A Time Between Stories
Join Dr. Marc Gafni & Andrew Cohen In Dialogue
Second Dialogue on February 4th
"The Three Faces of God"
Barbara Marx Hubbard, Dr. Marc Gafni and Andrew Cohen had a several hours of profound dialogue for several months before Barbara passed.
She was very excited about Marc, Andrew and herself doing these dialogues.
We know and trust she will be with us in these upcoming public dialogues and animate them with her presence and consciousness.
This series of conversations between Marc Gafni and Andrew Cohen probes the intersection of absolute meaning and relative reality, within the context of the most destabilised and destabilising time in recent history.
Marc and Andrew will look deeply into the relentless challenge of being human, particularly at this unique moment in time, while simultaneously celebrating the profound cosmic and metaphysical significance of human incarnation.
Three Faces of God
All the great wisdom traditions – Kashmir Shaivism, Buddhism, Kabbalah, Sufism, Gnostic Christianity – speak of three faces of the divine, or the three faces of God.
The first face of God, or God in first person, is the direct experience of nondual being as “I”. Experienced in meditation and prayer, it refers to the subjective experience of God, in the form of satori and other ecstatic peak experiences of the divine – I am God.
The second face of God, or God in the second person, is the “I-Thou” relationship with the divine; the direct experience of God as “Thou” or the great “other”. Not my will but THY will be done; You are God.
The third face of God, or God in the third person, is the recognition of God as infinite cosmic process, the great eternal unfolding of life and creation in all its magnificence and complexity – ALL is God.
All spiritual traditions are capable of expressing these three faces of God or Spirit, but historically they have tended to gravitate heavily toward one or the other. This polarisation persists within contemporary culture; the academy prefers the third person, the ashram the first person, and the traditional church – in all its forms – the second person.
Herein lies the problem. Leave out any of the three faces – any of these three primordial perspectives – and humanity as a whole finds itself in a state of schism. We risk nothing less than societal fragmentation and breakdown unless we find a way to heal this schism.
To re-vision and recreate our future – humanity’s future – we need to articulate a personal, political and social vision which embraces all three in a dynamic wholeness, in a divine evolutionary tension.
But what would a truly Integral or post-postmodern interpretation and unification of these three faces or principles of God look like?
In this dialogue, Marc and Andrew will first articulate the mythic expression of the three faces of the divine and then – looking at God in all three persons – try to articulate an evolutionary vision of the same three faces.
A Time Between Stories
We are truly living in “a time between stories” – a phase-shift in human history. We face either unimaginable utopia or dystopia, and it is far from clear which of these two parallel universes we will ultimately choose.
The apparently sturdy, reliable, fixed structures that have held our world together are on the brink of collapse. We are collectively realizing that we are not too big to fail – and in the face of such overwhelming insecurity, we may well lose sight of our moral compass completely.
Cohen and Gafni both believe strongly that unless we are in control of our internal environment – in particular our capacity for radical sovereignty and sense-making – the outcome will be immeasurable suffering for billions of people.
Cohen asserts that such sovereignty naturally arises from the liberating power of what he terms “spiritual self-confidence” – a position of deep trust that arises out of an unshakable certainty in the absolute, and an anchoring of the self-sense in that which cannot be grasped by the mind.
Similarly, Gafni describes an intention to live one’s life as “Outrageous Love” – a condition in which true sovereignty and authentic spiritual self-confidence naturally come into being. Rather than a dogmatic assertion that “it is true”, Gafni speaks of a radical knowing that “I am true”.
Cohen’s approach has always been grounded in the direct experience of nondual enlightenment, and this transmission of the ground of being – prior freedom and unity consciousness – is absolutely foundational to his teaching. For Cohen, a profound inner breakthrough from which there is no return is a prerequisite.
However, Cohen’s pioneering realization is that such an awakening only begins to make a significant difference when it is shared, intersubjectively, between two or more individuals. He has long emphasized the need for enlightenment to make the evolutionary leap from the individual to the collective, and has pioneered practices which reliably enable profound intersubjective coherence.
Likewise, Gafni sees radical enlightenment in terms of a higher individuation beyond ego. What he calls the “Evolutionary Unique Self” participates in a new quality of consciousness – the evolutionary intimacy of a Unique Self Symphony. He describes the process of attainment as “loving your way to enlightenment”.
Gafni adds to this the need to democratize the possibility of human sovereignty, proposing a new “universal grammar of value” that integrates the best of premodern, modern and postmodern wisdom as a generator function for a new humanity. It is from within this shared human story woven from what he calls First Principle and First Values that Gafni envisions a radical re-making of policy and refashioning of culture.
Both Cohen and Gafni see a deep and abiding virtue in humanity - a truth, beauty and goodness that is real and tangible, even amid the sometimes painful limitations and vulnerabilities that we are reminded of, and humbled by, on a daily basis.
Both men agree that for spiritual attainment to mean something, it cannot be only rooted in the ego self personality, and that any basis for real change must include a new hierarchy of values that places radical spirit at the apex of our attention. What this actually means in terms of our models and practices for invoking the new human will be one of the key themes of these conversations
These two distinct but strongly aligned approaches to the wicked problems faced by humanity ultimately point in the same direction – only through a radical reorganization of our sense of value can our capacity for clear thinking, feeling and sense-making be unleashed.
About Dr. Marc Gafni & Andrew Cohen
Marc Gafni and Andrew Cohen are spiritual teachers and thought leaders who share a strong foundation in an evolutionary approach to spiritual awakening and practice. Both are original and innovative thinkers who have produced pioneering bodies of work in evolutionary spirituality, and formulated many of its core tenets.
Their teachings uphold and demystify the foundational principles of traditional, modern and postmodern wisdom streams, weaving them together into an integral whole. The aim of these dialogues is to generate a creative and dynamic evolutionary tension – to catalyze an awakening to higher and deeper states and stages of consciousness, liberating insights and life-affirming perspectives.
The dialogues will unfold organically over time as an inspiring example of emergent spirituality in action – one that gives rise to its own unique tapestry of coherence and meaning.
Dialogue on February 4th
"The Three Faces of God"
Register Now For Free
February 4th, 2021
"The Three Faces of God"
USA: 8am PST • 9am MST • 11am EST
UK: 4pm UTC
EUROPE: 5pm CET
INDIA: 9.30pm IST
Register for free below, and you will receive the zoom link to attend.