Introducing the Center for World Spirituality’s new blog with a global vision based on Integral principles

An Enlightenment of Fullness for the rising dawn of the 21st century

About Marc Gafni

Marc Gafni, D.Phil. is Editor-in-Chief of Spirit's Next Move, Scholar-in-Residence and Director of the Center for World Spirituality. He is a contemporary philosopher, public intellectual, a lineage holder in Kabbalah, and the author of many books including Soul Prints, a winner of the NAPRA Nautilus Award for Best Spirituality Book. He has several books in publication including Your Unique Self and Radical Kabbalah, which is based on his doctoral dissertation at Oxford University.

The Daily Wisdom: Perception as Creation

By Marc Gafni

The language of God is man. We are not just God’s messengers, we are God’s language and voice, the means by which she shares her message. This idea becomes a little easier to access in light of quantum physics. One of the essential mind-bending breakthroughs in quantum physics is that the observer is part of the experiment. That is to say, the perceiver influences the outcome of the experiment. Said more broadly, perception not only observes reality, it creates reality. To say that love is perception is therefore to say that love – far more than a mere emotion- is erotic creative force which in-forms all of being.

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

The Daily Wisdom: YES

By Marc Gafni

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes”!
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It was to this that Emerson referred when he said, “Love is the affirmative of the affirmatives.” Love is the universe shouting out a joyful yes when our names our called.

In Hebrew the word yes – Kein – means integrity. Yes is the ultimate affirmation of our integrity. The question of your existence is whether you can say yes to the adventure that is your life. That is self-love! When you wake up to a beautiful day which is simply divine – when you eat a piece of carrot cake which is just out of this world then you experience the universe embracing your with a resounding YES. e. e. cummings always succeeds in capturing life’s little quintessential affirmations. I quote:

I thank you God for this amazing
Day: for the leaping greenly spirit of trees
And a blue dream of sky; and for everything
Which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

The Erotic and the Holy
Marc Gafni

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 11): How to Accomplish the Democratization of Enlightenment

By Marc Gafni

“How? How do we accomplish the democratization of enlightenment? The how… The answer to the how question is two-fold. One is intention and the other is practice. Intention means, “I intend towards enlightenment.” My intention in practice is not merely to obey the rules, not merely to satisfy my egoic need to be part of the whole, hot merely to be in alignment with the law.

My intention is to realize the true nature of my Identity and to have my goodness, my virtue, my love, my passion and compassion emerge naturally, spontaneously, organically from my true essence. I am actually commanded by my essence, and the command of my essence, the invitation of my essence, the Eros of my essence is far more powerful and transformative than any externally imposed command.

So the beginning is to set my intention towards my enlightenment, but not in the narcissistic, narrow way; the pursuit of a spiritual materialism, but rather to set my intention in love is to realize my true nature for the sake of the all…”

Exploring themes in conscious capitalism

Conscious Capitalist

In March 2012 a group of prominent business leaders—including CEOs from Whole Foods, REI, the Container Store, IDEO, and 1800Flowers.com—met at Esalen to promote a more conscious paradigm of innovation, entrepreneurship, and free market capitalism. Building on the platform of ideas already being advocated by the Conscious Capitalism movement, this was the second conference in an annual series at Esalen that is helping to catalyze a new paradigm for doing business, ConsciousCapitalism, which advocates simultaneously optimizing the interests of all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers, investors, communities, and the planet, instead of maximizing shareholder value only. Recently, this new business paradigm has been gaining traction, as major companies realize that the conscious business paradigm is not simply a morally uplifting way to do business but actuallyresults in greater economic gains and wellbeing for all constituents as well. Increasingly, this paradigm is showing that the embodiment of moral and spiritual values in the workplace also gives rise to greater employee productivity and customer loyalty.

In addition, during the second half of the conference the participants discussed new trends in innovation and design. Because governments cannot always solve troublesome social and ecological problems, creative design breakthroughs coming from the private, free market sector are likely to be applied more broadly in society. In particular, the cutting‐edge innovation is revealing that open source and group collaborations often result in the smartest solutions that are most likely to endure.

Overall, this conference series aims to restore the nobility of free enterprise, the integration of business withsociety, and the spirit of innovation as the true cornerstones of capitalism. A more spiritually integrated,valueladen, socially collaborative, and ecologically sensitive—that is, conscious—form of business practice isnow emerging. What follows is a summary of some of the best practices and emerging trends…

Read the full report, “Conscious Capitalism: A Paradigm of Innovation and Transformation” at the Center for World Spirituality website.

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 10): What is Democratization of Enlightenment?

By Marc Gafni

By Marc Gafni

“Now let’s begin to understand what we mean by the democratization of enlightenment. Once we bring Eastern and Western enlightenment into a higher integral embrace by disambiguating the confusion between separateness and uniqueness and therefore integrating the best intuition, insight and spiritual breakthrough understanding of both Eastern and Western enlightenment then we can have a genuine conversation about the democratization of enlightenment.

Every human being is a Unique Self. Every human being is a True Self. Every True Self is unique. There is no True Self in the manifest world which is not unique. Once we embrace uniqueness again as the expression of individuation, meaning the individuated expression of True Self, the personal face of essence, that is you, God’s signature written all over you, is God appearing in you as you, that’s Unique Self, we’ve removed the counter-intuitive sense of enlightenment which creates an obstacle and stands between the average human being who experiences their uniqueness and can’t understand an enlightenment teaching which tells them to reject their uniqueness.

Now we understand that the average intuition, the normal teaching of the human being which embraces uniqueness is correct and the enlightenment teaching that tells the human being to leave uniqueness behind because it conflates separateness and uniqueness is incorrect, at best partial…”

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 8): Western Enlightenment

By Marc Gafni

“The first way we talk about enlightenment is from a mystical perspective, the shift of consciousness from small self to True Self. But the second way enlightenment is used in the English language is to refer to the Western Enlightenment. And every Westerner is familiar with this Western enlightenment. It’s the same word as used by Eastern or mystical traditions where one attains a new state of Being … the same word is used to refer to Western enlightenment, which is very different because in Eastern or mystical enlightenment the goal is to move beyond the separate self. The separate self is seen to be the source of suffering because as long as I see my self as separate, I have to compete with you, I have to grasp, I have to prove that I exist…”

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 7): The Fallacy in the Traditional Enlightenment Teaching

By Marc Gafni


“Why now? Why is a World Spirituality based on Integral principles which has as its core the democratization of enlightenment, which is the natural emergent of the Unique Self consciousness, why is it a possibility in a way that it never was, and why is it an urgent necessity in the way it never was?”

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 6): What is Enlightenment?

By Marc Gafni

“What’s up in the evolution of consciousness in this moment in time is three components, a kind of holy trinity, what I refer to in my teaching and writing as the democratization of enlightenment. It’s an emergent World Spirituality based on integral principles and as Unique Self consciousness or Unique Self enlightenment. These three emergent structures of thought, emergent structures of being and becoming, are interrelated, inseparable from each other.

What does the democratization of enlightenment mean? Democratization as in democracy on the one hand, and enlightenment on the other hand. It’s the unique nexus of those two powerful, earth-shattering, mind-bending, heart-rending ideas that change the very nature of how we engage all that is. When you merge them together, something new larger than the sum of the parts emerges…”

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 5): Three Images of World Spirituality

By Marc Gafni

“Let’s try to envision World Spirituality for a second. Let me suggest three images. The first would be an orchestra, a great symphonic orchestra, in which every instrument is playing its music. From the diversity of instruments, what is yielded is a great symphony. In the premodern world, the religions believed that their instrument was the music. But the postmodern world has taught us is that the instrument is the critical context that shapes the music, the texture, the sound, the tonality of the music, but the spirit is not the surface structure. Spirit is the depth. And all the instruments are playing music. From the diversity of this music, of the instruments, comes the symphony…”

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 4): Who does World Spirituality address?

By Marc Gafni

“Who does a World Spirituality address? If we discern carefully, World Spirituality is transformative to the four major types of people in the world. First, there are the hundreds of millions of people who are post-traditional. They’re the people who can no longer locate themselves within a great tradition, a classical religion. Their experience, the way they’ve been brought into the world, their cultural exposures are such that they can’t locate themselves in a religion or a great tradition, and yet they are profoundly engaged and extremely compelled by Spirit…”

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 3): Why World Spirituality, why now?

By Marc Gafni

“Why now? Why is a World Spirituality based on Integral principles which has as its core the democratization of enlightenment, which is the natural emergent of the Unique Self consciousness, why is it a possibility in a way that it never was, and why is it an urgent necessity in the way it never was?”

The Democratization of Enlightenment (Part 2): Structure of this Teaching

By Marc Gafni

“What is World Spirituality? How do we realize this vision of World Spirituality? Who does it address? And why is World Spirituality so essential and possible today, an opportunity that hasn’t existed in 2,000 years?”