SELF IN INTEGRAL EVOLUTIONARY MYSTICISM: Two Models and Why They Matter (Marc Gafni)

Marc Gafni’s new book SELF IN INTEGRAL EVOLUTIONARY MYSTICISM has been published:

Two major works have been written within the framework of Integral Wisdom about the nature of Self and God. While they share important features, namely the evolutionary context of the conversation and a vision of Self beyond Ego, their interior visions of the quality of the Self beyond Ego are profoundly different. Both of these visions of Self-or key dimensions of the two versions-have been adopted, directly and indirectly by many spiritual teachers. In this clear and compelling work Marc Gafni articulates the two models, their shared features, their differences and why–as we seek to articulate an Integral Wisdom–these differences matter so desperately.

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Barbara Marx Hubbard, the Grande Dame of Conscious Evolution, wrote this note of praise after reading SELF:

Reading SELF is a fabulous opening for me.

I will be teaching from it tonight on my Sacred Journey Course. The theme is Education Our Local Selves.

What I received from you is the understanding of how my own Unique Self can make intimate contact with the Unique Self of the students, “which further elicits the Unique Self of the teacher as well as the student.”

I have held back this passionate outpouring of intimate contact of Unique Self with Unique Self, and kept it into a personal realm, rather than the ubiquitous realm of Outrageous Love of all with no reserve.

It is explosive.  Tonight’s class I will be reading from SELF opening myself to my students in a new way.

I can now feel how to do it in my teaching, in the personal mentoring, and in my whole life with everyone everywhere…like you do!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this great liberation that overcomes the illusion of separation and reserve (sort of a lady-like stance of reserve and decorum) that I believe I have had because I never encountered one who gave me the new experience amd example.

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Paul R. Smith, author of Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve, wrote the following review:

When I look at the ten thousand books on spirituality, mysticism, and evolutionary religion in my library, I can tell, at a glance, without looking at titles, which ones were most helpful to me. They are the ones with Post-it notes sticking out from the top, marking pages that I found quite valuable. Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism by Marc Gafni is one of those few dozens with numerous colorful sticky notes flaming out from its top edge. Gafni’s previous book, Unique Self, was a breakthrough opening in understanding the Self in relation to union with God. This book continues by focusing on an opposing popular postmodern view of self and pointing out the crucial differences. With laser-like insight Gafni lets his view remain the only one I can joyfully endorse as an integrally-informed Christian mystic and scholar. This book shines with radiant luminosity and spiritual depth.

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Unique Self: Reclaiming the Personal and Democratizing Enlightenment – An Excerpt from Zak Stein’s Review of Radical Kabbalah

Zach-SteinZachary Stein, Senior Analyst for the Developmental Testing, Deputy Director at Lectica, Inc., and as of late Academic Director of the Center for Integral Wisdom, has written a beautiful review about Marc Gafni‘s Radical Kabbalah for the Integral Review March 2014.

Here is a little excerpt:

Unique Self: Reclaiming the Personal and Democratizing Enlightenment

To my mind the core value of these books is that they reconfirm (in a compelling scholarly fashion) some of the most central ethical tenants of Western Civilization. Moreover, they do so by reminding us that the Judeo-Christian tradition contains a radical Enlightenment teaching, with a message about the collective Awakening of everyone everywhere. Gafni calls this the democratization of Enlightenment. This is a theological metaphysics justifying the reign of an Absolute Democracy, in which each must live so that all have the ability and dignity to be heard, known,  and counted. The mystical core of the great democratic political revolutions can be found in the cipher of ancient texts, reinterpreted in each age, and again today, in order to enliven the struggle to create a world-order conducive to human liberation. As Habermas has stressed, there is currently no replacement for the world-disclosing power of religious language, especially in its capacity to give voice to the profound vulnerabilities, interdependencies, and potentialities of human social life.

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New Preface by Barbara Marx Hubbard for Your Unique Self

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Preface by Barbara Marx Hubbard for Marc Gafni‘s 



Deep from the heart of the cosmos comes the signal: be born as the universe in person! Manifest cosmogenesis as your own divine expression of creation. Bring cosmogenesis – the evolution of the cosmos — into form as you, as co creators of a new culture in which each human being is an expression of the Impulse of Creation.

In Your Unique Self Marc Gafni speaks for the evolutionary impulse during our time of radical shift on Earth from one form of growth, one form of self, one form of species, and one form of society to the next. He speaks for the Culture of Cocreators, each of us as a Unique Self, a divine expression of the Creator creating. [Read more…]

Review of “Your Unique Self” by Mariana Caplan, PhD

Mariana Caplan

Your Unique Self is a great gift to the modern spiritual world. The author, Marc Gafni, has been immersed in spiritual study and practice for over three decades, and his work comes to a full flowering in this beautiful book.

In this way, Your Unique Self is both a philosophy and a practice that is relevant to seekers and practitioners of all traditions, both traditional and modern. The radical but grounded theory and method Gafni articulates offers the reader a chance to experience not only his or her unique gifts to the world, but to recognize uniqueness itself as an enlightened expression of our own inherent divinity. Unique Self in Gafni’s realization is the expression of the irreducibly unique “personal face of essence”. Here is a direct taste of the book itself.

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Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber, Author of A Brief History of Everything: “Dr. Marc Gafni’s Integral Unique Self teaching is seminal. What you hold in your hands is a radically exciting and groundbreaking book that will change forever not only how you think about enlightenment, but how you understand, from a post-metaphysical perspective, the very nature of human life itself. The Unique Self work is magnificent, and it belongs among the ‘great books.'”

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy, Founder of Esalen Institute:

“It is very rare that one comes across a teacher or a book that is ‘changing the game.’ My friend, Dr. Marc Gafni is such a teacher. He is a rare combination of brilliance, depth, and heart. Marc’s teaching on the Unique Self in an evolutionary context is ‘changing the game.”

Sally Kempton

Sally Kempton, Author of Meditation for the Love of It: “Your Unique Self could only have been written by someone who passionately lives his own uniqueness. Marc Gafni is a brilliant teacher and heart master with a rare capacity for empathy and a gift for creating community.  This book contains the essence of his teaching on what it means to live from an enlightened life from a ground of one’s own personal uniqueness.”

John Mackey

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods:

“Dr. Marc Gafni has written an brilliant book, Your Unique Self, which I believe is essential reading. Your Unique Self articulates a bold evolutionary, spiritual, philosophy that calls every individual to realize their Unique Self and give their Unique Gifts in an evolutinary context.”

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra:

“Marc is a very inspiring and talented transformational teacher.”