Marc Gafni:

 

For the first time in the history of the planet, a World Spirituality is utterly possible and utterly necessary. A World Spirituality is one that transcends – that ends the trance of any particular religion, or particular nationality. A World Spirituality is one that weaves together the best medicines of every great system of spirit and knowing into a larger whole. A World Spirituality is one in which we understand that “that which unites us is far greater than that which divides us.”

This vision of a World Spirituality is possible today because the current world conditions and challenges we face as global citizens needs a world response. The Center for World Spirituality invites you to join the evolutionary movement to create a shift in consciousness known as Spirit’s Next Move. Welcome to our shared Center for World Spirituality.

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hahahaha. you kill me.

i thought it may be kitsch aesthetic.


xibalba said:

Ciao Balder

While hearing his wilber inspired speech, I am wondering about the real contours of this planetary consciousness he is so enthusiastically describing.

What do you expect by showing this video clip?

Cheers

hahahahahah

cool Kela

 

Amazing that Gafni looks a little bit like Stephen King. I wonder where I got that impression from.

Hi all

I like this Bruce: "if, by "world spirituality," we mean the emergence of a new, syncretic faith which gets its name because it deliberately incorporates principles from the major world religions and is generally worldcentric in orientation, then I think such a thing is possible"


I have to agree with most posts here about Marc Gafni. I have never met him and I have no reason to doubt his sincerity, but I can't normally watch or listen to any of his presentations for much more than 30 seconds without my toes curling so much that I have to switch off. I do my best to get past what might be "my own stuff" in terms of this strong negative reaction but so far without much success.

(Although I must say I was able to get through most of Mary's link to Gafni's calmer presentation on spiritual dilettantism, only to be disappointed by the content in that it sounded like a direct repeat of things that Andrew Cohen has repeated, and I think Ken had said ti first prior to that. Ho hum....)

I said the following on p. 5 of the Rifkin thread about my preference for a postmeta spirituality:

And remember, the correlative, evolutionary consciousness in all this is distributed P2P, the better turquoise, integral enaction. In terms of spirituality, it is more akin to this type in the polydoxy thread and better than the kennilinguist variety in this thread.

I listened to Gafni's second video again last night, and it is clear that, by world spirituality, he means more than I do by the term -- and that he is thinking of creating a single, monolithic religion which everyone in the world can finally join.  I am not on board with that.  I don't think that's likely or necessary.


In principle, I liked the idea behind the Integral Spiritual Center (which no longer appears to be active), and I think the World Spirituality Center (which may be the successor to ISC?) is promising as a venue and/or lab for interfaith, cross-tradition dialogue, work, practice, and experimentation.  But with Gafni at the center, I admit I've hesitated to get involved in it so far, even though it is local for me.  And if it aims to be more than a venue for cross-tradition work -- if it aims to birth a new religion -- then that makes it a very different sort of enterprise.  I am not against the creation of a new religion, as I mentioned above, but my thinking is more in line with Mary's on this: if one emerges, I'd like to see it emerge organically, out of collective, collaborative efforts over time, rather than being something engineered.


About Marc Gafni himself, he is among a number of the I-I-endorsed teachers about whom I continue to have reservations.  As I've written before, I have long been perplexed by many of Wilber's endorsements.


Speaking of which, one of Wilber's more recent endorsements, Mahendra Trivedi, appears to be under investigation for various improprieties.  See here and here, for instance.  (This note in particular caught my attention:  "Trivedi and his team have tried to justify his behavior by referencing a preface that Ken Wilber wrote for Andrew Cohen's book, 'Living Enlightenment'.  In part it says; 'when it comes to spiritual teachers, there are those who are safe, gentle, consoling, caring; and there are the outlaws, the living terrors, the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls, disturbing you, terrifying you until you radically awaken to who and what you are. ......If you want Enlightenment, find yourself a Rude Boy or Nasty Girl, the ones who make you uncomfortable, who will scare you witless and, who will turn on you in a second and hold you up for ridicule, ......'").  And see some of the more recent comments here for more serious allegations about sexual misconduct and abuse. 


Yikes.  With Trivedi, this really isn't that surprising; we'd already discussed our doubts about him here earlier.  But it's a shame that Integral keeps hitching itself onto such deeply flawed and falling stars.

We don't need a world spirituality. We already have a world religion that everybody believes in:

it's called global capitalism.

 

That said, I don't mind another group of 'inspired' indiviualists trying to better the world. At best, it will cause no harm and earn them some pocket money. At worst they will speed up the inevitable crashdown that we're going up against.

 

I used to like Marc Gafni, although him being a Jew. haha. I don't mind him dealing with several women at a time, hahaha. Makes him almost a peace missionary in the Middle East ahahahahaah. Well however he is just another metaphysical Guru type Rabbi little boy. At least it looks like he is having fun.

Thanks for the update on the Trivedi thing, Bruce - I caught some flack for questioning Wilber's judgment on endorsing that guy. I could see nothing that supported any of his claims - and that included the work being done at Penn State - so I was baffled that Wilber gave such a glowing endorsement. Just another in a long line of very questionable associations on his part, going all the way back to Adi Da. To me, Gafni and Cohen are both authoritarian stage gurus who may have had a state experience of nonduality and confused it with being enlightened (and I'm not even sure Gafni has had that, more likely he just read about it).

I don't oppose the idea of a syncretic, worldcentric spirituality, but again I think that will be a highly individualistic thing. As an example, that is probably an apt definition of my own practices - a fair amount of Buddhism (non-sectarian), some Sufi (I like the idea of the Beloved), a touch of residual Catholicism (mostly the appeal of ritual), and some shamanic practices (soul retrieval, journeying). Each person will assemble their own toolbox of practices that fit with their biopsychosocial background and experience.

I dislike the idea that Gafni seems to be suggesting - that we can all agree upon a universal faith - not going to happen, and even if it did, as soon as it became institutionalized in some way, we would have religion, not spiritual practice. We don't need more religion. And that is exactly what Gafni is offering in the quote you gave:

"A World Spirituality is one that transcends – that ends the trance of any particular religion, or particular nationality. A World Spirituality is one that weaves together the best medicines of every great system of spirit and knowing into a larger whole. A World Spirituality is one in which we understand that “that which unites us is far greater than that which divides us.”"

  That sounds great, but it contradicts itself - his "World Spirituality" has rules (it "transcends," it "ends the trance of any particular religion," it "weaves together the best medicines of every great system of spirit," it dictates that we unite) - essentially he is proposing another religion that can entrance the masses (in this case, the wanna-be integral masses). Green ideals in an Amber package.

Hi, William,


I don't oppose the idea of a syncretic, worldcentric spirituality, but again I think that will be a highly individualistic thing. As an example, that is probably an apt definition of my own practices - a fair amount of Buddhism (non-sectarian), some Sufi (I like the idea of the Beloved), a touch of residual Catholicism (mostly the appeal of ritual), and some shamanic practices (soul retrieval, journeying). Each person will assemble their own toolbox of practices that fit with their biopsychosocial background and experience.


I take a similar approach -- drawing practices and perspectives from a mix of traditions, primarily Buddhism and TSK, but other traditions as well.  But I think this 'individualist' position I'm in is sort of a parasitic one: it depends on the existence of traditions on which I can selectively draw.  Traditions which have developed, nurtured, and preserved these practices, and (in many cases) tested them in community over time.  So, I don't want to forget the indebtedness of my individualistic approach to various LL cultures and LR traditions (e.g., religions).  If and when these older traditions happen to dry up and go by the wayside, I don't think the LL and LR dimensions of spirituality (its collaborative cultivation, development, preservation, and experimentation) will go away; I think they will show up in new forms, new collective and institutional expressions, and while those new forms likely will not resemble 'traditional' (Amber) religion, I would still be comfortable calling them 'religious' in some sense.  But, here, I'm defining 'religion' somewhat broadly, and without presupposing a 'religious essence,' as the sociocultural manifestation and expression of 'spirituality.'


So, with that said, I don't have a problem with the notion of a newly emergent integral or 'world' religion.  But, like you, I don't think Gafni's apparent aim to create a universal faith that everyone can believe in and join is a desirable, much less necessary, one.  If an 'integral' religion emerges, it will still be one religion among many.  I think such a religion could play a valuable role on the world stage, but not after the manner that Gafni envisions (as THE faith for humanity).  I rather can see it as an active player in the world, a player capable of celebrating polydox religious expression and engaging creatively with that.


Best wishes,


Bruce

Ciao Balder

 

Anytime Kenny has endorsed some people, the case of Adi Da for example, we later see how unreflected and rather immature his propensity to hyperbolic statements appeared to be. In Adi Da´s case, the tragedy of his personal life  and deep needs of consolation had definetly a great impact on his tendency to reify the "guru yoga" method to find salvation, it is somehow comprehensible.

 

But many years later, after the death of his wife, and the problems encountered by Adi Da to legitimize his dionysos like "ecstatic doxa", in the case, of Cohen, I don´t see any plausible reasons for him to fall back into the nondual state paradigm, the "crazy wisdom", avataric and inquisitory like grandiose personality and the taken for granted and imperial behavioral rudeness attached to that narrative of salvation.

 

Here again, we can observe the presence of some rocks of his personality. This is his own interpretation of the relational problems encountered by the narcissistic personality in the world, found in the writings of the postfreudian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut. He used this metaphoric model in order to describe the case of Adi Da. We can clearly see a pattern, that propensity to to be attracted to authoritarian figures, the agressive denial and rejection of critiques, and his nietszchean will to power, his own no so integrated grandiosity. And as we know that his dad was an airforce officer, it is hardly a surprise to notice between the lines, the emergence of shadow like signs here and there in his various discourses.

 

yes Boomeritis is a personal account of his own narcissistic problematic in that sense, unfortunately projected in a paranoid like manner on his so called critical "enemies".

 

PS: this is of course a partial and metaphoric portraiting of some recurrent signs I observed in his endorsement career. 

 



Balder said:

I listened to Gafni's second video again last night, and it is clear that, by world spirituality, he means more than I do by the term -- and that he is thinking of creating a single, monolithic religion which everyone in the world can finally join.  I am not on board with that.  I don't think that's likely or necessary.


In principle, I liked the idea behind the Integral Spiritual Center (which no longer appears to be active), and I think the World Spirituality Center (which may be the successor to ISC?) is promising as a venue and/or lab for interfaith, cross-tradition dialogue, work, practice, and experimentation.  But with Gafni at the center, I admit I've hesitated to get involved in it so far, even though it is local for me.  And if it aims to be more than a venue for cross-tradition work -- if it aims to birth a new religion -- then that makes it a very different sort of enterprise.  I am not against the creation of a new religion, as I mentioned above, but my thinking is more in line with Mary's on this: if one emerges, I'd like to see it emerge organically, out of collective, collaborative efforts over time, rather than being something engineered.


About Marc Gafni himself, he is among a number of the I-I-endorsed teachers about whom I continue to have reservations.  As I've written before, I have long been perplexed by many of Wilber's endorsements.


Speaking of which, one of Wilber's more recent endorsements, Mahendra Trivedi, appears to be under investigation for various improprieties.  See here and here, for instance.  (This note in particular caught my attention:  "Trivedi and his team have tried to justify his behavior by referencing a preface that Ken Wilber wrote for Andrew Cohen's book, 'Living Enlightenment'.  In part it says; 'when it comes to spiritual teachers, there are those who are safe, gentle, consoling, caring; and there are the outlaws, the living terrors, the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls, disturbing you, terrifying you until you radically awaken to who and what you are. ......If you want Enlightenment, find yourself a Rude Boy or Nasty Girl, the ones who make you uncomfortable, who will scare you witless and, who will turn on you in a second and hold you up for ridicule, ......'").  And see some of the more recent comments here for more serious allegations about sexual misconduct and abuse. 


Yikes.  With Trivedi, this really isn't that surprising; we'd already discussed our doubts about him here earlier.  But it's a shame that Integral keeps hitching itself onto such deeply flawed and falling stars.


X, good (r)an(t)alysis.  There certainly does seem to be an ongoing and apparently unresolved pattern of attraction to authoritarian figures.


Speaking of shadowy issues at play, this raises some concerns for me, given the history involved (with Gafni).  There must be a good number of folks who aren't troubled by this, or it wouldn't go forward, but this is not where I would go if I was seeking advice on how to experience enlightened relationship.
 

Ciao Balder

 

Well I agree. I have seen so much junk of that grotesque guru trip fashionable during the last century. The structures of unregulated capitalism unfortunately permitted and favorized the explosion of such egoic gratification behaviors. I have a repulsion for all kind of people advertising for their so called  own specialness.

hahahhaha

every religion needs an adversary!

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