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May 28, 2023

Esalen 2014: An Outrageous Love Story in 4 Acts – Act 2

This is the second part of a series. For part 1 click here.

Dr. Marc GafniSally KemptonAs a lover of this trans-lineage World Spirituality Dharma that Marc Gafni and Sally Kempton wove together so beautifully during this Retreat and that is both deeply rooted in the age-old Wisdom Traditions and in the Integral Framework, I am always fascinated by how Marc weaves his magic again and again, how the Dharma stays fresh and alive and unfolds into ever more clarity and depths. And it was a pleasure to see Sally teach and get her transmission as well.

So, for starters, what is this Dharma we are talking about?

The following passage is a paraphrased summary of some of this weekend’s teachings.

First of all, Dharma is not Dogma. It is the best take on reality we have, based on pre-modern, modern, and post-modern insights, weaving together what we know about the patterns that connect.

Marc Gafni’s two sentence Dharma of this weekend:

“We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love.”

So, what is the difference between ordinary love and outrageous love? Why doesn’t love do what it is supposed to do? Why doesn’t it have the healing powers we intuit it should have?

According to Dante, Love is the force that moves the sun and the stars.

Tagore says that Love is existence itself.

According to the Kabbalah, there is love before creation and love after creation. Love after creation is ordinary love. Love before creation is outrageous love. It is the evolutionary Eros that moves particles to become atoms, atoms to form molecules, molecules to complex molecules, complex molecules to cells, and all the way up the evolutionary chain.

We have limited love to ordinary love, to a human experience, merely an emotion, and even a particular emotion: infatuation. It has become a strategy of our egos to satisfy our egocentric needs. And yet, this egoic love never seems enough.

In Sally’s words: “Egoic love tends to be either alone and lonely or with others and needy. Awakened Love tends to be alone and self-sufficient or with others and really meeting the other.”

Loving Your Way to EnlightenmentAwakened Love, Outrageous Love, Evolutionary Love, Love before Creation is the Eros of Reality itself that moves the entire game. In this sense, Marc reminded us: “Love is not hard to find. Love is impossible to avoid. In every second, I am literally drenched in love. The universe is looking at me and saying: I love you madly.”

We need a new story, a love story, an outrageous love story

When I truly see you, I call you to your most beautiful self. And in that presence you already become that self. That’s what it means to be an outrageous lover.

To be continued…

Kerstin Zohar Tuschik


About Kerstin Zohar Tuschik

Kerstin Zohar Tuschik works for CIW as Executive Director, Scholar and Author, and by representing the Center in the German-speaking countries. Besides studying Human Resources Development, Integral Theory, Project Management, Dance, and Physics, she has been on a conscious path of spiritual and personal growth for more than 20 years. She is a student of Unique Self, World Spirituality, and Conscious Eros, and a Senior Teacher of the Unique Self method in Europe.


  1. […] is part 3 of this series, click here for part 1 and part 2. The following passage is a paraphrased summary of some of this weekend’s […]

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