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Audio 14: Overcoming Loneliness

The Greatest Story Ever Told: Audio series with Barbara Marx Hubbard & Marc Gafni

Barbara Marx Hubbard:

Dr. Marc Gafni:

Welcome to Podcast 14. This is Marc Gafni. I’m here with Barbara Marx Hubbard and we are in the greatest story ever told. In week 14, we are picking up on this new theme, which we started in Podcast 13, which is reweaving the fabric of intimacy. We ended last week by talking about the global action paralysis. We live in a world of outrageous pain. There is more per capita suffering than there has ever been in the world before, an enormous amount of suffering.

On the one hand, there’s a much greater middle class, there’s a great expansion of wealth in a way that’s unparalleled in human history, but at the same time, there is an increase in population, which is not even vaguely paralleled in human history. Actually, quantitatively, there is many, many more people suffering than there ever were before.

Yet we don’t act. We don’t act. We have enough food to feed the world four times over and yet we don’t. How could that be? There’s a kind of global action paralysis. What we began to understand, at the end of last week, was that this global action paralysis is rooted in a failure of intimacy.

The global action paralysis is rooted in a global intimacy disorder. We don’t act because we don’t feel connected to those people suffering. We don’t feel intimate with them. We don’t feel like they’re part of our story. And so somehow, we’re able to disconnect, right? We’re alienated. Alienation is the opposite of intimacy and it’s only alienation that allows me to eat when so much of the world is starving.

In order to heal the global action paralysis, what we need to do is we need to first heal the global intimacy disorder. Wow. Really, this understanding which is so profound in systems theory and chaos theory and complexity theory. It’s already rooted in interior sciences so we’ll just give one western expression of it. We have scripture on it, as they say.

In scripture, and we’re not approaching scripture from a fundamentalist perspective, that is to say, the fundamentalist Word of God that says you go to Hell if you don’t do this. Scripture is a source of spiritual information. Poetry is a source of spiritual information. Psychology is a source of spiritual information. There’s one sacred text which reads, in the book of Genesis, “It’s not good for the human being to be alone.” It’s in chapter two of the book of Genesis.

In chapter one, there is this poetic refrain: “And God saw that it was good.” If you’re just joining our podcast and you hear the word, God, remember the God you don’t believe in doesn’t exist. We’re talking about God, not as Santa Claus. We’re talking about God as the incessant, ceaseless creativity which gives direction to reality, which is inherent in reality itself even as this quality of presence and being holds all of reality. And the ceaseless creativity of Cosmos, the initiating and animating love intelligence and love beauty of all of reality.

This text reads that “it’s not good for the human being to be alone.” Genesis, chapter two. All of the good out of chapter one where it says that “and God saw that it was good” after every stage of evolutionary unfolding, which in Genesis are called days, it says, “and God saw that it was good.” All of the good of chapter one in Genesis, which is the refrain, it was good, it was good, it was good, is nullified in chapter two when it says it’s not good. What’s not good?

Good is the very fabric of reality so what’s the not good? The only place that this phrase appears in this context, “it’s not good,” what’s not good is for man to be alone as a human being, for Adam, a human being, to be alone. Alone? He wasn’t alone. He was actually a he/she. Adam in the original text is before there is a he and a she so Adam was the originally human being. The original being was not alone. There were all sorts of other creatures on the planet.

It’s not talking about alone in a physical sense. The Hebrew word, the original Hebrew lovado doesn’t quite mean alone. It means lonely. It’s not good for the human being to be lonely, meaning all of the good of reality is nullified by loneliness. What is loneliness if not a failure of intimacy? Wow. Loneliness is a failure of intimacy. The good of reality is the knowing that we live in an intimate universe. Loneliness is so tragic to us because we feel not aligned with reality. We feel disconnected. We feel alienated from reality itself, which is intimate, which is an intimate universe.

Wow. That’s big. See, a person can be alone and feel intimate. Or a person can be alone and alienated. If you’re alone and intimate, you’re not lonely because you’re connected to the depths of your own being. Intimacy is to be connected to the inside. When I’m connected to my own inside, I’m not lonely. Intimacy is the sense of being present to oneself, able to plumb the depths of one’s own interiority.

That’s ultimately not enough for a human being. It’s not enough to be present to your own self, to be intimate with your own interiority. We need another being, another human being so that interiority meets interiority, inside meets inside, depth meets depth. That is the amelioration. That is the liberation from alienation. It’s the liberation from loneliness without which we want to die. Wow. That is the quality of intimacy as it awakens on the human level.

This quality of intimacy, this sense of being in an intimate universe is actually the quality of all of reality. Last week, in Podcast 13, Barbara and I did a prelude to the tenants of intimacy. Now we’re going to start what we’re going to call, out of the story of reality, the great evolutionary story, is the story which is driven, as Barbara said last week, by the desire for more and more intimacy. As Barbara laid it out last week, intimacy is the force that drives reality.

The search, the yearning for more and more intimacy is the evolutionary Eros itself. That exists not only on the human level. It’s not good for the human being to be alone. Human intimacy is an expression of a larger intimate universe. That’s how we begin to refabric reality. We realize that our drive for intimacy is but an expression of the very nature of reality itself and that’s where we’re going to begin in Podcast 14. We’re going to come all the way back to what it means to be human being and how I evolve my intimacy on the human level.

Let me just say a couple of words about this for three or four minutes and then I’ll hand it over to Barbara. Tenant one. Here’s tenant one. Tenant one is we live in an intimate universe. That means that reality itself is Eros. Eros is the experience of radical aliveness that comes from intimacy as we drive towards ever greater contacts, ever greater creativity. Eros is the experience of radical aliveness moving to ever greater contact or every greater intimacy. That’s what it means. Reality is Eros. Reality is living in an intimate universe.

The basic property of reality is allurement. Allurement moves toward contact, new contact, deeper contact. That’s one level of reality, the movement toward contact, the movement of becoming.

The second level of reality that Barbara already pointed to last week on the cellular level, and exists even underneath the cellular level, is the allurement that holds everything together. It’s the attraction and allurement that holds all of reality together from quarks to hadrons. All the way up to our subatomic particles, all the way up to atoms, all the way through the molecular world into complex molecules and into cells and complex cells all the way up through plants and animals and mammals to human beings.

The entire chain is held together by allurement. Allurement is the core quality of reality. Everything is allurement all the way up and all the way down. Reality is making love all the way up and all the way down. Reality is sexual, as it were, all the way up and all the way down, sexual even before sex actually begins. Atoms are having sex. What does that mean? It means they are allured to each other. They come together to form stable relationships which create wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts. Wow.

Take a look at it for a second. Look at gravity. What’s gravity? I think gravity is something. Gravity is just a word. It’s just a word to describe allurement at the celestial level. It’s the allurement between celestial bodies. There’s nothing underneath gravity. Gravity is just what is or electromagnetic attraction, the allurement that holds it together at the most core, at the subatomic level of reality. That’s the nature of reality all the way up and all the way down.

Let’s just say one last point to bring this together so that we get this part of the story and it’s gorgeous. What we’ve done, friends, is we’ve exiled intimacy to a very narrow band of reality. We’ve exiled intimacy first to a very human experience, number one.

Number two, within do the human experience. We say that when a person is having human relations, we’re talking about sexuality or having an intimate relationship is about romantic love. We’ve exiled intimacy to either sexuality or romantic love on the human level. That’s a disaster. That’s an exile of an exile of an exile. If we ask human romantic love or human sexuality to fulfill all our desire for intimacy, reality collapses. No, all of reality is about living in an intimate universe.

Let’s say it more deeply. Romantic love or human sexuality is a pointing out instruction as to the nature of reality. It’s points towards all of reality being erotic. We live in a Cosmo-erotic universe. All of reality is intimate all the way up and all the way down.

When I begin to understand that, then I realize that my drive for intimacy is not my pathology. I don’t want to medicate it away. My unique drive for intimacy is evolution awakening as me. Wow. That’s just the beginning. That’s tenant one. Tenant one: We live in an intimate universe all the way up and all the way down. Beloved people, here is Barbara.

Barbara Marx Hubbard:

Well, Marc, as you speak, it is striking me that the greatest psychological problem in our country is loneliness. More people are feeling lonely than any other particular psychological malady. It’s really interesting since the nature of nature itself is intimacy how the human species got so far from being able to experience it. As you say, it’s love, it’s sexual, it’s supra sexual, it’s creativity, it’s everything that we truly, truly love, and how often we don’t feel it.

Now is that an evolutionary driver? I’ve learned in evolution that what seems like a crisis or problem, so let’s say a crisis of loneliness is driving us toward something. It would be very deep in our podcast of understanding this universe story. It’s what the loneliness among us is driving us to experience in terms of greater intimacy.

What would that actually be amass so we could deal with problems that are massive? They’re not just personal problems. The loneliness and the lack of intimacy in our personal lives is reflected in this massive suffering. The children are starving and we know we have the food. You can just take it all the way.

I’m putting my attention for the moment on overcoming loneliness not only by being able to tap into my own interiority, which certainly is possible, tapping into the nature of spirit, of God within. When do I really overcome loneliness because I feel lonely a lot even though I know all this. It’s when I feel one with the impulse of evolution within me going somewhere, it has momentum, it has God in it, in relationship to the impulse in somebody else that’s also going somewhere and in the same direction toward evolutionary consciousness, freedom, order, goodness, beauty, innovation.

Whenever I can get close to somebody whose inner impulse resonates with that yearning inside myself, that is so profound and yet it’s very hard to stay in that frequency, the way life is designed, even if you’re very fortunate to have it from time to time. I’d just like to declare that from the point of view from you might say God’s intention of having a universe that can actually, in the human dimension, reflect the nature of intimacy being the nature of reality, that our whole effort then is to become intimate with each other, with that inner impulse within ourselves, with the Divine within us and this could be what we’ve been calling the maturation of the new human.

All throughout history, we’ve struggled with this. This isn’t just a modern problem, is it? I’m going to state the intention because I believe the universe is very receptive to genuine intention, that through these series of podcasts, Marc, we could experiment and experience, you and I and those listening, to this level of increase of intimacy through that level of joining that we’re speaking of as the nature of the universe. I love the idea of these podcasts being dedicated to the experience within ourselves and with those listening of greater intimacy in your lives.

Dr. Marc Gafni:

Yeah, beautiful. It’s so wonderful, right? When I say beautiful, it’s so good, so true. When I get that the nature of reality is intimate, that we live in an intimate universe, then I realize wow, everything that drives me is I’m seeking more intimacy. I want to be connected. I want to be seen. I want to be recognized and I don’t want to be alienated.

I want to transcend loneliness and I transcend loneliness by being recognized, by being seen. Paradoxically, I only transcend loneliness if I’m seen for who I am. In other words, if I have a mask on and I’m successful, but I’m not actually seen, I’m actually stricken by the terrible pain of failed intimacy.

Intimacy is the source. Intimacy guides everything. Every ethical decision is is this intimate or is this not intimate? Intimate means I’m connected with. I’m connected to everything. Everything is connected to me. I’m in my right place in that connectivity. Just like cells are intimate because they’re fulfilling their particular purpose by giving their particular contribution, receiving nourishment and giving nourishment, the human being has a particular place, just like a cell.

I’m the larger organism of reality when I locate myself in that right place, making that right contribution and I begin to feel intimate. I need to be just like the cells that need to be talking to each other. Barbara, we need to be talking to each other and as the cells are always co-creating in symphony, we’re co-creating in symphony.

Our first tenant, friends, and we’ll end here, our first tenant is we live in an intimate universe all the way up and all the way down. We’ve exiled intimacy to the merely human level and then to a particular band of humanity of the human experience, romantic love and sexuality. We want to liberate intimacy as the evolutionary driver. Intimacy wakes up from unconsciousness as Barbara just said, from unconscious to conscious intimacy. As human beings, we get to choose intimacy and to evolve intimacy.

Podcast 14, the first tenant in the intimate universe. Give us a conclusion, Barbara. Give us an intimate conclusion.

Barbara Marx Hubbard:

Well, I never realized at all that intimacy is the nature of reality, that the longing for intimacy is the drive that’s moving us forward now. I’m dedicating this series of podcasts because through the story, we’re increasing our own intimacy. Everybody who is on this. I’m feeling it in my heart for the people who are listening to this. They’re feeling this, too. You’re feeling it. I’m feeling it. We have it in us to feel it and maybe it’s because it’s the evolutionary driver of overcoming that action paralysis that you’re speaking of. Right here’s a source, so thank you, Marc. Thank you. I see this as a very great intention for our podcast and for our lives indeed.

Dr. Marc Gafni:

And for reality itself. Amen, love. Amen. Deep bow love. Thank you very much. Podcast 15 next week.

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