Evolutionary Love: An Interview with Dr. Marc Gafni by Mark Matousek
How can we consummate the marriage between sense and soul?
Marc Gafni is a cutting-edge thought leader and the founder, together with Ken Wilber, of the activist think tank, the Center for Integral Wisdom. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University and is the author of eight books on spirituality and religion, including “Soul Prints,” “The Erotic and the Holy,” “Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment” and “The Mystery of Love.” I recently had the opportunity to speak with him about Eros and spirituality and how to bring passion to the seekers life.
Mark Matousek: I recently heard you say that “Eros and spirituality are misunderstood topics.” What did you mean, exactly?
Marc Gafni: When we talk about Eros or the erotic, we suffer from any number of confusions. There’s an important relationship between the erotic and the sexual, but they’re not the same thing. Eros is the essential aliveness of reality — it’s the experience of being on the inside. Like when you’re running and at some point you break through and you’re in the zone or the inside of experience. The second and third qualities of Eros include a fullness of presence and the evolutionary yearning of being. And the fourth quality of Eros is when you experience interconnectivity or the larger context, the wholeness of it all. Each one of those qualities of Eros is the experience that everything flows from. The goodness of life, the color in a black and white world and all ethics flow through that world.
The loss of Eros is the failure of ethics. Creativity, intimacy and relationship, politics, economics — nothing moves without the erotic. When there’s a disconnect from Eros, systems begin to break down both in the world of the personal and the world of the collective.
MM: How have we come to such an impoverished relationship to the erotic in our time?
MG: Over the last 30 to 50 years in America, we have begun to adopt a post-modern narrative that is essentially no narrative, no story.