Unique Self & Spirituality

Unique Self is the lodestone of a new generation of enlightenment teaching capable of synthesizing key insights of pre-modern, modern, and post-modern wisdom. Seen by leading voices as a Next Chapter in Integral Spirituality, it helps to change the source code of human existence.

Video Teachings (Summer 2012)

Dr. Marc Gafni produced the following 20 videos in which he provides a general orientation to the themes, theory, and practice of Unique Self and the context in which it stands. Access the videos by clicking the Videos tab above, or link to them below.

Intro: Devotional Heart Chant

Intro: Ecstatic Heart Chant

Intro: What is Chant?

Part 1. Core Teaching of Unique Self

Key quote: “Unique Self is the understanding that you are at the level of essence – not merely at the level of social, psychological, and cultural conditioning – you are ultimately unique, you are an infinitely unique expression of All-That-Is, an expression that never was, is, or will be ever again.  That uniqueness of essence is your Unique Self.”

Part 2. Answering the call

Key quote:  “To answer the call is to respond to the call that lives in you, as you, and through you, of your Unique Self. The unique individualized expression of essence that is you calls you, invites you to find your vocation—the claiming of your unique voice in the world. To find a voice that is yours, not imitative, you have to inhabit your Unique Perspective.”

Part 3. Reclaiming obligation at second tier consciousness

Key quote: “When we hear the word ‘obligation’ in our post-postmodern context, we cringe. It makes us contract. We feel like we spent so many years in therapy getting beyond the obligations that violated us. But actually the only genuine freedom is the freedom to fulfill your Unique Self. Anything else is a form of slavery. To actually fulfill your Unique Self—which is to meet the unique obligation of your life—that’s what it means to be free.”

Part 4. Why Unique Self matters

Key quote: “There is only one great heresy in post-postmodernity: the belief that you are irrelevant. No one can play your part. You have a Unique Gift to give. The world is waiting, needing your Unique Gift. The Divine Force, God (and the God you don’t believe in doesn’t exist)—God as the personal face of essence, God as the Tao, the love-intelligence and love-beauty of All That Is … is seeking a voice.”

Part 5. Why Unique Self changes everything

Key quote: “Unique Self actually changes everything in almost every field, discipline, endeavor, and arena of human experience. For example: 1. If you want to identify your vocation, if you identify it from a Unique Self place, it’s entirely different than simply asking, ‘What am I good at?’ You begin to approach the vocation issue in a different way. You’re not hunting for a job. You’re finding your way of bringing your Unique Gifts into the world.”

Part 6. Unique Self and evolutionary we-space – section 1

Key quote: “There are always two views of community. From the Western tradition, basically we are all separate selves. We can’t really come together, but we can give up some of our rights to be protected by the central government. No authentic communication is possible. Or—emerging out of a more continental philosophical tradition—is that the primary unit of reality is the community.”

Part 7. The difference between Unique Self and soul

Key quote: “Unique Self (unlike soul) lives at the level of manifest and unmanifest, the level of Spirit itself. It’s important to say that in some traditions the soul doesn’t refer to the spiritual quality of separate self, but refers to something much closer to Unique Self. But because it can be confused, we have gone through pains to differentiate the two. Unique Self is the unique expression of your essence.”

Part 8. Unique Self and democratization of enlightenment

Key quote: “Democratization of enlightenment doesn’t mean everyone is enlightened in an equal way. It means that the possibility of enlightenment is what William James called a genuine option for every human being who aspires to it. Enlightenment is not only the province of the elite. It can expand beyond the narrow sectors of the meditation hall in Nepal or Brooklyn, or the back streets of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods where the pious Kabbalists sit and chant. Enlightenment becomes part of the fabric of every awakened life.”

Part 9. Unique Self and evolutionary we-space – section 2

Key quote: “You don’t win an Oscar by playing someone else’s part in the play. You win the Oscar by playing your part to perfection. When a person begins to know that they can live their fullest truth and beauty, they begin to radiate that depth to the center of the community.”

Part 10. Integral, evolutionary and world spirituality

Key quote: “If we can all move beyond egoic branding issues—which I think everyone across the board is doing in all three of those systems—then we experience ourselves as part of the evolutionary process, as personal unique irreducible essences (from my perspective). When we apply appropriately Integral principles and discernments, we will create a movement of spirit which will completely reshape—in the most positive, enlivened, loving, ethical, compassionate way—all of tomorrow.”

Part 11. Unique Self and Evolutionary Spirituality

Key quote: “From a non-dual, Lurianic, Kabbalistic perspective, from the interior face of essential reality – the human being is an inextricable part of the divine. There is no separation. The human being participates through his or her own evolving in evolving the divine consciousness. That idea is a core idea. As a trained Kabbalist who has received and drunk from the lineage of Kabbalah, the notion of an evolutionary context is core to what you might call my mental furniture.”

Part 12. The Unique Self Book

Key quote: “Unique Self emerges from my teaching over the last 20 years, a deep meeting between my teaching and Integral Theory, many many conversations between Ken and myself, fructified, amplified, and deepened by an inner circle of other teachers who brought their own gifts to bear, and now Unique Self belongs to no one. It’s the teaching of tomorrow, which will take each one of us. Part 13. Intellectual and social history of Unique Self teaching.”

Part 13. Intellectual and social history of Unique Self teaching

Key quote: “The book was the crystallization of the teaching which began in 1986 in Delray Beach, Florida, where I was an Orthodox rabbi, and I was speaking to about 500 people. I was teaching about the laws of Sabbath which are exciting and compelling and important, but somehow I couldn’t give the gift I wanted to give them. Somehow the sentence emerged – fell as grace: I said that you have not only a finger print, but you are a soul print. You have a Unique Gift to give in the world. You can actually feel the energy or subtle field or inner space change.”

Part 14. Unique Self and levels of consciousness

 Key quote: “The core way we refer to Unique Self is as both a unique structure-stage of consciousness and a state of consciousness. Primarily it’s a specific structure-stage of consciousness that comes online as a natural spontaneous expression of living into your uniqueness at higher levels of consciousness.”

Part 15a. Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up

Key quote: “At the core of World Spirituality teaching is what’s been called wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, and open up. That’s the whole teaching.”


Part 15b. Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up

Key quote: “Each person is going to define, as it were, their own “religion.” – the practices they choose. Different grow up practices, different lighten up practices, etc. At different times in their life, they might focus on different areas. All of the teachings revolve around Unique Self.”


Part 15c. History of the terms ‘wake up, grow up’, etc.

Key quote: “My work in Unique Self theory is one piece of it. John Welwood, Ken Wilber, Dustin DiPerna, Marianna Caplan’s sourcing in Trungpa, [they] have all contributed. And now we’re using this five-part schematic as a simple way of delivering the formula of World Spirituality in the world. Wake up, grow up, show up, lighten up, open up.”

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