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Audio 6: Evolutionary Unique Self

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

Dr. Marc Gafni:

Welcome to podcast six in the greatest story ever told. Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marc Gafni are your storytellers, and we are talking about “The Universe: A Love Story.” The new universe story. Not a fairy tale, but actually a tale of the deepest understanding of reality that we have today, based on the best integration of all wisdom available on the planet at every period in history.

Pre-modern traditional, modern, and post-modern, the three great epics of history, all integrate, all come together. Each giving their particular gifts of wisdom, the gifts of the ancient great traditions. The gifts of the traditional, or pre-modern period. The gifts of science and the scientific method, which emerges from the Renaissance and the Western Enlightenment. The gifts of the modern period. The gifts of post-modernity, understanding that context matters, that everyone needs to be included, that the environment exists. All right, this notion where we begin to get that no one owns the truth, but everyone’s got a different piece of the story. Multiculturalism. And all three of those great periods get integrated into a new vision of truth. A new vision of evolving truth. A new vision of evolutionary truth. We begin to tell a new story.

And what do we realize? We realize that at the core of everything, the Universe is a love story. At the core of the love story, is you. You are personally implicated in the story. That is the great implication of all the great sciences, interior and exterior. You’re personally implicated in the story, and so therefore, in podcast five, we began to understand about what we mean when we say “self.” And we talked about there being a separate self, the idea that I am unique and dignified and separate. I am not merely part of the empire, I am not merely part of the religion, I am not merely part of whatever the nationality or the kingdom is. I am a self. The individual becomes the separate self, becomes the core unit of currency, the core unit of value. That’s a great evolutionary leap, a momentous leap, the emergence of separate self.

Then we realized, well, that’s limited. That’s important, that’s critical, that’s a great evolutionary emergence, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. You’re not merely a separate self, you’re actually true self. And true self means you realize you’re indivisible from the larger, seamless code of the universe. If you actually go inside, you actually realize you’re not merely your body, and you’re not merely your thoughts, and you’re not merely your emotions – the qualities of separate self – you are actually the consciousness underneath it all. You are inextricable from the larger pattern of cosmos. You’re part of this larger system, inside and outside your true self. And we’re all part of the same true self. Barbara and Marc, both part of the same true self.

And then we went on to the next step. We said, you’re not just true self, but true self plus unique perspective, plus unique quality of intimacy, equals unique self. That is the initiating and animating energy of all that is. And, as such, you’ve got a unique gift. A gift to your unique circle of intimacy and influence, which addresses a unique need that can be addressed by you, and you alone. And all of a sudden, your life is filled with a rush of purpose. You realize you were intended by all that is. All that is intended your uniqueness. You’re needed by all that is. You’re desired by all that is. And now in week six of the greatest story ever told, we add one dimension.

And, Barbara, we like to call this “evolutionary unique self.” Which is the unique self awakening and realizing “I’m living in an evolutionary context.” In an evolutionary context, I realize that this process of evolution isn’t happening out there, evolution is happening in me. I’m part of the process. The process is in me, and I’m in the process. When I awaken as unique self, giving my irreducibly unique gifts, committing my outrageous acts of love that are a function of my unique self, as the outrageous love that moves everything, that drives the entire evolutionary process, awakens in me, then I realize.

Wow. That’s evolutionary unique self. It’s not just unique self, all of evolution, the evolutionary impulse, driven by Eros, driven by evolutionary Eros, is awakening in me and I actually have a contribution to make, to be moving forward. To the progress, the emergence of the new levels of consciousness, the new gifts, the new possibilities, the new innovations that the entire system needs. Wow.

And it doesn’t mean that I’m inventing the light bulb. Right, it doesn’t mean that I have a particular discovery of a classical inventor. It means that by me living at my edge, by me giving my unique gift, by me incarnating my unique quality of intimacy, I give something to reality. I become part of a unique self symphony, which comes together and unleashes a force of creativity, of innovation, of delight, of goodness and truth and beauty, that’s unparalleled. Just like a symphony is made up of all the diverse instruments and new music emerges from it, I realize I’m necessary for the symphony.

To emerge as evolutionary unique self, I begin to live in this evolutionary context. And, Barbara, what are you thinking now? Where are you right now? Let’s hear how this fits in and how this plays. Take it away, yeah.

Barbara Marx Hubbard:

I’m thinking that the evolutionary unique self is in me, and in everybody who is listening to this. And by being with each other on these podcasts, what I feel, Marc, is my evolutionary unique self waking up more. Because, I’m on this podcast, and I’m thinking of all the other people who are on the podcast, and we know that the evolutionary unique self has to go into a “we-space” with others. It isn’t just an independent actor on the stage by itself. So, I’m feeling communion. I’m feeling excitement. I’m feeling that unique self in me perking right up and being its greater self by being with you. And, so I want everybody who’s listening to know that these podcasts are all about each one of us waking up to be the agent of evolution within the new story of creation. Giving our greatest gift to the whole. That’s what I was thinking, Marc.

Dr. Marc Gafni:

That’s pretty rock-star. That’s awesome. So, let me go one more step and bring it back to you. Let’s talk, Lady B, about puzzle pieces. Because nothing moves without puzzle pieces. See, these selves we’re talking about are basically different visions of a puzzle piece.

A separate self is a puzzle piece with no puzzle. Right, the puzzle piece feels independent and dignified. Of course, the puzzle piece is stumbling along a little bit, because it’s hard to walk as a puzzle piece, if you’ve ever noticed that. And the puzzle piece yearns to have communion, to be connected, to the larger puzzle.

Sadly, however, society tells the puzzle piece there is no larger puzzle. That yearning you have, to serve the larger puzzle, that yearning you have to connect, work it out in therapy. You are an independent, separate puzzle piece. You could have a social contract, which allows you to create a government, but really the one core unit of value, the basic monad of reality, is absolutely and irreducibly the individual, the puzzle piece. Now, again, that’s great. The puzzle piece gets a lot of dignity. It’s a big step forward from the puzzle piece being owned as a vassal, as a serf in a feudal world. It’s big step forward between a puzzle piece that didn’t have any independence and was totally subject to the whim and caprice of the church or the emperor or the king. But the puzzle piece as a separate, dignified, separate puzzle piece is a little awkward. As we said earlier, a few minutes ago, try and walk as a puzzle piece, you kind of stumble around. And your deepest yearning for communion is mocked. “Just be a good puzzle piece. You’re an individual. Take care of yourself.” And that’s the separate self. A lot of dignity, but lonely.

Then, you get to true self. And true self is the experience that all there is, is a puzzle. No puzzle pieces. There’s just a puzzle. There’s just the one. That’s great. That an enormous sense of the whole. But the problem is, when you look at the puzzle, you kind of see, Barbara, you see there seems to be the outlines of different puzzle pieces. But then society tells you, “There are no real, individual puzzle pieces. That’s an illusion. All that really exists is the puzzle.”

The one puzzle. The One, in spirituality, the state, in Communism. The individual just serves the communion. But the true reality is the communion. Wow. A lot of truth in it. A lot of beauty in it. But, you know, also you go a little crazy. Because you’ve got this yearning to individuate. The same way separate self has a yearning for communion, true self has a yearning to individuate. And that yearning is dismissed as an illusion. Right? You go to your spiritual teacher and they say, “Oh no no. No, individuality? That’s an illusion. You’re part of The One.” Or you’re part of the church. Whatever it happens to be.

Then you get to unique self. And the unique self, you understand “I am a puzzle piece that completes the puzzle.” Right? This is the puzzle piece theory of self. The puzzle piece feels, yearns like it wants to connect to the larger puzzle. The puzzle piece separate self is yearning for communion. But then society says, “What are you yearning for communion? The basic, monadic unit of reality, the basic unit is the individual. You can form relationships, that’s fine. But, basically, you’re an individual.” That’s where dignity resides. That’s where human rights is born. Is there’s a government, which is a “we-space”, it’s because there’s a social contract. The individual agrees to give up rights, to form an artificial “we-space”. But the basic essence of reality is the individual. And the individual is not essentially connected to a larger “we-space”. That’s a decision, but not necessary. That’s the experience of separate self. That’s the puzzle piece.

Now, true self is not the puzzle piece. True self is the puzzle. True self is The one. True self is the state. True self is the system. True self is the process. The individual no longer exists separately. Now, that’s great. That’s a great insight. There’s a deep truth to that notion that the only thing that exists is the whole, the One. The only problem is, what about the individual? What about the part?

So, when you go to true self, which is the puzzle, and you start noticing, “Oh, there seems to be lines, separating individual puzzle pieces.” Then society tells you- society in this case being spirituality or different systems of philosophical thought- tell you, “No no no, really, those lines don’t exist. You see lines separating different puzzle pieces into distinct parts with irreducible dignity? That’s an illusion. The lines you see separating individuals, that’s an illusion. Separate self is an illusion. All that really exists is The One.” Which has been a great teaching of spirituality. Does it give us a lot? Sure it does, but the weakness is the overall puzzle ignores the puzzle pieces, just like in separate self the puzzle pieces ignored the overall puzzle. So, the separate self puzzle piece has a yearning for communion, and the true self one puzzle has a yearning for individuation. And both of those yearnings are denied. And so, both separate self and true self by itself is crazy-making.

We’ve got to get to unique self. Now, remember friends, why does this matter? Because it’s our concept of self, it’s how we understand self, that creates everything. In “The Universe: A Love Story,” we need to understand “What is self?” Which is the answer to the question of, “Who am I?” We get to unique self.

Unique self is a puzzle piece that connects to the larger puzzle. For the first time, the puzzle piece and the larger puzzle are connected. I’m a unique self. I realize that uniqueness is the currency of connection. Through my uniqueness, my puzzle piece nature, I connect to the larger whole. And my unique puzzle piece completes the larger puzzle. So I have a sense of purpose. I have a sense of mission. I am here to complete the larger puzzle, and no one that ever was, is, or will be other than myself can complete that larger puzzle. Oh. My. God.

Then, finally, Lady B, we jump to the last level- evolutionary unique self. And in evolutionary unique self, my puzzle piece not only completes the larger puzzle, but actually my puzzle piece evolves the larger puzzle. By me contributing my unique gifts, my unique quality of intimacy, to the larger whole, I not only complete it but actually evolve the whole thing. My gift is a dynamic gift. It’s not a static gift. It’s not like, “Oh, there was one piece missing? I fill in my puzzle piece gift unique self. We’re done. It’s all complete.” No. It’s a dynamic, open system. And by me giving my gift, that sparks other people giving their gifts and chain reactions are set into motion. And me stepping in as evolutionary unique self, which I’m the puzzle piece that not just completes, I’m the puzzle piece that continues, that evolves the entire story. Those are the four images of puzzle and puzzle pieces.

Now, Lady B, to form an evolutionary politics of love … To form a new politics as part of our story, we need to begin to realize we are evolutionary unique selves, members of the unique self symphony, which is an expression of the self-organizing universe that organizes towards uniqueness. So, we’ll talk more about unique self symphony, but let’s hold here for a second. Take us into this evolutionary politics of love, based on this new notion of self, joining in unique self symphony.

Barbara Marx Hubbard:

Well, you know, we’ve looked at the new stories. You think from the single cell, to the multi-cell, to the animal, to the human, and now to the human connecting in an ever-larger field; eventually a planetary connectivity that we’re feeling throughout our whole planet, most through the crises, like through the breakdowns, and through the extended capacities of unique selves joining each to give a unique gift to the larger planet.

And I’ll just say that because of this set of crises on Earth, and because also of the failure to some extent of win-lose democracy being able to come up with a greater whole. It doesn’t. It comes up with separate parts domination over one another. It’s the unique evolutionary self joined in a “we-space” is the evolution of the culture of the world, is the evolution of the species, is the evolution of the story of which we are components.

And it’s hard to notice what’s new. It’s hard to see what’s evolving. Because it hasn’t been here before. I don’t think we’ve ever had, at any mass scale, evolutionary unique selves joining to co-create in a politics of love, where each person is giving their unique gift within the whole. There’s a vision, right there, that we’re holding as the next stage of the new story, of the podcast, and every person who is joining with us in this great journey.

So, thanks a lot, Marc. It’s a joy to be on this with you.

Dr. Marc Gafni:

It is a joy to be on this with you, evolutionary unique self. What a delight. And I think we’ll have to spend a few sessions later on really developing this evolutionary politics of love. What’s an evolutionary politics look like? And we’re laying down here the constituent parts.

Next week, week seven in the greatest story ever told, we go deeper into “Who are you?” How are you personally implicated in this “Universe: A Love Story”? You’re a unique self, unique gifts to give, unique love to love only through you. Barbara’s going to take us into the next step of what it means to be “lived as love” in the new great science of the new great story.

Thank you everyone. What a delight.

Barbara Marx Hubbard:


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