From Shalom Mountain Wisdom School teaching by Dr. Marc Gafni. Transcribed by Adael Bullock.
Photo by Julie M. Daley
Divinity is not only the infinity of power; divinity is the infinity of pain. It is the infinity of tears. Divinity at its core is the infinity of intimacy. The infinity of intimacy feels your pain and doesn’t relegate it to separate self. Is there part of your pain and my pain and all of our pain that comes from an obsessive grasping in the realm of separate self? Of course. Is that unnecessary pain? Of course. And can we liberate from that pain by awakening? Of course. That doesn’t end the story of pain. That ends the unnecessary pain in the world. But then, there is the legitimate and the real pain that comes with being incarnate. That is where the Christ consciousness got it better than the Buddhist consciousness. The Christ consciousness didn’t say there is no pain; the Christ consciousness said, I die for your sins. That is a very different move. That is not the same spiritual move. One is, “life is suffering” because your mind is fucked up, so unfuck your mind, and you will not suffer – the 4 Noble Truths. The second is, suffering is so fucking intense, there is nothing you can do, so I am going to die for you.
The real way to integrate it is you bring both together. This is gorgeous. The world spirituality ninja move is, on the one hand, True Self. You actually realize True Self, and you know that you can deconstruct the illusion of a grasping separate self as being the fullness of your identity and actually realize your identity as True Self, as Christ awake and alive in you. When Christ awakens and lives in you, then you participate in the infinity of intimacy. You become Christ. As you awaken, you take the pain and joy of the world unto you, your own pain recedes. As you awaken as Christ, you don’t awaken as a neutral True Self, you awaken as Christ, you awaken with your own ability to feel the infinite pain and joy of the world. When you reach out to hold someone’s hand, your own suffering recedes. You wake up.
You wake up–not as No Self. You wake up as Christ, as a living, breathing, pulsing source of divine love and compassion, radical empathy, radical intimacy, radical caring, radical eros, awake, alive in you, and you feel AS Elijah, AS Bodhisattva, the full pain, joy and grace of the world coursing through you. And all of a sudden, your own wounds, they are in this much larger context. You own wounds, the fact that your father abused you, and your mother did not let you leave the light on by the bed is all real. When you actually take those wounds into the larger context of your own Christ consciousness, those wounds assume a different place, and they begin to melt, to dissipate, in the infinite Christ consciousness that is awake and alive in you.
Quote transcribed and edited by Adael Bullock from the 2013 Shalom Mountain Wisdom School.
Elizabeth Helen Adael Bullock is a Center for Integral Wisdom Senior Editor and empowered Senior Teacher of Unique Self. Adael has been trained in Introductory and Advanced Shalom Retreat Leadership Process. She has also completed training in Tantra, 5 Rhythms, Insight and Metta meditation, creative writing, and Integral Theory. Adael is currently editing the CIW think-tank book Teachings from the Holy of Holies: Daily Reflections on World Spirituality.