I am currently reading two new books that may be among the most important books ever written to address our changing times. Even though I haven’t yet finished either book, I am so excited that I had to tell you a little bit about them.
The first is the latest book from a teacher of mine, Marc Gafni. It is called Your Unique Self. I am about half way through and am finding it to be of great value. Marc believes that enlightenment is a human behavior that is available to any human who takes the time to understand and work the process. This makes it one of the most optimistic books every written. Here is a few paragraphs from Marc’s new book:
We live in the time of the annunciation of a new myth, the Great Story of Evolution. This Myth of Evolution is both a passion play, a morality tale, and a three-way romantic drama between the human being, kosmos, and God.
In the language of Unique Self mystic Abraham Kook, this myth raises “the public center of gravity to moral heights and ecstatic joy” in a way that was virtually unattainable in previous eras. Kook and de Chardin, inspired by evolutionary philosophers like Sri Aurobindo and Luria, embrace evolution as the highest and most noble expression of the ethical meaning of our lives on Earth.
Kook writes, “The deep understanding of the evolutionary context in forming our vision of the future exalts man to a moral pinnacle of spirit, radically raising the bar of his ethical responsibility.”
Aligning with the evolutionary impulse and taking responsibility for the entire process was, for the last several hundred years, limited to a very small circle of elite mystics. …
We are now entering the time of the Shift. The Shift is from private to public, from the realm of the elite to the democratization of the New Enlightenment.
“You are the true Light,
which enlightens every man
that cometh into the
world.”John 1:9, King James Bible
You means You.
Rabbi Abraham Kook says it well:
“Every person needs to know
that he is called to serve
based on the model of perception and feeling
which is absolutely unique to him,
based on the core root of his soul. . . .
A person needs to say:
Bi-shvili nivrah ha-olam
(Through my Unique path the world is created.”)
The core ecstatic ethical meditation of the New Enlightenment is, “The world is created for and by my Unique Path.” This is not a declaration of hubris but a statement of responsibility. To be connected to your Unique Self means to know that your story is sufficiently important, significant, and wonderful, and that the entire world was created for its sake. The dignity of your story demands no less than that you get up every morning and know that your very next action has the power to shape the destiny of our collective future.
Thirteenth-century master Maimonides writes that the superior man experiences the whole world as precisely balanced on a scale, with his next action tipping the scale for good or for bad.
Fourteen billion years of evolution are flowing through you, awaiting your choice. Living this consciousness in joy, your choice becomes filled not only with your goodness but with a radical evolutionary integrity that—in the language of Kook—“enlightens and frees all worlds.”
I have also started reading a new book by Neal Donald Walsch called The Only Thing That Matters. Here are a few paragraphs from Neale’s new book:
DEAR COMPANION ON THE JOURNEY:
It is wonderful that you have come here. There is something you wish to know and something you wish to do, and Life understands this. That is why you are reading this.
Here is what you wish to know … 98% of the world’s people are spending 98% of their time on things that don’t matter.
You have been part of that 98%. Now you are no longer. From this day forward you choose to spend your time on The Only Thing That Matters. The question is, what is that?
Here is what you wish to do … Find your answer to that question. This requires a deep exploration of the Self. You are in the right place for such an important and remarkable undertaking. Trust that. If you weren’t in the right place to find your answer, you would not be here. Do not think you have come to this book by chance. Do not think that.
Think this: My Soul knows exactly what it is doing. Also, think this: My Soul already knows what really matters. So it is not a question of “finding” that answer, it is a question of remembering. It is not a process of discovery, it is a process of recovery. This data does not have to be researched, it merely has to be retrieved.
Neale shares his answer to the question: What is the Only Thing That Matters?
“What One Desires”
I understand the point the book is making that We Are All One, and that, therefore, what I do for me I do for others, and that what I do for others I do for me.
And so, focusing on “What One Desires” is not “selfish” at all.
I also understand what this text is telling me when it declares that the writer and the reader are, at the level of Essence, in no way separate—and that I am at choice, always, about whether I choose to experience that.
And here is something else that I know: I know that the Illusion of Separation sometimes serves humanity. In fact, if it didn’t serve the species, I have to believe that we would have eliminated the Illusion altogether a long time ago.
Evolution itself would surely have produced that result. But we’ve kept this Illusion of Separation in place because we see that it in many ways serves us.
Now it seems to me that what would be most beneficial to us at this stage of our development as an evolving species would be to step aside from the Separation Illusion where it serves us to do so (if it could more rapidly end global suffering, for instance, or create a larger and more joyful experience of the Self), and to continue to use the Illusion when it facilitates our growth or understanding.
The ONE in his phrase “What One Desires” is not the small self. It is the big Self. It is the ONE in the phrase of a good friend of mine: “There is only ONE of us here.”
What that ONE desires is a WIN-WIN outcome for ALL involved. Since we are really ONE, then what is the best solution for all of us. When I first read Walsch’s answer to the question “What is the only thing that matters?”
I misunderstood, because I thought he was speaking about “what my small self desires.” Then I realized I was viewing this from the Illusion of Separation. When I shifted to viewing this from the Truth of ONEness, it made total sense, and I experienced a major Aha! moment. Marc explains this idea in a slightly different way:
God is changed, evolved, by our loving God. The stranger is changed and evolved through our love. You are changed and transformed through self-love. Love is not an emotion but a perception of the True Nature of what is, through which emotion is awakened. We become lovers through the profound perception of the True Nature of reality as it appears in first, second, and third person. This perception of love is the realization that you and other are part of the same fabric of All-That-Is. You are part of the whole.
This realization changes the nature of both you and other because you realize your ultimate indivisibility from the other. It is this realization that leads to compassion and then to compassionate action. The evolutionary mysticism of Unique Self teaches that it is this realization, and the compassion and action that it births into reality, that catalyzes the evolution of God.The whole is evolved by the part. This is the very purpose of existence.
Fear is a result of seeing separate otherness. Love is a result of seeing unique oneness. Fear is self-contraction. We always need to remember that fear is the contraction of the self into ego. In ego, the part withdraws from the whole to assert and protect its part nature. Yet we always need to remember that the core intuition of ego is always at its root a glimmering of something necessary and sacred. Healthy self-contraction is the divine self-contraction that allows the world to come into being. God, the whole, steps back in love to allow room for other—the part. Other—the part—is God in disguise from itself. The disguise makes other seem a-part from God rather than a part of God. The disguise, in other words, is the illusion that other is unique and special in a way that separates from God rather than in a way that manifests God. The goal of existence is to pierce the veil of the disguise and reveal the underlying love unity of All-That-Is. Right relationship needs to be established between the part and the whole. Ever-higher integration of parts and wholes is the basic dynamic of evolution.
Healthy human self-contraction motivated by love allows for the world of an other to exist alongside your world. Love allows me to step back to make room for you. You and I recognize each other as unique and special, even as we know that we are together part of the larger divine whole, the seamless coat of the Universe.
Then Marc Gafni further teaches us, that we each bring our own unique perspective to answering Walsch’s question: What is the only thing that matters?
What ONE desires is that our Unique Gift be shared. Everyone’s Unique Gift is necessary to make things better for all of us.
Our unique perspective helps us remember, recover, and retrieve our unique gift that we are here to share with all our brothers and sisters. Elsewhere Marc has explained this:
Recently people have been asking me what I mean by the phrase, “Answering the Call,” which I have been talking about so often during my talks about the democratization of enlightenment teachings in these past years. So when I woke up this morning, before I was fully awake, I jotted down a couple of words on this topic. …
Once you understand that your uniqueness is not a historical accident but an intentional expression of essence, then you realize that enlightenment is a genuine option for every human being. Including You. When you realize that your Unique Self is the God having a You experience, everything in your experience of your life changes.
Once you understand that your uniqueness is not the haphazard result of your cultural social or psychological conditioning, but all of these are necessary conditions for the emergence of the personal face of essence which is You, your essential experience of your life transforms. You move from a desperate need to escape your life to the radical embrace of your life.
When this happens, fate is transformed to destiny. Desperation becomes celebration. Grasping becomes purposeful action and resignation becomes activism. The contracted smallness of your frightened suffering self becomes expanded joyful realization of Your Unique Self. At such times, the irreducible human uniqueness of every human being is the invitation to enlightenment. For the full and authentic expression of your uniqueness living in the world as God’s verb, that is, essence living in you, as you and through you, is the essence of enlightenment.
It is from this place that you “Answer the Call.” It is from this place that you give the world your desperately needed “Unique Gifts,” those endowments that derive from your Unique Self. This is what I mean when I talk about Unique Self enlightenment.
Unique Self enlightenment is a genuine possibility and therefore responsibility for every human being. For there is no separation in essence. Every unique expression of essence is part of the seamless coat of the universe. Seamless but not featureless. Failure to clarify the contours of your Unique Self is not a failure of the contracted ego but a failure to love God. For to love God is to let God see through your eyes. Through the unique perspective of essence which is You.
Realizing Your Unique Self and giving your Unique Gifts is the evolution of love which is the evolution of God upon which the future of God depends. There are two key steps involved.
Firstly, you clarify your realization to know that you are not a separate self but a True Self, inseparable from the All.
Secondly, you realize that your True Self has a Unique Perspective. True Self + Perspective = Unique Self. Your Unique Self is able to address a Unique Need that can be addressed by no one else in the world that ever was, is or will be other then you. No one has the capacity to address this unique need in that the way that you are able to do. This is your Unique Gift.
In sum, your obligation and joy in being alive is to clarify your Unique Perspective, realize your Unique Self and give your Unique Gift. This is how you Answer the Call. Transforming your awareness of self to unique Self-consciousness is the change in your life which changes everything.
Democratization of enlightenment therefore does not mean that everyone is enlightened but rather that a full expression of authentic unique essence is a genuine possibility and therefore a genuine delighted obligation for every living being. In other words, it is the joy and responsibility of Answering the Call.
There is an enormous amount of wisdom in both Walsh’s and Gafni’s books, and I am not yet finished, I am hopeful that both of these books can communicate effectively with my brothers and sisters on the path. I have purchased extra copies of both books for my family and friends.
Marc Gafni’s Your Unique Self at Amazon or fine book stores everywhere.
Neale Donald Walsh’s The Only Thing That Matters at Amazon or fine book stores everywhere.