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.
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.
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.