Dr. Marc Gafni:
Welcome everyone to the Greatest Story Ever Told, the New Universe story with Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marc Gafni. We are in podcast 19, and we are talking about Unique Self Symphony. This is our fifth or sixth podcast deepening and entering into this idea of Unique Self Symphony, each time from a different angle, from a different perspective. All the podcasts the last four or five weeks are inter-included with each other. We’re talking about the same idea, but just like any great idea, you approach it through different doors to get a deep sense of what it’s about, because Unique Self Symphony is new. It’s an emergent.
It’s the evolution of intimacy. It’s a new vision. It’s the understanding that evolution moves towards ever-higher levels of intimacy, and an emergent, worldwide collective intelligence, in which unique selves are giving their unique gifts, addressing unique needs in their unique circle of intimacy and influence, thereby performing a larger collective of action actually is the recipe that we desperately need to address the greatest challenge in this moment of time, which is a global action paralysis. There’s an actual global action paralysis. We’re confronted with existential risk of a very significant nature. For the first time, there are extinction-level problems challenging us as we move from the old systems and try and emerge into a new system.
We’re emerging past the world of the extraction model, which began in the Industrial Revolution. At the Industrial Revolution, there were about a half a billion people in the world. We’ve gone through an exponential growth curve in a period of 200 years. There are now over seven billion people in the world. The Industrial Revolution introduced the extraction model, which basically said, “Let’s extract, at very rapid pace, core resources, mining, farming, fishing, et cetera, from the Earth, resources that took hundreds of millions, and often billions, of years to gather.” Then in 200 years, they’re almost gone.
What do we do? When there’s an exponential growth curve, at some point, it has to stop. Our economies are built on a structure and a system where the economies need to keep growing every year for an entire series of reasons, both economically, both in terms of governance, both in terms of infrastructure, in terms of all our basic structures and models, the systems are at the end of the effectiveness. We need to have not just a kind of minor tinkering, we’re at a step moment in evolution.
We’re at a phase shift in evolution, in which either things are going to devolve, deconstruct, fall apart, and we’ll actually go extinct. That’s a genuine, significant, and real possibility. Or, we’re going to be able to introduce new models of consciousness, new structures in the evolution of love, new structures in the evolution of intimacy, which will allow us to address the challenges in a way that they will jump us to the next order of complexity in consciousness, and creativity, and depth, and love.
This new structure of consciousness, at its core, is what we’re calling Unique Self Symphony, the ability to have a new, emergent model of intimacy, i.e., a Unique Self Symphony, a collective intelligence of people gathered through technology, from around the world, each collectively giving, each person being part of a collective of unique selves that are giving their unique sets of gifts addressing unique issues in the world. Whether we’re talking about Kickstarter, which we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, which becomes a way to fund the arts, which is essentially an emergent, bottom-up structure, a self-organizing structure, or whether we’re talking about any other structure, like Bitcoin, which is a new currency, or is it an equity, or is it a commodity? We’re not quite sure, but it’s this very, very powerful, self-organized Unique Self Symphony in some sense.
These are proto-Unique Self Symphonies. They’re not quite there yet. We haven’t quite figured out how to identify what a Unique Self … What my unique self qualities are? How do I find other unique selves? How do we get together and do a project? That piece of technology is about to be birthed. It’s actually eminent in the system. That piece of technology, much like Wikipedia was a new piece of technology, much like … There’s a whole series of new technological platforms that are actually enacting new possibilities. This new breakthrough in technology will enact a new possibility in intimacy, which is the emergence of the Unique Self Symphony. That’s what we’re excited about.
We’re excited about it, because it’s the most exciting [inaudible 00:04:55] in the world. It’s actually that new emergent that will allow us to create a self-organizing, bottom-up world of pooled resources, that can do more than any top-down government or corporation could possibly do. Imagine, when you have available all of the mind of the planet, and all of the heart of the planet, operating in a genuine, synergistic interactivity. That’s a new reality that’s ontologically orthogonal to anything that came before, meaning it’s unlike, it’s qualitatively different. It’s a synergistic emergent. It’s of an entirely different order of being than anything that’s ever existed before.
Learning how to symphonize, how to actually find each other … Unique selves find each other, how to actually pool our resources in a bottom-up way, and actually create this new wisdom coming from the center, this new sense of collective intelligence. There’s a new sense of a larger sangha, a word that we draw from the Sanskrit, a larger community, that becomes the Buddha, that is to say, that becomes the wise center. It’s not that individuality disappears, quite the contrary. The Unique Self Symphony is made up of powerful individuals. Of course, there are natural hierarchies. There will be leaders in Unique Self Symphony. There will be maestros. There will be people doing lead pieces, and lead instrumentals. It’s not that we become a homogenized leveling of differences. No. It’s distinction that makes Unique Self Symphony works. It’s wildly exciting.
The reason we keep re-approaching this is because we want to actually flesh out what it feels like, what it is, because in the Greatest Story Ever Told, in the Universe, A Love Story, the new expression of love is this new configuration of intimacy that we’re calling a Unique Self Symphony. Let me just a say a couple of words about it and turn to Barbara. What’s the premise again? The premise is that when we actually awaken and realize the universe is in fact a story. That’s what evolution means. Universe is going somewhere. That’s exciting. There’s a plot line to the story. The plot line, when we take the best systems of knowledge, interior and exterior, available at this moment on the planet, we realize the plot line of the story is the evolution of intimacy, the evolution of love. Not a Pollyanna love story, but it’s an evolutionary love affair.
It’s an evolutionary love story. Then we begin to realize that, “Who am I? I am a unique expression of this evolutionary love. The love that I live in my life, the love affair of my life, the love affair that I have with life, uniquely expressed, incarnated as me, is my chapter in the great evolutionary/outrageous love story of reality.” The universe is a love story, and my letter in the cosmic scroll is my unique chapter in that love story, which drives the plot. Wow. Now we’re talking exciting. Wow. This is really exciting.
This drive, this evolutionary love drives the whole story. We’re excited. We have the sense that, “Wow. I’m needed. I’m part of, I’m personally implicated because I’m a unique expression of that evolutionary love-intelligence. I’ve got a unique role. I’ve got a unique voice. I’ve got a unique song to sing, a unique gift to give.” Then we come together, and we get intimate. We see each other face to face. We meet each other online. We create the virtue of the virtual. I can hear your need, and you can hear my need. We have a shared need. In that place of face-to-face intimacy enacted through technology, we begin to collectively give our unique gifts. Then we cluster. Clusters of unique selves play particular pieces in the symphony. Then clusters of unique selves come together, and they begin to play jazz with each other, to improvise. Literally, new music, and new innovation, and new possibility emerges.
All of a sudden, we’ve got a new politics. We’ve got a politics of Unique Self Symphony, because actually, people are self-organizing. When people self-organize, it is the strongest force on the planet. For the first time in the history of planet Earth, right as we’re facing these extinction-level problems, we have an extinction-level … Right as we’re facing … Let’s run that again. Plat it again, Sam. Right as we’re facing these extinction-level problems, we have an emergent-level response. We have something new. The extinction-level problems are new, but we have a new level of response, a new level of intimacy, a new expression of the evolution of love which is Unique Self Symphony.
A new politics begins to emerge. Unique Self Symphonies begin to play and sweep across the planet, and the course of history is changed. People, our grandchildren … My dear friend Lew, and Merlin, who’s the rainmaker who’s created this beautiful series, together with his new partner Lew, and my beloved partner Barbara, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren, they’re going to look back in the history books, and they’re going to say, “Wow. It was at the beginning of the new millennium that people started talking about Unique Self Symphony, and then it caught on. Some people listened to that podcast with Barbara and Marc.” That’s how it happens.
We are participating in evolution now. It’s happening now. This is not a passive listening learning. We’re gathered around the campfire, and we are activating, literally, the Unique Self Symphony. We are activating the Unique Self Symphony right now. What happens? The evolutionary impulse awakens in person as you, as me, and we create together a new evolutionary we, the miracle of we, a new evolutionary we-space, as the Unique Self Symphony, powered by the music of evolutionary love begins to transform reality. What a vision. What a vision. That’s where we are. Barbara, take us in the next step, beloved.
Barbara Marx Hubbard:
You know what is so remarkable about this scenario is that it’s everybody’s heart’s desire. It’s one thing for what’s required to be something that’s really … That you don’t want to do, that is difficult, that is separating, that is cruel. But no, everything that you’re saying, Marc, that we want greater love, we want to be able to express our uniqueness, we want to be able to co-create, we are yearning to have an impact toward a planet that works for all, this is the heart’s desire of humanity.
I just want to point out that it looks like the scenario of evolution through allurement, from single cells, to multi cells, to animals, to humans, to us, is not only a story of abstract love, but a story of inner yearning for intimacy, to give our gifts and to be part of the whole, and I’m reminded of a very interesting image that Peter Russel gave years ago. He wrote a book called A White Hole in Time. This was during the time when we were very afraid of a nuclear holocaust. It’s still a possibility. There are many nuclear weapons around in uncertain hands. What Peter envisioned, instead of the nuclear holocaust, was a white hole in time, with enough people actually joining to create in love, that it would literally shift the consciousness field of Earth collectively. I remember that because it was very meaningful to me, because I was speaking of the fact that our crisis is a birth. It’s painful, but you love the result of it.
What we’re saying, Marc, is that this story is a planetary love story. Each person in the Unique Self Symphony is expressing what they most love to give, and what they most love to join with others in order to give it, which is a form of evolutionary love of the highest order. It looks like, you might say, God’s plan, the plan of nature, of universe, is, in order … To offer to humanity the greatest joy that we’ve ever known collectively. Because if this Unique Self Symphony takes hold, and enough of us start giving our gifts, and entering a we-space of resonance and love with each other in specific ways to co-create, like we’re doing right on this call … Imagine that the universe is saying to us, “This planetary crisis, which is so dangerous, it’s going to be solved by you loving each other more to co-create.”
If we can communicate through this podcast series that the deepest yearning in the heart of each person listening is exactly the pattern that nature is unfolding, and all the pain … You talk about the global paralysis. It’s because we haven’t seen the global potentiality in every one of us. What we’re doing in this podcast is actually calling to all of us to recognize that this is possible, and to begin to look at what your greatest gift is that you’re yearning to give. In order to be part of the Unique Self Symphony, reach out to those you would most like to give it with, and begin to create two, or three, or four together in the symphony, symphonizing, as Marc and I call it, your own genius, to create more of who you truly are, as you get a blessing from doing it.
I’m almost stunned at the degree of joy, love, creativity, wholeness, intimacy, and oneness that this story is calling us to. I’d just like to conclude by saying the passion that we are holding to tell this story is to awaken every one of us from the feeling of fear and separation, and the need for only force to solve the problem, to the exact heart’s desire to solve the problem by joining genius with those who you need in order to give your gift the whole way, and say the big yes to the universe, moving toward the planetary awakening in love through a Unique Self Symphony. There really is no greater promise and no greater joy. Thank you.
Dr. Marc Gafni:
Yeah. No greater promise and no greater joy. The joy of playing in symphony … Have you ever watched, Barbara, when you see a couple of jazz players playing, I don’t know what happens before and after, but when they play together onstage, and they’re just excited about each other … Each person come and plays their riff, and they’re listening deeply to each other, and the something emerges that’s never emerged before, and you can feel the joy of the musicians delighting in each other.
Barbara Marx Hubbard:
Right. It’s spontaneous, too. It’s spontaneous.
Dr. Marc Gafni:
Right. Right. That’s right.
Barbara Marx Hubbard:
Everybody … You don’t have to know everything ahead of time. I’m just saying this, Marc, because quite a few people say, “Well, what is my gift? How am I going to give it?” You have to start by the joy of connecting to share. That’s like jazz. Then it can go. You don’t have to know ahead of time everything that you need to give, and who you’re exactly looking for. In fact, nature makes it spontaneous and more like jazz than a course at a university.
Dr. Marc Gafni:
Yeah. Yeah. No, absolutely. That’s absolutely lovers, which is why we’re calling it not just the Unique Self Symphony, but we’re calling it the Unique Self Jazz Symphony. Again, as we talked about in our very, very first talk on unique self, about six podcasts ago … It’s probably someone in my phone, but we’re not going to edit that out, because that’s the nature of the modern virtual. It’s probably someone from the Unique Self Symphony wanting to do something.
The reason it’s a jazz symphony is because, see, it’s not that the jazz players just get up and play. They’ve actually been training their entire lives. You only go to the level of jazz after rigorous training and playing. You only go beyond choreography after you’ve studied choreography. Jazz is not just people playing around and nothing happens. Jazz comes from great discipline, great skill, and great rigor, great preparation, which then allows us to emerge. Really, our entire lives, in some deep sense, our entire lives are about actually having that experience, getting ourselves ready. We’re always preparing. We’re always preparing for those moments when it’s our turn to step up and [inaudible 00:18:41] it as ours.
The stage has been set. We’re not ready to play unless we’ve actually spent our life training to play. In that sense, we have to reorient, it’s kind of like the transformation of identity that happened in the Renaissance. There’s a huge transformation of identity that’s necessary, where I begin to realize, “Who am I? I’m an irreducibly gorgeous unique self. I have a unique instrument to play in the Unique Self Jazz Symphony. No matter what religion I’m from, and no matter what country I’m from, and no matter what part of the world I’m from, and whether I’m white, blue, yellow, orange, green, transgender, mixed gender, fluid gender, man-woman, woman-man, he, she, be, whatever I happen to be, it doesn’t matter. I have a unique instrument. I know I have a unique instrument, and I know that reality needs my song. Reality needs my note, and I am delighted.”
That emergence is not just casual. It’s not just a fun, liberal creativity moment. It’s that that [inaudible 00:19:39] is the only way we respond to the suffering on the planet today. There’s more suffering on the planet today than there ever was in any other time in history, because there’s more people. There were half a billion people 200 years ago. There’s seven billion people. If you’ve got two or three billion who are suffering … Even when we say the words “two or three billion,” what does that mean? How can we even say that so casually? The amount of people suffering on the planet today is greater than any other time in history. The only way to address that and to avert extinction-level threats is to actually have a transformation of identity, which is, at its core, the unique self, Unique Self Symphony, in this larger evolutionary context. Oh my God. Oh my God. So, Barbara …
Barbara Marx Hubbard:
This is everybody’s heart’s desire. It’s very hard to actually believe that, because when you look at what you’re talking, this existential crisis, and the suffering, and the pain that people feel in their ordinary lives as well, that somehow we’re being offered this huge promise of joy. How do we get to feel it? I think that what this podcast series is going to do is to suggest to every one of us steps we can take to reach out to one another and participate in this joy. No matter what age you are, how much you know or you don’t know, everyone has a unique gift. I was just wanting to celebrate the joy of that plan being nature’s process of pulling us forward. Thank you, very much, Marc. Sorry for the heavy breathing, but it was worth it.
Dr. Marc Gafni:
Honey, honey I understand. We don’t want to edit this out. I want everyone to know, we like the heavy breathing. Oh my God, heavy breathing [crosstalk 00:21:35] …
Barbara Marx Hubbard:
Dr. Marc Gafni:
[crosstalk 00:21:36] heavy breathing. Barbara, beloved, have an awesome week. We’ll see you next week, week 20, the Greatest Story Ever Told. Thank you, everyone. Thank you, Barbara.
Barbara Marx Hubbard:
Okay. Bye bye.