Decoding Dune: A Revelatory Exploration w/ Dr. Marc Gafni and Aubrey Marcus

Enjoy this podcast with Dr. Marc Gafni featured on Aubrey Marcus’ Podcast

Spoiler Alert! This episode is for people familiar with the Dune series, and want to explore the complicated themes of this iconic sci-fi masterpiece. Like a message that is echoing from the past, what is particularly relevant about Dune now?

In this podcast with Dr. Marc Gafni, we go on a journey to uncover the hidden lessons and timeless wisdom woven into the fabric of this incredible series. Marc Gafni and Aubrey Marcus discuss the multifaceted realms of power, politics, psychedelics, prophets, and the nuances of messianic leadership. We also explore the notion of destiny and the complexities of free will. Whether you’re a passionate aficionado or a curious soul, prepare to be enlightened as we meticulously decode the philosophical intricacies of Dune, offering fresh insights and revelations.

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Decoding Dune: A Revelatory Exploration w/ Dr. Marc Gafni and Aubrey Marcus2024-04-03T09:14:15-07:00

Dr. Marc Gafni & Layman Pascal: Public shadow in the planetary age

Enjoy this podcast with Dr. Marc Gafni featured on The Integral Stage Podcast. 

“Public shadow in the planetary age”

This is the first episode of a new series exploring the subtle dynamics of collective shadow, narrative making & our responses to how we are perceived. In the digital epoch, it is unlikely that anyone will escape confrontation with a negative image of themselves existing in the minds of others. Do we learn from it? Fight it? Absorb it? Ignore it? And how do we evaluate anything when information itself becomes dubious?

Layman is joined this time by Dr. Marc Gafni — the world philosopher of “cosmo-erotic humanism” together with Dr. Zak Stein. Gafni is the co-president with Stein of the Center for World Philosophy and Religion, founded with Ken Wilber in 2010, where they are articulating a “new meta theory story of value in response to the meta crisis”, even as Gafni lives as a character, both beloved and controversial, in the public mind.

Our task in this episode, and in this series, is not to demonize or exonerate. We encourage people to do their own research if they are interested. Facts matter. So do feelings. But that is not our topic in this series where we are focused on something more specific. We are not exploring the content of the narratives but rather how they emerge, how they are perceived by the people inside them, how those people respond under the conditions of the emerging digital, planetary age & what they have concluded about their responses.

We are not exploring content of the narratives but rather how they emerge, how they are perceived by the people inside them, how those people respond under the conditions of the emerging digital-planetary age & what they have concluded about their responses.

Dr. Marc Gafni & Layman Pascal: Public shadow in the planetary age2024-04-03T08:41:08-07:00

Healing the Wounds of Culture: Aubrey Marcus, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Dr. Kristina Kincaid

In this powerfully vulnerable podcast with host Aubrey Marcus, and Dr. Marc Gafni and his partner Dr. Kristina Kincaid as guests, they discuss the wounds of culture – meaning, the myriad wounds that culture can inflict – and their personal process of healing and resolution.

Healing the Wounds of Culture: Aubrey Marcus, Dr. Marc Gafni, and Dr. Kristina Kincaid2023-11-01T04:55:32-07:00

Dr. Marc Gafni: Video Series on Responding to Public Culture

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Dr. Marc Gafni: Video Series on Responding to Public Culture2023-06-17T08:04:21-07:00

FCE Takes a Stand For Marc Gafni & Against Smear Campaigns

On January 17th, 2017, Barbara Marx Hubbard sent out this beautiful email to the list of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. In it, she takes a powerful stand, not only for Dr. Marc Gafni but also for truth, justice, and the Evolution of Public Culture.

Dearly Beloved Evolutionary friends, colleagues, co-creators,

I am sending you this very important letter concerning public culture and how we respond to attack on the Internet that has has been directed against a pioneering evolutionary teacher and writer, Marc Gafni.

As a community of leaders I would like to see us take a strong stand on behalf of due process, dialogue, fact checking, compassionate listening and the effort to heal.

The letter is long. It has been prepared by dedicated colleages. Marc has remained silent for many years, focusing on his positive teaching and writing. Now Marc, and the Center for Integral Wisdom, of which I am the Co-Board Chair are responding in depth. Any new false attacks against Marc will from this time forward be responded to directly as they come in.

Thank you, in advance for your willingness to take the time to read through this email and to investigate any or all of the links which provide detailed facts, research and information about Marc Gafni, his attackers and the anatomy of a smear campaign.

This email is about justice, love and human dignity — all values that are not only needed, but required as we move into unprecedented times and an uncertain future.

I (Barbara) have written a post and made a video about these issues which I’m asking you to read and listen to. (Click on the video below to watch now.)


FCE Takes a Stand For Marc Gafni & Against Smear Campaigns2023-06-19T09:23:42-07:00

Excellent Case Study

Read this fantastic piece on Medium by Dr. Kristina Kincaid and Chahat Corten. In their sensitive and important case study – using Marc Gafni’s case as an example – she proves the truth of what Wael Ghonim, who helped touch off the Arab Spring in his home of Egypt by setting up a simple Facebook page – said in his TED talk: “The same tool that united us to topple dictators eventually tore us apart.”
In their own words:

In his TED Talk, Wael Ghonim points to 5 challenges facing today’s social media. First, we spread rumors that confirm our personal biases. Second, we create ‘echo chambers’ in which to communicate only with people who share the same beliefs as us. Third, online discussions can (and often do) quickly turn into angry mobs. Fourth, it’s nearly impossible to change our opinions once we’ve posted them since everything ‘lives’ on the internet indefinitely. And Fifth, our online experience is designed for shallow comments over deep conversations. In other words, the internet has become a forum which allows for the bypassing all of the mechanisms of justice and integrity upon which this great country is founded.
In this light, I think you will find the following case study an unnerving example that speaks directly into Ghonim’s points. You will discover how the internet is used to crowd-source a witch hunt in an effort to publicly shame and ultimately commit social murder of innocent people. And finally, you will realize the sobering truth: That this could happen to anyone, including you.
The case study I will use to make my general point is the story of Marc Gafni and his alleged sexual abuse as it has played out on the internet. In full disclosure, it’s no secret that I work directly with Marc Gafni. And as my close friend and colleague says, “with all the material online about Marc, it is impossible for anyone to get close to him without having to do their own research and come to their own conclusions”.

Read this case study on “Using The Internet To Attempt Social Murder” here>>>

Excellent Case Study2022-05-17T07:51:12-07:00

Marc Gafni on the Evolution of Public Culture

Crowd Sourcing a Witch Hunt: An Eight-Step Guide to Internet Abuse

by Marc Gafni

I am greatly saddened by the necessity of writing this post. Recently, Stephen Dinan called for a boycott against a film, RiseUP, based on my original role in inspiring and galvanizing the movie. In his post, he refers to articles written against me in the last several months. The articles are part of a smear campaign that Dinan and his posse have catalyzed against me for the last five months. If necessary, at the right time, I will do a line-by-line refutation of the major deceptions in Dinan’s article.

In future posts, both in this forum and in others that are now being created I will address, in a direct and personal way, all of the key claims and actors, past and future, in the smear campaign. I have been silent for ten years, thinking that the dignity of silence, forgiveness and moving on to new creativity and contribution would cause the agony of these false attacks to fade away. By their own admission, the perpetrators of the (false) attacks against me ten years ago were shocked that I survived their attempted social murder. Sorry for the trouble folks. I know it is annoying to have to try it again and again. Sadly, they have – and this is well documented – spent much of their energy in the last eight years seeking avenues to complete the deed.

My commitment to integrity and intimacy no longer allows me to be silent. As of this post my decade of silence is over. I will respond fully via video posts, email records, as well as other forms of documentation and analysis to any and all false claims.

I stand fully against sexual harassment in all of its expressions. I stand fully against any form of victim shaming.

I also stand against all forms of name rape. Name rape often happens via false accusations which hijack the victim narrative to hide their own malice. And let me add that you cannot make false accusations and then ask not to be challenged by labeling any challenger a victim-shamer. This is a weirdly inverted form of the old adage, where the son kills his parents and then throws himself at the mercy of the court because he is an orphan. That just not okay in any way.

I also stand against the new form of cyber-bullying which is the orchestrated smear campaign.

For now, however, I want to focus specifically on the meta issues which underlie Stephen’s article, because they are more fundamental.

By his own admission in private emails, and in conversations with his colleagues, Stephen has been a key figure in an organized campaign to destroy my good name. In this, he has deployed the classic playbook of the Big Lie propaganda campaign, and adds to it some new virtual techniques.

To say it simply, Stephen is, in my best understanding, a self-styled jihadist. This phrase in regard to Stephen was coined not by myself, but by Barbara Marx Hubbard’s daughter after interacting with him in my regard. You can read Barbara’s relevant description of these sad events here.

By jihad, I mean holy war, launched by those with who are so fanatically persuaded of their righteousness that they move to destroy all who they deem infidel or heretic.

Stephen is not following the precepts of a particular fundamentalist religion. Far more insidiously, he is self-appointed. He and those attracted to, or aligned with, his vibration of jihadic consciousness are driven to save the world from demonic forces and evil. Conveniently, those that they deem evil or demonic are usually also those who arouse in them the kind of rage and grenvy – greed and envy –that is the source of malice.

Malice is a core feature of reality, which we recognize in the political, business and religious worlds but somehow we sometimes forget that it exists in the New Age Spiritual world as well. Malice is aroused, as Rene Girard reminds us, by those whose essence makes us feel somehow small, those who are professional competitors in some visceral way, as well as those who perhaps play Mozart to their Salieri, or Othello to their Iago.

Like all those engaged in various forms of jihad, Stephen is convinced of his righteousness. He has cast me as the infidel who must be both excommunicated (i.e. “don’t talk to him”) and, for the sake of the good, destroyed. In this distorted internal scenario, Stephen seems to be the self-appointed jihadist protector, protecting the purity of the helpless victims. Key to this process of course is to hide all of your own more base ulterior motives – be they financial, psychological or professional – under the fig leaf of the protector mantle. Let us state this clearly and fearlessly: this is a regressive meme that threatens the very soul of public culture.

Crowd Sourcing a Witch Hunt: An Eight-Step Guide to Internet Abuse

Here’s how such a cyber-jihad campaign is done:

1) You dredge up old stories—some outright false, some merely distorted—and make contact with your target’s old enemies (such as an angry ex-wife, ex-students and professional rivals with axes to grind and hidden agendas) in order to get them to support your campaign.

2) Using loaded words like ‘sociopath’ and/or ‘pedophile’ without any evidence as to their accuracy, you begin seeding a series of false or distorted allegations about your target around the web.

3) You might even go so far as to claim, as Stephen’s closest allies have, that this so-called sociopath has occult or demonic powers. The claim that I am demonic, made both in private conversation and in public posts, has been a major theme of Stephen’s campaign. Psychologists tell me that only such a disassociated projection allows one to make sense of the extremity of the smear campaign. I do not know. Such explanation is beyond the realm of my expertise. However, I do know that the ascription of demonic powers to me allows anyone who associates with me to be said to be under some kind of malevolent spell, and anyone who wants to hear my side of the story is warned that they might be affected by my ‘demonic’ energy.

(For those interested in further sources on this see René Girard’s critical work on scapegoating. See also Wilhelm Reich’s work on the Murder of Eros.)

4) You set up a system where there is no possibility of fact checking and no possibility of transformation. In terms of fact checking, I have invited a fair process of fact checking many times. Such a process would require all parties to take responsibility, including especially responsibility for the results of organizing and leveling false complaints.

I have also invited any individual who feels hurt to engage with me in a mediated process of resolution and transformation. I am not only open but very much want to learn if there is a way that someone feels genuine hurt, for which I owe an apology. Let’s have a genuine conversation in a mediated context and see transformation and healing.

But if you are organizing a cyber-jihad campaign you must endeavor to make sure that there is not a possibility of fact checking, mutual responsibility or resolution. That would defeat the entire goal of the jihad: the destruction of the infidel. Because the infidel is in some sense demonic, no true transformation or resolution is ever possible. The infidel must be killed.

5) You must hide your malice. After all, as Milan Kundera reminds us, Malice must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives. What are the motives that malice pleads? The perpetrator claims to be rescuing future victims or pretends to be a victim. This is famously referred to in Karpman’s “drama triangle”, or the victim triangle.

The other motives pleaded are that of being a protector. So the next step in the smear campaign playbook is to enroll a group of your friends and colleagues, by telling them that you are protecting ‘future victims’. You establish credibility by pointing to personal testimonials, none of which have been cross-checked for facts—just as, in the old witch trials, unreliable personal testimony was used to ‘prove’ that someone was a witch.

Remember again: Malice must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives.

It is a shockingly accurate description of the approach that Dinan and his two colleagues have taken in organizing this smear campaign.

6) The next step is to crowd-source your witch hunt. In a short time, using the tools of social media, you form an internet mob. The mob generates likes, tweets, posts, blogs and the like. Credible information no longer matters. In the outpouring of vituperation, it is nearly impossible to tell that most of the statements made about the object of attack are grossly untrue; He or She has become an object. Accuracy and integrity no longer matter much when attacking an object.

You have almost all the key elements necessary to have a contemporary Trial by Internet – the modern form of a Salem Witch Trial. Just one more step is necessary. Victim Voices.

7) A key move in such a campaign is to hide behind what are ostensibly “victim voices”. You gather first person testimonies with emotionally evocative power to front your cause. It is not dis-similar to the mafia using an ostensibly kosher business to cover up for the criminal rackets of murder and extortion. Evocative first person testimonies shift attention from the true ulterior motives of the smear organizers.

First person testimonies are powerful because they evoke emotional resonance. That is why these kind of personal testimonies were so central in the European witch trials that tortured and burned –according to some estimates – tens of thousands of women at the stake.

But of course anyone who is truly involved with working with victims, knows that first testimonies are by themselves not reliable. Just ask any African American family who has a family ancestor that was lynched because a posse of white women claimed that he was sexually in appropriate with them, and they will tell you that first person testimonies can be organized for the sake of murder. Once the horrific demonizing meme of the perpetrating black person with occult powers was set into play, then dozens of white women came out of the woodwork to testify.

That is why, in a rational society, we have evolved post-witch-trials and post-lynch-mobs. We gather evidence, we check for social ties that bind the ostensible victims and look for evidence of collusion and aligning of testimony between the “victims”[1]. We might investigate the influences behind the scenes that are pulling the strings, and check for subtle signs that there is social and psychological pressure or reward at play, influencing the narratives etc.

In the regressive meme of Trial by Internet, however, none of these checks are in place.

The facts of the first person testimonies are never checked or cross-checked. The idea is to create a virtual mob of victim voices, which is orchestrated and manipulated from behind the scenes. In an internet age this is relatively easy to do.

8) Deploying the strategy of the Big Lie: Where there is smoke there is fire

Is it not true that where there is smoke there is fire?

How does it happen that there are multiple accusations against one person? Indeed after closely researching the literature and interviewing a dozen people who are experts in the field, it turns out that the nature of the Big Lie is that it always generates multiple accusations. This lends a veneer of credibility to the smear campaign. This is how the principle of ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ is deployed to support to the Big Lie strategy. However, even slightly more careful scrutiny reveals that the accusers virtually always know each other and have close social, political or communal bonds. They emerge from the same network or have been drawn into the same network via the internet because they all represent disgruntled or offended ex partners, ex business associates, ex lovers, ex wives, ex students and the like. They enter into a kind of group-think in which subtle or not so subtle social reward and pressure move to align their stories and foster collusion, which is easily revealed once a process of cross-checking information and fact-checking is begun.

Let me give you a simple example of how these dynamics emerge. A leader/ teacher/ television personality/ corporate head etc. can work with tens of thousands of people over many years. 95% of the people may have had wonderful experiences. But they are the silent majority. They are living their lives productively, balanced and healthy. There will also often be five or ten percent that respond negatively to any kind of strong personality. They may also be dis-satisfied with their lives, or have any number of interior at issues at play, which are triggered by their meeting with the leader figure. Some amount of triggered folks is particularly probable if the leader is doing work that is edgy or provocative, or that demands a lot for people. If the leader him or herself is not pallid, but is, in his or her own ways edgy, demanding and provocative then it is even more likely to have a small percent of disaffected folks.  Usually those people are from the “ex” society, made up of ex partners, ex lovers, ex colleagues or ex students.

As long as there is no crisis of any kind, these voices are in right proportion to the majority of people having positive experiences. But once there is a crisis or trauma in the system – say, for example, the president of a hospital is sued – then victims begin to appear from all periods of the person’s life. Sometimes those victims are real. The powerful person has a genuine shadow side, which for example, could be that he consistently sexually harasses women. If the evidence is checked and that turns out to be true then we must deal with it appropriately.

It is important however to realize that just as often as these stories are true, they are just as often not true. Precisely however because these stories are sometimes true, and because we have seen so many of them in the media over the past two decades, there is a confirmation bias; that is to say, a tendency to believe them.

However they are just as often not true as they are true.

A good friend of mine in South America was sued about a decade back. She had run mental health clinics there for several decades with thousands of employees. When the suit happened, the overwhelming majority of her former employees rallied to her support. But because she is a strong and often demanding figure who calls people out on their stuff, over the decades she has accumulated several dozen enemies. These are former colleagues, staff she has fired, jealous competitors, angry ex lovers and the like. A face group group formed called “victims of Janet”. People reading superficially might assume, that there must some truth to the claims. After all, where there is smoke there is fire. But more accurately, in this case, where there is smoke there is a smoke bomb.

How did this happen. When her crisis – being sued in a very public case- hit the press, the persons pressing the suit – which was based on false claims, organized several dozen victims to speak against her. That is the source of the smoke bomb. They found people who had worked for her at different stages of her career over many decades. This was easy to do through the Internet. It would have been impossible in a pre-internet age. These victims then attempted –via internet attacks to – hijack the narrative of her life. They attempted to them claim that there was a pattern. Of course one of the first lessons of cognitive behavioral therapy is false pattern recognition. You create the illusion of a pattern by mobilizing a horde of victims sharing their public testimony, which to the sloppy and glancing eye of the internet consumer, might seem to evoke a pattern. Careful fact checking often eviscerates the initial seductive mirage of a pattern.

Where There Is Smoke There Is An Ember[1]

This does not mean that the leader is without responsibility. It might also be true that where there is smoke there is an ember. The leader may well have made genuine mistakes. It is however malice that fans an ember into a fire. It is however malice that attempts to turn mistakes, which take place in the normal arc of human relations, into wildly exaggerated and demonized pathology, which is termed evil, and according to the self appointed jihadist, must be eradicated at all costs. Malice fans an ember into a fire.

The ostensible victims have been in touch, sometimes for a decade or more, aligning their stories. There is a kind of group think victim consciousness which takes over. By participating the victim voices receive many social benefits and potentially avoid social censure within their communities.

Of course all of this is subtle and hidden. Particularly if your playground is the internet you can easily  hide all of the back stories that belie the integrity of the victim voice. You can avoid all forms of genuine fact checking, both at the level of deeds-what actually happened, and at the level of motives.

On the surface, in a plethora of internet posts, all you see are brave victims risking reprisal who are breaking the silence. When the stories are carefully checked and turn out to be true according to genuine standards of inquiry, then we have travesty of integrity and intimacy that must be righted. When the stories are not true however, which is no less often the case, then we have no less of  a travesty of integrity and intimacy that also must righted. The latter is precisely the case in the crowd sourced witch hunt of Dinan and his colleagues.

Spiritual Teachers

It is unbelievably painful to me that a group of spiritual teachers and growth movement professionals, who do not know me personally, but who have business relationships or financial ties with Stephen, have been persuaded to lend their names to this campaign without cross-checking the information being purveyed. I am certain however that once all the facts are known, the moral and formal liability of having taken such a stand will become self-evident.

It has also been most disheartening but not as unexpected to see people who have been colleagues who have close ties to Stephen, jump on Stephen’s bandwagon, some from fear, and some from self interest.

I do not know Stephen personally. I have never had a conversation with him, other then a passing hello at a public event. At several points, leaders in the Center have strongly urged Stephen to sit with me, our staff and team and carefully cross check facts and information before acting. They have also strongly urged me to sit with Stephen. Stephen has consistently refused.

I remain open to meeting Stephen directly – face to face, in a facilitated context whose intent is to create truth and reconciliation. That would require people being willing to admit having borne false witness, made false complaints and more. Everyone in the system—including myself—would need to hear each other and own their own responsibility for their part in the contribution system that led to this very moment. This is a context in which neither myself or my colleagues nor Stephen and his colleagues would be “on trial”; rather, it would be a place to give up being right and seek genuine transformation and peace. We could model this for ourselves and for the larger culture.

My colleagues at the Center for Integral Wisdom have responded directly to the smear campaign. Until this point we have only circulated our response to our own community and lists. But in light of Stephen’s rehashing of the same old canards again and again, we are sharing our public response. Following the Board of the Center’s public statement are 55 blog post by Center leaders.

I invite the reader to read each of them. They are short and wise and to the point. In reading them I hope you will actually get a direct sense of the quality of my life, relationships, and the work that we are doing at the Center for Integral Wisdom.

We live in a world of outrageous pain. The only response to outrageous pain is outrageous love. Outrageous love is not tepid or lukewarm. It is a fire that both warms and inspires even as it fierce and demanding. For the sake of goodness, truth and beauty, for the sake of my partners, my children and the many people with whom I am deeply in love, I will at the appropriate time respond in depth to every single false claim. I want to do so in a way which seeks not to destroy but to create, not to tear down but to build up, not merely to shout against the darkness but to add light.

Statement from the Center for Integral Wisdom

In response to the current attacks on Dr. Marc Gafni, The Center for Integral Wisdom has released the following statement:

Dr. Marc Gafni is under attack from certain quarters of the religious and spirituality worlds. Based on our careful review of extensive documentary evidence, numerous professional evaluations, and our collective experiences with Dr. Gafni, we fully trust that the claims of sexual harassment and abuse are false.

The Center for Integral Wisdom takes the strongest possible stance against all forms of sexual harassment and abuse. Before any of us became formally affiliated with the Center, we, collectively, carefully reviewed these allegations. We concluded, and reaffirm now, that the claims against Dr. Gafni are either untrue or significantly distorted.

Furthermore, all of us have extensive professional and personal experiences of the most positive nature with Dr. Gafni, regularly observing his goodness, integrity and kindness.

Over the years, Dr. Gafni has offered many times to engage in a professionally facilitated dialogue with the parties involved in making and disseminating these claims. However, these parties have not been willing to meet for mediated resolution in which all parties take responsibility for their part in the contribution system that created these conflicts.

Instead, over many years they have aligned with each other, coordinating their stories and efforts, avoiding forums which would allow for discerning fact checking and mutual responsibility. Given our common desire for peace in the world, it is more then unfortunate that there has not been the opportunity to engage in a productive process of resolution. The agenda of the parties has been to create public campaigns of character assassination intended to discredit Dr. Gafni in his professional and personal life.

If you would like a deeper sense of Marc, his collaborative work and character, the Center’s work, as well as a substantive refutation of the core negative stories on the web, you might want to read some of the posts below, as well as the Facts section on Marc’s personal website, You might also want to peruse the extensive material on the Center for Integral Wisdom website, or just read one of Marc’s books. In the next few weeks and months, Marc and other leaders at the Center will be sharing more specific information, as well as reflections on the larger issues at stake in this conversation.

Please see below for fifty-five blog posts from Center leaders that deal with these issues directly. We would urge any reader interested in deeper understanding and truth to read these posts with care, discernment and an open heart.

You can access the 55+ posts by clicking here.

Also read this beautiful analysis by Dr. Clint Fuhs titled: Anatomy of a Smear: The Internet Trial of Marc Gafni

[1] Where there is smoke there is an ember. In most of these stories there is a pattern of behavior that takes place over many years. Beware however of the common mistake of false pattern recognition. The ostensible pattern needs to be properly interpreted. If the issues at play are sexual, the pattern of interaction over many years may be primarily post conventional, with all of the messiness that sometimes implies or the pattern might be predatory. The difference is everything. To ascertain the distinction, there is all sorts of objective evidence that needs to be reviewed. That review is called fair process or integrity.

Marc Gafni on the Evolution of Public Culture2022-05-17T07:51:26-07:00

SPEAKING OUT for the Evolution of Public Culture

by Barbara Marx Hubbard

One of the most dangerous problems we face in the world is extremism on behalf of belief.  In many cases, extremists convince themselves that another faith or political system or individual is ‘evil’, and that they are justified in destroying them by any means necessary.   We see this tendency, with tragic consequences, in the political sphere. We are now seeing it the so-called spiritual world.  People who claim to be apostles of higher consciousness see no problem with trying to destroy others without due process, open dialogue, non-violent communication or the possibility of resolving differences with compassion, forgiveness and healing.  Even more problematically they often hide their hidden agendas under the veneer of victim advocacy. The spiritual world is not exempt from malice. Malice, as Milan Kundera reminds us, “must never admit of itself so it must always plead other motives”.

This kind of behavior is terrorism. Violence of this sort is very hard to respond to creatively without becoming a terrorist yourself.  Yet we have to say NO!  to terrorism of any kind, including our own.

With this in mind I am called forth by my sense of justice to stand against the recent extremist process of cyber-attacks, initiated by a leader in the evolutionary spiritual community against Marc Gafni and the Center for Integral Wisdom.  Using his marketing skills and a carefully orchestrated cyber campaign, my former colleague Stephen Dinan has written a series of letters, blogs and articles filled with factual distortions, subtle and gross smears about Gafni, turning the same attack process against anyone who stands with Marc or considers working with him.

Stephen runs a lucrative online network, The Shift, which creates profits and fame for dozens of teachers.  Many of these teachers depend on him for a major part of their livelihood.  Most of the teachers who have signed onto Dinan’s petition against Marc have business ties of one form or another, or outright financial dependency on Stephen. Many of them have signed without knowing Marc personally, based solely on untrue claims. None of the claims are new. They are recycled versions of old claims that Marc has responded to in depth and that have been professionally reviewed by many conscious people of great integrity. You are welcome to read the Facts section of Marc’s personal website to see much of this material.

The fact is, Stephen has refused even to have a conversation with Marc, and has set out to destroy the reputation and ability to teach of a remarkable spiritual, social and evolutionary innovator.

I along with leaders of the Center for Integral Wisdom are fully opposed to any form of sexual harassment or abuse. At the same time, I equally stand against false accusations to try and destroy a person’s integrity and ability to function in the world. Those of us who know the truth of who Marc is are speaking out, for the sake  of a new force in evolution, that is just as important for our world as the force we call democracy. This is about the evolution of our public culture. Those who first supported democracy were often killed for their courage.  In the emergence of a fully empowered evolutionary movement, the integrity of our means and methods around conflict is crucial. The evolutionary movement for social change needs to be based on the fundamental principles of modern justice, not on regressive memes which conduct trials by internet with no opportunity whatsoever for dialogue, fact checking, due process, or non-violent communication.

I attended two Center for Integral Wisdom board meetings with about seventy five highly conscious men and women, leaders in business, spirit, and education who were in attendance. As Warren Farrell said at the end of one meeting, “Marc is the only leader I have ever seen with so much personal depth, presence, and teaching ability who is able to step aside and create space for everyone to shine.”

In 2016, I became the Co-Chair of CIW, an office formally handed over to me by John Mackey, whose four-year term was complete.

Many CIW  board members are working actively on evolutionary projects with Marc. These include numerous books, online courses, media projects, radio shows, podcasts, and partnered initiatives—all of which focus on furthering the vision of the center, which is to influence the “source code of culture” toward ethical evolution.

Marc is author of eleven books, including two of the most powerful that I have read. First is Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, which includes a foreword and afterword by Ken Wilber.  This seminal work affirms the unique creative self within everyone and offers guidance to fully realize it.  Another is his scholarly, two-volume work, Radical Kabbalah, which reveals the origins  in Jewish mysticism of the modern concept that free spiritually-motivated human beings  embody the Divine. Marc has also authored The Mystery of Love, which speaks for the spiritual significance of Eros as force for evolution, genius and life itself.

He has written at least three unpublished seminal works which I have read that are only now being published and is deep in the middle of the next set of writings.

In Marc’s words, the goal of the center is to create “a genuine unique self symphony, in which each unique self brings their own unique gifts to create a new evolutionary we space.”

I would urge everyone to read the response to the smear campaign by the board of the directors of the Center for Integral Wisdom and especially the fifty plus blogs by Center leaders that follow it. You will feel the quality of the conversation at the Center, which is why I was honored to succeed John Mackey as co-chair of the board.

As an elder of that movement, and as a life-long advocate for the conscious evolution of humanity, I am compelled to speak up for the integrity of our means and methods to resolve conflict.

How did this well-organized attack on Marc Gafni happen?

This is a complex question; one which will be taken up directly in the future. But, here is what I personally know.

My work with Stephen deepened during a beautiful event sponsored by myself and the Shift Network. Called “Birth 2012” to celebrate the new era of evolution.

For many years, I had been describing and teaching about a coming global shift, instigated by the crisis we are facing on Earth. I know that in evolution, crisis precedes transformation.

The question for me and other evolutionaries has been how to respond to a crisis of global magnitude, one which may possibly lead to the extinction of our species. The answer is by deepening our commitment to furthering the 13.8 billion years of evolution that’s driven us toward higher consciousness, freedom, and order. The was the deeper purpose of Birth 2012.

During Birth 2012 leaders and small groups from around the world were connected in cyber-space as we celebrated this multi-media global television event at the Agape Spiritual Center in Los Angeles.

I continued to teach about and call for a full scale Planetary Awakening in the year 2020 seeing it as a critical date.

In August 2015, I invited Marc to be on a Skype call about 2020 with my friend, Ervin Lazlo, scientist and author of over 50 books. Marc, Ervin and I had a deep and delightful conversation. I asked Marc to write up a statement of our intention. Read it here and you will I am sure be as moved as we all were: “A New Coalition Is Forming to Catalyze the Evolution of Consciousness”. Marc knew nothing about Stephen Dinan’s interest in 2020 at that time. It was a wonderful conversation. I asked Marc to post it on the Center’s site and asked Ervin and my staff to post it on our sites.

Stephen told me he was furious. I called Marc and asked Marc to remove the post. He did so immediately. This is when the process of attack against Marc by Stephen began to reveal itself.

The next step happened on September 18, 2015.  I had completed a student retreat at the Shift campus in Petaluma.  Stephen announced his passion for 2020 — a new campaign for International Peace Day . He said wanted me to work under him again.

I replied that I would “be his partner, but not work directly under him and the Shift”, simply because I wanted to partner with others who were already working toward this date, with many kinds of events and celebrations.

“No,” he said very severely. I HAVE THE STRUCTURE. YOU WILL FAIL. YOU MUST DO IT UNDER ME.” His intense demand for control reminded me of how he behaved during Birth 2012, whenever I wanted to bring any other distinguished person in to work directly with me.

Stephen was treating me with obvious disrespect—demonstrating a not so subtle sexism, ageism, and bullying.

I mildly said that I would be his partner, but not work under him.

As I had promised, I began to introduce people to Stephen who were interested in the 2020 possibilities. I also tried to set up a conversation for Stephen to get to know Marc. He adamantly refused even to talk with Marc. I was shocked at the virulence of his refusal to communicate. He said, “I must not under any circumstances have anything to do with him.” He then told me that it would ruin my career to work with Marc. (He did not mention that he would be the person to try and ruin my career.) He handed me a stack of old attack material against Marc.

I told Stephen in subsequent conversations that there was extensive information that refuted these claims but he refused to meet or to check any of the evidence available that countered the false claims. I implored him to meet Marc and the many powerful and conscious women around him. He refused. Later I would realize that by that time he had already set his course to destroy Marc.

I myself have personally read several hundred pages of compelling information that has been meticulously gathered over the years. It is apparent that Marc has suffered injustice in many ways. I also know that he has always been and is now available to meet in mediated contexts with any individual, check evidence, take mutual responsibility, and create peace.

Stephen then gave me the number of Marc’s former wife, Chaya Lester, in Israel as well as Rabbi David Ingber in New York City. It was clear that Stephen, Chaya, and Ingber  were all in touch and connected as early as this past September. Ingber and Chaya who were involved in the attack on Marc a decade ago, were central figures in the current smear campaign.

I called them both. Ingber was highly antagonistic to Marc. Chaya told me during the conversation that she might be open to the possibility of reconciliation, but then later apparently plunged again into the smear campaign against her former husband, continuing a decade of attacking Marc. In depth response to these quarters will come I am sure at the right time and place.  But for now I will say that I have read a private letter circulated about Marc in 2008 which Chaya co-authored. The level of demonization is truly astonishing and ridiculous to anyone who knows Marc. The letters is so laced with virulence and so filled with “facts” that are factually untrue that the malicious intent to destroy, having nothing to do with protecting any victims, is obviously revealed.

Meanwhile, a personally offensive element of the attack began. Stephen contacted Steven Hassan, a self-published ex-cult member who calls himself “America’s leading Cult Expert.” Stephen asked Hassan to get in touch with my daughter about an “intensive intervention.” Stephen tried to frighten my daughter to persuade her to hire Hassan  (at a cost of $10,000) to protect her mother from Marc.

Stephen, Hassan and my daughter exchanged emails for several days. In the email exchange the outline of the smear campaign was clear. Marc was to be “stopped in his tracks”. The “world” would be saved from Marc. Stephen would organize a NY Times article to be the center of the campaign. The virulence of the tone was truly frightening.

My daughter forwarded me these emails from Stephen in mid October, at the same time that Marc heard from the NY times columnist who contacted Marc to do the article that was apparently intended to initiate the smear campaign. My daughter wrote me that she was being taken advantage of and manipulated by Stephen, and that Stephen’s motivation was not to protect me but to destroy Marc. She was deeply offended by what she called an action of Jihad extremism. My daughter said to me: “If anyone tried to do this to my daughter, I would have called the police! “

Subsequently, Stephen also told me directly that he was contacting the New York Times to do an article about Marc. I was dismayed and realized that he is actually trying to destroy Marc and everything Marc had built.

The Times article was published on Christmas Day—December 25, 2015—a sad day to launch the next round of attacks.  This article was the first in a line of many articles, some published by the Huffington Post, others in other forums re-cycling the same old material.  The attacks ignored all the material  Marc had already provided which  refuted the claims.

None of the key writers in the smear campaign, who appeared suddenly out of no where, and who seem to have been recruited, knew Marc. Some of them hung up on Marc’s staff who attempted to call and create dialogue or fact checking. They made many blatantly false claims about Marc. Marc was regularly referred to as a child rapist, statutory rapist, pedophile, wanted in Israel for sexual harassment and the like. Not one of these is true. False claims were written both on his Wikipedia page and all over the internet.  But none of the writers who were contacted were interested in facts or any form of alternative perspective.

Let me say it clearly. I and dozens of other powerful conscious women and men who work with Marc regularly are certain that Marc is neither a sexual harasser or a sexually abusive person in any way. Quite the opposite. He is deeply considerate, honoring and graceful, even in times of the most intense pressure, which would crack a lesser person. I have witnessed this myself, as have many others, countless times.

Is Marc strong, driving, larger then life, sometimes challenging in his demands on himself and everyone around him. Yes he is. He is a big person in every way and those of us who interact with him regularly, know that he is also one of the best people we know.

There were almost a hundred attack articles, Tweets and blogs during this period orchestrated behind the scenes.  Virtually all attempts to correct facts were ignored or mocked.

Meanwhile, Stephen began to call my colleagues and warn them about my relationship with Marc. They called me after talking to Stephen saying outright that if I worked with Marc they would no longer hire me or fund my projects. He called my staff and board of directors, telling them of the danger of my friendship with Marc and recommending they disassociate from me.  He insisted that my staff and board keep his ‘intervention’ secret, not telling me about his conversations with them. Several of them did resign. He called people who had invited me to speak at key events with Marc, warning them to disinvite me because of my friendship with Marc.

One of the claims made by the smear campaign is that people who speak out, risk “reprisal” from some supposedly powerful force massed to defend Marc.  The fact is that in the ten years these people have been agitating against Marc, there has never been any form of threat or attack from Marc or his friends. All the reprisals have come from Stephen, Ingber,  and their group of  activists claiming to ‘protect’ others against Marc. Their reprisals have been directed at many prominent persons, including myself, who stand by Marc. Marc’s friends and supporters have been subjected to outright and behind-the-scenes attacks, resulting in everything from ridicule to loss of funding, dismissal from professional associations, jobs, and conference centers. People have been dropped from the Shift Network and from  publishers—simply because they are known to stand up for Marc.

A public example of the attacks instigated by the smear campaign, is the way that former CIW Board Co-Chair John Mackey’s company, Whole Foods, has been subjected to smear attacks because he is not willing to speak falsely against Marc. The posts attack Mackey for associating “with pedophile Marc Gafni”. There is not one word of truth in this statement yet so many spiritual leaders have stood by or joined in without any true fact checking. This is not acceptable and that is why I am speaking out on these issues.

Most recently, Stephen has crafted a cyber-attack on me, sent to all my thousands of Shift Network students saying my life would be ruined, warning them that my teaching will be destroyed by working with Marc. Perhaps he is referring to my eight books, and all of the organizations I have helped found—The World Future Society, The Association for Global New Thought, and Evolutionary Leaders. Or perhaps he was concerned about the remarkable campaign in which my name was placed, along with Geraldine Ferraro, for nomination for the Vice Presidency on the Democratic ticket in 1984, where we proposed a Peace Room and an Office for the Future to scan for, map, connect, and communicate what was working in the world. I wouldn’t mention any of this except to reveal the extent of his malice to destroy my long life of service because I choose to work with one good evolutionary teacher and friend, after 86 years of dedication to seeking the next steps toward a positive future for all.

He refuses to give me access to my students’ emails, so I could respond to his criticism and his claims directly.  I want everyone to understand the depth of the problem here. I teach for Stephen and yet I have no access to the emails of my own students. So when Stephen attacks me I cannot respond and explain my position to my own students.

As I said, We are speaking for a new force in evolution itself that needs to be activated in society. This is my life-work, and this letter is an expression of that force.  True evolutionary movements cannot be destroyed. Like those who first supported democracy we will not be destroyed nor will our community.  We will be encouraged and reinforced by our participation in the vast citizen movement for positive change; one that does not at this time directly attempt to change existing government, but seeks to offer a “better design” that articulates common goals and matches needs with resources for the good of the greater community, as advocated so many years ago by one of my great teachers, Buckminster Fuller.

As of this week, Stephen went after the movie RISE UP, which is still in its fund-raising stage.  This remarkable and important film focuses on new, more humane and environmentally-concerned visions of success. Stephen is stoking fear in some of its extraordinary cast of business and thought leaders, attempting to persuade them to drop out of the film, by concerning them that their own reputations will be attacked and by sharing the mis-information that has been spread in the smear campaign.

As I finish this letter, I want to summarize some of my thoughts.

I want you all to know that I am dedicated to working with Marc, to teaching and writing with him. Of course I recognize that like all of us has imperfections and faults.

Marc is a scholar and an advocate of spiritual/evolutionary potential for humanity, deeply imbued with the ability to communicate and inspire the evolutionary impulse.  He honors and motivates people to fulfill the love and power they can each embody. There are many of us who work with him throughout the world who can attest to this experience with gratitude and deep appreciation.

I have spoken with colleagues in his teaching communities in Europe and the United States.  I have worked with members of his staff and find that he is deeply admired and loved by people he has worked with for years. His gift for friendship and collaboration is a blessing in the lives of countless people.

This deliberate effort to separate us, to destroy one another is especially dangerous, activating a process of rejection without dialogue. This is a movement  profoundly against the future we are all working toward.

What is needed now is not angry rejection and negativity, splitting Marc off as the Other in order to purify ourselves, but a new degree of connectivity among us that can shift the system forward toward greater complexity, freedom and synergistic order.

In the name of calling out the Shadow, Stephen and others have done exactly the opposite of what Carl Jung famously advocated. Jung described how each of us projects our undigested Shadow onto individuals and groups who serve as ‘hooks’ that reflect our own unacknowledged inner conflicts. What is the woundedness at play here that needs healing?

I am expressing my sadness over this situation and the loss of Stephen Dinan whom I considered to be a very good friend and dear colleague.

Let us seek a higher level resolution commensurate with what is being taught on Shift network such as peacekeeping, non violent communication, sacred democracy and transformation.

In conclusion I would like quote something that Marc wrote:  “I want to conclude with my impossible dream: What if the result of this explosion was the seeking of a higher clarification? What if over time, all the parties could sit together, fact check, and seek genuine truth and reconciliation? Some of the key actors in this story are the same people who demand that Israel sit and negotiate with the Palestinians. I understand that demand, despite the terrorism, killing of each others’ children, and countless atrocities.  Yes, Israel and Palestine must make peace. How can we demand that they make peace if we cannot, in far different circumstance, even make peace between ourselves?  I am ready and willing.”

With profound determination to protect and promote humane, just, and fair behavior, and the development of Sacred Democracy,

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Your Comments are Welcome

Also read this beautiful analysis by Dr. Clint Fuhs titled: Anatomy of a Smear: The Internet Trial of Marc Gafni

SPEAKING OUT for the Evolution of Public Culture2022-05-17T07:51:49-07:00

Center for Integral Wisdom – Public Statement

In response to the current attacks on Dr. Marc Gafni, The Center for Integral Wisdom has released the following statement:

Dr. Marc Gafni is under attack from certain quarters of the religious and spirituality worlds. Based on our careful review of extensive documentary evidence, numerous professional evaluations, and our collective experiences with Dr. Gafni, we fully trust that the claims of sexual harassment and abuse are false, and that other claims against him are maliciously distorted.

The Center for Integral Wisdom takes the strongest possible stance against all forms of sexual harassment and abuse. Before any of us became formally affiliated with the Center, we, collectively, carefully reviewed these allegations. We concluded, and reaffirm now, that the claims against Dr. Gafni are either untrue or significantly distorted. Furthermore, all of us have extensive professional and personal experiences of the most positive nature with Dr. Gafni, regularly observing his goodness, integrity and kindness.

Over the years, Dr. Gafni has offered many times to engage in a professionally facilitated dialogue with the parties involved in making and disseminating these claims.  However, these parties have not been willing to meet for mediated resolution. Instead, over many years they have aligned with each other, coordinating their stories and efforts, avoiding forums which would allow for discerning fact checking and mutual responsibility. Given our common desire for peace in the world, it is unfortunate that there has not been the opportunity to engage in a productive process of resolution. The agenda of the parties has been to create public campaigns of character assassination intended to discredit Dr. Gafni in his professional and personal life.

If you would like a deeper sense of Marc, his collaborative work and character, the Center’s work, as well as a substantive refutation of the core negative stories on the web, you might want to read some of the posts below, as well as the Facts section on Marc Gafni’s personal website. You might also want to peruse the extensive material on the Center for Integral Wisdom website, or just read one of Marc’s books. In the next few weeks and months, Marc and other leaders at the Center will be sharing more specific information, as well as reflections on the larger issues at stake in this conversation.

Please be aware that Dr. Gafni’s legal team has advised him to not comment further at this time given the defamatory nature of the false accusations against him and the distorted narrative that has ensued.

Editor’s Note:

The people who have commented on this page below work closely with and support Marc and the Center for Integral Wisdom. Most have been working with him for many years. This group includes professors, successful business people, book editors, writers, clergymen and clergywomen, therapists, psychologists, and heads of departments at schools and therapy centers. Most of them have advanced degrees. Several have written successful books.

You will notice that several of these people have posted under initials or pseudonyms. During the weeks since the campaign against Marc began, many of these people were being ‘targeted’ or pressured by some of the organizers who are attacking Marc’s reputation. They and others associated with the Center have received letters demanding that they disassociate from Marc. Their employers, neighbors and families have been called. Their websites and Facebook pages have received negative comments. So in order to avoid more of this, some of them have not posted under their professional names.

Center for Integral Wisdom – Public Statement2022-05-18T07:17:22-07:00

A Biographical Essay on Marc Gafni by Spiritual Teacher Sally Kempton – Long Version

To watch Marc Gafni teaching is like watching a spiritual juggler working with fireballs. He’s an electrifying speaker, larger than life teacher, made for the big stage, yet able, in a small room, to draw a group into a shared experience of community and insight. One-on-one, his students attest, he can be a catalyst for life-changing transformation. By turns challenging and tender, Marc ranges comfortably through a forest of references—quoting Aramaic texts and Jung, drawing on films and popular songs, throwing out insights like sparklers. When you come away from spending an hour with him, you’ll often find yourself looking at an old subject in an entirely new way.


A Biographical Essay on Marc Gafni by Spiritual Teacher Sally Kempton – Long Version2022-05-17T07:50:30-07:00

Privacy, Post Modernism, Sex, Teachers and Students: On Sex, Ethics and Injury

by Marc Gafni

I want to share some brief insights on these important and often confusing topics. I have promised a full book on sexuality, which I hope to be able to offer in the not-too- distant future. I had written an early draft and outline of this book several years ago, but laid it aside simply because I was writing on other topics. In the meantime, let me make a few remarks about sex, privacy, and student-teacher relationships.

1) There are many potential models of sexual engagement. One of them is committed monogamy. This is a wildly beautiful deep and profound context for sexual expression.

2) Sexuality can also take place in a holy and wondrous way in post -conventional contexts, which are not familial or monogamous.

3) Sexuality within the monogamous and post- conventional contexts has many different textures, which I have written about in a chapter of my upcoming book, Your Unique Self, The Future of Enlightenment. Sex can be vital, tender, raw, rough, sweet, personal, cosmic, primal and much more.

4) We have to overcome the implicitly anti sexual bias, which often subtly defines any conversation about sex. This deeply ingrained bias is alive and well even fifty years after the sexual revolution. We remain ogling, prurient and less then our best selves when we talk about sex, particularly in regard to public figures with whom we have complex energetic relationships. All too often, people hear about a story of sexuality and project onto to it their personal shadows about sexuality, all of the stories of genuine abuse that they have ever heard, and more.

5) Most of the time teachers should not be sexual with people in their circle. It simply causes too much confusion and hurt.

6) However, sometimes a teacher may choose to engage a mutual sexual engagement with someone in his or her circle. {Junpo Roshi has already written a series of three excellent blog posts on the subject.} I have written and posted about this in the public sphere and talked about in several talks over the last years. This is my public position, and I stand in it. In this regard, transparency is essential. I have written clearly that I believe such relationships are possible. My views are posted on my website as videos and written blogs. I have talked about this in public many times.

7) A teacher must be transparent about his or her core beliefs and not hold a hidden belief while teaching or practicing the opposite. And if a teacher makes a mistake it should be owned and apologized for, just as when anyone else makes a mistake.

8) Any teacher makes mistakes. No teacher is an exception to this. Still, we should expect from our teachers a level of attainment, love, goodness and depth that is beyond well beyond the norm.

9) In teacher-student relationships, power is distributed in many and varied ways. In the relationships that I recently engaged, this was true as well. In both relationships, I did not hold formal institutional power. At the same time, the more interior forms of power were distributed along complex and paradoxical lines. That is the nature of virtually every authentic relationship. However, let me say beyond a shadow of a doubt both persons were and are powerful adult women. One of them was a senior student of mine. With neither was I involved in any form of psychological counseling at the time of the relationship. As the written skype and email records show, the relationships were the product of a mutual initiation and engagement.

10) Speaking again in general terms: Assuming that the student is a full and powerful adult and that the teacher is not teaching radical obedience but a more gentle form of transmission and mutuality– there is at times room for beautiful and sacred erotic love and contact between a teacher and those in his or her circle, if it is desired and held in mutual love and desire on both sides. To say it simply: it is possible for a teacher to date students, and this can be ethical even if it is held privately.

11) The notion of the powerful teacher and impotent student is an outdated myth. If the student publicly complains about a teacher, the teacher may fall or at least be badly hurt. False complaints are relatively easy to file and notoriously difficult defend against. So the balance of real power in the raw secular sense of the word actually favors the student. A student may hold a position in governance bodies that support the teacher, or in institutions that support the work of the teacher, in which case the teacher is actually in some real sense the client of the student. In such a case, the teacher may be vulnerable to the student in a number of material and psychological ways.

12) Part of a mutual relationship, however, always involves the parties being willing to be vulnerable to each other. It is in holding and protecting each other’s frailty that the poignancy of authentic engagement is born. And this is true in polyamorous contexts no less then monogamous contexts.

13) As many power feminists have pointed out, even if there is a power imbalance that does not mean the relationship was wrong or abusive. We must reject the negative interrogations of power that the overly egalitarian “green meme” of consciousness has suggested.

14) People engaging sexually can do so in a transparent way so that their whole community is fully aware of and witness to the relationship. Or a sexual relationship can – by mutual agreement of both parties-be held in a private container.

15) Both transparency and privacy are genuine values, which need to live in dialectical tension with each other. Let me transparent about this. Transparency is not an absolute value. Nor is privacy. Idolatry for the old mystics meant the absolute fealty to one value. When one value -whatever it may be – is freed from the need to compete with other values, idolatry is always produced. And the end result of idolatry is always some form of injustice, evil or other forms of ethical malaise.

16) It is true that privacy is not easy, and that both parties who agree to privacy are cut off from forms of support and connection that might otherwise be available to them. Privacy should only be entered by mutual consent. However, privacy fosters a level of intimacy and safety that at times may be difficult to achieve in more public or transparent contexts.

17) The modern form of idolatry is extremism. Extremists virtually always believe in a good value. But they can never get too much of their value. Their value, be it choice, life or transparency becomes an absolute.

18) Transparency is a good value. It must compete –in dialectical tension–with privacy.

19) Privacy is an essential value for many reasons. One of them is precisely because of the great post modern- insight that “context” is everything. When one is transparent, the most that can really be shared is the technical facts. The nuance and feeling tone of context and intention is virtually impossible to share in a superficial way. This is one of the reasons why privacy is such a key value. Paradoxically, to share facts without deep context and feeling tone is to tell a lie about the interior of reality. The quiet dignity of privacy is sometimes to be preferred.

20) At the same time, it is critical not to use privacy as a way to cover up sexual abuse or the like. Privacy is sometimes – but not always- appropriate in situations where the post conventional is too nuanced to be subject to the eyes of a prurient and non discerning public.

21) What is called the Green Level of Consciousness holds an essentially contradictory position from which great brutality often arises. On the one hand, Green says that transparency is an ultimate value. Containers per se are regarded with suspicion at best, and as virtually evil at worst. The facts that you might on rare occasion not share something with a close friend or colleague because you have a higher commitment to privacy in a particular context that is considered a form of betrayal. This way of thinking results from the false idolatry–holding up transparency as the only and ultimate value. It also contradicts a second value of Green. Time and again, Green consciousness reminds us correctly of the postmodern insight that “Context is everything”. Without getting into the limits of that insight at this time – allow me to make one point. If context is everything, than transparency is often a lie–because the one thing that is virtually impossible to transmit is context. If you do manage to transmit it to one or two close people, once a story is repeated down the line of gossip, the context in its entire critical nuance and texture is completely lost. So, when you are being transparent about something – let’s say a relationship – you are often only able to transmit the facts but not the context. Hence, you wind up essentially lying about the fullness of the relationship. This is one of the many reasons for the preference of privacy.

22) All of this does not make privacy into an undisputed value. The need for privacy needs to live in relationship with the need for transparency and in each unique situation the appropriate balance must be reached by mutual agreement between the parties.

23) One of the huge problems with holding a container of privacy in a relationship is that it almost always necessitates lying. Yet in certain circumstances, lying can be the most ethical decision. You really have to look at it in a case-by-case context.

24) One thing I did not consider seriously enough in engaging this relational possibility in a private context was the fact that it meant I would not share the relationships with people who were close to me. I have reflected upon this in the last few weeks, and believe that this by itself may be sufficient reason to argue for transparency. Many have made that point. I am not yet clear on this issue.

25) To recapitulate- dating or sexual engagement between people, including the occasional engagement between the adult powerful teacher and the adult powerful student, who are consciously choosing to engage in dual relationship may be transparent or they may be held privately. Both are legitimate options, depending on the inner context of the situation and on a multitude of variables, which need to be weighed wisely and in holy authenticity from what the Integral world calls a Second Tier, or integral perspective of consciousness.

26) Which way is better- privacy or transparency or some mixture of the two–depends on many variables which must be examined in depth in every situation.

27) My l preference in life has always been for personal privacy. Other then when I am public, I am by nature private, and painfully so. I love my privacy and love the depth of ease and gentle surrender that a container of privacy allows.

28) Sadly, I have realized that for me – personally –that is simply not an option.

29) Because of this I have made a commitment- from this moment forward- to hold my personal life transparently to the community.

30) I do not think that love is a Zero Sum game. I think that one can genuinely love more then one person in a profound, personal, and passionate manner. I have said this time and again in public talks. Our loves lists are too short. I think polyamory is a genuine option for some people at particular points in their lives. Not for everyone or even for most people, and not at every point in life. But for some people at particular stages of life, polyamory is a genuine ethical and holy option.

31) Eros and Sex are awesomely beautiful.

32) No one model works for everyone. People must be free to develop their erotic lives. We need more connection and Eros, not less.

33) Erotic contact and encounter must always be rooted in the ethics of radical love, radical mutuality, radical giving in which giving and receiving are one, and which always intends its pleasure for the sake of the all as well as for the sake of each other.

34) People hurt each other in relationship all the time. When we hurt each other we should apologize and do our best to make amends. There is no relationship without hurt, yet there is no love without forgiveness

35) Hurt cannot be allowed to be deployed as a cover-up for malice.

36) Men and women often use romantic or sexual hurt as a cover to accomplish their agendas of malice and power often under the noble guise of protecting the weak.

37) People should not work out personal issues between them in the nasty and often muck-racking world of Internet blogs. We know by now that there are vigilante bloggers who do not bother to check facts, which regularly publish distortions from unreliable sources, which have no accountability, who often have hidden personal agendas, which are self-appointed judges without responsibility or authority, cannot be allowed to formulate or manipulate communal policy.

38) Sometimes a blogger is intelligent on one set of issues but completely disreputable on another set of issues. See Harold Solove’s book “The Future of Reputation” on the damage done by vigilante Internet blogging that ignores the simple standards of fairness and decency.

39) In my life, several months ago, I stepped out of the domestic romantic container that I was in with my partner – by mutual and loving agreement.

40) After that time I had two relationships with powerful adult women.

41) I shared these relationships with a close woman friend and advisor in these matters.

42) I stand for the beauty and goodness of those relationships. And I apologize always for any way in which I could have showed up better. Or caused hurt. And ask for forgiveness for the inevitable hurt that happens in the complexity of it all, even when we have the best intentions.

43) By mutual agreement – I entered into these relationships in the context of privacy.

44) That seemed like the more gentle and honoring way to hold the relationships.

45) I stand in my truth of the goodness and possibility of such relationships.

46) I have also come to the final conclusion in my life -as mentioned above – that for me personally – holding a relationship privately creates vulnerability and potential hurt, rather than safety and privacy. One of the reasons is that when something is held in container -it creates a difficult situation when someone in my close circle asks about the relationship. Loyalty to the container demands privacy. But for a close friend not to be told the truth about the relationship undermines trust, with all of the pain and fallout that ensues as a result.

47) Because of that I have committed to hold all future relationships transparently- if future relationships is the direction I choose-. I have also made a personal commitment to my inner circle at CWS and to Ken and his circle to check in with them before engaging a relationship to ensure that all of us feel that the person is appropriate. While this is an extreme measure I initiated it to insure my colleagues a sense of safety. None of us has the emotional energy to engage this again.

48) I myself have not made a decision as to my direction. I am in deep conversation with my Zion’s mom about what the nature of our future relationships ought be. We love each other very much and have very different visions of the next part of our lives and where we should be spending out time. We our both committed to Zion and are exploring with enormous love, pain and mutual respect what right relationship should be between us.

49) Finally – I am willing at any time or place to engage in public dialogue on this topic in a way that honors the issues, is not witch-hunting, but seeks genuine clarity.

50) I am fully willing to apologize for any mistakes I may have made and would hope that the same would be true of others.

51) Attached here are a number of documents, which may be helpful.

52) This first is a link to Mariana Caplan’s chapter about the issues in Israel five years

53) The second is a link to a letter by Sally Kempton and Ken Wilber about these same issues five years ago.

54) The third is a link to an article I published in the Integrales Forum Journal, a respected Integral journal about my position on the possibility of a teacher dating students– the same issue discussed above in this blog post.

55) The fourth is a link to a video on the CWS website where I discuss the possibility and even desirability in certain contexts of dual relationship between teacher and student.

56) Article on the nature of Malice

Privacy, Post Modernism, Sex, Teachers and Students: On Sex, Ethics and Injury2022-05-17T07:51:41-07:00

A CWS Board Statement of Unequivocal Support for Dr. Marc Gafni

A Statement of Unequivocal Support, from a Special Committee of the Board of Directors for the Center for World Spirituality, in Response to Attacks directed against Marc Gafni, D.Phil. in the Blogosphere During September 2011:

We, the undersigned, do without any reservation whatsoever, support Marc Gafni, D.Phil as a teacher and leader of the Center for World Spirituality. We find it unfortunate that the blogosphere has become a place where allegations are made, and where rumors, distortions and simple untruths are so easily spread, all without the benefit of finding of fact.

We have done due diligence on this matter. Members of our group have deeply heard the perspectives of everyone referred to in the spate of blogosphere attacks in Sept 2011. Between us, we have gathered what we believe to be all the relevant evidence possible under these fragmented circumstances. As one of our teachers said about these events, there is “So much flame, so little fact,” and much confusion between “facts and interpretations of facts.” We have gathered all the relevant subjective and objective information possible under these circumstances. So it is with genuine confidence we give our full support for Marc Gafni. We trust Marc’s leadership and remain solidly convinced of his integrity, especially as he faces the challenges of leading a change movement in a world characterized by fear. Further, each of us personally recommends Dr. Gafni to any organization, church, synagogue, spiritual or cultural center, or to any context which seeks to benefit from his teachings.

The Center for World Spirituality remains fully committed to its consciously creative mission under the joint stewardship of Dr. Gafni and the circle of board members, colleagues and students who have stepped up to lead. We know Marc to be an inspired teacher, a visionary leader, a human being engaged in life with an open heart and a passionate creativity. That passion, along with a remarkable intellect, and a deep formation in one of the world’s great spiritual traditions, moves him to a profound understanding of the human condition and the movements of Spirit unfolding within and around us.

We look forward to the years ahead as Marc’s creative insights into the Unique Self, World Spirituality, and the Enlightenment of Fullness, unfold into a corpus of written works, and as they come to greater expression through the world wide gatherings which make up the Center for World Spirituality.

Mariana Caplan, Ph.D., Chahat Corten, Wyatt Woodsmall, Ph.D., Marty Cooper, Warren Farrell, Ph.D.*, Lori Galperin, Mike Ginn, Tom Goddard Ph.D., Leon Gras, Sally Kempton, Heather Ussery-Knight, Victoria Myer, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD, PhD, Kathleen J. Brownback, M.Div., MBA, Wyatt Woodsmall, Ph. D.

*Dr. Warren Farrell also added his own personal statement in this regard:
To Whom It May Concern,

This is to express my unequivocal support for Marc Gafni, D.Phil. as a teacher and visionary leader of the Center for World Spirituality. In my work with him as a friend, co-facilitator of content, and Board member of the Center, I find him to be one of the world’s truly extraordinary men. He blends integrity with skills of leadership, vision, creativity, and charisma. He harbors a renaissance intellect and comprehension of history, religion and spirituality–and harnesses that into the hearts and souls of those whose hearts are open and whose souls are wise enough to be deepened.

Marc Gafni is one of the world’s change agents. Virtually all change agents, whether Martin Luther King or Gandhi, will be subjected to attempts at assassination–character assassination and sometimes literal assassination. Unfortunately, the internet has allowed such attempts to be magnified when aimed at a leader’s character. This propensity of people without vision to try to ruin the person rather than challenge the ideas has long been with us. As Mark Twain put it, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” With the internet, a lie can travel all the way around the world while the truth is finding its shoe.” In the process, it is easy to lose the message of a visionary leader.

Marc continues to make a commitment to lead; I for one, am making a commitment both to continue co-creating with him and to never allowing myself to be sidetracked by those whose feel it is easier to kill the messenger than create a more visionary and informed message.

Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

A CWS Board Statement of Unequivocal Support for Dr. Marc Gafni2022-05-17T07:50:52-07:00

A Brief Note of Closure in Regard to the Blogosphere Explosion in Sept 2011

by Marc Gafni

Hi Everyone,
I hope this note finds all of you well and thriving in all of your worlds.
Today, I am writing a brief note of closure in regard to the blogosphere explosion of a few months back. The core of what I want to tell you is contained in the last couple of paragraphs. If you want to cut to the chase, you are welcome to scroll down to the paragraphs titled What is My Response and Responsibility.
But, first, with your permission, let me cover some general contextual points. These are important to provide an Integral all-quadrant context for the major point of this blog post below, without which the last section might be subject to inappropriate interpretation.
A special committee of the CWS board of directors has already posted a public statement about these events, and circulated a more detailed private statement for anyone who needed more information. I thank the board for their profound support. I want to thank not only the board, but also my entire circle of close friends and students who support me today. There are representatives in my inner circle of heart and work from literally every stage of my life. My own evolution has taken me from Jewish orthodoxy to more progressive ethnocentricity to World Spirituality. I am deeply honored and gratified to have close friends, students and supporters from every stage of the journey.
I will not be entering into a point-by-point discussion of the events behind the stories. What I will say here is that there were many untruthful statements and comments posted in some blogs. Active behind the scenes were some of the same folks who, over the years, have supported other untruthful statements regarding my actions. (See Mariana Caplan’s article on False Complaints, which gives some of the background.) Some used untruthful statements to accomplish their own “political” ends, always of course under the fig leaf of more virtuous motivations.
It is fair to say, as is often the case, the actions and motivations that truly moved the blogosphere explosion arose in all four quadrants and were virtually invisible to the public. To share it all in depth as a way of exposing the injustices that occurred is tempting, but it would not serve the greater good in the long term. Said simply, on many substantive levels, how this went down was outrageous and wrong. And it is no less true that making people “wrong” rarely opens a path to healing and transformation.
On a heart level, I want to share that there are people who were involved in this who I have loved in the past and love today. I miss them and hope that at the right time and place we will find the path to a higher rapprochement.
In terms of my core response today, I have opted to focus my energy and love on the movement for World Spirituality based on Integral principles. That said, a detailed four quadrants private report was given to the leadership of the special committee of the CWS board that reviewed the situation.

Internet Discourse

Most of us are aware by now of how Internet discourse operates. As Jurgen Habermaas, Lee Segal, and other discerning readers of culture have noted, the blogosphere is a place where anyone can say anything, with no professional or ethical accountability required. As a result, devastating accusations are routinely and carelessly thrown about. Often, as in this case, no attempt is made to hear all sides, or even to check facts. As Ken Wilber has pointed out, there is often gross confusion between facts and interpretation of facts. Too often, as a way of propagating slander without being held responsible, the identity of someone posting comments on a blog is hidden under a cloak of anonymity or a pseudonym. It is all too easy for one person to post under a number of pseudonyms to create the impression that his or her opinion is widely shared. This has been the case in many of the blogposts that appear on the web about my personal life. Even when blogging is not anonymous or pseudonymous, the writer’s personal agendas in all four quadrants remain effectively hidden. In short, the blogosphere makes unchallenged character assassination far too easy.
Some spiritual teachers and other public figures choose to ignore the websites or blogs that attack them. Others have engaged in extensive refutation. However we choose to respond, these issues affect anyone in the public sphere whose private life is easily made public. Human relationships are complex enough as they are. The blogosphere unfortunately becomes a context where information becomes distorted, magnified, exaggerated and lied about through the agendas of others””all without any genuine accountability.

The Transparency vs. Privacy Question

That said, some substantive issues and opportunities for clarification have been raised by these events, especially about the issue of privacy vs transparency in personal relationships between spiritual teachers and members of their community. I have already written extensively about this in an earlier blog post on Privacy and Post Modernism and an article on Sex, Ethics and Injury.
There are situations in which holding privacy is legitimate and even necessary. (In fact, even those who have spoken out for transparency in this situation are themselves engaging in decisions of privacy in regard to aspects of their own personal relationships, motivations, self-protective or ambitious agendas, or other key contextual facts, persons, and drives which motivated their actions or statements in this situation.) In many arenas of life””therapeutic, financial, and legal, for example””privacy is an essential part of an agreement made between parties; breaking confidentiality is a violation of the intended good, and is regarded as unethical. When two people are dating, especially in the early stages of a relationship, holding privacy is simply a way of ensuring that the relationship is allowed to mature before being made public even to one’s own circle. There is nothing ethically transgressive or ”˜secret’ about this kind of privacy. People have a right to make mutual decisions about when to share a personal relationship, as well as with whom and at what stage to share it.
That said, these events demonstrated to me that it is usually not a good idea for a public figure to hold his or her personal dating relationships privately. First, because, by definition, it necessitates a certain amount of dissembling. Second, because, as I have come to realize more deeply, sometimes even when the privacy is mutually and lovingly agreed upon, some people may still come to find it psychologically painful to hold. Third, holding privacy about a romantic relationship may create alienation in other relationships in both people’s circle of intimates.
If I am ever at a crossroads again where I need to consider privacy vs. transparency I will factor all these issues into the equation in a new and deeper way. And then I will – in a loving and mutual way – make a joint decision about how to proceed. My inclination on the one hand is to be fully transparent at this point however that I am making no grand or sweeping declarations for transparency over privacy. They are both important values in many spheres of life and it would be bad heart and bad mind to dogmatically and simplistically value one above the other in any absolute sense. The one thing that I will promise is that, to the best of my ability, my public teaching and private action will be consistent with each other.
I have a second inclination, different then the first, which is to adopt -going forward -a radical transparency. That would mean absolutely nothing held privately in my life in the realm of sexuality, which is where karma is always created. If I adopt that position, I would be fully faithful and in integrity with the privacy of any of my previous relationships in life. But I would shift my position away from my natural desire to hold personal privacy. The reason I would do this: Because it may be that in the case of my particular life and karma this is what my teaching requires. Specifically, because this has been an issue in my life and has created vulnerability for myself and the dharma, I may be obligated to give up my personal preference for privacy on the altar of leadership and the kind of trust that only radical transparency engenders at this particular moment in culture’s trajectory.
I am deeply considering these paths, and listening to the feedback of close spiritual teacher friends and colleagues and praying to God for guidance in choosing the path of deepest integrity.

Paths of Engagement

It is also worth noting that my own belief is as follows: neither monogamy nor polyamory nor celibacy are in and of themselves ”˜the’ ethical or appropriate path for a spiritual teacher. Any of these paths can be engaged ethically, lovingly, and with commitment and integrity. On the other hand, any of them can be engaged in a way that is destructive and disrespectful. There are many married teachers whose marriages are a sham and whose current relationship dynamics are neither good nor true nor beautiful. And there are non-monogamous teachers, whose personal and often privately held love relationships are good, true and beautiful.
I believe that some form of conventional monogamous marriage is preferable for many, –though not all–people at many, –though not all–stages of life. Clearly the gay community has something to say about all of this. And shifting traditional structures of society have something to say about this. And love is evolving in many surprising ways. At the core of things, it is not the external form that is essential in love, but the interior face of that form. Having said that, the external form is highly relevant. We just cannot be dogmatic and try and make – in a fundamentalist way- one core external form, fit all people.
Let me state formally that if in the future I enter into a monogamous commitment, then I will honor it and live in it to the fullest. If that is the right path for me then I will enter into it with full delight and even ecstasy. If I do not enter into that path, and choose to love from a different place, then I will enter into that path with full delight and even ecstasy. If that is the case, then it is not impossible that I may date women who are in my circle. If that feels uncomfortable to someone in principle, than it might not be wise to join my circle of teaching.
This has been my core position to date, a position of which I am considering a revision. I am in deep heart inquiry around this. The reason is as follows. My calling and commitment on this planet, held with utter delight and passion, is to help birth a World Spirituality based on Integral Principles with Unique Self Enlightenment and Evolutionary Love as its core first principles. To do that I want to help build a tent with many rooms for as many people as possible. Perhaps that means that I need to sacrifice something in terms of my own lifestyle and teaching on this issue. Perhaps leadership in this case means that – at least for me in my personal practice – I make an absolute commitment not to date anyone in my circle -simply because the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue gets in the way of the larger vision of World Spirituality and Unique Self Enlightenment. There are a group of people that I want to feel at home in our tent for whom this would be helpful. That is one path. There is another group of people that feel that I should explicitly and overtly embrace a post conventional stance in regard to sexuality and love and live it fully and transparently, and that this is what the dharma and karma demand of me.
The inner truth is that both these voices live within me.
I am profoundly traditional in many ways. Classical and conventional monogamy and relationship have great value and speak deeply to me both in terms of my values, teachings and personal preference.
I am also profoundly post conventional in the way I love. I love many people deeply and can with delight engage more then one person in deep love, mutuality and eros.
The reason I have always held my relationships privately is that this is not the issue that I ever wanted to stake my teaching or my life upon. I live in both voices and both positions. The way I have historically resolved the inner dialectic between these voices is to focus my public teaching on Unique Self Enlightenment, World Spirituality, Stations of Love and even Eros. And to hold my personal life in its post conventional dimensions, privately.
To put it mildly – this strategy has not worked. Almost all of my public projects as a Rabbi and later as a Spiritual Teacher of World Spirituality have been met with profound success. At the same time the holding of privacy in my personal relationships has clearly not worked for the reasons I described.
Whatever choices I make in how I conduct my personal relationships, I am committed to doing it with the highest degree of transparency possible, and also to being transparent about my degree of transparency.

Update to this blog essay.

After considering the various sides of this issue I have come to some conclusions in terms of my personal course of action in the context of Center for World Spirituality.
First, I remain convinced that a fully ethical and beautiful amorous relationship can develop between a teacher and student. This is particularly the case when the teacher is not in a guru role but instead has intentionally set up a kind of appropriate dual relationship of mutuality and empowerment with the student. Many leaders in the Integral scene as well as other spiritual teachers and writers share this position. Many of course do not.
I have larger concerns than simply teaching my circle of students. I seek to foster and articulate a World Spirituality, and I have concluded -after much deep internal reflection and conversation with colleagues and partners, that I must sacrifice my own sense of privacy and personal relationships with students in favor of a more statesman like position. As we attempt to create a World Spirituality tent in which many people from different perspectives and levels of consciousness feel comfortable, it feels important that as a leader in this movement, I shift my position for the sake of the larger whole. The articulation of a World Spirituality based on Integral principles is far too important a goal to stake it on this issue. For this reason I have decided that going forward I will proscribe from myself dating someone is who is in a formal teacher-student relationship. This will be the formal policy of the Center for World Spirituality.
In such a context I will consider the possibility of ending the teacher or work relationship if such a dynamic emerges in which dating seems appropriate. I will also not proscribe the possibility of doing authentic tantric work within the context of that relationship if the person is a powerful and grounded adult person. While I may never enact this exception, in principle I am not willing to rule out this possibility in an absolute manner.
I will do so, however, only with a number of provisos designed in order to insure that we do not experience the kind of negativity around these issues that has arisen in the past. These are as follows. I will hold no relationship purely privately. Any relationship I have will be with the knowledge and blessings of my own circle of intimacy including my partner and close personal intimates. Second the nature of the relationship will be written up in a sacred covenant between myself and the person. Third, a designated board member and highly respected therapist have agreed to hold the container with me in discerning whether such a relationship is wise. This is in order to create a second set of perspectives to insure the full integrity and dignity of all involved. The person engaged in such a sacred relationship will have full access to these persons so that they have a place to discuss the relationship and do not feel like they are carrying a burden of privacy which is difficult to bear. If a person engaged in such a sacred relationship asks me to hold it privately, then outside of this close inner circle I will honor that request fully.
I also want to emphasize that this is not a World Spirituality position. World Spirituality is not a set of rules or dogmas. It has many participants which embrace a wide spectrum of positions. I am not willing to stake world spirituality on the principle of “dating students”. I am also not willing to endorse a position which creates a dogmatic rule that never allows such relationships. Life is far more complex and nuanced than that. I am not defending or opposing this possibility and World Spirituality has no position on the matter. I personally will live my life in a way that has full integrity, with my teaching, with my partner and intimates and with the degree of appropriate transparency necessary in my inner circle that will give everyone a sense of the responsible love and safety required to protect the integrity of all involved including the teachings themselves.
Life is about turning suffering into art, pain into new potential, disaster into dharma and fate into destiny.
In that vein I am also committed to writing at least two core books about Eros and Sexuality. In these books I will share what are -at least in my own understandings, beautiful and critically important breakthroughs in living and understanding and evolving the nature of eros, sexuality and love. That project is already under way.
All the above was written to provide an all-quadrant context for the main point of this blog post.

What is My Response and Responsibility?

When there is a crisis or difficulty in anyone’s life, there are always factors involved in all four quadrants. However, after explicating these factors and recognizing the full extent to which distortions occurred, the questions that still remain for any individual must be, “Is there a way that I contributed to this?” “Is there a way that I was not sufficiently developed or aware?” “Is there something that is in my purview to evolve, something that may have contributed to the conditions that created the difficulty?”
No matter how others may have behaved””and even when one’s own actions have been distorted or even lied about””the fact remains that our power and capacity to transform any scenario for the good lies in the way we respond. I have often said to myself and students that even if one has only X% responsibility in a situation, (or contribution system, as I have called it), one must take 100% responsibility for that X%.
However, in answering these questions, we have to be extremely diligent and careful. In today’s climate of “new age” spiritual-growth thinking, there is a certain seductive hubris which urges us to take responsibility for factors and circumstances that are clearly beyond our control and purview. One must exercise discernment and care in taking on only appropriate responsibility–no more and no less than is accurate. It is an abuse of one’s own personhood to take on too much responsibility. For the false characterizations and egregious claims that have been reported, I take absolutely no responsibility. I had full right to date the people I dated and to hold the relationships privately, and I stand by this right and the essential ethics behind my actions, even though I would not do it this way again.
At the same time, I have felt an obligation to ask how my own internal “stuff” might have contributed to the outcome.
I am engaged in a process of on-going self-inquiry and inner work. I believe that this is the invitation and obligation in any pivotal moment of a person’s life. It is a special necessity for a spiritual teacher who invites people to their own highest evolution. To this end, a major part of my internal response to this blogosphere explosion has been to seek feedback from colleagues and spiritual friends who I invite to challenge me and engage me in the process of inner work.
I will continue to do this inner work, I would imagine, indefinitely. The unfolding of a World Spirituality based on Integral Principles is a serious responsibility. If there is anything in my consciousness which needs to evolve in order to better serve the evolution of this dharma as well as the people I care about in my personal life, then it is my privilege and obligation to engage my own evolution with every possible tool of human development. To challenge myself, to deconstruct old patterns, to go deeper than what seemed possible yesterday, and to hopefully model for my circle a path of growth and evolution along all lines of development–this is the core path of response I have chosen.
In my source lineage, Kabbalah and Hassidism, one of the great masters of Chabad chassidism, known as the Rebbe Rashab, went at a particular point to work with Freud about issues in his own development. His disciples hid the record of this encounter thinking that somehow it tainted his spiritual attainment. Recently a gifted Habad adherent who is also a world renowned psychoanalyst, Joseph Berke, came across the records and published an important article about the encounter between spirituality and psychology at their best. In this tradition I have engaged a professional mentor.
After reviewing the reasons why I was correct in what went down, I then asked him the following question. What, if anything am I missing that perhaps you can see clearly with your tools that I cannot see with mine? To do so is my core obligation and honor. It is both my obligation and privilege to explore this path as part of my response. An obligation to myself, to my source lineage of kabbalah, to the future emergent lineage of an evolutionary world spirituality based on Integral principles and to all of my students and supporters of the vision.
To know more deeply every day the faces of interior and exterior reality and live more fully as love, that is evolving both outside and inside: this is my delight and my commitment.
Marc Gafni
Center for World Spirituality

A Brief Note of Closure in Regard to the Blogosphere Explosion in Sept 20112022-05-17T07:50:42-07:00
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