ErosValue: Early Thoughts – Dr. Marc Gafni

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The core Value of Cosmos is Eros. Indeed, the words cannot be fruitfully split.

Eros IS ethos.[1] Or said slightly differently, Eros is Value exponentialized as the Infinite Value, which suffuses Reality. Nothing exists outside of the circle of Eros as Value and Value as Eros. Eros IS ethos, and ethos, or Value, is the Ought implicit in Reality, which suffuses all of Cosmos. This is what we refer to in CosmoErotic Humanism as ErosValue.

Eros is life.

Eros generates new life.

Eros is a First Principle and First Value of Reality itself.

Eros is Value.

And Value is Eros.

Indeed, it is for that reason that we coined a new term in CosmoErotic Humanism:


ErosValue generates the Value of Life.

In its creative movement, ErosValue generates ever-greater life through ever-deeper contact. It is the movement of Cosmos that brings together separate parts into larger wholes. The greater wholes have ever-more value. At every greater level of value, the emergent whole has greater depth, consciousness, and capacity.

A subatomic particle has a certain level of depth, consciousness, and capacity—all expressions of Value.

An atom—which contains, within it, subatomic particles that have come together to form a larger whole—has more depth, more consciousness, and more value.

The notion that there is already proto consciousness at the level of atoms is found across the interior sciences and is now appearing in multiple forms across the leading edges of the exterior sciences. The premise, which explains empirical reality far better than the other stunted hypothesis, is what we call pan-interiority. Reality is neither material nor spirit [value]. Rather, Reality is interiors and exteriors all the way up and all the way down the evolutionary chain. Alfred North Whitehead, who wrote Principia Mathematica with Bertrand Russel, called this proto interiority at the atomic level prehension.

Atoms come together to form larger wholes, molecules, which have more depth, capacity, and consciousness—more value.

Molecules form a larger whole, macromolecules, which have more depth, capacity, and consciousness—more value.

Macromolecules come together, intensifying their intimacy, aggregating, alluring separate parts into a larger whole with greater depth, capacity, and consciousness—more value—emerging as cells.

Matter has become life. The physiosphere has morphed into the biosphere. This is the inherent process of Eros—animating the processes of classical science and mathematics, as well as the interior sciences—which drives life all the way up the evolutionary chain. At ever-higher levels of emergence, there is more depth, capacity, consciousness, and hence more value. But while there are self-evident gradients of values, all of Reality has inherent Value. Value lives all the way up and all the way down the evolutionary chain. Eros is value generating ever-more value.

Ethos and Eros Are One: Eros Is ErosValue

Not only, however, is Eros virtually identical with ethos. Ethos is identical with Eros. In other words, there is a feeling to the ethos-suffused movement towards wholeness. That feeling is Eros. The Universe feels, and the Universe feels Eros. For the feeling of ethos is Eros. (more…)

ErosValue: Early Thoughts – Dr. Marc Gafni2024-04-09T06:55:22-07:00

A New Story of Value in Response to the Meta-Crisis

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Excerpt from the Pre-Version of the Book

The Rise of Evolutionary Relationships

The Evolution of Relationships

In Response to the Meta-Crisis

By Dr. Marc Gafni


Barbara Marx Hubbard

Decades of research and study have led us to the conclusion, as we will briefly unpack below, that only a New Story of Value can avert unimaginable suffering or worse and change the vector of history towards ever-deepening expressions of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. As perceptive historians point out, history changes when a compelling New Story [hi-story] emerges that changes the vector of cultural evolution.

Indeed, it is only a New Story that has the capacity to change the course of history. Technology matters. But the story we tell about technology matters as well. Exponential technology matters. But the story we tell about exponential technology matters exponentially more.

Without such a new, shared, evolving Story of Value, our capacity to escape unbearable suffering and, based on hardheaded analysis, even extinction seems, from a human perspective, unlikely. The results of not being able to articulate a New Story of Value are excruciating, both in the level of suffering for billions of human beings, as well as the entire life system—and, more than even all that, for the trillions of lives that will remain unborn.

All of the past depends on us to fulfill its dreams.

All of the present depends on us to live.

All of the future depends on us to be born. 

This essay is also part of a whole volume, The Rise of Evolutionary Relationships: The Evolution of Relationships in Response to the Meta-Crisis. The purpose of that volume and its companion volume The Future of Relationships: On the Evolution of Love is to provide a first articulation of this New Story of Value in the domain of relationship, which, as we will see below, is the core structure of Reality itself.

The Ontology of Story: Story Is the Structure of the Real

Postmodernity argues that Reality is merely a story, that no story is better or worse than any other story, and that stories are but social constructs, fictions, or figments of our imagination.[1]

But of course, postmodernity is not only deconstructing the ontology, or Reality, of Story, but also the ontology, or Real Nature of Value.[2]

These deconstructions of Story and Value are true but partial. It is true that there is a plentitude of stories we tell about Reality, and that Story is the underling unit that constitutes Reality. But it is not true that Story is mere fiction. There is a plentitude of stories, not because there is no Real Value or Meaning, but rather because there is a plentitude of Value and Meaning.

Story is the structure of the Real. This is what we have referred to, in other contexts, as the Ontology of Story. Story itself is the source code, not only of culture and consciousness, but of all of Reality all the way down and all the way up the evolutionary chain.[3] It is for that reason that to evolve the Story is to evolve the source code.

Emergent from the recognition of the Ontology of Story is the recognition that we live in inescapable narrative frameworks—Stories of Value—which define the nature and quality of both our personal and collective human lives.

Stories are not merely randomly contrived conjectures. Rather, stories are attempts to gather information, interior and exterior information about the nature of Reality, and translate it into a coherent Story of Value.

Not all stories are equal. There is a hierarchy of stories. In other words, there are better and worse stories.

A better story takes deeper account of more meaning or information, exterior and interior, and weaves that meaning and information together in the most elegant, good, true, and beautiful fashion.

A better story is aligned with more and wider Fields of Value, even as it integrates more contradictions into greater wholes.

A better story weaves a narrative thread that articulates the most coherent and compelling framework that embraces, honors, and uplifts the most-possible people.

A better story must be not only an eternal story—aligned with eternal structures of value—but also an evolving story, aligned with the evolution of value—the evolution of love—the evolution of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

A better story is an eternal and evolving story.

We cannot trust stories that claim to be only eternal stories, or that claim to be ever-evolving stories with no ground in Eternity—in the Real, which is not dependent on the changing mores of time. The more deeply we investigate Cosmos, both in its exterior and interior faces, deploying the interior and exterior sciences, the more accurate—and the better, truer, and more beautiful—story we can tell.[4]

A story with flawed, incomplete, or distorted plotlines can bring us—and indeed has brought us—to the brink of existential risk, the potential end of humanity as we know it. To respond to this meta-crisis, we need to evolve the story, which is to evolve the source code of culture itself.

What Is the Meta-Crisis?

A simple image:

Let’s turn to a cultural artifact, the Death Star in that cinematic classic of the late twentieth, early twenty-first, century—Star Wars.

The Death Star is a battleship armed so intensely that it poses an existential risk—that means that it has the destructive capacity not just to attack and damage but to destroy a planet. (more…)

A New Story of Value in Response to the Meta-Crisis2023-12-26T09:17:44-08:00

Love or Die: White Paper by Dr. Marc Gafni

Download the PDF of this White Paper


Eros is life. The failure of Eros destroys life. Our lack of Eros is poised to destroy the world. We call this existential risk, or the second shock of existence.

The first shock of existence is the realization — at the dawn of human existence — that the skull grins at the banquet. Life, before it continues, is first confronted by death. The first shock of existence is the death of the individual human being.

The second shock of existence is the death of humanity, or in a second form, the death of our humanity.

All civilizations have fallen because the stories that they lived in were, in some sense, stories based on rivalrous conflict governed by win/lose metrics. Every civilization was weakened by interior polarization caused by the lack of a shared story of value.

We now have a global civilization, but we haven’t created a shared story of value. We haven’t solved the generator functions that caused all civilizations to fall. Our global civilization has exponential technologies and extraction models depleting the earth of resources that it took billions of years to create, which is going to lead to a civilizational collapse.

Existential risk: risk to our very existence.

The choice is clear: love or die.


Love or Die: White Paper by Dr. Marc Gafni2023-12-06T05:10:39-08:00

Love and Teaching, NonDual Humanism and the Democratization of Enlightenment (A Book Excerpt from Radical Kabbalah by Dr. Marc Gafni)

Introduction to the book Radical Kabbalah by Dr. Marc Gafni

Mordechai Lainer of Izbica is my chosen lineage master. My prayer is that I have honored him with a correct and proper understanding of his trans-mission and teaching. I believe that I have. Though this personal introduc-tion is not meant to fully outline his teachings, a few remarks may orient the general reader and guide the initiate.

An Esoteric Transmission

First of all, this book is both an academic study and a transmission of an esoteric doctrine. Part of the disguise of this work is its presentation as a piece of academic scholarship.

Of course, on one level it is precisely that, for which I have to thank Professor Moshe Idel. At some point in 2001 or so, Professor Idel told me off-handedly that I needed to do an academic doctorate at a good univer-sity in order to insure that my non-academic writing and teaching be taken seriously. He very kindly accepted my request that he act as my co-advisor at Oxford University. I am in his debt for his gracious, insightful and often penetratingly brilliant remarks, which guided the unfolding of this work in an academic context.

Having said that, the academic framework is just that, a framework—and something of a fig leaf—for the deeper teaching of Lainer, which I have humbly and perhaps audaciously tried to unfold in this volume.

When I was thirty-one, living in Israel near Tel Aviv, Prof. Moshe Halamish suggested that I study and write about this great master. I had barely heard of Mordechai Joseph Lainer, and was wholly unfamiliar with his writings collected in two volumes under the title Mei Hashiloah (MH). Halamish’s prompt was the beginning of my relationship with Lainer, which deepened and shifted again many times over the years. At the time, thanks to Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, who was deeply connected to Lainer’s teaching, the Torah of Izbica was just beginning to gain currency in cer-tain neo-Hasidic circles in Israel and the United States. At some point,

I realized that I felt a soul root connection with his teaching, and began to teach his Torah to my own circles of students.

This period of teaching Mei Hashiloah lasted about ten years. Some five years into this teaching period, I spent one year of 16 hour days in the li-brary at Oxford in an intense, in-depth encounter with Mordechai Lainer.

In approaching the master and his text during that year, I followed the three-stage path of textual reading taught by the Baal Shem Tov. First, in a state of what the Baal Shem calls hahna‘ah, reverential submission to what one is learning, I read every passage again and again, praying that I might realize Lainer’s deeper intention and receive his transmission. Second, I moved from submission to what the Baal Shem calls havdalah, separation. In this stage of havdalah, I deployed a method of analysis which involved two basic steps. As I read, I made a list of key topics, words and texts in Lainer. I subsequently gathered every reference to that text, theme or image, searching for the underlying pattern. At the same time I learned, together with my friend Avraham Leader, many of the original Zoharic sources that would have influenced Mei Hashiloah, to get a sense of how he was reading the tradition, what he changed in his interpretation, and why.

Eventually, stage two yielded to stage three, which the Baal Shem Tov calls hamtakah, sweetening. Hamtakah involves an erotic ‘nondual’ merger with the text, which occurs when the reader and that which is read become one. It is at this stage that the deeper intention of the Lainer’s Torah became startlingly lucid, delightful, and beautiful, and the entire teaching opened up with radical clarity and joy.

As I continued my teaching in the world, I sought, as every authentic student does, to both teach and evolve this Torah. One expression of this process was the book Soul Prints (Simon and Schuster 2001) and the Soul Prints Workshop, (Sounds True 2004) which I published dur-ing the years 2001–2003. Another is the book you have before you. This academic work of mystical hermeneutics is complimented by the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice 6:1 (Suny Press 2011) and Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment, (Integral Publishing 2012).

Read More & Download the PDF Version of this Introduction
Love and Teaching, NonDual Humanism and the Democratization of Enlightenment (A Book Excerpt from Radical Kabbalah by Dr. Marc Gafni)2023-06-17T14:36:46-07:00

Dr. Zachary Stein’s White Paper: Love in a Time Between Worlds

On the Metamodern “Return” to a Metaphysics of Eros

What is the world?
What is my mind?
Can I really know love?
Can I really know what is out there, what reality actually is?
How do we move humanity forward at this time of great existential crisis?

These are questions Zachary Stein asks in his paper Love in a Time Between Worlds: On the Metamodern “Return” to a Metaphysics of Eros as he turns the reader’s attention towards a metamodern metaphysics, or a new way at looking at reality.

Metamodern being the era of time we are now in where we are aware of the scope of the crises we face together and we are aware of the lack of a powerful cultural narrative.

“The term metamodern is used simply to describe the structure of what is emerging “after postmodernism;” it points out the new personalities, cultures, and theories that are able to critique and integrate the insights of both the modern and the postmodern.”

Metaphysics being the stories we tell about ourselves and about the universe.

“Believe it or not, there are metaphysical systems that survived postmodernism and popped out of the far end of the 1990’s with “truth” and “reality” still intact. These include object-oriented ontology and dialectical critical realism, among others. Metaphysics can be practiced after Kant and Darwin only by theorizing beyond what is thought of as acceptable in postmodernism and late-stage capitalism, as I discuss in the first section below.”

CosmoErotic Humanism, as is expertly detailed in A Return to Eros, by Kristina Kincaid and Marc Gafni, is a species of metamodern metaphysics, or, simply put, we need to embrace telling the most ultimate stories about ourselves, and about the universe. If we don’t do that, we will stay stuck in hyperobject problems, problems that are huge objects, extended over mass space and time, and effecting us all the time, like global climate change, racism and ineffectual politics.

From respecting science as an indispensable form of knowing, to seeing that science is always contextual and truth always tentative; that reality always holds deeper truths, to a systems view of life, to panpsychism, that consciousness is everywhere in the universe and “as real” as matter and space, Stein opens the door for us to personally more deeply enter into these big questions in our own lives and communities.

Kristina Amelong

Read the Paper HERE
Dr. Zachary Stein’s White Paper: Love in a Time Between Worlds2023-06-17T15:01:24-07:00

Essay by Dr. Marc Gafni: Homo Imaginus and the Erotics of Imagination

by Dr. Marc Gafni.

The Shechinah is the feminine Divine. Her name means Indwelling Presence, “the one who dwells in you.” She is presence, poetry, passion. She is the sustaining God force which runs through and wombs the world. She is the underlying erotic, sensual, and loving force that knows our name and nurtures all being.

Shechinah captures an experience, a way of being in the world, for which we do not yet have an English word. For this is a way of being which we in the West are hard pressed to articulate. It is the experience of waking up in the morning full of utter joy for the arrival of the day. It is weeping over the splendor of the sunset or the scent of the ocean or the fragility of a newborn. It is a way of living in love.

Read the Paper here
Essay by Dr. Marc Gafni: Homo Imaginus and the Erotics of Imagination2023-06-17T15:02:33-07:00

From Pre-Tragic to Tragic to Post-Tragic Consciousness – by Dr. Marc Gafni

by Dr. Marc Gafni

Towards a Post-Tragic Politics of Eros

There are three primary levels of consciousness through whose prism we experience our lives.

We will call these three levels the pre-tragic, tragic, and post-tragic.

Download the PDF Version of the Paper HERE
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From Pre-Tragic to Tragic to Post-Tragic Consciousness – by Dr. Marc Gafni2023-06-17T15:03:13-07:00

The Murder of Eros: Excerpt from A Return to Eros

An Excerpt from A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni

It is the collapse of Eros that leads to what we have called the murder of Eros. Wilhelm Reich called this “the murder of Christ.” By “Christ” he meant Eros or life force. This is one of the most common but hidden dimensions of human existence. To live an erotic life, we must guard against the murder of Eros. This is a fundamentally denied yet ever-present human impulse. Human beings may be ready to confess many sins, but all feign innocence when accused of the murder of Eros. And yet this primal impulse is as old as civilization itself. Despite our genuine moral evolution in many regards, this fundamental human compulsion has changed little. What has changed, however, is that because the murder of Eros is no longer socially acceptable, the impulse is carefully disguised.

>>> Read the paper HERE <<<

The Murder of Eros: Excerpt from A Return to Eros2023-06-17T15:06:35-07:00

Drs. Marc Gafni & Kristina Kincaid: Excerpts from A Return to Eros

The Four Sexual Narratives of Culture and Why They Don’t Work: Towards a New Sexual Narrative (Drs. Marc Gafni & Kristina Kincaid)

This work was written by Drs. Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid and is one of the core source texts for the new meta-theory of the Center which we call Cosmo-Erotic Humanism. It has been widely recognized as a seminal work.

A Return to Eros – Chapter 1-2 of the Book

The CosmoErotic Universe (Drs. Marc Gafni & Kristina Kincaid)

“A Return to Eros is a tour de force of the kind that comes along once in a generation. The way this volume brings Eros to consciousness as the fundamental force, direction, and “purpose” of reality on all levels and all quadrants, really is the discovery that now underlies, directs, and “explains” the sacred purpose of cosmogenesis, the birth narrative of the New Human. It’s the second coming of humanity for the first time in history incarnate as a fully embodied sacred sexual being. It’s the early stages of the next evolutionary unfolding. A Return to Eros forms the basis of evolutionary spirituality. It captures the glory of its conscious experience from the inside out in the sexuality and Eros of the evolutionary unique self.”

– Barbara Marx Hubbard

Read the White Paper HERE

The Murder of Eros (Drs. Marc Gafni & Kristina Kincaid)

It is the collapse of Eros that leads to what we have called the murder of Eros. Wilhelm Reich called this “the murder of Christ.” By “Christ” he meant Eros or life force. This is one of the most common but hidden dimensions of human existence. To live an erotic life, we must guard against the murder of Eros. This is a fundamentally denied yet ever-present human impulse. Human beings may be ready to confess many sins, but all feign innocence when accused of the murder of Eros. And yet this primal impulse is as old as civilization itself. Despite our genuine moral evolution in many regards, this fundamental human compulsion has changed little. What has changed, however, is that because the murder of Eros is no longer socially acceptable, the impulse is carefully disguised.

Read the White Paper HERE

On the Pain of Eros (Drs. Marc Gafni & Kristina Kincaid)

The sexual models the erotic is true for both the pleasure of Eros and its pain. We have talked much about how sex models Eros in all of her faces, including pleasure. Now we turn to the pain of Eros. Here, too, the sexual models the erotic.

Sexuality leaves so many mortally wounded in her wake. There is so much pain from what is supposed to be the source of so much pleasure. We are confused about sexuality. And that confusion is the source of much of our distress, as Persian poet Hafiz attests below in his poem “A Barroom View of Love.”

Read the White Paper HERE

Get A Return to Eros

A Return to Eros
Buy A Return to Eros on Amazon

None of the four old philosophies about sex are sufficient to inspire us or even hold us in our sexuality. Sex is not merely negative or positive. Sex is not just neutral, nor is it merely sacred because it creates babies.

Erotic Mystics from the hidden tradition of Solomon’s temple taught a secret doctrine. Sex is the source of all wisdom. Sex is an expression of the erotic impulse of existence itself alive in us-the yearning for contact, pleasure, and aliveness. The Sexual however is not the sum total of the erotic. Rather, the sexual models the Erotic. The sexual teaches us how to live an Erotic life in all dimension of our existence.

It is these secret doctrines that were later taught by Mary Magdalene and that sparked excitement around bestselling novels such as The Da Vinci Code.

Deep understanding of the sexual becomes the portal to accessing aliveness in every dimension of our reality. This realization demands that you live sexually without shame and shows you how to re-eroticize all areas of your life.

A Return to Eros: On Sex, Love, and Eroticism in Every Dimension of Life, from Drs. Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid, reveals the radical secret tenets of relationship between the sexual, the erotic, and the holy. They reveal what Eros actually means and share the ten core qualities of the Erotic, which are modeled by the sexual. These include being on the inside, fullness of presence, yearning, allurement, fantasy, surrender, creativity, pleasure, and more.

A Return to Eros shows why these qualities of the erotic modeled by the sexual are actually the same core qualities of the sacred. The relationship between the sexual and the erotic becomes clear, teaching you how to live an erotically suffused existence charged with purpose, potency and power.

To be an Outrageous Lover–not just in sex but also in all facets of your life–you must listen deeply to the simple yet elegant whisperings of the sexual. This book will forever transform your understanding and experience of love, sex, and Eros.

Drs. Marc Gafni & Kristina Kincaid: Excerpts from A Return to Eros2023-06-19T07:47:31-07:00

Bypassing the Energy of F..k Creates Abuse – Dr. Marc Gafni

Download a PDF of this Early Draft Essay

This early draft of an essay was written in 2014 by Dr. Marc Gafni.

It will later become part of The Phenomenology of Eros by Drs. Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid.

Watch a 1-Minute Teaching:

Listen to Dr. Marc Gafni Reading a Version of This Essay at the 2016 Shalom Mountain Wisdom School on Outrageous Love:

Scroll Down for a Longer Video Teaching on the Divinity of F..k from Our 2014 Online Course on God Is Eros!


A Word on the Word “Fuck”

The degree and kind of a man’s sexuality reaches up into the topmost summit of his spirit.


Language, taught the Cherub Mystics,[1] is the building block of Reality. The word “fuck” says something that no other word is able to express. When you stop to consider, you begin to realize that fuck is one of the most fantastic words in the English language. And it says something very deep about Reality.

In some sense fuck is very much like the word God. Both words are considered unspeakable, other than in the right context. Speaking God’s Name is a sin for many religions because it holds an intensity of meaning that is beyond the ordinary. Moreover, we are not quite sure what the word “God” means. The mystery of meaning around God’s Name is part of its evocative power. And finally, the word God means different things to many different people in many different contexts. It is even strangely used as a curse word, as in “Goddammit!” What God means to you directly depends on your level of consciousness. Indeed, the God you do not believe in does not exist.

You begin to see that there is some similarity between God and fuck. Fuck, like God, is not to be spoken in ordinary circumstances. Pronouncing the word is not allowed in many contexts. Moreover, there is great confusion around the meaning of the word. Like God, it means many different things to many different people in many different contexts. The range of possible meaning is part of its evocative power. Fuck, like God, is often used as part of a curse. And like God, there is no easy stand in for the word.

The Multiple Meanings of Fuck

“Fuck” is an incredibly painful, beautiful, and magical word. Fuck is irreducible and not easily moved aside by imitators. It evokes pleasure and pain, as well as hate and love. So just to lovingly “fuck with you” a little bit, let’s look at some of the meanings of the word fuck. In broad brushstrokes, we might say that there are at least three general senses of the word.

  1. Fuck as an intensifier or exclamation of aliveness.
    Examples: “Fucking Gorgeous” or “Holy Fuck!” Or when used alone, as in “Fuck!!!!!!” it captures the pure intensity of experience.
  2. Fuck as playing with or pushing boundaries (of reality or relationships) or the order of things, moving towards or away from connection.
    Examples: “Fuck off!” (moving away from connection, pushing boundaries), “I want to fuck you,” (moving towards, breaking through emotional boundaries), “You are fucking with me” (playing with boundaries).[2]
  3. Fuck as being in the unknown/unknowable, or a statement of uncertainty.
    Example: “what the fuck?”

In this opening section, we are going to “fuck around” a bit, in no particular order, with all three of these meta meanings of fuck, and in doing so unpack something of why the word fuck is so “fucking” important.

The first sense of fuck—as an intensifier—might express radical amazement. “That was fucking awesome!” In this sense, fuck is used to connote the intensification of experience. As noted above, it is “Holy Fuck,” or just simply, “Fuuuuuuck!!” that most succinctly capture this sense of the word. This sense of fuck can express intimacy, wonder, and allurement.

You might also say, on the negative side of things, “I’m fucked,” “She fucking sucks,” or “He is a fucking asshole.” A “fucking asshole” is a more intense form than just an ordinary “asshole.” Or, in the more positive sense, “He is a fucking saint.” Again, “a fucking saint” is significantly more saintly than a regular, run-of-the-mill saint. But in both cases, fuck is an intensifier, evoking a heightened experience or expression of reality.

Another expression of fuck is as a particularly potent way of saying “hello.” “Hello,” in its ideal form, creates connection between conscious beings. In many languages, the word “hello” is also the name of God. For example, “Shalom” in Hebrew means both hello and God’s name. Famously, the Sanskrit form of hello—Namaste—means “I bow to the God in you.” It is in this context that we understand the intensified contact made through a fuck-based greeting like “How the fuck are you?” or “It is so fucking good to see you!” This last example already points us towards the second sense of fuck.

This second sense of fuck is about moving towards, making contact, being open, alive, and awake—“Let’s fucking do this.” This second sense of fuck also expresses the playing with, breaking open, or re-ordering of the ordinary boundaries of reality. For example, to “fuck with you,” means to confuse your sense of order, to throw you off balance. This usage can have a playful sense or a more sinister sense. It might show up as, “I was just fucking with you,” as in “I was just playing with you.” Or it might be deployed as “I am going to fuck with you,” as in “I am going to penetrate the apparently well-defended boundaries of your world and turn everything inside out.” “I am gonna fuck you up” generally expresses the more aggressive quality of fuck. In both senses, fuck is a verb. This sense of fuck implies an intensity of action, which intrudes on the ordinary sense of reality and boundaries in an either playful or violent manner. A sophisticated use of this sense of fuck, “let’s fuck it open,” almost ecstatically points towards the playing with or breaking open of boundaries. But this pointing towards a broken-open or broken-down reality might also be an adjective, as in, “this is so fucked.” The second sense of fuck as rupturing from, either by stepping away or moving towards, often confrontationally, often expresses itself through rage, aggression and alienation.

The third sense of fuck is the ultimate question, as in, “How the fuck?” In this sense, fuck expresses inherent unknowing in Reality. This could be said with a positive sense of wonder and awe or with a desperate quality of confusion and terror. Fuck holds both. In this sense, “What the fuck?” is similar to the phrase “God knows,” as in “God knows, but we certainly do not.[3] Notice again that fuck and God live in an overlapping field of meaning.

Fuck might also indicate a very sharp expression of questioning, as in “What the fuck is going on here?” Or it might express a sense of mystery, as with the phrase, “Fuck if I know.”

Are you getting a sense of the magic of the word “fuck”? We are having a “fucking great time” writing this section of the book!

Continuing on, fuck can also express an almost religious sense of awe or amazement in the face of surprising and mysterious revelation. This might show up in the classic phrase “Holy Fuck!” Or, in case you wanted to underscore the point, you could double on the word fuck, as in “Holy fuck, that is fucking awesome!!”

All of these express different dimensions of both radical aliveness and encounters with mysterious sources, both of which are fundamental to the experience of Eros.

On the other side of the street, there are a host of meanings of fuck that express the sense of things gone wrong. Fuck in this sense expresses disconnection, alienation, and even degradation. Failing in a relationship might be expressed as “I fucked up my marriage.” Being taken advantage of might be “I got fucked over,” or “I got totally fucked by the company.” This indicates a sense of having been exploited or objectified—fuck expressing disconnection. Fuck might indicate a sense of unrelenting and even brutal demand: “Just fucking do it before I kick you in the fucking balls.” Here again, the quality of this expression depends on context. This might stem from a hidden love, as in the tough coach, or a brutal alienation, as in the corrupt prison guard. Fuck might also indicate a sense of exasperation, as in “Aww fuck,” or a demand that someone sever contact immediately, as in “Get the fuck out of here.” Alternatively, fuck might be an expression of extreme hostility, “I am going to knock your fucking head off,” or apathy, as in “Who gives a fuck?” Fuck might also express a sense of things gone terribly wrong, as in “This is really fucked.”

Another deployment of fuck is used to intensify the sense of disconnection, bringing together the first and second senses of the word: “This mother fucker was so fucking weird that I think he was fucking insane.” You may even say that kind of expression includes the third sense of mystery. But back to the positive side of things for a microsecond, “mother fucker” can also indicate someone who is wildly gifted or competent. On the even more dramatic rupturing side of fuck are the words of a popular tee shirt: “fuck you, you fucking fuck.” The repetitive deployment of fuck indicates an extreme loss of contact—fuck as alienation. The other person is no longer human; they are literally alien to you. The sense of fuck as expressing a breaking of connection appears in many modes. “I don’t give a fuck” indicates I have no empathy or love left for this person or situation. “You stupid fuck” is an extreme form of severing contact from the humanity of another person. “Don’t fuck with me” means do not engage me, as in “stay out of my face or I am going to fuck you up.” “This is really fucked” means this is not how things should be in a good universe operating according to moral principles. “What the fuck are you doing?” reveals a complete lack of alignment with the actions or motives of another.

Fuck and Sex

All of these meanings of fuck, however, need to be understood in light of fuck’s most common meaning, which is of course sex. In the sexual sense, fuck can be an active verb. “Jane is fucking John.” Or it can be a passive verb: “Jane was fucked by John.” It can be a noun, as in “John is a great fuck.”[4] But at the core of things, fuck expresses a dimension of the sexual experience that is not captured by the many meanings of love.

Fuck contains within it an inexorable urgency far bigger than the casual pettiness of personal whim. This is the sense of “Fuck me now,” or as it is often said without the temporal qualifier, “Fuck Me!” Sometimes, the ecstasy of the sexual leaves out even the word “me,” and fuck, by itself, becomes the central mantra of the sexual.

The Gravitas of Fuck Beyond the Sexual: Finding Your Fuck

Now, the conversation takes a somewhat more serious turn. For fuck is serious business indeed.

Fuck speaks to a primal, radical, and irreducible need. Fuck, in all of its expressions, seeks to articulate a dimension of lived Eros, which is both prior to and beyond all language and culture. Fuck cannot be denied. It is a demand which, on the one hand, lives in us and, on the other hand, is sourced in forces much larger than us. Its potency is precisely in its impersonal quality. It is exactly the paradox of that impersonal quality awakening personally in us that is the heart of both fuck’s peril and power.

When we choose fuck, then Fuck becomes conscious of itself in us. This is movement from unconscious fuck to conscious Fuck. It is in that moment that Fuck awakens as the sacred. When we deny fuck, then fuck demands its pound of flesh, virtually always devolving into its more pathological forms. Unpacking the depth of these qualities is the journey of the Phenomenology of Eros.

The sexual usage of fuck is the penultimate expression of the sense of fuck, which is about contact and connection. It is in this precise sense that the sexual models the erotic. Or said differently, the small-lettered fuck of the sexual models the erotic, capital-F Fuck of Reality.

We (the authors) often tell our students, “Find your Fuck” or “Feel your Fuck.” What this means is find and feel your radical aliveness. Find your purpose. Feel the evolutionary impulse throbbing in you. Feel the ecstatic, divine impulse for contact, intimacy, and connection pulsing[5] in you, as you, and through you. To find your Fuck, however, is not to be disconnected from Reality. Rather, to find your Fuck is to let the Fuck of Reality appear uniquely in you and as you.

Reality is allurement. Your identity is the unique constellation and quality of your allurements. Distinguishing between your authentic allurement and your pseudo-allurement, and then enacting your allurement in your life, is the very purpose of your existence. Reality desperately needs your enacted allurement. Reality needs you to Find Your Fuck. Your purpose is your telos. To find your Fuck is to find your telos—your ultimate aim.

To find your Fuck, you must first feel your Fuck. The feel of your Fuck is your Eros. It is in the sexual that you can learn to feel your Fuck. As we are sexually, so we are in the rest of our lives. The secret of the Cherubs whispers—the sexual models the erotic. Sex models Eros.

The sexual is but an expression of the core drive for contact that animates and drives all of Reality. In this very sense, we also speak of the “goodness of Fuck.” By the goodness of Fuck, we mean the radical goodness of the sexual, awake and alive in you, as the model of Fuck in every dimension of life. This is the new sexual narrative that we call Sex Erotic.[6]

Love + Fuck = Eros

Eros is a combination of Love and Fuck. Love and Fuck are not separate; they are different faces of the same experience. If they expressed the same quality of the same experience, however, we would not have two words.

Love and Fuck are not just any two words. They are two of the most popular words in existence (right up there with “God”). We have both words because they are not merely synonyms of each other. They are two aspects of the same experience; they are distinct but inseparable. This leads to the realization that Love + Fuck = Eros.

Eros is the experience of radical aliveness moving towards ever greater contact. Love and Fuck are the two qualities of Eros. Love is tender, passionate, and even fierce. Fuck is the inexorable, urgent desire that ceaselessly drives towards contact. Love is the passionate longing to embrace. Fuck is the unrelenting urge to merge.

When love loses the quality of fuck, then our lives become disconnected from the larger stream of life. Love becomes pallid. We wonder—secretly shamed—why love does not fill us. We suffer from the denial of fuck. The denial of Fuck is not a detail; it is the ultimate denial, and therefore the abuse and suffering it generates is equally large. We know that Fuck cannot exist without love; the denial of love brings monumental suffering. But we have forgotten that love cannot thrive without the feeling of Fuck.[7]

Fuck is the core nature of Reality—all the way up and all the way down the evolutionary ladder. When Fuck awakens in us, it expresses itself as the radical drive for contract and connection. It is not a uniquely human impulse, but rather the impulse of all of Reality becoming conscious of itself in us. When we feel our Fuck, we feel radically alive and at home in the Cosmos. We are filled with an unmistakable Eros and telos (ultimate aim). We begin to live purpose-driven lives, which drip with the nectar of Eros itself. Our lives become telerotic.

Fuck Is Our Birthright

Our bodies and hearts know that Fuck is our birthright. Fuck is not merely an intensifier of the ordinary. Rather, it points to the extraordinary—the true index of our deepest desire.

The failure of Fuck is the loss of aliveness, which Wilhelm Reich correctly diagnosed as the “emotional plague of mankind.”[8] It is not the loss of a particular privilege or experience; it is the deadening of all experience. The disconnection from Fuck is cause for the loss of our unmediated knowing that life is good. When we become alienated from Fuck, we forget our true identity and lose our dignity. We forget that we are good children of a Universe that desires our transformation.

It is in the dignity of Fuck that we recognize the glory of our true situation.

It is in the dignity of Fuck that we are personally addressed by Reality.

It is in the dignity of Fuck that we know that we are needed, desired, and chosen by All-That-Is.

The Exile of Fuck

It is for all of these reasons that the loss of Fuck is more than merely painful. It is intolerable. We cannot stand it. The result is a two-stage process of disintegration.

The first stage is the exile of Fuck. We exile the great Fuck of Reality to the exclusively sexual. The fuck of the sexual attempts to hook us up to aliveness. But when Fuck is limited to the sexual, the hook up does not work. We wind up with some version of four incomplete Sexual Narratives:[9] the narrative that sex is positive, negative, neutral, or sacred (because it makes babies). But in all of these narratives the fuck of sex is disconnected from the larger Fuck of the Cosmos.

The second stage of the downward-spiraling process is the degradation of Fuck. Fuck becomes a curse word. “Go fuck yourself” expresses the desperate pain of a person caught in the illusion of a flatland universe without fuck. Our own exile is reflected in the exile of Fuck into its degraded expression, “fuck.”

Bypassing Fuck Creates Abuse

The loss of the larger sense of Fuck reduces it to the mere fuck of sex. This, by its very nature, creates a rupture of contact and severing of connection that fosters the abuse of sex in all of its forms. Sex is abused when it is cut off from the larger context of Eros in which it lives. When sex is disconnected from the larger Fuck of the Cosmos, it cannot help but collapse in on itself because we are asking far too much from it. Sex then often implodes into every form of addiction and abuse.

It is only when sex becomes a portal to the unique potency that flows through us from Source—what we have called Sex Erotic—that the dignity and delight of Fuck is restored. When sex is cut off from our total being, from our deeper wholeness, and we ask it for favors it cannot grant, then fuck becomes a curse word.

The Liberation of Fuck

We are using the word Fuck with great intention, a dash of delight, and complete awareness and gravitas. We are using the word Fuck because the word itself matters. We are using it not to provoke or be superficially daring in some juvenile attention grab. Rather, we are using the word Fuck because we know that bypassing the energy of Fuck is a disaster. Bypassing the word and energy of Fuck fucks things up in big ways, in pretty much all fronts of life. The energy of Fuck is held in the word Fuck. In the mystical traditions, part of the emergence of new consciousness is when people begin to pronounce the unutterable—the Name of God. We need to restore the dignity of fuck by uttering the word Fuck not in a casual way, but as an iteration of God’s Name.

God Is Fuck

We need to liberate the great Fuck of Reality from the narrow fuck of the merely sexual. Fuck has been exiled into the sexual. But this is only the first exile. In the second exile, fuck has been banished even further. In this second exile, fuck is not identified with all of the sexual, but only with its degraded forms expressed in pornography, rape, violence, and dehumanizing sex. It is only by entering into the full desire of Fuck—and realizing that it is the primal desire of Cosmos for contact and connection awakening in us—that we are able to embrace the fully dignity of Fuck. God is Fuck.

Freud wrongly reduced all Eros to sex. He thought that culture was lower-case fuck in disguise, and that it covered up libido straining for expression. And yet all Fuck yearns for Infinity. This is the new sexual narrative of Sex Erotic, whose earliest seeds come from in between the sexually intertwisted Cherubs in the holy of holies of the Jerusalem Temple.

The Universe feels and the Universe feels Fuck. In that precise sense, Fuck is the Name of God. The greatest human desire is to participate in the Fuck of Reality. But we are afraid of the feeling of Fuck. It makes us feel out of control or vulnerable in a way we would rather deny or repress. But it is only by entering the feeling of Fuck, and tracing it back to its original Divine Source, that we begin to live the erotic life. The feeling of Fuck is the incessant desire of the Universe to contact new forms of itself in order to birth new creations from the joy of that contact.

God Is Love; God Is Fuck

There were legions of well-meaning people, liberal and conservative alike, who all told us not to use the word Fuck/fuck in this book. But they grew ever more insistent and shrill when they heard that one of the core realizations of the erotic life can be summarized in three words: God is Fuck. Never mind that this truth is rooted in the most central teachings of both ancient mysticism and modern science, as we will see. Never mind that it is true, they said. “This is a truth that cannot be spoken.” Even the people who got it said we should not say it. “Don’t say it because it is

too dangerous,

too shocking,

too easy to confuse with vulgarity,

too provocative,

and just too… much.”

There was a great demand to leave this teaching out, or at the very least to “tone it down a notch” by not using the word Fuck/fuck.

Why don’t we just say that “God is Love?” The reason, as we have already pointed out, is that God is Love is only half of the story. First, God is Love, for most people, implies an anthropomorphic god, entirely separate from Cosmos, who loves you much like your grandfather might. Or, in a more mystical reading of God is Love, it speaks of a caring, kind, and compassionate Cosmos.

But the quality of “God is Fuck” is not only soft and gentle; it is not all sweetness and light. This Love that drives the Cosmos is outrageous and fierce. This love is animated by an inexorable force that lies at the very Heart of the Cosmos. This is not a polite or well-mannered desire.

This force is a raw and primal desire for contact. It is the desire for Fuck. Fuck will not be bypassed and will not be muted. Fuck is a desire, which refuses to be ignored or denied. It is this raw desire for Fuck that animates all of Reality, including you.

At the core of Fuck is the very essence of life and the holy itself. Therefore, we need to liberate Fuck and not bypass it. As is already becoming clear, the liberation of Fuck has absolutely nothing to do with promiscuity, and certainly nothing to do with any form of demeaning objectification or abuse. It’s precisely the opposite, actually.

Meditation on the Name of God: The Name of God Is Fuck

This entire Phenomenology of Eros body of work can correctly be understood as a Meditation on the Name of God.

A central practice of the erotic mystics, recorded in the texts of the interior sciences of virtually all the great traditions, is to meditate on the Name of God. The Sufi Masters meditated on the Ninety-Nine Names of God, the Hebrew Masters on the Seventy-Two Names from the Kabbalah, and Christian practice in Christ does the same.[10]

Let’s turn to the fascinating realization of Fuck that forms the core of the twin forms of gnosis: mysticism and science. Mystics talk about this in their way, and science talks about this in its way.

The ancient Hebrew mystics, for example, say it unabashedly: The Name of God is Fuck. The only way to embody a sex beyond shame is to realize that the Name of God is Fuck.

The classic name of God was spelled Yod He Vav He (YHVH):

The first two letters (moving from the right because Hebrew text reads opposite English texts)—Yod and He—are the masculine and feminine; not man and woman, but masculine and feminine, or what we call lines and circles.[11] These are the two primary forces of Cosmos. The Universe, in every moment, every situation, every person, every entity, every dynamic, is the play between the line qualities of autonomy and independence on the one hand, and the circle qualities of attraction and allurement on the other. Science reminds us that it is the constant dance between attraction and repulsion that shapes the structure of Reality. Reality is the play between the line qualities of thrusting forward and directionality on the one hand, and the circle qualities of including and connection on the other. This is the Fuck of the Cosmos, which is the Name of God.

The Yod enters the He. We call this “constant Fuck,” following the wisdom of Solomon. It is the “sustained” or “perpetual” Fuck that lies at the center of Reality. The force of Fuck is the force of desire itself, built into the source code of Reality. Science says the same thing in its language. Desire, or what the cosmologist Brian Swimme calls “cosmic allurement,” is the essence of Reality itself.

Attraction, or allurement, is built into the very structure of the Universe. For example, the standard model of particle physics explains that electromagnetism causes atoms to form. Atoms are the basis of matter. A molecule is made up of atoms. Stable atoms have an equal number of positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons. This balances the electrical charge of the atom. But if the electrical charge of the atom is neutral, then what makes neutrally charged particles come together? How do the particles stick together? How do these atoms come together to form the molecules that are the building blocks of material reality? The answer is Fuck.

In most of the known elements, e.g., hydrogen (H), lithium (Li), and sodium (Na), the orbital electron shells[12] of the atoms are what science calls incomplete. Simply said, that means that the outermost shell of these incomplete atoms is not fully filled. Incomplete atoms are really hungry for a configuration of intimacy with a completely filled outermost shell. They are relationship hungry. They desire relationships. They are allured to other atoms with likewise incomplete shells. This is Eros. This is Fuck. This attraction, this allurement, is the base for the formation of molecules that make up all matter. This is the sustained Fuck. The Yod that is constantly entering the He.

There is, however, a second form of Fuck, in which human beings play the primary role. The last two letters of the Name of God are the Vav and the He. The Vav only enters the He when human beings arouse the Divine Fuck. You arouse the Divine Fuck when you live the unique quality of your full Eros and aliveness in every dimension of your life.

Recovering Our Memory of Fuck

The Great Fuck of the Cosmos has been forgotten. We forget that we live in a Reality whose core principle is allurement. We have lost our memory. For the Greeks, the loss of knowledge is the source of all evil. For the erotic mystic, it is the loss of memory that is the source of all evil. Our failed memory of Fuck is the source of great pain and confusion. On the one hand, we forget that, in accordance with quantum theory, Reality is coming in and out of existence in every second.[13] Some mystics call the interior of this same phenomenon “constant creation.” Constant creation comes from fierce and Outrageous Love—what the Mystics call Zivug Matmedet, or Constant Fuck—which Fucks Reality into being in every second.

It is not only that we have forgotten. Our denial of Fuck is so desperate and intense that we have forgotten that we have forgotten—what the Greeks called “Léthē.” And yet, in the midst of our amnesia, we yearn to participate in the Fuck of the Cosmos. Anything less will not satisfy us. We yearn for what we have forgotten. The result is, however, that we cannot explain our yearning to ourselves. We no longer understand our innermost drives. We have lost touch with the radical yearning for intense contact that is the axiomatic desire of Reality, alive in us.

We need to remember that if God is Fuck,

then it is no less true that Fuck is God.

Fuck must be engaged with rapture and reverence,

not only when it is sweet and tender,

but even when it is raw or rough.

All fuck is part of Fuck.

The fragrance of Fuck is always a rumor of Divinity.

God is Fuck,

Fuck is God.


[1] The cherubs are two figures that live atop the Ark of the Covenant in Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. According to the sacred text, the voice of God “speaks from between the two cherubs,” (Numbers 7:89). What is not known from the sacred text, other than to initiates in the esoteric tradition, is that these two cherubs are locked in ecstatic sexual embrace. The voice of God speaks from between the sexually entwined cherubs. The “secret of the cherubs” will continue to be a theme throughout this book.

[2] Another way to imagine fuck as breaking boundaries is through the embodiment of destruction or deconstruction, as in “I’m fucked up” (my sense of reality is deconstructing) or “my car is fucked” (my car is in really bad shape).

[3] “What the fuck” indicates disorienting uncertainty which may still be seeking to orient to the situation, while “God knows” has a quality of giving up on ever understanding a situation or dynamic. Both, however, overlap in their quality of disorienting uncertainty.

[4] (Osho, The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, English Discourse Series, Talks given in 1987) Chapter #23: “Knowledge is the corpse of knowing.” Section: “What is the most important word in our language?” There is also a book that published these talks in 1988, with the same titles.

[5] This is how we come to understand the nature of Eros as seeking greater evolutionary wholeness, as we will see. Eros, felt as aliveness, moves toward ever greater contact, intimacy, and connection.

[6] On the new sexual narrative that we call Sex Erotic, see Gafni, Marc and Kincaid, Kristina, A Return to Eros: The Radical Experience of Being Fully Alive, BenBella Books, Inc, 2017. For some excerpts, see here:

[7] We want to remind the reader of the sometimes unconventional deployments of Capitalization, in this case seen most clearly in sometimes capitalizing, and sometimes not, the word f/Fuck). This is an invocation of divine quality into otherwise ordinary words.

[8] See Reich, Wilhelm. The murder of Christ: the emotional plague of mankind. Vol. 1. Macmillan, 1953. See also Reich’s People in Trouble: Volume two of the emotional plague of mankind. Vol. 2. Macmillan, 1976.

[9] On the four sexual narratives, see Gafni, Marc and Kincaid, Kristina, A Return to Eros: The Radical Experience of Being Fully Alive, BenBella Books, Inc, 2017. For some excerpts, see here:

[10] For a contemporary expression of this practice in the Christian tradition, see

[11] On lines and circles, see for example Isaac Luria, Sod Iggulim Ve-yosher. Jerusalem 1964. For a discussion of this Lurianic distinction, see Marc Gafni, The Mystery of Love, Atria, 2003, “Chapter Eight—Circle and Line: The Dance of Male and Female.” For classical Kabbalistic texts expressing the masculine feminine polarity in the Name of God, see, R. Moshe Cordevero’s Pardes Rimonim (Orchard of Pomegranates), R. Yosef Gikatilla’s Sha’are Orah (Gates of Light), See also Sara Schneider’s Kabbalistic Writings on the Nature of the Masculine and Feminine, a carefully annotated translation and rudimentary analysis of a classic set of mystical Hebrew texts related to this trope.

[12] The orbital electron shells are a simplified model pointing towards the erotic dance of the electrons around the atomic nucleus. In that model, developed by Niels Bohr in 1913, an electron exists in the lowest energy shell available, which is the one closest to the nucleus.[For more about the Bohr Model of Electron Shells, see, for example, here:]

[13] The quantum vacuum, for example, tells us that some elementary particles and waves simply leap into existence. A quantum vacuum is the quantum state with the lowest possible energy. According to our present-day understanding, it is however never truly empty but rather contains electromagnetic waves, gravitons, photons, dark energy, and virtual particles that pop in and out of existence. Microwave technology invented for radar in the world-war era was co-opted to great avail in physics experiments interested in measuring particle interactions. The Lamb shift experiment was based on a discrepancy between theory (Dirac equations) and experiment in measuring two energy levels within the hydrogen atom. It was discovered that the cause of the discrepancy was interactions between vacuum energy fluctuations (free electrons) in the Maxwell field and hydrogen electrons bound to the proton as they revolved around the proton.

Download a PDF of this Early Draft Essay

Watch This Teaching on the Divinity of Fuck from Our 2014 Online Course on God Is Eros

Bypassing the Energy of F..k Creates Abuse – Dr. Marc Gafni2024-06-19T10:38:34-07:00

Common Ground: Sex & Spirit: Wisdom of the Spiritually Incorrect

divine-erosBy Marc Gafni

Note: The following article appeared in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Common Ground Magazine.

If you stop to think even for a short moment, you realize that sex really is the great mystery of our lives. Two groups, however, suggest very different approaches to sex, and both of them are wrong.

One powerful group of forces is arrayed in culture to prevent us from getting sex. They tell us that sex is somehow wrong, immoral, or sinful. Even when we think we have gotten free of them, they pop up again inside our hearts or heads, wagging their fingers disapprovingly. And they remind us constantly of all the trouble sex has gotten the world into ”” from the Trojan War to the Clinton/Lewinsky drama. Not to mention the trouble it has gotten you and me into””emotionally, psychologically, personally, professionally, and physically. You have to admit that the sexual conservatives have a point. If you want to keep life simple, clean, and orderly, forgoing or limiting your sexual experience might be an excellent choice. If you like spiritual exercises, take a few minutes to list all the times sex has gotten you into trouble.

Lots of conventional moralists and organized religion fall into this category. Religion wants to affirm love and passion as virtues but to divorce them entirely from sex. So moralist religion works hard to erect boundaries that will protect us from the pitfalls of sex. Yet while we all know that sex requires some discipline, and that context and commitment count, most of us know in our hearts that the moralists are wrong, and that sex is ultimately””and overwhelmingly””good, and not merely a side benefit of achieving loving relationship.

To read the entire article, download it as a PDF file. 

Common Ground: Sex & Spirit: Wisdom of the Spiritually Incorrect2023-06-21T07:17:01-07:00

Dr. Marc Gafni: Interiors, Face, and the Reconstruction of Eros

By Dr. Marc Gafni

Summary: The four faces of eros, described by Marc Gafni in this excerpt from Mystery of Love (2003), are 1.) being on the inside, 2.) fullness of presence, 3.) desire, and 4.) interconnectivity of being.  As Marc describes, with its mystical role in these four expressions, the face itself is the truest reflection of the erotic.  In the flow of eros, we access the experience of being on the inside of God’s face, which Marc explores here through the Temple mystery of the sexually entwined cherubs atop the Ark who are positioned face to face; the Hebrew word “panim,” which means “inside, face, and before;” and the erotic experience of having a true face-to-face conversation. This significant passage from Mystery of Love invites you to embody the erotic which is modeled but not exhausted by the sexual more deeply in your own life.

Eros has many expressions. Each expression is hinted at in the temple mysteries.  There are four faces of eros which, when taken together, form the essence of the Shechina experience. In this essay, we will explore the erotic understanding which forms the matrix of the secret of the cherubs and informs every arena of our existence. As we shall see, at the very heart of Hebrew tantra was a very precise and provocative understanding of the relationship between love, sex, and eros. This will open us up to a whole new understanding of our sexuality and will show us the way to erotically reweave the very fabric of our lives in more vivid patterns, sensual textures, and brilliant hues.

The First Face of Eros: On the Inside

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The cherubs in the magical mystery of Temple myth were not stationary fixtures. No, these statues were expressive, emotive. They moved. When integrity and goodness ruled the land, the cherubs were face to face. In these times, the focal point of Shechina energy rested erotically, ecstatically, between the cherubs. When discord and evil held sway in the kingdom, the cherubs turned from each other, appearing back to back instead of face to face.1  Back to back, the world was amiss, alienated, ruptured. Face to face, the world was harmonized, hopeful, embraced. Thus, face to face in biblical myth2 is the most highly desirable state. It is the gem stone state of being, the jeweled summit of all creation.  Face to face, to be fully explicit, is a state of eros.


Dr. Marc Gafni: Interiors, Face, and the Reconstruction of Eros2023-12-21T13:56:19-08:00
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