The Three Selves: A Memory of the Future

An Essay by Dr. Marc Gafni

This is an early draft of an essay, written by Dr. Marc Gafni. It is part of The Phenomenology of Eros: Meditations on the New Narrative of Desire by Dr. Marc Gafni with Barbara Marx Hubbard & Dr. Kristina Kincaid. The essay was edited and prepared for publication by Kerstin Tuschik. We welcome substantive feedback as we prepare a more advanced version of this essay.

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Desire: The Heart of Reality

We will start with just a couple of sentences recapitulating what we have discussed in depth elsewhere.[1]

We live in a CosmoErotic Universe. Reality itself is animated and driven by Eros.[2] That is one of the tenets of what we have called CosmoErotic Humanism.[3] The core understanding, drawn from an extensive integration of a broad range of exterior and interior sciences, is that the human participates directly and uniquely in the larger Field of Value, which is Cosmic Eros.

The human being is the CosmoErotic Universe in person. And by CosmoErotic Universe we do not imply merely the physical structure of matter, but rather the entire Universe in all of its interiors and exteriors. The realization that the CosmoErotic Universe distinctly incarnates in every human being is the core of CosmoErotic Humanism.

An essential quality of Eros is desire. Throughout traditional, modern, and postmodern societies, the surface chatter of human culture has tended to identify desire with sex. The two words are virtually synonyms. But deeper levels of realization in all three time periods inform us that desire is not in any sense reducible to the sexual; indeed, sexual desire participates in the larger Desire of Reality—a Desire that powers Reality.

When I am on the inside, when I am fully intimate with myself, I am able to access desire, the most wanton and poignant quality of the erotic experience. Desire is an essential expression of Love and Eros. But when I am on the outside, a stranger to myself, I am alienated from my deepest desires. I cannot access my yearning, though longing and desire are vital strands in the textured fabric of Eros.

It was Rilke, rebelling against the old religious dogmas, who wrote of the shivering blaze that is Reality’s Desire as it awakens in human consciousness:

You see, I want a lot.

Perhaps I want everything

The darkness that comes with every infinite fall

And the shivering blaze of every step up

So many live on and want nothing

But what you love to see are faces

That do work and feel thirst.[4]

Desire is a quality of Cosmos itself. To place desire only in the realm of the sexual is to exile the erotic to the sexual[5]—but we must remember that twelve billion years of Cosmic Eros existed before sex disclosed itself.


The Three Selves: A Memory of the Future2024-05-27T05:59:13-07:00

Introduction to Your Unique Self – by Ken Wilber

Introduction to Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment
by Ken Wilber

We live in extraordinary times. In the history of all humanity, there have only been five or six major world transformations: somewhere around 500,000 years ago, humans began to emerge as a distinct species, with an archaic worldview which separated us from the great apes. Around 50,000 years ago, the archaic worldview gave way to a magical worldview, anchored in foraging, hunting, and gathering. Then, around 10,000 years ago, farming was discovered. Simple farming, with a hand-held hoe, called horticulture. Concurrently, the worldview of simple magic gave way mythic-magic–more complex, and more sophisticated.

Around 4,000 B.C.E., the animal-drawn plow was discovered, and horticultural gave way to agrarian, while mythic-magic gave way to fully-developed mythic, with its traditional fundamentalistic values. The mythic world ruled until right around the Renaissance in the West, where myth began to give way to reason, which exploded during the Enlightenment. The rational worldview, along with its scientific materialism, and with its modern values, became in many ways the official worldview of the modern West. Until, that is, the 1960’s, which saw the last major world transformation–this time from modern to postmodern, from monolithic reason to postmodern pluralism and the “cultural creatives”.


Introduction to Your Unique Self – by Ken Wilber2023-06-17T12:14:29-07:00

Dr. Marc Gafni: Evolutionary Unique Self & the Unique Self Symphony

The Law of Feeling and Healing

The Law of Feeling and Healing, while simple in explanation, is quite profound. As the gateway to a seemingly impossible evolutionary shift, this law is our access to the divinity and untold amounts of love, joy, and connection.

Fifty years ago, God was experienced by the great realizers and religions as both all knowing and all potent and powerful. Only God knew of the immense pain in the world. Today, boundaries around knowledge cease to exist and images of unbearable suffering penetrateour hearts, bodies and minds hourly. Consequently, there is an enormous amount of Promethean talk about humans becoming God-like with the power we wield. Ignoring the fact that such talk does not take into account the infinite power of cosmos, these erroneous conversations forget divinity is not merely the infinity of power but also the infinity of pain. As our power of knowledge increases so does our awareness of the depth of suffering. In one way, we are potent likegods; we have the never previously known ability to acquire depths of understanding and graphic detail about the horrific pain happening across the planet. Yet, while we know an enormous amount about the reality of suffering around the globe, we experience ourselves as impotent. We feel powerless. Unlike the gods, we are rendered powerless to heal the hurt surrounding us. For most of us, the only way we are capable of responding is to close our hearts.

>>> Continue Reading in a PDF <<<

The text in this document was taken from a first draft text of the forthcoming book The Path and Practice of Outrageous Love by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid. This article elaborates on a critical advancement of the Unique Self Dharma that Marc has developed after Your Unique Self was published.

>> Download the PDF of the Whole Essay HERE <<<

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Dr. Marc Gafni: Evolutionary Unique Self & the Unique Self Symphony2023-06-17T14:20:30-07:00

Unique Self and Levels of Development (Rob McNamara)

The original paper was called Transpersonal Psychology and Unique Self and was submitted for publication to the Journal of Integral Theory & Practice (JITP) 6:1. Because of space limitations in that volume, it was published online as an Integral Institute position paper.

Here is a little excerpt:

Feel into the specific point with which your body-mind rests right now. Only you stand as the timeless unchanging Divinity known as your specific unfolding and evolution of Becoming. To inform, guide and possibly facilitate the stability and evolution of your own Unique Becoming we will next consider this Integral Yoga from a psychological perspective. We will go on a journey through Susanne Cook-Greuter’s conventional and post-conventional stages of ego development.

As you read, practice inhabiting these perspectives as a means of clarifying the evolving nature of your Unique Self and how you can participate with greater fullness in the integral yoking of Being and your Becoming.

Ego development provides a lens through which you can feel and see how perspectives, needs and directed actions towards meaningful ends transform and evolve into ever greater expressions of Embodied Fullness. At each stage of ego development you will briefly explore functional capacities and the state-stage expressions of the Unique Self. As you read, bring awareness as to where you are reading from. Notice how the stages through which you have progressed through can be felt, related to and clarified. Take note of what attracts your curiosity and what invites greater insight into your your integral yoga of the Unique Self. Finally, you may want to notice the ego stages that you have yet to developmentally establish and feel into the pull of your own evolutionary unfolding.

You can read the whole article on

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Unique Self and Levels of Development (Rob McNamara)2023-09-12T09:52:28-07:00

Towards a New Narrative of Identity: First Principles of Unique Self Realization (Dr. Marc Gafni)

First 4 Chapters of the Book Your Unique Self

Ken Wilber writes about Your Unique Self:

DR. MARC GAFNI’S INTEGRAL UNIQUE SELF TEACHING IS SEMINAL. What you hold in your hands is a radically exciting and ground-breaking book that will change forever not only how you think about enlightenment, but how you understand, from a post-metaphysical perspective, the very nature of human life itself. The Unique Self work is magnificent, and it belongs among the “great books.” It offers what may arguably be one of the most significant contemporary evolutions of enlightenment teaching. Unique Self brings together East and West in a higher integral embrace of stunning implications. Unique Self is a pivotal step toward an authentic Enlightenment.

Read the essay below or download the PDF.

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Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment

Underlying the vision behind democracy is the recognition that every individual has dignity, adequacy and worth. This democratic understanding of the worth and standing of the individual lies at the core of what the West calls enlightenment. The Western idea of enlightenment, rooted in the great vision of the Biblical prophets, is generally understood to have entered mainstream consciousness through the political democratic movements of the mid 18th century. Western enlightenment is primarily concerned with the democratization of political power. Classical enlightenment, sometimes called Eastern enlightenment because it was greatly emphasized in the East, is about the individual merging into the greater one. The appearance of separate self is an illusion, which must be overcome as the individual realizes that one is really not separate at all but part of the one. The goal of Eastern enlightenment is moving beyond the grasping ego and desperately seeking separate self by attaining a state of consciousness in which the illusion of separateness was dissolved in the greater one. This path of classical enlightenment is seen as the path beyond suffering. Unique Self enlightenment brings the Eastern and Western understandings about enlightenment together, into a higher Integral World Spirituality embrace. Unique Self enlightenment is based on your commitment to transcend separate self into the one, even as you realize that that essence sees through your unique perspective. Unique Self opens the door to the potential democratization of enlightenment. To awaken to your Unique Self is to be lived as God, which, in truth, means to be lived as love.
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Towards a New Narrative of Identity: First Principles of Unique Self Realization

by Dr. Marc Gafni (An Excerpt from Your Unique Self)

Foreword by Ken Wilber

MARC GAFNI’S INTEGRAL UNIQUE SELF TEACHING IS SEMINAL. What you hold in your hands is a radically exciting and ground-breaking book that will change forever not only how you think about enlightenment, but how you understand, from a post-metaphysical perspective, the very nature of human life itself. The Unique Self work is magnificent, and it belongs among the “great books.” It offers what may arguably be one of the most significant contemporary evolutions of enlightenment teaching. Unique Self brings together East and West in a higher integral embrace of stunning implications. Unique Self is a pivotal step toward an authentic Enlightenment.

The teaching in this book has been evolved primarily by Marc Gafni for over three decades and draws from his own realization, insight, and the enlightenment lineage in which he stands. In Gafni’s reading of this lineage, brilliantly articulated in his three-volume opus, Radical Kabbalah: The Enlightenment Teaching of Unique Self, Nondual Humanism and the Wisdom of Solomon, (forthcoming) which I read in several highly excited nights, Unique Self is a nondual realization of Unique Perspective. This realization  expresses itself both as the Unique Perspective on a text and as the Unique Perspective of the realized individual—what Gafni terms, in Lainer’s thought, the Judah Archetype, whose perspective is a unique incarnation of unmediated divinity and therefore overrides  all previous text, including even the Torah itself. In essence, the realized individual, whose True Self has been disclosed, expresses that True Self through his or her Unique Perspective—what Gafni originally termed “Unique Self.” Hence, what Gafni calls the nondual humanism of Unique Self is rooted in this equation, in my wording:

True Self + Perspective = Unique Self.

Unique Self brilliantly articulates the idea that within each of us is a post-egoic nondual realization of unique perspective, a unique incarnation of unmediated divinity. The Unique Self re-inhabits all the natural capacities of the human body-mind and all its multiple intelligences. It embraces its capacity for math, for music, for introspection, for love and interpersonal connection—all the talents and capacities given to human beings—with- out dismissing the True Self, the One Spirit condition that connects us all. Unique Self drenches and permeates the entire system of what is known as Eastern and Western forms of enlightenment.

The full crystallization of this New Enlightenment/Unique Self teaching that Dr. Gafni initiated, in which he and I have partnered, emerged through a series of many important dialogues that we had over nearly a decade. Through these dialogues, a highly significant new chapter in Integral Theory has emerged. These conversations were coupled with intensive dis- course that Marc and I had with other leading Integral Spiritual teachers and thinkers, including, initially, Diane Hamilton in a catalytic role and later Sally Kempton. World Spirituality based on Integral principles is an entirely new lineage—a trans-path path. Unique Self models the emergent World Spirituality based on Integral principles in that it includes all the good stuff of previous paths, but adds a whole new level of emergence. And that is something that is extraordinary, historic, and not to be denied.

A Note to the reader



Please do not skip this note. It will guide you through the book.

There are two different ways to read this book. Let’s call them Track One and Track Two. The first track is simply to follow the order of the chapters. The advantage of this approach is that Part One and Two unpack the core enlightenment teachings that ground the rest of the book. However— and this will be important for readers primarily interested in the practical application of these teachings—you can also choose to take another road through the book. Read the first three chapters, which will take you about one hour. Then, skip directly to Parts Three, Four and Five, which contain the chapters immediately applicable to your day-to-day life. These are the chapters on sacred autobiography, living your story, love, shadow, sexing, joy, evolutionary relationships and much more. Once you’ve read these, you can circle back and read the core framework teachings on Unique Self enlightenment in Parts One and Two, which will add profound depth to your understanding and embodiment of the latter part of the book.

Each part of this book deals in depth with a different dimension of Unique Self:

Part One lays down the core teaching or model of Unique Self enlightenment.

Part Two places the Unique Self model in a larger evolutionary context and unpacks a global vision of what it means to live your “evolutionary Unique Self.”

Part Three teaches you what it means to live your story and incarnate the infinite dignity of your sacred autobiography—or a Unique Letter in the evolving cosmic scroll.

Part Four deploys the Unique Self teaching toward a radical re-under- standing of Love, Joy, and Shadow in our lives. The sections of love and the two chapters on shadow are key as they significantly evolve our understanding of shadow integration, which is presently an essential but profoundly misunderstood dimension of the spiritual path.

Part Five offers a critical new understanding of sexuality and relation- ships in light of Unique Self. The section on sexing presents a new map of six forms of sexing, which re-orients and deepens the sexual in a significant way. The chapter on Unique Self encounters outlines seven principles of evolutionary Unique Self meetings, and it re-visions the essential nature and skill of all relationships.

Part Six deploys the Unique Self model in relation to parenting, malice, and death in a way that fundamentally changes our understanding of all three. And finally, the Epilogue places the realization of Unique Self in the context of the emergence of a Global Spirituality based on Integral principles.

Please use the table of contents and index. They are very detailed and will be helpful to you in identifying a particular topic you are called to or in finding a particular section after you have finished your first reading.

Last, there is a footnote section in the back that is particularly important for those interested in Integral Theory as it relates to Unique Self. If you are not a theory person or an academic intellectual type just skip the foot- notes. You do not need footnotes to get the point of the book. However, for those of you, myself included, who love footnotes, know that the footnotes contain academic and intellectual citations as well as deeper dives into the sources, the intellectual history of Unique Self, and the broader context of the conversation.


Towards a New Narrative of Identity: First Principles of Unique Self Realization (Dr. Marc Gafni)2023-10-17T07:56:58-07:00

Dr. Marc Gafni: 26 Distinctions Between Ego and Unique Self 

An Excerpt from the Book by Dr. Marc Gafni Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models and Why They Matter (Integral Publishers, 2014)

The primary critique of Unique Self teaching, leveled by students of Authentic Self in all of its names—for example, evolutionary self—is that Unique Self is but a clever front for ego. Or that even if it is not actually identical with ego, it can all to easily be hijacked by the ego. The latter is a fair and important point. However, the same critique might be just as easily leveled at the clarion call to identify with the evolutionary impulse which lies at the heart of both Unique and Authentic Self teachings. (The difference, as we have already noted, is that in the Authentic Self-teaching, the evolutionary impulse is wholly impersonal, while in the Unique Self teaching, the evolutionary impulse at its core is expressed only personally through you as the personal face of the process). It is all too easy for the ego to hijack the evolutionary impulse as a fig leaf for every manner of ego’s misdeed. Indeed, this is not a theoretical concern, but a sadly well-proved truth as the history of the evolutionary movements show. The grandchildren of Hegel’s evolutionary teaching, communism primary among them, deployed the evolutionary imperative to cover every form of heinous crime against humanity. And yet, that does not invalidate the sacred power of the evolutionary impulse, just as the crimes committed in the name of Christ do not deconstruct the truth and beauty of Christ consciousness, nor does the atom bomb disqualify the nobility of the humanist creative urge born of the new scientific paradigm. Nor does the fact that ego might hijack Unique Self lessen the critical nature of Unique Self realization. All goods may be hijacked. We must, therefore, guard against the hijacking, but we must not refuse to fly. To guard against the conflation of ego and Unique Self, it is necessary to clearly discern between these two very different states and stages of consciousness. Below, I offer the beginning of a discussion of just such a set of discernment.

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Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism

Two major works have been written within the framework of Integral Wisdom about the nature of Self and God. While they share important features, namely the evolutionary context of the conversation and a vision of Self beyond Ego, their interior visions of the quality of the Self beyond Ego are profoundly different.
Both of these visions of Self, or key dimensions of the two versions, have been adopted, directly and indirectly by many spiritual teachers. In Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism, Marc Gafni articulates the two models, their shared features and their differences, and as we seek to articulate an Integral Wisdom, why these differences matter so desperately.

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Dr. Marc Gafni: 26 Distinctions Between Ego and Unique Self 2023-09-12T10:03:49-07:00

Unique Selves in a Self-Organizing Universe: A Politics of Evolutionary Love by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein

From an unedited draft of the forthcoming book Towards a New Politics of Evolutionary Love

by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein

Dixit-Motiwala-unsplashThe core structural principle from Integral Meta-Theory involved in the formation of a Unique Self Symphony is the scientific principle of self-organization. The idea of self-organization is according to many the single most important scientific idea to emerge in the last sixty years. It exists at every level of reality and across all four quadrants. While many scientific accounts focus only on self-organization in systems and structures in biology or cybernetics (i.e., Lower-Right reductionism), there is a whole history of work in psychology and social theory dedicated to modeling how minds and cultures are complex dynamical systems, that evolve and self-organize in remarkable ways.

Multiple scientific fields, when held in an Integral embrace, tell us that self-organization is a basic principle of reality at all levels. Most forms of evolutionary emergence are a function of this ubiquitous tendency of all life and matter toward self-organization. This leads to the idea of an inherently creative cosmos, always evolving and organizing at higher and higher levels. Throughout the evolution of the world it appears that self-organization is often catalyzed via the leveraging of uniqueness. When you look at the emergence of complex processes in nature that display remarkable forms of self-organization, such as an ecosystem like swamp or rainforest, they are always complex symbiotic systems in which there are an endless number of unique niches.

This is why one of the core ideas behind the new politics of outrageous love is enabling self-organization at the level of human culture. So we must ask, what enables self-organization at the level of human culture? The answers is clear and in keeping with both the best of what we know about evolutionary theory and the best of our ideas for political and personal Enlightenment: the catalyst of self-organization in human socio–cultural systems is the Unique Self. Paradoxically, this means that the “shape” every human needs to assume in order to contribute to the creation of a healthy social organism is unique. Strange as it may sound, a just and healthy society needs to “socially engineer” for uniqueness, especially the institutions that shape human personalities and self-understandings: schools, news media, entertainment industries, computer technologies industries, etc. The whole social system would be like an incubator for uniqueness.

Unique Selves in a Self-Organizing Universe: A Politics of Evolutionary Love by Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein2023-09-12T09:57:06-07:00

Essays from the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice – Volume 6 Number 1

GUEST EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION from the Journal of Integral Theory & Practice 6.1 (Dr. Marc Gafni)

In his keynote at the Integral Spiritual Experience, Wilber described Unique Self as ‘something that is extraordinary, and historic, and not to be denied.’ I want to share some of what I see as historic about the Unique Self teaching, and why its birthing has been one of my primary commitments over the last two decades. Unique Self is vitally important because it reclaims the centrality of the personal as a primary category in discourse about the realization of enlightened consciousness. Enlightened consciousness itself is a fundamental category in the integral spiritual discourse because it is the implicit or explicit goal of virtually all of the great spiritual traditions that inform Integral Spirituality. … The myth of a community shapes the norms of a community, even if only partially realized.

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The Unique Self and Nondual Humanism (Dr. Marc Gafni)

A Study in the Enlightened Teaching of Mordechai Lainer of Izbica

This essay outlines one of the key sources in the great traditions for the integral teaching of Unique Self. The Unique Self is rooted in what is termed as nondual or acosmic humanism of a particular strain in Hebrew mysticism, as expressed in the teachings of Hasidic master Mordechai Lainer of Izbica. After examining and challenging previous scholarships on Lanier, the article reconstructs a theory of individuality from Lainer’s writings, which becomes the lodestone of his nondual humanism. In unpacking Lainer’s metaphysics of individuality, his ontological understanding of will, Torah, name, and uniqueness, the framework of the Unique Self teaching become clear. The article then reconstructs two matrices of sources from the intellectual history of Kabbalah, which serve as possible precedents to Lainer’s Unique Self teaching in the older traditions of Kabbalah. The article then outlines the seven core principles of acosmic humanism that are incarnate in the typology of Unique Self that appears in Lainer’s writing (in what is termed the Judah archetype). Finally, Lainer’s view is places in a larger context even as it is distinguished from the intellectual zeitgeist of its time.

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THE EVOLUTIONARY EMERGENT OF UNIQUE SELF: A New Chapter in Integral Theory (Dr. Marc Gafni)

This article outlines the basic teachings of a new chapter in Integral Theory: the postmetaphysical evolutionary emergence of Unique Self. The article begins by contextualizing the Unique Self conversation within a larger discussion on individuality and traces the emergence of the Unique Self teachings through the life and writings of the author. The core Western understanding of individuality and its affirmation of the dignity of the separate self is contrasted with the Eastern teaching of dissolution of the small self, before both are integrated into a higher integral embrace through a new understanding of Unique Self. This article elucidates how the teachings of Unique Self fundamentally change the classical enlightenment paradigm through the assertion that enlightenment has a unique perspective, which might be termed the “personal face of essence.” Perspective taking, which emerges from enlightened consciousness, is rooted in the ontological pluralism that lies at the core of the Hebrew textual tradition. The new enlightenment teaching of Unique Self therefore rests on a series of integral discernments between separateness and uniqueness, ego and Unique Self, and personal and impersonal man. The Unique Self teaching suggests a new understanding of enlightenment through intersubjective love; the Unique Self perception is then set within an evolutionary context of being and becoming, in which it is seen to express one’s response to the personal address of the evolutionary God impulse itself. In this sense, Unique Self is understood to be an essential chapter in the emergence of a truly evolutionary mysticism.

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UNIQUE SELF AS IT UNFOLDS OVER THE ARC OF DEVELOPMENT from the Journal of Integral Theory & Practice 6.1

A Dialogue with Susanne Cook­ Greuter and Dr. Marc Gafni

How Unique Self shows up in the developmental spectrum is, from an integral perspective, a critical di­mension of the Unique Self inquiry. In addition to addressing this issue in depth in “The Evolutionary Emergent of Unique Self” (pp. 1­36 in this issue), Marc Gafni engaged in four dialogues with two prominent developmental theorists involved in integral discourse. In two dialogues with Don Beck and two dialogues with Susanne Cook­Greuter, an initial exploration of Unique Self as seen through their respective devel­opmental models was explored. Below is a transcript of the second dialogue with Cook­Greuter, in which Susanne and Marc explore the references to uniqueness in Susanne’s writings. What emerges is that Susanne’s empirical research confirms uniqueness as a central emergent property of awareness at higher levels of consciousness.

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ON SPIRITUAL TEACHERS AND TEACHINGS from the Journal of Integral Theory & Practice 6.1 (Dr. Zachary Stein)

This article examines the dynamics of authority in educational contexts where teachers and students engage with religious or spiritual subject matter. My aim is to offer a framework that can be used to sort “good” educational relationships of this type from “bad” ones. After positioning the spiritual teacher in the context of eclectic traditions in American moral education, I look into the structure of teacherly authority and into the dynamics of this authority when it is exercised in reli- gious contexts. In the process I tease apart two types of teacherly authority for heuristic purposes, the Classic and the Modern. I discuss their respective liabilities, affordances, and most typical spiri- tual teachings. Finally, I suggest that some contemporary spiritual teachers and teachings may be harbingers of new emerging configurations of religious authority—configurations dubbed Integral. This rough triadic typology—Classic, Modern, and Integral—allows us to critically discuss the kinds of authority assumed by different types of spiritual teachers. Specifically, I use EnlightenNext (An- drew Cohen) and the Center for World Spirituality (Marc Gafni) as case studies, demonstrating how to use the framework I have developed as a way to explore preferable possibilities for the future of religion and the spiritual marketplace.

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Essays from the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice – Volume 6 Number 12023-09-12T10:07:14-07:00

New Preface by Barbara Marx Hubbard for Dr. Marc Gafni’s Your Unique Self

Deep from the heart of the cosmos comes the signal: be born as the universe in person! Manifest cosmogenesis as your own divine expression of creation. Bring cosmogenesis – the evolution of the cosmos — into form as you, as co creators of a new culture in which each human being is an expression of the Impulse of Creation.

In Your Unique Self Marc Gafni speaks for the evolutionary impulse during our time of radical shift on Earth from one form of growth, one form of self, one form of species, and one form of society to the next. He speaks for the Culture of Cocreators, each of us as a Unique Self, a divine expression of the Creator creating.

With great erudition and sensitivity to all the major traditions of the past, he offers us a new Source Code for the evolution of our species, a vital memetic code to guide us forward.

If you want to be excited, if you yearn to experience the reality of your divine destiny, Read this book! Live this book! Write this book into your life. It urges you to shine on the God force AS YOU.

I love this book. It affirms everything I have worked toward all my life. I have been writing lines of this book in 185 volumes of Journal since the age of 18. It is the deepening my own discovery of Conscious Evolution. We are living through the evolution of evolution itself. The great breakthrough in the 13.8 billion years of evolution, in this labor of love, is that evolution has become conscious of itself in and as us, Unique Selves.

The crises we are facing on Earth are evolutionary drivers awakening in us the Unique Self. When we infuse the rapidly growing genius of human capacity to understand nature’s processes of creation – the atom, the gene, the brain, our sciences and technology, with evolutionary love, with teleros, the love of higher purpose, what do we see? We see the birth of an emerging species. a universal humanity born into a universe of billions of other planets, just opening our collective eyes.

Let us con-celebrate with Life the great privilege of being born at this cross-over point from Homo sapiens sapiens to Homo Cocreator. Thank you Marc for inspiring us to find the way.

Barbara Marx Hubbard has been called “the voice for conscious evolution…” by Deepak Chopra. She is the subject of Neale Donald Walsch’s book The Mother of Invention. And many would agree she is the global ambassador for conscious change.

At her heart, Barbara Marx Hubbard is a visionary, a social innovator. She is an evolutionary thinker who believes that global change happens when we work collectively and selflessly for the greater good. She realizes that the lessons of evolution teach us that problems are evolutionary drivers, and crises precede transformation, giving a new way of seeing and responding to our global situation.

As a prolific author and educator, Barbara has written seven books on social and planetary evolution. She has produced, hosted, and contributed to countless documentaries seen by millions of people around the world. In conjunction with the Shift Network, Barbara co-produced the worldwide “Birth 2012″ multi-media event that was seen as a historic turning point in exposing the social, spiritual, scientific, and technological potential in humanity.

New Preface by Barbara Marx Hubbard for Dr. Marc Gafni’s Your Unique Self2023-09-12T10:12:04-07:00

Unique Self Health & Medicine by Drs. Venu & Vinay Julapalli

Read this White Paper by Board Members Venodhar Rao Julapalli, M.D. and Vinay Rao Julapalli, M.D., F.A.C.C.

There is a dire need for the integration of the art, science, and morality of medicine. This paper explores the deep implications of the Unique Self in integrating medicine. Co-authors and physicians Venu and Vinay Julapalli call on their extensive understanding of the promises and pitfalls of modern health care to reconceive the practice of medicine. The paper provides the framework to evolve medicine through the emergent Unique Self insight. At stake is no less than the future of how we care for ourselves and each other.

Unique Self and the Future of Medicine


Medicine is at a critical crossroads in its evolution from antiquity to our modern age. This article aims to reconceive the future of medicine. Key to this conception is an understanding of the evolution of individual development. To this end, the discussion will first outline the stations of the selves, on the path to what has been termed the Unique Self by spiritual thinker Marc Gafni. Next, the discussion will distinguish between two poles of development and outlook, in order to understand how the insight of Unique Self integrates these dualities. It will then view the Unique Self from three perspectives, or four quadrants, of reality and also illustrate how Unique Self appreciates the balance between part and whole. The discussion will subsequently correlate the stations of the selves with the history of medicine and further examine dualities in medicine that parallel those of the self . It will then elucidate how an understanding of Unique Self fundamentally shifts our envisioning of the practice of medicine. This shift renews the unique calling that is the art and science of healing.


Universal to the human experience is care of our health. Medicine is defined as “the science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease.” The topic of medicine is therefore relevant to all of humanity.In the United States, the practice of medicine has reached a critical crossroads. National spending on health care has been estimated to total $2.8 trillion in 2012, which is 18% of the gross domestic product (GDP). It is projected to increase to about 25% of GDP and 40% of total federal spending by 2037. Few dispute that this trajectory is unsustainable.

The dispute begins in how to alter this trajectory. The debate has raged on from multiple perspectives. Some have focused on the structures of payment for health care, while others have investigated the sources of health care pricing. Some have proposed the standardization of health care delivery with an emphasis on maximizing value through evidence-based medicine, while others have highlighted the role of the social determinants of health in influencing the rising costs of medical care. The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, expanded health insurance coverage for Americans and introduced programs designed to slow spending on health care. However, there is no clear consensus on its ultimate effect in bending the health care cost curve down.

Most of the recent discussions on the practice of medicine have preferentially approached health care as an object. Evidence-based guidelines, quality measures, value-based metrics, and pay-for-performance programs presuppose an objective perspective on medicine. The increasingly acknowledged urgency of controlling spiraling health care costs has certainly advantaged this perspective, along with desires to improve patient safety and even out regional variations in health care delivery.

Somewhat drowned out in the recent movements in medicine is the voice of medical humanism. This voice presents medicine from a subjective perspective, as it highlights the individual values, goals, and preferences of a patient with respect to clinical decision making. From this perspective, paramount are factors such as honoring the dignity of patients and their families, acknowledging their cultural and ethical sensitivities, sharing clinical decision making between the patient and the physician, and upholding the autonomy of the patient in making medical decisions. Physicians voicing humanism in medicine feel that the subjective aspect is crucial in maintaining medical professionalism, demonstrating good clinical judgment, and caring for patients near the end of life. They question the effectiveness of health care based merely on utilitarian medical decision analyses, rather than nuanced conversations between the patient and physician on the patient’s perception of his/her illness and its treatment.

The two perspectives, medicine as an objective science and medicine as a subjective art, are often diametrically opposed to each other. Health care objectivists regret that “Our current health care system is essentially a cottage industry of noninteg rated, dedicated artisans who eschew standardization.” They criticize the current system as one that “overvalues local autonomy and undervalues disciplined science.” In subjective medicine, “‘Good doctors’ are celebrated for their unwavering dedication to doing whatever it takes to care for their individual patients.” In their view, this leads to excessive tests and procedures, a fragmentation of care, limited oversight of such care, and ultimately wasteful and unreliable medicine.

Health care subjectivists, on the other hand, lament that “Reducing medicine to economics makes a mockery of the bond between the healer and the sick.” They eschew the replacement of terms such as “doctors” and “nurses” with “providers,” and “patients” with “customers” or “consumers.” They feel these terms are “reductionist; they ignore the essential psychological, spiritual, and humanistic dimens ions of the relationship – the aspects that traditionally made medicine a ‘calling,’ in which altruism overshadowed personal gain.” In objective medicine, the “discourse shifts the focus from the good of the individual to the exigencies of the system and its costs.” In their view, this results in diminished independent and creative decision making, dehumanization of the patient and professional, destruction of the trust so crucial to the patient-doctor relationship, and ultimately a demeaning of medicine.

How best can we reconcile these two positions in a way that includes and transcends them both? Is there another perspective that honors medicine both as a science and as an art, without congealing the two sides into a muddled compromise that satisfies neither?

Acknowledging the instability of the current system, can we evolve medicine to a practice of greater value, efficiency, meaning, and purpose?

In the rest of this discussion, we aim to reconceive the future of medicine. Key to this conception is an understanding of the evolution of individual development. To this end, we will first outline the stations of the selves, on the path to what has been termed the Unique Self by spiritual thinker Marc Gafni. Next, we will distinguish between two poles of development and outlook, in order to understand how the insight of Unique Self integrates these dualities. We will then discuss the Unique Self from three perspectives, or four quadrants, of reality and also see how Unique Self appreciates the balance between part and whole. We will subsequently correlate the stations of the selves with the history of medicine and further examine dualities in medicine that parallel those of the self. We will finally outline how an understanding of Unique Self fundamentally shifts our envisioning of the practice of medicine. Our discussion will highlight the physician as the exemplar of the medical professional but can apply to any professional involved in caring for patients. All are included in the future of medicine.

Unique Self Health & Medicine by Drs. Venu & Vinay Julapalli2023-09-12T10:00:41-07:00

Malice: The Denial of the Unique Self Encounter

An Excerpt from Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni

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The opposite of a Unique Self encounter is an encounter motivated by malice. Malice manifests as both the denial of, and the attempt to destroy, the Unique Self of the other. The desperate attempt to destroy the Unique Self of an other is based, paradoxically, on a primal recognition of the other’s Unique Self, and a feeling that somehow the other’s self makes one less, or not enough.

Most of the literature of the human potential movement and its daughter, the new age movement, ignores or even denies malice. But you cannot skip malice if you want to truly understand and practice love. Love is a Unique Self perception that creates pleasure and joy in its wake. Malice is a Unique Self distortion that creates envy and hatred in its wake.

Malice is a verb in the same way that love is a verb. however, it is essential to remind you that being aroused to malice does not mean that you let yourself be seduced by the arousal. You have every ability to clarify your arousal and transmute it into goodness and love. The kinds of people that might arouse you to malice are:

  • People who remind you that you are not living your Unique Self.
  • People who you think, by their very existence, are taking away your ability to let the radiance of your Unique Self shine in the world.
  • People you believe stand in the way of you fulfilling your Unique Self.

In these situations you will be sorely tempted—if you think you can get away with it—to seek to destroy their Unique Self in order to cover up the inchoate yet agonizing pain of your disconnection from your personal essence.

Know in advance that you will experience great resistance to this teaching. Your  primal,  desperate  desire  is  to  deny  any  connection  between yourself and malice. it may be that you have never acted it out. This is good. or you may be one of the people that M. Scott peck describes in his book People of the Lie. I have called them people of malice. people of malice are people whose own early pain has made them evil in the way that they act in the world. The core expression of people of malice is that they attack, undermine, or demonize others, instead of facing their own failure. The attack may be subtle or overt. However, it is always covered by the sophisticated fig leaf of respectability, or even by noble motives.

You may know someone like this; they seem respectable, even noble, yet underneath the veneer, they have wreaked brutal destruction—often on those who were or are in their closest circles of intimacy. This might include parents driven by malice toward their children, an employer toward an employee or the converse, friends and colleagues, a teacher toward a student, or a student or group of students toward a powerful teacher. Their malice is almost always covert. Echoing Milan Kundera, it would be correct to say, “Since malice can never reveal its true motivation, it must plead false ones.” Leading British psychoanalyst Joseph Berke informs us that malice is to moderns what sex was to Victorians. It is to be repressed at any price. it is an obsession, best denied, avoided, or forgotten. The perpetrators of malice often claim to be “protecting” some imagined victim from harm. If you even suggest they might have any other motivation that is less than the pure mask they don in the world, they are outraged. There is nothing the people of malice fear more than having the lie of their motivation or the ugliness of their hidden machinations exposed. There is a ferocity to malice. This makes it intuitively frightening for people to confront. so most people withdraw into the shade of their own cowardice, covering their coward’s tracks with well-reasoned and plausible disclaimers.

Often the coward finds it easier to energetically join with the movement of malice than to oppose it. This is the worst and most deplorable form of laziness, albeit one of the most common, even if hidden from the public eye. It might take the form of blaming the victim or exaggerating their responsibility. If in some sense “he had it coming,” it is easier to rationalize joining the executors of malice than it is to arouse the discernment and courage necessary to oppose them.

In the great spiritual traditions, much of the judgment after our death about who we were in this world, as well as the greatest creator of karma, is related to how we behaved when confronted with malice that was disguised as a righteous cause. Did we speak truth to power? Or did we cleverly disguise our cowardice with a thousand rationalizations, even as the Unique Self of your friend, colleague, or teacher was thrown under a bus?

Malice Is Painfully Private, Publicly Dangerous

Let’s look more closely now at the phenomenon of malice, so you will be able to identify it clearly. It is absolutely necessary to liberate the world from malice. As you read, keep in your heart that malice is a poison that threatens the blooming of Unique Self more than anything.

Malice operates through a simple four-stage process: Malice (1) Per- ceives genuine flaws, (2) Exaggerates or distorts them, (3) Minimizes the good in the attacked person’s character, and (4) Absurdly and insidiously identifies the person with their distorted caricatures, painted by the purveyors of malice themselves.

The internal perception of malice operating in you or your friend is the same as love, for malice is love’s opposite. Just as love is Unique Self perception, malice is Unique Self distortion. The malice-motivated distortion happens in two ways. First, you might see the Unique Self of the other, but since that image provokes the pain of your own lack, you try to tear it down. Or second, distortion might mean that you cannot see—you see only distorted images of the other—you have lost the ability to see with God’s eyes.

In malice you sense the awareness of something provoking you as either an unbearable feeling of intense pleasure or as a “grenvious” vexation. “Grenvy,” a term coined by Joseph Berke, is the ill-fated brew of greed and envy that produces the potion of malice.

Malice elicits forceful attacking and even what psychologists in the field have called annihilating behavior. Malice is not connected with legitimate causes at its core—it always hides behind them. it is painfully private, yet when it bursts out of control, it is publicly dangerous in the extreme. It is fed by what Berke calls a distorted “inner world of fact and fantasy, brought about by the confused interplay of perception, memory, and imagination.” “There is bad intent that arises in the world; there is intent to hurt and do evil to other people—we have to confront that.” This sadly correct truth was spoken by my beloved friend Ken Wilber several years back in a public dialogue we did on the topic of evil in the world. Ken was responding to a questioner who made the all-too-common argument that all the tragedy that befalls us is ultimately our own creation, and thus we must take 100 percent responsibility for everything that occurs. The new age narcissists cannot bring themselves to bow before the mystery, so they claim all power to themselves.

Of course, more often than not, the hidden agenda is that the victim has no right to be outraged or demand justice. Since the victim is the creator of their own reality, the ones who have been hurt should be taking responsibility. This cleverly lets the inflictor of pain off the hook. The moral context of justice and injustice, right and wrong, and good and evil is undermined by a subtle relativism in which no ethical discernments are genuinely possible. Or, in a related scenario, the abuser themselves claim to have been abused, thus legitimizing the pain inflicted by them on the true victim. This type of claim is one of the most aggressive and insidious disguises of malice.

This new age view has found a strange bedfellow in distorted American presentations of Theravada Buddhism. since everything is the result of cause and effect, you must be the creator of everything in your reality. If you take total, 100 percent responsibility for everything, you will find your way to spiritual depth and maturity. so the popular dharma goes.

This view is not all wrong. It is in fact a powerful and desperately needed  antidote  to  the  victim  culture  that  so  pervades  much  of  the american spiritual scene. We have been ushered into a new world where any hurt party claims victimhood and uses the claim to inflict all manner of abuse. This often comes together with an abdication of responsibility and often the filing of some sort of suit or complaint. The filing of a complaint gains the ostensible victim a long list of goods, far beyond finances. attention, focus, community, love, and a feeling of power and aliveness are high on the list. Those who encourage and even instigate false complaints are often driven by hidden or disowned malice.

Often, the true predator is the victim who inflicts cruelty and pain on their alleged tormentor to a degree far greater than whatever imagined or even genuine hurt the victim themselves may have felt. Disguised as the victim, the true predator receives the communal love and support. The true victim, cast as the predator, is debased, dehumanized, and ostracized in a thousand cruel ways.

In this context, it needs to be said that while the Buddhist teaching, with its demand for self-responsibility, is a desperately needed and crucial counterweight to the abdication of responsibility through the false claim to victim status, it is only part of the story. At the same time, what is clear from the scenario of false complaints is that self-responsibility is no more than a partial truth. Whenever something happens, you must identify what part you played in creating the conditions that allowed for suffering to occur. You may have contributed 5 or 50 percent to the system. even if you have only 5 percent responsibility, you must take 100 percent responsibility for your 5 percent. But not more. The other part of the story is often the malice of other players in the situation.

Taking total responsibility is actually a disguised form of hubris. it is a refusal to give up control. in this case, the control is maintained precisely through “taking responsibility.” But your insistence on being the sole creator of your reality ignores the larger creative field of which you are but one small part. it ignores the greater evolutionary intelligence at work in and through your life. it ignores the mystery, and blithely dismisses all other people in the story as but supporting actors in your narcissistic control drama.

Total control of your life in the form of total responsibility is not an expression of spirit—quite the opposite. it is one of the more clever disguises of the narcissistic ego.

What is appropriate is for you to identify your contribution, if any, to creating the conditions that led to your suffering. You can and must take 100 percent responsibility for your part. This, however, is a more nuanced, sacred, and humble posture than 100 percent responsibility for everything.

This posture bows before the mystery, even as it recognizes the possibility of malice.

The Murder of Christ

Humans seek the death and destruction of others, even as we seek their happiness. Both drives and both voices exist in every person who lives in the separate self of the ego. We think that malice only appears “out there,” that it does not show up in respectable or polite society. Sadly, this is completely untrue. lynch mobs manifest in many and varied ways. The prime movers in lynch mobs are energetically attracted to each other. They find each other. They move in unison, almost always hiding their own malice, even from each other. They are drawn to the lynch party to partner in destroying the common energetic emotional threat.

Freud’s brilliant student and colleague, Wilhelm Reich, called this not-uncommon phenomenon “the murder of Christ.” The  murder of Christ is the attempt to murder life force. All sorts of reasons justify the crucifixion. A thousand demonizations build the cross. The murderers support each other, often outdoing one another in their maligning of Christ. “see, he is calling himself Christ,” they say, in order to give evidence of his narcissism.

Remember that  malice  is  sourced  in  Unique  self  distortion.  This  is the matrix of the endless cycle of demonizing by those disconnected from their daemon and incapable of owning their demon. They lack the spiritual courage to name what moves them in their breast, which is that “he,” the always-flawed Christ they seek to destroy, has a light that threatens their light. He has an appeal, a draw, that is different from theirs. They cannot explain it. so they seek out his imperfections, magnify them a hundredfold, distort and add some major dose of lies for good measure, and the necessary mix for murder is set. hidden envy, jealousy, and greed are the basic ingredients necessary to conjure the witches’ brew.

This is the source of the “Foul Whisp’rings . . . abroad” that Shakespeare saw as the source of villainy and even murder. as author Philip Roth describes it:

The  whispering  campaign  that  cannot  be  stopped,  rumors it’s impossible to quash . . . slanderous stories to belittle your professional qualifications, derisive reports of your business deceptions and your perverse aberrations, outraged polemics denouncing your moral failings, misdeeds, and faulty character traits—your shallowness, your vulgarity, your cowardice . . . your falseness, your selfishness, your treachery. Derogatory information. Defamatory statements. insulting witticisms. Disparaging anecdotes. idle mockery. Bitchy chatter. Galling wisecracks.

It is in this regard that Geoffrey Chaucer wrote, “It is certain that envy is the worst sin that is: for all others sin against one virtue, whereas envy is against all virtue and all goodness.”

The Evil Eye

Envy, as we saw earlier, is often the envy of an other’s Unique Self, which reminds you of your own unlived life. Envy that motivates malice is directly related to what has been called through history the evil eye. The evil eye is not a superstition, but an inner trait of black character. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that “the evil eye is affected by strong imagination of the soul and corrupts and poisons the atmosphere so that tender bodies that come within its range may be injuriously affected.” Envy then partners with greed, which is an “insatiable desire to take for him what another possesses.” It is motivated by a ruthless acquisitiveness, which is publicly denied.

A greedy person is concerned with possessing. An envious person is obsessed with that which they do not possess. Often greed and envy come together in “grenvy.” Berke’s work remains the most insightful analysis of the inner dynamics that animate people of malice. According to Berke, for the envious person, the “goodness must not be preserved, only attacked, spoiled, and destroyed.”

The first stage of envy is often idealization. The idealization, however, cannot last. it arouses too much anguish in the heart of the envier. Therefore, the reverse process sets in. Denigration, equally extreme and unrealistic, follows idealization. This is done to mitigate the anguish of the previous perception. So the elephant becomes a midge, the palm tree becomes a toadstool, and a cloth coat turns into a rag. A kind of hysteria sets in, and there is a refusal to see any goodness at all in the person attacked.

The distorting impact on awareness shows up not only in the envier, but also in the envied. The envied often engages in two forms of self-deception: the envied person idealizes their envier, which is not that hard because often they were once loved by their envier; or they shut down in order to avoid the pain engendered by the awareness of the envy.

One of the demarcating characteristics of malice is its intense cruelty. King David writes in Psalms, “Many have risen against me,” and he goes on to describe in exquisitely accurate detail the dynamics of deception and self-deception that guide the ostensibly respectable lynch mob disguised by the fig leaf of the “noble cause.” In Joseph Berke’s incisive formulation, “The politics of envy culminates in the effective disguise of individual or collective enmity and its expression through political relationships or institutional decisions that are ostensibly virtuous.”

When an individual in the mob is confronted, they refer to “all of us,” or say, “There are many people throughout this life who say this,” and the like, ignoring the fact that the righteous and disgruntled always attract each other.

The philosopher Socrates is perhaps the most notable victim of the “slander and envy of the many,” including, of course, the political and religious establishment of his day. all of them nodded knowingly to each other, demonizing Socrates even as they—in their collective pathology—denied any suggestion of their own envy being a motivating force, discounting this as an absurd and malevolent suggestion that did not deserve serious rebuttal.

The envy of the “successful one” by students, teachers, and colleagues was much more forthrightly recognized in older cultures. among the Khoikhoi people of South Africa, if a hunter has scored a great kill, he is sent to his hut until the village elder calls on him. he is then placed in the center of the circle surrounded by his fellow hunters, who literally piss on him. In this way, a legitimate outlet is created for the enviers to express their discontent and even rage.

If this seems culturally hard to grasp, just note the same custom in Western culture. On Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish tradition, when the priest offers sacrifice to the divine in the temple, a sacrifice to the “other side” is offered as well. The psychological premise is that shadow must first be owned in the person of the individual and the community before it can be transmuted and atoned for.

Envy  corrupts  and  corrodes  love.  It  turns  good  into  bad.  in Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago accomplishes this by a lethal mixture of slander and duplicity, a process of bad-mouthing and backstabbing. Envious revenge is fueled by hidden arrogance, unyielding aggression, and pride. It is based on distorted or exaggerated hurts rather than significant injury. The envier, in their internal self, considers only their accomplishments in comparison to the one envied. Envy, at its core, is grasping for Unique Self. Envious destructiveness is deliberate. The envious person denies goodwill or love toward the object of their ire. What they want to do is remove the bilious anger and bitter vindictiveness that lurks just beneath their surface self. Their surface self appears more often than not as spiritual, and filled with ostensible good intention and light. it is also possible that the surface good intention and light are real. Envy is often a vicious streak in an otherwise decent and even good personality. This is precisely why the malice of seemingly good people is so persuasive. The envious person wants to get rid of the feelings that they vaguely know exist right beneath their surface personality. They violate their own sense of goodness and even righteousness. since he (unconsciously) blames the one he envies for how he feels, he sets out to make him feel bad or appear bad. It is no accident that “evil” is “live” spelled backward. Evil stands against life force. And life force is nowhere more powerful than in the full bloom of Unique Self.

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Malice: The Denial of the Unique Self Encounter2023-09-12T10:01:01-07:00

Common Ground: Your Unique Self: What It Means to Be a Lover … from God’s Eyes

buddha-lilyBy Marc Gafni

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

The true nature of your values is always revealed in death. In eulogies, both in what is spoken and unspoken, there is something of the essential nature of your life and loyalties. Sometimes, however, before you die you are strangely privileged to declare where your ultimate loyalty lies.

It was September 11, 2001. The planes had just crashed into the Twin Towers in Manhattan. Victims had moments to use their cellphones. No one called asking for revenge. No one offered philosophical explanations or profound insights into the nature of reality. People did one thing and one thing only: they called the people close to their hearts to say, “I love you.”

“I love you” is our declaration of faith. Implicit in those words is everything holy. Yet we no longer know what we mean when we say it.

It used to mean, “I am committed to you. I will live with you forever.” Or it might have meant, “You are the most important person in my life.”

But it no longer seems to mean that. And when you no longer understand your own deepest declarations of love, you are lost. You become alienated from love, which is your home. Despair, addiction, and numbness become your constant companions.

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

Common Ground: Your Unique Self: What It Means to Be a Lover … from God’s Eyes2023-09-12T10:03:27-07:00
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