December 12, 2018

Defining the Enlightenment of Fullness

 

(c) 2012 photo courtesy of photoexplorer.

(c) 2012 photo courtesy of photoexplorer

In a recent dialogue over Unique Self, thought-leaders Marc Gafni and Rob McNamara discussed 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 discussed…

  • Whole-hearted engagement.
  • The full richness and depth of every moment as the way in to Unique Self.
  • The interrelationship of their books.
  • The ego’s basic habit.
  • The three traits of the Enlightenment of Fullness: Embodiment, Uniqueness, and Creativity.

You can register for the full dialogue on this page.>>>

Below is a partial transcript from their dialogue in which Marc Gafni elaborates on his definition of the Enlightenment of Fullness. [Read more…]

Enlightenment of Fullness — Yetzir and Yetzirah, Part III

(c) 2010 Salvatore Vuono

©2010 Salvatore Vuono

In the final installment of this three-part essay below, which is excerpted from the long version of Soul Prints, Dr. Marc Gafni writes that we can transform and raise our passion and artistic creativity. We transform them 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 destiny unrealized.

From Part I: “Mozart, Bach, Schubert, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo created. And yet, creativity is still viewed as suspect by much of the religious community. Art per se and artists to be sure are suspected of being amoral at best and, more probably, immoral. Acting, painting, sculpture, song are held in both high esteem and moral disdain. Why? The answer, which we have already introduced in our earlier discussion, emerges from an understanding of the deep linguistic and conceptual relationship between the biblical myth terms Yetzer and Yetzirah. Yetzirah means creativity; Yetzer is best translated as primal instincts, including but not limited to libido (Freud), the drive for power (Adler, Nietzsche), and the need for meaning (Frankel). In the Hebrew language, which is the ultimate source of all biblical myth thought, Yetzer and Yetzirah are the same word, linked etymologically and conceptually. The point:  I cannot create without connecting deeply to my most primal instincts.” [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

World Spirituality Unplugged: From Jerusalem to Tibet with Love: Marc Gafni and Dalai Lama in 2008

Marc Gafni (from his 2008 dialogue with the Dalai Lama):

To love someone is to see them with God’s eyes, to perceive them at their highest place, like — as His Holiness said — the mother who sees the baby. The mother,  no matter what the baby does when older, always sees the baby as divine. Therefore we call God in Hebrew mysticism, Kabbalah, the divine breast of the Mother who feeds us all.

So we are all, like God, trying to see Other with God’s eyes. So to love is to see with God’s eyes, not an emotion, but a perception. … That’s our basic idea. So we say we can train people to love. Because if love is an emotion, we can’t train an emotion. But we can train a perception. We can train people to see.

So good Hebrew teaching is to train people to see… and to give… The Hebrew word for “love” also means “to give” and “ecstasy”… Ecstatic emotion that comes from giving. In Hebrew tradition, I first give, and if I give, I love. That’s just a gentle wisdom from Jerusalem to Tibet. Thank you so much for your wisdom on loving…

Video after the fold…

[Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Divine Imagination

God is the possibility of possibility – limitless imagination. The first of the ten commandments is “I am God.”  When this God is asked to identify himself, He responds, “I will be what I will be.” That is, ‘You cannot capture me in the frozen image of any time or place. To do so would be to destroy me.’ It would be to violate the second commandment against idolatry. Idolatry is the freezing of God in a static image. To freeze God in an image is to violate the invitation of the imagination. It is to limit possibility.

The Temple modeled after the Biblical myth tabernacle in the desert is the product of imagination. In a wonderfully paradoxical set of mystical texts, Bezalel, the master craftsman of the book of Exodus, receives no clear blueprint from God or Moses on how to build the tabernacle. And yet he builds it in accordance with “God’s will.” For the Kabbalists, this is a hidden allusion to the power of holy imagination to intuit cosmic truth.

When the mystics suggest that Bezalel is “taught by God,” they speak in code. The artist is “wise of heart,” “filled with the spirit of wisdom, intuition and intimate understanding.”  All of these draw their inspiration from the breath of divine imagination.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

Marc Gafni on Post-Postmodern Art: A New Article in Parabola Magazine

By Marc Gafni

Artist Claudia Kleefeld is not the first person to see the symbol of the spiral as being a portal to a vision of a coherent cosmos. She is original in that she is a first-rate, old-master-style artist with thirty years of training, who paints the spiral as an expression of an Eros of certainty that asserts the utter meaningfulness, depth, and order of the cosmos. Kleefeld’s paintings emerge from her own opened eye of the spirit and speak directly to the higher spiritual intuition of her viewers. Finally, Kleefeld is unusual in that she is part of an emergent form of art, which seeks to reveal the enchantment of a cosmos — a cosmos that is good, true, and beautiful.

I am delighted to present an article which celebrates the work of Claudia Kleefeld, one of the brightest shining lights in the universe of art today. My new article, “Post-postmodern Art: A Return to Belonging,” is now published in the latest issue of Parabola Magazine.

[Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: It’s All Art!

Whenever we keep eros confined to one narrow frame of being, while de-eroticzing the rest of the picture – the Shechina remains in exile. Sex is only one of the places where we exile the erotic. There is a wonderful Balinese saying which goes something like, “We do not have art – we do everything as beautifully as we can”. When we build ugly cities where beauty is abused and people are depersonalized and then build a beautiful art museum, the Shechina is in exile. We exile the eros of beauty to the constricted precincts of formal art.

The same is true of music. Music is not limited to symphonies or rock concerts. We are all musicians and life is overflowing with music. Remember the Broadway show “Stomp”? There was no dialogue; it was all music and dance. The catch was that no musical instruments were used. The instruments were adapted from the fabric of everyday living. Pots, pans, brooms, sinks, faucets, garbage can lids, bottles, bags, newspapers, hands, feet, virtually every part of the body – all of these became instruments of music. The implication is stunning; what we usually do is limit art to formal work by people we call artists, just as we limit music to formal instruments. Formal music and art need to model the erotics of sound and beauty in all of our lives and not just in their narrow provinces. Music and art need to pervade all of living. Every moment is a canvas and is possessed of its own melody.

Rumi knowingly instructs us:

Let the beauty that we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the Ground.

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

If you want a lifetime of happiness, never be satisfied

Olympics

Photo Credit: Miss Barabanov


By Kristen Ulmer

One of my clients admitted the first gold medal he won in the Olympics made him feel happy and satisfied for about six months. His second gold medal he was satisfied for only a few weeks.

Sounds like a bummer, actually. All that work and subsequent glory is supposed to lead to ‘happily-ever-after’ right? The bragging rights alone should carry for decades.

Yet here’s my advice: If you want a true lifetime of happiness and love for your sport: Never be satisfied. [Read more…]

Our journey as evolutionary artists is a dance of creativity

Dancers in Australia

Photo Credit: Oude School

 

By Marc Gafni

Do you know that you are the evolutionary artist of the next stage of your life and the life of the world?

Do you know that personal creativity is your doorway into the creativity of the Kosmos?

Do you know that creativity is your birthright?

Do you know that higher consciousness is naturally more creative and less fearful?

Do you know that what you create through your mind, heart and body transforms all of us and all of life?

This is a truth of dramatic importance: Each of us is participating in a great dance of creativity. Our journey as evolutionary artists involves every aspect of life — from the words we choose to the love we make. And that journey begins when we recognize how our own creativity is actually an expression of the evolutionary love-intelligence of all that is. The Vedic and Tantric traditions of Hinduism, the Sufis sages, and the philosophers of Kabbala reminded us that divinity is creativity. The Buddhist sages have invited us to the liberated free-functioning creativity of the compassionate Bodhisattva. The Judeo-Christian teachers have invited us to imitatio dei to be like God, even to be as God.

Just as the great love-intelligence emanates worlds out of its own being, we are invited to turn into our own center, and find that world-creating source within ourselves. From there, we can become co-creators of a transformed world.

You are creative because consciousness is inherently creative. The mysterious Eros that animates and drives the evolutionary unfolding is at this very moment creating and recreating all of reality anew in every moment. That Eros, which lives in you, as you and through you, acts creatively through you the moment you give your consent to it.

It is our delight and obligation to answer the call to evolutionary creativity — and its fulfillment.

The next great movement of evolutionary love is waiting for you — for each of us — to identify and manifest your unique creativity. It is asking you to recognize yourself as the artist of your life, and then to broaden your artistry until you are creating in the service of All that Is.

Are you ready to respond to the great invitation and obligation to evolutionary creativity, in the service of our own evolution, and the evolution of all that is?

If you are then you have begun to wake up and that is simply fucking awesome!

 

Daily Wisdom Post: The Creative Gaze

The Kabbalists were often referred to as mistaklim or chozim, roughly translated as the Looker or Seers.  To get a handle on what that might mean, just imagine how we feel when someone looks at us with erotic, loving eyes.  We feel energized, uplifted, and embraced.  We become more vibrant, audacious, and alive.  We feel safer in the world.  The sense of alienation, separateness, and loneliness of our empty days and painful nights seems to lift.

The more steady the loving gaze is, the more we can steady ourselves and chart our direction and purpose on the path of being.  It begins with the loving eyes of mother and father–our first lovers–and continues throughout our lives.  Love’s eyes sustain us, nourish us, and connect us to the essential aliveness that courses through the universe.  Being seen makes us alove and alive.  The same is true of God.  The gaze of the mystic sustains and even “creates” God.

Once a few years back, my son Yair walked into the room. He sat and started playing with his Gameboy.  I began looking at him, but really looking, perceiving him, loving him, with all my heart pouring out through my eyes.  I was seeing every beautiful detail of his being as he sat there innocently playing.  Suddenly he started singing. Yair singing?!  A rarity.  Could it have been from my love pouring out in his direction?  He got up and sort of danced his way out of the room.  Yair dancing?!

Well, proper scientific data it is not.  But it was enough for me. It was exhilarating!  Since then I have done this practice in a thousand different places–in streets, lecture halls, pubs, churches, libraries and synagogues.  As a result, the world has been much more full of singing and dancing.  I realized that a loving gaze can transform reality.  We call this in formal theology imatatio dei, the imitation of the divine force.  Just as God looked lovingly into the darkness and there was light, just as God’s gaze made it good, so too can our loving perception transform darkness into light and chaos into harmony.  Try it!

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Pages 125, 126

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

Eros Audio Series: The Sexual Models the Erotic, but it Doesn’t Exhaust the Erotic

The fall of the temple symbolises the exile of the Erotic energy. Where did it go? The erotic is exiled in the sexual! We have to understand, that the sexual models the erotic, but it doesn’t exhaust the erotic.

Listen to this audio clip from the Erotic and the Holy audio series by Dr. Marc Gafni. [Read more…]

Eros Audio Series: What is Divine Speech?

Listen to this free audioclip by Dr. Marc Gafni from his Erotic and Holy audio series.

The breakthrough to the other side happens in every facet of existence. It happens in an erotic conversation, when time stands still. To be engaged erotically, means the same as to be holy: being in the inside of an event.

The Maggid of Mezritch, a great Hassidic master once said, “If you can hear yourself talking, sit down”! That is the exile of speech, Galut Ha-dibbur, in Hebrew. In this speech is the Goddess Divine, Shekinah. The exile of the divine is when you can hear yourself talking, because you stepped outside.

The Zohar, the book of Aramaic Hebrew mysticism says “a river flows from Eden” – to be in that river is to be in the flow, which is exactly the Eros space. In another Kabbalist story, Hanoch the cobbler stitches his shoes, and the text say “the heavens begin to move and transform.” What is he doing when he stitches his shoes? Nothing else, but stitching his shoes. He is totally one with that action: he is in the inside of it, and so he becomes the Shekinah, the erotic itself. The divine is in exile, when the inside and the outside are disconnected. [Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: The Eros of Living Your Story

Eros seduces man toward evolution, toward greater consciousness. Love seduces man to love. Eros is the inner animating quality of the ecstatic evolutionary impulse of the Ground of Being, evolving toward the most aware and noble expression of itself. It is love persuading us to ever-deeper levels of love.

 

 

 

Marc Gafni
Your Unique Self
p. 135

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

Daily Wisdom: One Love

To really get the great esoteric teachings of one love, to know love as the strongest force in the Uni-verse, we first have to understand that love is not just a feeling. Rather, love is the motivating force driving and animating the entire Uni-verse. Love is not merely a human emotion. Love is both the currency of connection between human beings and the essential Eros that drives the evolutionary process as a whole. Love is the Eros of all relationship even as it is the very Eros of evolution itself. Personal and impersonal love are one. One Love. Evolutionary Love.”

 

Your Unique Self
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 10

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

Daily Wisdom: Love breaks out…

“This movement of love and Eros, which is visible in third person from the simplest cellular level to the most advanced human level, is at all times felt in the second person as love. In the realized human being, love breaks out.  This is, finally, love revealed. Because evolution is the constant increase of complexity—paralleled on the interior by the constant increase of consciousness, whose inner relational quality is love—in the evolved human being who has reached the level of self-transcendence, the operation of love itself breaks into consciousness and becomes a prime motivator for individuals.”

 

Your Unique Self
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 120

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

Daily Wisdom: Imagination

Sex models the erotic, but it does not exhaust the erotic. One of the core qualities of the erotic is imagination. The Zohar, the magnus opus of Hebrew mysticism, says explicitly in many places, “Shechina is imagination.”

In common usage “imagination” is implicitly considered to mean “unreal.” Indeed unreal and imaginary are virtual synonyms. To undermine the reality of an antagonist’s claim we say it is “a figment of his imagination.”  In marked contrast, the Hebrew mystics held imagination to be very real. Indeed it would not be unfair to say that they considered imagination to be “realer than real.”

The power of imagination is its ability to give form to the deep truths and visions of the inner divine realm. Imagination gives expression to the higher visions of reality that derive from our divine selves. Language and rational thinking are generally unable to access this higher truth. But the imagination is our prophet, bringing us the word of the Divine, which speaks both through us and from beyond us. This is what the biblical mystic Hosea meant when he exclaimed their God said, “By the hands of my prophets I am imagined.”

The Mystery of Love, Page 81
Marc Gafni

Crisis of Imagination, by Dr. Marc Gafni

The greatest crisis of our lives is not economic, intellectual, or even what we usually call religious. It is a crisis of imagination. We are getting stuck on our paths because we are unable to re-imagine our lives differently than 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 hold onto slavishly, even when they no longer serve you on your journey. Makkif is that which is beyond you, which you can only reach if you are willing to take a leap into the abyss.

Find your risk, and you will find yourself.  Sometimes that means leaving your home, your father’s house, and your birthplace and traveling to strange lands.

[Read more…]

Three Steps to God: Awakening Your Evolutionary Creativity… by Dr. Marc Gafni

… and Reclaiming the Higher Obligation and Joy of Your Life

by Dr. Marc Gafni

Notes on an Emergent World Spirituality based on Integral Principles.

Hi Friends, I am writing you from the road. Traveling, meetings to unfold the World Spirituality movement based on integral principles, teaching, and much more. I am delighted to be alive and to be writing to you.  I am thinking a lot of these days about how to  harness the fire of your Evolutionary Creativity.

Here are some thoughts about creativity which come from deep within the Source Code of our emerging Integral world view. What a delight and privilege it is to participate with you in the evolution of consciousness. What a wild and holy privilege it is to have this conversation with you. One of the things this blog will make clear is the trajectory of emergence from Unique Self to Love to Evolutionary Creativity.  As we connect the dots, the eros and ethos of the Great World Spirituality Awakening story comes into view. So here we go……. [Read more…]

A Teaching on Love ~ by Dr. Marc Gafni


Life as Practice and the Three Stations of Love

by Dr. Marc Gafni
The evolution of states and stages of consciousness are explicitly discussed in the great traditions. We are using the terms states and stages in the classic sense that they are defined in integral theory. By states then, we refer to experience of expanded or altered forms of awareness. These states are not permanent or stable levels of awareness, but are induced through various means, including but not limited to, spiritual practice. By stages of consciousness, we refer to stable levels of development which take place within the interior of an individual or culture, and which refer to stable achievement of new levels of consciousness. An example of stages of consciousness might be the evolution from pre-, personal–, personal to transpersonal or in a second example from ego- to ethno- to world- to kosmocentric consciousness. In this latter example, at every ascending level of consciousness there is an expanded sense of both awareness and identity. A second example might be the six to ten structure stage of interior consciousness within the life of the collective and the individual that are described in many developmental systems, one example of which is the Spiral Dynamics theory of Clare Graves. [Read more…]

Reaching the Next Generation of Integral Leaders – Michael Richardson, Dustin DiPerna, Kelly Sosan Bearer, Mikyö Clark, and Gavriel Strauss

    

From the Integral Leadership Collaborative

Description: There’s a new generation of Integral Leaders coming to town. They’re calling themselves the Second Wave. San Francisco is the home of one of the fastest growing Second Wave communities — and they are making plenty of noise!  At the epicenter of this socio-cultural rumbling is a group of visionary spiritualists-artists-musicians-producers-renegades-activists. They will be discussing how and why “integral” is or isn’t relevant to Gen Y (Millennials) and how we can reach them! The projects this posse is pulling together is truly mind bending!

Listen to the audio of these Young Integral Leaders and read more about their background: [Read more…]