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

Spirit’s Next Move is moving!

Thank you for visiting SpiritsNextMove.net, a spot which has been the home of the Center for World Spirituality’s new blog for the past several months. As part of our organization’s web presence reorganization, we have moved the contents of this blog and will no longer be posting here.

You can find the new Spirit’s Next Move daily blog, better than ever, on the Center for World Spirituality’s main site at www.iEvolve.org. You can find new daily material on the left sidebar of the site. Thanks once again for sticking with us … we look forward to seeing you on the new site!

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 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?”

Notes from the Venwoude community days event (part 2)

Holland

By Chahat Corten

Hello friends,

First pardon my English. I will do my best to share with you what wonders happened here in the last two weeks at Venwoude, our world spirituality community and center in Holland.

The visioning process at Venwoude Integral Practice Community at first presented itself as an impossible and complex painful challenge, which we really did not think we could meet. This was a key moment in our community in which things might have begun to go down and the community would begin a slow downward process or maybe just maybe a miracle would happen. But no one knew how it would happen. It truly did not seem possible.

And it happened!!! Wow did it happen!!! These last two weeks have been an enormous succes! What Grace how all of our paths came together in this way. The miracle has many parts to it but at the center of it all it had a name: spiritual teacher and artist Marc Gafni.

To many of us it occurred that it had to be precisely Marc that wove the magic of these days. When Marc walked in it seemed that there was really no way out. The complexity of the personal issues, and financial issues and emotional structural issues just did not seem workable. We had worked with other people and tried ourselves to work this and it just seemed impossible to come to a major breakthrough. But we were sure ready for one.

What happened here with Marc in a period of two weeks is really difficult to describe but I think it is fair to say that he almost worked a miracle. His tools were a brilliant clear mind, what he called loving outrageously, deep skills at facilitation, beautiful dharma talks and many individual meetings and deep listening. All of that was woven together in a kind of magic weave that — truly and absolutely transformed the community at some very deep levels in these two weeks.

A structural breakthrough was set in a legal form: a board and wisdom council were created, working for a committed period of three years. And it is now clear in a way that was totally unclear two weeks ago that this will be able to sustain this community to be here another 25 years.

In the first night Marc had everyone state their intention and what special medicine had to be given to the process. Everybody’s intention and medicine was hung on the wall. And all gave their commitment in the first evening to holding this intention during the proces.

It seemed like a simple start, but many times my commitment, to submit and serve, to stay on track those days was of staggering importance. The amount of goodness in the room allowed for blunt criticism of all leaders, which is of course in the end is always quite relaxing :)

In day two Marc led a four hour process  in which the room would talk and he would listen to all the voices and then from the voices he would express a core value with each time woven perfectly all the voices in the room, each time he wove the voices into a core value and it happened almost twenty times the whole room would just sit back and say Wow!! Yes Yes Yes!! The Core values are formulated!

A miraculous process in depth and subtleties, like clear, clear, clear … in one extended morning session! This usually takes places weeks or days but it was like Marc has brought a clarity, light and transmission to the process that just opened everyone’s heart and mind.

A lot of old issues appeared, were touched and fell off the table, right in the heart to be held in the process, where each contribution appeared to be exactly the right one…..! There was a lot of grace available at the time.

And Marc in his obvious and clear mediating role between the worlds, picked up the expression of all necessary contributions, no matter how covert and we phrased it accurately and precisely in words that reflect the depth, the heart and the clarity that we looked for. So we formulated the most wondrous core values, both in English and in Dutch. Then the very next day — in a two hour process that Marc created we chose a board of directors who would be responsible to those core values.

So just to see the whole trajectory. Marc did two days of deep teaching with the whole community, then one day of individual meetings with communal leaders and then four hours of core values and then two hour of elections and it was done. There is a sense of deep breakthrough and elation in the community now. What is so amazing is that Marc did it in a way which increased the autonomy of the community. He poured deep love and light and wisdom into the community without in any way moving to take it over. If I never believed in second-tier consciousness I do now. Marc was deploying, as it seemed in a very relaxed way, a range of intelligences — from emotional intelligence to social intelligence, to dharma intelligence, to systems intelligence — all woven like an art form. I guess this is what people mean by second-tier. When you really see it in action it is quite amazing.

deep deep bow

Then we concluded last night with a festive and ecstatic evening with the wider community in wich the Wisdom Counsel was initiated and held by the whole community. From there the wisdom council invested the board members and they gave there commiment for three years.

Marc in his awesome dharma talk and story telling-mode invited us to create a community of ‘Messiahs’ or ‘9-cow-girls’. It was a beautiful talk on what it means to create an evolutionary WE space based on wisdom and outrageous loving. He talked about the Unique Self of the Venwoude community and how our work with sexuality gave us special gifts and special respsonsilbity and special ability and how this will probably become THE major and important technology in evolutionary WE-space development in the next age on this planet :)

An invitation to LOVE each other outrageously! There is magic, pure magic on the threshold of Venwoude’s 25th year of existence!

Thank you, thanks to our founder Ted Wilson, thanks to all patriarchs and matriarchs, thanks our world spirituality teacher in residence Marc Gafni, thank you all loving supporters, thanks all participants.

Thank you beloved friends,

Chahat

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?”

Exploring the Unique Self and beyond …. Searching for God’s place (Part 3)

Fribourg

 

By Hans Jecklin

This post continues from Part 2.

On my walk around the old pitoresque city of Fribourg, I suddenly got struck by an inspiration: The old images of God have been de-mistified long ago — I started to talk in my head – but many of us still experience a fear of being judged or even punishment by an unconscious authority that is being projected to the outside of ourselves: if it is not God whom we fear, it is society with its threat of exclusion, if we do not fit expectations.

But where could we imagine or locate God or — if we prefer — that all-encompassing force of eternal love and wisdom that is the origin of all that is? I believe to know a spiritual map with only “my” Unique Self and the Prior Unity of all cosmic potentials between myself and the ONE. But there is no room for God, especially if I understand my experience of the ONE as merely the state of oneness at the edge of that huge black (w)hole from which the cosmos manifests and where it might collapse into in a far ahead future; maybe manifesting a new cosmos on the backside of the hole?

And if I imagine a creative pulse from matter to antimatter between the two sides of the black hole, it would be logic — according to the law “as above so below” — that not only the tiniest particles of matter, or my energy centers, but also galaxies and the cosmos all live in (or even: from) this pulsation of expansion and contraction. This image of an all-inspiring cosmic breath is present in most ancient cultures around the planet, but it also exists as a vision for those cosmologists that expect the expansion of the universe to reverse at its culmination — in millions or billions of years — into a huge contraction. The bigger the organism the longer must be the time spans of out — and in breath: a cosmic day of Brahma lasts according to the Hindu knowledge 4,320,000,000 (4.32 billion) solar years; whereas at the quantum level pulsation happens in immeasurable time fractions.

Can we imagine God as a presence beyond the widest in- and out-breath, beyond unimaginable dimensions of trans-cosmic galaxies? With the whole “creation” breathing in a holarchy of pulsations from the seemingly eternal down to the tiniest?

While these imaginations  take place, I realize that — even while walking — I  have changed in a different state of consciousness. And I suddenly perceive the picturesque  old town of Fribourg. sitting on top of the cliff above the Saane river canyon as a kind of theatrical stage set or even as a doll house, I used to play with as child. The state that has taken me in is huge, of absolute grandeur. And it is at the same time so real and intense that I must have stumbled over a dimension I had not known before. God — or trans-cosmic intelligence in whatever form — has found me again, as an unquestionable REALITY. I feel being part of a great pulsation that breathes me and vibrates on all subtle levels from spirit to vital.

 

Exploring the Unique Self and beyond …. Dialogue and Guidance (Part 2)

Child in Light

By Hans Jecklin

This post is continued from Part 1.

Whenever I wish to enter into dialogue with the Unique Self or ask for its guidance, I first feel an impulse to bow to its all-encompassing wisdom and love. It seems important for me to always remember that the Unique Self is not a useful tool of my ego but that I am its manifestation at this moment, with a determination to become an ever more transparent instrument of its unique potential.

When I thought about writing this blog in the middle of the night, I had a vision of the eternal and undivided ONE from which all potentials and probabilities ready to manifest as and in this cosmos keep arising from moment to moment; my Unique Self being one single aspect of what I understand as Prior Unity of all manifestation. Allowing myself to be taken in by this vision, I immediately experience a state of absolute stillness, like having come home.

Experience has taught me to understand all energy centers, regardless of their spiritual tradition or school, as projections of the Unique Self, whereby each center filters out the information that it needs to function. The higher up in or beyond the human body, the finer or more subtle is the information received, whereas downwards — also beyond the body — the energy becomes ever more dense. This is why I like to connect through a vertical column — either within the backbone as Kundalini or through the middle of the body according to other traditions — the most subtle above with the most dense below.

As to the densest region, I used to take the center of the planet into my vision, but lately I had the impulse to ask for a connection to the most dense level of the cosmos, which might be, according to the findings of a young physicist, Nassim Haramein and his Resonance Project, a giant black (w)hole from which the cosmos keeps constantly arising and which might contain all information for the universe to manifest. The resulting energy proved to be extremely powerful, at least to me, and I needed a steadfast and warm heart to slowly attune to its intensity. There is a great strength, but be aware!

Likewise, I now like to see the energy centers functioning as doors between the manifest world and “their” black (w)holes. This makes deep sense for the adapted Tonglen practice I had picked up from a video by Sally Kempton at the Integral Institute: Breathing in all incoherence from situations in the outside world through my heart chakra, directly into the black (w)hole at its back side, and breathing out the coherent information from the back to the situation in front of me. It seems important to me to always surrender such activities to my Unique Self, trusting its love and wisdom to exactly bring into effect the quality and quantity of energy that the situation or the person needs.

To surrender to the Unique Self — our own and that of the person we might be working with — is not new to most healers. I had to learn early that the other’s Unique Self will always have the final decision on what might be healed and what not, regardless of my intentions. In spiritual coaching, wonderful results were experienced, when I asked the client to write his wish for understanding, transformation or healing on a piece of paper as an intent addressed to her or his Unique Self and then radically let it go out of the mind; no thought activity should then distort the coherence of what may be happening by the grace of the Unique Self.

It even seems to me that the space between out- and in-breath where all activities come to a stand-still is the best moment for communion to happen. I consciously use the word “communion” rather than “communication” because I do not believe that the information is traveling from here to there; it seems much more likely that all happens in a space of non-locality, so to speak of Prior Unity (or a black (w)hole?). Local or distant healing: there is no difference under this perspective.

This for today; with more to come!


Photo Credit: Mara ~earth light~

Perspectives as Post-modern Revelation

Prism

By Marc Gafni

Every evolved culture and every evolved individual may realize Unique Self when True Self awakens to its Unique Perspective. An early expression of this equation is sourced in pre-modernity in the great teachings of the Kabbalists. For these masters, the sacred text of the Torah is the word of God. Yet, paradoxically. in Hebrew mystical teaching a human being who is deeply grounded in True Self while fully incarnating his or her own uniqueness, also speaks the word of God!

Human insight HOWEVER is considered the word of God and, given the status of Torah, only when it derives directly from the clarified unique perspective of a human being who is connected to the ground of True Self. In this radical teaching the supreme identity between the human being and the godhead is only realized through the paradoxical portal of radical human uniqueness. Irreducible uniqueness, the full inhabiting of unique perspective or voice, is revealed to be an absolute quality of essence.

In modernity and especially in post-modernity, the early realization of the Kabbalists in regard to the primacy of perspective takes center stage. There is an emergent cultural realization, placed front and center in Integral theory, that perspectives are foundational. But in post-modernity perspectives have to often been used as the key tool of post-modernity’s deconstructive project. The sentence used to deny all truth is “that’s just your perspective.”

Our conclusion in World Spirituality teaching however, is not that of the post-modern deconstructive thinkers who were among the champions of this insight. Deconstruction wrongly assumed that when perspective is revealed to be part of the process of meaning making, there is no longer any real meaning. Rather, when we understand perspective, we understand that every culture and every great tradition of spirit has its own Unique Self.

Perspective reveals a plentitude of meaning and not a dearth or death of meaning. All cultures perceive essence, but each unique perspective gives a particular resonance and cast to essence. Loyalty to one’s religion and culture is not, therefore, (as modern and post-modern fashions sometimes suggest), primitive or fundamentalist. It is rather partially true, in that it is how my culture is intuiting essence.

The pre-modern mistake was the failure to realize that every religion has a particular perspective, and therefore not to realize that no religion can claim that its intuition of ultimate truth is the only truth. Now that we understand that every great tradition and culture perceived essence through a particular perspective, we can avoid the tragic mistake of deconstructing the traditions as meaningless.

Instead, we understand that every tradition is a particular perspective, a particular instrument in the symphony of spirit that is indeed making sacred music. All of the perspectives come together to create a symphony. And at that point, there is the possibility that the followers of each tradition can begin to realize that their particular religion is not the music but an instrument of the music.

The Kabbalists foreshadow our post- postmodern World Spirituality reconstructive project. Nothing is true, says post-modernity, because everything is contextual. For the Kabbalists, foreshadowing World Spirituality teaching, the opposite is correct. When you fully inhabit your unique perspective you become Source. You not only speak the word of God You incarnate the word of God.

World Spirituality based on Integral Principles, including the first principle of Unique Self, understands that Uniqueness reveals essence through a particular prism. Perspective creates not a dearth of truth, but a magnificent kaleidoscope of truth. Every authentic insight deriving from Unique Perspective is true but partial. No part is reducible to the whole but no part stands alone. It is this insight of Unique Self that is the foundation of the great reconstructive project, which is Spirit’s Next Move.


Photo Credit: Jason A. Samfield

Greetings from Venwoude’s community days event

Venwoude SquareBy Chahat Corten

Hello dearest friends,

Sending you all love and blessing from Venwoude in Holland. This is the first blog post from the Venwoude community days in Holland. In the first couple of days, we had an ecstatic evening with chanting, a teaching on chanting and storie-telling. Ecstatic and passionate ending!

Simply said Marc Gafni has been working round the clock since he got here. First he created a new World Spirituality process which he called “Growing Up,” which was four four-hour sessions in which he guided the community a brilliant and beautiful exploration of what he called Evolutionary We Space.

The process guided people through seven levels of consciousness in which Marc would describe the level and then put us in the voice of that level of consciousness and have everyone talk in first person about they experienced god, community, love and integrity from that level of consciousness.

It was awesome to see, how Marc used this process to kind of surprise everybody into engaging and enacting all the issues on surviving, belonging, power, rules and the great topic of autonomy and community. All the hidden issues were surfaced in away that inspired everyone, made no one bad and gave great honor to each person and the whole community. It was really awesome awesome to watch. It reminded me again of what Center for World Spirituality is so precious.

We have been recording the whole process and there will be some great clips coming from this!

Tomorrow Marc will have a day of conversations (and some students in between) and then Monday-evening diving in 3 days of visioning process, with the leadership group of our community….. I have the sense that something really will shift these days…. :). It also awesome to watch Marc’s love as he makes the issues and dynamics of our community “his issues” and holds everyone with so much care and love and with firmness and direction.

I’ll have another blog post for you soon.

Sending Love,

Chahat

Exploring the Unique Self and beyond … Discovery and Gratitude (Part 1)

Hands Reflection

By Hans Jecklin

When, more than 40 years ago, I undertook my first steps into the cosmos of Jungian psychology, I was soon confronted with the opposition of an “I”, the person I am in this life, and the “Self” that Carl Gustav Jung understood as both the source and fulfillment of the “I” or as the prior source of potentials for the “I” to manifest in life. Jung was aware of the danger for the “I” to identify with this “Autonomous Reality” or “Divine Archetype” and warned of ego-inflation when a person would – even unconsciously – try to occupy or control that higher reality.

This mostly intellectual differentiation of “I” and “Self” accompanied me for a long time after I started my spiritual search. The longing for the direct experience of God had not only led me beyond psychology, but also to quit the reformed (Christian) church that had been my parents’ choice. I then spent nearly twenty years of practicing Zazen, Tao Yoga and Kashmir Shivaism and went through many dis-illusions, having mis-taken the impermanent for the eternal, until finally grace took over.

Tired of the year-long search through cultures and places, I had at one point asked my Self to make no more fuss and take me over to the Siddhis: “This is like dying” it responded and faster-than-I-could-think a chorus of inner voices exclaimed “This is what we have been waiting for!”. When after a seemingly endless fall through extreme darkness, I ended in indescribable bliss, I realized that this was the unconditional love I had always been looking for and that the irresistible longing that had led me through this labyrinth of temptations is the nature of GRACE.

The natural wish to bring this deep experience into my life of a family-father and business-man soon brought me to understand that — yes! — one hand there was nothing more to search for, but that, on the other, this was just the beginning of the real exploration into spirituality, one that might never end in this life-time.

Happily enough, my longing and curiosity had also led me to a form of past-life therapy where I could experience the “Inner Self” as an undeniable reality: as the presence of eternal, all-encompassing love and wisdom within me. Within this setting, I learnt to surrender to its guidance as an ever-present source that would not only send showers of love through my cellular, emotional and mental bodies but was capable to help me understand and transform traumatic imprints that had been limiting the unfoldment of my life purpose: Unconscious imprints or conditioning, resulting from this lifetime and — depending on our understanding — from cultural heritage (familiar, ethnic, racial, human) or past lifetimes.

Having become a facilitator of this transformational work — which I do not label as strictly “past-life” anymore — I  have over the years been enriched by so many experiences that I can gladly surrender to it, without any doubts about its unique power of love and wisdom. It is my supreme inner guide that not only carries the potential to manifest my unique role on this planet (or in the universe?!) but its wisdom is constantly guiding me into perfect circumstances and moments, right people, books and teachings that I need at a given moment to better respond to the challenges of the ever-evolving present.

I have learnt that I can grow into such subtle intimacy with this endless source of love and wisdom that it has become a supreme partner of dialogue  It may — at my request — permeate and transform or expand my consciousness by its love and wisdom in order to more completely perform my role in the favor of humanity, our planet and the cosmos.

I know that the “Unique Self” that manifests through me is but an aspect of what I would call a “Prior Unity” of all possible potentials, ready to manifest in this or other universes. These potentials constantly arise from the “ONE undivided and eternal presence”; they must originate from before the singular event that we assume as the BigBang and — according to limited human understanding — have evolved through the play of eros and agape ever since.

I have been shown by GRACE how to knock at the door of the “ONE”  that as to my present understanding might be my eternal home, but I know at the same time that NOW my role within this life will be guided by the “Unique Self” that is constantly present within and beyond me.

————

I am open for additional inspiration to enlarge my present view which — as we all know — is provisional. Please also do not hesitate to ask whenever my limited capacity of writing in English needs support.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks