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This early draft of an essay was written by Dr. Marc Gafni. It is part of Volume 2 of a forthcoming six-volume book series, The Universe: A Love Story, by Dr. Marc Gafni with Dr. Zachary Stein & Barbara Marx Hubbard. 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.

As we begin to live the new Story of Value, a New Human and a New Humanity begin to emerge. We have called the New Human and the New Humanity by the term Homo amor. Homo amor is the fulfillment of Homo sapiens. The shift to this new consciousness is fundamental. It is in many ways parallel to, and as momentous as, the early evolutionary transition from single-celled to multicellular life.

As the consciousness of Homo amor becomes available, more and more lives will be not only a love story but also a triumphant love story. Indeed, we are convinced that telling the new Story—articulating the new narrative of Homo amor, the Intimate Universe, and the Universe: A Love Story—is the most potent response to suffering that we have at this moment in our history.

Just as the new story of modernity generated innovations in exteriors that birthed the great dignities of modernity, it is the new Story of Homo amor that—at this pivotal eleventh-hour moment in the short span of human history—needs to generate innovation in interiors. This, in turn, will generate the coherence necessary to transform mass tragedy and devolution into mass triumph and evolution.

The Trajectory of Evolution: Promise and Peril

This view is not pollyannaish in any sense of the term. It in no way ignores evil or suffering. Quite the contrary.

First, it needs to be stated clearly that evolution is not a direct linear progression toward ever-deeper love and intimacy. Evolution meanders.

And yet, second, evolution does progress. Evolution is the movement toward Love by Love’s own inexorable and incessant persuasions: Persuasions that are both gentle and fierce in their quality and character.

A Note on Desire

Alfred North Whitehead was not wrong when, echoing the leading edges of the interior sciences in Hebrew wisdom, he pointed toward the inherent purpose of evolution as the movement toward the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Or, stated somewhat differently, if we are to deploy the term that we pointed towards above—the term appetite that Whitehead chose—Reality is hungry. Reality is hungry for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, all of which are expressions of a more primal hunger, the hunger for more Love, for more Eros, for more Divinity, disclosed in human form. Reality is lined with appetite all the way down and all the way up the evolutionary chain. In the language of CosmoErotic Humanism, the appetite of Cosmos is the Eros of evolution that itself evolves.[1] [i] What Whitehead calls appetite, the interior science call by many other names including teshukadesire.[2] Reality desires.

As we have already implicitly noted, the source text for Reality’s desire in the interior sciences is the Song of Songs. Core to the Eros equation is desire. When the text, which we adduced earlier from the Songs of Songs, writes about Solomon’s bed,[3] Its insides are lined with love, it refers not to ordinary love as a social construction between humans. It, rather, refers to the LoveDesire, LoveBeauty, and LoveIntelligence of Cosmos. The text refers to the throbbing desire of Reality at every level.

This feeling of desire in formulated in the Eros equation.

Eros [Evolutionary Love] = the experience of radical aliveness, always seeking, moving towards, desiring, ever-deeper contact and ever-greater wholes or wholeness

The evolution of love and the evolution of intimacy—driven by desire—are genuine realities, which we have already alluded to and will discuss more below and in the other volumes of this series. For example, the emergence of universal human rights and democracy are clear expressions of the Eros of Reality, powering the evolution of love and intimacy. But it is not a story of pollyannaish progress. Clearly, there was no nuclear mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the hunter-gatherer period of human history.

Every new evolutionary promise brings a potential new peril. New evolutionary structures of intimacy, whether they be sexual, social, technological, biological, intellectual, or otherwise, create new potential for pathology.

New biological structures of intimacy—let’s say the movement from amoebae to dogs, a huge leap in configurations of intimacy—always generate new pain. Amoebae don’t get cancer. Dogs do.

New technologies are, at their core, new configurations of relationship between parts, or what we might call new configurations of love and intimacy. New technologies create both new promise and new peril. New technologies—from farming to industrial to informational—have generated new forms of community. They are built both, on deeper cooperation and expanding circles of love, even as they generate potential greater suffering than the pre-historical clans could ever imagine. Think for a second about the new forms of suffering in nineteenth-century England, as the industrial revolution generated the immense advances and incalculable suffering of the first factories.

New technologies resulting from new interrelations between parts and new codes of information—which essentially means new configurations of intimate relations, in both the concrete and mathematical forms that manifest new technologies, including a more intimate human relationship with the laws of nature—create exponential technology. This, in turn, as we already noted, creates possibility for exponential pathology, even as it creates exponential promise.[4]

New forms of sexing—particularly the evolution of Eros inherent in human sexing with all of its poignancy, peril, and promise—heightens immeasurably the potential for pain and suffering and for beauty—which emerges directly from the sexing itself. Human self-reflection and awareness, for example, makes rape more emotionally brutal than it could possibly be in a world of pure instinct, where sex generally takes several seconds.

New social intellectual movements—which are new configurations of ideas—similarly generate new forms of suffering. Marxism, with its implied social structures, came together with new technological structures, that generated new potential promise. But the promise blinded many to its potential pathologies, so many of which were fully realized in the twentieth century.

Just some basic facts:

In Latin America, there were one hundred and fifty thousand killed.

In Vietnam, a million killed.

In Eastern Europe, a million killed.

In North Korea, two million.

In Cambodia, two million.

In the Soviet Union, twenty million.

In China, sixty-five million.[5]

The notion, therefore, that evolution is any sort of straight line towards the Good, the True, and the Beautiful that can be understood within the context of one lifetime—within the context of one dimension of materialist reality that ends in death and oblivion—is both absurd and obscene. It is to both the absurdity and the obscenity of the attempt to hijack the Universe: A Love Story to deny evil, that we speak to, albeit briefly, below. Indeed, as we shall try and articulate, it is only the reality that the Universe is a Love Story that makes our protest against evil—our unrelenting activism against suffering—both ontologically credible and morally urgent—an ecstatic, painful urgency, grounded in Outrageous Love, in Evolutionary Love, in the Eros that is the narrative arc of Reality, everywhere.

The Great Problem of Pain in the Universe: A Love Story—The Dance of Certainty and Uncertainty

One cannot credibly write of the Universe: A Love Story without authentically engaging the larger issue of suffering and evil, or what C.S Lewis once infinitely understated as the problem of pain. The problem, simply stated, is how a good Universe, a Universe whose insides are lined with love, can allow for evil and suffering. My (Marc’s) teacher’s teacher, Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, known as the Kotzker Rebbe, once correctly said,

The spiritual person must explain suffering, the materialist must explain everything else.

By everything else, however, the Kotzker Rebbe was pointing not toward a god in the sky, a designer alienated from Cosmos, but to the implicate order of information that defines Reality on all of its levels. Indeed, Hebrew mysticism held language to be the source code of Reality.[6] But by language, the evolutionary thinkers of the interior sciences of Hebrew wisdom were referring to something akin to what the leading edges of contemporary science might call information.[7]

David Bohm understood what he called in-formation to be essential configurations of what we might call coherent intimate patterns.[8] All in-formation is an intimate configuring of parts, from sounds, to letters, to words, to sentences, etc., to name but a few examples. Each part is a symbol or sign for a particular dimension of Reality. Every unit of in-formation is a complex cluster of resonant signs. But, when felt from its own interior perspective, a unit of in-formation may be more deeply understood as not merely complex but as a coherent intimate pattern.

The term complexity itself actually hides the true nature of Reality. We have grown used to thinking of complexity as a reductive, materialist state. We think that complex is a description of an inert reality, constituted by mechanistic interconnected things. Yet, complexity is really but an external description of intimate patterns of relationship, which are generated through their co-joining and thereby generate new emergent in-formation.

This meaning-generating process of Reality is the essential structure of what we might alternately term the CosmoErotic or Intimate Universe. In fact, the innately present and ever-evolving patterns of coherence that constitute Cosmos are themselves deafening whispers of meaning. Said simply, coherent intimate patterns are self-evidently meaningful. In that precise sense, they disclose an intimate and loving Cosmos.

In the emergent language field of CosmoErotic Humanism, we speak of evolving configurations of intimacy and relationship, which are the very source code of Reality itself.[9]

These structures of Love and intimacy, or Eros, at the very Heart of Reality are not abstractions. We feel the Universe: A Love Story in the very core of our being. We yearn for Love with all of our being.

We are drawn to music, one of the primary languages of intimacy and Love, and all of our songs speak of our longing for Eros, for intimacy.

Our very bodies and being, literally, contain all of physical reality and, as disclosed by the realization of the interior sciences, all of interior reality. Our very bodies and being scream for intimate and loving contact. Our mind, our skin, our hearts throb for Love.

We spoke above of the dialects of Love and intimacy, intimations of the Intimate Universe, where autonomy and allurement, autonomy and communion, dance at the Heart of all Eros. They include our own yearning to love and be loved but are not limited to such.

The dialects of Eros and intimacy, some already alluded to above, include pleasure, mathematics, music, feelings of all kinds, science, words, curiosity, the moral sense, skin, laughter and tears, quantum and classical physics—vivified by the Eye of Consciousness after being discerned by the Eye of the Mind and the Eye of the Senses—silence, babies, old people, flowers, colors, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals, the chemical table of elements interacting, the alluring dance between stars and atoms, YOU, and so very much more.

I (Marc) feel and have felt since I can remember the Intimate Universe filling me and surrounding me. But how to speak of intimacy and Love, or God, in the context of evil and suffering? This question has tormented me for years, like it has many before me.[10] In my early agonized erotic wrestling with the problem of pain, I realized then, with a kind of blinding revelatory clarity, that any attempt to claim certainty—to offer an answer to the great question of suffering—is obscene. To deploy theology or metaphysics in the presence of burning children is an abomination.

It is not that all of the perspectives of classical theodicy, on how we can retain our sense of the goodness of the Universe in the face of enormous pain, are wrong. They are in part true but partial. But none of them add up to a math equation that can balance the equation of suffering.

Yes, it is true that human free will affects the equation [free-will theodicy].

Yes, it is true that the realization of the continuity of consciousness after death affects the equation [life-after-death theodicy].

Yes, it is true that we are ignorant of the virtually infinite hidden karmic calculations from this life and previous realities that might impact the equation of suffering [human-ignorance theodicy, Book of Job, Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?].

Yes, it is true that we are sometimes transformed and even ennobled by our suffering; the soul-making nature of suffering affects the equation [soul-making theodicy, suffering ennobles our souls].

But none of these classic approaches to suffering—even though each one holds an important truth—even begins to balance the equation of suffering in this world.

Indeed, in the classical biblical Book of Job, where an innocent Job suffers unbearable loss and pain, it is his erstwhile friends who offer versions of these answers. We correctly dismissed them as Job’s comforters, those who refuse to look suffering in the face and, instead, hide behind moral and metaphysical explanations. The first step is to bow before the mystery of suffering. But that is not all. Both Job and God reject the theodicies of his friends. But God is not silent.

And here, we deploy the word God not in the caricatured sense of an anthropomorphic, ethnocentric, cosmic-vending-machine god, who demands faith, obedience, and counterintuitive forms of piety in exchange for salvation. That is what we might call the god you do not believe in. But the god you don’t believe in does not exist.

Rather, we speak of God as the great mystery of Cosmos, the very Eros of Cosmos that incarnates as the Good, the True, and the Beautiful—as Love itself. Said simply, Spirit has signed Her Name all over Cosmos.

All of Cosmos is in-formed by meaning—in the forms of goodness, truth, and beauty—at every level of Reality. The radical uncertainty of the great question of suffering does not cancel the radical certainty that is the very Eros of in-formed being and becoming. One can feel that truth in the depth of being. The exquisite truth of the Universe: A Love Story, for which I (Marc) had no words then, and that I can barely express in words now, has lived in me since early childhood.

But that truth has lived alongside unspeakable pain. The childhood stories on which I was raised—stories that my mother told me again and again-—transmitted into my body and being what Holocaust writer Elie Wiesel once called the kingdom of the night.

The first story was about my mother witnessing a two-year-old baby being ripped apart by Nazi Gestapo in her youth. She was a hidden child—hidden by a beautiful Christian family in Poland—as the holocaust and World War II raged around there. At some point, a neighbor with whom she had fought, turned her in to the Gestapo. They came searching for her. She hid, high in a tree. And watched. The Nazis came and lit all afire. And grabbed one child—and I can hear my mother talking now—and ripped the child apart like a wishbone from the chicken.

I must have heard this story dozens of times as I grew up. She was five at the time. This was followed by the story of her being—literally—buried alive, left for dead, and clawing her way out a short time later.

Not long after that, in the final months of World War II, she found herself facing a firing squad. Ready… Aim… but before they said Fire, she intentionally burst out in brazen laughter. She told her would-be executioners, barely past their teenage years, that she was categorically not a Zhid, a Jew, that they had mistaken her identity, and would surely be severely tortured and then killed for killing a pure blood Aryan. The end of the war was imminent, and the Germans would clearly lose. The young, scared SS men delayed the execution to check her story, and the war ended before they could complete their murderous assignment.

Cal Tech physicist, Leonard Mlodinow, a committed materialist, and a self-evidently beautiful man writes the following story to explain something of his materialist position.

If the universe evolved through physical law and has no guiding purpose, no consciousness, does that negate the value of humankind, or make our lives meaningless? Is the scientific view a heartless view of life? My mother, now almost ninety, told me of a cold day when she was about seventeen, and the war was raging in Europe. Her time in Poland was occupied by the Nazis, and on this day one of those Nazis told a few dozen of the town’s Jews, including my mother, to line up in a row and kneel in the snow. He walked the row and, every few steps, leaned down, put his gun to someone’s head, and fired.[11]

These stories—and more like them—conflagrated my own intense autobiographical suffering, in the particular story of my youth (for reasons that are beyond the purview of this writing to share). Reality screamed its pain through me. But I knew in my body that these two truths did not cancel each other out. Certainty and uncertainty dance together.[12]

But the core certainty of being is not a certainty associated with a particular faith proposition. Certainty is an unmediated experience of Reality’s goodness, truth, and beauty. The core certainty of being lives not only in the third person but in the first and second persons as well. Certainty does not mean that it is true but that I am true, and you are true. The Universe: A Love Story is not disappeared by suffering, even as the glorious truth of the Intimate Universe must not make us tone deaf to the shrieks of agony. On the contrary, the deeper we are lived as love, the deeper we feel the Universe: A Love Story, the more intense is the question of suffering. Our Meditations on the Intimate Universe do not quiet the question. They rather amplify the apparent contradiction of suffering and Eros to a deafening proportion.

The Question Is the Answer: Evil Is a Failure of Intimacy

Mlodinow is unable to hold the contradiction. And we hold him in full honor and respect in what he writes:

The spiritual view says that my mother’s survival was not random. It says my mother was passed over for a reason. Does this not imply that there was also a cosmic reason that those not passed over were slaughtered? Since most of the members of my parents’ families were killed during the Holocaust, to me it is this “spiritual” explanation that feels cold and heartless.

Science offers a different view: The human animal evolved to have the capacity for both good and evil, and it does plenty of both, but there is no hidden hand of universal purpose or consciousness behind what we do, only our own consciousness, our own purpose. Each of us chooses love or hate; we give and we take; we leave our own imprint on our family, our friends, and society. We don’t need an eternal and conscious universe to give our lives meaning. Our lives are as meaningful as we make them.[13]

There is only one path that is possible in response. It is in the movement from contradiction to paradox. There is no answer to the question of suffering, other than the question itself. Paradoxically, the question itself is the answer. If we did not live in an Intimate and Loving Universe, we would have no reasons to expect anything other than what we now call evil and suffering. We just would not call it evil and suffering. We would not even notice it as unusual. It would be normal. If the Universe was not a love story, we would have no reason to be surprised or shocked by suffering. We would certainly have no reason to be outraged beyond imagination by suffering.

Indeed, the depth of the terms, meaning, good, and evil, lost their resonance in a world that is a cosmic accident without intention, purpose, or intrinsic value. The Universe itself generated Mlodinow. Every quark, lepton, and hadron, atom, molecule, and cell—the entire history of Reality’s vectors of allurement—the entire Intimate Universe—lives uniquely in, as, and through Leonard Mlodinow. His affirmation of meaning, good, and evil—his anthro-ontological knowing that those terms are resonant with a Reality that matters—perhaps more than anything—are themselves an expression of the Intimate Universe coded with meaning speaking through his voice.

It is only in the context of the Universe: A Love Story that the question of evil and suffering even makes sense. If the Universe was not a love story, if we did NOT live in an Intimate Universe, why would we expect anything else, but a world filled with evil and suffering? Our challenge to evil, our belief that it is innately wrong, our commitment to heal suffering and transform cruelty, all this only makes sense in the larger context of the Universe: A Love Story.

Cruelty and suffering are a failure of intimacy—a collapse of Eros.

Evil is a failure of Eros.

Evil is a failure of intimacy.

If we did not live in an Intimate Universe, then, the only thing wrong with mass murder would be that we did not like it. The entire notion of suffering and evil only makes sense as a violation of the Universe: A Love Story. If the world were not a love story, then, Un-Love, in all its horror, would not be horrifying. Horror would be simply ordinary. One can only speak of outrageous pain in the context of outrageous beauty and Outrageous Love.

One erotic mystic, whom Frank Kafka loved—nineteenth-century master Nachman of Breslov—writing in the wake of Renaissance mystic Isaac Luria—spoke this truth in the language of Hebrew mysticism.[14] In the vision of the interior science of Hebrew wisdom, there are ten distinct Sefirot. Sefira literally, in the original Hebrew, has three unique meanings that are inter-included in their depths. Sefira means lumination, story, and distinct boundary. A Sefira is a distinct expression of Reality’s Story or Divine Luminosity. Each of the ten constitutes a distinct dimension of what Bohm above called the in-formation—the coded interiority of Divinity—the implicate order of the Universe: A Love Story.

In the realization of the interior sciences, we live in a participatory Universe. Human beings participate in and as the Amorous Cosmos in person. This is true physically and in terms of interiority. Human interiors participate in the interior Face of Cosmos (this realization is the core of the anthro-ontological principle, which we will discuss in more depths in Volume 5 of this series).

The implication is that, in human action, one intimately associates, even incarnates, a particular Sefira—or ultimate dimension of Reality. However, for the mystics, the entire range of human actions only has the power to participate in what are called the seven lower Sefirot. The three upper or ultimate Sefirot, respectively called Keter [Crown—the Ultimate Realization], Chochma [Ultimate Sofia or Wisdom], and Bina [Ultimate Intuition], are said not to be accessible in classical dynamics of human experience.

Except for one human dynamic: When the human being sees evil or suffering and screams Ayeh—literally translated from the Hebrew as Where, as in Where is God?[15]—then, one incarnates the highest expression of Divine Truth.

The mystics explain: The word Ayeh has three Hebrew letters: Aleph, Yod, and He. In the internal in-formation code[16] of this strain of interior science, it is demonstrated that

Aleph = Keter [Ultimate Realization],
Yod = Chochma [Ultimate Wisdom], and
He = Bina [Ultimate Intuition].

Meaning, in simple words, it is in the ultimate, outrageous, screamed question, that one is ultimately intimate with the Divine. For it is only in the realization of the Universe: A Love Story that our experience of evil and suffering as the ultimate violation of intimacy makes any sense at all. In the question is the answer. More precisely, the question is the answer. Not an answer that nullifies the question but rather, a question and answer, the agony and the ecstasy, that scream Oh God, at the very same moment.

This is not simply the human screaming for justice to God. It is the human being screaming the question as God. The question itself becomes the Ultimate Intimacy.

I Am Evolution—We Are Evolution

In the participatory Universe, the question turns to protest, and the protest turns to embodied activism as the Universe: A Love Story in person.[17] That is Luria’s teaching of AyehWhere is God?[18] The question becomes protest, and protest becomes the human promise of embodied activism for the incarnation and evolution of Love. In a paradox of mind-shattering depth, the protest against suffering itself becomes the Ultimate Intimacy.

At the heart of the paradox is the realization that the Universe: A Love Story and the Intimate Universe are the most compelling moral contexts that activate our commitment to the transformation of evil and the elimination of unnecessary suffering.

As we will point toward more deeply in Volume 4 of this series, we are unique incarnations of the Intimate Universe and the Universe: A Love Story. We are unique configurations of the evolutionary impulse of Eros, which pulses as ever-increasing intimacy and Love, parts becoming ever-deeper and wider wholes—from quarks to culture. The moral context of the Intimate Universe and the Universe: A Love Story is:

I am evolution.

I am a unique configuration of Evolutionary Love and intimacy.

I am an indispensable part of Reality’s response to suffering.

I play my Unique Self instrument, addressing the unique needs in my unique circle of intimacy and influence and, in doing so, join the Unique Self Symphony, which is the next iteration of the self-organizing Universe.

This is the realization of Homo amor.

As this realization is democratized, the self-organizing Universe evolves to the next level of planetary intimacy driven by a Planetary Awakening in Love through Unique Self Symphonies.

We will deepen the contours of this paradox of Ultimate Intimacy in the pages below and in Volume 5 of this series. But for now, we are ahead of ourselves. Two more short words are perhaps in order to fiercely, tenderly, weave the thread of Eros.

The first is a credo that lives at the center of CosmoErotic Humanism:

We live in a world of outrageous pain.
The only response to outrageous pain is Outrageous Love.

Outrageous Pain and Outrageous Love

Ordinary love does not have the power to hold or transform outrageous pain.

By ordinary love, we mean the understanding, which we evoked above, that love—like all value—is a fiction, a figment of our imagination, a mere psychological truth, a social construction of our reality. Ordinary love is a human strategy of the ego to create security, where there is really vulnerability, and meaning, where ultimately, there is only social constructions of reality. That understanding of love as ordinary, in the sense of ordinary love, that we just evoked in the previous sentence, is contra-indicated by the anthro-ontological realization of Homo amor—the Universe: A Love Story.

This is the realization of Outrageous Love that is the Heart of Existence itself. It is only Outrageous Love that holds and transforms outrageous pain. Outrageous Love is the Eros that lives in us, as us, and through us that is the core Value of Cosmos, that animates all of Reality, and that is the essential plotline of Cosmos. For more about this, read our Appendix 1 in this volume.

Evolutionary Love Drives the Evolution of Love

With our realization as context that evil itself is a failure of intimacy that can only be resolved by the evolutionary restoration of intimacy, let us continue with our tender but fierce introduction to the Intimate Universe and the Universe: A Love Story.

By understanding evolution as the expression of a LoveIntelligence, now becoming conscious of itself within us and as us,[19] we overcome the dichotomy between the mainstream of evolutionary dogma—which sees no design in evolution—and creationist dogma—which often puts forth an anthropomorphic god as a creator, thereby locating creativity outside of the Cosmos. Conscious Evolution, expressed in terms of the Universe: A Love Story and the Intimate Universe, is the realization of the truth of the interior and exterior sciences.

The new information of the sciences discloses that we are expressions of the inherent creativity of an inherently creative and erotic Cosmos, called forth by Love itself, in every moment, to ever-higher levels of Love. This is the evolution of love, drawn forth by Evolutionary Love itself. Said slightly differently, evolution is love in action. And the action of evolution is the evolution of love. The vector of Love’s evolution is toward ever-greater wholeness, which, as we have already seen, is isomorphic with ever-deeper and wider intimacies.

From Joining Genes to Joining Genius

There is a fundamental two-step process that forms the core of our evolutionary unfolding at this pivotal juncture in history, which we also refer to as the Eleventh Hour.

First, we awaken to the realization that we are—each of us—unique configurations of Evolutionary Love. We are—each—unique configurations of coherent intimacy. The very Love that animates the Cosmos lives uniquely in us and as us. This is the new enlightenment of Unique Self, which, as we shall see, is potentially democratized for every human being.

The second step is feeling our allurement for each other. In the beginning, we join genes to literally populate and bring life to the planet. We then evolve—in this moment of collapsing infrastructures and overpopulation—to join genius in what we call Unique Self Symphonies. This is the next step in Conscious Evolution.

As we will see below and in other writings, it is the same Eros that allured quarks to form protons that awakens at the human level—as Conscious Evolution—and moves us to first join genes to procreate and, finally, at this pivotal moment in history, to join genius to co-create our future.

In these early volumes on CosmoErotic Humanism, we begin to point towards the new information of the exterior sciences, which aligns with the esoteric interior sciences, to together disclose the contours of Reality as the Universe: A Love Story—the Intimate Universe. This new information discloses a key dimension of CosmoErotic Humanism: the narrative nature of Cosmos.

Footnotes & Endnote


[1] Ibid, Adventures of Ideas, by A. N. Whitehead, 1967, Free Press (Original work published 1933). See also accompanying endnote.

[2] See Gafni, Radical Kabbalah, Vol. 1, Integral Publishers, 2010, chapter 11 on “The Way of Teshuka,” pp. 219-226, on teshukadesire. All of Book Two similarly revolves around the ontological dignity—that is to say Divinity—of teshuka.

[3] See Song of Solomon, 3:10. On this verse, Its Insides are Lined with Love, see Gafni, Radical Kabbalah, Book 1 pp. 120-123, which talks about what is described as a Hasidic expression of Acosmic Humanism, or what I (Marc) also refer to in this writing as Nondual Humanism, grounded in the Reality of Love between Divinity and humanity—and all of Reality—participating in the same current of One Love, One Breath, and One Eros. These ideas are grounded in Gafni, The Mystery of Love, Simon and Schuster, 2003, and the thirty pages of primary source footnotes prepared by Gafni and Avraham Leader to that volume.

[4] If we deploy the word exponential even more precisely in regard to tech or any other exterior function, the exponential dimension itself, its unbridled nature without the sacred dignity of restraint, IS pathological and is precisely not emergent from genuine intimate relations between the parts. What is generated, as we will see in other writings, is complicated and not complex. [See, for example, the section “The Difference Between Complicated and Complex Systems” in Volume 1, and the section “Complexity Theory: Exteriors Model Interiors” in Volume 5, of The Universe: A Love Story series on the distinction between complex and complicated systems.”] There is no allurement between the parts—only functional fits. The vision of the future would be to generate new tech from genuine intimacy between parts. In that scenario, each step in the exponential increase would be an expression, not of a win/lose metrics, but of a larger felt vision of coherence.

[5] These numbers are estimates. Criticism of any kind of estimates revolves around mainly three aspects:
1. The estimates are based on incomplete data.
2. The numbers may be skewed for political reasons, and either estimated too high or too low.
3. It is unclear who should and shouldn’t be included in these estimates. E.g., should victims of wars, civil wars, or famine be included or not?
See, for example,,,, and
See, on Russia/Ukraine, Anne Applebaum, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine Doubleday, 2017.
On Romania, see Eugen Magirescu, The Devil’s Mill: Memories of Pitesti Prison, Editura Fronde, Alba-Iulia, Paris, 1994.
See in Paul Kengor’s The Devil and Karl Marx Communism’s Long March of Death Deception and Infiltration, Gastonia North Carolina: Tan Books; 2020.
See also Max Hasting, Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy 1945-1975, London: William Collins; 2019.
This truth was tragically expressed in Stalinism, which surpassed even Hitler in the amount of people slaughtered.

[6] See, for example, “The Name of God, the Name of the Rose, and the Concept of Language in Jewish Mysticism,” by J. Dan, 1996, Medieval Encounters, 2(3), 228-248. See also critically, Absorbing Perfections, Moshe Idel, 2002, Yale University Press.

[7] The understanding of information as the core structure of Cosmos appears in multiple sources, which we will address more fully in the forthcoming work tentatively titled: CosmoErotic Humanism—Toward the New Human and the New Humanity: Homo Amor—The Tenets of Intimacy and the Social Miracles, by David J. Temple—in Preparation. For but one early example of information as the implicate order of an intelligent Cosmos, see Wholeness and the Implicate Order, by D. Bohm, originally published in 1980 by Routledge. See also The Undivided Universe: An Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Theory, by D. Bohm and B. J. Hiley, 1993, Routledge. See also “Quantum Theory as an Indication of a New Order in Physics—Implicate and Explicate Order in Physical Law,” by D. Bohm, 1973, PHYSICS (GB), 3(2), 139-168. See also “Ontological Basis for the Quantum Theory,” by D. Bohm, B.J. Hiley, and P.N. Kaloyerou, 1987, Physics Reports (Netherlands), 144(6), 323-348. We are not, in this footnote, endorsing Bohm’s view in all of its detail and structure. We cite it as but one of myriad examples on leading edges of science and consciousness that point toward what Bohm referred to as the in-formational structure of Cosmos.

[8] Ibid. See also Charles Sanders Peirce, who was one of the first to understand the informational core of Reality and to link that informational core to Evolutionary Love. This has been termed the pan-semiotic nature of Reality. All of Reality is information and its interpretation. But the writers often miss the intimate nature of information—that is to say, in-formation itself is but a unique configuration of intimate relationships between diverse parts. See Book One: Ontology and Cosmology, by C. S. Peirce, 1934, in The Collected Papers of Charles S. Peirce (Vol. 6, pp. 11–283), C. Hartshorne & P. Weiss (Eds.), Harvard University Press. Thanks to Zachary Stein for this reference. On Peirce as a meta-theorist, see “Beyond Nature and Humanity: Reflections on the Emergence and Purposes of Metatheories,” by Z. Stein, 2015, in Metatheory for the Twenty-First Century: Critical Realism and Integral Theory in Dialogue, (pp. 67-100), by R. Bhaskar, S. Esbjörn-Hargens, N. Hedlund-de Witt & M. Hartwig (Eds.), 2015, Routledge. For our deeper view of Peirce in the context of CosmoErotic Humanism, see Toward a Politics of Evolutionary Love: On the Emergence of Unique Self Symphonies and other Social Miracles, M. Gafni and Z. Stein (forthcoming).

[9] This is the core of our shared work together with Zachary Stein tentatively titled: CosmoErotic Humanism—Toward the New Human and the New Humanity: Homo Amor—The Tenets of Intimacy and the Social Miracles, by David J. Temple—in Preparation.

 [10] The first article I (Marc) ever published, “Is Religion for the Happy-Minded? A Response to Harold Kushner,” in the leading peer-reviewed Orthodox Jewish publication Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought, 22(3), 54-65,, was a scathing response to Harold Kushner’s short and extremely popular 1981 book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Avon Books. Several years later in my late twenties, I virtually locked myself in a room for a year, reading everything I could find on theodicy: Why do people suffer? The result was a poured-out book in Hebrew on the burning question of suffering, entitled simply Safek, literally Uncertainty, by M. Gafni, 2000, Modan Publishing House, and an article on the same subject in the academic journal Azure (1996) entitled, “The Commandment to Question.”

[11] See War of the Worldviews: Where Science and Spirituality Meet—And Do Not by Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2011, p. 62.

[12] Together with the book Safek, Uncertainty, I wrote a companion volume entitled Vadai, literally translated as Certainty. It is a two-volume set with the same cover design, one book entitled Certainty and the second Uncertainty. Premodernity favored certainty and dismissed uncertainty as of the devil. Indeed, in Hebrew, language has numerical codes, in which every letter has a numerical quantity. The Hebrew word Safek has the same numerical value as Amalek. Amalek is the nation who, in the mythic archetypes of biblical text, is considered the instantiation of evil. Evil is thus associated with uncertainty. In direct contradistinction, postmodernity virtually idolizes uncertainty and dismisses or ignores its own core certainties. My writing sought to synergize the partial truths of premodernity and postmodernity into a larger whole and articulate (by adducing a hidden strain of alternative lineage sources) a very different relationship to uncertainty. Uncertainty itself is a Face of Spirit in Cosmos. Certainty and uncertainty dance together. There is a hole in the Heart of Cosmos which is radical uncertainty. But certainty lives even in the hole.

[13] Ibid, Capra, Mlodinow, pp. 62-63.

[14] See ibid, Safek and “The Commandment to Question,” by M. Gafni for a fuller conversation on these sources. See also the section “Do We Impact Reality in an Ultimately Significant Sense?” in our Appendix “Three Universe Stories: Beyond Creationism and Scientism: CosmoErotic Humanism” to Volume 5 of this series. You can also read the essay here:

[15] See Liturgy of the Sabbath Prayer, Musaf Kedusha: Ayeh Mekom KevodoWhere Is the Place of His Glory? Also see: “God = The Infinity of Intimacy: From the Infinity of Power to the Infinity of Intimacy,” by M. Gafni, at . Importantly, this text is not biblical in origin but emerges in the outraged consciousness of the liturgical masters, themselves Hebrew mystics par excellence. The text however reflects a hidden strain of mystical biblical thought. See “The Commandment to Question,” by M. Gafni, 1996, Azure: Ideas for the Jewish Nation, 1(Summer 5756/1996).

[16] The full unpacking of this in-formational allusion is obviously beyond the purview of this writing, but I (Marc) hope to do so in a separate monograph on the Hebrew letters and the ten luminations.

[17] See ibid, the two previous footnotes. See also “Protest as Prayer,” by M. Gafni, a 15-part blog series, at

[18] As cited in Gafni (1996) “The Commandment to Question.” See also “Where is God!” by M. Gafni, 2017,

[19] LoveIntelligence is always conscious. It is now, however, becoming conscious of itself as us, i.e., humanity is beginning to realize its true nature as Homo amor.


[i] Alfred North Whitehead has often been poetically paraphrased as saying something along the lines of “Evolution is the gentle movement toward God by the gentle persuasion of love.” For this theme in his work, see Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality (Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh During the Session 1927-28), Corrected Edition, Edited by David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne, 2nd Edition 2010 that refer to similar notions: “He does not create the world, he saves it: or, more accurately, he is the poet of the world, with tender patience leading it by his vision of truth, beauty, and goodness.” and “For the kingdom of heaven is with us today. The action of the fourth phase is the love of God for the world. It is the particular providence for particular occasions. What is done in the world is transformed into a reality in heaven, and the reality in heaven passes back into the world. By reason of this reciprocal relation, the love in the world passes into the love in heaven, and floods back again into the world. In this sense, God is the great companion—the fellow-sufferer who understands.”

However, we did not come to Eros as the structure of Cosmos through Whitehead. It appears extensively in an entire volume devoted to Eros in Gafni, Marc, The Mystery of Love, Atria, 2003 and later in Gafni, Marc, Radical Kabbalah Books 1 and 2, Integral Publishers, 2010, in my (Marc’s) dialogues with Ken Wilber in 2010, in our article, Stein, Zak & Gafni, Marc (2015), “Reimagining humanity’s identity: responding to the second Shock of existence,” World Future Review, 7(1) 1-10, and in Gafni, Marc, “The Future of the Holy: From Sex to Eros,” Spanda Journal, Vol. III, 1. 2012 Consciousness & Development 2.0, pp. 131-139,, and of course in Gafni, Marc and Kincaid, Kristina, A Return to Eros: The Radical Experience of Being Fully Alive, BenBella Books, Inc, 2017.

In some sense, I (Marc) drew Eros forth, as noted above in the body of the text, from the Hebrew wisdom lineage, although that is not quite an accurate description either. In truth, I drew it from an anthro-ontological knowing, or, what we call together in our present writing, the interior sciences. And Zachary Stein confirmed it in the same way. And only after Eros had been, to some very great degree, distinguished in CosmoErotic Humanism did we begin to notice other thinkers like Whitehead who arrived at similar understandings. I want to also note that this anthro-ontological process was not a kind of Cosmic Consciousness experience of the kind famously described by Bucke, in a book by that name, and later adduced by William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience. Rather, it was a much more introspective process, which examined Eros as the erotic motive of the Cosmos, personally awake not only in every human, but in all of being and becoming, all the way down and all the way up the evolutionary chain. Having said that, given that we are affirming Eros as the central First Principle and First Value, and given our desire to allow for many doors into this realization, we find it more than helpful to adduce Whitehead’s support in this regard.

As such, see Whitehead on Eros and Desire in the following sources: On Whitehead and Eros as the structure of Cosmos, see for example, Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making, Cambridge University Press, 1927, pp. 87. See also Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas, New York Free Press, 1933, 11, 66, 147-8, 198, 257, 265, 295, 381. See also Whitehead, Process and Reality, ed. David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne, New York, Free Press, 1976, pp. 67, 105, 246, 344, 348. See also John Cobb Jr. and David Ray Griffin, Process Theology, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, pp. 26,59. 61. When I (Marc) formulated these ideas, as noted above, I had not read even a word of Whitehead. I came to Whitehead in a serious way only in 2022. Zak, however, was conversant with Whitehead much earlier. I was surprised and delighted to find a similar train of thought in Whitehead. In 2021, we (Marc and Zak) wrote the aforementioned Whitehead scholar, David Ray Griffin to inquire if he thought our meta-theory of CosmoErotic Humanism was supported by Whitehead’s own work and indeed he did, which, naturally delighted us.

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