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Our journey as evolutionary artists is a dance of creativity

Dancers in Australia

By Marc Gafni

Do you know that that you are the evolutionary artist of the next stage of your life and the life of the world?

Do you know that personal creativity is your doorway into the creativity of the Kosmos?

Do you know that creativity is your birthright?

Do you know that higher consciousness is naturally more creative and less fearful?

Do you know that what you create through your mind, heart and body transforms all of us and all of life?

This is a truth of dramatic importance: Each of us is participating in a great dance of creativity. Our journey as evolutionary artists involves every aspect of life — from the words we choose to the love we make. And that journey begins when we recognize how our own creativity is actually an expression of the evolutionary love-intelligence of all that is. The Vedic and Tantric traditions of Hinduism, the Sufis sages, and the philosophers of Kabbala reminded us that divinity is creativity. The Buddhist sages have invited us to the liberated free-functioning creativity of the compassionate Bodhisattva. The Judeo-Christian teachers have invited us to imitatio dei to be like God, even to be as God.

Just as the great love-intelligence emanates worlds out of its own being, we are invited to turn into our own center, and find that world-creating source within ourselves. From there, we can become co-creators of a transformed world.

You are creative because consciousness is inherently creative. The mysterious Eros that animates and drives the evolutionary unfolding is at this very moment creating and recreating all of reality anew in every moment. That Eros, which lives in you, as you and through you, acts creatively through you the moment you give your consent to it.

It is our delight and obligation to answer the call to evolutionary creativity — and its fulfillment.

The next great movement of evolutionary love is waiting for you — for each of us — to identify and manifest your unique creativity. It is asking you to recognize yourself as the artist of your life, and then to broaden your artistry until you are creating in the service of All that Is.

Are you ready to respond to the great invitation and obligation to evolutionary creativity, in the service of our own evolution, and the evolution of all that is?

If you are then you have begun to wake up and that is simply fucking awesome!

Photo Credit: Oude School

Kenneth’s mystical diary


By Kenneth Daviknes Hansen

Originally published Dec. 24, 2011, on

This entry was written by my student and friend Kenneth Daviknes Hansen. Kenneth is not a native English writer or speaker but I think his core intent is clear in this long journal entry. To be read by mystics only! — MG

This is a text that conveys a visual view of enlightenment – the awakening from ego identification as seen through my own eyes. It is a free flow of consciousness written by Kenneth in his diary and not a formal essay. The first half of the essay was edited after the initial diary entry and the second half was not.

First there are the perspectives and the clarification:

We are talking about the 1st-person awakening to the enlightened view of reality. This is the 1st-person view of both inside and outside when they awaken and realize their true nature. When talking about this experience in the language of perspectives, this is a first-person experience as well as 3rd-person experience of the 1st-person. One realizes that one is something more than ego.

When one has the realization of oneness with what you see — the expression of this in terms of how to understand it will express itself through various cues that will make the understanding and indeed possibility for realizing oneself that there is in fact naught any distance whatsoever in what comes to be the relationship between the one observing (the 1st person) and the one/that which is being seen by the observer. Here the distinction between 1st person and 3rd person will be crucial because we are all observing from the 1st-person while within this 1st-person what we see is the third person, and the observer is what we call 1st-person. So to be clear we are always seeing from within the 1st-person.

There are five expressions of what we can term the 1st-person realization of oneness with what you see. Before I proceed for the sake of full disclosure I want to share that I am writing based on my own first-person experience interpreted through 3rd-person categories of enlightenment thinking.

When you have a realization of oneness it often expresses itself through various cues. These cues point to the understanding and make possible the realization that in fact at the essential level there is no distance whatsoever between the observer (1st-person) and that which is being observed (3rd person). We are all observing through first-person and that which is observed to the extent that it can be communicated becomes available to a broader population as a third person reality. However all third-person reality is paradoxically seen differently by every first person. At the same time in the awakened or enlightened experience there is not any distance between the one observing and the one /that which is being seen by the observer. There are five expressions of what we might term the first person realization of oneness with the visual field.


First as George Bishop* has also pointed out, length is perceivable as a line. When we willfully turn the line towards the eye, we can only see the end of the line. The distance becomes depth and cannot be seen.


When we wondrously examine the definition of distance we realize that distance requires two points to be present so as to be perceived. However when one is relating to an external object the requirement of having two visible points cannot be met. One can only see one of the two points necessary for the visual distance to arise, which is the object of observation.   The person that is seeing cannot see the eyes themselves and therefore is no distance perceived.

Secondly when we are wondrously examining the definition of distance the necessary requisites are that two points will be present so as to be perceived. However when one is relating to an external object – in one sense you are not seeing distance – as two visible points are not available – as one can only see one of the two points necessary for the visual distance to arise which is the object of observation. The person that is seeing cannot see the eyes themselves and therefore is no distance perceived.

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Daily Wisdom: The Imagination


By Marc Gafni

From my book, The Mystery of Love:

Sex models the erotic, but it does not exhaust the erotic. One of the core qualities of the erotic is imagination. The Zohar, the magnus opus of Hebrew mysticism, says explicitly in many places, “Shechina is imagination.”

In Common usage “imagination” is implicitly considered to mean “unreal.” Indeed unreal and imaginary are virtual synonyms. To undermine the reality of an antagonist’s claim we say it is “a figment of his imagination.” In marked contrast, the Hebrew mystics held imagination to be very real. Indeed it would not be unfair to say that they considered imagination to be “realer than real.”

The power of imagination is its ability to give form to the deep truths and visions of the inner divine realm. Imagination gives expression to the higher visions of reality that derive from our divine selves. Language and rational thinking are generally unable to access this higher truth. But the imagination is our prophet, bringing us the word of the Divine, which speaks both through us and from beyond us. This is what the biblical mystic Hosea meant when he exclaimed their God said, “By the hands of my prophets I am imagined.”

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney

Teaching Marc Gafni’s “Unique Self” Enlightenment in the classroom


By Kathleen Brownback

Note: This blog post is adapted from “Teaching Marc Gafni’s ‘Unique Self’ Enlightenment in the Classroom: Reflections from a Phillips Exeter Class in Mysticism (for the annual conference of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, November 2011, Amherst College).”

A new course introduced at Phillips Exeter Academy in the spring of 2011 began with these words on the syllabus:

What we are about to explore has many names. It has been called the mystical tradition, the perennial tradition, the direct path, the path of the heart, the journey to (and with) the beloved, the practice of yoga, and the contemplative tradition. Aldous Huxley called it “the science, not of the personal ego, but of that eternal Self in the depth of particular, individualized selves, and identical with, or at least akin to, the divine Ground.” What these traditions share is the understanding that there is the possibility of union between the self and whatever we might call Ultimate Reality or God or Spirit, and that this union is primarily realized through a path of spiritual practice.

There is no possible way to make a comprehensive study of all these traditions in one term, and no need for us to do so. The main goal here is to locate various paths within the religious traditions, and to begin to understand what is meant by “spiritual practice.”

As the first teacher of this class, my main goal was to engage the students in a deeper understanding of ego development and the way in which the contemplative or mystical dimension of religion could help them both intellectually and practically as they move into their adult lives.

Phillips Exeter is a secular independent secondary school in New Hampshire, an hour north of Boston, with a 200-year history as an academic powerhouse for boys. It became coeducational in 1972 and has retained its high academic distinction, with all students headed for college and many to the top schools in the country.

The students are bright and lively and curious. But as anywhere, they struggle at times with nonacademic life circumstances that have the capacity to affect their intellectual engagement—a superficial and highly commercialized teenage (and often adult) culture, a pervasive unease about the future of their society in an era of environmental and economic challenge, and for some, personal or family histories of addiction or depression. For this reason I sought out texts and readings that were inclined to prompt questions at the interface of psychology and religion. I had the sense that these would speak to students in both an academic and a personal way, as in fact they did.

In this paper I will first describe student background and interest, then give a brief overview of the course, then focus on the work of one scholar and teacher, Marc Gafni, whose writing in particular spoke to the students in a powerful way.

In the course of the term I had to develop and articulate to myself my own changing philosophy of teaching, which I began to explore in a 2009 article in the Exeter alumni/ae bulletin entitled “In Pursuit of Truths.”

I will describe this evolution more deeply at the end of the article, but also briefly mention it here.

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