December 7, 2019

Integral God: Sacred Activism and Falling in Love with the Divine – Excerpt

Excerpt of the Essay by Dr. Marc Gafni:

In their 2013 ITC conference presentation, Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton will explore “Integral God: Sacred Activism and Falling in Love with the Divine.” To explore this, they will consider two models of self in evolutionary mysticism and why these models matter. Both models emerge at the time of important updates to the source code of enlightenment. The first update is the understanding that all of reality, including spirit, is evolving, and this is a shared understanding of both Unique and Authentic Self teachings. The second update to the source code of the enlightenment teachings can be understood as the emergence of the awakened personal function, and this is a key area of divergence between the Unique and Authentic Self teachings. Read more in this excerpt from the introduction of the essay :

 

Unique Self and Authentic Self in Context:

Marc GafniWithin the Integral context, two ways of thinking about self have emerged which are distinctive both in their shared contours and significant distinctions. One framework or model has been called Authentic Self, and the other, Unique Self.[i] Their implicit assumptions suggest both a shared worldview and subtle but important distinctions in their vision of the ideal homo religiousus. These distinctions are foundational with vast implications in virtually every dimension of life, and therefore, need to be laid out with clarity and precision. Each suggests a different understanding of what it means to wake up from the narrow identity as a separate self or ego self into a more enlightened and correct identity as, respectively, Authentic or Unique Self.[ii]  Both the Unique Self and Authentic Self models locate themselves within the context of classical mystical enlightenment teaching. Neither emerges from a western flatland paradigm which views the self as an isolated and discrete unit, or what has been called a skin-encapsulated ego. For both Unique Self and Authentic Self, the first major step towards enlightenment is the realization that the person is not merely an ego or separate self, but rather that the person’s true identity is their absolute, essential, or true self. [Read more…]

What is evolutionary enlightenment? Marc Gafni and Andrew Cohen in dialogue

With the launch of UniqueSelf.com, a wide range of dialogues have been published which cumulatively situate Unique Self within the context of Integral Spirituality and Evolutionary Spirituality. Over the next several months, Spirit’s Next Move will be highlighting this new material and inviting commentary and discussion.

Andrew Cohen and Marc Gafni, two of our most influential teachers of enlightenment, engage the nature of spiritual realization in an excerpt from “Authentic Self and Unique Self,” published in the March 2011 issue of Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. Additionally, in the 2011 “Future of Love” teleseries (audio provided at the bottom of the page), the discussion of these important topics continues.

Perhaps no topic in contemporary spirituality is more discussed than the nature of enlightenment and how it relates to the modern, post-modern, and emerging integral world.

Andrew Cohen is one of the most influential figures in the dialogue, bringing wisdom that is defining a movement called Evolutionary Spirituality, which identifies essence with the evolutionary impulse itself and issues a powerful call to shed limited identifications of the self. Cohen breaks from classical enlightenment thinkers in his description of spiritual realization as constantly evolving.

Marc Gafni, co-founder of CWS and the most influential voice defining Unique Self Enlightenment, offers a view of enlightenment which overlaps and also differs from Cohen’s vision in important respects.

Two of their public dialogues are now published on UniqueSelf.com.

Listen to the audios and read a partial transcript: [Read more…]

When spirituality goes global

By Joe Perez

AndrewCohenAndrew Cohen, who is currently promoting his new book Evolutionary Enlightenment, is discussing the globalization of enlightenment on the Big Think blog. he describes how he originally traveled to India as a young man in 1984, and three years later returned to the U.S. to begin to teach enlightenment, and he draws a contrast to patterns in global spirituality today.

Whereas Americans have often sought spiritual illumination in India, Indians are now turning to Western Enlightenment.

Andrew writes in “Globalization Isn’t Just for Economists”:

[Read more…]

The Unreasonable Nature of Spirit (By Andrew Cohen)

The Unreasonable Nature of Spirit

by Andrew Cohen

Dear Integrales Forum,

Thank you for inviting me participate in your brave efforts at both opening up and convening such an important conversation. This is a conversation that MUST take place if we’re all going to find a way to move forward together—a way to move forward that at least a significant number of us will feel comfortable and good about. This is obviously a very complex and challenging subject, made that much more difficult because of the fact that culture is evolving and we are all, as individuals, striving to evolve within and as the leading edge of that culture itself. I read carefully your position paper and found myself for the most part in agreement with your points. In fact, most of the relevant questions that face us all right now, you brought up and explained with the unique clarity of the integral perspective. Therefore, because I am fundamentally in agreement with you, I don’t think it is necessary for me to cover the same territory that you have. What did occur to me was to make some additional points that I feel are important to include in the picture—points that will I hope enrich and deepen the dialogue that you have already started.

First of all, I need to state openly from the very beginning that my perspective on this subject is entirely biased by a wholehearted embrace of an evolutionary worldview. Also, my thoughts and opinions come from an unapologetic position that declares first and foremost that Spirit, or that which is Absolute or non-relative, is always higher. And it is from that perspective that the world of relative (but not unimportant) distinctions are seen.

Part I

Integral Spirituality and the Absolute

The glory, majesty, and incalculable significance of an integral worldview is that it is able to include multiple perspectives in its embrace of just about any subject without diminishing important distinctions. This is a stunning (and ultimately world-changing) capacity that no lesser philosophy has so far been able to accomplish. My own cognitive life has been so enlightened by the integral lens that it’s now hard for me to remember what the world looked like before I began to see through its remarkable clarity. It is a truly vast perspective that always insists upon the inclusion of the multi-dimensional complexity that the real world of self, culture, and cosmos is always made up of.

But as our colleague and integral mentor Ken Wilber has so often stated, every great leap forward also brings with it a whole new set of challenges and problems. The integral perspective not only requires but also demands a high level of cognitive development and a capacity to embrace rational thinking with a degree of intensity and commitment that is way above average. One of the great strengths and one of the tell-tale signs of the enlightened thinking of human beings who are truly integrally informed is their dazzling capacity to embrace multiple perspectives simultaneously, while remaining grounded to an unusual degree in their own higher human qualities. And this is almost always because of their advanced abilities for self-reflection and self-reflexivity.

[Read more…]

Awakening to Your Highest Self: Tales of Transformation from 25 Spiritual Luminaries

Awakening to Your Highest Self
Tales of Transformation from 25 Spiritual Luminaries

You are invited to a FREE 8-hour audio webcast
Saturday, March 26th, 2011, from 10:00 am–6:00 pm EST.

Join spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen for an all-day series of dialogues with Marc Gafni and 24 other religious and cultural luminaries about the extraordinary masters who have inspired and guided them along the spiritual path. Sharing intimate and uplifting stories, each will be describing their own firsthand experiences of the kind of life-changing transformation that can occur through the sacred bond between teacher and student.

Featured guests for this special webcast will be speaking about their personal connections with many of the world’s most renowned masters, mystics, philosophers, and thought leaders, including J. Krishnamurti, Teilhard de Chardin, Margaret Mead, Swami Muktananda, Maezumi Roshi, Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak, Abraham Heschel, and more.

Click here for more information and to register:  http://enlightennext.org/webcasts