The Inside of God’s Face — with Dr. Marc Gafni and Kyle Kingsbury

Enjoy this podcast with Dr. Marc Gafni featured on Kyle Kingsbury Podcast. 

Kyle Kingsbury about this podcast:

I am without words yall!!! Marc Gafni came and delivered on all of my deepest podcast dreams. We had a proper introduction. Marc gave us one of the most informed recountings of what it’s like on The Inside of God’s Face. Walked us through “I-We-All”. Then casually wove together the relationship of Light and Dark. This one is special. Enjoy!!!

The Inside of God’s Face — with Dr. Marc Gafni and Kyle Kingsbury2024-01-31T06:59:37-08:00

Dialogue on Self with Barbara Marx Hubbard, Andrew Cohen, Sally Kempton, and Marc Gafni

In this beautiful conversation between Andrew Cohen, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Sally Kempton and Marc Gafni, they are talking in depth about their respective views of the nature of Self.

Dialogue on Self with Barbara Marx Hubbard, Andrew Cohen, Sally Kempton, and Marc Gafni2023-09-12T09:51:38-07:00

Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton & Marc Gafni: The Second Face of God

In this dialogue, Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton, and Marc Gafni–co-founders of the Center for Integral Wisdom–talk about the Second Face of God, God in Second Person, the God as Beloved with whom I can have an I-Thou Relationship, as well as Guru Yoga and a new model for the Teacher-Student-Relationship.

Stream the audio here:


Marc:              Fantastic so I’m here with Ken Wilber and Sally Kempton and we are in a series of dialogues about the grounding principles of a world spirituality. Specifically a world’s spirituality based on Edward principles and specifically today we are going to talk about the three faces of God as a kind of guiding metaphor. We’ll take a look at the second face of God. What does it mean to talk to God in a post partum context. So that’s our conversation. And we are going to start actually with Ken, go to Sally come to me. Then we will mix it up. But we will start with the kind of framing the second person of God by Ken.

Ken:                Sure, a section of post metaphase is called notion of the three phases of spirit it’s that the four quadrants is the interior and the exterior singular paradigm all together. And so there is a pure vast and manifest formless near gunaf problem and it has no first, second or third person in it. That’s radically un-qualifiable emptiness. As soon as that manifests, it manifests in four quadrants or the big three. And the traditions recognize this so the first person is (up and bromine 0:01:53) the pure big self, the true self that is the one with the spirit. And then there is a second person of that is a God or goddess and that’s its father and that’s a manifest of spirit in a second person. As a second person dimension. And then there is the third person the actual matter, energy of the whole manifest round which is pretty or even sharp. And likewise another name for the first person eye is purja. But now what we do in the integral view is simply see those as the first types of manifestation of the big three. And it goes all the way down. So its, if the great chain is matter, body, mind, soul and spirit in delusion and that is what we are talking about now. Then the spirit goes into soul goes into mind goes into life and it goes into matter.

If you, it can get a little bit tricky thinking about spirit in second person. Because the tendency there is to think anthropomorphically and to sort of picture it as like an actual person and then of course there is the mythic version of the white bearded gentleman sitting on a throne in heaven and all of that. But actually a person can be defined as just being with intelligence. And of course the universe has being and it has intelligence. And so the being as intelligence is spirit in second person, it is spirit as a quote person with this much more adequate definition of what a person is. And when it then comes down to an individual human being as manifestation continues and continues and continues and evolution comes back. Then an individual with a mind and put into one of the dimensions that inner subjective lower level quadrant which is an I thou situation. Then that’s one of the forms the spirit will show up as. It’s a Martin Buber I thou relationship. And the upper left quarter it shows that is your own true outman your own true purja. And the right hand quarter shows that as the spectrum of matter energy, spectrum of procreates, spectrum of cantilena of (shorty 0:05:37). And so in too many cases particularly in the west, spirit in second person froze at the mythic stage of development. And that’s what the spirit second person looked like at the mythic stage. But it can continue to grow and evolve and into this much satler and more sophisticated versions of what a person is. What this being with intelligence is. So an actual dimension of realty, and one day you can take an I thou relationship with. And unfortunately in the west because we got frozen at mythic then as other development locations started to move into rational and prolistic, the mythic of course was undercut. It was like the Santa clauses. That is basically an inadequate version, something that might have been appropriate for a seven year old but its not appropriate for a fifteen year old or a twenty five year old.

And because we have what I call a level line fallacy, because a particular level in a particular line mainly the mythic level became identifies with the entire life. So mythic per se became identified with spiritual intelligence. And we tended to feel spiritual intelligence inside all together. And this starts to happen shortly after the enlightenment and then particularly by the eighteen hundreds and nineteen hundreds. We have really a scientific materialism is taken over and spiritual intelligence is frozen at the mythic stage. Which is to say it’s fully not used at all. And it’s tragic because a lot of the multiple intelligences, the only one that works with the infinite is spiritual intelligence. That is the only one that asks questions, what is of ultimate concern in all techniques instant. What is the biggest most ultimate versed infinite concern that I can have? And the human mind has an organ that can make that judgment. Just like it has organs that can make ethical judgments, imperative judgments and musical judgments and analytical judgments, it can make spiritual judgments.

But being frozen at mythic it got pushed out and that means that organ in our brain that makes spiritual judgments, ultimate judgments. Basically it’s out of official western psychology, philosophy and orientation all together. And that is tragic. So one of the things that we want to do with analytical spirituality is to revitalize spiritual intelligence add mythic and then keep it growing. So you then can start to have a pure and rational or you’re polaristic or you are tear your inner. You can in whatever way you want you can start in your own mind to have a conversation with spirit in second person. And this is, you can actually have a, you can write down a discussion a dialogue. You can ask questions. You can start to picture this spirit in second person any way you want. And at the beginning it might be crude, it might actually be, you actually think there is a person sitting next to you in a chair. That’s fine. Because the only thing that is important is that you are engaging that organ that has an interface with the ultimate. And so you reinvigorating that and too much in the west in particular the modern post modern west. If we were spiritual it was okay to have right hand versus the great web of life. That is a third person view of spirit and that was okay and it was okay to have a first person version. So Buddhism then its on, that’s taken off quite well because that identifies spirit as panel spirit in first person. Not second person that hit basically, that just got cropped out and so this whole working of discourse with the divine gone. Because you want to talk to the great web of life you just stir it and you don’t really talk to your own eye, you just witness.

So this whole capacity to have a discourse with the divine has been devastating. And so we want to reinvigorate that to open it up again. And sometimes it will appear fairly corny and, but the more you do it the more you practice it. Like if you practice spirit in third person or spirit in first person, the better you get the deeper you go. And the more spiritual intelligence will get re-engaged and start its own growth and development. So we have the book series conversations of God. And it was a surprising best set up. Because it didn’t list whether it was kind of corny or not, it engaged people they actually said wait I can talk? This is I thou, there is a thou out there and I can talk to that.

Sally:               I haven’t said one thing about the conversation of go thou. Is that the way he did it was I’m you, God is you. And there is something about that second person practice as you were saying it’s an edgy practice relating internally to a God figure who is other. It’s not you and then that God being actually starts to teach you in a way that the self doesn’t. and then it is something about its somehow we need a teacher and we need an internal teacher and we need to name that being as the teacher, as the beloved, as God; someone who is higher than us, who is deeper than us, who can lead us as you said to opening up that spiritual [well being 0:13:11].

Ken:                Well and that is the thing about spirit in second person. The spirit in first person and third person don’t necessarily get that and that is spirit of second person is truly an ego deconstructing move because you can still do spirit in first person and your ego can hide out, it can go out I’m witnessing. Or maybe you are, maybe your ego is just hiding out and doing that making the spirit in third person to cause contemplation, go out and have a nice nature encounter and so on. An ego can still be the one experiencing that. But when you are saying I thou and thou is spirit no I, thou, it undercuts any tendency and capacity to identify the ego.

Sally:               Yes you to have to thou, that is what is so important. It’s the experience of a person God inside, even God inside teaches you thou. And it’s so kind of very natural there.

Ken:                Right and it is also. This gets into some sort of spirit second person part two which is the incredibly important role of a teacher. Of a guru, of a teacher, of somebody who is recognized and somebody you feel comfortable recognizing as realized, that means that somebody who realizes that they are God awakened. Now you really have literally God in second person, now you are in an acting with God who has taken human form. And now you are interacting with this guru, with this teacher and so on in a way that you are really fixed with spirit in second person. I mean literally faced with him. And people know Mary Allan’s the book on the guru question is a beautiful job in pointing out the positives and the negatives. The things that you have to look out for but on balance its extremely positive effective and particularly when it’s a good teacher and somebody who is psychologically healthy. Then you really are confronting your own true self temporarily showing out as in the mode of second person. It’s going to show up that way until you awaken that spirit in yourself. But until then, you’ve got this actual teacher who is showing you do this, don’t do this, no that’s right, this isn’t right and so on. And it’s just by far the first as quick as the most effective way to your own self realization. Its guru yoga; its spirit in second person. And we get a lot of that we can say it’s got trash.

Sally:              We have a very hard, because it’s actually very hard to find such a teacher.

Male:              Well that’s true.

Sally:               Because I’m part of just speaking as a teacher you know having been through rigorous training in the class of a go to psycho mode. The basic thing what a guru like that does is to take all the spiritual responsibility for you. And you make a kind of an internal contract in which obedience and surrender is on that basis. And who the hell are you going to let, who is going to take all these responsibilities for you these days? And as a teacher and to most of my students say there is no way I’m taking this responsibility for you. Because any little thing you say to them is like wait a minute what is she trying to do? It’s the job for a guru of dealing with the disciple’s ego. Its such as, its sacrificial part and, I mean to put it into stacks of the present term God has to have told you, this is what you are supposed to do.

Marc:             Right.

Sally:               You’re out of the way. This is me acting through you and there are very few people who have that level of authorization who are able to help their students.

Ken:                Right and of course what, the fundamental thing that a guru does [may take to spend with a guru in a pundin 0:17:47] for example.

Sally:               Maybe you are in a chair. A guru on a regular spiritual teacher you know in a charlism because I think there is a…

Ken:                [maintenance 0:17:58] they can both be enlightened the same amount. They can both be realized the same amount. But a guru enters into a fundamental contract with a student that the guru is going to take on the calling of the student. The guru is going to eat the karma…

Marc:             And eat the karma.

Ken:                student in the public arena and actually take all the responsibilities for that. And of course the student has certain things to meet their part of responsibility and then if they do that is this extra ordinary and charming together where the devotion of the student meets the compassion of the guru. And when those two things undergo there is no faster trip to enlightenment.

Sally:              That’s true.

Ken:               And again hard to find, hard to find gurus who are willing to do that.

Marc:             Hard to find students.

Ken:               It’s hard to find students who are worthy.

Sally:               Yes and I regard myself as a pretty worthy student I mean I entered into a guru to set my own relationship with the very strong wishful enlightenment and when I missed to give something to the process. When my guru died and there is this moment when the guru leaves the body, when all the shifty that you are able to take comes into your being. And I could feel the parts of myself that were not willing to surrender as literally blocking the [shante 0:19:33]. And I realized what it really means to open yourself to a guru. You know to the degree to which I was able to do that I was, in that moment there was a kind of a radical realization that it wasn’t me. But it was only partial, because I hadn’t been able to fully do it. And actually there is a mystical moment into that psycho relationship where the interior has to surrender it’s an unbelievable difficulty and radical process. And there actually is no playback for it. In other words there is not enough teachers who are willing to…

Ken:               Its post connection but its very definite.

Sally:               Yes, yes and just in my experience with Muktananda I wouldn’t say he has more than three or four digits of a guru who took. And that includes successes they fully didn’t take and please take that out of tape. It almost requires a student who is on the level of a teacher to do the true guru yoga. Which is not to say that its not of extreme benefit for a less where they say you got to go to that training. But the literature about it is always, it concerns [shankatara and go to purja. It concerns the weapon of Buber 0:21:06]. It’s about the disciples who became gurus. So how does a regular person with, who receives the awakening that says second or third level. How do we bring this into our contemporary situation? It’s really and it’s crucial.

Ken:                It is and one of the, because this also brings us to in a sense spirit in second person part three. And that is one of the interesting things about a lot of the contemporary traditions especially these which are compounded in the west. Is that there is a whole series of practices, generically referred to as deity yoga. And that’s visualization of a deity in other words a God in second person. And a lot of sort of western psychologists and [young yins 0:22:21] and all of that maintain that these deity forms are just psychological facets that they are not really out there. But they are just some sort of archetypal psychological form of function or something like that. It’s not how the debate is viewed. Because you actually have once you have the visualization in front of you, you then have actually to do a step and there is a marker for it so funk ponk hoh and that means that may the real Manjushree join this visualization that I have made. So there are two, to them it’s a real Manjushree running around out there somewhere. And it’s not just a psychological projection. So the way I see that is there is a dimension of the universe is out there in a second person. And its sacred and its there, and so we can create visualization and that’s freak. But let us also realize that we are visualizing something that is not just our visualization, it’s a visualization of an actual dimension of the universe. It’s a visualization of the law of quantum. And its real and its there and it’s not just a meager psychological projection. And so that’s a very important part to remember about that.

Sally:               And actually, what I found is that much more effective than visualization is actually asking the deity energy to be present. And because those deity energies are very ready to be present and it’s a very interesting dimension to play with in practice. Because each one has their own unique personality.

Marc:              I want to pick on that from this place because we’ve kind of gone through part one, part two part three of God in second person. And so let’s try to find the place now where, I’ll try to get three or four things online and throw them into the conversation and we can play with them. Where the average person, when I say the average person I mean what was committed and was kind of engaged in practice, wants to find a way to talk to God. And I think by the way the book “conversation through God” although he wasn’t really doing second person, the fact that he called it conversation through God really spoke to and that kind of deep yarning. And you’ll by the way joined in a bi-flex center which became the center for world spirituality actually responded lovingly and joined our group and which is fantastic. So what are the dimensions of second person that a person can access? So I just kind of look at two or three then offer them for conversation.

So first the idea that the deity energy that Sally talks about is ready, which is of course easier but depends, which visualizations are, I mean I was ten years when I looked at them. You know when I was still in some kind of deep orthodox mode when I said wow this is kind of complicated. This is a very complex inadequate advance practice as allures meditations on the letters and permutations and oblivious commetions of letters which are very parallel to something which is very, very intense, very structured…

Sally:              In mind training.

Marc:             In there complete mind training to take an enormous malpractice just to do before even you bring Manjushree, before you get the letter of allophone just to kind of get the letter up there right? Even though that’s an advanced particularly today, very few actively engage it. So lets talk over to the place where the kind of a deity energy is available, which begins to talk about this force in the universe in which you know as Hasher would say it you know not just man isn’t true to God but God isn’t true to man. That is to say that there is a dimension of divinity that is looking for the invade. And that realization by itself right is very, very powerful. Because it’s not only what my practice says. Its not about what I have done it’s the realization that there is a dimension of the infinite which actually really knows me, looks for me, cares about me. It’s radically identified with who I am and not only lives in me but in a particular dimension of experience actually it holds me and wants to help. Its dying to be asked [0:27:07] like Fayn Gerbil took her off because she is near and wants to find me.

So to bring that realization back online at the secondary of consciousness is extremely important and necessary and to live without it is to actually miss something essential.

Ken:               It’s broken. You’re spiritually broken.

Marc:             You’re spiritually broken without that.

Sally:              And you have no refuge essentially.

Marc:              And you have no refuge. And when you look at faith I mean to the word faith, you know actually when you go back to the original word it’s always. You know kind of look at the word, the word faith is emunah in Hebrew amen. You say amen, so amen means emunah; faith just a bad English kind of approximation of it. But the word faith actually means three things, it means emun; trust, it means emunim; practice. That is when it’s really emunim you drill its called emunist to practice. But the third source meaning from the book of Numbers chapter 11 is omen is the nursing mother who feeds the child. And the divine is called El Shadai the divine breast. And Isaac the blind of the thirteenth century says I know God [lang 0:28:20]  by searching from God not by conveniently apprehending God. So the mystic actually understands not just in doing the mystical practice and therefore the practice gets me there. But actually the divine breast, it’s just like I have watched Maryann breastfeed in the last four months. And you actually watch her desire, this kind of a radical desire to feed. And when she is feeding, she is literally in ecstasy. I kind of looked over and watched and it is complete ecstasy which is but a vague pale approximation of the internal experience of all that is wanting to be felt. And driven by…

Ken:               driven by love

Marc:              And driven by love, and its kind of very deep powerful. So there is a home of evalass and it’s a revelation which has gotten once to the mythical level revelation is actually the desire of the infinite. I mean the way the cabalas says [lang 0:29:23] to have a dwelling place in the lower world. And it says according to Bourfu that the divine [lang 0:29:30]. It’s the only way to translate that, all translators translate bad because they don’t want to I don’t know they maybe lasting. Actually the words [myth a vel] it doesn’t mean that lasts. Its literally you have to think of you know the moment when you felt most kind of sexually alive and drawn to something. You guys have never had moments like that but I’ve had them. When you just totally want, that is the experience of divinity, wanting to love.

Ken:               Absolutely.

Marc:              And wanting to give. In a world of spirituality that doesn’t allow for that possibility it’s stillborn. So, that’s kind of one place to kind of bring that online.

Ken:                When I first started talking about this as a sort of specific system matter aspect of the aqua framework. It goes all the way up, it means it goes all the way up to the very first manifestation out of emptiness and that is the self, the divine self, the purusha. And there is also a divine psycho person. There is the divine other and that is present as well. And then there is the divine matter, the divine substance that the universe is made out of and that is procrity. That’s condolenic energy itself. And this is actually showing up and then out of them crystallize down the soul dimensions and then the mind dimensions and then life and then matter and then pah big bang! All of these stuff gets in the minds of the first original hand is for God. So matter can’t remember anything above. So but there is a slow self organizing drive…

Marc:             Recovering of memory.

Ken:                Well and amnesia. And they do this and amnesia says in me do this remembrance of me. That which was dismembered would be remembered in the evolutionary unfolding. And that equals as Eros as well. And to get to the point when human beings are starting to emerge and they are starting to become linguistic then all over a sudden the spirit in second person is taking on a capacity I’ve been able to think about it to actually talk. You can actually hear it in some ways. And the extra ordinary thing is that it wants to communicate, it wants to help. And so like one of the great things that you were saying is just ask for help. It’s just in meditation, it’s not going well, its something is not going right. So it’s like show me the way. Please help me. But it’s an agent of help, it’s an agent of reaching out through its love of you to help your own go through that.

And for us to not have that person its just catastrophic and again not just because it cuts out an enormous amount of help. Its that it allows the ego to continue to hide out. Because in first person and third person as we said the ego can still hide out, there is nothing that guarantees that the ego is going to get done. But when you are dealing with spirit in second person then its basically going ah ah ah I see you, I know what is going on. And you are like oh shit I can’t just pretend I have forgotten God, that’s God in second person. And the same with the web of life that doesn’t call you to task, it doesn’t do anything and same reason that the living guru to take spirit in second person part two. One of the reasons that the living guru is necessary is dead gurus cant kick ass.

Sally:               The picture doesn’t build [covering your shit 0:34:04] the piece that I find very beautiful activator is being totally undo system is that one of the basic constructs that they talk about is that the divine does five functions; manifesting, sustaining, dissolving, concealing and then revelation. So those last two functions which are really the heart of what we are talking about. Its like realty constantly conceals himself in every way; in the physical level, psychological level. And it’s constantly revealing itself. So somehow when you understand that the divine is doing this. This gesture is called [lang 0;34:53] its hiding its face and then picking out. And what they say is that in [gals Walsh] they say give me the side Lang lide from your eyes because its very, very secret, very, very erotic relationship that you form with the divine beloved in this process knowing that its always concealing itself. And then picking out, showing itself and its what makes [satalor] a delicious relations there as well as it keeps it from being the hard slog ethics.

Ken:                Well that’s familiar to me, that’s the spirit of second person. Its all of the types of emotions and feelings and expressions that you can only have in continuing to person. Starting with love there is no room, there is no real love and this is interesting. In Buddhism in something like that, you don’t find love, its not there. And looking at the great web of life it doesn’t love you I mean its just completely indifferent to you. You are just one strength it’s unending with the other.

You have a beloved; you have importantly not only something that you can love. But somebody who is reaching out and loves you. And to feel loved by the infinite is a life changing experience. We have life changing experiences as an I and as an it. But you can get life changing experiences of we when you actually feel divinity completely surrounding you and loving you. Life is never the same, its extra ordinary.

Marc:              And absolutely, we’ve kind of been helpful in some sense in the kind of our context and you’ve put a lot into the Buddhist world when we kind of make these distinction complete separateness and uniqueness. Actually the Buddhist framework to say okay you can move beyond separate self but retain unique self, unique self is a second person property. And unique self implies second person, uniqueness implies that kind of relationship.

So lets see if we can, I want to kind of move to on to a second property. But to kind of just a story in between just came to mind, they talk about my teacher’s teacher [Murkhalina] is because kind of teacher was [mankhamendal of catsk] about which harsh rewards that Vince woke a passion of truth and there was this kind of regress and Armando would realize who he was, always angry and everybody at some point his last twenty years of life he spend in isolation. And he basically said let dean let dianda there is no judgment. And he kind of walked out of the study hall and if he didn’t say maybe in the next twenty years other than to come to the study like three in the morning and to just kind of everything is kind of fiery eyes and its going to give Armando a transmission and its own shock by the way. So they say he was, in the beginning his mastery, his grandson was playing hide and seek. And his grandson comes and he is crying. He asked his grandson why are you crying? It’s because I was playing with my friend and I went to hide and my friend didn’t look for me; didn’t seek. And he said at that moment its like that moment with jug breaks and he said at that moment he said I had realization and he said and I felt the inside of divinity; the God is hidden and we are not seeking. That intact feel into that moment on the inside of divinity right in the kind of divine pathos. Like a divine pathos of kind of unknowing that in the world of paradox the Buddhist smile and laugh to hot paradox. There is no contradiction between that and the foremost manifest. These are actually faces of the one that is enormously powerful because what it does it allows us to bring the personal back into the conversation.

Because when we talk about an in person enlightenment vision, and you’ve got a developed western esoteric intuition which translates into democracy, which is a kind of hubs in lock flattering. But behind this lock flattering that is eluded in a western esoteric intuition of second person. And of the personal, which is why if you said to someone I though that was really impersonal. What we mean by that is, we mean there was a lack of spirit there. That is what we mean. I thought that was really personal, we mean wow the spirit was there. So when we actually kind of suggest that spirit has to be personal, we are actually violating something in the esoteric western intuition of spirit. And we are confusing personal with separate self personality. And we actually underminesomething which is a core necessity, and so we cant make people choose between a kind of infinity of indifference and a kind of intimacy of infidence. And that is the choice we offer people with the myth of God.

Sally:              It’s interesting though that in green the personal is your excuse to any alt…

Marc:              When the person becomes personality, I’m getting the word the same way and we had that discussion, you set yourself, you go, your personality becomes the center of the personal. Which is the tragedy.

Sally:               Yes. But that is precisely the clasp where a, lets say I realize that the personal actually needs to become…

Marc:             That’s the second person is a realized sense of the person.

Ken:                Well there is a whole self in the case, there is a whole spectrum, and a developmental spectrum of person from the earliest which is just egocentric nassastic, the person is just me and the heck with everybody else. And the person grows into a role, and the role he is supposed to play. And my person is defined as I’m a mother, I’m a father, I do this I do that and then it starts getting into post conventional versions. And a person starts to take on a trans-personal capacity meaning, again trans-personal meaning person plus not person minus. And so all the characteristics of person are present but plugged into this whole trans-personal ground.

Marc:             It really does transcend to include the personal…

Ken:               It transcends and includes

Marc:              Not in personal enlightenment in the sense that it transcends beyond personality.  And that brand is something online is probably the most important text in the entire Hebrew canon would be by the bearer of where it says God spoke to Moses and that’s it. That’s it, it doesn’t matter what was said, it doesn’t matter, the fact is there is a conversation. And actually the Hebrew word Messiah actually means Mashiach which is pure noble. He was the second generation from the [Bulshanti]. Actually he was the third generation when the oldest student of the magan of Mezach he writes in his commentary right to a section of rhetorical [pinkhass]. He says the word Mashiack is completely right off a myth the simple anemology, the word Mashiach means shiach which means conversation. And he says the evolution of the conversation with the divine, when you evolve the conversation to [kunf] that’s when you fix the conversation. And what he means by fixing the conversation is it’s initially your child. So you think it’s that kind of conversation. When you fix the conversation that is the Messiah. So Messiah means the fixed of all conversation with divinity, and it’s got it wonderful.

Ken:                That is major thing about it, so many of the really important I thou communications that have been reported in East and West, its referred to as spoken. God said the following and God spoke to Moses and the testament with Jesus. God appears as this luminous light in heaven and speaks “this is my son of who I am…

Marc:             And always becomes the word.

Ken:                It’s the word and the Buddhist Marianna text thus I have heard and then starts a conversation. And so all of those are second person, and can’t happen without that. And that is just another dimension which is so utterly important in terms of the actual transmission of spirit into the human heart.

Sally:               And the teaching in other words the revealing teaching comes in the form of spoken word. That is which is heard.

Marc:             Let’s go back to the teaching and teacher for a second…

Sally:              I was actually thinking of the part that comes from God into the…

Marc:             The direct teaching.

Sally:              The directing teaching, yes.

Marc:              I was actually semantically just trying to use the word inappropriate. But I understood, received. I was using associatively as opposed to theologically. I want to go back. I want to try and find a teacher model. Because Ken you spoke so beautifully about a guru model as the incarnation of lurid incarnation of the second person. Sally you talked about your experience in that relationship and the limitation of that. We all agree that it’s not easy to find. And the question is what’s possible in the teacher model which is not the full lets say Muktananda kind of full transmission. We know that Muktananda himself run into complexity, everyone runs into complexity. But its not the Muktananda kind of model, what kind of modeling can we do, lets say Sally when you and I are teaching which actually allows for a second person encounter with the student without making what might be the over reaching claim where the classical guru yoga. So I just kind of want to make a suggestion in an offer to you. Does that work?

Sally:               I would say it’s really important in this conversation like you just said Muktananda run into complexity. Lets just say in the conversation about the classical guru those things are utterly around them. Whereas when we are talking about a regular person teacher, there are radically relevant. So there is the guru who you say this is God as a person it doesn’t matter what relationship you may have with their human self. What you are looking at is a human being with, who is so radically identified with the divine. That for somebody who is really into that person there is no way a rapture is going to happen which is not great to start. And that is the mystical thing about what they call sub gurus. The mystical  truth about a sub guru that is to say somebody who is in that relationship I mean if which Christ of course is a classic ascended example. Is that every interaction you have with such a being no matter how crazy or by human standards unethical? If you are in the right relationship, that interactions based as teaching. So I just wanted to say that because…

Marc:              I know exactly what you wanted to say. I want to stay away from that conversation and take it down a different path.

Sally:              I know, but it’s crucial.

Ken:               It’s crucial.

Sally:              Yes it’s crucial.

Ken:                I just wanted you know just briefly go to that too because that is where we get into trouble.

Marc:             That’s right exactly.

Sally:              So we mix up the sub guru.

Marc:              The reason I want us to awaken is the following [all talking]. Let’s take a look at a different transmission. The world coming from where we are coming both from a kind of world spirituality placing, and the traditions that formed us. So let me just kind of go to kind of an Indian tradition. So you present Moses, Moses is clearly a realizer. And of course in your terms Ken you could say there is a blue Moses and there is a red Moses and Moses appears in different levels of consciousness. But Moses is presented as the ultimate realizer and as a person who does eight major things wrong in the biblical text. And there is not an assumption that because he is Moses it’s necessarily grace for itself. So understand we are talking about two different traditions in this. And so I actually don’t want to actually grant that. Not because its not a holy. I know this a passion niche for you so I just kind of want to get a little juicy point out there. This is your juicy side coming up. In other words, do we have to say that king David was actually grace bestowing when he did this that or the other well maybe yes maybe no. what we would say is you can turn every action into grace bestowing. But actually even Moses who is e shalohim when incarnate divinity in the most radical arnando sense and he was always reading Moses. Nonetheless what the [zeodan] does is reread all of his mistakes. The [zoa] has passage by passage rereads every mistake of Moses into this grace bestowing moment. So there is always doing that particular thing and yet the text itself holds Moses in its complexity. So I think both are true. Here is what we talked about, this is paradox.

Sally:               And it’s about attitude. Not being able to receive it, if you don’t have the ability to receive it then its abuse it’s unethical, you don’t have another human being with this. If you aren’t able to receive it, it’s a divine revelatory teaching. So and that…

Marc:             It involves students?

Sally:              It does and all radical degree of a Buddhism faith I mean it’s…

Marc:             Which is by itself a degree of evolution.

Sally:               Yes but that’s why the issue is so complex. Because you have all these people who are [inaudible 0:49:37], so being a teacher who has not received the mandate to disturb every action even to those who love him or love her. Then how do you act responsibly as a channel of grace.

Marc:             That is the conversation I wanted to look at because this is the model we need to create.

Ken:                And part of that model needs to be our modern and post modern understanding of the human being, what they are made of and how they can, how we have something called levels of lines. Then there is multiple intelligences and people can be at different developmental levels in this life. So it means that if some people can be highly developed spiritually and poorly developed ethically or interpersonally or musically or mathematically. This is not an understanding that was present until very recently. And its part of the difficulty that people come into a relationship with a teacher is, they have this sort of mentally assume that the teacher is superman; can do no wrong. Everything they do is a part of absolute enlightenment and therefore they have to follow every single thing they say, and they loose their discernment. And so part of what a world spirituality has to be is attempting to come up with generalized guidelines and practices for discernment about whether you’ve got a guru that is fairly well put together. Have you got somebody who is highly developed in one line and screw up in all the others. But the one thing that we’ve got to do is get the superman notion out of the person.

Marc:              That’s right. I mean that’s what Marian would say you’ve got to have eyes wide open you’ve got to cultivate discernment on the spiritual [all talking]

Ken:                And even [robin of maharaji] everybody loves him and adores him. And he set the cave, he is enlightened. What would he do if he was married? How would he do as a parent? How would he do if he was teaching economics? Probably not very good.

Sally:              All this goes I mean that’s a thing that is classical deep weird.

Marc:              Lets look for a classical model I want to kind of stay with that. I want to just kind of, lets try and construct what would be a model and this is in my own experience of bestowing, channeling grace and yet not being in that sub guru which actually can actually create a second person invocation which is actually a real model.

Sally:              I just want to say just one other thing.

Marc:             Please

Sally:               That I think it’s important that we not loose the esoterical understanding in other words that we somehow find a way to hold that radical crazy wisdom recognition without as you say people…

Marc:             Carte blanche right to do whatever they though they want.

Sally:               … exactly. And without throwing it out which is what Marian is doing. And that’s one thing that is great about Marian’s book that she actually does hold that. She finds a way to hold that.

Marc:             I think Marian does a pretty good job of holding.

All:                 She does.

Marc:              And its true with the kind of radical guru. So I just want to kind offer just from the perspective of first the teacher. A discernment that the teacher can make. And I found this just in my own experience and Sally I think you have talked really about it from your perspective two things. Kind of two kind of discerning caveats. One is the teacher can, lets say for example when I started with private students and I’ll talk about the kind of public teaching which is some kind of transmission. When I stared with private students, we have what we call the holy of holies. So lets say am starting with private students this morning. I was with a private student, actually someone that we all know, a great person, very sophisticated, you know mind good person. So when that person, when he asked to call me on something about that is an article idea, he came to talk to me about holy of holies. And it’s like we sat on phone call for quite sometime. So the holy of holies is a down space and we’ve gone through the space I’ve gone through the space with this particular person probably fifty times in the last two years, it’s a lot. Fifty times each time an hour and half one on one so there is no room for circulate, it’s a lot of time.

And what I found is and I told him in this place I’m in a radical teacher transmission mode and anything you think I was wrong about this just doesn’t matter. And I said if I don’t know something I would tell you I don’t know. But we have to create a space of grace and I would say that forty out of fifty its kind of an incredible actually not normal barrier we would actually feel this breakthrough to this other side of grace and a kind of transmission would come in. We get a kind of clarity but as a few hours ago. Now what I found is, its not true that we [are student]. Meaning [lourda] says you have a soul to connect with certain students. So what I have done is when I can’t find it with that student I let them go because I realize they are not my students. So I have even actually with other people on the phone, last night I was talking to a person who is a lovely person; a professor of a particular domain of mathematics. And I have talked to him several times; a fantastic person and he thought he had a great session. But I just know am not his teacher, I’m just not. In other words I can be a guide, I can talk to him but I’m not his teacher I can’t find that inner place of grace that I found this morning. Which I found forty eight times with this person, in my group when I’ve sometimes visited you, you’ve heard sessions where we are just going to this place which clearly is internal grace, where the wisdom is wiser than anything that I know as my small self. And so it’s my responsibility

  1. Not to, first of all to recognize what it is. It’s a channel of grace, it is channel transmission, it’s a form of you know you break shaft path. That is what it is to recognize the search unabashedly.
  2. Not to extend from that to inappropriate authority outside the holy of holies and that is for your establishment of holy of holies. You don’t create inappropriate authority outside of the holy of holies. You don’t mix other things in it, you literally protect it and to know and to be discerning about who you have an authentic holy of holies relationship with and who you don’t. And as our community is gathering in world spirituality its very clear, you can literally feel [Shant Lu] is talking about a sub guru. These are my people and this group people they are great but they are not my people. Meaning they are beautiful and send them to someone else.

Sally:              And maybe you just have five people in the entire league.

Marc:              And sometimes you don’t have right, sometimes you have five or you have a community but you are actually owning it that way. But you are not being a green teacher. And you are actually creating hierarchy, you are owning transmission, you are owning the responsibility of grace. But you are not overreaching based on. So that’s the beginning of a model that will allow for a kind of holding. When I’m in the holy of holies with that [capustulate] it’s an incarnation of second person. And when it’s over you know we are kind of back to small self you know like in a comma you can talk about something. And that discernment and the role of the teacher allows us to retain second person without some of its weaknesses. That is something that is kind of learned over time which is powerful.

Sally:               Yes and its, in other words that’s my experience also, I’m sure its yours. There are moments when your actual channel and that is what it is and then there are moments when you are yourself and you know you have a lot to teach in a certain way. But its the [child] of independent.

Marc:             That discernment is critical.

Sally:              It is

Marc:              And part of the teacher, it requires the teacher to kind of suspend something that will make that discernment. I mean one of these Marian pointed out that her teacher is fantastic. Did make that discernment. So meaning he would get the same authority to his advice, being a single mother that he would like to advice about x when he actually didn’t know anything about single motherhood. And that actually wasn’t a guru role and he did make that discernment. So that allows for the beginning of a model that make your second person teach your model.

Sally:               Yes and allows, I was just thinking of someone we know we even said something about Violet. He is a fantastic teacher, one of my student friends, one of the people who comes to my retreats whom I have a personal relationship he started studying with him. And she called me up and she said what do you think? Should I study with him? I said this is fantastic you don’t want to take him as a life long teacher and you just have to be really clear about that. And then great for sure I’ll study with him. And I would say that about myself, I would say that about you. I think really you come to the barber to get a hair cut and you don’t go asking for tequila [all talking]. So it actually requires a degree of eaglesness on the part of the teacher…

Marc:             That’s right it requires the teacher to be very discerning.

Sally:               And that is beyond self devocation its just like a lot of clarity and that requires radical training or radical self. I don’t think you would have had that recognition this way if you had not been through radical suffering. It’s sort of like it requires to really find out what we have been, what we have the entitlement for.

Marc:              And we can’t let the kind of green level; calculate the level differences and when we would pray, like when the community would do prayer in the galley. So I would say that the community we are going to kick to in this prayer time and time again till the gates of heaven open. Now I can do that with authority. So people would say how would you know when the gates of heaven are going to open? And you say you know, you actually know, I mean you know that from practicing you literally know at this moment its happened, its opened and we can go on until then it just hasn’t happened. And that, and everyone in the room knows, in other words it was clear. So we need to reclaim that.

I want to offer one last second person model and just offered because I think its one of the places we can also reclaim kind of guru yoga like known in that old context. There is this new teacher student model we are talking about here which is kind of partial guru yoga. And there is another model which is in the encounter with sacred text. That sacred text itself the scriptures as it were s a guru. Now just like a guru that you need to discern, the sacred text itself will have different levels of consciousness in the text. So you have different voices of God in the [ventance] and in the biblical text; the divine pears to different layers and levels in the text itself. But having recognized that, I’m just going to suggest a kind of, we might quote a kind of an inner room method of kind of reading a sacred text which is emerging from the great tradition. I’m drawing it from the great traditions, but the kind of through an evolvement into the level of consciousness. What really be is Sally you might have talked about this and Ken we’ve talked about this in a slightly different context when were talking about the three levels of the [bul shantoves 1:01:53] levels of consciousness which again lets be really clear it’s the inner length which has all the instructions about levels of consciousness not levels in the structure stage sense. But levels that coexist with in a particular structure stage. We talked about submission, separation and individuation level two and level three sweetness.

So really with those three levels out and he actually elliptically says that’s how you read a text. Which is actually what I do with students now. So first level of submission is second person, that’s God talking to me, I’m submitting, the text is talking to me. I hear the voice of God in the text and that is a place to be. Now if I isolate there, if I freeze frame in the mythic level and often unannounced. But I could actually hear God talking to me. God spoke to Abraham saying “get out of your land, get out of your fathers house”. Hear the text speak to you is you first level of reading.

And you’ve got the second level of reading which is the third person. And third person is separation, I’m separating the text, it’s the third person and I analyze its structures I look at its theology. I see parallel structures, I study the text. But then I get to first person which is the third level as first person which is sweetness. And sweetness always means that [shamptu of nando 1:03:14] radical erotic merging of the text which the text speaks through me and this is the end of remove speaks to my evolved level of consciousness and therefore creates intura. So the new word of God emerges through my erotic merger with the text, refracted sweetly right through my non dual penetration of the text. I penetrate the text as it penetrates me. And that way I get to actually engage the text which holds me. I can’t say anything about the text. You know as you said, I don’t remember where I read but I remember you wrote something that said a hamlet cant be a story about a dog playing with the [conjain] something like that. I cant really remember where you said that [all talking]. The text that holds you, the text creates, you know you are reading the vade as you are reading the bag of a guitar. There is a framework, you are reading a lot of structure, there is a framework. You actually first have to receive it, you then study it you then merge with it. And so text; reclaiming sacred text as kind of part of our spiritual practice, people have forgotten how to read, and you got to read, you’ve got to be willing to struggle with text. I mean with student set up, our colleague tutors law this morning we were talking kind of about your text. Don’t tell me what Ken says before I can read him, you know struggle with the text. And we just need to redesign….

Ken:                What I pointed out to Stewart and the people who invented the robot was. I mean the robot was founded by a bad teacher and yet it has this anti-intellectual no study, no reading all that just feeling and contemplation. And he said they will be shocked if they actually look at it to better practice what the average debutton monk does. They spend half the day meditating, they spend the other half philosophical debate; rational philosophical debate. Because the framework that you hold in your mind is how you would interpret these experiences that you have in meditation. And so it’s very important to have a good correct inclusive authentic philosophy in order to interpret the experiences that you are going to get in meditation. Because these experiences are wildly open to different interpretations and so you want to get that right, the only way to get that right is through intellect. And so I said if the just alone got into [nuroba] a complete change…

Marc:              Right and so world spirituality needs to bring reading sacred text back online in first person, second person and third person.

Ken:               Yes absolutely.

Marc:              That’s actually the three faces of God all appear in sacred text, we just change the conversation. And when Allan Bloom is complaining about this kind of loss, the closing of the American mind, we stop to read.

Ken:                From what I hear you saying, what I like about creating a model, a post modern model for a guru is that among other things we are actually setting aside a certain space in which we are going to say okay I want you to take what I say now. And I’m going to take what I say now seriously as a divine transmission. When I step outside of this boundary, all that is set off. But in here, I’m going to do my best to open to the divine, I’m going to ask if what’s coming through me is divine. And here and this is for the students you must act as if what I’m saying is divine. This is for obedience and submission, step outside the boundary? No. What I say is if it makes sense to you fine if not fine. But in here this is a divine circle and we are both going to act as if divinity is talking to us right now. And so I want you to listen with that kind of respect. And I will attempt to listen to myself with that kind of respect and open myself…

Marc:              And I promise if that is what is going to happen I’m going to tell you. And I’m sticking my life on this. I stick my life on these sessions, this session this is it and you literally it feel like everything else falls away and you are in the inside of the inside and the divine voice actually speaks. And then it stops and when it stops I’m going to stop talking.

Ken:                And what you are doing within that model, within that holy of holies is you are also engaging the of all the multiple intelligences, you are engaging the one that is most pertinent to the students’ spiritual life. Particularly you are engaging your own understanding of spiritual intelligence. And you are trying to use that judgment and that activity. You are not engaging a mathematical intelligence, you are not engaging your musical intelligence or anything like that. But basically what we are saying…

Marc:             even that spiritual intelligence

Ken:                …even that spiritual intelligence. But what we are actually saying is look the previous definition of guru is that in many cases particularly given the socio-political structure of those cultures in debate they say every value of a guru, every value of a different [doman]. This guru is just making this shit up because they don’t have it. But the guru is the policeman, he is the minister, he is the head of everything. When he says something its one hundred percent absolutely true and you jump to whatever he says. Well as society started differentiating more and more and other individuals took up different functions, now we actually have a sheriff not just a guru. But the differentiation for what the guru can actually do didn’t change. It didn’t key right up with this whole differentiation started to occur. Now we know there are things called levels and lines. That’s a different developmental lives, if people can be at these different levels in these lives not to mention state accomplishments, in many cases where teachers are highly accomplished state wise some are made to cause are non dual. But they are ethically disaster here, where the cycle sexually disaster there is. And until we had the sort of mark that we could see these differences, that was very confusing. Because you go wait a minute how can somebody be enlightened and be this ethical fucker. It’s very simple moon are here, here and they are here. So we are learning ways to say okay of all of the activities that human beings do, there is going to be a particular place; there is going to be holy of holies. And in that place I’m going to try and engage the multiple intelligence that is most appropriate spiritual development and I’m going to get in the high state that I can. And I’m going to communicate to you in those circumstances and you in this particular space only, must look at me as God.

Marc:              And this is the way, that is the model. That is the model I was trying to cut out that allows us to reclaim the holy of holies. And this is really…

Ken:               And it allows people to be able to look at a person as God.

Sally:               Exactly and I understand that when twenty minutes later they are talking about something they didn’t know anything about and make a mistake it is not…

Ken:               That’s right, twenty minutes later they are convening.

Marc:             That’s right. Again we have causes; we want a teacher to have a good degree of obviously ethical attainment. And that we need the teacher to in have all levels, we want the teacher to have a degree of attainment, that doesn’t mean the teacher cant make a mistake. It means that, again there is this kind of in between place. A particular colleague of ours kind of marks, partially correctly where the teacher is constantly saying hey I’m just a guy like you always making mistakes. That’s a good marking because after the teacher requires a degree of attainment. The teacher needs to be walking on themselves ethically all the time. The teacher needs to have right, the right to have both structure development and state development. By having said that, the Moses model; the teacher will be imperfect in all the ways the teacher will have better days and worse days and better periods and worse periods. But non the less what is pressing the teacher self discernment which the student can actually feel to actually know that they can be able to enter the holy of holies and de-ritualize that space. And in that space the way that the teacher knows, just talking in first person now because I know you know this experience I mean in your [phone process] precisely you experience that. And some of my students that I could send to you have the same experience. But when you are teaching in that space, its completely self validating, meaning you don’t need to turn to another authority because it’s just there. And you don’t have any question why you are alive or alive to do that. In other words when you do that, that’s how you know it’s the real then. And it’s got nothing to do with, I mean you’ve got one person or five hundred, you are alive to do that. And life is fully right, reasonable and gorgeous and beautiful because you are doing that. Because it’s just that it is the full expression of divinity there.

Ken:                And that thouness is as a I am ness. It’s certain in first person. You can’t doubt, which doubt is I am absolutely surviving there absolute space thouness its holy, holy, it just certainly comes through rattles your bones, shakes your veins and speaks the voices of angels. And you are given the holy of holies and that is what is happening and it is really important that the student and we are saying check the teacher out first, make the discernment, you are going to get a bad teacher is because you are a bad student. Don’t give into this victim crap. So once you’ve checked them out, decide whether they are good and all that, that’s fine. When you step in the holy of holies they are no longer just a human, you are talking to God. You are interacting with your high self. And actually have them feel, get the opportunity to feel what guru yoga does. Let them face God virtually.

Marc:              Its just, and now we have brought I mean just to feel like, we’ve now brought online in the context of world spirituality based interval principles a model of guru yoga based on the holy of holies structure which allows us to reclaim the second person. That is really exciting. This is the first person this is going to articulate in this particular way. It’s great, it’s fantastic.

Sally:               And I would say any teacher who has lived in that space knows exactly what it is and knows when they step out of it. And that I think in terms of first person experience, that is the place the teacher has to be deeply discerning as well as in all the other ways of human being as we’ve seen. So in a certain sense if you are working out a model, because we live in a world where there are no structures, the old world that the teacher said okay you can teach, you are reliable. We don’t have that anymore. So, we also need a way of actually both for the sake of the teacher’s confidence and for the sake of the student’s protection. So then the questions come, how do we discern that someone has the entitlement to teach.

Marc:              The answer is, in that way, it’s a natural charismatic authority. When I say charismatic I don’t mean it in the superficial sense, I mean the charism sense. In other words you actually can feel the difference between teacher who is speaking from silence and the teacher who is speaking from speech.

Sally:              Yes, you are completely right. So here we go, here we have…

Marc:              And we are never going to create a kind of green safety structure actually because its not safe.  We actually have to be willing to, in other words we are never going to create, in other words we always want to do and green is wanting to create a full proof thing to make it all safe. But actually, I actually just wanted to step in…

Sally:              We want to create yoga alliance.

Marc:             Yes we can do that, yes we can do it.

Sally:               Except that in some way we cant do it. But again this is a separate subject and its an ongoing conversation and its one of the things that I always want for in the [intercol] spiritual center community. Its how do teachers provide that kind of mirror, that kind of really clear mirror for students, because who else is going to do it? So I think we need that.

Ken:                There are dozens of books out there. Some by actual spiritual teachers themselves, some by students and they have a list of these are the things to look for, that will help you find a good teacher. The more these things you find, the greater the likelihood that you are dealing with a good teacher. So if it’s somebody who is virtue who you can tell has integrity it somebody who also has psychological help, it’s somebody who cares deeply for others and not just for themselves. Somebody who has compassion, somebody who is set to, and this is just a whole list. And then most of the good list at the bottom says oh and by the way, this is pretty much meaningless. Because any sort of crazy wisdom factor in this and a guru will throw over all of that. Because the only fundamental thing they are looking for is what can I do to help the disciple. And if that means this break this rule, break this rule, break this rule but I will do it. So here are guidelines don’t take them as rigid but they are indicators. And I’m sure we can come up with a list of those things and then the disclaimer. But basically, optimumly it comes down to your discernment about the teacher. And it’s going to be, if you yourself are a good student, meaning you have integrity and you have character, you are going to attract a decent teacher. If you are, you know got psychological issues and shatter elements and transfer stuff, you are going to attract [shalowtims 1:19:02]. And they are going to hurt you and you are going to blame them when it’s your fault.

Sally:              And even if you find a true teacher they will hurt you with [shalowtism 1:19:13].

Marc:             But they will put you open to God ultimately .

Sally:              They will hatch you up to God

Marc:             Maybe they will ask maybe kind of discernment  to start, move this piece towards closure. The teacher things I think we’ve kind of landed the model is exactly what you were talking about Sally in [cannabel 1:19:33]. We talked about the self discernment of the teacher. So I’m remembering a story that lives in these books of tradition about the basic teaching was always that one. Someone came to the teacher with an issue, the teacher can only with what they could find and it suits the spark of that in themselves. So somebody came to them with an adultery issue, if the teacher had never been an adulter they had to find act somewhere in themselves. So there is one particular just fantastic in oral tradition about how somebody comes to the [basiaco 1:20:06] which is the sign of [modercalina vizbuka 1:20:09] with this question for how to do a fixing on this particular issue. And he just cant help them, he is devastated because he maybe able to find everything he could find Modern himself, he could find adultery, he could find swindling. He could find the point in himself. This thing he just couldn’t find and so he kind of goes into isolation or a week. And when he comes out a week later his face shining and he says call the man and he gives him a fixing and it’s good. So the [ultra khasin 1:20:37] what did he ask that was so hard? So he said you know well my wife died and I’m still sleeping with her. I kept her body at home and I’m still, I’m engaging in alcrufilia and the rabbi couldn’t find it and he just couldn’t find it. And so the student says how did you find the man. And he said, he says because I remember sometimes I felt like dancing when the ecstasy was gone. It looks so beautiful. That’s precisely what we are talking about. And he was like you have to stop dancing when the ecstasy is gone, dance with the end of love, the ecstasy is there and the holy of holies, speak with the full voice. Now it speaks with the third of Moses and then have the humility to stop. And that allows you to really reclaim the holy of holies which we desperately need to do in this second person.

What a great discussion with conversing friends. This is fantastic. This is great.

Ken:               Good stuff.

[The End]

Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton & Marc Gafni: The Second Face of God2023-09-19T07:21:59-07:00

Mariana Caplan & Marc Gafni Unplugged: On Holding Complexity On the Spiritual Path

In this dialog, Dr. Marc Gafni and Mariana Caplan have an initial conversation on holding complexity on the spiritual path.

Stream the audio here:

Mariana Caplan & Marc Gafni Unplugged: On Holding Complexity On the Spiritual Path2023-06-20T07:43:18-07:00

Byron Katie & Marc Gafni: World Spirituality Dialogue

In this dialogue from 2006, Byron Katie and Marc Gafni discussed the relationship between Katie’s system known as “The Work” and what Marc Gafni has recently come to refer to as Evolutionary Kabbalah (a term Marc Gafni coined formally only after this dialogue took place).

Key issues were the relationship of thoughts and inner states of being to the creation of reality in the manifest world. Byron Katie has said many times in her written and oral work that all suffering is a creation of our thoughts. This is the core premise, and one might even say dogma, of her entire teaching.Marc Gafni’s position is that while much of suffering is a creation of our thoughts, to say all of suffering is a creation of our thoughts is both not true AND creates more suffering.

The great contribution of Byron Katie’s work in Marc Gafni’s understanding is that it is utterly politically incorrect and a wonderful challenge to victim consciousness. Katie’s questions cut right through the core of illusion, narcissism and self-deception! She challenges the person lost in victimhood to reject a self-pitying stance and assume full responsibility for the way things are.

Is it true? Is it really true? How would it feel for you to give up that thought? And, Who would you be without that thought? And turn it around… That is, whatever you thought about the other person… and what they are doing to you… turn it around, take back the projection, and see how you are doing it to them.

Wow… How totally wonderful and great is this simply-formulated perception, which cuts to the core of the way things really are. A wonderfully elegant and simple expression of the non-dual realization that all is perfect – just as it is right now!

Marc Gafni both appreciated and challenged Byron Katie during their dialogue. The challenge was rooted in Marc Gafni’s position that while everything Byron Katie says is true as far as it goes, it is only part of the truth.

In Marc Gafni’s realization, based on the great tradition of Kabbalah, not all suffering is created by thoughts. Some suffering is real. Some suffering is not created by thoughts. Sometimes we are right to cry out in protest and say, “Let my People Go.” “It should not be this way.” “It must not be this way.”

This is the prophetic ethic of protest, which demands justice from everyone, including Job. It is in this prophetic tradition that it became possible for a Hasidic master in the late 19th century to put God on trial for the suffering of his community! Putting God on trial naturally assumes that it is legitimate and good to reject the status quo and affirm the possibility of possibility. If we do not affirm the dignity of our perceptions, which includes the reality and pain of suffering, then how can we trust our intuitions and perceptions to guide us in healing and transforming the planet?

Specifically, Marc Gafni discussed a story with Byron Katie about his mother being buried alive at age four by the Nazis in the midst of the Holocaust. Byron Katie suggested that this suffering was caused only by Marc’s mother’s thoughts about what was happening, and that absent her thoughts, which placed a hermeneutic grid on this incident, she might have been able to experience it as merely playing in a sandbox or some such.

Stream the audio here:

Byron Katie & Marc Gafni: World Spirituality Dialogue2023-06-20T07:50:51-07:00

Brother David Steindl-Rast in Dialogue with Marc Gafni

The following short dialogue between R. Marc and Brother David in Jan. 2008 focuses on the spiritual practice of Forgiveness. The conversation tracks the internal experience of non-dual consciousness and shows why it is essential to achieve the highest level of forgiveness. R. Marc and Brother David suggest an understanding which honors both the Jewish and Christian understanding of forgiveness and show why forgiveness needs to exists in different forms at different levels of consciousness.

Brother David Steindl-Rast in Dialogue with Marc Gafni2023-06-21T11:40:26-07:00
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