Underlying the vision behind democracy is the recognition that every individual has dignity, adequacy and worth. This democratic understanding of the worth and standing of the individual lies at the core of what the West calls enlightenment. The Western idea of enlightenment, rooted in the great vision of the Biblical prophets, is generally understood to have entered mainstream consciousness through the political democratic movements of the mid 18th century. Western enlightenment is primarily concerned with the democratization of political power.
Classical enlightenment, sometimes called Eastern enlightenment because it was greatly emphasized in the East, is about the individual merging into the greater one. The appearance of separate self is an illusion, which must be overcome as the individual realizes that one is really not separate at all but part of the one. The goal of Eastern enlightenment is moving beyond the grasping ego and desperately seeking separate self by attaining a state of consciousness in which the illusion of separateness was dissolved in the greater one.
This path of classical enlightenment is seen as the path beyond suffering. Unique Self enlightenment brings the Eastern and Western understandings about enlightenment together, into a higher Integral World Spirituality embrace. Unique Self enlightenment is based on your commitment to transcend separate self into the one, even as you realize that that essence sees through your unique perspective. Unique Self opens the door to the potential democratization of enlightenment. To awaken to your Unique Self is to be lived as God, which, in truth, means to be lived as love.
Two major works have been written within the framework of Integral Wisdom about the nature of Self and God. While they share important features, namely the evolutionary context of the conversation and a vision of Self beyond Ego, their interior visions of the quality of the Self beyond Ego are profoundly different.
Both of these visions of Self, or key dimensions of the two versions, have been adopted, directly and indirectly by many spiritual teachers. In Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism, Marc Gafni articulates the two models, their shared features, their differences and why -- as we seek to articulate an Integral Wisdom -- these differences matter so desperately.
Marc Gafni's two-volume academic treatise on Radical Kabbalah lays the groundwork for key dimensions of the Unique Self teaching. Compared by Prof. Richard Mann with the work of Elaine Pages on the Gnostic gospels, called "magesterial" by Sally Kempton, and described by Zack Stein as a work that comes around “once in a generation,” Gafni introduces in this work the enlightenment teaching of what he terms non-dual humanism.
Based on a deep re-reading of over a thousand Aramaic and Hebrew texts, Gafni first outlines the core teaching and then traces the esoteric intellectual history of non-dual humanism in five major matrices of the Kabbalah In the vision of non-dual humanism the potential democratization of enlightenment opens up as a genuine option in which every human being is called to lives lived “as Source.” Sean Esbjorn Hargens cited this work as a classic example of what leading scholar Jeffery Kripal calls Mystical Hermenutics in which the scholar practitioner brings his full Eros and love into unlocking and evolving vital lineage sources and sharing them with the world.
In the second volume in the Radical Kabbalah set, Marc Gafni cracks an esoteric code deep within the Kabbalistic tradition which identifies “wisdom of Solomon” as being the source of the teaching of non-dual humanism. Gafni then shows that this teaching of the wisdom of Solomon, i.e. non-dual humanism, did not originate with Mordechai Lainer of Izbica. Rather it has deep roots in earlier Zoharic and Lurianic te - xts all of whom received and transmitted the non-dual humanism teaching of the wisdom of Solomon.
Nevertheless, it remained to Mordechai Lainer of Izbica to fully explicate and evolve the radically empowering implication of this ancient teaching. In this volume Gafni carefully and rigorously uncovers the hidden teaching of the wisdom of solomon as they appear in encoded within hassidic writings waiting to be discovered.
The Journal of Integral Theory and Practice (JITP), the official source for material related to Integral Theory and its application, devoted an entire issue to Unique Self. In this issue, Marc is the guest editor and writes two core articles on Unique Self, one emergent from Mordechai Lainer, and the other on the core Unique Self teaching, which are a cornerstone for World Spirituality teaching. Included in these articles is one by Zak Stein, which compares Gafni’s Unique Self teaching with Andrew Cohen’s Authentic Self teaching.
Love is so confusing. What does it mean? Is it an emotion? Who should we love? How should we love and how much? What is the relationship between romantic love, impersonal cosmic love, sister love, evolutionary love, and Outrageous Love? How do love, sex and eros relate to each other? Why is a right understanding and experience of love the core of education, medicine, sex, business, politics and just about everything else?
Read this book and let your love life be expanded and transformed forever. Fall in love all the way! Loving your way to Enlightenment is a compilation of Marc Gafni's first two years of Venwoude's Wisdom School teachings.
Marc Gafni's poignant and evocative volume Tears invites the reader into a radical paradigm shift in understanding religion and ritual. It takes as its case study the Jewish holy day of Rosh Hashanah, the Hebrew New Year celebration. Gafni then re-reads the entire corpus of liturgical literature on the New Year and reveals a key hidden theme – crying. Specifically Gafni identifies twelve major forms of tears and the archetypes that enact these forms of crying.
Gafni's role as a leading voice in the evolution of Judaism is fully crystallized in this volume. He lives and breathes the sacred texts, imbued by and transmitting their energy even as deploys the ecstatic scholarship of the master, reverentially yet boldly evolving their meaning.
What can erotic love teach us about the Divine? In modern Western thought, the sexual is often seen as being the opposite of the spiritual. Yet when we understand and access the rich interplay between the erotic and the sexual, we can tap into limitless reservoir of spiritual wisdom. “The sexual models the erotic,” Marc Gafni explains, “but it does not exhaust it.”
Now, with The Erotic and the Holy Workshop, this groundbreaking Kabbalistic sage invites you to accept Eros as your spiritual teacher – a teacher that will guide you with sweetness and tenderness toward “being a lover” in every aspect of your life.
In Lillith, Marc Gafni provides insights into the deep context in sources of Hebrew wisdom for this core idea that that the exile of the Shekinah is in one expression, the exile of the erotic into the sexual. This idea is possibly best expressed in the Raya Mehimna and Tiqunei Zohar literature. Based on the biblical verse “and a maidservant that inherits her mistress” (Proverbs 30:23), the Shekina in exile is said to be the state in which the maidservant has inherited her place.
This book represents an integration of ideas from Marc Gafni and Ohad Ezrahi. At his request the first writer during the physical writing was Ohad. It was co-authored by them and published with intention as a shared book reflecting their partnership at the time and the shared intellectual content in the core of the book. This is reflected in the joint publishing of the book, the shared content, and the signed contracts with the publishers and dozens of extant letters between the authors during the process. For more info, click here.
“Just as in the physical world you have a fingerprint that is unique to you, so in the realm of spirit you have a soul print that belongs to you alone,” teaches Marc Gafni. Now, the voice behind the bestselling Soul Prints presents an in-depth audio curriculum that invites listeners to engage the fullness of their individual potential. From wisdom on recognizing your soul print to cultivating true presence with oneself and others to integrating personal darkness and light, The Soul Prints Workshop offers Marc Gafni’s insightful guidance for each step of your spiritual journey.
The core ideas in The Mystery of Love began germinating when Marc Gafni encountered a Talmudic passage, some twenty-five years ago, which described the sexual drive as the Lion of Fire residing in the holy of holies in the temple. As Marc Gafni notes on the Scholar's page, Raphael Pattai's work on the Temple and Eros, Saul Lieberman’s important identifications between the mystery of the Song of Songs and the Holy of Holies in the Temple, as well as Idel’s deployment of the term Kabbalistic Tantra, all were important to him.Read more...
This book suggests that the most important spritual practice of a human being is to realize what Marc Gafni calls the core certainty of being, similar to what Da Free John refers to as Divine Communion, as the essential and ongoing human experience. This teaching offers a re-understanding of the core nature of religion, moving from the old model in which religion claims to teach “It is True,” to a new paradigm in which religion reminds us that “I am True.”
This book is about reclaiming the spiritual value of Uncertainty. In the wake of quantum physics we have begun to dance with uncertainty. Now that Newton has given way to Shrodinger, the modern scientific community has a way of expressing the confusion inherent in the world. Quantum Physics, despite the elegance of its imagery and astonishing scientific breakthroughs, does not ask what seems to be the crucial question: what if Mrs. Schrodinger loves her cat? What can she be going through while her dear pet is inside the potentially lethal box? Biblical consciousness is concerned not only with the metaphysics of uncertainty but first and foremost with the experience of uncertainty.
A charismatic American philosopher and teacher, Marc Gafni has become an important voice on religion and spirituality through his enormously popular weekly television program in Israel. Now, his universal message comes to America, fully realized, in his first English-language book.
Marc Gafni follows in the tradition of Rabbi Harold Kushner and Ram Dass, bringing wisdom to everyday experience and using spiritual stories to teach us how to live happier lives. The secret is to "live your story," and we do this by identifying our Unique Selves -- our "soul prints." Only then can we connect on a deeper level with the world and with those sharing it alongside us.
Soul Prints speaks to all readers, regardless of religious beliefs or practices. Using the power of myth -- Biblical and folk -- and drawing on his own highs and lows, Gafni offers advice on how to overcome the obstacles of an increasingly disconnected world to form bonds based in truth and love: connections that begin with our true selves.
In a 73-minute lecture which was a Public Broadcasting Special, Marc Gafni educates an enthusiastic studio audience about the principles and practices of his "soul prints" philosophy, which would later become the basis for the Unique Self teaching. Culled from his lineage in Kabbalah as well as other religious and philosophical traditions, the essence of the teaching is instruction in how we can live our life the way it was destined to be lived. In this vision, individual and collective paths to inner peace ultimately find harmony. Unfortunately, the video was poorly edited and the result is that the richness, subtlety and depth of the Soul Print teaching became was degraded. For this reason, today it is a work that Marc does not recommend.
This book was published in conjunction with Israel's the ministry of education with the intent to provide a non-fundamentalist alternative to the basic Judaism guides which were being heavily propagated by fundamentalist strains in Orthodoxy. It was intened as a Hebrew/Russian guide on basic Judaism for new Russian immigrants.
These lectures on the book of Genesis were given in 1997 in Jerusalem to overflowing audiences. The talks, which will soon be made available on the Center for World Spirituality website, are a deep dive into Marc Gafni's later call to the source code structures of the Book of Genesis. A second set of talks on the Exodous are now also under preparation. These talks stem from the period in Dr. Gafni's life where he was teaching within the ethnocentric context of the Jewish community. The lectures are liberal universal interpretation of Judaism which nonetheless provide insights relevant both within and beyond the Jewish context.
ספר זה, בעזרת השם, הוא הראשון בסדרת ספרים על מה שאני קורא לו מיתוס אישי.
המיתוס האישי מבקש לגלול את מבני המחשבה המקראית והקבלית כפי שהם מתגלים
בחיי הרגש והדמיון הפנימיים שלנו. נושאי הספר הם צחוק, דמע, ארוס, מחול, שתיקה,
ספק, כעס, שמחה, פחד, לילית ואהבה. על נושאים אלה כתבתי או שאני מקווה ומתפלל
לכתוב מונוגרפיות או ספרים שיהוו חלק מהספרייה של אסכולת המיתוס האישי. אחדים
מהספרים יהיו יותר הגותיים מטבעם, אחרים יהיו אקדמיים, ויהיו כאלה שיהיו נגישים
יותר. יש עוד מלומדים שעושים עבודה חשובה מאוד בזירות השונות של המיתוס האישי.
The Hebrew edition of Soul Prints has an important new addition, which was not ready when the English volume was published. It contains forty pages, in Hebrew, of the original sources from the Kabbalistic tradition, which form the mystical conceptual matrix for the Soul Print/Unique Self tradition.