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May 28, 2023

World Spirituality Practice

In World Spirituality we use practices from all different traditions as well as modern psychology and postmodern perspective taking. Basically, those practices can be divided into practices to wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, and open up. Make sure that you practice in every of those areas since that ensures a harmonious development for you and also acts like a cross-training–boosting your overall development in all those areas.

Further down, you’ll find 3 videos with transcripts that Marc Gafni has made as introductions to these terms and areas of practice. For a deeper understanding read his Article on the World Spirituality Essentials.

But let’s start with our Ten Commitments of World Spirituality Based on Integral Principles.

Ten Commitments of World Spirituality Based on Integral Principles

The Chaertmeditation_markgafniommitment to the Enlightenment of Fullness:

The journey begins with a recognition of the fullness and depth of reality and to the specific experience and innate dignity of every human life. Every human being has an innate right to participate with joy in the fullness and depth of reality.

The Commitment to Awakened Heart:

Awakened heart is a set of meditative practices which open the practitioner to the subtle dimensions of the heart, fostering the fullness of love and compassion.

The Commitment to Unique Self:

Unique Self is a set of enlightenment principles and practices containing teaching maps and technologies which allow a person to identify the nature of their Unique Self.

Unique Self is the recognition that you are the personal face of essence, that God is having a You experience, that God loves you so much that His love signature is written all over you. Unique Self is the recognition that God lives in you, as you, and through you in the fullness of your being and becoming and that to love God is to let God see through your eyes.

The Commitment to Answering the Call:

Your Unique Self creates your Unique Perspective, which is in effect your unique love intelligence seeing the world through it’s own eyes. Unique Perspective creates Unique Gifts, which can be given only by you. Giving those gifts is your Unique Obligation. In doing so, you identify and embrace the Unique Life Mission for which you were born on this planet in this time and this place. That is what it means to answer the call.

The Commitment to Shadow Work:

Shadow Work is an intensive surfacing and cleansing practice, which shatters the lies of shadow and allows the person to once again tell the truth about who they really are. World Spirituality shadow work directly causes a person to reconnect, evolve, purify, or simply reclaim the dis-owned shadow dimension of their authentic and Unique Self. It is based on the 3-2-1-0 practice, which follows Unique Shadow back to Unique Self.

The Commitment to Awakened Eros:

Awakened Eros is an embodiment practice in which the full power, aliveness, and wisdom of the human body is accessed and integrated into the fullness of the person’s life. The four faces of Eros, interiority, presence, yearning, and wholeness–which are embodied in daily living–are the core of Eros. The failure of Eros always leads to a collapse of ethos. So we realize that in source, Ethos and Eros are one.

The Commitment to Wake Up and Grow Up–State and Stage Evolution:

States and Stages are both an experiential and mapping practice. To wake up is to awaken to your highest state and to grow up is to evolve to your highest potential stage. In state practice, a person gains access to state experiences, which tells the person something important about their true nature and mission in the world. In stage practice, a person studies the trajectory of human evolution in the life of the individual and in the lifespan of human history and culture along the major lines of development. In so doing, one is able to identify both their own location and to set concrete goals for the next stage of their evolution.

The Commitment to Social Activism:

Social Service practice is the commitment of World Spirituality and of individuals to commit significant time to the betterment of the lives of others. In the experience of wholeness, you cannot be satisfied if someone else is starving. This is a violation of Eros.

The Commitment to Integrity and Skillful Means:

Integrity is an evolutionary quality. In understanding this, an individual recognizes that integrity and not mere survival is the lodestone of human existence. Skillful means practice is a set of understandings, insights, and technologies that foster effective communication, teamwork, and relationship building skills, which all serve the larger integrity of the system or individual.

The Commitment to Devotion:

Devotional Work Practice serves the Divine within us and beyond us by recognizing, praising, honoring, connecting, and disclosing that very divinity. The commitment to devotion is a commitment to fall in love with reality time and again.


Marc Gafni on Wake up, Grow up, Show up, Lighten up, Open up-Part 1

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.

And I want to talk to you about what each of those means.

Wake up means to move beyond narcissistic self-involvement with your own contracted story. Most people live lives around their contracted self, thinking about the petty details of their story. They are their own self-context. But when you wake up, you wake up to a deeper truth. You wake up to the truth that I am not merely a skin-encapsulated ego.

I am sitting here with my friend Eric. If I said my name is Eric, he would think it was a joke. But if I keep doing it for an hour, he calls my good friend Chahat and says he’s insane. He think’s he’s Eric. Then Chahat says I’m really insane. To be insane is to not know your identity. To actually think that I’m only a skin-encapsulated ego, separate from All That Is, and to not know that my True Self is THE True Self, Essence, inextricable indivisible part of All That Is, not to realize that all the love-intelligence of the All flows through me, but to think that I am apart … that is to be asleep. So to wake up is to wake up to the true nature of reality, to blow up your mind as a separate mind, alienated, and to wake up to your enlightenment.

That’s the first step: waking up as True Self.

In World Spirituality, you can adopt or deploy any number of practices which will be outlined in the World Spirituality practice book – which I am co-writing with Tom Goddard – 10 major practices for this bucket of wake up practice.

The second major dimension of World Spirituality is grow up.

Growing up means to grow up to higher levels of consciousness. For example, at one level of consciousness, I might have a magical interpretation based on bloodlines and magical relationships between people, the clan, and the Earth which gives me protection (legitimate but partial insights). But by itself, a magical interpretation of the world is insufficient. At a higher level, I might move to a mythical interpretation. And then I might move to a rational interpretation of reality when I move beyond identifying myself by my membership in a particular church but I am governed by universal principles, and then I might move from there to a perspective which is far more multi-cultural, which recognizes the unique contributions of every culture and honors them in a new way, and then I might move to an integral consciousness in which I take the best of every level of consciousness and integrate it at a higher level, the best of pre-modern, modern, and post-modern consciousness and integrate it and act at a higher level.

Or, in moral development, you go from ego-development to ethno-centric to world-centric to cosmo-centric. Those are expanding or ascending levels of moral consciousness.

To grow up is to grow to higher levels of consciousness, emotional consciousness—actually measured development in all lines—the most important being moral development. I might also develop cognitively. Piaget measured those lines of development. I might develop to higher stages of leadership. The core growing up is to grow to higher levels of consciousness in an ever deeper view of the world: from magic to mythical to rational to pluralistic to integral. Each of those represents a higher level of consciousness.

How? We are now developing new practices that allow you to grow up. In the World Spirituality practice book, we are developing growing up practices.

The third facet of World Spirituality practice is show up. To identify your Unique Gifts. To fulfill your Unique Obligation. To see through the eyes of God in your Unique Perspective. Of course these are related because when you wake up as True Self at world-centric and above you realize that your True Self is unique. But doing the work to clarify your unique perspective, gifts, and responding to your unique needs, that’s the work of show up.

Lighten up, number four, is shadow work. It’s to identify the unique way you mess up—how to follow your unique shadow back to your Unique Self. Everyone has a unique wound, and when you identify it this allows you to bring your Unique Self back online. So we identify practices in the World Spirituality practice book both for showing up and lightening up.

Finally, there’s open up: to open up as love in the world as an embodied self. Your sensuality. Your sexuality. In whatever is for you the right committed context for love and sensuality and the full range of emotion to express itself. Here, again, there is a series of understandings and technologies. There is a teaching that I have developed from my lineage tradition called the three stations of love. There is understanding the nature of Love as perception, giving, and openness (the trinity in understanding the nature of love). There are the three faces of Love: love in the first person (living as love), second person (being in love with other), and third person (love as the Eros of evolution, the love that moves the suns and the stars which moves atoms to become molecules…) Within open up, there are three trinities: the three faces of love, the three means of love (giving, opening, perception), and the three stations of love (falling in love, individuation, and re-falling in love). … Submission, Separation, and Sweetness.

Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up. These are the core structures of World Spirituality teaching. The names aren’t that important. They’re labels to allow someone to hold easily the teaching. The teaching comes from two core places: Unique Self teaching and Love teaching, which I’ve developed over the years with wonderful interactions with many people, and Integral Theory. They come together to form the matrix of World Spirituality practice which is exciting and fantastic.

In each of these five buckets, you need practices. Each person is going to do different practices. At different times in a person’s life they might focus on a different area. There is a profoundly Unique Self dimension. You actually wake up to your unique eyes which is the full awakening. You grow up into Unique Self. You show up as Unique Self. You lighten up by following your Unique Shadow back to Unique Self. And Love is a Unique Self perception; you live uniquely as Love; you are a unique expression of the love-intellligence of All-That-Is.

Unique Self is the animating teaching of all five and you begin to see how Unique Self and Integral Theory come together in this larger frame. That’s the cornerstone of World Spirituality practice.


Marc Gafni on Wake up, Grow up, Show up, Lighten up, Open up-Part 2

Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up: these are the core structures of World Spirituality teaching.

The names aren’t that important. They’re labels, lovely branded labels, to allow someone to hold easily the teaching.

The teaching comes from two core places: Unique Self teaching and three stations of Love teaching, which I’ve developed over a number of years, and Integral Theory. They come together to form the matrix of World Spirituality practice.

In each one of these five buckets, you need practices. Each person is going to define, as it were, their own “religion.” – the practices they choose. Different grow up practices, different lighten up practices, etc. At different times in their life, they might focus on different areas. All of the teachings revolve around Unique Self.

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.

Unique Self is the animating teaching of all five – and you begin to see how Unique Self and Integral Theory come together in this larger frame. That’s the cornerstone of World Spirituality practice.


Marc Gafni on Wake up, Grow up, Show up, Lighten up, Open up-Part 3: History of the terms

Let me share with you a brief intellectual history of the labels of wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, and open up.

The wake up/grow up distinction is sourced to John Welwood’s book, Psychology of Awakening, and I thank Sally Kempton for the reference. John really develops this; he makes a break between the awakening dimension of the spiritual line of development, waking up to classical True Self / no-self enlightenment– and growing up, which is doing the psychological work, which is psychological maturation. There’s waking up and growing up. John’s teacher, Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Naropa University, when he would talk about the “jewel and lotus” teaching in Buddhism, he would say the mantra– meaning grow up. The jewel and lotus means wake up, so in essence Trungpa was saying grow up. Really you can source this in some sense [of] wake up, grow up in Trungpa’s insight [as] coming from the East that we need to do both kinds of work.

There are two different lines of development. The mother of my son and dear close friend, Marianna Caplan, is a protégé of Welwood, and she does real work with people on these two different lines of development.

Ken Wilber, a colleague of John’s, either in discussion with John or independently, moved into this distinction between wake up and grow up, and deployed the distinction extensively. Ken used it slightly differently. He uses wake up like John, but he uses grow up to refer specifically to levels of consciousness. Of course, levels of consciousness per se – developmental theory– is all of developmental theory. Awakening is the great traditions. We’re taking the developmental traditions and the great wisdom traditions.

In Kabbalah, which is my source tradition, that distinction is made very extensively. There’s a whole set of practices for growing up– meaning psychological maturity– and waking up, enlightenment. Then what happens next is Dusitn DiPerna made a wonderful suggestion to me and to Ken, which is to add in a more complete set of terms. In the context of Integral Religion, he suggested adding in show up and clean up (in relation to shadow work). I shifted the term clean up to lighten up (I like the word better as a label; we’re not really talking about content).

I also shifted the meaning. Open up became about Love. The teachings I’m doing [are] on the three stations of Love, the three meanings of Love, and the three faces of Love, two of which I developed and a third which comes from the great traditions and Integral Theory. So open up became understandable in light of these Love teachings. And show up is all about the Unqiue Self teaching. And lighten up is a specific teaching about the Unique Shadow and following it back to your Unique Self.

This cluster of terms became a transformation in meaning in terms of the context of the Unique Self teaching: growing up to the higher levels of developmental consciousness which your Unique Self expresses itself spontaneously. Lighten up, following your Unique Shadow back to your Unique Self. Open up at these three trinities of love: three natures of love, and three faces of love (for example, Love as a Unique Self perception in the second person).

All of these terms have been recast in terms of a merger between Integral Theory and Unique Self. Lots of people contributed to this. My work in Unique Self theory is one piece of it. John Welwood, Ken Wilber, Dustin DiPerna, Marianna Caplan’s sourcing in Trungpa, [they] have all contributed. And now we’re using this five-part schematic as a simple way of delivering the formula of World Spirituality in the world. Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up.

We’re making it easier to access the teaching, and it’s important because the teaching has to have amplitude. The nature of the great tradition is that you can access it at all different levels of consciousness and sophistication. You can be a popular Buddhist doing prostration to an idol, and a pure-emptiness Buddhist, and you’re all practicing Buddhism. Judaism, Christianity, are all experienced at different levels of consciousness. It’s helpful to have a simple formula to create an elegant, Steve Jobs / Apple interface. It’s the interface of a World Spirituality app with popular culture. So I hope that gives you a sense of where these terms come from.