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Marc Gafni on Evolutionary Love and Eros

Marc Gafni » Blog - Spiritually Incorrect » Books and Telecourses » Eros-Ethics-Meaning » Essays & Articles » Outrageous Love » Wisdom for Your Week » Marc Gafni on Evolutionary Love and Eros

An unedited first draft text from forthcoming book The Path and Practice of Outrageous Love by Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid

Outrageous Love is the Evolutionary Eros, the Universal force of desire, allurement and transformation. To awaken as outrageous love is to awaken as the evolutionary impulse.

Outrageous Love is Evolutionary Eros: Eros is Desire.

Your deepest desire is evolution’s desire. At the root of all your desire is the will to make contact, grow and transform. Attraction is the inner mechanism of Evolution. Evolution is the emergence of higher and deeper levels of connection, growth and transformation. Outrageous Love is the initiating and animating Eros of all that is.

To understand what it means to awaken as Outrageous Love we want must understand what I will call the law of one love and evolution. This law might also be called the law of desire. This is the third law of outrageous love. The first dimension of this law is that reality is moving in a direction. Reality desires. Desire moves towards a desired result or object. Reality evolves. This law picks up not on the eternal taste of being but on the evolutionary taste of becoming.

The essence of the third law has three distinct dimensions. The first that the motive force of evolution is outrageous love. Some of the early thinkers like the meta-theorist Charles Pierce, who identified this quality and referred to it as evolutionary love. This is the love that is the motive force of evolution. This is the Eros or what the cosmologists sometimes referred to as the fifth force that drives the entire process. Beside the four classical forces of reality, the gravitational, electromagnetic, nuclear and the strong and the weak there is a fifth force, a universal initiating and driving Eros, what we have called Outrageous love. The second dimension of the third laws is the evolution of love itself. Not only does outrageous or evolutionary love drive the process but the process itself is the evolution of love.

Love itself is not merely an eternal quality of being but a dynamic and therefore evolving property of becoming. The movement from absolute dictatorship by the king invested with divine authority to democratic government is for example a clear example of the evolution of love. More people are cared for, recognized and honored in a democracy than is even imaginable under an absolute dictatorship. That higher level of love is not capricious. It is not based on the whim of the ruler. Rather this more evolved version of love is written into the system itself.

Outrageous Love is identified not merely as an interpersonal human sentiment but as the ultimate truth at the heart of reality. Outrageous love is the initiating and animating Eros of all that is. It is the evolutionary Eros itself. Said differently, desire is the initiating force of evolution itself. Love is sometimes too tepid a word. Love which marries Eros and desire is what we mean by Outrageous Love. The basic realization emergent from the integration of mysticism, emergence theory, supported by the leading edge of object relations theory and social anthropology, is that Evolution is Love in Action. The Eros of evolution is the love intelligence and love beauty at the heart of reality itself.

Some evolutionary mystics referred to the quality that we are calling outrageous love as Teshuka which might be loosely translated from the Hebrew as desire. This refers not to superficial desire but to the desire, which lies at the heart of reality. Paradoxically however all superficial desires when traced back to their source are revealed to be expression of the One Love, Eros or Desire itself. When you ask yourself not only what you want, but also what do you want by wanting what you want, the answer is almost always want or desire itself. You want to experience the fullness of being alive which comes together with want and desire.

In this sense the movement of Evolution is the movement of desire itself. From this perspective we sometimes refer to the law of One Love and Evolution as the law of desire.

Outrageous love as the core expression of spirit is very different then what Spinoza referred to as a “mythological external god demanding obedience.” Rather outrageous love both initiates and animates our evolving, intelligent elegant universe.


This law is also sometimes called the law of desire. The first dimension of this law is that reality is moving in a direction. Reality desires. Desire moves towards a desired result or object. Reality evolves. Reality desires.

The second dimension of this law is that the motive force of evolution is Eros or what we have called Outrageous love.

Said simply reality has both Telos, direction and desire as well as Eros, an awakened quality of radical creativity and aliveness. The third law of love states therefore that we live in what might accurately call, a telerotic universe. Outrageous love is the initiating and animating Eros of all that is. It is the evolutionary Eros itself. Said differently, desire is the initiating force of evolution itself. Eros is identified not merely as an interpersonal human attraction but as the ultimate truth at the heart of reality. It is evolutionary impulse itself.

Love is sometimes too tepid a word. Love includes Eros and desire. That is what we mean by Outrageous Love. Outrageous love is not pallid polite or conceptual or intellectual. Outrageous love is dripping, pulsing and demanding. It is characterized both by spaciousness and freedom as well as by ecstatic urgency. In this sense the movement of Evolution if the movement of desire itself.

The Action:

Awaken to the recognition that your root desire is evolutionary desire. At your core you are Love in Action.

The new reality fact that we did not know just a very short time ago — that reality evolves — is the change that changes everything. We are living in a particular time in history; we’re living at the beginning of the 21st century.  We’re living at a time where the whole idea of evolution, which is largely synonymous with creativity and transformation is changing the way we think about our role in the cosmos in the most fundamental of ways. .

Science is revealing to all of us unequivocally that we all have been created by an evolutionary process. It had a beginning in time. It’s a process that’s definitely going somewhere.

This is the good news—that liberates us and sets us free when we embrace an evolutionary worldview. This is the truly good and liberating news: We are part and parcel of a process that had a beginning and is definitely going somewhere.

The whole notion that we’re actually going somewhere is a new idea for most people. The realization that the universe is not a static place, that the cultural context that we emerged with is not static, is a dawning awareness whose full revolutionary implications need to consciously assimilated.

Even though many educated people are aware of the fact that we’re part of an evolutionary, developmental creative process that’s going somewhere, that information, for most of us, hasn’t truly been internalized.

Most of us are seeing our own experience and seeing the world around us within a lens that doesn’t really appreciate, that each moment is revealing or giving rise to an opportunity for creative advance, what Whitehead famously called the creative advance of novelty. This was for Whitehead as well as for the mainstream of evolution science, a defining characteristic of reality.  In my own understanding of this truth, I find myself in a state of ever-deepening appreciation about the significance of that fact.

The ego or the Separate Self tends to see its own inner experience in the world from the perspective of being trapped in a static place, a static inner psychological space, and a static world space.

Even if we may technically know that the Kosmos is in motion, our psychological orientation in relationship to our personal experience, and also in the way we see the world, is that we tend to project the outdated perspective of unchanging or static on the world around us.

When we know that we are part of a process that’s going somewhere, the most exciting thing we can possibly do is to get with the program or the process that has created us.

We need to begin to interpret our own personal human experience in the context of cultural evolution. The first step in doing that to really embrace at a very deep level the profound fact that we’re part of a process that’s going somewhere.

And I think that the step that I think needs to be taken, the most exciting and the most spiritually and culturally relevant step that needs to be taken is for all of us as individuals to step out of the position. We need to move beyond the classic spiritual position in which we are the witness we assume as the observer, as the mere passive observer of experience, of our inner experience, of what’s happening within our own inner psychological world space and what’s happening in the world around us. We need to really to step into the process that’s going somewhere.

If we are going to step into a process that’s going somewhere, we, in a sense, have to get going.

The place we have to get going from is at the deepest level of our being and becoming. For most of us our experience of consciousness is localized at a particular place, within a particular body-mind form, personality space. Though we see ourselves moving in the realm of time and space and place and location, inwardly the psychological and psychic space of location that we tend to see the world from, is often one that is perceived as being static.

When we really awaken to the realization that the process is going somewhere — through deep and profound contemplation and spiritual practice — what happens is that we will fall out of this static position. We begin to actually consciously embrace, surrender, accept and literally begin to embody that evolutionary movement that we were merely bearing witness to as separate from self. We move from identification with the separate self to identification with the evolutionary impulse itself awakening

This is what we might call evolutionary mysticism. At the core of it is the embracing the evolutionary Eros — primordial creative drive or force in the universe as the essence of my identity. It is this embrace that sets us free.

All of manifestation emerged in the great flaring forth that has become the creative process. The evolutionary process is the creative process. In the deepest understanding of the greatest realizers in human history, from Plotinus, to the Vedic Sages to the Kabbalists, this creative process is motivated by source. Source self-limits its infinite nature into matter. Then it gradually evolves from matter to body. Life emerges out of matter. From life emerges mind. With mind and thought, come this ever-evolving and ever greater capacity for interiority, self-reflectivity. And with self-reflections come the great gift for each and every one of us, a measure of freedom, and more precisely a measure of freedom to choose. The greatest gift that we’ve all been given, by the evolving universe, is a measure of freedom to choose.

As we evolve culturally from traditional to modern to postmodern, through Integral stages of consciousness and cognition we begin to gain a capacity to see all of our human experience and all of the experience that’s happening in the world process around us, as being part of a Kosmic process of unfolding. We gain the capacity to see all of that, every aspect of our inner and outer experience, everything that’s happening in all its totality from the perspective of the process. We begin to see this is all one process. It’s one Kosmic process that we’re actually bearing witness to and participating in at the leading edge.

As we’re bearing witness to process, which is unbelievably enlightening, it begins to dawn on us that as we awaken beyond our social, cultural and psychological conditioning, we have a degree of freedom to choose. We begin to realize that actualizing the measure of freedom to choose becomes potentially the ultimate act of creativity. , of our power to create for the individual. This expresses itself in two ways. First it our choice manifests as self-creation, the transformative process of self-realization and awakening when we begin to choose beyond the limits of our old patterns and wounds. Second we awaken as the leading edge of the cosmos, as outrageous love itself, choosing for every higher levels of love, care and commitment.

And so what begins to happen then is that we awaken to a new level of insight. We begin to appreciate — and I think I can say this — the inherently sacred significance of the fact that the creative process has given us a measure of freedom to choose. We are dazzled by the realization , that in ever more consciously exercising that measure of freedom to choose, we find ourselves coming closer and closer to the — to put it in theological terms — you could say the creator, or we could say the energy and intelligence that initiated and animates the universe.

When we talk about God in evolutionary mysticism we are knowing God as the energy and intelligence that created the universe- and remember the God you do not believe in does not exist. That simply means that we’re not referring to any kind of mythical notions of a spiritual being that exists only outside or beyond the process. — When we begin to see from the perspective of process — that is to say the energy and intelligence that initiated this process that’s going somewhere, we are seeing from God’s perspective.

As we liberate our own consciousness from unconscious identification with biological drives, survival drives, cultural perspectives and values that are no longer relevant, we liberate and cultivate our own capacity to make choices that express ever and ever greater freedom.  We begin to understand then that the energy and intelligence that initiated and animates the universe or God or that one without a second, is gaining — through our own developing and increasing measure of freedom. The energy and intelligence is gaining a more profound ability to affect the creative process through our own individual choices and actions here in the world around us.


As human beings are liberated from a fundamentally survival orientation in relationship to life and to the human experience, the capacity for evolution or conscious creativity is why we’re here. This becomes a self-evident truth of awakened experience.

It begins to dawn on us that we’re not merely here to mate and to procreate. We are here to co-create. As culture has evolved, as these basic survival needs are being met for more and more human beings met, we begin to identity more and more with the  evolutionary or creative impulse or dynamic that has been the engine that’s given rise to culture. We awaken to the certain knowing that this evolutionary creative drive, the drive towards innovation exists in and as us. This is the drive to emergence.

Emergence is one of my favorite words, because emergence points to the miracle that greater complexity emerges from lesser complexity. A completely new whole emerges which is vastly greater and deeper than the sum of its parts.

Nobody seems to be able to explain how such a miracle can happen. How can that which is more complex arise out of that which is less complex? How does emergence emerge?

Everywhere from the gross level of matter to the most subtle movement of highly evolved consciousness, there is a movement, an Eros — which is a movement or an energetic drive towards emergence.

When we liberate ourselves at least to some limited degree from unconscious drives and life motives —motives that are fundamentally materialistic, motives for acquisition, or motives that about the glorification of the self or narcissistic motives we find that there is a mysterious tug or pull of a higher motive that drives us to participate in the human experience.

That tug is to create the conditions within us, and hopefully within us and around us, that we will actually be able to become creative engines in which and through which the energy and intelligence that created the universe can give rise to potentials that never existed before. This is the evolutionary or creative motivation to give rise to that which never existed before.

This happens when we awaken beyond the compulsion of fundamental survival materialistic or narcissistic motivations. To that precise degree we become free and therefore alive and are delighted by our ability to give rise to potentials that never existed before.

To the precise degree that we wake up and get free will be the degree that the energy and intelligence that created the universe leave its mark through our existence, through our presence here in this world in the course of our individual lives. .

To the degree to which we have liberated ourselves so that the creative process can flower and flow freely and profoundly in and through us in such a way that will actually have results, will have a real effect on the world process, on culture, and ultimately in the Kosmos as a whole, to that precise degree do our lives taken on super charged meaning and Eros. It is the radical commitment to that degree of liberation which is the hallmark of the outrageous lover.

The outrageous love realizes that I am the energy and intelligence that created the universe. I am here to create the universe, not merely to preserve it, but to create it. Creativity in this case means giving rise to that which is new, to that which never existed before. This is a critically new source of spiritual self-confidence, a source of confidence in really being alive which is so needed at a time in the world process that is existentially confusing and it can be frightening and overwhelming.

A lot of people really aren’t really sure exactly how to come to terms with the ever greater complexity that the world process seems to be manifesting. How do we deal with the speed of information and the growth of our population and the global threats that confront us? It can be very overwhelming and also quite intimidating.

So awakening to this motivation that’s inherently creative, awakening to this evolutionary impulse or creative impulse, becoming conscious of the energy and intelligence that created the universe, we realize that its nature, which is our own true nature as this creative drive, this Eros is overwhelming, ecstatic positivity.

This creative erotic evolutionary impulse is not an abstract idea. We find it in our first person experience all the time. At the first level it appears as the sexual impulse, as the biological imperative to both make contact and to procreate. The scientists ask for the technical information on how the universe works. The mystics want to know how the universe feels. How do the energy and intelligence that created the universe feel? The first place to experience how God feels, to feel the evolutionary Eros of the cosmos, the ecstatic evolutionary impulse is in the sexual impulse, the drive to make contact and the biological command to procreate. What does it feel like? It feels like ecstatic urgency, ecstasy and urgency.

At the next level, locate this evolutionary creative impulse, this Eros in the mysterious human drive, compulsion to innovate, to give rise to that which is new. Human beings as a species are driven, at an ever greater speed and intensity, to give rise to that which is new. We’re driven, and the nature of the drive towards innovation, the inner feeling of this drive is an ecstatic urgency.

At an even deeper level there is a drive towards transformation. This includes at its core a drive towards, consciousness, towards greater interiority. All great spiritual heroes throughout history were men and women who were driven, to awaken at a level of consciousness. What was driving them, it was that same ecstatic urgency.

The nature of that ecstatic urgency is one big Yes. Outrageous love is always screaming Yes!

When we realize that the nature of Eros, the nature of the energy and intelligence that created the universe is one big Yes, is one big affirmation which is shouting Yes as it creates, it’s a source of enormous relief and spiritual self-confidence. We awaken as outrageous love when we realize that what’s driving this entire process is overwhelmingly positive.

It doesn’t mean that everything that happens within the process is positive. As we all know evolution meanders, our negative choices impact the process and catalyze all kinds of wrong turns in the Kosmos as a whole. We even know that some galaxies fall out of formation and stop evolving, and we know that there are all kinds of natural disasters within nature, and we know that in human cultural history there have been and continue to be horrendous falling back to primitive and dark motives.

But when we realize that overall arc of the process is the evolution of love, that real development, is occurring in ever quadrant of reality then we are overwhelmed and overjoyed. That is when we shout out YES.

Meet Dr. Marc Gafni, Visionary Philosopher,
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