self theory and practice compels him to discern the most credible philosophic framing for reincarnation possible.

Marc’s and Michael’s discussion was of particular interest to me because I worked for many years as an intensive care registered nurse, with seven years in AIDS units during the early days when death was inevitable. I was strongly called to Presence with patients and families facing death, and to evolve a gentler, more psychologically and spiritually mature approach to death within our culture. During those years I met many people who spoke quite convincingly about their near-death experiences. Later I became the training director for a transpersonal therapy association with past life therapy and pre-and perinatal regressions as central therapeutic processes, where I spent many years in private practice in dimly lit rooms bringing people through ostensible past life experiences. I have thought a great deal about these existential questions, and I loved that Marc and Michael tackled this topic from the angle of credibility because discussions of reincarnation are so easily swamped by metaphysical vagaries expressed with certainty. I know you will enjoy this entertaining and engaging evening dialogue between Marc and Michael, “True Self, Unique Self, and the Infinity of Intimacy.”

Steve Raymond

 

Wisdom for Your Week: Marc Gafni and Rob McNamara in Dialogue over Unique Self

imgres-1In this dialogue below, thought-leaders Marc Gafni and Rob McNamara discuss the overlapping topic areas in their recent books, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment and Strength to Awaken/The Elegant Self.

They discuss…

  • Whole-hearted engagement. What does physical strength have to do with your awakening and well-being? Rob McNamara describes his approach to the robust integral practice of whole-hearted engagement in the body-mind moment. We all have jobs, family, relationships, friendships, and our well-being to look after. Rob says, here, “Day to day, we tend to push the fundamentals off the table, and they tend to slide.  And, I think there’s a way that we can integrate all the major faculties in to a really robust engagement. And, that’s what I get really excited about around Strength to Awaken.” [Read more…]

Distinction between Ego and Unique Self #24 – Pleasure: Delusion or Divine

from Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni

(c) 2012 photo courtesy of domdeen

©2012 photo courtesy of domdeen

Money, power, and pleasure, when experienced at the level of ego, appear separate from the divine field and trap you in the clutches of grasping and striving. When experienced from the level of enlightened consciousness, money, power, and pleasure are expressions of your Unique Self touching the divine. Pleasure from the place of Unique Self is experienced as a divine caress reminding you that the world is sane and good. Ego pleasures feel narcissistic, and solidify the coiled contraction into small self. They never satisfy; you are constantly driven to get more and more, and someone else’s pleasure makes you feel your own lack. The same pleasure experienced from the consciousness of Unique Self expands your heart and consciousness into the love-intelligence, love-beauty, and love-pleasure of All-That-Is. You are satisfied by even the simplest pleasure, and you delight in the pleasure of others.

Similarly, power and money grasped by the ego seek to support the false belief of the separate self that it will live forever. Power and money are used to accumulate goods you do not need, and to acquire superficial control over others in order to assure yourself that you are valuable and worthy. Money and power experienced from the consciousness of Unique Self are gracefully and skillfully deployed with delight for the greater good of all beings.

Separate from the divine field, money, pleasure, and power appear as foolish and even grotesque identity enhancers for the ego. This becomes radically apparent whenever we encounter death. The ego is confused. It fails to discern between separateness and uniqueness, and so the goods of existence are hijacked to serve its own impossible goal of survival—separate from the larger field of love-beauty-pleasure-intelligence from which it was never separate and never can be separated.

Correct intuitions that are hijacked and misapplied by the ego are contextualized and reclaimed at the level of Unique Self. These include eternity and the finite goods of the world, the goodness of pleasure, the divine aspect of power, and more. All of these are reclaimed without grasping at the level of Unique Self.

Further Discussion:

One of the things Dr. Marc teaches us to recognize about pleasure is that it is not pain’s opposite. In fact, he teaches:

The opposite of pain is comfort. To achieve pleasure you must be willing to bear the discomfort of being displeasing to yourself, of feeling worthless, inadequate, depressed. It is only by sitting in the pain that you can find the pleasure. (p. 282 of Unique Self) [Read more…]

Center for World Spirituality Mystery School of Love (aka Summer Festival of Love) Venwoude International Retreat Center, Holland

The following video gives you a small taste of the Center for World Spirituality Mystery School of Love (aka Summer Festival of Love) run in partnership with Venwoude International retreat center.

The Mystery School is an annual eight day event which takes place at the end of July and the first week of August. The morning dharma teaching is by Dr. Marc Gafni with an all star team of teachers leading breakout sessions in the afternoon.

The Mystery School is a profound enlightenment teaching intensive where the practices revolve around awakening to what Dr. Marc calls Your Unique Self. This awakening to your true nature and to the sacred activism that is the invitation of your life is rooted in a powerful realization of the unique love beauty and love intelligence of all that is, that lives in you, as you and through you.

Many students report profound enlightenment experiences during mystery schools. Those experiences however are but pointers towards a stable and integrated awakening to your unique self that has the potential to literally change everything even as you deepen and transform from where you are. This is the path of what Dr. Marc calls the evolutionary lover or the outrageous lover. At the core of the dharma is Dr. Marc’s core mantra: We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.

Next Venwoude Festival / Mystery School:  July 27th – August 3rd, 2013
Info here: http://www.venwoude.nl/summerfestival.htm

 

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:

[Read more…]

Marc Gafni’s Devotional Heart Chant

Marc Gafni, master of the chant, offers a glimpse into his devotional heart:

See more videos in the  Unique Self Video Blog series.

Unique Self Video 15c: History of “Wake Up, Grow Up” terminology

In the ongoing Unique Self video series, Part 15c gives us an overview of history of the terminology of “wake up, grow up, etc.” as used today in World Spirituality. Tracing the terms back to John Wellwood, Gafni also discusses why this information is important. [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 15b: Unique Self is the Highest Level of “Growing Up”

The Unique Self video series continues with a brief reflection on the role of Unique Self within the foundational principles of World Spirituality. Marc Gafni says:

Your highest growing up is Unique Self. You lighten up by following your Unique Shadow back to Unique Self. Love is in 2nd person a Unique Self perception, and in 1st person you live as live but live uniquely as love, and in 3rd person you are the unique expression of all love-intelligence of All-That-Is… [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 15a: The Cornerstone of World Spirituality Practice

In the next video in the Unique Self series, Marc Gafni summarizes World Spirituality as follows:

At the core of World Spirituality teaching is what’s been called wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, and open up. That’s the whole teaching. [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 14: Levels of Consciousness

From “Part 14. Unique Self and levels of consciousness,” the fourteenth part of the Unique Self video blog series:

What is Unique Self?

The core way we refer to Unique Self is as both a unique structure-stage of consciousness and a state of consciousness. Primarily it’s a specific structure-stage of consciousness that comes online as a natural spontaneous expression of living into your uniqueness at higher levels of consciousness. Of course knowing about Unique Self might be one of the things that spurs you, causes you to grow up to higher levels of consciousness. It’s the transmission, the teaching, and study of Unique Self that is one of the things that awakens you. [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 13: The Intellectual and Social History of Unique Self

When intellectual historians trace the emergence of Your Unique Self out of its multi-faceted lineage, they look look first to the Unique Self Timeline as well as the following video, in which Marc Gafni describes the idea’s lineage.

Unique Self emerged about 25 years ago when I first began what I call the Soul Print teaching. I was delighted and privileged to put out a book called Soul Prints: Your Path to Fulfillment and a PBS special. The PBS special was horrible. The book was really good.

The book was the crystallization of the teaching which began in 1986 in Delray Beach, Florida, where I was an Orthodox rabbi, and I was speaking to about 500 people. I was teaching about the laws of Sabbath which are exciting and compelling and important, but somehow I couldn’t give the gift I wanted to give them. Somehow the sentence emerged – fell as grace: I said that you have not only a finger print, but you are a soul print. You have a Unique Gift to give in the world. You can actually feel the energy or subtle field or inner space change.
Everyone kind of woke up, and we knew something had happened. Ever since then, I have worked on developing on an understanding of Soul Prints… [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 12: Your Unique Self, The Book

Marc Gafni:

Unique Self emerges from my teaching over the last 20 years, a deep meeting between my teaching and Integral Theory, many many conversations between Ken and myself, fructified, amplified, and deepened by an inner circle of other teachers who brought their own gifts to bear, and now Unique Self belongs to no one. It’s the teaching of tomorrow, which will take each one of us.

Find your way on this radical path to personal enlightenment.

In the twelfth installment of the Unique Self Video series, Marc Gafni provides an overview of his new book, Your Unique Self:


For a transcript, see UniqueSelf.com.

Unique Self Video No. 11: On Evolutionary Mysticism

Dr. Marc Gafni:

Evolutionary Spirituality is making an important contribution. My teachers are all evolutionary mystics, a term that’s been used in the academic scholarship of Hebrew mysticism. Evolutionary mysticism is the sense that I am participating in the evolving All, the evolving process.

In Part 11 of the Unique Self Video series, Marc describes the important role he sees for evolutionary spirituality as well as its potential pitfalls. [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 10: What is the difference between Integral Spirituality, Evolutionary Spirituality, and World Spirituality?

An excerpt from Part 10 of the Unique Self Video series:

World Spirituality incorporates both the operating system of integral Spirituality, its pointing-out instructions, and clearly incorporates the evolutionary dimension of Evolutionary Spirituality. What World Spirituality seeks to do at every level of consciousness is offer a full expression of living—body, heart, mind, and soul—at every level of consciousness at its own level. At its highest level of consciousness—Kosmocentric consciousness, in which I feel identified with all sentient beings—I’ve identified with the Divine perspective that lives as my Unique Self. I feel responsible for past, present, and future.

Marc Gafni: [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 9: Evolutionary We-Space, Part II

“You don’t win an Oscar by playing someone else’s part in the play. You win the Oscar by playing your part to perfection.” — Marc Gafni, in the ninth segment of the Unique Self Video series.

Watch the video: [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 8: Enlightenment Is Not Only for the Elite

“Enlightenment is not only the province of the elite. It can expand beyond the narrow sectors of the meditation hall in Nepal or Brooklyn, or the back streets of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods where the pious Kabbalists sit and chant. Enlightenment becomes part of the fabric of every awakened life…” — Marc Gafni, from the Unique Self Video Blog, Part 8

Watch the video: [Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 7: Unique Self or Soul?

“Soul in this understanding is the spiritual nature of your separate manifest self. Unique Self speaks to a different manifest reality. It says that both your manifest and unmanifest reality are unique.” — Marc Gafni

The seventh installment of the UniqueSelf video series answers the question, “How is Unique Self different from soul?”

[Read more…]

Unique Self Video No. 6: Evolutionary We-Space

There are always two views of community. From the Western tradition, basically we are all separate selves. We can’t really come together, but we can give up some of our rights to be protected by the central government. No authentic communication is possible. Or—emerging out of a more continental philosophical tradition—is that the primary unity of reality is the community.

Neither of those positions in the world create a genuine We-space of collective intelligence. Separate selves can’t create a genuine new intelligence, so there won’t be a new intelligence.

From the UniqueSelf.com Video Blog:

[Read more…]

Unique Self Dialogue: Ken Wilber & Marc Gafni, Part 3

What is the difference between the True Self and Unique Self? Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni approach this topic in the third part of the dialogue on Unique Self (about 24 minutes). Early in the conversation, Ken says:

Ken Wilber: The egoic self still has not yet passed through Emptiness, so it still believes it has a real existence and is something that is permanently everlastingly existing instead of something that is timelessly existing, and its specialness comes from the way it is different from other egos, and it still hasn’t experienced the True Self. At most, it exists at the soul level. The soul still exists — the soul is essentially the self in subtle realms. In the causal realms, it’s the True Self. The whole point that making sure you’ve passed through Emptiness is to strip through the soul of the separate self at that level.

Marc coined the term “Unique Self” in his book Soul Prints, and has been working to develop the Unique Self teaching for over two decades. Marc’s latest book, Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, explores and unpacks it even further. For a timeline of the Unique Self’s development, see the Unique Self Timeline.

Listen and read more… [Read more…]