Project Description

Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism: Two Models & Why They Matter

By Marc Gafni

Two major models, one by Andrew Cohen and the other by Dr. Marc Gafni, have been articulated within the framework of Integral Theory about the nature of Self and God. Cohen’s model is called Authentic Self, while Gafni’s model is referred to as Unique Self or Unique Self Theory. While they share important features, namely the evolutionary context of the conversation and a vision of Self beyond Ego, their interior visions of the quality of the Self beyond Ego are profoundly different, even as they also express radically different realizations of the Divine.

Both of these models of Self and Divinity, or key dimensions of the two versions, have been adopted, directly and indirectly by many spiritual teachers. In Self in Integral Evolutionary Mysticism, Dr. Gafni articulates the two models, their shared features, their differences and why — as we seek to articulate an Integral Wisdom — these differences matter so desperately. He subjects Cohen’s model and its emphasis on the impersonal and the Absolute to a rigorous, spiritual and philosophical critique. Gafni explains why the Unique Self model creates ethical and spiritual possibilities which in his view, the Authentic Self model, inhibits, undermines or crushes.

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