PART 5— Global Action Paralysis Caused by a Global Intimacy Disorder

“We need a new Declaration of Independence together with a new Declaration of Interdependence. Not only are all human beings created equal; all human beings are born creative and all human beings are irreducibly unique. Uniqueness unlike separateness is not the cause of alienation but the currency of connection. All human beings are already intimate, containing the whole and for the sake of the whole. In that precise sense, the unique creativity of every human being for her own sake and the sake of the whole is the purpose and joy of a human life. This realization moves us from the Democratization of Governance to the Democratization of Enlightenment.”

A Note to the Reader

This is part 5 in a series taken from a spontaneous 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.

This is an almost unedited and unplugged version of Dr. Gafni’s talk. Thus, the style of the piece is the spoken word and not a formal essay.

In this series of short excerpts from Dr. Gafni’s talk we explore the deeper meaning of Independence Day and more importantly of the existential challenges to Democracy itself, in this crucial moment in our history.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.

Global Intimacy Disorder

In order to heal the Global Intimacy Disorder, we need Global Coherence. Without Global Coherence, we can’t create global action.

We’re living in what we might call Global Action Paralysis. And that comes together with its twin Global Action Confusion. Meaning we’re either paralyzed to act or we’re acting in confused ways. Both of those happened all over the map again and again during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The source of the Global Action Paralysis and Global Action Confusion is a breakdown of global coherence. But the breakdown in coherence was caused by a deeper breakdown, what we call a Global Intimacy Disorder.

Without healing the Global Intimacy Disorder, we can’t create Global Coherence. In order to heal the Global Intimacy Disorder, we need an understanding of intimacy. That has been one of the key foci of our Think Tank over the last decade. We have formulated the last decade of work into a key formula in the interior sciences, equivalent roughly to what the relativity formula was in the exterior sciences.

The Intimacy Formula

This intimacy formula or equation is the core equation underlying the new constitution of the Declaration of Interdependence. It is the formula that constitutes the very structure of Reality itself.

Intimacy= shared identity, in the context of relative otherness x mutuality of recognition x mutuality of pathos x mutuality of value x mutuality of purpose.

The core of intimacy is shared identity in the context of relative otherness. If we only have an identity as a nation-state, we don’t have a shared identity. Our identity has to be, I’m a global citizen. I’m not just ethnocentric, I’m world-centric. This means I don’t just act for my own sake. I don’t just act for my family. I don’t just act for my nation. I act for the sake of the whole.

“I am a Global Citizen. I act for the sake of the whole.”

Mutuality of recognition means that we recognize each other as global citizens. So for example when we’re worried about tens of thousands of people starving in Ethiopia, it means we recognize those people. We recognize them and we don’t turn away.

We recognize that in Ethiopia, at this moment, there’s massive suffering and we place our attention there. That’s mutuality of recognition.

Mutuality of pathos means that we feel it and we raise a hue and a cry. It’s not okay and I can’t go about my day when that’s happening in Ethiopia. I can’t do business as usual when boats of refugees are sinking all over the Mediterranean Sea and there are no countries in Europe willing to organize and take those people.

We have a mutuality of pathos, which means that we feel each other.

Mutuality of value means that as global citizens, we have the shared grammar of value, that what unites us is greater than that which divides us.

Mutuality of purpose means we have a shared purpose in creating a world more beautiful world than we can possibly imagine. We have a shared purpose in creating a world that’s unimaginably gorgeous in which we’re participating together in the Evolution of Love. That’s what we need. That’s where we’re going. None of that is available through only a nation-state.

Only a Shared Global Story Creates Global Intimacy

Step one is to realize that all our problems are global, not local [for more on this take a quick look at our earlier conversation]. Step two is that in order to solve global issues, we need global coherence. How do we create global coherence? We create global coherence by healing the Global Intimacy Disorder.

And how do we do that? We do that by generating a shared identity with mutualities of recognition, pathos, value, and purpose.

Here is the key principle: Intimacy generates coherence.

To understand this, let’s take a look at a couple for a second. How do you get coherence in a couple? Whether it’s two friends, a husband and a wife, a brother, and a sister. How do you get coherence? You get coherence when there’s a sense of shared intimacy. Intimacy emerges from a shared story and that shared story is based on a shared value.

We only have intimacy, when there is a shared story based on shared values. We only have a genuine sense of intimacy based on a shared story, when we have mutualities of recognition, pathos, value, and purpose. That kind of intimacy generates the capacity to do shared sensemaking. And shared sense making then generates the possibility of global coherence.

What we need in the world today is a shared story. We need a common story.

But it has to be a shared story of value not just at the human level but with all of Reality.

We need to realize — and this is a huge sentence that we have talked about before — that the Intimacy Formula applies all the way down and all the way up the evolutionary chain. The same definition of intimacy operates in the atomic and molecular worlds as does in the biosphere and in the human self-reflective world. This tells us that we are part of the same One World, the same One Love, the same One Heart.

Now we begin to realize that we share identity with each other. We are all part of the same field of Eros. We are all interdependent.

If we only declare our independence, then we don’t realize we’re interdependent. We’re interlocking with each other. There’s no such thing as an individual who lives independently of everything.

Yes, we are individuated Unique Selves. But we are NOT Separate Selves. Unique Selves are unique expressions of the entire field. We’re Unique Selves, who are expressions of True Self. True Self is the interdependent field of consciousness. The interdependent field of cascading economic factors. The interdependent field of the plankton at the base of the ocean, that allows us to breathe and live. The insects deep in the soil, without which we wouldn’t be alive. The dead zones in the ocean that need to be healed for the biosphere to sustain us. It’s all one interconnected unit and we’re interconnected, interdependent with each other.

We need a Declaration of Interdependence because you can’t create Global Coherence without Global Intimacy. Intimacy comes from a shared story and without a shared story there is no coherence. A shared story emerges from and generates every deeper shared identity with mutualities of recognition, pathos, value, and purpose. Without a shared sense of identity, rooted in a shared story, with its implicit Shared Grammar of Value we can’t create a shared purpose.

Said simply without healing the Global Intimacy Disorder, we can’t create Global Coherence.




A Co-Creative Initiative of the Center for Integral Wisdom and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution Activating the Memory of the Future

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Dr. Marc Gafni

Dr. Marc Gafni

Author, Visionary Philosopher, Evolutionary Mystic, Social Innovator, and the President of the Center for Integral Wisdom.

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