April 23, 2018

Daily Wisdom: The Moment of Creation is One of Ecstasy

imgresOriginally, creation was said to have been a one-time event, an erotic, divine implosion in which the primal line bisected the primal circle and cosmos poured forth. This image was recast by post Renaissance Hebrew mystics in the light of the re-ascendancy of circle consciousness. Hebrew Mystic Levi Isaac, for example, opens his commentary with a radical assertion: creation is happening every second. The force of love which is divinity is constantly pouring through existence. Indeed, it is existence itself.

The moment of creation is one of ecstasy. Creation is an erotic outpouring, emerging from our ability to step fully inside, to touch what Levi Isaac calls ayin and Buddhists would call the void, to let the fullness of being pour through you.  Levi Isaac, seeker of Eros, simply cannot accept  the alienating masculine line image of creation common to the medieval schoolmen. For them, creation is a one-time event, which while originally caused by God, takes place outside of God.  Levi Isaac insists in a God who inheres in all of reality, in the ecstasy of creative union, replayed constantly in an eternal now. In his insistence, it becomes so. Thus for Levi Isaac, Luria’s image of circle being penetrated by line is the constant reality of existence. It is the yearning force of being – played over and over again.

We may at times lose touch with the interpenetration of line and circle, but is always present longing to be exposed.

~Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

We are a Community of Virtual Presence and Evolutionary Love Gatherings

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Venwoude Summer Festival of Love 2013 © Chahat Corten

Venwoude Summer Festival of Love 2013 © Chahat Corten

The Center for Integral World Spirituality is a vibrant community of Virtual Presence and Evolutionary Love Gatherings. We share tremendous Holy Purpose in bringing Unique Self teachings into the world. The Eros that unites us is grounded in simple truths of Unique Self teachings with which we all deeply resonate. [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…]

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: Frog Song

urlBy Marc Gafni

King David, the biblical author of Psalms, perhaps the greatest spiritual poetry every written, is walking by the river lost in ecstasy. In this state, he cries out, “God, tell me – is there anyone that has ever praised you as much as I?”

At that moment, a frog fantastically exclaims to him, “Be not so proud, David, for I have done more than you. You sing to God on occasion – I sing to God with every croak.” [Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: Swords – On Thrusting and Receiving

imgres-5By Dr. Marc Gafni

The symbol of the line is the sword. In biblical Hebrew the actual word for  sword, often a phallic expression, is cherev. The sword and the lance are male symbols of thrusting forward, combat and conquest. The goal of the sword is to affirm which line (sword) is higher in the hierarchy. The sword is goal-oriented. It does not have conversation; instead, it takes control. The sword cuts  through and analyzes. The sword is the discriminating intellect which divides, categorizes and conquers.  Clearly the sword/line is both a powerful force of the spirit as well as a scourge.

The circle is not about thrusting forward. It is about receiving. In the sexual image the circle always receives the line’s forward movement. Whatever position one might take, it is always the circle which must receive the line. The circle listens, opening herself up to receive the line. She is able to absorb the line’s thrust – develop it, unpack it, and give birth to something entirely new. [Read more…]

Daily Wisdom: What is “Temple Consciousness”?

imgres-3To be in temple consciousness is to be in God. Eros pure and simple. This shift in consciousness is hidden within the folds of biblical myth text itself. We have already seen that the biblical term lifnei hashem, usually translated as “before God,” can be more fruitfully unpacked as “on the inside of God’s face.”

This allusion plants the seed for the much more radical move made by mystic Isaac Luria in the 16th century. In Luria’s graphic and daring vision, the world is not formed by a forward thrusting male movement which creates outside of itself. Quite the contrary – Divinity creates within itself a sacred void in the form of a circle. This is the Great Circle of Creation. The circle, unlike in the original biblical image, is within God. It is an act of love which moves God to withdraw and make room for other – paradoxically – within God. [Read more…]

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

Daily Wisdom: Light

imgres-6Light, quantum wisdom teaches us, has two distinct properties that describe it: the particle property and the wave property.

Light is understood to be a twofold phenomenon not only in modern physics but also in ancient biblical myth.  Light in Hebrew is referred to as sapir. You may be familiar with the English word—sapphire–which is derived from the Hebrew word.  A sapphire, with its incomparable blue shine, is a stone of light.

The identity of spiritual and physical light becomes clearer when we focus on two more words that spring from this luminous Hebrew root, sapir. Those words are mispar and sippurMispar means number.  Sippur means story.

Mispar, like “particle,” expresses the point-like quality of light; sippur, like wave, captures light’s fluid nature. They are sister terms, both born from sapir. Not by coincidence, these words express the unique dual nature of the spiritual light our soul prints emanate.

Dr. Marc Gafni
The Erotic and the Holy

 

Discovering Spirit in Nature

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

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

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

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

Read the entire transcript or watch the video.

Daily Wisdom: Arousal from Above

Love is almost always proceeded by an act of will. We do not fall in love unless we decide to fall in love. Only after we internally give ourselves permission are we open to the experience. But once we open the gate, the radically pleasurable perception of falling in love, and the joy and wonder created in its wake, are given to us free of all charges. The Kabbalists refer to falling in love as “arousal from above.” The love granted to us is real enough; it is simply not the result of human effort. It is something which is aroused from beyond.

According to the Kabbalists, there is nothing malicious or even capricious about the whole enterprise. Falling in love is a gift from God, pure and simple. Falling in love is a divine gift from a God whose primary characteristic is love for Her creatures. God bestows upon us a gift of inner certainty and clarity.

On the other hand, the nature of such a gift is that it is too great for us to accept fully. We cannot hold the dazzling brilliance of the light… something shatters. We can touch the love for a time, but we lack the vessels to hold it.

Falling in love is actually the core of the Kabbalistic Big Bang myth. A close reading of Lurianic Kabbalah reveals the powerful meditative truth that the motive force of creation was God falling in love with the world. Out of that love emerges the universe. God emanates a world in love. The image for this emanation is light pouring into vessels. God “in love” with the world. The emanation of light just keeps pouring forth. The vessels, however, are unable to hold the light. They shatter. The process of living is to gather the sparks of this fallen light and to repair the broken vessels.

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: The Stones Will Sparkle

Prism

From The Erotic and the Holy, by Marc Gafni:

Now let me share with you something truly beautiful. It is a sort of Hebrew mystic expansion of Traherne’s moment of rapture. It is one of my favorite stories.

The disciples still tell of the time, more than two centuries ago, when the master known as the Bat Ayin, the Daughter of the Eye, received his call. The way the old students tell it, a mysterious man entered the study hall of the master in Europe and whispered with great intensity several sentences into his ear. On the very next day, the master gathered the community and announced that they had received the call of Lech Lecha, the call to go up to the Land of Israel.

The master was clearly roused to great passion. The disciples, infected by his ardor, were moved to action. The entire community over a period of a year was transplanted from Europe to the biblical land of Israel. It was around the time of the American Revolution. The community flourished in the mystical city of Safed, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

One day, however, after many tranquil years, a mysterious man appeared in the study hall. The older disciples recognized him. It was the same man who had whispered into the master’s ear so many years before. Who was he? Where was he from? No one knew.

This time, however, he did not whisper several sentences into the master’s ear. He spoke to the master for only a moment, uttering perhaps one sentence. Then he was gone. The master’s face fell. He withdrew from the study hall into his room, where he remained seven whole days. When he came out, his face shone. That same ardor and passion that had moved him to make the initial journey once again lit up his countenance. “We are not there yet,” he said, “but we will get there.”

He began to sing and dance. His display went on for nearly seven hours. What was most strange, though, was that every fifteen minutes or so, he would go to the window, look outside, and then return to the circle, dancing and singing with renewed intensity and passion.

At some point in the eighth hour, a smile of ecstasy and triumph spread across his face. “Yes,” he said softly, “they are rubies.” [Read more…]

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…]

The Daily Wisdom: Creation stories

Path in Woods
By Marc Gafni

From The Mystery of Love:

The trees are part of the Goddess’s erotic manifestation. The central symbol of much of the ancient pagan cult in biblical Canaan was the Ashera tree. The Ashera is the feminine earth goddess erotically expressed in the image of the Ashera tree. In a wonderful phrase of Keats, “Even as the trees that whisper round the temple become soon as dear as the temple self.” For the pagan, the hills were literally alive with the sound of music. Nature is the music of divinity undressed to the human ear. Every hill, brook, tree, and blade of grass was invested with its own divine muse.

Photo of the Day: Blue Cypress Lake Sunset

Juniper Trees

Photo Credit: JMW Natures Images

Photographer remarks: Blue Cypress Lake Sunset 6 … I bent the rule of thirds here a bit, but the sun is just off center enough for my taste. Note the gator head just right of the spectral lighting.

 

Daily Wisdom Post: Union is the Ultimate Erotic State

Interconnectivity, the fullness of presence, the inside of God’s face, the yearning force of being, they all characterize our experience of Union.  This is enlightenment.  Yet for the Hebrew mystic if Union does not lead us to compassion and great love then we have missed the point.  The medieval intellectual mystic Maimonides wrote a great book of mystical philosophy, Guide for the Perplexed.  In the last sentences, after the book reaches its erotic crescendo (Cheshek, meaning “raw sensual passion” is the Hebrew translation of the Arabic term employed by Maimonides), he appends an implicit postscript.  Paraphrasing:  If all this doesn’t make you a better lover of people then you are no lover of God and certainly no lover of your self.  Eros must always lead to ethics.

The human being begins her journey as part of the circle of nature.  In the creation story of Genesis 1, man and woman are created as part of the natural order.  Ancient myth reflected this circle of being, in which mortals and immortals, humans and Gods, and all of nature participated together.  This is the circle of eros.

The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Page 323

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