The Blessing of the Father: Evolving First Values and First Principles
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 transmits the Blessing of the Father through the naming of First Principles and reclaiming an evolutionary Father.
The blessing of the Mother is, “I hold you so close. You’re so wildly beautiful. No matter what, you’re always resting in my arms. Wherever you fall, you fall into my arms. I’m always with you.” That’s the blessing of the Mother.
The blessing of the Father is, “I see you. I’m calling you.” The Father says, “There are First Principles and First Values. I’m going to name them and call you to align with them and call you to give your gifts to them.”
Mother doesn’t name First Principles and First Values. They are implicit.
Of course, we’re not talking about literal mothers and fathers. We’re talking about the quality of the mother and the quality of the father. Sometimes that lives in actual fathers, and sometimes it lives in actual mothers. We need both. People need a father and a mother. Those are critical.
So the Father is about naming. The Father names First Principles and First Values. The Father articulates the principles and calls the son/daughter with mad love, but also with demand, to show up and to give his/her gift and to be aligned with those First Principles and First Values. That’s the blessing of the Father.
We live at a moment in time where the Father has disappeared, where we can’t find the Father. We can’t find the Father in culture and in the Western world we often can’t find the Father in the family.
The Father is missing in culture. The Father who says that value is not just a social construction, that value is not just a figment of imagination or a fiction. The father knows that value is real. So we turn to the Father to name value and to point us towards value.
Father in Public Culture: Star Wars
What is the major mythic story in the last 50, 60 years in the world? The most often watched myth, the most often seen story is Star Wars. It’s a mythology. I am studying it these days with my young friend and padwan Gaetan and am about to start studying it with my youngest son Zion.
The search for the father is the central issue of Star Wars. The whole thing is about the Father.
Anakin Skywalker, is the son of Shmi Skywalker. Early in his life he steps away from the mother. He is called by the Jedi order. The Jedi order represents the father to him. Kai Gwan Jin, student of Count Duku, who is in turn student of Yoda, is to be his teacher. Kai Gwan Jin is killed and his apprentice ObiWanKenobi, now turned Jedi Master, becomes his teacher and father figure. But his father relationship with ObiWan is fraught with tension. Anakin’s ultimately going to be seduced to the dark side, by a competing father figure, Palpatine. He is the hidden Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. He is driving the action in the first six Star Wars episodes and ultimate in the latter ones as well. Darth Sidious is the dark father.
He represents a corruption of First Values and First Principles. He is the founder of the New Order. This is an expression of the dark father, whose values are control, order, and the state. The New Order is a name, not accidentally used by various forms of fascism including Nazism, to express the seductive power of the dark father.
At the center of everything, Anakin does not know who his father is. He is in search of the values and blessings of the father.
This is the mystery of Star Wars. We don’t know who Anakin’s father is. Obi-Wan-Kenobi together with Yoda are one expression of the father, the good father. While Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, is the Dark Father. When Anakin turns to the Dark Father he loses connection to his kids. He becomes slowly mechanized, his humanity merged with a machine. He turns into Darth Vader.
As the story unfolds, his son, Luke Skywalker, realizes and is told that Darth Vader is his father. Luke has always yearned for the father. He goes to encounter Darth Vader, not to kill him, as Yoda and Obi Wan insists, but to try and bring his father back from the dark side. In the end, at the moment in which Luke Skywalker was going to be killed, Anakin steps in and saves his son. Luke Skywalker was going to be destroyed by the blue lightning of Palpatine. Palpatine who’s really Darth Sidious, the Sith Lord, Darth Vader, his father, formerly Anakin Skywalker. Vader becomes the father again, he reclaims his identity as Anakin the father. He steps in and saves his son, destroying the evil of the Sith for the moment and reclaiming his soul.
Remember also that Palpatine himself, Darth Sidious, has a teacher, Darth Plagueis, who is his father figure. He learns everything he can from Darth Plagueis and then kills him in his sleep. Palpatine kills his father. When the student rises up and unjustly kills the teacher, it’s the killing of the Father. The student who goes to kill the father is not merely an archetype. It is a social, moral and political reality.
I myself have tragically and painfully beyond imagination, experienced a student who I held as a dear friend, a son and younger brother. Who I empowered at a key moment in his life with the blessing of the father - in a way that changed his life - who attempted to kill the father, to kill me. The father never expects it. And the father never recovers from it. From that moment on the father is heartbroken. It’s the most painful experience where you have a student that you love madly, that you hold dearly, and the student goes to kill the Father. It’s unimaginable. The story of Judas betraying Christ, is the betrayal of the Father. And it is okay to be heart broken. For there is nothing as whole as a broken heart.
We are familiar with stories of the authority figures who abuse. This is the Father that betrays the child. But there’s also the child that betrays the Father. It’s the restoration of the Father that allows Darth Vader to return and become, again, Anakin Skywalker. Only a new son or student that arises can restore the father. The father must pour all of his blessings into the son, but not in order to be restored but simply because he is the father, he must always be pouring into the son, the student, the Blessing of the Father.
Reclaiming the Evolutionary Father
The central issue of our times is the issue of the Father. New Age Spirituality on the cultural level and the liberal wings of western politics, have both lost connection to the father. Even as fundamentalisms of various kinds have all too often offered an ethnocentric, fascist and regressive version of the father.
The New Age in particular transmits the Mother. The New Age is all too often so caught in its appropriate rejection of the abusive father, that it alienates from the healthy whole and powerful father.
That is because the New Age felt, not altogether incorrectly, that we had been left with the corrupt father in public culture. We’re left with the corrupt father of the surface structures of the religions that each argue, I’m the only father. I’m the father only to my people, but there’s not a universal father. It’s a degraded father.
Or the claim of the father was that there are universal, eternal, pre-ordained principles of behavior, that reflect the First Order of the Universe, that never change. Unchanging law, downloaded into the word by divinity into the space of feeble human kind searching for grace, is a story that simply matches our deepest knowing of the nature of Self and Universe, Our Self and Our Universe. [By the way, for those who read public culture myths carefully, which is super important, the name of the second totalitarian empire in Star Wars, was also controlled behind the scenes by Darth Sidious the sith Lord, Palpatine.]
First, the Universe evolves. Love expresses itself three thousand years ago in one way and in quite a different way today. And second, the split between Divine and human is far more subtle and permeable than we once thought. Divine and human participate in each other. That is why a sacred text may be an authentic divine revelation even as it bears human imprint. The failure to recognize this truth caused many to fall away from spirit. Particular in text based religions, where the authority of the text was based on active Divine revelation and passive human reception. With these new knowings we need to reclaim the father.
We need to reclaim an evolved father, the evolutionary Father. We need to reclaim the Father who names First Values and First Principles. The Father who names and explicitly tells a story.
The quality of Father is value. The quality of Father is he who calls us, demands our best, loves us madly, who names the New Story. Who demands and needs our partnership and our alignment. It’s only when Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker come together, when the father and son come together.
The very last verse of the entire biblical story describes the great moment of liberation when a new consciousness will arise. And it is described as the movement of reality which “shall return the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers”.
That is our prairie.
“Let the Father’s heart turn and transform the Son and let the Son turn to and transform the Father”.
The Father and the Son applies to every woman and to every man. It’s not about male and female. It’s about the Father and the Son. We’re all the Father and we’re all the Son.
Moving Beyond The Alleged Betrayal of the Father: Beneath the Betrayal is Love
We’ve so often, in our own lives, been betrayed by the Father and then we feel that the Father is not there. We may have been betrayed by the Father in some relationship of teacher or Father.
We have all been betrayed by the Father by a postmodern culture that told us that there’s no true value in the world, that all value is merely a fiction.
We might have been betrayed by that one person we trusted.
We have got to move beyond the betrayal and we’ve got to reclaim the Father, because underneath the betrayal is love.
That’s the response of Jesus to Judas.
Underneath the betrayal is love.
That is true about your father and true about the cultural father. Postmodern deconstruction is driven not by evil nihilism, but by desperate love. And other than the most sociopathic betrayals by the pathological father, most real or imagined betrayals of the father hold underneath an impulse of love, contorted in the father or denied in the son.
Judas thought that Jesus had betrayed him. So he went and betrayed Jesus.
You can only be betrayed by someone who would never betray you.
But underneath the betrayal is love and it’s the love of the Father.
The love of the Father is always there.
First, find your own father. Find the beauty of your own father and find the disappointments. Forgive the ways your father might not have been able to be the fullness of the father. Receive any glimmering of the Blessing of the Father from your father. Then move beyond your father and receive the blessing of the Father from Reality itself. Receive the blessing of the father in all of its wondrous disguises.
Let’s bless each other - right now - with the blessing of the Father.
In the fall we will be publishing a book, which is part of the Great Library that unpacked these themes of CosmoErotic Humanism in depth. Together with dear friend and colleague Zak Stein and the entire gang of thinkers, scholars, creators, and ontological activists, each more profound and wondrous then the next, the men and women that form the Office for the Future, and it’s sister structures, One Mountain, The Center for Integral Wisdom and Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Foundation for Conscious Evolution, we are deep in this conversation together. Join us please. Here is how you do it.
[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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