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Three Steps to God: Awakening Your Evolutionary Creativity and Reclaiming the Higher Obligation and Joy of Your

By Marc Gafni

Hi Friends. I am writing you from the road. Traveling, meetings to unfold the World Spirituality movement based on integral principles, teaching and much more. I am delighted to be alive and to be writing to you. I am thinking a lot of these days about how to Harness the Fire of Your Evolutionary Creativity. Here are some thoughts about creativity which come from deep within the Source Code of our emerging Integral world view. What a delight and privilege it is to participate with you in the evolution of consciousness. What a wild and holy privilege it is to have this conversation with you. One of the things I wish to make clear is the trajectory of emergence from Unique Self Unique Self, to Love to Evolutionary Creativity. As we connect the dots, the eros and ethos of the Great World Spirituality Awakening story comes into view. So here we go……. It is time to change the game. To uplevel the great Integral evolutionary project of reconstruction–the reconstruction and evolution of God. And, make no mistake about it: Integral is a reconstructive project. We seek to unfold a vision of World Spirituality based on Integral principles, a trans-lineage path. This is the path that we have forgotten. It is the memory of the future. No ancient tradition, no pre-modern tradition by itself can address us, yet without the core insights of the traditions, life becomes a flatland of dreary emptiness without eros or telos. We make a reverential bow to the great traditions, and open ourselves to receive their wisdom in humility, even as we uplevel and evolve them in integral consciousness. I’d like to identify for us three steps – three insights and realizations – that lead us to God. Awakening these realizations comes from your personal practice of the greatest heart, mind and body mystics from all ages–pre-modern, modern and post-modern. All three steps manifest themselves through the three faces of God. Move Beyond the Mythic God Before you begin this three step process into the heart of the divine you must first move beyond the mythic God. You must shatter the Idols, or kill the Buddha. The God you do not believe in does not exist. The reconstruction of God is nothing less the reconstruction of self as Self. But it is not only that. It is no less the reclaimed depth of delight as we devotionally bow, in Rumi-like rapture, before the personal face of the Beloved. It is the realization that wherever and whenever we fall, we fall into the arms of the Beloved. The ethnocentric mythic God that lives solely outside the Kosmos has passed away in the evolution of consciousness. We reclaim the depths of the divine post-mythic

The Divine is both the awakened divinity that lives as us{first person}. Just open your eyes and look around. the evolutionary process and power of the Kosmos{third person}. In other words. modern and post-modern tradition yearn to know the heart of reality. as us and through us{first person}. infinitely complex and beautiful manifestation. The divine is both beyond{second person}and within{first person}. You evolve beyond exclusive identification with your ego. and access your True Self. You realize that you are an indivisible part of the seamless coat of the universe. Not beyond your ego. In Integral terms we call these the First. right now. of the seamless coat of divinity. . The mystics and realizers from every great pre-modern. They yearn to know God. But what do we know of the unknowable God? The second-person mystics all say something stunningly simple and wondrous. and through you. So let’s touch in to each path so you can feel it and taste it. from an Integral perspective. but an inextricable part of the one. as well as the God who knows our name {second person}. everything and no-thing. the ground and suchness of all that is{third person} as well as the beloved that lives in us. this practice must be done both in first person and second person. which gifts the world with your Unique manifestation of love-intelligence and sacred activism. When you evolve beyond ego and awaken to your true self you realize with joy and delight that your true nature beyond any physical expression is consciousness. just close your eyes and look around. And you feel the alive and awakened nature of consciousness is creative. These are the two paths that invite. in the three major perspectives that are the building blocks of reality. You never evolve beyond your ego. which is not apart. First person Evolution Beyond Ego: Awakening to Your True Nature To incarnate the God that lives in you.consciousness. The Three Steps Step One: Engage in continual daily practice to evolve beyond exclusive identity with ego: awaken to your true nature. Creativity is an essential quality of the divine. your true self. Or. Second Person Evolution Beyond Ego: Feel yourself held in the arms of the Mother who desperately cares about you and knows your name. we need to engage both the first and second person faces of God. We live in a world of manifestation. Experience all of the infinity of divine power and intelligence {God in the third person or the third face of God} sitting in a chair in front of you pouring divine personal love into you and caring about every detail of your life even as she calls you to your fullest and highest life. even as she holds us{second person}. Your highest life is to engage in the creative act of the evolution of your consciousness. Consciousness is creative. How do we know? Because here we are. if you prefer. There is one thing we do know about God: God is creative. of all that is. The depths of the divine reveals itself in three faces. you must first evolve. Second and Third Person of God or the Three Faces of God. You move beyond your limited identity as a separate self. The Tao is creative. demand and delight in your Unique Creativity. as you. It is crucial to recognize that.

The determining factor in his or her actions is compassion. you realize that God loved you so much that he signed his name all over you.” We identify obligation with arbitrarily imposed limitations by church or state that suffocate the naturally free human being. In Second Person. I have posed this question to thousands of people in audiences . Obligation and Vow: Your Unique Self creates your Unique Obligation and Unique Vow. but whether you are obligated to feed him. and that you are a unique feature of that seamless coat. emanated by God. For example. utterly unique. Your awakening deepens. You realize that while the total number of true selves is only One. as you. There is abundant food on the island. Let’s enquire for a moment what obligation might mean at a higher level of consciousness than the obligation imposed by an authority external to you. You are absolutely certain that you will never be rescued. The problem is. Obligation frees you from ambivalence and allows you to commit one thousand percent to the inherent invitation that is the Unique Obligation present in every unique situation. God’s creativity lives in you. due to a physical ailment. A note on Obligation at at the second tier of consciousness: Now we need to pause for a second and in these brackets talk about the strange and unpopular word “obligation. In First Person. The bodhisattva vows to postpone his or her complete awakening and fulfillment until all other beings are awakened and fulfilled. Step Three: Awaken to Your Unique Gift. Are you obligated to feed him? The question is not whether it is noble or even good to feed him. let’s say you are stuck on a lush tropical island with and old. This inquiry yields the deeper truth that obligation is the ultimate liberation. This is Your Unique Self. You are God’s special beloved even as you are God’s partner in the evolutionary healing and transformation of all that is. you awaken to your Unique Self. The realization of Unique Self may be regarded as bodhisattva activity – the unique manifestation of wisdom and guidance. First Person: In the Buddhist tradition. This is the realization that the coat of the Universe is seamless but not featureless. and through you. The two of you are stuck on this island forever. you take the next step. The Unique Self bodhisattva vow is an expression of evolutionary joy and responsibility.” Many of us recoil when we hear the word “obligation. the bodhisattva is one who seeks buddhahood through practicing noble action. Your Unique Self is the personal face of essence. moved by the highest insight and wisdom. every manifestation of True Self sees through a unique set of eyes. Through Your Unique Self.Step Two: Awaken to Your Unique Self: Then. Obligation at this level of consciousness is created by the recognition that there is an authentic need that can be uniquely addressed by you and you alone. boorish ugly man who has no obvious redeeming features. even as it is a commitment to the fulfillment of your evolutionary obligation. unlike any other. this man with no obvious redeeming features that are easily discernible is unable to feed himself.

This is precisely the awakened realization of Unique Self in first person. there will be a corner of the world that is left unloved. The fourfold doctrine of obligation is directly based on the fourfold structure of need. The matrix of these four factors creates the matrices of your Unique Self Obligation. It is the meshwork of meaning that fills your life and is the core of your Unique Self enlightenment. you have the skills and creative capacity to meet the need. and unlike any other as a unique emanation of the divine. But not only is there a need. state or government. You experience your unique obligation to give those unique gifts. it is an authentic and not a contrived need. From a non-dual perspective. as part of your most essential nature as a Unique Self. Essentially. As we said. There is no more powerful and joyous realization available to a human being. It is both the reason for your life and the joy of your existence. Your creativity is ultimately and infinitely necessary for the continuing great project of evolutionary creativity–the evolution of consciousness towards the place where all of the good is experienced and known as the fullest depth of . Fourth. when you awaken to your unique self as the I AM. In First Person. Third. While most of our gifts address more subtle hungers than food. a direct function of your Unique Self that can and must be given only by you. this awakening to Unique Self happens in first person and second person. you clearly recognize the need. It is your gift to the good and to the evolution of consciousness. Because you are the only person in the word capable of giving those unique gifts of being and becoming. there is no person who does not possess Unique Gifts that respond to unique needs. To live your Unique Self and offer your Unique Gifts is to align yourself with the evolutionary impulse and fulfill your evolutionary obligation. it is your Unique Gift that creates your Unique Obligation. Virtually everyone agrees that in this situation you have an absolute obligation to feed him. This is an obligation to help preserve life that is inherent to consciousness itself. In articulating the demand of consciousness inherent in this freely assumed obligation I have developed the fourfold doctrine of “higher obligation. if you do not give them. Need creates obligation. The realization of your Unique Self awakens you to the truth that there is a Unique Gift that your singular being and becoming offers the world. the need can be effectively addressed only by you. This obligation is substantively different then the external obligation imposed by a fundamentalist or what Jean Gebser calls a mythic consciousness.over the years. which is desperately needed by all that is.” Higher obligation is the obligation that wells up from the higher structure-stages of consciousness. You realize that you have Unique Gifts to give. Second. you realize that you are both a part of the seamless coat of the universe. king. It is the powerful recognition that there is a Unique Gift. This is not the obligation imposed by a mythic god. you are obligated to give the Unique Creative Gifts that can be uniquely given only by you in this moment. and can be given by you and you alone. First there is a need.

and fix the broken places with Me – because I cannot do it without you. You awakened to incarnate your Unique Creativity – which is your Unique Self – the Unique Expression of love that lives as you.all that is displayed in the wondrous magnificence of the divine symphony. Kabbalists. My gift to you in love. God in the second person. To use biblical language. Consciousness is Creative. Remember there is one thing we DO KNOW about God. “My gift to you is to make you my partner and allow Myself to be – at least in part – dependent on you!” ! . and so many more. Akiva. central to the spiritual way of Hindu mystics.) We are commanded by consciousness itself to be “like god”. Rather. but also through a second person encounter with the Divine. But. you taste it. who holds you and loves you.” whispers God in our ear even as She caresses our heart. Giving your gift might be private or public. so too shall you as God’s partners be a creator of worlds. Christian mystics. Just as God creates worlds. This was the great realization of the Mother. So therefore: Just as God is creative so you be creative. Sufis. you feel it. and you rock it out for God with the creative depth of genius that lives in you. too shall you stand creatively at the abyss of darkness and say let there be light. I need your service. To partner with God in the healing and transformation of all that is. that man is freed of obligation. how can you be like God if we do not know God? Ahhh. Luria. Knowing that. you can experience yourself being held in the arms of the Mother who both loves you and obligates you. Augustine. In Hebrew the same root word means both Love and Obligation. Creativity is the essential manifest quality of Consciousness. has but one wild. just as God stood as the abyss of darkness and said “Let there be light”. You can awaken to your Unique Self not only through a first person recognition of yourself as a unique expression of the love-intelligence of the Universe. it means that God loves and holds the human being as his/her partner in the creative process. Here. Aquinas and the whole gang. Second person: Up till now in step three we described awakening to your Unique Self as your Evolutionary Creativity – in first person. through practice or as a gift of divine love. Ibn Arabi. To be loved is to be obligated. In the language of the second person mystics – the human being is obligated as the core essence of being alive to engage in imatatio dei – the imitation of god. God is Creative. The second person mystics now go the next step (and this is Rumi Hafiz. quiet or loud. To be loved by the divine does not mean. Evolve consciousness. but the universe desperately needs and yearns to experience it. rigorous and uncompromising demand: “Be my creative partner in the healing and transformation of the world. Now we move to the call to Unique Divine creativity through the face of God. What that simply means is that to be loved is to be obligated. as religions used to teach. God in the second person.