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On Eros and Pseudo-Eros


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Sweetness and Sexuality

Dr. Marc Gafni explains two of levels of religious consciousness around sexuality: firstly, a level based around rules, distinctions, and boundaries; secondly, a domain focused around sweetness. In the latter approach to the erotic, sex gives access to the secret of the cherubs, and we see that all depths of wisdom come from the sexual. Yearning, fullness of life, and growth beyond the ego are all linked in their inner spiritual and physical dynamics. [Listen…]

Sacred Sexuality

Dr. Marc Gafni describes how everyone knows that in your lives, there is holy an redeemed sexuality on the one hand and faux sexuality on the other. Everyone knows which is which, in our bodies, precisely. When you sexually fast (abstain), you begin to notice what provokes the invitation to a fallen sexual moment. It comes from a hit of emptiness. If you watch carefully, it is to be meditatively aware. Deep meditation means noticing what is happening inside, Fullness of presence moves us beyond avoidance (a void dance). [Listen…]

The Pseudo-Eros Trap: Avoiding Emptiness

Dr. Marc Gafni explains the path of presence and its avoidance, pseudo-Eros. Practicing the fullness of presence means to go through and stay in the emptiness, not around it.  To refuse the invitation of the void, we are virtually compelled to fill up the emptiness with pseudo-Eros. Pseudo-Eros is the beginning of spiritual and ethical collapse. All ethical collapses come from failures of the Erotic. That’s why when our systems of rules-based ethics, which have a place, always ultimately collapse… and at that momentp the emptiness overwhelms you. [Listen…]

What is Divine Speech?

Dr. Gafni explains that the breakthrough to the other side happens in every facet of existence. It happens in an erotic conversation when time stands still. To be engaged erotically means the same as to be holy: being in the inside of an event. He also relates two stories, one of the Maggid of Mezritch, and another, Hanoch the Kabbaler. In the story of the cobbler who stitches his shoes, the sacred text says “the heavens begin to move and transform.” Gafni asks, what is he doing when he stitches his shoes? Nothing else, but stitching his shoes. He is totally one with that action: he is in the inside of it and so he becomes the Shekinah, the erotic itself. The divine is in exile, when the inside and the outside are disconnected. [Listen…]

The Fullness of Presence

According to Dr. Gafni, the second quality of the Erotic of Shekinah of the Zohar is fullness of presence. This is not the same as being on the inside. You can actually be fully present, but not in the inside. There is a story about a 19th century Kabbalist master, Levi Isaac of Berdichev, who was able to be fully present. Once a Jewish girl joined the convent (that was completely unaccepted at that time so she shouldn’t have been there). The community sent all the wise men of the region to the convent to persuade her to leave. On one day Levi Isaac of Berdichev went there and sat behind a tree and started to wait. He had been waiting for three days altogether. Two days went by and nothing happened, but on the third day, the woman walked there after the convent and she said: “Oh, it’s you! Thank you for waiting!” What did she sense in the temple? What did the master do? Dr. Gafni’s explanation is that it’s a story about presence and response to presence. [Listen…]

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