Kerstin Zohar Tuschik: Unique Self Dharma Goes Mainstream

At the Center for Integral Wisdom (CIW) website, Web-Scholar Zerstin Zohar Tuschik shares her experiences at the recent Success 3.0 Summit, coinitiated by CIW. After dropping the names of many of the most notable preenters, she claims that the summit met its goal of “articulat[ing] a new, transformative vision of conscious living, innovation, and social impact and to create a new definition of Success that can lead humanity into the future.”

The key to the unfolding success story, she says, was the ability of Marc Gafni and others to generate a sort of “second simplicity”. Kerstin writes:

It was gorgeous to see the many ways the Dharma of Unique Self, Eros, Outrageous Love, and World Spirituality, that Dr. Marc Gafni has been articulating and outrageously transmitting for the last several years, has played a role in this amazing happening.

Most of the speakers started to use the 6-word Mantra Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up. Dr. Marc Gafni, Visionary Scholar, Wisdom Teacher, and Co-Founder and President of CIW, brilliantly transmitted these thought forms in his opening speech. He suggested that every generation needs to participate in the evolution of consciousness. And:

“It is our turn. We are here to articulate an ethics of success that is rooted in Outrageous Love. Outrageous Love demands a new vision of success.”

He also introduced one of his key terms, the word Second Simplicity. Second Simplicity is what he calls the Simplicity that comes after Complexity. After having really grasped the complex concepts, we can get to a stage where we can express them in a compellingly simple way–thereby reaching people from all stages of consciousness.

While many of the concepts Marc brought into the space carry a lot of complexity–which became obvious to everyone listening to the basic introduction Ken Wilber gave in his keynote address–Marc transmitted them in a way that people can grasp intuitively without even knowing or understanding the depths of the teaching. And yet, all of the complexity is embedded into his Second Simplicity expression of the teaching….

The words Unique Self and Outrageous Love could be heard all over the Summit, used by speakers and attendees alike.

Read the full article.

Brett Thomas: Integral Must Find the Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity

Integral Should Be More Like Apple (Credit: Brett Thomas)

See Brett Thomas’s “Integral Should Be More Like Apple.” Money quote:

Those of us who are enthusiastic advocates for applied Integral Theory can be a lot like the early mp3 player manufacturers.

We often speak of the technical capabilities of this new “technology.” But rather than talk about transfer rates, megabits per second, and miniaturization, we speak of quadrants, lines, levels, states and types. We rave about remarkable innovations such as integral methodological pluralism. We are enthusiastic advocates things for second-order adaptive change methodologies that move sentient holons out of gamma traps, through flex states into new alpha configurations.

As integral enthusiasts, like the early mp3 manufacturers, we sometimes naively believe that consumers care about those things.
Its not that Steve Jobs didn’t care about the technology as much as his peers. Clearly, he possessed a deep and nuanced understanding of the technology that he intended to use to transform his industry (and other industries, as we have now seen).

What set Jobs apart was his understanding of what consumers cared about.

The people who would really benefit from an iPod didn’t care about file compression, transfer rates, or IDE miniaturization. They cared about music.

Read the whole thing.

What do people who don’t give a hoot about quadrants levels, lines, states, and types care really about? I’m talking especially about Americans, but generally: themselves.

John Craig: Living life with the heart of a servant and the strength of a fighter

craig-photography-0015-by-craig-photography-dot-blogspot-comHealth. Creativity. Life. Simplicity. These are four words that describe my friend John Craig, and the philosophy with which he approaches the most sacred dimensions of being human.

I first encountered John’s blog Craig Photography in 2006, about the time that I was still getting my feet wet on the blogosphere. We were among the few writers seeking to explore and express an Integral outlook through the then-new medium of the weblog.

John’s given me permission to share a letter he sent me today. I think it will give you a sense of how fortunate we are in the Integral community to have people courageously living life out in the open.

Hi Joe ~

I’m writing to ask for you thoughts and feedback. I am getting ready to make a life change and start talking about life with MS….. Below is a rough draft on my thoughts, if you have time your views and life experience would be very welcomed. Peace ~ John

In October of 2005 I was told that I have a progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis, while also being diagnosed with Devics Disease a little later. Three months later, on January 26 of 2006, my wife gave birth to our daughter. I spent the first year of my daughter’s life sick. It was and is a life with symptoms that made it hard for me to walk, hard for me to have any feeling below the waist, both legs numb and tingling at all times never to subside, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, loss of muscle toning causing stiffness, pain and restricting free movement of my right hand and left side of my mid selection, optic neuritis, electrical shock and buzzing sensations zapping the middle of my back, fatigue, and random other whatnots.

Six years into this journey and I still have all of the symptoms listed above. What I no longer am is sick. I have an illness without a cure, I live with the effects that this disease has over me, but I am not sick. I live a well life. A life filled with effort and purpose by living a healthy and creative life. Being a father, husband, photographer and business owner has saved my life…all because I want to be there for everything.

I want to help you in your life in whatever way I can. My goal is to get others with this this disease to stand and walk, to create things, to connect and to grow; to be well with a disease without a cure.

I want to be the Lance Armstrong of MS/DD. I want to start telling the world about how to be healthy while having a disease without a cure. Armstrong did this with cancer and a bike. I want to do this with MS/DD, a camera, a pen and my feet.

This past winter of 2011 I was barely able to get out of bed and when I did I wasn’t able to walk without the aid of a cane. Slowly I started to move daily…now in August of 2011 I am able to trail run five miles. I have the goal of becoming a charity runner for MS/DD.

For six years I have kept a blog but never used the words MS/DD. Briefly at times I would hint to my illness but never would the words be said out loud. Why? Fear.

I am a photographer, people hire me with the expectation that I will show up. Never have I wanted to place doubt in a client’s perception of me. Fear kept me from telling the world.

Today I can say that MS/DD has made me a better photographer, business man and hopefully husband and a father. It has taught me to show up. To show up to whatever needs to be focused on that day. It has taught me how to live in the present, not to dwell on what might be. Trust me that is hard to do, especially when you’re in a dark place of illness.

At this point in my life I want to share my success stories (& hopefully your success story) of living a well life with a disease that has no cure.

Let me be very clear that I am not talking about a cure. This is about living well with the disease. I have chased down many snake oil promises for a cure and what I am promoting is not a cure. It’s an outlook and a philosophy on living your life.

I have taken an integral approach to my wellness, body, mind and soul because all are of equal importance. I think about moving my body, I think about the food (fuel) that I place into my body, I think about my relationships, I think about my thoughts, I think about quieting my mind. I journal, I blog, I play guitar, I take photographs, I walk, I run, I pray, I meditate.

This disease can attack me at any moment, and attack is the right word. A right punch from this disease can blindside me at any moment and I have been there, all too often. I get up slowly at times but I always get up.

Lesson learned #1. There is no perfection, only the process of what I can control.

I never wanted to talk about my illness. Still don’t. I do not want to be a person whose life is defined by the diagnosis of a disease. I want to talk about the lessons learned from living with the disease. These are not lessons on medical advice or tips or tricks to wellness, nor are these suggestions on how to handle side effects from medicine. These are lessons about putting in the effort.

My goal is to help others lead a life filled with health, creativity, simplicity and with the “heart of a servant” and the “strength of a fighter”. And that takes practice.

I invite you to join me in this journey. Please pass this along if it inspired you. Facebook this, Tweet this, e-mail this to friends and family struggling with these diseases. Would be much welcome.

Peace ~ John

And here is my reply to John:

John ~

It’s great to hear from you and also that you are living a well life. Thank you for trusting me — and the world — with your vulnerability. I can see the wellness in your eyes in that gorgeous picture of you and your daughter. It sounds like we both can appreciate that being well does not mean being free of pain or limitations.

Whether it’s MS and Devics Disease (for you) or HIV/AIDS and Bipolar Disorder (for me), or whether it’s samsara and sin, or Phobos and Thanatos, nobody escapes the paradoxical brokenness of existence and promise of health, completeness, bodhi, satori, liberation, redemption, or heaven.

There is so much about your story and mine that illustrates how important it is to approach illness as a spur to wholeness and integration rather than succumb to despair. I’m sure I have much to learn from your journey and there’s much more about my own that I have not yet shared and am still summoning the courage to do so.

I want to take you up on the invitation to create and share our success stories together as two people living with chronic health conditions that challenge us but does not define us. Let’s discuss how we might explore together how we can support each other and the world at large in living health, creativity, simplicity, awareness, and aliveness.

Much love ~ Joe

You can see more of John’s beautiful art at his blog.