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.

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