3 — Seduce Thyself Into Knowing: Un-furnishing the Eyes of Consciousness
A Note to the Reader
This piece is a lightly edited transcript of a live talk given by Dr. Marc Gafni on the weekly broadcast One Mountain, Many Paths, founded by Gafni and his evolutionary partner Barbara Marx Hubbard. Thus, the style of the piece is the spoken word and not a formal essay.
Edited and prepared for publication by Elena Maslova-Lenin and Krista Josepha.
Reality is a love story, and we are that story
Between utopia and dystopia
Every week we do a recapitulation of the Dharma — the First Values and First Principles that we are articulating — in this moment poised between utopia and dystopia:
- A utopia that’s unimaginable. A level of human depth, and human thriving, and human joy, and human capacitating of goodness, truth, and beauty — unrivaled in human history.
- And dystopia, a degradation of humanity. A degradation so intense that it becomes existential risk — the death of humanity.
Existential risk has been termed as such by Nick Bostrom at the beginning of the 2000s. It was a good term to describe something that had been well articulated in the 50 years before by people like Robert Jay Lifton, in a book called Facing Apocalypse.
Existential risk — in other words, risk to our very existence.
At this moment in time, there is a catastrophic risk, which causes suffering to billions of people, and particularly to the least advantaged; to the half of the planet, or to two-thirds of the planet, that are vulnerable in a very, very radical way.
Now, we are all vulnerable, and the illusion of safety is an illusion. But the vulnerability of a third of the planet at the lowest socio-economic level, and then even the next third, is intensely more stark and more dangerous, than the upper third or fourth or fifth of the planet.
The catastrophic risk means a devastation to the billions of the most vulnerable,
But existential risk is a threat to the existence of humanity itself, which is real.
Over the next several hundred years, let’s say 100–800 years, according to the best crunching of the numbers, the actuarial tables of human continuity, there’s a very significant possibility of us disappearing.
And it will not happen because a meteor strikes the Earth.
The disappearance will happen because of the animating algorithm we have created at the center of our culture.
It is an algorithm of the interiors, the algorithm that’s running our interiors — which means story. The interior algorithm of humanity is a story — because we live, and think, and are animated by stories.
The animating energy of Reality today is the algorithm of success story
This story at the center of our culture is a success story. We called it Success 2.0 in a conference we did six years ago.
- Success 1.0 is the classical success of the premodern, Medieval Period: success within my religion, and obedience to God.
- Success 2.0, the modern story of Reality, is rivalrous conflict, governed by win-lose metrics, in which I have to get ahead and self-commodify in order to exist — and it is win-lose metrics all the way up and all the way down.
For example, there’s a race to the bottom. It’s called the tragedy of the commons, multipolar traps.
- We know that there are certain kinds of, for example, artificial intelligence that we should not develop, and we make an agreement not to develop it.
- But because win-lose metrics is the animating ethos, or story, of Reality, everyone’s afraid that someone else is going to break the agreement and do it.
- Since they’re going to do it, since they’re going to secretly create that kind of artificial intelligence — and therefore they will dominate and destroy and control us — then we have to do it as well.
- And so, even though we all know that kind of artificial intelligence, for example (that’s just an example of one existential risk) should not be created, we create it anyways because of the multipolar trap that if we don’t, they will.
Because the animating energy of Reality today is the algorithm of the success story. That’s what drives the system in a thousand ways that we’ve talked about many times here.
◆ What we understand is that there is only one response that’s actually effective from a human perspective, and the response has to be the telling of a New Story.
◆ A new algorithm is a New Story of intrinsic value
We have to actually download a new algorithm. Not an exterior science algorithm, but, if you will, an interior algorithm. I’m using the word “algorithm” in the interior sense, mytho-poetically.
◆ A new algorithm is a New Story of intrinsic value, rooted in First Principles and First Values, that tells a different story about who we are, and ushers in a new human and a new humanity.
In response to what used to be called Armageddon, and is now called existential risk — we offer a Messianic vision.
- Not the old Messianic vision, not the old vision of Messiah as a response to Armageddon.
- But rather — the new vision, the new human and the new humanity: Homo Sapiens becoming Homo Amor. The New Story of what it means to be a human being. A new way of being human, which becomes the new source code of Reality itself, and its interior rhythms, is the single most effective response we have to existential risk.
That means it is the single, greatest, and most potent, and most necessary response to the possible advent of the greatest suffering for the greatest number of human beings that’s ever been known in history.
That is what we’re doing here at One Mountain.
If I sound urgent about it, I am urgent about it. But it is an ecstatic urgency.
- It is an ecstatic urgency — because what a privilege to be a human being, and to be in this conversation, and to be working together to evolve the source code.
- It is an ecstatic urgency — because in the end, in whatever dimension, however Reality plays out in its multi-dimensionality, I understand that Reality is a love story. That it’s moving towards, ultimately, ever-greater and deeper forms of goodness, truth, and beauty; to ever-greater and deeper forms of love. That we participate in that story.
We are not living in the story; we are the story. We are both the storytellers of Reality, so we tell the story — and we are creating the story, so we’re actually enacting the story.
It’s so insanely beautiful.
- We have to tell the New Story by gathering new information and reweaving that information into a new whole. That’s what the New Story is — we are gathering the best strands of validated gnosis (information) from premodern traditional, modern, and postmodern knowing, weaving it together in a new way to enact a New Story of value.
- Then we don’t just enact that story of value, we don’t just tell that story of value, we are that story; we be the story.
◆ We become the new human, and we actually cross to the other side.
We are here to actually enact a new Reality
In one of the original texts of civilization, when they tell the story of one of the crossers to the other side, they name him the Hebrew, Avraham ha Ivri “Abraham, the Hebrew”. The word Hebrew means, le’avra akher ivri “he crosses to the other side”.
That’s what we are here to do:
- we are here to cross to the other side;
- to tell the New Story of value, and to cross to the other side.
So who is up for it, who wants to cross to the other side?
That’s what we are here to do.
It’s not just a podcast, although I guess it is a podcast.
It’s not just the One Mountain Many Paths broadcast, although it totally is One Mountain, Many Paths.
But we are here as revolutionaries.
We are here to actually enact a new Reality.
We are here to actually move from Homo sapiens to Homo amor:
- a human being who is the unique configuration of Evolutionary Love;
- a human being who is an irreducibly unique expression of the LoveIntelligence and LoveBeauty that’s the initiating and animating Eros of All-That-Is, that lives in us, as us, and through us.
So who is ready to cross to the other side?
Let us set our intention. Are we ready to cross to the other side, who’s ready?
I am ready.
Can we do this together?
Can we cross to the other side together?
Who is on the other side?
Let’s go the whole way in this lifetime.
My beloved evolutionary partner, Barbara Marx Hubbard, used to say:
Marc, are you ready to go the whole way in this lifetime?
Barbara, who is with us today — because there’s continuity of consciousness, and all the dimensions are related to each other — Barbara, who passed three years ago, I am with you and you are with me, and there is continuity.
Let us hold hands, and let’s turn to each other — all of us.
Are we ready to cross to the other side?
Are we ready to go the whole way in this lifetime?
◆ Are we ready to be the evolutionary impulse in love that stands at the abyss of darkness and says, let’s tell a New Story of value, let there be light!
Yes, we are excited about it.
Unbearable tragedy and unbearable joy
We are wildly excited about it, we are ecstatically urgent, and we cry out of one side of our eyes at the unbearable tragedy of someone shooting children.
— What does that even mean that someone shoots children, in the United States, in Texas?
The unbearable tragedy in the Sudan.
The unbearable tragedy in Ethiopia.
The unbearable tragedies playing out in Russia and the Ukraine,
— and any place, and every place in the world.
Yet, understand: at the same time that there is unbearable tragedy, there is exponentially more unbearable joy.
◆ Human beings are committing billions of Outrageous Acts of Love every second. Human beings are breathing and living love, despite the fact that the story is breaking down.
We need to now reanimate the story, and we need to up-level.
We need to participate in the evolution of love.
But human beings are gorgeous; human beings are beautiful. We need to articulate, as humanity, the next vision of what it means to be human.
That’s what we are here to do together.
Oh my God, what a crazy, insane joy and delight, to be here together!
Thank you, everyone.
We’re going to talk about Seduce yourself, and we’re going to talk about music, and we’re going to talk about how we see, and how we arouse, and how we awaken, and what that means, and how that changes my life and my relationships, and how I be in the world literally forever and ever.
Becoming lineage holders in the great tradition
I just want to talk about one thing for a second. Kristina Tahel mentioned briefly, she said we were celebrating Claire this week, and that Claire was a lineage holder in the Unique Self Institute.
I am going to be a little more precise here. We have a group of people who are lineage holders: we have been studying together for — some of us over a decade, some of us a little less or a little more — and we have been deep in these First Principles and First Values.
◆ These First Principles and First Values are an expression of a lineage that we are creating.
By lineage, we mean:
- It is rooted in the depth of the validated insights of the ancient traditions, and integrated with that depth,
- and in the depths of the best gnosis of modernity,
- and the best insight of postmodernity,
- but grounded in all of the depth of gnosis that’s actually moving within the community.
Someone who steps into that, and who masters a piece of it and studies intently, becomes what the great traditions called a lineage holder.
It is very different from the human potential movement, or the New Age world, or the fundamentalist world. We are actually borrowing a page from the great traditions, which spoke in terms of lineage, meaning we are creating this body of knowing.
We are going to talk about how we create that body of knowing today.
That’s what today’s topic is, how do you seduce yourself into this gnosis, into this body of knowing?
That’s the same thing as — how do you become the new human,
— which is the same thing as how do you become Homo amor,
— which is the same thing as how do I become an Outrageous Lover?
That is how I respond to existential and catastrophic risk,
— which is how I evolve the source code of consciousness and culture,
— which is the evolution of love.
It’s all part of the same fabric.
But we are calling that a lineage holder, and what that means is:
— there’s a depth of lineage,
— there’s a depth of transmission,
— there’s a depth of rigor,
— there’s a depth of commitment,
— there’s a depth of study,
— there’s a depth of practice.
To be a lineage holder means that I actually step in — often I have the privilege of doing what we call Holy of Holies (private study), and we study also in a group context — and I become a master of one piece of this new meta-theory, this new lineage, this vision of First Values and First Principles.
Of course, anyone is welcome.
◆ In this lineage, it is all about individuating as the most powerful and gorgeous and magnificent version of your Unique Self, to play your instrument in the Unique Self symphony. Articulating that is what we’re about.
At the Festival this summer — we have been wanting to do this for the last three or four years, but we ran into COVID and other challenges — for the first time, we are going to have an empowerment ceremony for lineage holders.
Claire is one of those lineage holders, and she is in the lineage of the entire set of First Principles and First Values, with a particular concentration and focus on Unique Self;
— the Unique Self teaching,
— the Unique Self enlightenment teaching,
— the Unique Self theory,
— the Unique Self psychological theory,
— the Unique Self coaching.
We are partnering and enacting a Unique Self Institute, which Claire will be presenting in the next several months, which will be the holder of this Unique Self, this particular piece of First Values and First Principles.
We are a band of Outrageous Lovers
Everybody is welcome.
At the center of the community is a revolution — a revolution of love, in response to present and potential suffering, in response to existential risk. This community is evolution awakening to itself, and the one ground rule of the community is Outrageous Love.
Meaning: we don’t get lost in politics. In other words, we work things out.
There are issues that come up, but we do it with an enormous sense, to the best of our ability, of sincerity, clarity, joy, laughter, and hopefully, with strategy and with skill, and with wisdom. We don’t bypass issues, we work through them.
This is a place, I hope and pray, and I am super proud of our community, where the inside of the community and the outside of the community are the same.
There are no backrooms filled — as they often are — with all sorts of things that violate what is being spoken in public.
◆ We are doing our best to be the new human, to be lived as love, which is what we need to do to actually invoke this new human and the new humanity.
So when Kristina Tahel referred to a lineage holder, I just wanted to explain what that is. I just wanted to share a little bit of a fragrance of what our lineage is.
Perhaps one more thing… we are saying:
▪ At the center of the community is not one person.
▪ At the center of the community is the First Principles and First Values.
▪ At the center of community is the vision.
▪ At the center of the community, yes, there’s hopefully strong teaching, and there’s strong student-ing, and there are new emergent teachers.
Because this revolution is going to happen when there are twenty strong and powerful teachers, who then raise up themselves twenty more strong and powerful teachers, who are committed, who are rigorous, who are uniquely creative, playing their Unique Self instrument in the Unique Self Symphony.
Transmission is critical.
Living presence is critical.
The transmission of the inner quality of the Dharma is critical.
The articulation of it is critical.
But in the end, it can never be dependent on one person. Different individual people hold it at different times.
But then it’s transmitted to people, they receive it, and they mediate and refract it through the prism of their Unique Selves.
◆ There is a radical commitment, there is a Unique Self creativity, and there is a higher individuation beyond ego. And what emerges is a planetary awakening in love through Unique Self Symphonies.
Does it get much better than that?
I don’t think so.
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Reality needs you to seduce yourself to your own greatness
This week’s evolutionary code says: there’s no love without seduction.
Our topic this week is Seduce yourself, and we are in a series of talks (this is the forth one), around this topic of Seduce yourself.
The Delphic Oracle said: Know Thyself.
But this know is carnal: Adam knew his wife Eve.
Sense-making is sensual.
To know yourself is to make sense out of yourself, even as we stand before the mystery.
◆ Carnal knowledge, the sensuality of sense-making — in the CosmoErotic Universe, in the Amorous Kosmos, which is a love story — requires seduction.
Because seduction itself is a First Principle and First Value of Kosmos.
Two weeks ago, we talked about these two kinds of seduction:
- We talked about an unholy seduction, in which I seduce someone to break their appropriate boundary for the sake of my greed.
- It is juxtaposed with sacred seduction, in which I seduce someone to break their contracted boundary, the boundary of their limitation, for the sake of their own deepest need.
Of course, that applies not just to the seduction of other, but even more profoundly, to self-seduction.
Seduce thyself is the new Oracle.
◆ The Homo Amor Oracle is: Seduce Thyself. This means: I have to seduce myself to break the boundary of my limitation, and the boundary of my contraction, because that is my own deepest need.
It’s not only my own deepest need, but as Meir ibn Gabbai, a great interior scientist of the 16th century, writes, avodah tzorech gavoha “Reality needs your service”.
- Reality needs you to seduce yourself to your own greatness.
We are going to talk about that deeply this week, because that’s going to lead us to next week, which is about confessing your greatness.
Two weeks ago, we said: wisdom is to distinguish between holy and unholy seduction; holy seduction seduces upwards, unholy seduction seduces downwards.
- Unholy seduction: I seduce you to violate your appropriate boundary for the sake of my greed.
- Holy seduction: I seduce you to transcend the boundary of the limitation of your contraction, for the sake of your and Reality’s deepest need.
Let’s add to that.
If the penultimate human self is a Separate Self, if Separate Self is the end of the whole story — a Separate Self defined by their boundaries — then Don’t violate my boundaries. That is how a Separate Self defines themselves. If that is the penultimate human — which is how Western society generally understands the human being — then, if I seduce you to violate your separate self, I am causing you to regress. Because if separate self is the penultimate — that’s the personal — then the only place to go is down, to the pre-personal.
- But if I understand that there is a larger field of existence in which you live, and the larger field in which you live is your True Self — you actually participate in the seamless code of the universe, you participate in the field of desire, True Self. The total number of True Selves is one (as Ervin Schrodinger, the physicist, wrote: the singular that has no plural).
- Then you seduce yourself even more deeply, into your Unique Self, which is your irreducible unique individuation of the field of True Self. Unique Self is the unique set of eyes, the unique quality of intimacy, and the unique capacity. That individuated expression of the field of True Self, of the field of consciousness and desire, that is you and that is me, that’s your Unique Self.
- Then I locate that Unique Self in an evolutionary context. This wider evolutionary context, in which I realize I am uniquely evolution, and evolution is throbbing and pulsing in me. That’s Evolutionary Unique Self.
- Then, as an Evolutionary Unique Self in this larger evolutionary context — I am a unique expression of the Eros of Kosmos, I am a unique expression of Evolutionary Love — I then take up my instrument and play my music in the Unique Self Symphony.
- This self-organizing and self-actualizing Kosmos through Unique Self Symphonies, in which each of us, individually and together in groups of Unique Self, address the unique needs in our unique circle of intimacy and influence. Then we generate Homo amor. That’s what Homo amor is, that’s the new human and the new humanity.
If that’s seduction, if you seduce yourself to that — then seduce thyself!
Then we have to seduce each other to our True Self, we have to seduce each other to our Unique Self, and we have to seduce each other to our Evolutionary Unique Self. We have to seduce each other musically to join the Unique Self Symphony.
That is our context.
The music that seduces us lives inside of us
Now, what we want to do this week is take this one huge step further. We are not just repeating yesterday.
We’ve got to madly and dramatically fly!
We’ve got to break through now and understand First Principles and First Values in a whole new way.
Here we go. I’m going to start with the end of where we want to go today. I know we are in the middle, but I am going to jump to the end. I’m going to put the end on the table, then let’s go back to the beginning, and then get us back to the end.
Our topic is Seduce thyself.
What does it mean, to seduce yourself?
This is our third week, our third meditation on seduction.
◆ These are meditations on seduction to invoke the new human and the new humanity; meditations on seduction to seduce ourselves from Homo sapiens to Homo amor, to cross to the other side.
Let me introduce something about this topic that we all know intuitively, and I would call that topic music.
The most powerful instrument of seduction is clearly music.
Music changes our mood, and the move from Homo sapiens to Homo Amor takes place when we change our mood, and then when we change the mood of culture.
Heidegger was not wrong when he said everything’s about mood.
Mood is the fundamental category of Reality itself.
So we have to change our mood.
We have to deepen our mood.
Music changes our mood at its core.
It was Aldous Huxley who reminded us that music discloses the blessedness that is at the heart of all things.
It has been here from the beginning of time.
The preponderance of music — its rhythms, melodies, and lyrics — speak of love.
Music is about love songs.
It may be personal love, or its loss. It may be the love of spirit, of nature, of country, or their loss. But music is always about love: its agonies and ecstasies, its devotions and demands, its rapture and ravaging. That’s always at the center of music.
Music is love songs in all of their myriad forms.
And music itself is the inner form of mathematics.
The avowedly anti-materialist, transcendentalist woman, Margaret Fuller (a close colleague of the New England Transcendentalists) — she died at age 40, a brilliant woman — she echoes the pre-Socratic Pythagoreans when she writes:
“All truth is comprised in music and mathematics.”
But music itself does not exist before the manifest world of matter emerges.
There is no music before there is matter, for sound itself is made of matter.
Sound is an expression of one of the earliest forms of matter, gravitational waves.
Gravitational waves — disclosed by Einstein’s mathematical formula, but discovered experimentally only in 2015 with the help of a three-kilometer long tuning fork, if you will — the gravitational waves that form music are an expression of time.
Music is an expression of time — which is not separate from space, as disclosed in Einstein’s theory of relativity, rooted in mathematics.
So we live in, and we are composed of, the spacetime continuum.
Music, at its core, is made up not of notes of sound. Rather, music is made up of what sound is at its core.
Music is made up of atoms of time.
- If you go back to the Big Bang, when the single point of the singularity stretches itself out in a line, time is birthed into Reality.
- Within that line of time, there is continuity; moments distinguish themselves.
- It is the distinction of moments that allows for chords and harmonies.
- It is in the distinction of moments, in the break in the continuity of time, that rhythm and melody are born.
Now this gets wild.
Once we realize that music is the stuff of time, and that we ourselves are made of time, then we further realize that we are made of music.
Let me say that again.
- We ourselves are made of time, because time is part of the spacetime continuum. It is part of matter.
- That original matter in the first nanoseconds of the Big Bang, when the spacetime continuum is born, lives in us. We are composed of it.
- Once we realize that music is the stuff of time, and that we ourselves are made of time, we further realize that we are made of music.
◆ So the music that seduces us lives inside of us.
Cleansing the doors of perception: Un-furnish your eyes
That was the end — and now let’s go back to the beginning.
How do we seduce ourselves?
- We seduce ourselves by knowing the true nature of Reality.
- Seduction is knowledge, it’s carnal knowledge.
– It’s Know Thyself, which means: love yourself open, make love, and birth your highest self, through knowing your true nature and knowing the nature of Reality.
When I know the nature of Reality, what do I know?
- I know that Reality is Eros, at its core.
- Reality is love. Not love which is mere human sentiment — but love which is the heart of existence itself.
- Love is Eros, the heart of existence itself, that lives uniquely in me.
- I am a unique configuration of Eros that participates in the field of Eros.
- I know that Eros is real, that love is real.
- That Reality is not merely a fact, Reality is a story.
- That story is a First Value and First Principle of Kosmos, and that story is a love story.
- It’s a story of Eros and the evolution of Eros.
I have to seduce myself to that knowledge.
◆ I have to seduce myself to that gnosis that lives in me. To do that, I have to un-furnish my eyes.
How did Emily Dickinson write it?
“Not “Revelation” — ’tis — that waits, but our unfurnished eyes.”
If I would but cleanse the doors of perception, then I would realize that everything I look upon is infinite, wrote William Blake.
So I’ve got to un-furnish my eyes.
But what eyes do I have to un-furnish?
Barbara and I talked about this a lot, and I am going to talk about them in a completely new way.
1. The Eye of the Flesh / The Eye of the Senses
The first eye is what we might call the eye of the flesh, or the eye of the senses.
The eye of the flesh, or the eye of the senses, is empirical, meaning I have direct access to gnosis or knowledge.
- I want to know if it’s raining outside — I go outside and I put my hand out. Oh, there’s rain, it’s raining. Okay, got it, it’s raining.
- I do an experiment, or what Thomas Kuhn called an injunction. I get a result, an illumination, a new gnosis, a new piece of knowledge.
- Then, as Karl Popper said, it’s verifiable, because I can ask someone else to do that same injunction or that same experiment, and if they do it consistently and rigorously, they’ll get some version of the same result.
That’s the eye of the senses.
Now, not modern, true science — not classical science — but scientism, the dogmas of modern science, made a claim. It said, the only real empiricism on which valid science is based is the empiricism of the eye of the senses, and a second eye that we are about to describe.
They call it sensory empiricism: It’s only true if I can see it under a microscope, if the eye of the senses reveals it to me.
The eye of the senses might be my eyes, it might be a telescope, it might be a microscope, it might be an fMRI machine charting the waves of the brain, it might be the Hubble telescope.
But the eye of the senses, or the eye of the flesh — that’s the first eye — operates together with a second eye.
The second eye can see dimensions of Reality that the first eye can’t see.
Now, you need the eye of the senses, you can’t move without them, and you have to develop them very deeply.
But they are insufficient, because there are all sorts of things you can’t see with the eye of the senses.
— the eye of the senses can’t see mathematics.
— They can’t see logic.
— They can’t see moral reasoning, or classical political reasoning.
2. The Eye of the Mind / The Eye of Reason
Moral reasoning, mathematics, and logic are available, not to the eye of the senses, but to the second eye, and we’ll give it two different names. We might call that the eye of the mind, or the eye of reason.
Those two eyes, though, cannot tell me anything about that which matters most to me.
They can only tell me that which lives in the world of the measurable (or at least, that’s the way it’s usually understood.)
- Because they can’t tell me about love, and surely, they can’t tell me that love is real.
- They can’t tell me about loyalty.
- They can’t really tell me about spirit.
- They can’t tell me about value.
- They can’t tell me about the immeasurable;
- They can’t tell me about the priceless.
So the eye of the senses and the eye of the mind tell me important things about the measurable, and they tell me important things about the commodifiable.
— They allow for modern science.
— They give me massive empirical information.
◆ The eye of the senses gives me sensory empiricism, and the eye of the mind gives me what we might call mental empiricism.
But they can’t tell me about consciousness.
3. The Eye of Consciousness
I want to introduce a third eye, and I want to call it the eye of consciousness.
The third eye has four expressions.
- One is the eye of the heart: that which I see through the heart. The Sufis use that word a lot.
- The second, used more often by, let’s say, the Buddhist world or the Vedanta world — let’s call it the eye of contemplation.
- A third word, which I coined a bunch of months ago, we’ll call it the eye of value.
- A fourth word, used by Christian mystics, the eye of the spirit.
These are four expressions of the eye of consciousness.
Now we are articulating this new understanding in First Values and First Principles. There’s an eye of consciousness, and it has four expressions.
But what’s the difference between these four expressions?
Are these just overlapping or inter-included?
Well, they are, they are all expressions to the eye of consciousness.
But each expression of the Eye of Consciousness involves a somewhat different practice, a somewhat different injunction.
I’m going to do this just very loosely in two minutes, although this takes several hours to unpack.
But just to get it for a second, let’s say the eye of contemplation might involve meditation. The eye of the heart might be opened through the practice of loving.
- In the eye of contemplation, you might sit Zazen in Buddhism; you might meditate your way to enlightenment.
- In the eye of the heart, you might do what I like to call loving your way to enlightenment. The actual injunction, the practice is to be an Outrageous Lover. The practice is not meditating; the practice is to love.
Now those eyes, of course, can live together with each other. But the question is, what’s the primary practice?
The primary practice in the eye of the heart is love. To become an Outrageous Lover, to write Outrageous Love Letters.
It is not cute.
It is not sweet.
It is not lovely.
It is the ultimate practice.
It is the injunction that opens the eye of the heart — that you actually love your way into being Homo amor.
- The eye of value, the third expression of the eye of consciousness, means you actually see value directly. You see goodness, and you identify goodness, and you understand that goodness is a discernment of the eye of value.
So, you say, Reality should be fair. Why should Reality be fair? Because your eye of value discerns that fairness, or justice, or Lady Justice, is an expression of the field of consciousness.
You discern Reality through ethics, and there’s kind of an ethical mono-pantheism. Ethos suffuses Reality, value suffuses Reality, Reality is a field of value, and you’re able to discern value directly, so you enter through the door of value.
- Finally, the fourth expression of the eye of consciousness, the eye of the spirit, comes from doing ritual. I actually do ritual in a particular tradition; I do ceremony, I study sacred texts. In other words, I engage in the classical expressions of the spiritual, which give me direct access to the field of spirit, or to the field of consciousness.
So these four eyes is have different practices, and each one opens a somewhat different quality of the field of the Infinite, the field of the True Self, or the field of consciousness.
Reality all the way up and all the way down is pan-interiority
Now we are about to make the leap.
It is about to get crazy wild beautiful. This is a big huge next step.
I have been thinking about this day and night for the last two weeks — to try and clarify this, so we can actually move First Principles and First Values forward.
We are used to thinking in the way that pre-modernists thought about it — although they didn’t use these terms exactly.
But in the medieval period, they thought that the three eyes were distinct from each other — to the extent that they understood these three eyes. Although they didn’t use the eye of consciousness — they didn’t have the breakdown into the four expressions of the eye of consciousness — but they had the general distinction between, let’s say, the eye of flesh, the eye of reason, and the eye of the spirit.
But what did they think?
They believed in the great chain of being.
The great chain of being is a partial important truth of Reality, and Arthur Lovejoy wrote a very important book on the great chain of being.
It is the understanding that there is this movement in Reality from matter (the inanimate), to life (the biological world), to mind (the world of culture), to the soul (the ensouled expression of the human being, which is more individual), and then to spirit:
- Matter: the physio-sphere.
- Life: the biosphere.
- Mind: what de Chardin, the Jesuit paleontologist, might have called the noosphere, or the world of mind.
- Soul: the spiritual quality of the individual human being.
- Then, spirit: the field of Spirit.
Now, here’s the thing.
What the medievalists assumed, and most of the great religions still assume, is that matter is at the bottom, and soul and spirit are on top.
— That means if science, for example, talks about matter, then science talks about the bottom stuff.
— Or if science talks about life, that’s number two towards the bottom.
— Or the social sciences might talk about mind.
— But the real stuff and the high stuff, soul and spirit — that’s for religion.
That’s a mistake.
It is not that matter (exteriors) is at the bottom, and then spirit or soul, which we might call interiors, are at the top. That’s a mistake, not true.
- Rather, it is interiors and exteriors all the way up and all the way down. I call that pan-interiority (a new name created about a year ago, late at night): Reality is interiors and exteriors all the way up and all the way down.
That’s why, for example, you can take a medicine journey. You can decide to take a certain kind of psychedelic journey, and — I’m not suggesting this — you might ingest a certain plant, and that plant might affect your physiology, and then your physiology will open you up to the eye of consciousness.
Well, how could that be true? If matter is at the bottom, and soul and spirit are on top (exteriors are at the bottom, and interiors are on top), then they have nothing to do with each other.
We have to re-vision the great chain of being. Reality all the way up and all the way down is pan-interiority.
◆ It is interiors and exteriors all the way up and all the way down.
Now, this is really important. So what that then tells me is, is that it’s one field of Reality.
It’s one Eros.
It’s one heart.
It’s one consciousness.
It’s one world.
It’s one Reality.
It’s not a fragmented and fractured Reality.
Therefore, if that’s true, then really,
— these three eyes are not separate from each other.
— These three eyes are inter-included with each other; they’re interdigitated.
— The three eyes are really three expressions of one eye.
It is not true that in order to seduce yourself, you have to transcend the world of matter.
It is not true that you have to transcend (end the trance) of the body, and play a harp.
No, music itself is of the world of matter. Harps are not in heaven. Harps are an expression of the material universe itself.
When you go to the depth of any of the eyes, they are actually going to show you. If you use all three of them together, you will seduce yourself into the knowing that Reality is a love story.
Let me say that sentence again.
If you deploy all three eyes together as expressions of the one eye, you will actually be able to know directly, in your own being-ness,
- that the very core of Reality is Eros,
- that you participate in that Eros,
- that Eros is real,
- that Eros has a narrative arc and a story,
- that that story is a love story,
- and that you participate in that love story.
To seduce myself, it is not enough to deploy the eye of the senses, or the eye of the mind
A new paradigm in science doesn’t give you this knowing
But you don’t know that, for example, by studying the new sciences. That’s not true.
You don’t say: Oh, let me study the new physics, or let me study systems theory or complexity theory (Systems theory is the beginning, and then complexity theory is systems theory plus the new mathematics that became possible when computers were introduced).
You don’t say: I’m going to study the new physics (which are now a hundred years old), or I’m going to study General Dynamics theory, which later becomes systems theory and complexity theory and chaos theory, and I’m going to therefore have this understanding that Reality is a love story.
No, you can study systems theory and chaos theory, or the new physics, and still be dogmatically committed to the world being materialist.
Even though you see that the world is, for example, a system, you say it is a system of interconnected flatland its.
There were many theorists of the Western world enlightenment, who were materialists, who said the world’s not atomistic — it’s not atomized, it’s not separate parts — it’s all one system.
Because they were arguing about whether the material world is constructed from atomized separate parts, or is it a system? But it’s a system of “reductive materialist its.”
You can open up the eye of the mind, you can be an expert in muons and the mathematics involved with muons — as Steven Weinberg was, for example, or as Hawking was, in other dimensions, studying black holes and more — and be a complete materialist, completely amoral, and have no sense of the universe being a love story.
That’s really important.
The myth that there’s a new paradigm in science that gives you The Universe: A Love Story is not true.
Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t critically need the eye of the senses and the eye of the mind, we do.
But the three eyes inter-animate each other.
Take Ramanujan, the great mathematician from India (who was noticed by Harding, who was at Cambridge, in Collingwood). Ramanujan says:
Mathematics doesn’t exist for me unless it lives in the mind of the infinite.
So Ramanujan — who opens the eye of contemplation and the eye of the spirit and the eye of the heart — when he looks at the field of mathematics, he sees the shimmering field of Eros.
- When I look at complexity theory after I have opened the eye of the heart, I have direct access to a trans-logical field.
- I have direct access, not to pre-rational, but to a trans-mind field, where I’m actually living in the field of consciousness.
- I have opened the eye of consciousness, and the eye of consciousness is pulsing with the heart of the Kosmos.
- I have removed the blocks and I have realized that at my core, I am the substance of love, which is the fabric of Reality.
- Once I have that direct realization, I’m not speaking about it, I am it.
I am writing Outrageous Love Letters, so I am opening the eye of the heart. It’s our core practice. I write Outrageous Love Letter to myself, to trees, to Reality, to a moment in time. (In a couple of weeks, I hope we’ll spend maybe just an entire One Mountain talking about Outrageous Love Letters, about that practice.)
But once I have opened the eye of the heart, let’s say through Outrageous Love Letters and chants
⁃ or I’ve opened the eye of contemplation through deep Zazen meditation.
⁃ or I profoundly practice ritual, and I read sacred texts, and I open the eye of the spirit.
⁃ or I live in the vivified sense of the very goodness of Reality, the pulsing goodness, the eye of intrinsic value.
— once I open those eyes, when I then turn back to the eye of the mind, and I look at complexity theory, I realize that complexity theory is not a system of “interconnected its.” Complexity theory is the mathematics of intimacy, and intimacy is the interior of interconnectivity. We live in an Intimate Universe, and complexity theory is the mathematics of intimacy, and intimacy is the interior of interconnectivity.
◆ In other words, when I use the eyes together, then I seduce myself to the knowing that Reality is a love story.
The player of music becomes the music
Let’s go to sex for a second.
When I open the eye of the heart, then sex becomes love in the body.
When Krishna and Radha merge in ecstatic union, that’s because sexing is love in the body.
In other words, let’s say sex is the eye of the senses. It’s one of the five senses; it’s touch.
But when I open the eye of the senses (touch), merged with the eye of the heart, then I realize that sex is love in the body.
Sex is cosmic Eros performed in the flesh.
That’s the same thing that happens in music.
What is music?
Music is not merely sound.
Music is sound which is itself atoms of time, and time is part of the spacetime continuum.
So we are made of time, and music is made of time, which means we are made of music.
It is not just that music affects us, music lives in us.
Music is the eye of the senses in its most exquisite form,
which then collapses into the eye of the heart,
the eye of contemplation,
and the eye of spirit.
Take a look at the Book of 2 Kings, Chapter 3, Verse 13, Benjamin and Elisha.
Elisha, the prophet, turns to his colleague and he says, I want to open up the eye of the spirit, the heart. He says, we-atah qekhu li menagenn: take for me a player of music, vehayah kenagenn ha-menagenn: and when the minstrel (the music player) plays music.
That’s the literal translation.
But in Hebrew, it means when the player of music becomes the music. So in the interior sciences, we say the player of music becomes the music, because I am the music. Music seems like the eye of the spirit, but it’s actually the eye of the senses and the eye of the spirit together.
Pythagoras already pointed out that music and mathematics are actually the inner and outer face of each other.
Mathematics is the eye of the mind.
Music is both the eye of the senses and the eye of the spirit.
We are made of music, and music is made of matter.
Sound is made of matter.
We are music, we are sound.
It lives in us.
The spacetime continuum, which is the structure of music, lives inside of us.
The music is mathematics.
It’s the eye of the mind.
Music is what awakens the Prophet in me,
what awakens Homo amor in me.
◆ To seduce myself, it is not enough to deploy the eye of the senses, or the eye of the mind. I have to deploy the eye of consciousness, in all of its four forms: the eye of spirit, the eye of the heart, the eye of value, and the eye of contemplation.
But the key is, I’ve got to deploy them together, with that understanding that it’s inter-included.
It’s one eye.
It’s one Reality.
It’s one heart.
It’s one Kosmos.
It’s one field.
◆ I seduce myself by seeing, by un-furnishing my eyes, by cleansing the doors of perception, by deploying all of the eyes together.
- Sex as love in the body.
- Music as the very quality which discloses — if we go back to Huxley — the blessedness at the heart of all things.
- Blessing is an interior, but music which is made of matter discloses that interior.
What we tried to lay out today was the path of seduction: How do we seduce ourselves?
Now we finish with prayer, and I know some people often drop off when we get to prayer. But if you can, stay. Because prayer is Leonard Cohen being King David, and King David writes the Book of Song Psalms, and the songs are music. I heard there was a secret cord that David knew, and it pleased the Lord. That’s the music. He plays with it, Leonard Cohen, he’s in the mystery of it.
We pray from that place of the music that opens the eye of the heart, so we pray to seduce ourselves.
Prayer itself is self-seduction: we seduce ourselves into Homo amor.
We seduce ourselves into our unique configuration of intimacy that’s known by the field of intimacy, by the Infinity of Intimacy that knows our name, and we become the music.
When we become the music, we become the prophet, like Elisha did in the book of Kings, and we become Homo amor.
That’s why all music is love songs. Music is love songs because music is one of the great seductions of Reality that lives inside of us.
It tells us that Reality is not merely a fact, discerned by the eye of the senses, and even the eye of the mind.
Reality is a story discerned by the eye of consciousness.
It’s not an ordinary story, it’s a love story.
It’s not an ordinary love story, it’s an Outrageous Love Story.
That my story, as an Outrageous Lover, is chapter and verse in The Universe: A Love Story.
That’s how we open up.
I actually want to make a different suggestion. This act of opening the eye is an act of opening up. So instead of going to Leonard Cohen, we’ll do that next week, maybe today, we’ll just do the practice of opening up.
My dear friend Yogananda had a take on it, so I’ll give you a take of it, and we’ll actually offer prayer from the place of this practice of opening up.
So the words are:
I am opening up in sweet surrender to the luminous love light of the One.
Once I know it’s a love story,
I know that every place I fall,
I fall into the hands of Outrageous Love,
into the hands of She.
So even when I fall, I rise.
I always rise again like a phoenix from the fire.
We are rising up like a phoenix from the fire. Brothers and sisters, spread your wings and fly higher!
THIS WEEK’S EVOLUTIONARY LOVE CODE:
There’s no love without seduction. Seduction is a First Principle and First Value of Kosmos. Wisdom is to distinguish between holy seduction and unholy seduction. Holy seduction seduces upwards; unholy seduction seduces downwards. Unholy seduction: I seduce you to violate your appropriate boundary for the sake of my greed. Holy seduction: I seduce you to transcend the boundary of your limitation — of your contraction — for the sake of yours and Reality’s deepest need. Everyone is seduced; the question is, to trust the right person to seduce you. Or people, or art, or music, or Dharma…