Once every other few hundred years, a teacher comes along with the capacity to intuit and articulate new facets of emerging reality with such clarity and insight that old paradigms fall under their new distinctions and culture as it were, is transformed as a result. Dr Marc Gafni is one such teacher.
In a world which, for the first time in history, is facing an unprecedented crisis that threatens the very existence of our planet Marc Gafni’s resounding call for a “democratization of enlightenment and the need for all to participate in the evolution of Love” has begun to resonate deeply for an increasingly sensitized global population. As Einstein famously pointed out, we cannot fix a problem at the level of consciousness from which it was created, and today, a growing number of people are awakening to the truth that we are all part of the same fabric. We need each other, Reality needs all of us, and there are no externalities. And unless we reach a critical mass of awakened leaders that are able to respond to the challenges of our times with actions that come from that recognition, we will fail dramatically at addressing today’s existential risk.
Throughout the ages and across traditions, Mystery schools have always been the technology for evolving consciousness. By attracting groups of people around the cutting-edge spiritual teachers and/or teachings of their times, they acted as poles between heaven and earth, where people could usher in new and emergent ways of being into the collective, hence evolving the source code of their current culture.
This overarching vision of raising consciousness and evolving Love has been the core purpose of our Mystery school’s annual Summer Festivals since 2012. Our fifth Festival ended last week in Holland. During eight days, a group of women and men from all parts of the world gathered to practice with Dr Marc Gafni and to receive his teachings on Eros, sexuality and Unique Self.
Each year brings its own revelations and experience of enlightenment. This year, the maturity of our group, the clarity of Marc’s teachings and the power of his transmission were yet unparalleled. If one ever wondered what an enlightened society might be like they only needed to be there with us during that week to have a taste of it.
But in order to understand what goes on during these Festivals, and why we believe they can change the source code of culture, let’s first unpack what we mean by “evolving Love” with Marc’s now famous statement:
“The Universe is not a fact, it’s a story.
It is not an ordinary story, but a love story.
It is not an ordinary love story, but an Outrageous Love story.”
Just as you and I have an inner subjective reality, (my feelings and sensations and my entire psycho-spiritual construct) and a corresponding exterior manifestation (my physical body, behavior and measurable agency in the world), Reality itself also has an interior reality that correlates with its external manifestation.
Externally, we can observe that the Universe is not made of a series of merely isolated external facts but that it is going somewhere. The Universe has a direction (Telos) which we call Evolution. Evolution’s purpose is to move from simplicity to ever growing complexity and creativity, as simple parts create more webs of connections which create larger and larger wholes. For example, a cell contains molecules which contains atoms. The force of connection that holds together atoms to create molecules to create a cell, an amoeba, a plant, an animal, a human and finally, an awakened human – is the invisible force of allurement that exists on all levels of reality - all the way up and all the way down, which we call Eros. Eros is the interior face of Evolution.
Eros is the yearning of the Universe which tends towards ever more complexity and consciousness, ever more Love and finally, ever more uniqueness. This Love however is not ordinary human Love. It the essential nature of Reality, which Dante called “the Love that moves the sun and the other stars”. We refer to it as “Outrageous Love” or the Love intelligence and the Love beauty that lives at the core of all things. Likewise, uniqueness is to be distinguished from the ego’s need to feel special. Uniqueness is an expression of the Cosmos itself. And while it is an inherent feature present at all levels of existence, it’s only in the emergence of what Marc calls your Unique Self, that uniqueness comes online in its full human manifestation, after I awaken to the fact that Outrageous Love is the evolutionary Eros that awakens in me.
As Unique Self, I realize that I am not only One with All that is, but I am an irreducible and unique expression of the Love intelligence of the cosmos that lives in me, as me and through me.
When I fully realize that I am a part of the same universal fabric of Love, I also realize that my longing – including my sexual longing - is but a reflection of God, Goddess, Evolution’s desperate yearning for me to awaken and to begin to live as an Outrageous Lover. For, as Marc poetically puts it: “we live in a world of outrageous pain, and the only response to outrageous pain, is outrageous love”.
But then, might you ask, why aren’t we all awakening as our Unique Selves and evolving Love?
“We live in a planet drenched in shame” says Marc. Shame’s primary source, according to him, is sexual shame: it is the experience that there is something wrong with my erotic impulse. We all carry this shame at our core whether we are aware of it or not. And to prove it, Marc drew our attention to the shocking fact that the primary driver of the internet today, is rampant pornography - a mere reflection of our collective sexual shame.
Consequently, shame is the main devolutionary force that shuts down Evolution’s Erotic impulse and stands against our evolutionary Love Story. Hence the need for a new sexual narrative, one that heals shame by including all the above distinctions and empowers us to reclaim our greatness as divine Erotic beings.
This is the context for a new sexual narrative Marc established on day One of the Festival. With this this meta picture laid on the ground, the whole room was now able to tune into the memory of the Future with Marc and to envision with him, what a new narrative on sexuality might be. Each day, Marc invoked and conjured in the room a specific face of God, a specific taste of Sexuality that lives in each of us individually and exists collectively in culture, whether in its conscious form or unconscious form. Day after day, he relentlessly moved heaven and earth until each taste was grounded in the room as one face of Divinity Herself. For each face, we were invited to find Her in culture through movies and songs as well as to recognize Her into the very fabric of our unique story. Day after day, Marc gave everything again and again with new commitment and reverence. Audaciously, persistently and from the depths of his being, he pierced through all resistance in the room every day, and seamlessly, with Her Grace, weaved all the pieces together: The Universe as an Outrageous Love story; Unique Self enlightenment; Outrageous Love as a response to Outrageous pain; Shame as the root of all evil, and finally, the memory of our future with a new vision of sexuality that includes and transcends all the tastes of God, all the faces of Eros.
Deepest bow to Dr Marc Gafni for his complete and radical devotion to us and to She.
Deepest bow to Chahat Corten for her grace and wisdom as she stepped in publically again for the first time since her transition.
Deepest bow to Dr Kristina Kincaid, for her powerful work on sexuality who opened the room again and again with her gifts.
To Kerstin Zohar Tuschik for being always three steps ahead of everything that’s needed, and who stepped in this time as our amazing music and clips Coordinatrix.
To Philippe Joannis, for assisting Kerstin the whole week, and who was a tremendous support to us all year through.
To Govind Veomans and Hans Jeuken for their seamless team work and stellar sound management.
To Ruud Van Tienen and Erik Plas our two awesome Chefs, for their playfulness in the kitchen and for feeding our bodies with delicious food every day.
To Randy Marques, James Bamfield and Micki Masset, Rens Meinkamp, Henriette Versteijnen and Ben Hogson for their great afternoon contributions that brought us home into our bodies.
To our musical muse, Krista Steenbergen and her two troubadours, Emil Bloomberg and Victor Voogt for their devotion to each other and for feeding our hearts and souls with music.
To Arnout Horemans and Simone Van Dick, and the whole scholar team who worked so hard behind the scenes to make everything look beautiful and clean.
And, finally, to all the participants of the Festival for coming together as Outrageous Lovers and Erotic Mystics willing to play a larger game and to participate in the evolution of Love.
I am infinitely grateful, proud and honored to be part of our holy Sangha.
In Outrageous Love and gratitude to each of you,