Toward A New Story, Vol. 2: WHO ARE YOU? W/ Marc Gafni | AMP #391

By Aubrey Marcus December 01, 2022

Toward A New Story, Vol. 2: WHO ARE YOU? W/ Marc Gafni | AMP #391

In Volume 2 of the series Toward A New Story with Dr. Marc Gafni PHD we tackle the most fundamental question of our existence. Who Am I? 

We are at a time in our world, where we need to birth a new story, and there is nobody that I know who has “felt and” thought through what this new story might look like, more than Rabbi Dr. Marc Gafni.

How do we respond to the meta crisis of compounding existential threats? The answer that Dr. Marc Gafni PHD gives is that the “root cause of the meta crisis is a global intimacy disorder”.  As he puts it “Global Challenges require global coordination which in turn requires global resonance, which in turn requires global intimacy, which can only be sourced in a shared global story of value”. 

For this very reason, we must articulate a “shared global story of value”. This story. according to a set of compelling teachings by Dr. Gafni’s colleague Dr. Zak Stein,  is the “evolutionary love story of the intimate universe”. This claim is not causal, but rather based on a profound integration of myriad wisdom streams in what they call  “the interior and exterior sciences across space and time”.

But, and this is Gafni’s core point, not only must we be tellers of the new story, but we must also actually be the story. We must know that our personal story is “chapter and verse in the Universe: a love story”. And that story is a story of transformation.  And that therefore“Y/our transformation is the transformation of the whole.”

In other words, the change you are seeking in the world begins with changing the way you see yourself and your place in the world. You literally “become the New Story”. “You cross to the other side, awakening as the new human and the humanity.”

This series of podcasts under the title “Toward a New Story” is about building what Gafni and Stein call “CosmoErotic Humanism,  a shared story of value as a context to celebrate our diversity.” 

While Dr. Gafni began his path as an ordained Rabbi intimately versed in the ancient Aramaic texts, we recognize together, that this new story must include and transcend the validated insights from all the great religions, philosophies, and cultures from premodern, modern, and postmodern times. This is a historic moment, and for people who want to claim their seat at the table of history, this podcast is a resplendent invitation. I cannot imagine inviting you to a more important, heart opening, mind bending, and exciting journey than the conversations we are having in this podcast series.

If you are interested in hearing more about Marc’s story and why we are working together, check out our groundwork podcast with his beloved partner Kristina Kincaid:

Here is a listing of relevant books and resources from Dr. Marc Gafni:
Download Chapter 1-4 of the award winning "Your Unique Self” Book + Free Weekly Broadcast with Dr. Marc Gafni:

Take the Free "Your Unique Self" Mini Course:

MARC: Who are you, the answer to the question of who are you, you are an irreducibly unique expression of the love intelligence and love beauty and love desire of all that is that lives in you, as you and through you that never was, is or will be ever again other than through you. As such, you have an irreducibly unique expression of love intelligence, love beauty. You have an irreducibly unique perspective, you're an irreducibly unique quality of intimacy. That together comes together, that comes together to foster your unique gift. Your unique gift is your unique gift that you give to your unique circle of intimacy and influence, the gift that can be given by you and you alone. Not only do you have a unique gift, you have a unique quality of being, a unique quality of who you are, how you live in the world, the poem only you can write, the song only you can sing. That beingness is your gift. And that which emerges from your unique creativity is your gift. To give that gift is your unique responsibility. It's the reason you were born. When you give that gift, and you play that instrument, you participate in the great, unique self symphony of being and becoming. Done.

AUBREY: We're at a time in our world where we need to birth a new story. And there is nobody that I know who has thought through what this new story might look more than Dr. Rabbi Marc Gafni. We're going to go deep on a multi-episode journey exploring the big questions. Who are you? Where are you? What do you want? What can you do about it? And how we can all participate in a field of shared value so that we can realize that, truly, we're all on the same team, Team Earth, Team People, Team Cosmos, and we must come together to address the existential threats that are all around us and also just live the most fulfilled, happy, flourishing, thriving, beautiful life that we can possibly live. This episode is the second in our series. If you haven't seen the first make sure you check it out so that you have the full context of everywhere that we're going and where we've been, and look forward to the next one coming up soon. Marc, we're back.

MARC: We're back!

AUBREY: We're back and we're here to answer a very important question. I must say that I have asked certain masters this question, Who am I? The answer has been, "Aha. This is a question to ponder, not a question to answer." But asking you that question, you say, "Fuck that. Let's answer this shit."

MARC: Let's not do too much ponder. We got to ponder. I want to make a distinction, actually between there's a question and an answer, and a question and a response. So we don't answer it in the sense that it removes the mystery. And in that sense, the masters are right. We hold the mystery, we hold the uncertainty of identity, which is always there. And yet, there's this postmodern fucking obsession, what I would call a non-dialectical obsession. Now a non-dialectical obsession is a bad pathology. So everyone, if you feel like you're listening, you feel like you have a non-dialectical obsession, seek your therapist.

AUBREY: Explain.

MARC: Great. So a non-dialectical session means you get one side and not the other side. So there's certainty and uncertainty. That's a dialectic. You got to hold both poles and live in both poles. So, for example, pre-modernity till the Renaissance, had a non-dialectical obsession with certainty. We got it--

AUBREY: God said! It's in the book.

MARC: God said. We got answers and the good Lord said and we have scripture on this. Scripture's got value and that's a different conversation; true, but partial. So if pre-modernity had a non-dialectical obsession with certainty, post, to add certainty didn't own any of the uncertainties. So, for example, if you would ask someone of pre-modernity, "Why is someone suffering?" They'd say, "They're suffering because they violated this sin and it's this punishment for that violation." That removed empathy, that removed compassion, that removed love. postmodernity has a non-dialectical obsession with uncertainty. We only have uncertainty. We don't have any certainties. That's bullshit. So in some sense, pre-modernity says--

AUBREY: Except for, occasionally, science, as told by the default majority narrative, which is this crazy kind of paradox.

MARC: And that is a fucking brilliant insight, and absolutely correct, which is the one place right postmodernity said we're going to allow for certainty is science but only a particular kind of science which does measurable, quantifiable equations. That worked for a while, but then postmodernity said well, maybe that's not right either. And then a new set of writings over the last 25 years and books like "Women's Way of Knowing" explores this, it began to actually realize, by the way, correctly, it was one of postmodernity's better notions, that science itself is actually a grand narrative. Then it began to dismiss science as well. In other words, there's a major move in postmodernity, which is not completely wrong, actually, this piece, which is to question science's authority, which it should, but it's part of a general questioning of I don't have certainty about anything. But that's only true. Here's the big thing, that's only true in terms of the meta theory. But actually, there's great postmodern theorists who walk home and are madly in love with their kids and they're actually certain about that. They actually dissociate between that certainty and their metaphysical speculation. The truth of reality is, is that both certainty and uncertainty, mystery and gnosis, knowing and unknowing, are actually opposites joined at the hip, which are themselves first principles and first valleys of reality--

AUBREY: As we said, in our introduction, everything is evolutionary. Everything is evolutionary. This is the nature of the cosmos. The cosmos evolves. So assholes with the trust-the-science bumper sticker should say, "Trust the sciencing," Trust the sciencing. It's not done. It's never fucking done.

MARC: And just like mathematical values in a value equation, you have values in an equation, those values, as we do more science, as math enriches, there might be a new way to approach that equation. So the equations, and we talked about in our first dialogue, I think that was a wild dial, that was a wild ride, we talked about the evolution of value, meaning the dialectic between eternal value. There's genuine, real, eternal values, love. You love your kid, you're participating in the eros of cosmos. That's an eternal value. And the way you love and where you place the boundary of your love, from egocentric love, just my peeps; to ethnocentric, my whole tribe; to world-centric, every human being; to cosmo-centric, every animal, all of being, the evolution of love; love evolves... So love's eternal and evolving, paradoxical, dialectic. Dialectic Is a great word. Anytime someone tells you that they've left paradox behind, they got the whole thing, their truth is not true but partial, they got the whole thing and everything else is out of the court, something's wrong.

AUBREY: And also you'll notice that person doesn't laugh a lot, actually. In just personal experience, anecdotal, that person doesn't laugh a lot because they're so serious because they have so much that they're certain about.

MARC: Never trust people whose laughter isn't close to the surface and whose tears is not close to the surface. Remember that book, we actually talked about it with your awesome team on, I think, the other night, Umberto Eco's book, "The Name of the Rose" is this fantastic book where people are dying in a monastery, and we're not sure... They're being poisoned, apparently. We don't know who's poisoning them. What turns out is, the assistant rector of the monastery is poisoning them by poisoning the tip of the page in Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics", which is about laughter, about humor. So when people go to look up Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics", and they study about laughter, and they go... And they turn the page, they turn the page--

AUBREY: Marc gesturing to licking his tongue, for those just listening to audio.

MARC: To licking his tongue and don't get excited everybody, just turning the page here.

AUBREY: No. Licking his finger with his tongue. What am I talking about? You can't lick your tongue. That was Zen koan.

MARC: As you turn the page, you lick your finger with your tongue and you turn the page, those people would get poisoned because the rector thought that actually laughter is of the devil. You got to actually be serious. Actually, there's a dialectic between intense seriousness, and intense laughter and intense play. What you were just pointing to, beautifully, is that laughter holds paradox. When you can hold paradox, you laugh.

AUBREY: What a fucked up idea that laughter and orgasm are of the devil? If you really want to fuck a human being up, and we're going to talk about what a human being is--

MARC: [inaudible 09:33] This is fuck, not in a good way. And we have to do a dialogue on the word fuck.

AUBREY: Fuck means a lot of things. If you really want to turn a human being upside down again, not in a good way. [inaudible 09:46] There are definitely good ways that human beings can be upside down. But take the two great joys or two of the great joys, let's say and make them evil and then see how that completely undermines the whole structure of the psyche and the body, where the whole body is screaming, "Yes!" And your mind is going, "No. Evil. Sin. Shame."

MARC: Oh my god! So three 10-second things. Each one of those is so huge. So one, what you just described is literally what Gregory Bateson calls a double bind. Double bind means... Gregory Bateson was treating this kid who was a beautiful kid, schizophrenic, complex mother relationship issues. He finally stabilizes the kid. Now he says mom can come visit. Mom comes to visit. She sees her son, says, "Hello." And at the same time, she gives him this hating baleful, darts from her eye. Both of them hit the kid at the same time and he goes into a massive schizophrenic fit. Bateson realizes that's a double bind. Basically two things are happening at the same time, which contradict each other, which are invisible. You don't have a way to actually talk about it. My mother loves me. My mother hates me. It broke him apart and in my body, there's a double bind when my body says yes. Laughter, orgasm... And laughter and orgasm are laughter and sexing in Hebrew, book of Genesis [inaudible 11:16] three-letter root [inaudible 11:18] Maybe we can put it on the screen. It's the same word. It's the same experience, it convulses your body, it moves through you. There's a sense of relief, it overcomes you, it allows you to hold the world in a different way. Orgasm holds paradox.

AUBREY: In my own dharma that I've come to, laughter is an orgasm with different spasms. I've just understood that it's very much the same thing. This all relates very much to what we're talking about because this split between what the mind has been taught and conditioned, and what the body knows, is one of the things that has gotten us so far astray and made things so confusing.

MARC: Massive, massive, massive double bind. This analogy between laughter and orgasm, convulsing the body, being almost involuntary, actually opening the space relaxed, new and giving you new gnosis, it gives you new knowledge. Laughter is a faculty of perception and orgasm is a faculty of perception. You look at your partner and you say, "Oh, my God, I love you. You're so beautiful." Then afterwards you think, was I just saying that? No, you weren't. Actually, I can see clearly now. You can see clearly now. By the way, at a wedding, it is a crazy thing, and then we'll get back to our topic, I hope, maybe. You're in charge. I just work here. But at a wedding, there's this notion that you need a priest to create the wedding to officiate in Catholicism. In the Hebrew lineage and in most lineages, that's actually not true. You'd actually don't need the church to create the sanctum. The church doesn't own sancta. So for example, in the Hebrew lineage, actually no need for a rabbi. You can have a Rabbi, you cannot have a rabbi. I loved doing weddings. The part of my life that I am a rabbied, as a verb, I madly love doing weddings and by the way, funerals, because everyone's there, everyone shows up, you don't have to get people's attention. We're on. We're on the inside. But there was a beautiful custom in the lineage to have a joker at the wedding, a badran, B-A-D-R-A-N, and a badran, why? Because two people are about to live together, are we were fucking real. Is that going to work? Talk about contradiction. You got to resolve that and you can only do it by holding paradox. What that lineage is saying is oh my god, let's laugh.

AUBREY: The tradition is someone in the best man's typically tries to bring in some humor. Sometimes it goes horribly wrong, because they're not funny. But also in, First Nations traditions, there's what's called the heyoka, so in the intensity of the Sun Dance where there's no food, no water, sweats everyday, piercing to the tree, the heyoka will go around to the people who are so thirsty and so hungry and eat watermelon right in front of their face and just look at them in the eye and just fuck with them and laugh and break all the rules and be antinomian which means--

MARC: Anti nomos.

AUBREY: To transgress the law. That's their job, is to mix things up.

MARC: That's a really good word brother. That's a sexy word. That's a sexy word.

AUBREY: Well, you taught it to me. So you're really patting yourself on the back, through me but I appreciate that.

MARC: I didn't remember that I had done that. I was like, "Whoa."

AUBREY: Well, yeah, "Radical Kabbalah" talks about antinomian.

MARC: Could you say that again slowly? I'm getting excited.

AUBREY: Antinomian.

MARC: That's nice.

AUBREY: Different than anomian, I know all these different things.

MARC: I know that it's good. Antinomian is good. I love that and I didn't think of that. You just taught me something. Thank you and I appreciate it. I didn't think of that. It's a really, really beautiful insight, that notion of having the gesture at the wedding, which is a lineage tradition actually finds its way into culture through the best man's speech. That's beautiful, this knowing of that. You can't create a great marriage, to evolve a relationship, unless you really know how to laugh together. And that's not so easy. Seems like a simple thing. Laughter is an art. It's an art. And actually, to know how to laugh is... To be happy... Most comedians are bitter. They're actually depressed, bitter, and painful. Laughter covers, becomes a form of pseudo eros covering over the emptiness. The comedian actually often crosses the line into aggression. So you pick out someone in the first row, and you're a little bit funny, then you cross the line, it's radically aggressive. And they don't really know how to be in joy. So laughter got a hold... It nullifies reality. It holds paradox, but it also holds the core joy of reality. Laughter means we can hold the whole thing, we can hold it. And when you remove laughter from the story, you can't hold the paradox--

AUBREY: Fuck that story.

MARC: To bring it back to where we started so we said, okay, we can respond, we can not just ponder. Ponder is when we respond to the question of who are you, we said, we're going to ponder, we're going to say, well, we can't approach that at all, let's just ponder it. That's true, but partial. Let's hold the mystery of identity, because the mystery of identity is real and yet, motherfucker ponder. You actually have to act in the world. We actually need to create a society and we need to create a life. And we need to have a sense of a response to, "Who am I?" We're not going to answer the question but we can respond to it very powerfully, with actually a profound sense of holding the uncertainty, living in the mystery, and yet, having profound, compelling certainty, based on weaving together all of the conversations on self that have been had in history, in every period of history, premodern, modern, postmodern. Like we always say, the valid insights of each science, mysticism, interior science, traditions, let's weave it all together and say what's the best response to the question of, "Who are you?" that we have available in the world today. Charles Taylor wasn't wrong when he wrote a book "Sources of Self", it was fantastic book. If anyone listening has nothing to do today, read that book. It's about 1,000 pages, it's a little heavier reading. Maybe get a little high before you starts because it's hard to get through without, but it's a great book. But his point is... If you don't want to read the book, let me just give you this point. His point is, let me give you a short--

AUBREY: There's probably some mad people who were planning on it. So good thing you--

MARC: 20 seconds, here. 20-second point is, he makes the point, let me quote him and Charles, thank you, brother; he says, "We live in inescapable frameworks." That's a great fucking sentence. That's absolutely true. The core of that framework is the answer to the question of, "Who am I?" Now you and I know there's actually three great questions, not one, but he focuses on that one, "Who am I?" And he tries to trace history by the depth or the paucity, the shallowness of its responses to, "Who am I?" and in the postmodern world, we live at a time in history, with the most shallow response, the most insipid, the most lame, the most pathetic set of responses to that great question, which we know in our body violates our sense of the gravitas of who we are.

AUBREY: Amen. Alright, so let's go through this. One of the key things to point to is, typically, when someone talks about who we are, they divide everything into three separate buckets: mind, body, soul. I think this is one of the first problems when you try to actually create these as not a largely overlapping Venn diagram where there are differences, but everything is deeply interwoven and influencing the other. I think this is fundamentally how we just need to redraw the map. Alright, you could loosely say that those things are accurate, but they're true but partial, They call this Cartesian Dualism: I think; therefore, I am. And then there's this meat sack. You hear this parroted all the time, and it always bothers me. I'm me and then I'm in this meat sack. I'm like, "No, fool. Your meat sack is you." It's all woven together, all of your cells from the cells in your gut, whether it's your microbiome, or your microbiome, or even the even the parasites that are in your gut, the Candida that's all of the cells, are all communicating and filtering and creating thoughts and patterns in your trauma patterns that you've got from the field of conditioning and the social mores and what you're sensing from those around you, all of that is influencing who you are at the same time. So you can't actually say, this is just my body and not my mind. Of course, great works like "The Body Keeps the Score," how the body stores trauma and stores emotion, and then you go into body work and you find a spot in the body and it releases a certain emotion. Well, that couldn't be true if they were all separate. So I think the first thing to look at, and I have my own models, and maybe we'll get to it, maybe we won't, but the first thing to look at is this idea that there's a separate mind, separate body, separate soul. Typically, the value propositions a lot of people make is soul is best, it becomes a hierarchy, soul is best, mind is next best, body, that fucking thing.

MARC: You just said it. That was a big mouthful. It was a fantastic mouthful. I want to step back, just one pace, one step back, say two sentences, and then step back in. So we're here to articulate the new story of value, rooted in first principles and first values in response to the meta crisis, to allow us to live our lives, to actually avoid dystopia, but not just avoid dystopia but actually to create heaven on earth, to create a world, that is gorgeous and beautiful. We're poised between utopia and dystopia. We talked, in our first dialogue, about the only direct hit that we can do to blow up the Death Star, "Star Wars" imagery, is to tell a new story, which is rooted in the best integration woven from the best-validated insights of all the previous periods and all the wisdom streams, but in a new story of value, rooted in first principles and first values. We're beginning with three questions. So our three questions are: we call these the three great questions of cosmo-erotic humanism, and cosmo-erotic humanism, a world that's animated by eros that we talked about in when we first met, our first dialogue. We talked about this cosmo-erotic universe. This great new story of the value of cosmo-erotic humanism, rooted in first values and first principles, asks three questions. The questions are, essentially, who, where, and what? The reason they're really simple is because we actually from complexity theory. The lineage understood this in its own way. The lineage says establish all reality on three principles, meaning the lineage understood what complexity theory, understood only in the last 20 years very beautifully, that you create a complex system that's coherent through iterating again and again, simple first rules or simple first principles. So what we're saying is actually, that works in exterior sciences and we're actually understanding the same things true about interiors. Reality is exteriors and interiors, all the way up and all the way down. So now in interiors, we're saying, "Alright, Aubrey Marc, this conversation cosmo-erotic humanism..." Working on with my dear brother, Zak Stein and the gang at the center, we're saying three great questions. Who am I? The who question. Where am I? Or where the fuck am I? Depending how you're feeling. Where am I? What's the nature of reality? And then three, what? What is there to do? Which really means what do I want or what do I need? Those are three huge questions. And we're starting with the first one, which is, who am I? You put so much importance on the table. It's hard to know where to start. So let's start in the middle, which is always a good place. By the way, you mentioned Bessel's book, Bessel van der Kolk. Bessel is a longtime colleague of one of our key thinkers at the think tank, Lori Galperin. Bessel and I were speaking at a conference together and we actually had some of this conversation, actually standing outside the conference room, one of those in the hall, a big piece of the conversation we're going to have today about this new vision of value. Bessel actually got it. Basically, he said to me. He said, "What I deal Marc, is in stabilization." And I said to Bessel, "You can't just do stabilization. You actually need to go beyond stabilization. You actually need a vision of identity to call forward the person. Stabilization's insufficient." Actually, his colleague who I just mentioned, and my beloved friend, Lori Galperin, one of the best clinical trauma therapists, so she's writing in the think tank, we're working on it together, a book called "Unique Self-recovery, which is on the psychological application as a leading clinician of this vision of identity we're about to present.

AUBREY: And for those of you who, if unique self is an unfamiliar term, this is a thread to where we're ultimately leading. We're going to wend our way through all different theories and why they're true, but partial, and then find our way to unique self, which is, I think, the most important idea about who we are. The best response.

MARC: The best response we have today, I want to just get the audacity of that on the table with radical humility, but humility and audacity... There's a word that Aubrey, as we're studying, and we're looking at lineages together, there's a word that you and I like, and the word, it's actually an original lineage word in the Hebrew-Aramaic lineage, which is called [inaudible 25:52]. And [inaudible 25:54] means audacity and humility in the same moment. It's audacity because... We're actually making a big claim, but not an arrogant claim, a claim filled with humility, but filled with an urgent need to respond to this void of identity. What we've done this for the last really, 20-25 years, we've spent actually researching intensely all the theories of identity that we've been able to find in human history. So just to give people a sense of this is not a casual conversation we're having. It's filled with laughter and filled with gravitas. We've tried to understand the best true but partial-validated insights, literally, of all the systems of identity that we found in the world, integrate all that information in a seamless way into the best response. That's the overwhelming moral imperative of this day because the meta-crisis is based on a failed story that was yesterday's dialogue or whatever yesterday was. It was the first dialogue, because it's based on a failed story. We need to articulate a new story. And a new story has to answer who, where, and what. So now we're in who.

AUBREY: Hard to have a story without a protagonist.

MARC: Hard to have a story without a protagonist. What a context. I'm so madly excited about the context. So let's start with who. So who am I? Maybe the way to start is to actually put a statement on the table, which engages or sets forth, in literally 90 seconds or so... We mentioned this in the car on the way over and you did challenge my capacity to say something in 90 seconds, so I'm going to bear that in mind.

AUBREY: I challenged your capacity to say something in three minutes. 90 seconds is not even on the table.

MARC: That's not even on the table. All right, one second. We got to stopclock here? Here we go. So you tell me when to go. Ready? Here we go. Christina, you give us a go. You're ready? Who are you, the answer to the question of who are you: you are an irreducibly unique expression of the love intelligence and the love beauty, and love desire of all that is, that lives in you, as you and through you that never was, is or will ever be again other than through you. And as such, you have an irreducibly unique expression of love intelligence, love beauty. You have an irreducibly unique perspective, you're an irreducibly in equality of intimacy. That comes together to foster your unique gift. Your unique gift is your unique gift that you give to your unique circle of intimacy and influence, the gift that can be given by you and you alone. Not only do you have a unique gift, you have a unique quality of being, the unique quality of who you are and how you live in the world, the poem only can write, the song only you can sing. That beingness is your gift and that which emerges from your unique creativity is your gift. To give that gift is your unique responsibility. It's the reason you were born. When you give that gift and you play that instrument, you participate in the great unique self symphony of being and becoming. Done. Fuckin-A. Time to spare. 70 seconds, time we spare. We should have made a bet on that.

AUBREY: We should have made a bet.

MARC: We should have made a bet. I missed a bet.

AUBREY: That was impressive.

MARC: I missed a bet.

AUBREY: I will say you were on performance-enhancing supplements. You took the Alpha Brain and I do know--

MARC: It was Onnit. It was an Onnit product. I want to make that clear.

AUBREY: It was an Onnit Alpha Brain Instant shot. You just catch on fire.

MARC: Hot damn, hot damn, hot damn, hot damn.

AUBREY: Let's just say, I've seen some Onnit testimonials play out in real life but watching you after you take one of these shots is pretty fucking impressive. That was stunningly gorgeous. That is telling everybody where we're going and what this unique self is and the magical grandeur and still, the space for mystery in between of what is your love intelligence, what is your love beauty, how do you find it?

MARC: What is love desire?

AUBREY: What is your desire?

MARC: What's your unique gift?

AUBREY: How do you clarify your desire and how do you understand... So many questions still left, but that gives this beautiful framework. It's amazing to have that on the table and then now start to say, "All right, but what about what Freud said? What about what everybody else has said?

MARC: We got to get to Freud. I'm just going to say something. You know I'm Jewish. ou We don't leave value on the table. And I get to make fun of Jews. No one else does, just to be clear on this. Christian, how many seconds was that? So I got 20 seconds left, brother?

AUBREY: Yeah, you do.

MARC: 20 seconds left. Okay, 20? We counting? 20 seconds left, okay. 20 seconds left, okay? In order to give your unique gift and live your unique self which is to fulfill your unique obligation, your unique responsibility, you have to be willing to take your unique risk. Boom. 13? So just whenever I want and I got seven seconds left, okay? Good, we're good. We're good. So we got unique... We have to get to that.

AUBREY: It's not enough to get a score on a bull but seven seconds, you could do something there.

MARC: You could do something there. That's good. I'll be thinking about that seven seconds.

AUBREY: So we have already started reading and accepting applications for Fit For Service, 2023. I wanted to let you all know we got confirmations from some of our guests who are going to be there, which if you're a fan of the podcast, you'll be familiar with these names. My brother, Aaron Rodgers, is going to come and participate and speak; Peter Crone who's been a three-time podcast guest... If you haven't listened to any of those, definitely check them out. Dr. John Churchill, Dr. Kelly Brogan, there's Matias de Stefano who we've done several podcasts with; Robert Edward Grant who's been a two-time podcast guest. Some of the most incredible individuals are going to be a part of this. This is just the start of a very long list of people that we're bringing into this year-long program. Maybe it's going to be the interactions with those people that will change your life. Maybe it will be with one of our coaches, myself or Erick Godsey, our Caitlyn Howe or Vylana or Kyle Kingsbury or maybe it will just be with the people themselves. This is a network of some of the highest performing heart-forward people that I've ever intermingled with. Some of my best friends have come out of this Fit For Service program and every single member has some of their best friends coming out of the Fit For Service program. This is an alumni network that can help get you from where you are to that path, your dharmic path, of where you want to go truly, and be fit to actually walk that path, a path that you might not have even dared to dream, a path that might not even be available but here it is, right here in front of you as an opportunity. So if you're interested, definitely check it out. Go to Applications are only open up through December. Also, just so you know, this is an opportunity for a free call. You can join Fit For Service, have three months of coaching, come to a summit and if you don't get out of it what we expect for you to get out of it or what actually will serve your life in the best way, we'll give you all of your money back, genuinely. There's no risk and only the upside of what this could bring into your life. Take the chance, take the leap, salt of mortality. This is your life, this is your one chance to live the life that you really dream and, potentially, this is the next best step to help you get there and there's not a risk for you to try. So once again, if you're interested, just go to Applications are open now.

MARC: So Freud, start there. Take us inside.

AUBREY: Well, I think, actually, before we get to Freud, we got to just finish what we were saying about the body. The body is actually the storage and the consecration of our uniqueness. We know this. We have a unique fingerprint, we have a unique handprint, we have a unique retina. It's so unique that we can actually distinguish ourselves technologically from everybody else--

MARC: I love that.

AUBREY: And our whole body is informing everything else. So let's go to the unique quality of the body--

MARC: Let's start there. That's great.

AUBREY: And then talk about how that starts to influence the mind, especially if we get into Freud's id, these primal desires, where the fuck are those coming from? So much is coming from the body.

MARC: I love this. This is beautiful. We go slow now. That Onnit brain supplement has a slow speed. So here we go.

AUBREY: It does, has all the gears.

MARC: Slow speed. So this unique self-credo that we just shared... I won't say it all again, but the idea that your unique self is that unique self is the answer to the question of who are you. So let's just say, to start with, and we're going to go directly to the body now, but let's just say, to start with, by unique self, we don't mean your talent, although that might be an expression of it. It means something very different. In the statement, what we tried to do is both respond to failed theories of self and then embrace the best insights of all the great traditions, and then weave them together in something which is emergent. So unique self is both... On the one hand, you'll find fragrances of it in different places all through history and yet it now comes together because just like value evolves, just like love evolves, our knowing how to answer this question of who am I, evolves. That's what we mean when we talk about the evolution of consciousness. So we're already foreshadowing. We're saying the answer is unique self and actually, we're going to call it the evolutionary-unique self. We're going to go through five selves. Just to point towards unique self and what we mean by it, and what why it's a first principle and a first value, and not just a made-up idea, before we even explain it, let's start with the body and maybe even go before the body. Uniqueness itself is a first principle and first value of cosmos. In a discussion that we referenced, I think, briefly in our first dialogue, we referenced a set of conversations I did with the guru of NASA, Howard Bloom, who's a brilliant science writer and scientist. We were tracing uniqueness back in the cosmos. Where does uniqueness begin? He traced it back to the first waves, the troughs and peaks in the first waves. A wave is actually a unique structure, what holds it together. Then uniqueness then exponentially, gradually emerges within the world of matter, we're just in a world of matter. By the time you get to a star or a planet, or a galaxy, a galaxy is literally unique like a fingerprint is.

AUBREY: When you're talking about a unique wave, just so I understand it... You can talk about waves in terms of hertz, I guess, would be the right way to talk about it. It's an audible interpretation of it, but you say something is seven hertz or 7.83 hertz, well, still, it's a rounded number, actually, based upon what we're actually measuring. It's not exact--

MARC: The peaks and troughs of a wave, and how it moves, the wave is a singularity. It has a unique dimension at a particular moment in time which is never repeated. So there's a beginning of a quality of uniqueness. It's the first fragrance of uniqueness. And then what happens throughout the emergence of matter, uniqueness gets more and more pronounced. So, for example, protons per se are identical, they're copycat. But when particular protons, neutrons, and electrons formulate in a particular configuration, into an atom, an atom can begin to have a unique atomic signature. An element, moving beyond a wave... An element, obviously, as an element whether it's helium or hydrogen, is a unique atomic signature. We're talking really early. These are unique atomic signatures which are singular and unique. They're not repeatable. Even when we rain quarks, gazillions of quarks in the first nanoseconds of the Big Bang... There's 16, approximately, kinds of quarks. You would expect there to be exponential. There's a very definitive set of quarks and then as we get a little farther, by the time we get to atoms, we have unique atomic signature, elements are irreducibly unique. Then we come together, planets, galaxies, but we're still in the world of matter. We have literally fingerprinted uniqueness, until we go through basically 12 billion years of more and more refined uniqueness until we get to the world of biology. We have asexual reproduction, which steps in as we move into the cellular world and then to multicellular world. We have uniqueness in cells but then we move from asexual to sexual reproduction. 12 billion years in, sex is emergent and sex and uniqueness are inextricably linked. "Sex is the commitment of the cosmos..." this is Howard's phrase. Howard read the whole unique-self book. I was privileged to write this major opus on unique-self theory. So Howard read the whole thing cover to cover, and he said, this is his sentence, I want to quote him, he said, "The moment which we move from asexual to sexual reproduction is the radical commitment of the cosmos to unique self," which is absolutely true. Sexual reproduction means I bring together this diversity in order to create a new uniqueness. Then as we move through the world of biology, we get ever evolving uniqueness. We go all through the biological world, and we go from multicellular eukaryotes, and then we go to organisms and then we go to early plants, and then early fish, and then later plants and later fish and amphibians. We go to early animals and later animals.And then early mammals, later mammals until we finally get the hominid walking on the savanna. But all through that, we get more and more uniqueness. You may say it even more simply. Just look at an atom, an amoeba, a plant, a fish, a dog, a human being, and then an awake human being.

AUBREY: One of the ways... As an animist cosmonaut--

MARC: As an animist cosmonaut, coming at you. I love it.

AUBREY: As someone who's explored these things, and we talked about this a bit yesterday, my way into knowledge has been discovering propositions, exploring the depth of my own inner and outer cosmos, and then testing them out seeing, what feels true, what doesn't feel true. So in this, I've really been on this path of trying to uncover the uniqueness of the soul signature of different things. Plants, for example, it typically feels like an oversoul. It's not like you're talking to this one particular vine of ayahuasca. If ayahuasca is talking to you, ayahuasca is talking to you as ayahuasca. If it's another plant that's talking to you, if it's rose or cinnamon or different plants that I've had spiritual relationships with, it's cinnamon. It's not like "Oh, I'm Cinnamon from this one--"

MARC: To Jack.

AUBREY: Cinnamon Jack from Sumatra. It's not that. Then you move up a little bit. Insects, the same thing. There's an oversoul. I've talked to a mosquito before but it wasn't like Tom the Mosquito; it was Mosquito, capital M, Mosquito. And yes, there are... If you look down at the very tiny little bit, there's tiny little bits of difference but, generally, it's all one type of being.

MARC: This is great. This is great.

AUBREY: And then cats, for example. So cats was very interesting. We have two cats. I was on a heavy dose of mushrooms--

MARC: [inaudible 42:21] about those two cats of yours. They fucked with me last night.

AUBREY: They love, actually, when you're in a very high spiritual state. That's when they come. They're actually like a litmus test to where your level of consciousness is. The only like me when I'm in full god. Otherwise, they're like, "Aubrey, what are you doing? I have no interest with you."

MARC: What are you doing here?

AUBREY: Whenever I'm in full god, they're all over me. Anyways, cats. What I felt like with cats was there is an oversoul. You could call it an oversoul of a cat but then each individual cat with their personality peaks out, curious, like a cat, very much in that cat nature where they want to explore, and then retreat back to the cat mother, the cat mother soul. So it was the beginning of real differentiation. That's what gives cats personalities and dogs. Dogs, very much the same. Dogs are slightly different. They bend their way towards a pack but then they each have their own personality within the pack. So the configuration is different but by the time you get to humans, you're talking radical, radical uniqueness.

MARC: That's right--

AUBREY: You don't talk to Human. In all of my journeys, I've never talked to... And now I talk to the spirit of Human. No, you talk to fucking people.

MARC: We actually consider that person to be lobotomized. That's actually a demarcating characteristic of mental illness, that you actually go back to being only the genus. So what you're saying here is crazy important, because it's a beautiful way to illustrate it and to feel it. So in this evolutionary snippet we just provided, Adam, let's go to Adam amoeba, plant, fish, cat, dog, monkey, we just added monkey, human being and then through, this is really important, through the structure stages of human development, 100 different researchers map approximately overlapping seven or eight structure stages of human development, which are both interior and exterior development, through those structure stages uniqueness continues to evolve. So what you have is you have an evolution of uniqueness; it gets really gorgeous. So, uniqueness is a first principle and first value of cosmos incepted at the very beginning. It moves through matter to life, to mind goes, goes through all the levels of matter, all the levels of life, all the levels of mind or the depth of self-reflective human mind and each time you get more and more uniqueness on board. By the time we get to dogs, by the way, you're absolutely right, there's clearly a beginning of a unique self in dogs that doesn't exist in the same way in plants, at least not that's accessible to us. You're talking about very, very importantly... You're adding something really important to the table, which is you're adding another form of epistemology, another way of knowing, which is I can actually have an interior experience in relationship to a plant--

AUBREY: A dialogue.

MARC: A dialogue. And that's an important source of information. That's one of the things that's wrongly been taken off the table, not by science, but by scientism, the dogmas of science and we need to, in our methodologies of gathering information, bring other information-gathering apparatus back on the table. And one of them is what is the relationship right between the interior of a human being and the interior of a plant? There's actually an enormously growing scientific literature for the first time in the last decade, literally the last decade that's beginning to explore that which was off the table entirely. So your anecdotal personal experience, that's not just an anecdote, that's actually empirical information, that you as a trustable source have access to. So I wanted to just say, we just put a kind of information on the table that's really important. The overarching meta-movement we're describing here is we're describing uniqueness as a first principle and a first value, but as an evolving first principle and first value. Now, at this moment in human history, the triumph of this evolution of uniqueness over the last, at least, 13.7-8 billion years, is what we're calling unique self. So that's interesting. That's interesting. That's what a unique self is. And unique self has to take into account all the notions we have of human identity. In other words, all through the last leg of development, the development of the self-reflective mind, uniqueness has become more and more and more apparent, we've moved from unconscious uniqueness to conscious uniqueness. We'll talk about what that means. And we've emerged with this best understanding and best response to the question of who I am? I am a unique self. That's a gorgeous context and it changes everything, meaning we're talking about the first value, a first principle of cosmos, coming online in a particular way, which means this is the will of cosmos. Cosmos has a will. Cosmos is going somewhere. There's telos in cosmos--

AUBREY: And a desire of cosmos. And the will of cosmos, very beautiful, you say beautifully... The word will, for example... When I when I refer, by the way, friends, to an original Hebrew phrase or Sanskrit phrase, I'm not saying it right in order to demonstrate knowledge of Hebrew or Sanskrit, but rather because sometimes in the original, you get a sense of the meaning of a word and language holds ontology. Language discloses the nature of reality. We don't even know where the language comes from. Often, I love listening to other languages, when I don't know the language, I'm like... How do those sound create... Languages are so primordial. Languages disclose something about the nature of reality. So the word will, when I say the will of cosmos, and Aubrey you say desire... So the word will is ratzon in the original Hebrew, R-A-T-Z-O-N, ratzon. Ratzon is an Eros word. So for example, in the "Song of Solomon," the "Song of Songs", which is from the canon of Hebrew wisdom, which is a series of love notes between a lover and a beloved, which is considered the most important source of information about the nature of Cosmos, and that's for a different conversation, it says, verse four, chapter one, [inaudible 48:44] "Seduce me, draw me after you." [inaudible 48:49] "I'll run towards you." [inaudible 48:53] two-letter root, is the two-letter root of the word ratzon, will. So will means not intellect. Will is the movement towards, that I make. It's an eros word. So there's an eros that animates cosmos, which is why the "Song of Songs" in the lineage is considered to be, as it were, the best interior science map of cosmos. Cosmos is animated by will. Alfred North Whitehead writes "Principia Mathematica" with George Bertrand Russell talks about... The most brilliant mathematician, probably, of the 20th century talks about the appetite of cosmos, he's talking about the same thing. He just didn't want to say desire, because he lived in Cambridge, England. It was a bad place to talk about desire in the early 20s. But cosmos has desires and cosmos desires uniqueness. All of a sudden, we get a sense of where we are and you can actually feel your body relax. We're at home in cosmos. We're not making shit up. We're actually talking about something which is structural to cosmos itself, a first principle and first value of cosmos called uniqueness, that's evolving, and it's moving towards its penultimate expression at this moment in time because it's going to continue to evolve. And it's called a unique self. Well, fuck. I'll have that conversation. Let's do it. Wow. You can feel that in your body. Now we're locating.

AUBREY: And in your body...

MARC: And in your body. Let's go back to that.

AUBREY: In that sentence alone, I can feel it in my body. We've talked about anthro-ontology and how the intelligence of what you feel in your body... I think this is an important thing because yes, we understand unique fingerprints, unique retinas, unique, actually unique scent--

MARC: But this is important.

AUBREY: Even how we smell--

MARC: Stay with that. Before I say yes, we understand because you said it before and everything I said was in response to what you said before, because what you said before, it's crazy, which is you pointed to the uniqueness of the human body. There's 100,000 markers in DNA that are unique, for example.

AUBREY: I like even talking about your pheromone signature. Your pheromone signature is trying to determine, it's called histocompatibility. It's actually just trying to attract the right person based on your DNA signature, which, of course, we know through DNA forensics is also one of the ways that you're unique.

MARC: 100,000 unique markers.

AUBREY: But it's actually translated into smell. You smell unique.

MARC: Fragrance is way... Sometimes when people go out, and then they're in a moment when they're together intimately, and something doesn't work, which you can't quite identify... It's not like when we were growing up, Right Guard was a big deal, which is probably bad for you for a million molecular reasons, it breaks down 1,000 things in your body, but it's not that kind of smell.

AUBREY: Aluminum.

MARC: Aluminum. Thank you. I was missing that piece of information. Thank you. But, actually, the pheromone signature which detects uniqueness is actually telling you something, and the entire body, is this dazzling signature of uniqueness, but here's the key, and sameness. So in other words, uniqueness is dialectical, the word that we started with. So we're both the same. If we were just unique, we'd live in an alienated world. There'd be no intimate communion. Intimate communion is based on the dance between sameness and uniqueness. It's precisely we're all the same and we're unique. What we all share in common is our uniqueness. Charles Reznikoff, the poet who I love, he was writing in the '70s, '80s, I think even earlier, he says, "Not for a seat upon the dais, but for a seat at the common table." It's very beautiful. We all need to be at the common table together, we're all the same. That's why we can empathize with each other and we're all unique. What we share in common is our uniqueness. So we're actually a precise composition of sameness and uniqueness.

AUBREY: What we share in common is our uniqueness. It's beautiful. Yeah.

MARC: It's beautiful. This notion of unique self is very, very... We're going to flesh it out. But it's very beautiful. But the thing that you point to, brother, is that it begins, this is not a fantasy. This is the evolution of the first value of the cosmos because uniqueness is not just an is, it's what we mean by a value. It's an art. And that's what we're saying. In other words, the eros of cosmos says, "I desire uniqueness." The love intelligence of cosmos says, "We want uniqueness." It is not just it is; it's an art of cosmos, it's where cosmos is going, it's what it's reaching for. So if the triumph of matter, cosmological evolution, is in life, biological evolution. And the triumph of life, biological evolution is in the depth of the unique self-reflective mind, cultural evolution, which then triumphs in its highest form that we haven't even begun to talk about. And we're going to talk about it, which is unique self. So it means reality desires your unique self and all of a sudden... That's not a slogan, not a clever thing to say; it's not a New Age statement; it's not a fundamentalist statement. All of a sudden, we're constructing a new story of value. Oh my god. Wow. Now we have a context for our unique-self conversation. That's crazy exciting.

AUBREY: So let's carry on with the body beyond just the actual physical; beyond the physical attributes of the uniqueness; but then also the way in which the models of how the body... I think we've established that, and it's also going to be the same for the psyche, and in some ways, there's only one place where, actually, uniqueness collapses. That's what we'll call the the true self and that's actually merge, complete merger with the field, which some have lauded as the highest state of being but we have some questions about that, I definitely want to get there. So lay that bread crumb there.

MARC: Let's lay it out.

AUBREY: The first thing, I think, that's important to say.... And you can read Joe Dispenza's book, "You Are the Placebo", understanding the way that the mind influences the body, the body influences the mind. This is just a key point that I want to mention and how the spirit, whatever you want to call that, also, which people have a very uncomfortable idea of what that is, and I think there's actually better ways to potentially describe that, but how they all are different... Yes, the body is different from the mind, of course. Thoughts don't actually have weight. You can't put them on a scale and weigh them out. Whereas in all aspects of the body, you can. Even hair, if you put it on a fine enough scale, it would have a weight. So there's differences but there's also the sameness. I think this is one of the key points. Uniqueness and sameness.

MARC: Uniqueness and sameness, first principles and first values of cosmos.

AUBREY: And that's true with the mind and the body; I think that's important to get. Also there's different buckets that you can put your mind in if you so like. And that's what Freud was so obsessed with in his model.

MARC: That's great. We should have a conversation once. You mentioned as Joe Dispenza in passing, I think that's really important work and does some really important overreaches. That's a great conversation. And mad blessings to his great work. One of the things we have to do with people is not find where they're wrong, find where they're right. Joe's right about a lot of things and he's got some massive overreaches which are problematic in terms of creating a credible theory of self, but different conversation brackets. Maybe we'll even do a dialogue with him one day, super fun and important.

AUBREY: We could.

MARC: But for now, let's see if we can put, on the table, five or six selves which will help us navigate. We'll see what are the selves. What do we mean by self? And along the way, we can actually look at the different theories of self which are true, but partial; what's strong, what's weak in them and let's blow that out.

AUBREY: Let's go.

MARC: There are basically... I want to look at seven selves. You could break it down into four selves. I'm going to do seven--

AUBREY: Marc said five. We found two more in the bathtub.

MARC: The bathroom was a big deal. The bathrooms are awesome, by the way. We should talk, at some point, about these self-flushing toilets, but let's not do that right now. That's a different conversation. The first self, which we're not going to spend much time on, we just want to notice it, it's almost the pre-self we would call the pre-personal self. By pre-personal, and this is going to be a key part of our model, because we're going to talk about the personal and the transpersonal but by pre-personal self, we mean... Let's say a baby before the baby individuates. Mahler, Margaret Mahler talks about separation-individuation that takes place at 18 months, or whatever the particular time is. So there's this notion of a baby before individuation, where the baby's pre-personal, the baby's identified with the mother, it hasn't yet individuated. Then there's separation-individuation, which is the beginning of a self. That's important because this pre-personal self doesn't just exist in babyhood. There are shadow versions of the pre-personal self that exist within the child and the adult human beings. So for example, a cult. A cult is a pre-personal regression. That is to say, "I've lost my sense of being individuated and I'm part of the herd." It's one of the reasons why we have a complex relationship to the animal world. We love the rawness of animals. So in sex, if you say you're an animal, hopefully, that's a good animal. There's a good animal and there's bad animal in sex, of course, as well. You're a beast could be good news or bad news. But the prerogative of animal is that animal seems to be part of a herd, at least, from the human perspective. We just pointed out that animals actually have quite a bit more of a unique self than we think. But this notion of being part of the herd, being in a cult or being in some environment... Burning Man is a beautiful experience that people talk about. I've actually been at Burning Man twice and I enjoyed being there and giving a bunch of talks there and some gorgeous human beings. Obviously, it's a place of intense magnificence but it's also a place that, at times, confuses the pre-personal the transpersonal. The fact that you're in a drumming circle does not mean you're transpersonal. A drumming circle could be a place where your individuation gets lost or it could be a place in which your individuation, you emerge and you you emerge as part of what's going to be the seventh level that we're going to talk about, which is the unique self symphony, right? So there's, there's pre-personal, personal and transpersonal and we often confuse the pre-personal and the transpersonal. That's a level-one-level-three fallacy or a pre-trans fallacy. So the pre-personal is important to put on the table. The pre-personal is the baby before individuation, before there's a self. But the pre-personal appears in life, whether it's a cult, any place where I've lost my sense of actually being a self. When I lose that sense, I'm regressing to the pre-personal. Just wanted to get the pre-personal on the table, because this issue of personhood is going to be a big deal. That's pre-person, that's one. Okay, drumroll. From there, we get to the emergence of a separate self. Let's just say something important here. In early-structure stages of consciousness, it's not completely clear to us how much of a self emerges. So there's some type of hunter-gatherer societies, which is a very clear self and David Graeber describe some of them in his writing, the anthropologist. There's other hunter-gatherer societies, where there seems to be more of a dawn-man, a dawn-woman who's quite absorbed with nature and barely sees themselves as distinct. So this emergence of separate self is quite a big deal. But in the history of humanity, there's quite a long period, in which although there's a technical separate self, the human being actually remains largely pre-personal, meaning the state, the church, the kingdom is the corporate entity, I'm absorbed in it, and myself doesn't quite yet individuate. Now, the word self, in the dictionary, as Anthony Storr, a British writer, points out in one of his books, doesn't appear till the 16th century. So there's emergence of this word, the second level. Pre-personal self, level two, separate self, which we're about to get to, separate self is a very big deal. There's this talk about the myth of separation, which is important. Separate self, when it becomes the end of the story is a myth. But separate self is a real, actually. It's an ontology. Separation is real. It's actually a big accomplishment. It took us to the fucking 16th century to get to this realisation, that actually, the human being has dignity as a separate self; that's a very big deal, that I'm a dignified separate self; I'm not just part of a larger whole. Before the 16th century, there were many places and many cultures in which the idea of separate self existed, but it moved between separate self who was in complete obedience to the king, to a God who imposed often arbitrary laws and sometimes deep and profound laws. But the notion that the human being per se, has value not only lives as part of Communitas, but actually as an individuated with discrete value, that emergence of separate self appears in the Torah very early. Human beings created the individual human being in the image of the Divine. That Torah idea of the human being, [inaudible 1:03:03] seeds culture, as John Adams says, and emerges and flourishes in the Renaissance, a human being is a separate self. So separate self is a great momentous evolutionary leap. That's a big deal. Separate self. So what's separate self? Let's start there. That's two. So separate self means I have dignity as a separate self. I embrace myself as Marc, as Aubrey, and I'm responsible for Marc, I'm responsible for Aubrey. There's something for me to do with my Aubreyness and my Marcness and that's this beautiful notion of separate self. However, it has a very great shadow. Its shadow is that it's the end of the story, that all as I am is a separate self. In other words, in the rebellion against the medieval and the proto-medieval period, everything that led to the 16th century, the rebellion against the human being being part of a larger communion, part of the tribe, the utter rebellion against that, we lost contact with that. The human being no longer was experienced as being part of the Earth or part of the tribe, or part of a nation. We rebelled against that because it created great beauty and great cruelties. Voltaire, we invoked yesterday. Remember the cruelties as the great cry of the enlightenment, the Western enlightenment. So the Western enlightenment says no, no, you're a self. You're a separate self. That's what the Western enlightment's about. Western enlightenment says we want to alleviate suffering. The way we're going to do that is we're going to actually realize your dignity as a separate self. We grew up on that. That's true, that's beautiful, but it's partial because I'm not just a separate self.

AUBREY: You're missing the dialectic of we're separate and connected.

MARC: I'm missing the dialectic. I'm separate and I'm part of the whole. And now, all of a sudden, I'm only separate.

AUBREY: And that's true even for the body, which is separate and also, we're shedding cells and accumulating new cells from the food that we eat. We're actually literally composed of all of the food, energy, protein, lipids--

MARC: The entire system.

AUBREY: Of the entire system and then dedicating it back out, contributing back to the system. We cannot extract ourselves entirely from the whole, and yet we're separate. If I clap you on the shoulder, it's your fucking shoulder.

MARC: That's right. That's right. That's beautifully said, meaning... I'm not separate from the plankton in the ocean. In other words, if identity is that which gives me life, without the plankton in the ocean, without the atmosphere, without the biosphere, without certain kinds of soil, without certain kinds of insects, I don't exist. So the notion that I'm a discrete, separate self is actually an absurdity. In other words, actually, the true reality is: nothing exists independently of everything. Nothing exists independently of everything.

AUBREY: Which is the myth of separation? So when we invoke--

MARC: So that's what you mean?

AUBREY: When we invoke the myth of separation, we're saying that we're missing the dialectic of yes, and...

MARC: That's right. That's correct. So to articulate the myth of separation in that way is beautiful. To articulate the myth of separation as an absolute is a mistake. That's a beautiful critique of this separate self. What we've added to the conversation, Aubrey, which is so important, is that the separate self is a great evolutionary accomplishment. Whenever you have a new evolutionary accomplishment, the separate self, it has its great contribution, but when you reify it, when you apothesize it, when you make it the whole thing, instead of part of an emergent, then it becomes, in some sense, idolatrous, it becomes distorted. So when separation becomes an idolatry, when we transpose it into a myth, into an absolute myth, then we're in very big trouble, because then in the end, it creates pathologies.

AUBREY: And sociopathies.

MARC: And you cited yesterday, I think, your colleague, Charles; who I think you invoked for the myth of separation. So it's a beautiful phrase, it's a beautiful critique, we just need to recognise that that emergence of separate self is a great and wondrous accomplishment and yet, it's true but partial, because as we just invoked, I'm part of, from an extra perspective, a larger field, and a big sentence, principle, first principle and first value of cosmos coming at you reality is interiors and exteriors all the way up the evolutionary chain, and very far down the evolutionary chain. If I was talking from a perspective of interior scientists, or working from the perspective of Whitehead, or a cosmologist or complexity theorist like Stuart Kauffman, I would say... Cosmo-erotic humanism, our new story of value agrees with that. It's actually all the way down the evolutionary chain but let's not debate that. Most of the way down or all the way up, all the way down the evolutionary chain reality is interiors and exteriors. So interior and exterior, just like sameness and uniqueness, are principles of reality. So just like I'm not separate from the perspective of exteriors, plankton in the ocean, and all the points you made brother, so I'm also not separate from the field, not the physical fields... Field theory actually locates me. Field theory and science in the last 75 years locates me in the field, there's also a field of consciousness, the lineage calls it [inaudible 1:08:24] in Aramaic, the field of holy apples, which means the field of Shekhinah, the field of Shekhinah meaning the goddess but by the goddess, we mean the field of eros, the field of interior value, the field of interior meaning. I don't exist independently of the field of value. Another way to say the field would be the Tao. The Tao is the field of value.

AUBREY: Or even mind. If you read the hermetic principles like in the "Kybalion", all is mind, the universe is mental. So we are a mind that's participating in greater, capital M, Mind. It's just--

MARC: Capital M Mind is analogous to the Tao. When I say analogous, just to to admit something publicly, which is a hard thing to admit, I have a scholarly side, so I'm a little intense and rigorous on definition. I promise, everyone listening, that I will not get into a long conversation on the difference between Shekhinah and mind and Tao, which is a good doctoral dissertation, but for purposes here, we can... The reason I'm rigorous about this, friends, who are listening, is just because without this rigor, you can't actually enact a new story of value. We got to be rigorous even as we're being super broad. But for our purposes, it's certainly fair to talk about an interior field which is the ground of being śūnyatā or the mind, that Aubrey, you invoked from hermeticism, or the field of holy apples of Kabbalah, or the Tao. Just like there's field theory in exteriors, there's field theory, if you will, in interiors. Just like Albert Einstein says, correctly, and he got a lot of things right in physics and lot of things wrong and other fields, but in physics, dude was good, he says, "The notion that I am separate is an optical delusion of consciousness." That's true both in terms of interiors and exteriors. The notion of separation, and that that's correctly articulated as a myth of separation is simply not the case. It's simply a lie. It's a lie. It's not true. Now, whenever you lie, whenever you lie about your identity and you split off part of yourself, you become non-intimate with yourself. Intimacy, which is, again, subject of a... It's going to be with universal-willing, cosmos-willing, an entire critical dialogue. What is intimacy? What's the intimate universe? What are the tenets of intimacy? But just for now, we can articulate the first snippet of the intimacy equation, one of our equations in interior sciences, which is intimacy has shared identity. I have a shared identity with all the parts, for example, of myself. So if I identify my part as being a whole, I take a part and I make it the whole, which is the definition of pathology. Making a part a whole is the definition of pathology. So if I say my separate self, which is real, it's a great evolutionary accomplishment, but if I say that's the whole thing, I make the part a whole, I'm pathologizing and I'm actually non-intimate with myself, because I've made one part of myself my whole self. Whenever I pathologize in that way, I break down. So if we actually placed, at the center of fucking culture, a separate self, we are assuring the breakdown of culture. We have now--

AUBREY: And the breakdown of all of our environment, and the breakdown of all of our social structures.

MARC: Culture is embedded in the environment. And actually, today, in the Anthropocene, the human being actually has the actual power to define the biosphere. We have this immense power to define the biosphere, and we don't have a story of self equal to our power, we will absolutely break down the biosphere and the home in which we live, but will do it structurally because it can't be any other way. So in order to respond to the meta crisis that comes from that breakdown, we have to retell the story of self and not as a conjecture, not as a contrivance, but a genuine story of value because that's what self is. Self isa value. It's an emergence of cosmos. So separate self is true, but partial, critically important, but insufficient. Okay, so that's our second self. Breath. Okay. Okay, so breath. Now, third self. Third self, again, is, for sure, the subject of an entire dialogue, five of them. But let's just do it super short. I would make you a bet on time but you lost one this morning. I forgot to bet then, but we'll let it go for now but short. So false self. So false self is a distortion of separate self. There are some traditions that identify false self with separate self, that separate self by itself is false self, because the notion that I'm only a separate self is false. So there's a strong set of traditions that actually conflate, they may use a different set of words, they might use these words, but in their taxonomies of self, if you will, they conflate false self and separate self, and that's okay. False self can mean that but it also can mean something else. I want to just give you a sense of what else false self can mean because... False self is a distorted separate self. Maybe we'll bring an image onto the table now, just to make our play a little easier. Let's create an image that can move through these selves. So let's talk about a puzzle piece. Let's bring a puzzle piece. Let's call the puzzle piece theories of self. So a separate self is a puzzle piece that is told that there's no fucking puzzle. If you've seen a puzzle piece, puzzle pieces are very elegant and beautiful. They're quite idiosyncratic. But the puzzle piece is told, "It's just you. Now, I want you to live your life well. You got to compete with the other puzzle pieces." That's the 16th century and on. We've got this commodified world, you got to self-commodify and commute with the other puzzle pieces. So it's going to be a win-lose metrics, because we don't have a larger story of universe that we actually really believe in, from David Noumenon in modernity. We have contrived stories that we don't fully believe in. But what we're going to do is, at the very center of culture, we're going to displace those old stories of self. The real story that's going to govern you is a success story, which we talked about in depth in dialogue one. The success story is rivalrous conflict, governed by win-lose metrics. So you tell the puzzle piece, "Hey, you're a puzzle piece. Now your job is to compete with the other puzzle pieces." Hard to create a full puzzle from that, number one. Two, it's hard to walk as a puzzle piece, just between you and me. You ever tried to... It's a weird puzzle. You can't really walk.

AUBREY: I just get the image of puzzle pieces comparing their nub, their little phallus playing with it, "My fucking nub. My nub is one millimetre longer than your nub. I got three nubs. You got two nubs? You got two nubs and a yoni. Fuck you!"

MARC: "Fuck you," right? That's exactly right. "And I can't quite walk. So I'm hobbling along. And I have this inchoate intuition that I want to be part of this larger puzzle but I'm told that that's crazy. There is no larger puzzle." So being a separate self as an ideology of the center of culture, which is how we're literally raising virtually all human beings today is by itself pathologizing. It is literally quite literally, in quotation marks, crazy-making. And the reason we have a mental breakdown, a proliferation of actual mental breakdown all over the world, levels of schizophrenia, depression and disease that expresses itself in mental form is because we have a pathological notion of self, that separate self.

AUBREY: And also, deeply, it's coming to me, a deeply embedded misunderstanding of our embedded encoded uniqueness. Even in a very lovely thing to tell your child, "When you grow up, you can be anything you want," the removal of all of these self-limiting beliefs... It's a beautiful sentiment to say--

MARC: Just not true.

AUBREY: It's just actually not true. Fundamentally, not true.

MARC: It's really beautiful, just not true. Therefore, not beautiful. Therefore, not beautiful.

AUBREY: You're not cut out to be a certain type of thing. You can't be LeBron James unless you're LeBron-Jamesesque in some ways. There are limitations to what... However, it is a beautiful idea, go for whatever you want but make sure it's what you actually want.

MARC: No, that's right, "Ode to the Grecian Urn", truth is beauty and beauty is truth. It's actually not even beautiful, because when you lie to someone, it's not beautiful. It's actually cruel. It's actually cruel to tell a child you can be anything you want.

AUBREY: The true thing would be you can be irreducibly unique, everything you said that.

MARC: You are an irreducibly unique expression, and we're going to get the unique self.

AUBREY: With unique gifts. With you unique gift and with your unique challenges and this thing is what cosmos and Shekhinah wants more than anything else. We'll get to all this. They want to feel and fuck through life and that is the most glorious thing that you could do and be.

MARC: That is right, yes. That's unique self, which we're going to get to and that's gorgeous. That's what you need to tell your kid. But to tell him you can be anything you want is capricious and cruel. By the way, a separate self has talents, and they can take a Myers-Briggs test. But a Myers-Briggs test is the talent of your separate self and then what you do with that talent, usually is you self-commodify. You use your talent to win in the rivalrous conflict governed by win-lose metrics. And if you happen to have the right one that society monetized or can measure appropriately and translate into monetization, you're in luck. If you're not, you're fucked. And a huge amount of the world is fucked because they actually have priceless talents. If you have a priceless talent in the world today, meaning one that doesn't monetize well, you're in very big trouble. So you actually turn yourself into a product, instead of turning yourself into a gift.

AUBREY: I think this is one of the big issues and we'll get to this later again. Some of what we're doing here is covering an issue and some of what we're doing is laying tracks for other ones. But in the breakdown of tribe, as we've transcended what we thought we've transcended, this tribal concept from pre-modernity, this merger with the tribe and this understanding that we're all contributing to something and everybody's an individual, we've lost this sense of, Well, actually, there's a role that you can play in the symphony that's very important, even if it's just the cowbell or whatever that simple part of it is. Not everyone needs to be first chair of violin. Otherwise, everybody's competing for that.

MARC: That's right. Our number seven... We're now at number three. Number five is going to be unique self; number six, evolutionary-unique self; number seven, unique self-symphony. You are beautifully giving us foreshadowings as we did at the beginning, where are we going. We can get to this place and that you actually have a unique role to play in the symphony, and that unique role is glorious by itself, and yet different than everyone else's.

AUBREY: What really brought it to my attention, I just want to finish this thought is this idea that everybody has to make their own living and commodify themselves in a way that they earn their own income. In the absence of a tribe, that's true. You do need that. You need that for your own sovereignty, you need that so other people don't manipulate you. It's an important defensive move in this world.

MARC: It's an important part of the dignity of separate self.

AUBREY: However, there are some people and you just feel it, that their presence, them being around and just hugging and laughing and being around, they actually improve the quality of everything around them and actually, they're not very good at going out and making money. So they end up getting a job as a bartender that they hate, or a valet driver, which they hate. But actually, if you just had them at the center of the social dynamics of your community, then everything rises. And those people who are or do have skills that are able to make money and access resources, they all get better at it, because you're there supporting them, loving them, nurturing them in these beautiful ways that don't commodify.

MARC: So the shadow of separate self is the need to self-commodify in a way that violates your uniqueness. That's in a word. So yes, the dignity of a separate self is to be self-responsible, but to be self-responsible is got to mean a number of different things. It can't mean the same thing for every person we need to construct a society in which being self-responsible means, above all, to thine own self, be true or it says [inaudible 1:21:28]. To thine own self means to thine own unique self. Shakespeare didn't have a notion of what thine own self was, but he was reaching for something. So what does thy known self mean? How does that work economically? It does, within a larger system. But let's just, for a moment, let's just stay on this... Our third self is false self and false self, we said, could mean either, I think I'm just a separate self, one, or just we get an image of false self. So one is you already put on the table. What my false self might be, I'm defined by a number of limiting beliefs, I have a false vision of who I am. So limiting beliefs is actually a good way to talk about false self. Another way to talk about it, with a dude named Oscar Ikazo, Ichazo, excuse me. Sorry, Oscar. He passed away recently, who was actually maybe one of the most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century. One of his things that surfaced, made it out, was the Enneagram. The Enneagram is Oscar's and he gave it to a student of his, Claudio Naranjo, who I had some really wonderful interactions with, a great Spanish thinker. The Enneagram is one of the ways of talking about self, your Enneagram type. But what your Enneagram tells you is actually who you're not. In other word, your Enneagram is the fixation of your attention, how your attention fixates in a particular way. So Oscar had this great intuition. He ran something called the Arica School in which he did early, really important work in mind and never quite... There wasn't a writer, but was one of the most brilliant theorists, never really got credit for a lot of it, and really just made seminal contributions. So I'll just give you one image, which I actually want cite from him with great, great joy, which is, let's just say, really, really simply that... Gurdjieff, for example, one of the early philosophers of the last 150 years who was trying to come up with a new story of value, didn't quite get there but he was trying and he had an important role. He talks about the shock of separation. You're born, "What am I doing here?" There's the shock of separation. I need to try and make peace with my world so I tell myself a story about myself in order to deal with the shock of separation. And that story particularly deals with, or approaches, the places where I feel like I'm not attuned to the world or I'm not attuned to my parents, a proto-attachment theory. the world is not attuned to me so I tell myself a sentence. It's the way my attention fixates in a particular sentence, and the sentence might be, "I'm not enough," or the sentence might be, "I'm not worthy," or the sentence might be, "I'm too much," or the sentence might be, "I'm alone," or the sentence might be, "I'm not safe." I was flying back with a wonderful woman, who actually was killed a number of years ago, died tragically young but she was on her way to her wedding. It was very, very clear to me that she was on her way to the wedding, to marriage to the wrong person. I certainly wasn't going to share that information. We didn't know each other well. She wasn't my student. She was a student of a friend of mine. I did a false self-exercise with her. In the exercise, I listed for her a list of 20 possibilities: I'm not enough, I'm too much, I'm not safe, I'm alone, I'm not confident, et cetera. The one she chose was, "I'm too much". And, of course, she was marrying someone who she felt could actually contain her being, "I'm too much," and package her and make her safe for the world because I was too much. If someone asked me, gun to my head, "What's your..." And that's what I call your false core sentence. I call it truly are Ichazos. I've developed it in certain ways. Gilligan has developed in other ways. There's a number of theorists who have done important work. A guy named Walinsky did important work here. By the way, it's important, just even quickly, to cite people because we draw from people, so we have to honor them. Mine's probably, "I'm not safe." Probably, "I'm not safe", some version of "I'm not safe." So when you have a false core sentence, you live and you generate reality from within that sentence. If you go try and validate your false core sentence or you go to try and protect against it, make one of two moves, so if your sentence is I'm not safe, you might take risks, or you might not take risks at all. There are different ways to do it.

AUBREY: Or armor up.

MARC: Or armor up. There's lots of ways to do it. I did it by taking risks. I was fine, right? But you got to make sure that's the right risk. But in any case, for our purposes, meaning, I generate reality from within, I'm not safe, and I develop a false self which is the person I generate in order to cover up my false core of I'm not safe. It's not that my false self is completely wrong. It's actually right in a lot of ways, but it's not actually rooted on the ground because I'm living within a false core sense. That's just an example. It's not our topic today. It's an example of a false self, meaning there's particular ways that the false self distorts, there's ways the separate-self distorts as false self and it's really important to do work... I want to honor the therapeutic world. The therapeutic world has great limitations but it also has great gifts. And actually, the therapeutic world works at the level of separate self, and particularly can work effectively in different modalities at dealing with different forms of false self. Most therapy is in the realm of separate self, false self does work there. It's not the pre-personal realm. Pre-personal realm is a certain intense... Requires forms of almost hospitalization, it's mental breakdown, but within the realm of the, quote-unquote, normal spectrum, although Norm is the name of someone who lives in Brooklyn, right? In other words, there's no real norm. That's a little bit of an illusion. But therapy works there. And it's important tool, it's a limited tool. There's the pre-personal then we get to the personal, the personalized separate self, and false self. That's what we would normally call the realm of personality or the personal. That's how it's normally called. We'll see that's actually only level one personal. From there, drum roll, we got pre-personal self, we got separate self, we talked about it's light and shadow. We've got now false self, which is a puzzle piece that's a little crumpled up. It's a crumpled up puzzle piece. Now we go to true self. So true self is a great, momentous leap in consciousness. It's insanely important. It's thought to be, by many traditions, the whole story. It's not, and we got to spend a little time on our true self. So we talked about Western enlightenment that says, "Oh, what's the big deal? Separate self." Separate self heals suffering. Separate self responds to the pre-modern period, which says you're just part of a community. No, you're a separate self. That's the beginning of human dignity. That heals suffering. That's Western enlightenment. Along comes Eastern enlightenment. It says the exact opposite, which is why people are hopelessly confused. The Eastern enlightenment says no, no. That thing you're calling separate self, that Western enlightenment where you grew up said heal suffering and it's the beginning of your dignity and the beginning of a thriving and flourishing life. No, that's the source of all suffering. That thing that Western enlightenment told you was the root of human dignity and ended all the previous suffering, that's the beginning of progress in the Western enlightenment. No, no, no. Eastern enlightenment says, which lives all through the Western world today. Eastern enlightment says no, no, that's completely wrong. That's actually the source of suffering, your separate self. Your separate self is a complete illusion. It's only a myth of separation. Your separate self is something you need to move beyond and actually get to your true self. What's your true self? Your true self is the realization that I am one with the field and I'm not separate from the field. It's sometimes even called no self, called no self or true self. My enlightened self, the way it's described by Eastern enlightment and it's absolutely true, but partial, but let's get the truth first, means I realize that my true self is inseparable from the field, the field of consciousness. I'm one with the field of consciousness. The total number of true selves in the world is one. So true self is the singular that has no plural, Schrödinger's phrase. Total number true selves in the world, one. I'm not separate from the field. The Zen joke about... The hotdog stand is not completely wrong. Make me one with everything. We're on. That's true self. That is a beautiful, accurate, true, exists in every great tradition, some version of it. That's a momentous leap in consciousness, I'm actually part of the field.

AUBREY: And when you experience this, again, as an experiential psychonaut, this is that moment of what you would call apotheosis, where you merge with the field. It feels like God. You use that language. There's not really another language you can use. It's either the energetic, yang transmission of the divine, which is everything, or it's the Yin transmission of the Divine, which is nothing, where you become the void, empty of all things, or full of all things that could happen. 5-MeO-DMT Bufo ceremonies tend to bring you to the everything version, all of ecstasy, joy, pain, orgasm, bliss, love, laughter, all at the same time, screaming so loudly and purely that everything merges into the one sound, the one light, the one taste, the one everything and it's just oneness that's beautiful because it recalibrates everything and lets you know wow, this is real, this is real. Then there's the void and certain ways with ketamine can actually bring you into this void state where you are just empty of all contents and all contents are possible, but none have manifested. You can find both different versions of this oneness. There's almost different faces of the oneness but it's still the one.

MARC: You just described, very elegantly, a psychedelic approach to true self which is one that you're deeply versed in; I'm not. I appreciate the description, and your description is well-validated from my own practice through ecstatic modes of prayer, ecstatic modes of chant, meditative modes of realization, where in my own attainment, you actually have a direct experience of true self and it has, as you say, you describe both of those qualities actually appear, both in my own experience and in the great traditions. So it's an accurate reflection. It's beautiful, actually, for me to hear the psychedelic road into those two faces of true self, which is a void emptiness state. It's empty of anything that's not absolutely full but it's śūnyatā and one with the entire field, nothing left out but you feel the utter realness of the field. So it's not like you've left the realm of the real, you've actually entered the realm of the real, you're in the absolutely real. So you are one with the field of reality. You invoked a term, a good term, which I talk about in the “Unique Self” book a little bit but more in a scholarly work that I did at Oxford called "Radical Kabbalah", you're talking about apotheosis. It's an important word. Apotheosis is, as you correctly said, to be one with God. You quickly did a little turn and, a correct turn. I just want to point it out because it was so quick, which is you were talking about God not as the creator God, exterior from reality. You were talking about God as God as the field, which is more of an interior science, mystical view of God, God who's [inaudible 1:33:59] in Aramaic. There's nothing devoid of she. God is the field. So when you're talking about God is the field, that apotheosis, this merger with the field, this union with the field, I'm one with the field, that's a beautiful description of true self. So true self is, this is really important... True self is an absolute reality. It's validated by the interior sciences. It's not a myth. It's empirically validated by realizers, the most subtle and speculative mind-hearts throughout history. When we collected the testimonies of practitioners throughout history, all separated from each other in space and time, when, in the last 150 years, we collected those testimonies, it actually turned out that they all had slightly different methodologies, practices or yogas, first practices to get to this realization, but they all got to the same place, give or take different tastes of this one tastes. Buddhist called this one taste. One taste has quite a few different culinary expressions, but it's basically one taste. That's an absolutely valid, real... "The Perennial Philosophy", which emerged in the Renaissance that Aldous Huxley wrote a book by that name about, describes this true self as the be all and end all of the whole story. Even Maslow, at the end of his life, in the last couple years before he dies, writes in his diary when he was staying at Esalen, the retreat center which my friend Michael Murphy owns on the West Coast, he talked about his first realization there's a true self there. He began to get a sense of that. Now here's the problem. Here we go. Here's the problem. True self is true but partial. This is a very beginning. When I first started to say this out loud, my colleagues in the world of classical attainment thought clearly, Gafni has no attainment because he's [inaudible 1:36:03] That was the utter the reigning dogma I had with my friend Ken Wilber... Ken's a gorgeous integrator and a dear friend. We had, maybe two, three years of fierce contestation on this issue. The assumption was that any claim that true self is not the end of the story based on some inferior realization. You're not realized, you're confused. I wrote a book called "Soul Prints", where I alluded to, in a number of places in that book, to a state beyond true self, a higher level of self but I didn't explicate it. I gave it to my friend, Ken. Ken said, "It's a great book, but I'm not moved." I said, "Okay. I get that, motherfucker." Ken is fantastic. We just had a gorgeous time here, in a million conversations, and we've managed over the last 15, 17 years to, for as much as we can, the last decade to try and talk every week, and spend a few hours in the dharma together. So I said, "Okay, let me write a little bit more. Let me write a little bit of a note on this. So I wrote about 1500 pages. I went to Oxford. I was giving lectures in Jerusalem. It's a little autobiography just for a quick second to locate it. Through those lectures, there was someone at the lectures whose husband was a key professor, named Moshe Idel, the leading scholar of Kabbalah. He has a fantastic wife, who would come to lecture, Shoshan. Moshe said to me, "This work's important but you should get a doctorate." I had little value for the academy, which I felt was a center of mediocrity where there was not a lot of original thought, and Moshe said, "Get it anyways." I had taken five or six doctoral topics until that point, and was exhausted the topic, reading everything about and then being done with it. Why would I bother to write about it? I'm done. Moshe made the point that the point is to actually get the doctorate. I said, "Good point." So I went to Oxford and Moshe was my advisor. Beautiful man. I sat in the Oxford library for about a year and a half as I was teaching. But when I was in Oxford, I found the one library that was open 24 hours a day. I would go like 20-hour stretches, and wrote about 1,500 pages which I sent to Ken and then in the end became a doctorate. They only accepted 300 pages when I went to my doctoral exam. They just wanted to give him the doctorate, get him out of here as fast as we can because they weren't reading the texts well. Blessings to Oxford. My mother, by the way, is very happy I went to Oxford. My son, he went to Oxford. This is a big deal. So Ken, to his great and beautiful integrity, credit, he read it through in a few nights, marked it all up, started passing it around. My friend Zak Stein... And Zak had stuck with me for 12, 13 years and Zak's written brilliant work that actually is about unique self, which we'll talk about a little later. Zak read the marked up copy of it. Ken got it, he said, "Oh, okay, I got." It was a description of this lineage of unique self. It was based on a number of things, and I'm going to start in the beginning. One is there's this fundamental confusion between separateness and uniqueness. So this is a very, very big deal. We begin to see the limit of true self, because what true self does is and I'm going to take this slow because this is where we're going to slow down. You moved too fast. We got this exactly right. When we get this, it's going to help a lot. So we pointed out earlier that there's Western enlightenment and Eastern enlightenment. They both call themselves enlightenment; they both actually have precisely contradictory principles. Western enlightenment says we want to alleviate suffering, we're going to do it by realizing that who you are is a separate self. That's where dignity lives. That's the ground of human flourishing. Eastern enlightenment says no, no. Separate self is the ground of suffering. The ground of human flourishing is to move beyond separate self and to get to true self. So both of those, bless your Christian, both of those are true but partial, and they're based on a confusion between separateness and uniqueness. This is a very big deal. So Eastern enlightment says wow, your separateness gets you in trouble. That's true. The experience of separateness gets you in trouble. I'm separate from the field and it's not true. But my uniqueness is not my separateness. There's a seamless code of the universe, but it's seamless, but not featureless. It's filled with unique, distinct features. So you're part of the seamless code of the universe but also, it's irreducibly unique and distinct feature. Actually, I can move beyond my separate self, I can realize that I'm part of the true self but that true self actually doesn't exist any place in the fucking manifest world. There is no true self, any place in the manifest world. You're never going to meet it yourself, not at a restaurant, not at a bar, not late at night, not early in the morning, not on a walk, ever. There's no true self in the manifest world, because every true self sees through a unique set of eyes.

AUBREY: Your unique perspective, and even as I talk about my own psychonautic journeys, the mere fact that I can recount what happened... I went to the void, I went to the everything is a unique perspective.

MARC: Is unique self peering out.

AUBREY: Yeah, exactly.

MARC: You put it in perspective. So an early equation that I formulated with Ken is true self plus perspective equals unique self. That's an early equation. We're going to update it today but that's an early equation we formulated early on. It's in the first major unique self work, the "Your Unique Self" book, which is the classical book that I think you talked about in the intro to the dialogue. We talked about this equation, true self plus unique perspective equals unique self. You have an irreducibly unique perspective, meaning you're at a unique place in the time-space continuum, that any else that ever was, is or will be is, you have a unique perspective. That's never effaced by your true self. You've got a unique perspective. That's a very, very big deal. Now, not only do I have a unique perspective, but I also have a unique quality of intimacy. There's four of us. How many of us are in this room? Four of us. so we've got Marc and Aubrey and Ryan and Christian. If we did a little pointing out instructions, I would say, pull up the unique taste... I'd say to Christian, "Pull up the unique taste of Marc." You got it Christian? Got it. Okay. Pull up the unique taste of Ryan. Got it? Got it? Okay, pull up the unique taste of Aubrey. Got it? Are you confused between the three? No. We're clear. That unique taste is another way of saying there's any quality of intimacy, meaning, if you and I sit facing each other, and we're in silence, there's going to be a particular quality of that silence. If Aubrey and Lady Vy sit and they're in silence, there'll be a different quality that silence. If Aubrey and Ryan sit in silence, there's going to be a different quality of that silence--

AUBREY: Ryan abhors silence. He starts making jokes.

MARC: It's hard to sit in silence. We're going to have to do a dialogue in silence. Silence is a big topic, silence is a big topic. Not easy to be silent. There's a unique quality to that silence because that silence is not just true self. In other words, everyone has a unique quality of intimacy. A person is, as it were, reality or God's unique intimacy. So let's uplevel our equation. True self plus unique perspective, plus unique quality of intimacy equals unique self. Now we have an equation but now let's go back. So Eastern enlightenment confuses between separateness, and says, "Separateness, source of all suffering. Must be my true self." That's great but that's not the end of the story. Your true self has a unique perspective and has a unique quality of intimacy. Now, here's the deal, Western enlightenment made the same mistake, though. Equal Opportunity employers here. Western enlightment also confused between separateness and uniqueness. Western enlightenment said the source of all dignity is separate self. Not true. The source of all dignity is a unique self. Your unique charisma, your unique quality of intimacy, your unique perspective, which gives you unique value, irreducible value, that's your unique self. Your unique self doesn't need to be your separate self. Your unique self is the unique expression of true self. I'm a unique expression of the field and I just noticed what just happened here because it's actually shocking. I called Ken in ecstasy when this clarified to me in the middle of the night. All of a sudden, we've taken the two major lines of development in the history of human thought. One is the development which leads all the way to the Western world to the Renaissance, which says the apex is separate self and the other is the development of all the mystical traditions east and west, by the way; we call it Eastern enlightnment but it's really East and West; you have versions of this every place but it says the apex of development is true self. "Rational self is separate self," says Western enlightenment. Mystical tradition said no, it's true self. So we got separate self against true self. Double bind, deep in your heart and soul. Now, actually, both of those conflated separateness and uniqueness, made a fundamental mistake. So if you disambiguate separateness and uniqueness, you realize the source of dignity in the East doesn't need to be true self. It's actually unique self and unique self is true self, plus. I'm one with the field and I'm a unique expression of the field so unique self is beautiful. And then in the West, I don't need to have the source of my dignity, to be separate self. No, no, I can actually transcend my separate self like the interior scientist said, I send my separate self, but not just to my true self, but into my unique self. Now let's just go back to our puzzle piece for a second, okay? So back to puzzle piece. Drum roll for puzzle piece. Do we have a drumroll? Drumroll. Drumroll. Hold. Drumroll. Thank you. Puzzle piece. So puzzle piece is the experience that there's just one puzzle. It's just one, that's all there is. That's true self. Just one puzzle piece. Oh! Oh, Aubrey. You see lines separating the pieces? That's an illusion. [inaudible 1:47:07], sit on the cushion, meditate more. You have the sense that you want to individuate? That's a lack of attainment. You want to actually say that you're actually not just part of the one? That's your ego. In other words, all the systems that basically say... You were talking about a friend of yours who says it's only true self. You were trying to explain unique self, but he was locked in this true self paradigm. By the way, most of Western teaching, either apothesizes, makes the ultimate separate self and the classical teaching, both of the religions, the public teachings of the religions and of being a secular US citizen, or a European citizen or Chinese citizen, I'm separate self or apothesizes true self. Neither of which is right. Both of those actually cause pathology because that's your denial of who I am. Actually, I'm unique self. Unique self is a puzzle piece, which completes the puzzle. Let's go back to our puzzle piece image. All of a sudden, I'm a puzzle piece. All of a sudden, my idiosyncrasy is my uniqueness. It's my irreducible singularity. It's the intention of cosmos which we'll talk about a little later to manifest this uniqueness, which is me and I actually embrace my uniqueness. I celebrate my uniqueness, because it's actually the intention of cosmos. My uniqueness is not just unconscious. I'm consciously unique. And actually, at the higher levels of development and developmental theory, actually, unique self comes online. My friend, Don Beck, who did "Spiral Dynamics" a student of Clare Graves, read "Unique Self", he called me and he says, "This is the Bible for second tier." In human development, when you jump to second tier, he says "Unique self," he says, "All the developmental lines, the ones that I've studied, it's at second tier. When you jump to second tier, to the higher levels of development, you begin to orient based on your unique self."

AUBREY: I just recently did a podcast with John Churchill and he's deep in Eastern mysticism, which he describes transcending this idea of one taste but I think the fixation on in is that we're not actually at a level of development, that we've actually experienced ourselves as part of the whole. We're still trying to overcome the pathologizing of the separate self as the only. And as a pointing-out instruction, everybody's saying, "Become nobody." Become I am loving awareness. And so much love to Ram Dass. He's helped my life in so many ways through his teachings but I am loving awareness. Loving awareness is one thing that is cosmos, that is the divine and all perspective, all awareness is just participating in the one, capital P Perspective, or one capital W Witness. When I'm doing that, then I've reached the ultimate thing and becoming nobody is being only loving awareness, whereas the next second turning, the next turning, even in the mystical Eastern thought is the next turning is great, you got that. Congratulations, now you are loving awareness as Ram Dass or loving awareness as Aubrey.

MARC: And Eastern thought, there are moments in Eastern thought where you can find that, but it's not where Eastern or mystical thought goes for sure. Ram Dass and I, we had a moment where we became very close friends, We fell in love with each other, and we had a wonderful time. I just completely love the guy. I went in 2005, and this is a unique self story... We had this conversation about unique self, which is wild... I think I even have a recording of the conversation I had with him but unique self. I never actually thought of finding where... I should send to him. Maybe we can even put it as an appendage to this dialogue. So I went to Maui. He was living, and it was me and Ram Dass who's, of course, Richard Alpert, his original name and Krishna Das... I love KD. I don't remember what KD's original name but it's not Krishna Das, that's for sure. I'm also friends with this great guy named [inaudible 1:51:15], these are the Dass brothers who all have original Jewish names, of course, a separate issue, we won't go down that road now. So it was KD, me and Ram Dass. Ram Dass and I were teaching the seminar together. He was in post-stroke mode, so he wasn't really dong that much teaching. We had an incredible eight days including... They had, Aubrey, this insanely healthy food. It was just terrible. I was crazy starving. I'm doing all the teaching. Ram Dass was wheeling around grandly in his wheelchair. I'm doing all the teaching. He's eating all this lettuce and feeling fine. I'm thinking this is terrible. So I waited till everyone went to sleep and I went to the refrigerator just looking for food. Thank God, I found that they had some, at least, snacks that they had brownies. I just munched down like three brownies and went back to my room. But 15 minutes later, my mind and head is spinning insanely. I have no traveling history. It wasn't my path. I figured I'm having a heart attack because I had no explanation for it.

AUBREY: You got dosed.

MARC: Oh my god, three of them. So for six hours, just complete... I stumble into the living room at 6:00 a.m. and right at that time, Ram Dass wheels himself in. And I said, "Oh my God, what happened?" He looks at me and says, "What did you do?" I said, "I went to the refrigerator..." He said, "Oh, no!" He said, "How many?" I said, "Three!" And he said, "No!" I survived. It's actually very funny. I was having dinner in Fairfax at our table and Jai Uttal, was at dinner, who's a great chanter, and he tells me the story, not knowing it's me, that Ram Dass is telling about when he first met his rabbi friend what happened with his brownies. It became an epic story. He's a beautiful man. So we sat. I sat with him in LA. I believe I have a recording of this. I shared with him the unique self teaching. He said to me afterwards, and it was just his beauty, he said, "Had I known this, it would have changed my whole life." Essentially, he said, "I lived in a double bind. On the one hand, I had this enormous sense of ego." I'm going to quote him direct, he said, "I wanted to walk in the halls of power. My father was a powerful man. I went to Harvard. Everyone thinks I was excited about getting expelled from Harvard along with Timothy Leary. Well, I was and I wasn't. I wanted to be at Harvard. I went east and I met Neem Karoli Baba," that whole, beautiful story. That's when KD and him met. KD also became just a wonderful friend, and is a beautiful, beautiful man. But it's enormously confusing and was confusing for Ram Dass. He said, "And what I thought was this desire to walk in the halls of power and to impact and change history," he said, "which I wanted to do all the time, and I still want to do, I had to actually ascribe to ego. "That, clearly was a mistake. That's my ego talking, because everything Neem Karoli Baba told me was about disappearing." And I said to him, I said, "Well, let me ask you a question..." As we started this conversation, I said, "Did Neem Karoli Baba disappear? The way you describe him, he sounds pretty distinct, pretty distinct, utterly unique figure, one of a kind, irreducible, and yet you're telling me that he's talking about disappearing. Do you think there's anything wrong with the story?" In other words, no, no, no, there's something else happening here and I began to unpack unique self not as ego, not as your talents, not as your Myers-Briggs test, but as a unique self as the irreducible unique expression of true self. In other words, the field generated Neem Karoli Baba, who is your unique self who argue you're an irreducible unique expression of the love intelligence and the love beauty and the love desire of all that is that lives in you, as you and through you and that never was, is or will be ever again and as such, you have an irreducibly unique perspective and irreducibly unique quality of intimacy that allows you to give your unique gift to your unique field and your unique field of intimacy and influence; that is your unique responsibility and your unique obligation. That's Neem Karoli Baba. Of course, he said, "Of course, that's Neem Karoli Baba." Neem Karoli Baba didn't efface personality. He was actually intensely personal. Let's play for a second. This is where, for Ram Dass, it was a gorgeous moment for him. I said, "Let's look at it again. There's pre-personal, pre-personal self; then you have personal self, separate self, false self. Then the traditions talk about," and that's the language that Ram Dass used, because he absorbed it from the traditions, "The Eastern traditions; they talk about now you're going to the impersonal. We've all heard that. Move beyond your story; go to the impersonal. So that's true. That's true self. But then after the impersonal, you come back to the higher level, personal. In other words, there's personal level one, separate self, the impersonal true self. But then beyond the impersonal, the personal comes back online, and intensification of the person, which is not the personal of your fragmented, broken, traumatized ego story. It's your unique self story. And actually, Ram Dass, your desire to walk in the halls of power, part of it might be early pathology, but part of it was this realization that you've got a gift to give, and that your unique circle of intimacy and influence might be the halls of power. Actually, you wrote a book called 'Be Here Now' and that landed you as an icon and culture, which you never quite expected as you made those funny diagrams and sent it to the artist and put out this weird book that you thought a few people would buy and, all of a sudden, it exploded in culture and you felt like oh, my God, I want to give this gift! That wasn't your ego talking. That was actually reality, having a Richard Alpert experience and renaming him Ram Dass and wanting to speak through you to culture." He said, "My whole life, I was ripped apart because I didn't know how to resolve internally double bind, that enormous sense of self and this teaching that I should be no self." So the way we resolved that is unique self. Unique self brings together separate self and true self in a full synergistic embrace, a new emergent. Wow.

AUBREY: Was there a spark of unique self when the Hellenistic cultures talked about the daemon?

MARC: The daemon, beautiful.

AUBREY: The daemon seems to be like there is some unique thing that you're driven towards that's yours and only yours. and your demon is yours.

MARC: Yes, your daemon, your daemon. I love that you talking about daemon. It's funny. When I wrote an essay called "The Evolutionary Emergence of Unique Self", before the "Unique Self" book came out, and actually an academic journal called The Journal of Integral Theory and Practice devoted an entire issue, it's a peer-reviewed academic journal, to unique self theory. Ken called it the best theory of self we have and actually adopted it as a chapter in his own integral theory, and it was the only chapter that... It's why he wanted to have conversations with people. It's the beauty of Ken. He said, "Okay, what am I missing?" So it became a key chapter. Ken and I were talking on the phone and I was thinking about how to name the article. I named it "The Evolutionary Emergence of Unique Self" and Ken and I were just laughing about it because it is an evolutionary emergent. It's undeniably new and yet as Aubrey asks, on the other hand, whenever something's undeniably new... Evolution's not linear. That's a major mistake and theorists... This notion of a linear evolution is bullshit. Michael Murphy, my friend, says, "Evolution meanders." It zigzags. David Graeber, the anthropologist we talked about, points out that there's moments where something emerges, it has a moment that it disappears, and then it resurfaces. As you're pointing to, intuitively and, I think, wisely, there are fragrances of unique self that appear in different places, both in psychology and physics and in ancient traditions. And the daemon that you point to, I actually talk about in the "Unique Self" book. I think you're absolutely right. The daemon was the sense that there's something speaking through me, that the field is calling me. There's a sense of calling, the sense of being called. Your daemon calls you and your daemon is this larger entelechy. It's this larger sense that the field wants something from you, wants to speak through you. It's what I call reality having an Aubrey experience. That's your daemon. And as the reality is moving through you, I'm not just living; I'm lived. When you actually realize it that your daemon is an incarnation, a unique incarnation of the Eros of cosmos, daemon is one of the faces of Eros, then you're actually lived as love. But you're not lived as love just as the field of love, which is actually insipid, which has got no fuck, it's got no Eros, you're lived as a unique expression of love, Aubrey as an irreducibly unique expression of love, and whenever Aubrey tries to turn away from his unique self, from his calling, the daemon steps in. The daemon is not a person, the daemon is the intelligence of the field itself, which is moving through you and calling you and playing with you. That's the daemon. The daemon is very, very important. I would call that a proto-expression of unique self. I'll give you a second example. In Buddhism, in Zen Buddhism, they have what's called the 10 ox-herding pictures. The 10 ox-herding pictures are pictures of enlightenment. The 10th ox-herding picture is after the true self, when the sage turns back to the marketplace, right? This turning back to the marketplace, is actually an expression of can now I'm going to uniquely enter an engaged reality and seek to transform it. So there are moments of unique self that exist. Actually Nietzsche, who goes to take it all down and says, "Get the one thing we know," Nietzsche says in "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" is that there's this ineluctable and irreducible; and I'm paraphrasing, not quoting; you, that's unlike any other... Oscar Wilde, "You might as well be yourself because everyone else is taken." There's this sense that's undeniable, that what we know is anthro-ontologically is we know, actually, that my unique self matters and that's not my ego talking, just feel the relief in that. Is Aubreyness a function of... Aubrey grew up with this place and that time, and this, that, and this that. By the way, I haven't met your family, I'm looking forward to meeting your mom tomorrow night. Yay! Which is crazy exciting. Aubrey is going to do what he's doing because somewhere along the way, he got traumatized, and therefore he needed to do a public thing. Isn't that a shame? If he only would have worked that out therapeutically, he might have been a successful accountant but now he's got to do... But there's this little voice that says if I'm shining in the world, am I compensating? Shining is basically viewed as a compensation and we're lost in our grandiosity, but actually it's not grandiosity; it's grandeur. Human beings have grandeur. Actually, what Aubrey is trying to do is and we all deal with egoic structures and issues, but at core, you feel the call of unique self. We get to be friends, we get to love each other, when we realize that we each have unique selvess. All of a sudden, jealousy disappears. Because jealousy means I want to hijack some of your separate self. The second I'm a unique self, I love you, I can be in devotion to your unique self, I can be ecstatic about your unique self because I'm in my unique self. So the only real meeting of love is between unique selves. True selves can't love each other because they're just true selves; there's no uniqueness.

AUBREY: There's no subject-object separation either.

MARC: There's no subject-object separation, so there's no relationship, so there's no love. True selves can't love each other. Separate selves always have to be in what Hobbes called a state of war. That's what Hobbes described it and John Locke who's the best theorist of Western thought is really Hobbes in a velvet glove, but it's the same...It's Leo Strauss' phrase, Locke is Hobbes in a velvet glove, the same basic notion, which is where, this notion of rivalrous conflict, governed by win-lose metrics, the success story came from. Max Weber called it the Protestant work ethic, there's a lot of names for it, but it's all basically rivalrous conflict, win-lose metrics. As long as we're ultimately in a win-lose metrics, we can't be intimate with each other. We can't have shared identity. We can't really love each other. It's all ultimately, if Foucault told us, wrongly, but it's a power game. It's all a set of exchanges. It's all exchanged commodities. Heidegger writes, stuck in the same paradigm, "You can never overcome loneliness." It's always separation. It's tragic. It's only unique selves that can create we space. When two unique selves come together, both have a unique contribution. They have, as Walt Whitman said, in all of the denon and hullabaloo of reality, you've got a verse to contribute. You've got a verse to contribute. Your verse is not mine. Imagine if we put our two verses together, what that could be!

AUBREY: A podcast. Right now. Here we are.

MARC: A podcast! Here we go! And it's a podcast. Let there be a podcast! It's wild. Luria, the lineage master of Hebrew wisdom, talks about every person having a fundamental responsibility to write their unique letter in the cosmic scroll, and that every human being actually is a unique letter in the cosmic scroll. So now we begin to have the sense of a unique self. Drumroll, it's not the end.

AUBREY: And as lead-in to this next level of where you're going, and to tie in a few things, there's sometimes an idea that your unique self has a unique gift that is still somewhat blind to what the entire cosmos, the field itself once, and wants to draw forth from you. This is a discussion I've had with our dear brother, Erick Godsey. He has this very... He had, at least, a stricter idea about the daemon. It's like my daemon is here to do this. People would ask me, "Well, what are you going to do next?" And I'm like, "I don't know what I'm going to do next because I have to listen to the evolving nature of the field and find what the field wants from me before I know what I'm going to do." Yeah, I have some ideas, I think I'm going to write some books, I think I'm going to do some things. But if the world degrades incredibly fast and one of these existential threats hit, I may be in a far different role as warrior or as caretaker, as a farmer. I don't fucking know. There may be a whole variety of different things that I may put my unique gifts into, dependent upon the field. What this is leading to is, what I believe you're going to, is the unique self symphony. It's really listening to the field as your unique self, and then allowing the gifts of your unique self to respond to a genuine need from the field.

MARC: That's beautiful and that is unique self symphony. We'll get to it. In between unique self and unique self symphony, there's one more step we want to go which will speak to a lot of what you just said. But just before we get to it, to the next level, because we have so far, let's just see where we are... At five. We've got pre-personal self, number one; number two, separate self; number three, false self; number four, true self; number five, unique self. That's where we are. This is where it gets crazy exciting. Up until now we've just been playing. Now it gets insane in the most beautiful way. But we're going to get to evolutionary-unique self and unique self-symphony, the next two, the last two. But let's just, before we get there, you gave us a precursor foreshadowing and you point out that you've got to be in relationship to the field, A, so the field is true self. Let me add something to my true self. I had a wonderful exchange with our friend Daniel about a year ago, big vox exchange, which is often how we talk on true self. What I was sharing with Daniel was that true self is not just the field of consciousness. True self is the field of consciousness and desire. Consciousness is just awareness but awareness never exists without desire. This is a very, very big deal. So in, let's say, Kashmir Shaivism, which is the source of tradition of Buddhism, they talk about Sat-chit-ananda; sat is being; chit is consciousness. So the inside of being is consciousness and then the inside of chit is ananda, which is love bliss. So the inside of the inside, Sat-chit-ananda; being, consciousness, desire; inside of inside is desire. Wow. So the field; it's not just the field of being, of consciousness. That's a defacing of the field. Buddhism talks about one taste, true but partial, my brothers and sisters but it's two tastes. It's being and becoming or it's stillness and desire. Stillness, spacious, stillness, psychedelic journey, certain ways Aubrey might stack to bring you to this field of spacious stillness then there's becoming turbulent, ecstatic, pulsing, urgent, desire. I remember having a conversation with a dear friend, Jerry Jud, who started a wonderful, not Jewish actually, but it was called Shalom Mountain. Jerry died at about 100 and he's one of the great pioneers of the 20th century. I was talking to Jerry about urgency and who is a true self devotee and he just got angry at me. It was about '96, so I cut some slack. He said, "Urgency, there's no urgency. That's separate self." I said, "No, no, no, there is urgency." There is an estatic urgency and ecstatic urgency is the quality of unique self. The field is alive within me, and I'm listening to the field. So when I'm a unique self, I am an expression of true self and true self is the field. It's the field of intimate communion, it's the field of desire. It's the field of emergence. That tells me two things about my unique self. One, my unique self is not a reified, unchanging eternity, it's an evolving eternity, it's an evolving quality of eternity. So I have an evolving unique self, A, your first point; and your second point, both of them critical, is that you've got to be in constant permeability with the field. The field is pouring into you and you're pouring into the field, there's this constant movement between you and the field, you're listening to the field and the field's listeniing to you, and there's this interpenetration that's always happening. That field is the field of desire. So to be in true self means I'm participating in the field of desire. That's a big deal, the field of consciousness and desire. The only time desire gets to be problematic is if you think that you have a local desire. There are no local desires. All local desire is in the larger field of desire, and desire has integrity if it honors the field.

AUBREY: Well, yeah. You could have localized false self, pseudo eros desire, pseudo desire?

MARC: That's right and you can have unique desire. You have both authentic, unique desire, and you can have false self-surface desire. But desire itself is beautiful. Desire is the nature of reality, reality is desire. Who are you? You are desire. And who is Aubrey? Aubrey is desire. That's who Aubrey is. That's true self. But he's a unique expression of desire and unique self.

AUBREY: We're actually making little lies, every time we call anybody a noun, actually. There's a little embedded lie. I think there's a very cool term. I think it's actually in one of your unpublished works of phenomenology that you actually go into it. It's a term for actually taking something which is an evolutionary process--

MARC: The denominalization of self.

AUBREY: I thought it was that but I didn't want to fuck it up.

MARC: Denominalization of self. It's beautiful.

AUBREY: Stan Grof, actually, on our podcast was telling me that. He just looked at me and he speaks slow and direct, and he's got the wisdom of all of his years accumulated, He says, "You are not Aubrey. You are Aubreying. And this table is not a table. This table is tabling because 1,000 years from now, this table, even what it is even when it's not life; it's part of the evolutionary process. It's a first principle, first value.

MARC: So people don't get lost, the table is going to transmute without an obvious sense of will. Aubreyness, just so we can distinguish between the two, Aubreyness is a distinct consciousness. That consciousness is embedded in a body. That body is part of a consciousness. We'll have to come back to this before we finish today. Although Aubrey is not a unique self in a meat sack, because actually his bodiness, his embodiment is inerratically not separate and embedded and inextricably included in itself, in itself, in its unique self. Nonetheless, his unique self is not dependent on his body. So if, God forbid, we cut off Marc's arm or Aubrey's arm, but let's say Marc's. I don't want to be cutting off your arm or mine but you cut off your arm, you're still you. You cut off your leg, you're still you. You still have your unique self and ultimately--

AUBREY: I feel like you're... I push back a little that that is a significant evolution of your unique self, actually.

MARC: You lose something of your uniqueness when you cut off your arm--

AUBREY: And potentially gain.

MARC: And you potentially gain another part.

AUBREY: One example of this, for example, people go through... Right now, we're in a crazy time, medical time. So fecal transplants are showing some of the most promising psychological-psychiatric benefit. So if you actually change your gut flora with someone who has healthy neuro-chemistry, because everybody has heard the term that the gut is the second brain, fecal transplant actually puts new microbiome in your gut, you're producing new neurotransmitters, massive shifts in personality start to happen. They've done this in mice, mice that had a tendency for obesity, you switch the fecal biome, with a mouse that's super athletic and loves running on the wheel, then the actual personality of that mouse changes and evolves.

MARC: This is a big deal. So let's stop for a second. Let's just see where we are. I apologize. It's an insincere apology but for a second, let me just look at where we are. Let's go into this for a second without losing our thread, which is: we're up to our unique self. We're taking a little commercial break to talk about, in this level of unique self, what's the relationship between the mind and the body? We haven't gotten to evolutionary-unique self, and we haven't gotten to unique self-symphony. So you point out, and you made this point in the beginning, which is a beautiful point, we'll play with this for a second to see if we can clarify it, is that the dualistic idea which reigns in the 16th and 17th century, is that there's a mind and a body they're actually two utterly distinct worlds. By the way, 17th-century dualism became 19th-century materialism. Basically, they made a circle, draw a circle, cut the circle in half. On top, you've got spirit, the word they used. And at the bottom, you have matter. So those are two completely separate worlds. Spirit actually steps in and directly runs the world of matter but they're two complete utterly separate worlds. The entire movement of science went against that and science and began to realize that those worlds are not separate worlds; there were less and less ways to measure spirit in the ways that science was doing quantitative measurement. By the time we got to the 19th century, people looked at that circle and said, "Let's just lop off the top." So 17th-century dualism became 19th-century materialism. Now, you're pointing to something which is absolutely true. I call what you're pointing to pan-interiority. And pan-interiority is this realization, there's lots of different names and lots of different shades of it. Some people talk about panpsychism. [inaudible 2:16:52] had talked about pan-experientialism. I won't bore everyone in this point to talk about the distinctions and why we coined a new term. Zak and I, Zak Stein pan-interiority. But pan-interiority basically means that you can't split, in the manifest world, between reflective, the depth of the self-reflective mind and the body, that the body is actually, as you say, not a meat sack, the body's intelligent, it's living, it's alive. There's actually an inextricable union between exterior and interior. You can't actually split them. It's not that there's spirit and matter. No, actually, everything is both interior and exterior and they affect each other, which begins to introduce parapsychology, begins to introduce continuity of consciousness, begins to to explain all of the phenomena we have of telepathy, all of the phenomena we have which are poltergeists, all the phenomena we have have of out-of-body experiences, all of the phenomena we have have of mediums; in other words, that whole realm of parapsychology, which is an empirical realm. And anyone who doesn't think it's an empirical realm is just an idiot. I apologize. It's just stupidity. There's so much information. And William James at Harvard, and Henry Sidgwick, with his wife, Edith at, Cambridge, started the British and then the American Psychical Society, there's 130 years of probably the most rigorous research done, which establishes the empirical validity of parapsychology, which is based on this notion that actually, the body, heart, mind are an entire oneness. They're part of a larger union, they affect each other, they move together. It's why in psychoneuroimmunology, we proved what our grandmother's knew. Psychoneuroimmunology that between the hypothalamus and the frontal cortex, the amygdala, there's very, very clear correlative relationships, they affect each other, meaning my attitude affects my physical performance, my grief makes me sick, my partner dies, who I've been with for 40 years dies, I don't feel I have a purpose in life; within six months, I die. There's very clear relationships and yet that entire body of work also tells us that the Aubreyness, the quality of Aubreyness transcends, has a continuity of consciousness. So that body which, obviously, I've trained to be clear about that, and we always give Onnit the credit, that's okay.

AUBREY: I saw you doing these kettlebell swings. It was impressive.

MARC: Totally. It's actually weird. Sometimes when I take off my shirt people say, if you don't see my head, "Is that Aubrey?" It just happens all the time.

AUBREY: I would expect Kyle Kingsbury.

MARC: No Kyle. No one ever says Kyle. Hot damn. Kyle.

AUBREY: Your hyperbole only goes so far?

MARC: Only goes so far.

MARC: Okay. Fair enough. I didn't know that there was bounce. I thought we were playing a game of extremes.

MARC: It's a fair point. Okay, Kyle. I'm in. So Aubreyness, there's a continuity of consciousness. We have an enormous amount of empirical evidence for the continuity of consciousness of Aubreyness. And even Buddhism that says, I don't know, I'm one with the field of consciousness, slips in unique self, surreptitiously without telling you it does by calling out reincarnation.

AUBREY: And again, to counter the very thing that I previously described, my dear brother, Parker Sherry--

MARC: Parker Sherry.

AUBREY: Parker Sherry. I have, in my own practices, again, as my own experiential psychonaut, have what I believe to be is the ability to actually communicate with Parker. I've had conversations with Parker, which have been wildly beautiful and rich and surprising. You know it's surprising when it makes you laugh. When you hear something from them, laughter comes from something that you haven't thought through, and you wouldn't expect. In these kinds of conversations, in the medicine, in this state, and I'll find myself chuckling because he was saying something that only Parker could say, and it feels, and again, people can say, that's just my memory playing out in a programme. Okay, whatever, I can't prove that it's not but I feel, in my body and in my consciousness, that I'm having that communication with Parker, who recently passed. So there is this continuity that extends beyond the body.

MARC: That's correct. There is a continuity of consciousness that's real. So on the one hand, I'm one with the body and the body is not just a temple for the soul. That's what you were trying to point towards in the beginning, and the way that the lineage talks about it, at least, one lineage says that we talk about light and vessels, and that we used to think that the body was the vessel for the soul, which is the light. And one thinker, Schneur Zalman of Liadi, not something I would name your kid, by the way, points out that [inaudible 2:22:09] and this is a complex interior science statement, but it means higher is the source of the vessels than the source of the light, meaning the body, which is the vessel not just the light, is actually higher than the source of the light, meaning the body is fully intelligent and alive, and that as long as we're in this manifest world, there's no Cartesian Dualism, the body and heart are the interior and exterior, are one fully organismic expression of livingness and there's a continuity of consciousness beyond this body. So sorry to say, you're going to have to start training again next time. and you might be a beautiful woman, which will be beautiful.

AUBREY: What's an interesting--

MARC: I think you'd be a hot woman, by the way.

AUBREY: I could be. Depends.

MARC: You could be. Depends. Okay.

AUBREY: One of the things that I'm curious about is... And I don't know this from my understanding of the cosmos, but I'm curious as to whether evolution, because we're leading towards the evolution of unique self, I'm curious as to whether evolution actually can happen in the discarnate expression of the continuity of consciousness or whether actually reincarnation is necessary for evolution.

MARC: I love you, Aubrey. I love, when we're trying to get to fucking evolutionary-unique self, you throw in another huge topic... So that's a great question. And it's actually a beautiful inquiry, but let me go back one step and then forward one step. I landed this dialogue for us to spend this weekend in deep study and practice. I landed, actually, the night that your friend Parker Sherry passed. So he's obviously been with us this week, and I didn't have the privilege to know him, but you and I got to sit on the couch and talk about him and to hear your stories about him, which is the practice when a person passes is to tell stories, in the most beautiful way, and to invoke them, which you have. As you were describing, your conversation with Parker Sherry you said... People could say it's just my memory flex and I can't prove it, although you can't prove it in ways that are obviously measurable. First off, you know in your own anthro-ontology, anthro-ontology, anthro, my own humaneness-ontology, the realness that I directly access through my interior, you actually have a sense of its absolute realness, number one, which is critical in terms of validating it; but number two, and we're not going to go down this road now, and it's definitely a separate dialogue, but we actually, at this point, have empirical information which indicates to us that in any form of rational thought, the only way we can explain an enormous amount of empirical information, which cannot be explained in any way other way, the continuity of consciousness after this life. So in terms of what we call proof, we have better, quote-unquote, proof for the continuity of consciousness than we do for most scientific theorems that build science. That's a very, very big deal to realize. That was not true 150 years ago. So this is part of the evolution of consciousness. We've gathered information in a new way; we've collated that information. Just to give you one example, Ian Stevens at the University of Virginia, and Michael, Michael Murphy, funded it, collected about 2,600 cases of reincarnation, which he then documented, and then he investigated very, very carefully X amount of them. The only valid hypothesis for a kid living in place X who's born 10 months after a kid in place a Y, massive amounts of miles away, no cultural exchange between them, and Stevens' researchers checked very, very carefully for any possibility of deception at a level which most scientific experiments, none, actually even vaguely approach, and this kid in place Y knows everything about place X, remembers all of these memories from place X has a mark, let's say where an arrow went through kid one, has a mark in his body at the exact same place with a full set of memories that are fully available to him that live in him, et cetera, et cetera... This is just a quick snapshot. The only plausible rational explanation is that there's a continuity of consciousness. That's just one, that's just one of about six different pieces of valid research. So for someone to dismiss continuity of consciousness today, that's not actually a valid position for a rational person. Michael Murphy, who, again, is the President of Esalen. Michael and I had a number of years of just beautiful conversation. He used to come to our board meetings. We held them in Mill Valley where he lived of the think tank. Michael got up and he said, "I used to say I was an agnostic about reincarnation," and Michael is very scientifically-based, "And at a certain point, I began to feel sleazy. I actually felt like I was a sleazy person because I'm not agnostic. All the rational information is one way, and I didn't want to say because I didn't want to be dismissed as woo-woo. So I realized I was actually lying, I was actually completely out of integrity. So we actually have an enormous amount of evidence for continuity of consciousness, and there's no rational being that can easily dismiss that. It actually is the best explanation we have of an enormous amount of empirical evidence. That's just a bracket, bracket and bracket.

AUBREY: Let me, dangerously, I'm going to lob another bracket without trying to derail us too much further, because yes, there's another bracket that's imminent and waiting--

MARC: We haven't even gotten to your first [inaudible 2:27:43]. A bracket within a bracket. Hot damn!

AUBREY: A bracket within a bracket. What is the cultural, just really quickly, quickly, quickly? What do you think is the cultural pressure to actually not believe in the continuity of consciousness? Why do we desire, collectively? What is the collective Zeitgeist desire to claim that there is no continuity of consciousness? Why are we trying to do this?

MARC: It comes, actually, from a sacred place. In other words, the religions hijacked heaven. The religions used heaven to create control. The road to heaven was lined with obedience to a particular set of dictates, from a particular religion that actually claimed that only its adherence got into heaven. Immortality was essentially used to avoid the metaphysical and spiritual and moral obligation to actually transform this world. So Christianity. Remember Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young before our time, but whatever, something like, "How many people died in the name of Christ? I can't believe it all." So people get massacred both by Buddhist sects massacring each other and Christian sects massacring each other and Sunnis and Shiites massacring each other, but they're doing it for the sake of the integrity of their religion and for the sake of ensuring that, let's say a Christian Inquisition, that the people that they're murdering will get to heaven, they'll have immortality of the soul or the obligation to actually treat profound suffering. The notion that that person is now going to go to the next world actually somehow frees us of our obligation to create heaven on earth. So there was actually an impulse in modernity, which was a holy impulse, which was let's fucking create heaven on earth. It's beautiful. It's a beautiful impulse. Heaven was caricatured as harps playing, and it's probably not harps, probably violins. So I got they got that wrong. But heaven was a caricature. It became an exit from this world. And, actually, just like in a marriage... Whenever I'm working with a couple, I always say, "You got to close the exits." Once you got a lot of exits... So in order to actually stay and work in this world, there was a sense that modernity had that you got to close the exits and it wasn't wrong. However, when you close the exits in a way in which you basically then say the nature of this world is purely materialist, and it's actually over when it's over, you actually create despair. Because it's actually a violation, A, of what we know, as we just pointed out empirically. I also know it anthro-ontologically and it's completely fucked up morally because it's completely clear that fairness does not happen, at this moment in time, for most human beings in this lifetime. You cannot actually understand and deal with the suffering in the world if you limit reality to the space of one lifetime. You can't. So if you know in your body that reality is holding a dimension of fairness, you also have what I would call an anthro-ontological portal into the reality of the continuity of consciousness. So that's a different portal. We've described now two different portals. One portal into the continuity of consciousness is empirical information that validates it, one. A second portal is there's actually 12 doors, which we're not going to talk about now. There's 12 anthro-ontological doors, where you can get a direct first-person knowing of the continuity of consciousness. One of them is the experience of fairness, that fairness is a core structure of reality, then the realization that fairness never happens, for most human beings, within one lifetime. So your moral sense tells you that it can't be over when it's over. It's actually fascinating. So there's 12 anthro-ontological doors. There's also, third, a philosophical door, which is pan-interiority, which is, philosophically, which we're not going to work out now, the best understanding of the human being is continuity of consciousness. So there's these three different doors, which is not our topic. That was your fault.

AUBREY: Totally. And there's another topic that we still can, or maybe we can just ignore the bracket--

MARC: No, no, no. Let's pick it up for a second because you put it out.

AUBREY: But, ultimately, what this is speaking to is not only the who are you question, but it's also leaving breadcrumbs to where are you--

MARC: Total trail of breadcrumbs to where are you.

AUBREY: And these questions, of course, you actually have to bleed them into each other to actually make sense.

MARC: They have to bleed into each other. I want to honor the other lob that you did, lob, which is the opposite of the lobotomy. Lob mens let's think, let's think about that, which you said, is evolution only in incarnate form, or in the worlds between worlds which are described by the interior sciences. By the way, you can get an anthro-ontological knowing to the worlds between worlds. In other words, you were five, six days ago... Again, I now say this with just so much gentleness and respect, because to invoke a person you didn't know, and your friend, I want to do it with just enormous respect. You were just with your friend, seven days ago, Parker Sherry, now he's not here. Where did he go? I was with my friend recently, a few years ago, Barbara Marx Hubbard. We were about to do a programme together, and we got on the phone. She had had an incident, she was in the hospital, I said, "Let me talk to her." She got on the phone, she said, "Marc!" with this beautiful delight, it was last word she spoke. I flew to her bedside, she died a couple of days later. But it was so clear, in my embodied sense that Barbara wasn't gone. Where'd she go, to New Jersey? But I had a direct realization, like you had with Parker of the continuity of consciousness. The interior sciences have an enormous conversation. That really is too much of a divergence. We won't go there but it's a different conversation. But there's an enormous conversation about the worlds between worlds and about the evolution that happens in them. So let's just say that's addressed by the interior sciences. Clearly, we've got to be very, very careful and humble there, when we move between certainty and uncertainty. We've never been there and we don't have direct information. We can't claim dogmatic information. We have to hold, trembling before reality, the mystery and yet gather the informations with a tender tentativeness, but there's an enormous depth in the interior sciences on this topic that deserves address. Bracket. Evolutionary-unique self!

AUBREY: Evolutionary-unique self. And just to close in my own thinking on that, I asked a question.

MARC: Please, brother.

AUBREY: If you consider that evolution is a first principle and first value, everything evolves, all is evolving, then evolution must go all the way up and all the way down. So evolution must occur in the worlds between worlds as well. One interesting thing that I got from my brother, Matias de Stefano, who remembers his past lives. This is another way that if you want to just feel it in your body, listen to him sing Atlantean songs that he sang as a mother to his child in the civilization of Khem and just feel what those songs evoke in you and see if that isn't a lullaby that was sung and is sung in our ancestral memory. What he says is that in the worlds between worlds, we're stepping into a place of timelessness, this is another big bracket that I just want to share this little piece. In that moment, is both an eternity of time spent in the world between worlds because there is no time, and also an instant reincarnation. So it is possible that, actually, it's our understanding of time that makes this seem contradictory, when it's actually paradoxical. The paradox of an infinite amount of time between worlds and an instant reincarnation, in some form as matter and maybe matter is, therefore, inextricably woven to evolution, which is always happening because eternity and instant is happening at the same time in this grand cosmic paradox. But I think the key point of this is that I believe that we would probably both agree that evolution is a first principle, first value of the cosmos.

MARC: So you said three things. Of course, we have this beautiful, gorgeous, beautiful risk, but it's a beautiful risk is that we're in a deep set of conversations, so something emerges and it's part of this other conversation. So that was the evolution thing but you landed it exactly correctly, which is that evolution itself is an actual first principle and first value of the cosmos. What evolution means is that reality is a series of transformations. That's the nature of reality. Evolution equals reality as a series of transformations. If reality is both manifest and unmanifest, it's both interiors and exteriors then there's no reason to suggest, and the interior sciences realized this, that the transformations end at the end of the space of one finite lifetime, transformation continues. So that's one. That's critical, that's to realize that evolution is a first principle and first value, meaning the process of transformation is a first principle and first value. The reason that matters, friends, is that that means that our own impulse towards transformation, is not actually a violation. It's not that there's no place to go. That Buddhist sense of just sit still and be... Where you're trying to get? There's no place to get. Well, actually there is, my friend. Actually, it's not just being, it's also becoming. What sometimes Buddhism does... When I say Buddhism, I mean popular renditions of Buddhism, but also often structural forms of certain forms of mysticism is basically defy evolution. In other words, it took us quite a few billion years to get to a human neocortex that can actually think about its own transformation, be conscious of its own evolution, and to actually cut off the frontal lobe of the human neocortex to make a regressive move and say, I'm just going to be in a pure state of beingness is actually a huge mistake. Being and becoming our inter-included in self including each other. Now the Matias, you invoked your friend, Matias, you spoke to me about, he's one of the people we said we have to all meet each other. We'll do that at some point and raise some glasses of wine. I don't have a memory of past lives. That's a very beautiful gift--

AUBREY: Never had one. Of all the things that I've done and every medicine I've taken, I've never had a memory of a past life.

MARC: Beautiful gift that Matias has. Luria, one of my teachers, had a gift of both his own past life, he had a very particular unique gift of knowing other people's past lives. I have worked with people... I can get a sense sometimes of other people's past lives, but not a clear sense. I don't have Matias's sense. It's a very beautiful gift that he has, which I want to just beautifully honor.

AUBREY: He says that if we're all different cells in the one organism, and different organs, there's liver cells, pancreas cells. He's a memory cell. It's just one of the organs of the human cosmos and has that ability.

MARC: It's beautiful! And that's unique self. And that's his unique gift. By the way, to validate Matias, we actually have this expression, this memory cell appears in all traditions, at all times. We've always had people like that. Again, I have a fragrance of it, in particular places so I can feel it but we also have enormous empirical information that's real. So that's an important piece of information that you can't take off the table and be a rational person. That's critical. So now we have a drumroll. Drumroll time. Yes! So we are at evolutionary-unique self. So let's just see where we are for a second now. In some sense, we're at the end of our dialogue, but this is the most exciting part, which leads us into our second dialogue where we start talking about how does this play in sexuality? How does it play in love? How does it play in joy? What's the relationship of why is unique self the only antidote to pornography? What does those two things possibly even have to do with each other?

AUBREY: People's mind is just like, "What?"

MARC: They're completely related? Why is your unique sexuality the only response to an impersonal sexuality? There's so much right to say. How does it change psychology? How does it change education? My friend, Zak Stein, wrote a chapter on our unique self theory in his book, "Education in a Time Between Worlds" which is enormously important. We actually have people in psychology, in business, in education, in economics. We're actually working on unique self volumes which apply unique self to all dimensions of the ecosystem of human life. It's the change that changes everything. Charles Taylor wasn't wrong. If you get right the answer to the question of who am I... When I say get right, the best response that includes the most in an eloquent second simplicity. So everything we're talking about today is second simplicity. First simplicity is sloganeering, doesn't work. You got to do all the complexity, level two. So first level, first simplicity. Level two, complexity, and it's a core model I've deployed for years then level three is second simplicity. We've integrated all of the complexity and now we're able to talk in these orienting generalizations that are actually accurate and allow us to make sense of reality, while we stand before the mystery. So in that light, let's just say a couple of things before we hit evolutionary-unique self. Let's just take a look. It's very exciting and very elegant. So pre-personal self, that's where we started. We went from pre-personal to the personal. The personal was separate self and false self. Then we went to true self, which calls itself the impersonal. That's now the impersonal, then we said no, but that's not the height, that's not the apex, as the traditions thought. Actually, above that, is the personal beyond the impersonal, level two personal, which is unique self, unique self which is the discretion of infinity in a person. My personhood is the irreducibly unique expression of the field. That's unique self. When I really get that, that catapults me naturally to number six, evolutionary-unique self. And evolutionary unique self, simply said, is the realized unique self or unique self in an evolutionary context, unique self with an evolutionary relationship to life; meaning I can actually say seriously the statement, who am I? I am evolution in person. It's a wild sense. True self says, "I am being in person, I am the eternity of being in person." But in that, true self said, "My personal disappears." Unique self says, "No, no, no. I'm being uniquely. I'm being seen through a unique set of eyes. I'm the unique set of eyes, the unique quality of intimacy, the unique perspective of true self." Evolutionary unique self says, "I'm evolution in person. I am the personal face of the evolutionary impulse. The evolutionary impulse actually beats in me. The force, the pulse, the throbbing of the entire evolutionary impulse is awake and alive in me." That's actually, first off, physically true, literally, cosmogenesis, the entire evolutionary process is recapitulated in embryogenesis. All of the previous levels of evolution quite literally live in me, interiors, and exteriors; it's all living in me. When I awaken to the realization that evolution lives in me, that's conscious evolution. Isn't that gorgeous? I had a big argument with my dear friend who I invoked earlier, Barbara Marx Hubbard, in the last years of her life, which we came to a full agreement on before she passed and we've done dialogues about it. It's not just, "Alright, she passed. She agreed with me." Barbara, I wouldn't do that to you, my love. We dialogued about it publicly. Barbara used to talk about conscious evolution as evolution becoming aware of itself in the human being. Up to now, she said it was evolution by chance. And that, she wrongly adapted and regretted. We talked about deeply, the Neo-Darwinian synthesis, which was the world by chance. We've long rejected that at the leading edges of science, although it's still part of the standard, common narrative. Science hasn't yet caught up with itself and that needs to happen. But that's actually not true. When evolution generated photosynthesis... I could spend a day just talking about photosynthesis, but it's the most stunning, elaborate... I can't use the word elaborate. It's exponentially beautiful. It's exponentially complex. It's exponentially dazzling in the amount that's happening. It's photosynthesis. It's just so beyond imagination. You go up online and just bring up even an E. coli bacteria, look at what's happening there, you'll just be dazzled by the complexity and the movements of intimacy and the configurations. Now exponentialize that, you get photosynthesis. All that's happening way before there's a human neocortex. All right, but evolution was doing that by chance, unconsciously. Not likely. Not likely. It's just impossible. But it has nothing to do with intelligent design. That's not a Christian intelligent design idea that there's a God outside the cosmos who has the right plan that's being puppeteered? No, it's actually a much more fascinating and beautiful reality in which we understand that reality is both held in a larger intelligence, and that larger intelligence, here's in reality, that larger intelligence is an inherent process of reality itself. It's the ceaseless inherent creativity of Cosmos, which is reaching towards its own inherent plotlines. That has a lot to do with where we are, which is the love story of the universe? That's our where are we question, the second question. So I'm going to bracket that for a second. But evolution is this process that's alive in me. So I literally am evolution. That's actually true. We talked about evolution in school as a theory. Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is my identity. I am the personal face of the evolutionary impulse. When I awaken to that realization, that's conscious evolution. It's not that evolution was unconscious and then the human being came along at a particular stage in history right now and it became conscious. Well, that actually ignores everything that happened before the human being, But actually, evolution clearly was, in some sense, intelligent consciousness to generate photosynthesis and to generate the entire evolutionary process of unimaginable dazzling, mathematical genius and complexity at all, before the human neocortex. So the human being awakens, and then a human being goes through all these stages of evolution. But then at some point, the human being becomes aware, and that accompanies now, becomes aware of the entire evolutionary story. Wow, that's new. We've never been aware of the entire evolutionary story, and then been able to locate ourselves in that story, to realize that we're part of that story, that we're actually expressions of that story, that story is happening through us, we're its storytellers, we're also writing its next chapters. That's conscious evolution. That's [inaudible 2:48:23]

AUBREY: And evoking story is important as well, because my dear friend, Ted Dekker, when I was asking him... He's an amazing storyteller, sold over 10 million books, he said, "Look, story is really simple. It's a series of things that happen to a character or characters that caused them to transform." It's the transformation of characters in a story. That's it. That's what we're participating in.

MARC: Yes, and this is big. I'm going to, with permission, allow you to seduce me only partially here because, as you know, my wicked friend, there's a lot to say about story.

AUBREY: And we're going to say it, just not today.

MARC: Just not today. But let's, just because you threw that sentence in, let's just go back for a second. So the pre-personal self doesn't have its own story. It's part of the larger story, that the baby is part of the mother's story. There's no differentiation of an individuated story. Separate self begins to realize I have a story. False self is a distortion of that story. That story gets distorted, it's a distorted plotline. Then you get to true self and true self, actually, which is why most true self teachers say move beyond your story, don't get stuck in your story... Your story is actually extra. It's a problem. Get to this place where you're beyond story. Unique self then returns story. Unique self says no, no." Your ego story is limited. True, but partial. You got to move beyond the story. You're part of the larger story of a cosmos, not just the story of consciousness, the story of desire. You're a unique expression of the story of desire, your deepest heart's desire is part of this larger story of desire. So we bring the story back on in unique self. We actually reclaim the dignity of story. Then in evolutionary-unique self, you realize your story is chapter and verse in the larger story of the cosmos--

AUBREY: Which is a love story.

MARC: Which is a love story--

AUBREY: We'll get to that too.

MARC: And that's our second question about where are we? And just for those listening and saying, "Oh, wow, they're just saying it's a love story," no, no. Aubrey and I have been in deep conversation the last 25 years on understanding this notion of reality is a love story, this amorous cosmos. We're going to show that it's actually the most validated empirically, and based on all the information we have, the best way to understand cosmos on all levels. It's a very big claim and we're going to show that claim to be, in the end, self-evidently obvious and beautiful and stunning, the realization that we live in this amorous cosmos, in this intimate universe, in this cosmo-erotic universe. But just, for now, let's go back. We just showed story through all the levels of self. What we're going to actually talk about when we talk about where are we, we're going to actually show that this notion of reality as a story is even before the human being, that reality itself, the whole thing has a narrative arc, that story's a quality of reality itself that, just like evolution, a series of transformation, series of transformations just like uniqueness, just like eros, our first principles and first values of cosmos, story itself, the narrative arc is actually a first principle and first value of cosmos. And what that means, we'll get to in a deep way, but I hope, friends, we've earned your trust. We say that rigorously. It's not casual. Having said that, since we're just about three hours in, let's get to evolutionary-unique self. We just explained evolutionary unique self, at least in broad brush terms. I am evolution. Now evolution is desire. I'm the personal face of the evolutionary desire, but not any desire. I've got to clarify my desire, not my surface desire, not my ego's casual desire, but actually, my deepest heart's desire is the desire of evolution. My deepest heart's desire is God desiroing through me. You and I talked about yesterday, in a different context of study, we talked about what it means to love a god. It's to let God see through your eyes, and it's to let God desire through you. If I actually understand that there's a field, there's a God field, God's both a personal force and the quality of the entire field, the infinity of person or the infinity of intimacy, which is, again, a different conversation; but if I actually have that realization, which is a deep realization, which we'll get to in a different conversation, then I actually realize I am a unique expression of that field. That's a very big deal. So if reality is desire, which is actually how the interior sciences understand it, how can I find it anthro-ontologically because everything that drives me is desire. And how evolutionary science understands it. Evolution desires the right to advance a novelty. Evolution is reaching for new emergence. It's reaching for more consciousness and more complexity and more creativity and more uniqueness, all plotlines of cosmos. If I actually get that, then I get if I'm evolution, and I clarify my desire, and I actually awaken to knowing that evolution is moving through me, meaning I've awakened from unconscious evolution to conscious evolution, which means I've now awakened from unconscious uniqueness to conscious uniqueness, I realized that my unique desire is the unique desire of evolution, that evolution is desiring through me, then it's really important to clarify what's my true deepest heart's desire? Now that really matters because I am the leading edge of evolution. You can imagine evolution has been 50-50 on the scale and my desire tips the whole scale. So my clarified heart's desire is the desire of divinity discreetly expressed as me, uniquely. Divinity can't desire that next step other than through me. My deepest heart's desire is the desire of evolution, because evolution is just another word for desire. Evolution is evolutionary desire. So I am the unique incarnation of evolutionary desire. As such, I can begin to play my instrument number seven, drumroll. I guess I shouldn't quit my job and become a drummer. I got that. It wasn't such a good drumroll.

AUBREY: Chanting.

MARC: Chanting. Stay with chanting. Got it. Stay with chanting so. So as evolutionary-unique self, I participate in unique self-symphony. Unique self-symphony means… Unique self-symphony is the new structure of revolutionary intimacy. Reality is the progressive deepening of intimacy. That's a big sentence, which we're going to have to validate in a different dialogue. But reality is more and more intimacy, wider and wider fields of shared identity. As we get to this new level, and this new human level of evolutionary intimacy, I realize I'm not in a world which is in rivalrous conflict governed by win-lose metrics but I'm also not in a world which is just organismic, where we all become part of the one mind, which is a totalitarian notion. Actually, reality is a unique self-symphony. If I'm actually living my unique self and my evolutionary-unique self, then I have an instrument to play in the unique self-symphony. There's a song I can sing. There's a poem I can write, there's a way of living, laughing, loving that's uniquely mine and mine alone as I listen to the music, the instruments of everyone else in the symphony, because that's where you play in a symphony. I'm deeply attuned, literally attuned to the field, I hear all the other instruments, and yet, I'm distinctly playing my instrument. It's a unique self-symphony, but it's not just a unique self-symphony, I'm playing a Beethoven score uniquely, which is what a symphony does. Its unique self-jazz symphony.

AUBREY: Yeah. It's like Grateful Dead when they're just finished at the end of the song they got 20 minutes just riffing each other and feeling the vibe of the audience and playing their music.

MARC: And Garcia picks up his guitar and hot damn, there we going, we're spinning. A jazz symphony means, and when you watch jazz, it's so beautiful. There's this moment where the trombone steps back, or everyone steps back, whoever you've got playing, and all of a sudden, they're playing, they're playing some that's never been played before, that's undeniably original, irreducibly new. It's an emergent. It's an emergent because that's what reality does. Reality generates new emergence, I'm a new emergent of reality and I have a unique gift to give. I have a poem to write, a song to sing, a way of laughing, living and being that's actually needed by all that is, that's a contribution. It's my verse to contribute. That's the jazz symphony. That's who I am. That's what it means to play my instrument, because I'm a unique incarnation of Eros. Now, what we've described here, what we've described here, Aubrey is a new political structure, it's a new economic structure, it's a new social structure. In other words, reality doesn't need to be run by a command and control top-down in positional framework which is what those--

AUBREY: One composer, a bunch of instruments, following directions like robots--

MARC: Which is precisely what those proponents of closed societies are claiming, that the only way we can organize a society which is going to have 10 billion people by the end of the century; that's, by the way, going to go through a precipitous drop for lots of reasons; but you can't organize 10 billion people. We have to have a command and control top-down one composer, everyone's told what instrument to play. No, you actually can create an open society. Now open societies as they exist today are going to dissolve, they're going to disappear and disintegrate because they have no organizing principles. Organizing principle means, now this is the whole everything was for this. Organizing principle means you can create not complicated systems, which are alienated from each other, which are lost in rivalrous conflict governed by win-lose metrics, which generate fragility, you can create complex systems, David Snowden's distinction, meaning a complex system means that the whole system actually operates in resonance. The way I understand a complex system, which Snowden doesn't say, but he agrees with, is that a complex system means there's allurement between the parts, they're in resonance with each other. So a complex system is self organizing. So it's very beautiful. It's self-actualizing. We're beginning to describe a self-actualizing society. So an anthill, every ant knows what to do. How do ants know what to do? We're not sure. So we started to look for the command ant, that was what early research did. We couldn't find the command ant. We started looking at slime molds for the pacer cells that were telling slime mold that moves through the forest floor, then splits into separate cells, then comes back together. We tried to understand how to do that. So we looked for the pacer cell. There was a 1962 article by Schaefer out of Harvard that everyone assumed there's a general someplace, we just can't identify the general because he's hiding too well. Then we realized, Evelyn Keller's, Evelyn Fox Keller's research, based on Turing's morphogenesis at Bell Lab began to realize no, no, actually, there's simple rules that generate the inherent process of self-organization in a slime mold and an anthill and a beehive. Let's say in an anthill, one of our approximations is the ants secrete pheromones that actually communicate information that tell every ant what to do. Now, however an anthill self-organizes, we know that it does. And an anthill, for example--

AUBREY: Or maybe that's just our fixation on there being some materialist reductionist way to explain a phenomenon which does not require actually anything to participate in the world of matter that can be measured by science.

MARC: In other words, pheromones might carry it or it might be carried not through pheromones, through a different telepathy but the evidence is very clear that--

AUBREY: It's happening.

MARC: It is happening. So imagine that the human world is not reduced to a totalitarian anthill and now you can just feel the palpable excitement. Imagine we can actually generate a self-actualizing society. Now, what is the equivalent to what might be the pheromone might not be. But to the self-organizing principle at the level of anthill, what's that principle at the human level? Uniqueness. It's gorgeous. In other words, we actually self-organize, we self-actualize in alignment with our irreducible uniqueness. Uniqueness is actually the inborn quality of the human being. If I clarify my uniqueness, I don't get stuck in my separate self, self-commodified talents. I actually get quiet enough in true self to listen to who I am. I feel myself with the field of being because I need a glimpse of true self, might be through dance. It might be through psychedelics, it might be through meditation and it might be through nature. I need a glimpse of the realization that I'm part of the field. Then I'm an irreducible unique expression of the field. I listen to my uniqueness and I self-actualize to give my unique gifts into my unique circle of intimacy and influence through the meaning of my uniqueness. All of a sudden, who am I? I'm a unique incarnation of eros of love. So imagine, as the structure of a political society, of a new universe that's on the brink of meta crisis, imagine the responses, a planetary awakening in love through unique self-symphonies. Wow!

AUBREY: I think what's necessary is for people to actually get a taste. They have to have a taste in the fragrance of their unique self and to realize that when you actually do that, that actually the unique self of an individual is not going to exhibit the same characteristics that we've seen from fellow mankind for so long.

MARC: As the ego. The unique self and the ego are completely different from each other.

AUBREY: Because we think of people, people are greedy, they're bellicose, all of the aspects of the rivalrous conflict and win-lose metrics. But actually, if you go through all of these levels of self, you actually do transcend all of those shadow qualities that actually make people want to hurt other people, because that's actually a disconnection from the field.

MARC: So let's be really close. This is huge. And all the hard work we did and the joy and the delightful ecstasy of this dialogue, which brought us to this place, now we get to reap the harvest. So what happens is, there's an eros to unique stuff, there's an aliveness to unique self. The eros, the experience of being radically alive comes from being in my unique self. Remember we distinguished between uniqueness and separateness. So unique self doesn't separate you. Uniqueness is the currency of connection. Unique self is the puzzle piece connects. Now, evolutionary-unique self... Let's just finish our analogy. In unique self, the puzzle piece completes the puzzle. In evolutionary-unique self, the puzzle piece evolves the puzzle.

AUBREY: And the puzzle itself is evolving.

MARC: And the puzzle itself evolves through each evolutionary unique self. And in unique self-symphony, you realize my puzzle piece is actually my instrument in the unique self-symphony. Wow. So it's not so much that I evolve beyond ego or beyond even the shadow qualities of ego. When I come to unique self, it's not that I've left ego behind. Ego actually prefigures unique self, but I evolve beyond my exclusive identification with ego. I actually create a new center of gravity. My center of gravity is not separate self. My center of gravity is not not true self where I disappear. My center of gravity is my unique self. We actually know and this is the conversation I shared earlier with Don Beck that actually the higher levels of developmental consciousness mapped by 100 different developmental thinkers what we're calling that, they don't have words for it. I did a dialogue with Suzanne Cook-Greuter, who said no, no, unique sucks, here's a Buddhist practitioner, the unique self, I can't be in that. I actually showed her, we had a beautiful dialogue, it's actually in an academic journal and she was fantastic. She's a great developmental thinker, I was able to show her with great delight and honor and gentleness that actually in her work, in her description of at higher levels of developmental consciousness, just hold on to your seat for a second, she actually used the word unique self because it was only word she could. She hadn't read my work, she was looking for a word for it, I didn't know it, I'd already published the "Unique Self" book. She actually described something similar, and she actually located it. It's a stunning realization that unique self actually lives everywhere. It's where I orient from. It's not that I left shadow behind. It's that I actually have a wedge of awareness, I'm not identified with the shadow. I'm actually identified with the eros of my unique self that actually yearns to contribute a verse, yearns for goodness, yearns for truth, yearns for beauty. I'm actually self-actualizing as a unique self and unique self symphony. And just imagine the experience of the guy or the woman playing in the band, there's nothing like it. You never get to repeat that. The experience of playing in the band, playing in a jazz quartet--

AUBREY: Even a drum circle.

MARC: Even a drum circle, there's nothing like it.

AUBREY: It's amazing.

MARC: That's your actual experience, your actual lived experience is I'm in my drumming circle, I'm playing in the symphony. That's not an experience of a desiccated separate self, the guy, hermetic sculptures talked about this dessicated self. The poet, TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men", and the stuffed men. No, no, no. This is the experience of playing in a jazz quartet, in a drum circle. There's nothing more ecstatic. There's nothing more fulfilling, there's nothing more beautifully seductive in the highest sense of the word. So now we're talking about a self-actualizing world. That's the code for an open society. Politically, open societies will actually fall before closed societies unless they have inherent principles of self-actualization. They have to have actually simple first principles, that answers to who, where, and what. And we've talked today about who, which actually generate the self-actualization of a robust, healthy, strong, open society. So what we're talking about today is actually the future of humanity. You can't generate a humanity.

AUBREY: Indeed, and what we also have to talk about is the link between... And we cannot talk about it today, we got to wrap this show up, the link between arrows and ethics, and how actually the ways that we get lost, sometimes it's because we've gotten lost in the development of self and we're too too far on one side in the ego, too far one side on this side, we can get out of balance, but there's also impulses that we have to acknowledge are necessary for our goodness, necessary for our truth, our beauty and actually, the flowering, the fruition of us into our unique self, and how we can get steered wrong into what you would call pseudo eros and these pathways that lead to depravity.

MARC: So what associated you there, sweet brother, is you skipped sharing with us one moment of your association. So with your permission, I'm going to fill it and what moved you there was we talked about... Yes, yes, yes to everything you said. No but at all, just an end, which is once we realized that my eros is an expression of my unique self, then I realized that to the precise extent that I am not living my unique self, which is my light. It's in shadow. That's a huge conversation. So my shadow is not my jealousy, my rage, my anger. Those are my shadow qualities. It's a huge mistake, Robert Bly wrote a book called" The Little Book of the Shadow", where he mistakenly, as most theorists do, identify shadow with shadow qualities. Those are just shadow qualities that are struggling to get my attention. My shadow is my unlived unique self, my unique self distortion. That's my light, my unique singular quality of light, my unique frequency, which is now in shadow, which then struggles through shadow qualities to get my attention. That's gorgeous. Now, as you point out, and we talked about that... I know we're doing a two-part, question one, who are we, we're doing two parts. Let's talk about this in the next part, but what you point out and which is critical to this new story of cosmo-erotic humanism, is that when there's a breakdown in Eros, which means a breakdown in unique self, then there's a breakdown in ethics. That's what shadow means. Ethics break down when I'm not living the fullness of my story, and then we begin to realize how damaging it is to think that my story is just a separate self. Rivalrous conflict, win-lose metric story, pathologizing, you create a pathological society, which is what we've done. But true self, which has moved beyond your story, is also pathological because exactly my story is my eros. It's my unique self-story. It's not my ego story. It's my unique self story. It took us, of course, the whole dialogue to get her because we wanted to get her not as a declaration, not as a dogma. But we've actually done the deep work of seeing the evolution of this first value and first principle of uniqueness, which now triumphs as this new understanding, unique self, which begins to be the ground on which we can create tomorrow.

AUBREY: Let's go.

MARC: Let's go. Let's go. Oh, my God. I know we're at the end. Maybe, if we can, we'll finish in the last minute and I'll tell you a story again that I've told you before I know that you've told and told beautifully, but it'll maybe wrap us maybe perfectly, and you can guess where I'm going because we're in together deeply, our friend Zusha. Zusha is this Hasidic master... And we can tell it together. Zusha is this Hasidic who's on his deathbed. Now, here's the thing people don't realize about the story... People tell it popularly but of course, a popular story is hiding something very deep. Zusha is a true self master and what he realizes on his deathbed, is unique self. So Zusha's dying. He's this major master of the Hasidic movement that Martin Buber wrote about, the great, ecstatic, ethical mystics. He's crying, and his students say, [inaudible 3:11:33], "Master, why are you crying?" And Zusha is a master of true self. So when people go visit Zusha who is very poor, and they say, "Zusha, [inaudible 3:11:42] you're suffering." You're living in this broken-down place, and you've got nothing. He'd say, "Suffering? What's suffering?" He was complete true self. He wasn't able to make a blessing, because he would say, "Blessed are you, you, you." And he would feel the infinity of divinity and faint in ecstasy. He's a complete true self master. Then on his deathbed, he realizes no, no, it's not just true self and he says to his students, "I'm crying because when I die, if they ask me, 'Zusha, why weren't you Moses?' I'd say, 'I didn't have Moses's mind. I didn't have his propensity for law.' 'Why weren't you Aaron who was the high priest?' 'Well, I didn't have to preach the capacity.' 'Why weren't you Akiva?' 'Well, I didn't have the ability to make Akivas distinctions,' but I know they're not going to ask me any of those questions. They're going to ask me one question. They're going to say, 'Zusha, why weren't Zusha?' He realizes on his deathbed. It's not just true self. It's unique self." He got the lineage and he says, "I was born for a unique self." And his last teaching was the transmission of unique self, the only thing we're held accountable for. No one's going to ask me when I die, "Marc, why weren't you Aubrey?" No one's going to ask Aubrey, "Why weren't you Marc?" Or ask, "Why weren't you Ryan who's sitting here and why werent' you Christian?" They're going to ask me one question and one question only, "Marc, why weren't you Marc?" So oh my god, I'm alive.

AUBREY: And the they is you and the you is they, and not you and not they. That's the paradox.

MARC: They is universe, is reality. What a delight, brother?

AUBREY: What a delight. I can't wait for the next one.

MARC: Oh my god, I can't wait for the next one.

AUBREY: Love you madly, love you madly. Thank you, everybody.

MARC: Love you madly. Madly.

AUBREY: Thanks for tuning into this video. Make sure you hit Subscribe. Follow me, @aubreymarcus. Check out the Aubrey Marcus Podcast available everywhere and leave a comment. Let me know if this video resonated or what else you would like to hear from me in the future. Thank you so much.