This is an almost unedited and unplugged version of Dr. Gafni’s conversation from the previous weeks of One Mountain, Many Paths broadcast. Thus, the style of the piece is the spoken word and not a formal essay. Dr. Marc Gafni describes the Dignity and Divinity of our needs and desires.
We live in a planet drenched in shame. When we are talking about shame, we mean shame as the root of all evil.
Not a kind of appropriate shame that is calling me to myself, but the toxic shame that I am somehow broken, that I am somehow not enough.
This shame is the root of all evil. At the core of this shame is our needs. We are shamed by our needs themselves. This already begins in childhood.
In early childhood we have this experience of being humiliated in our attempt to get our basic needs met, which causes us later in life to be shamed by our needs themselves.
Even with the best parenting or what Winnicott called "the good enough parenting": we all, in some sense, experience that our needs are not fully met. There is always a fundamental lack of attunement between people and therefore our needs are never fully met.
But this is not a bug in Kosmos. It is not an accident. This is a feature of Kosmos. This is the intention of Kosmos.
Need and Desire are intimate entwined.
And how we transmute and transform ourselves in the space between desire and need and their fulfillment, is who we become.
Eastern and Western traditions of Spirit degrade "the dignity of need"
Both Eastern and Western traditions of Spirit in their own ways to degrade need. The Western traditions of Spirit, the entire Judeo-Christian tradition in its exoteric form - its public form -, say you should be "like God," and God has no needs. So, the entire church, synagogue, mosque tradition says: Imitatio Dei, be like God, and God has no needs. So, your needs, by definition, are non-godly, to be godly is to be beyond needs.
The Eastern traditions of Spirit degrade needs in their own ways. For example, in Buddhism, the "Buddha Absolute" has no needs: the enlightened one is in full balance with no needs. Needs themselves, particularly sexual needs, are a violation of the enlightened state.
So, whether we’re talking about an Eastern path or a Western path, it is about what I want to call a humiliation of need at its core. If you want to be enlightened or you want to be like God, which are the two goals of the classical Homo Sapien spiritual personality, you have to move beyond need.
But we actually never move beyond need, and need and desire are interlinked. Need and desire are fundamentally one, there is no split between need and desire.
New realization about the nature of Kosmos:
Evolution is Desire Evolution is in Response to Need
At the leading edges of understanding, at the most subtle and gorgeous mind hearts that Kosmos has generated, the interior sciences generated this new realization about the nature of Kosmos, the nature of Divinity, the nature of Enlightenment:
Evolution is Desire.
This is actually the realization that God has needs.
In Hebrew, we say "avodah tzorech gavoha". In English: Reality Needs Your Service. God needs your service. You are actually needed.
Yes, there is indeed a face of God which is beyond all needs: the Absolute.
But there’s a dimension in which Divinity loves reality so much that God says:
“I love you so much, that I’m willing to allow myself—the infinite God who’s all powerful—to also be the Infinity of Intimacy, and to need you intimately, infinitely."
It’s only when we affirm this Dignity and Divinity of Need that we can move beyond shame. Buddha in the original Pali Canon actually said, “Have few desires, but have great ones.” But it’s not just great desires.
We need to clarify our desire. In the lineage that formed me this is called Berrur, what I have translated - after much contemplation - as the clarification of Desire. When you clarify your desire, you access what we want to call "your Deepest Heart's Desire." We need to know what our Deepest Heart’s Desire is and then we need to know that our Deepest Heart’s Desire is evolution itself desiring through us. We need to know that Evolution is Desire. And that our deepest heart's desire is God's desire. And that the God you don't believe in, doesn't exist.
Evolution is the movement of reality desiring ever more complexity, which is ever more intimacy, which is ever more creativity, which is ever more love, which is ever more uniqueness.
These are the plot lines of reality’s desire, of reality’s yearning.
The Intimate Universe desires, and the Intimate Universe lives in me. God desires.
Evolution is Desire: Need and Desire at Each of the Five Levels of Self
1. Separate Self
There’s dignity to the needs of the Separate Self. So, at the level of Separate Self, we honor each other’s needs, and we love each other, but we’re also concerned about not needing in a way that becomes codependent. And we are concerned about people claiming to love us, but really just needing us in a way that we feel like objects in their life and not subjects, what Buber called I-it and not I-thou. We honor desire and yet we are wary of the undertow of "surface desires," especially in their unconscious forms.
2. True Self
When we realize we are one with consciousness, for a moment we let go of all "needs and desires." We are just in being. We are actually one with the consciousness of reality, and we are pulsing with the pulse of reality. For a moment we let go of needs, and we rest in the seamless coat of the Universe that lives in us gorgeously and uniquely.
3. Unique Self At the level of Unique Self, we reclaim desire. We realize that the seamless coat of the Universe that lives in us gorgeously and uniquely is not just consciousness and unchanging. That seamless coat of the Universe is "seamless but not featureless," and lives in us alive and desiring, and it actually desires uniquely through us. We awaken to Unique Self.
We realize that we have a right to desire and to be desired. We have a right to need and to be needed. At the level of Unique Self, I love you madly, and I can actually move beyond my ego and say: "I need you desperately."
4. Evolutionary Unique Self Reality needs your service. Reality needs your Deepest Heart’s Desire. Your Deepest Heart's Desire is God's Desire. Your clarified need is God's need. The root spark of all your clarified desires is sacred. We stand together and we say: reality loves and needs us, and we each have the capacity to uniquely address the needs of reality, which are the needs of evolution. We become Bodhisattvas.
We move beyond shame and we become alive and whole, pulsating and serving the whole in radical joy, laughing out of one side of our mouth and crying out of the other side of our mouth, in ways we never imagined possible. 5. Unique Self Symphony We become a Unique Self Symphony of Beloveds - what we call in our dharma of CosmoErotic Humanism whole mates, not just soulmates - turning to the world, for the sake of the whole, filled with Desire, to address its needs with full power and love.
It’s only when we can say "I love you and I need you desperately," that we can actually hear the whispers of the Divine turning to us, and saying, “Oh my god, I love you and I need you desperately.” We realize that desire is not the place where we get lost. Rather when we clarify desire, it is the place that we are finally found. We access our Deepest Heart’s Desire, which is the evolutionary impulse, pulsing in us. That unique evolutionary impulse pulsing in us is coded with our Unique Self. Our Deepest Heart's Desire is coded with our evolutionary genius. Then we become attractive to and attracted towards those Unique Selves who can co-create with us for the sake of the whole.
This is why in "The Wheel of Co-Creation 2.0," which is our map of reality, [which I had the delight of writing on a napkin while at a restaurant with Barbara Marx Hubbard... only a few months before she passed over], at the very center, we placed Desire, and particularly your Deepest Heart’s Desire.
[This blogpost is almost all direct quotes from Dr. Marc Gafni collected from the raw transcript of the featured clip below, which is created from the free weekly broadcast of One Mountain, Many Paths, happening live every Sunday at 10 am PT]
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