Toward A New Story, Vol. 3: WHO ARE YOU, Pt. 2 W/ Marc Gafni | AMP #392

By Aubrey Marcus December 02, 2022

Toward A New Story, Vol. 3: WHO ARE YOU, Pt. 2 W/ Marc Gafni | AMP #392

In Volume 3 of the series Toward A New Story with Dr. Marc Gafni PHD we continue with part 2 of 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:

Watch Volume 1 of Toward a New Story:
Watch Volume 2 of Toward a New Story:
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:
Awakening Your Unique Self (book):
A Return to Eros (book):

MARC: The deeper your intention, the more specific the intention, the more unique intention, the more love there is. That's what a human being is. A human being is exponentially unique, intended by reality. And the actual experience as a pointing out instruction, for actual enlightenment, that's what we mean by the democratization of enlightenment. We can actually access the enlightened experience. Unique self itself is a pointing out instruction for my own enlightenment. I actually have an experience of reality intending me. Wow, I have an experience of reality choosing me.

AUBREY: 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 thought through what this new story might look like more than Doctor 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 is our third episode with Rabbi Marc Gafni. If you're interested in the first two make sure to check them out on YouTube and anywhere podcasts are listed. And look forward to more coming up soon.

AUBREY & MARC: [singing 00:01:38]

MARC: Good Morning, Vietnam. Robin Williams. My god. Robin was great, wasn't he?

AUBREY: He was great.

MARC: I know. I miss him.

AUBREY: Too bad somebody wasn't a little bit closer on the inside.

MARC: Tragic story. I was getting a haircut in San Anselmo with my little son, and he lives in San Anselmo and we went to the same haircut place. And I was doing a routine. I thought was quite a funny routine with my son. And he's kind of watching me as if he's taking notes. As I walk out, I say, you can have all the material. He was sweet and lovely and just a great guy. Great guy. Blessings to Robin Williams.

AUBREY: Blessings. Robin Williams.

MARC: Good morning, Vietnam.

AUBREY: Here we are, brother.

MARC: Here we are. Yay.

AUBREY: Here we are. We got some cool shit to talk about today.

MARC: This is the big day. This is the big day on unique self. We've set up the frame and now we get to, how does your friend Chris say it?

AUBREY: Does it grow corn?

MARC: Does it grow corn? Where should we start with? I’ll tell you a story?


MARC: There's two versions to this story. There's two parts to it. But will give you both of them really quickly. I am at a very famous school. I'm in America at Exeter Academy. And I'm talking to this fantastic group of young people about, is there anything in the world that actually obligates you? For which you're responsible. Meaning, not I want to do it, not it's a nice thing to do, you got to do that. It's got to be done. There's a kind of demand by cosmos. Does cosmos ever demand something from us? Does it actually say, I need you to do this. And this is yours to do. You got to do it. And their assumption was no because they were deeply educated in that kind of postmodern context that we talked about earlier. And they're validated by the entire postmodern structure. And we looked at Yuval Harari as a kind of parrot of post modernity. And we argued about whether he was good guy or bad guy. We are working that one, brother. I'm standing for you. Aubrey's a little suspicious. Little suspicious. And I shared with them a story. This is with 500 young men and women. And I shared it not only with them, but this same scenario, with a couple of dozen leading centers of education, high school and college over a period of years. And the image or the story or the hypothetical is as follows. You're on a plane, the plane crashes, or ship, ship wrecks. Deserted island. It's you and Mother Teresa are the only survivors. And the reason I use Mother Teresa because when I started offering this example, I'd just read the second of her, her biographies. And she was tough. You think Mother Teresa was a very sweet lady holding a baby from Calcutta. She did great, gorgeous things in the world. Lived a tragic life. Actually never heard god talking. She could never find the divine. She actually acted despite that in a very beautiful way. It's really gorgeous. And she was trying to create an order out of the Vatican, which is a profoundly beautiful and profoundly corrupt, with genuine decadence institution, which is not easy. She's a hard woman and her biographers describe her as such.

AUBREY: I heard I heard that, and this is a total tangent, but I heard that sometimes she would just grab a baby from an orphanage or something like that. Go knock on a door. And it was Mother Teresa, so you answered the door. And then just hand the baby. And they'd be like. And she'd be like, yep. Yours now.

MARC: That's a beautiful story.

AUBREY: That's tekufot right there.

MARC: That's tekufot, as in the radical audacity that comes from the humility of knowing that all moves through you. Tekufot, that great lineage word. T-E-K-U-F-O-T, tekufot. And that was her audacity. And she was also tough and hard. Here you are with Mother Teresa. You're on an island. And it turns out, and apologize for all your Mother Teresa fans, but turns out she's impossible. She's driving you out of your mind. You know hypothetically, you're never going to be rescued. It's never. This is kind of like Dostoyevsky, when Raskolnikov kills the old woman in the famous Dostoyevsky novel. The meta theoretic says, he will never be caught. Can he get away with murdering the old woman? Even though he'll never be caught, has he actually violated something? That's the question Dostoyevsky was asking. I asked them a version of the same question. You're there with Mother Teresa. You've been there for 10 years. You feel like if you hear her talk one more time, she's going to fucking kill you. You're just dying. She reminds you of your mother. It's nails. I apologize. You can't even do it. And you're never going to be rescued. And she has a diving accident. Why she's diving, I don't know. I made that up along the way. Someplace, maybe from the shipwreck, diving gear was still there. You happen to be a doctor. Why you're a doctor, that's also made up in the story. But basically, we create this trolley car problem. You fix her hands. She broke both hands diving. They're now out in splints in front of her and she can't feed herself. What do you do? Do you have an obligation to feed her now? The answer to that question is yes. It's actually not a hard question. But 5/6 without hyperbole, without exaggeration, of the leading edge young men and women, high school and college, from education around the world said, you cannot say that you're obligated to feed her. You can't. Wow. And the other one-sixth pretty much were from fundamentalist world. And they said yes, you do because god commanded it. That's a step ahead.

AUBREY: Or a step behind.

MARC: But it's also got a regressive dimension to it. But to think that five-sixths of the people said you can't... It's a good thing to do and might be a nice thing. But you can't really say should with a capital S. You can't say that you have to do this because there is no intrinsic sense of value. There's no intrinsic thing which is not, and that's where Harari's parroting post modernism says all value is fiction, a social construct, figment of our imagination. Now, that's tragic. The second part of the story is, I then met with a key figure whose name I won't mention, at Harvard Divinity School who was teaching there. And I went over with her the same question. And she, of course, agreed with the students. It'd be, of course. Of course, we should take care of that woman. But not really should. Should with a lowercase s. And I discussed this with leading edge, serious thinkers, theologians in a pretty much universal agreement. You can't formulate that as an absolute obligation. Can be utilitarian. You create a better society that way because what kind of society would it be? But that falls down because, of course, you're never going to be rescued so it doesn't impact society. That's why isolated that way. I wanted to take it out of that utilitarian ethic. No, no, you're never going to be rescued. This is not going to affect society in any way whatsoever. In that isolated place, do you have the obligation or not? The answer is of course you do. And it's the breakdown of value which suggests that you don't. But here's where your unique self comes in. Here's where it gets crazy exciting. We were able to actually formulate and it took us 20 years to formulate a clean, clear sense of what am I obligated to do? But before we formulate it, I just want to say in Hebrew, very beautiful, the word obligation and the word love are the same word. Meaning, obligation means the love intelligence moving in me demands a certain kind of expression of loving that moves in me as me and through me, that doesn't move through anyone else but me. And this is a good place to maybe review it for a second for people. Remember our 70 seconds, then we did another 13 seconds in our last dialogue, and I had seven seconds to spare, which is what's the formula of unique self? Unique self is who are you? You're an irreducibly, unique expression of the love intelligence, and love beauty, and love desire. Now we do it slowly. Of all that is, that lives in you, as you and through you that ever was, is or will be ever again other than through you. And as such, you have a unique perspective, you have a unique capacity, you have a unique quality of intimacy, that come together to foster your unique gift that you need to give to your unique circle of intimacy and influence. Foster's your unique gift, which addresses a unique need, in your unique circle of intimacy and influence. And that is your unique responsibility. That's your unique obligation. Whoa. Now all of a sudden, it's going to grow some corn. Let's grow some corn there now. What are you obligated to do? But obligation is not imposed by some caricature god or some caricature government. The god you don't believe in, doesn't exist. Not that crazy God that you don't believe in. That god doesn't exist. This is the love intelligence of cosmos that moves through you, that makes this demand and radical love. Just like when you're madly in love. You're madly in love with Lady Vy.


MARC: You are. I know. I'm staying at your house this week and I see it. In and out every day, behind the scenes. It's beautiful. Does that make a demand on you? Of course it does.

AUBREY: It does?

MARC: Of course it does. Is it like, no, it's an option? No, actually, it's the most intense and real demand. let's formulate, really, for the first time in a post postmodern moment. And it's not by accident we're formulating this here on a podcast and not at Harvard Divinity School, because Harvard Divinity School and that whole institutional framework of the academy has become kind of a hothouse of mediocrity. And it keeps repeating the same, old postmodern destructions of value because they don't want to go to a regressive value, fundamentalist value. But we actually haven't engaged after all the deconstruction of postmodernity in the reconstruction project. The reconstruction project begins right here, right now on this podcast. Here we go. Here's how obligation works and it's very beautiful. One, you see a need. A, there's a need. A. B, you discern the need, you see the need. Three, it's a real need. It's a genuine, authentic, it's a real need. Four, you have the capacity to meet that need. Five, you're the only person in the entire world that at this moment in time, has that capacity in the unique way that's yours to do to meet that need. You have a unique capacity to meet that need that no one else alive in reality at this time has. Now that's kind of wildly exciting because what the story does for us is, it's why it's so beautiful, you're on this island. You're the only person there. You've got an obvious expression of number five. You're the only one who can possibly do this. But if you actually have a realization of unique self, if you actually get that you're not defined by your comparison to another person, that you're not actually in an Instagram game, that you're not actually trying to accumulate likes against someone else, meaning you're not on a rivalous conflict governed by win-lose metrics, which is a generator function of existential risk, you're actually in your unique self, then you understand that actually, every single moment of every single day, you have a unique gift to give and a unique life to live. That actually every single moment of every single day, the love intelligence and love beauty and love desire of all that is moves in you as you and through you. And is whispering in your ear and saying, I need you. There's something I need you to do that I can't get done without you.

AUBREY: Lechisha. The whisper.

MARC: It's a lechisha lineage, says it's a whisper. It's called lechisha d'oraita. The whisperings of the light.

AUBREY: Let's play a little bit.

MARC: Let's play a little bit.

AUBREY: I'm going to give an example of something that's very similar to the Mother Teresa example but actually happened to me.

MARC: here we go.

AUBREY: Downtown. I'm on my way to this club called Summit. I used to go there every once in a while, probably once a month or so. We’d get a little table at the rooftop, and we’d dance, we’d have some fun. I'm on my way there. There's a street that turns on to the main street, 5th Street, where I was going, and there was somebody crossing the street. This truck takes the turn pretty fast without looking and hits the guy. Not too hard, but hit him enough that he kind of whiplashed and then cracked his head on the pavement. And I'm the closest guy to that guy. I spring into action. I pull my shirt off and I wrap it around his head because his head was bleeding. And I'm shouting out directions for somebody else because I'm cradling his head and have my shirt wrapped around it and kind of have my hand on his chest like, it's going to be alright, brother. We got the ambulance coming. I'm just doing what I can. I'm not a fucking medic, but figured that was the best thing to do. Maybe stop some of the bleeding, maybe keep his head from rolling around on the pavement. Maybe comfort him. That was mine in that time. That was my obligation to do that.

MARC: That was your obligation in that time. Meaning it wasn't an option. And even though you couldn't be criminally prosecuted, and this is what's interesting. The law doesn't formulate that obligation. Meaning had you, someone call an ambulance. Even had you walked on, the law actually avoids obligation. And actually, in that moment in time, your unique perspective, your unique quality of intimacy, your unique capacity was at play. That's a gorgeous example because like the Mother Teresa example, it accomplishes the same thing. You actually realize the experience of uniqueness. Think about this. It gets completely crazy and beautiful now in the most elegant way. In terms of ourselves that we talked about in part one of the dialogue, so if your true self, you don't have the experience of being personally addressed by reality, with reality making a demand on you. You can't formulate responsibility and obligation. It's just this generic sense of love. But love doesn't move uniquely through you. The evolutionary impulse of love, evolutionary love, Eros doesn't move through you. You're left in this space where you're never personally addressed. There's never a demand ever on you. And that's actually not only a pathetic life, but a life which is radically filled with depression and breakdown. Because depression is replaceability. And if I'm replaceable, if I'm not needed, I'm depressed. And here's the second thing and then back to your brother. Separate self. If you're a separate self, that's what we just see, you're a separate self, you can't formulate obligation. That's why if you are a separate self, there's no way to formulate an obligation for you to stop, as you did so beautifully, find that man, rip your shirt off, put his head in your arms, hold him. And I know you, brother, I'm sure you were radically present. Kind of fullness of presence. You stepped into the inside of the reality. These are faces of Eros. We did a beginning dialogue on. But Eros means I'm on the inside, I'm fully present. I'm part of the whole. In that moment, there you are part of the whole, you are the expression of the whole itself in that moment. It's all moving through you. You get very calm because the whole's moving through you. Your interiority is fully present with the guy. He can feel you. And god has now acted through you. Not that god wasn't there. God was there having an Aubrey experience, but separate self can't formulate that. You have no obligation. You're not called. And true self can't formulate it. Which is why a society built on separate self is bound to collapse. A society built, particularly an open society, where there's no top-down imposition like a closed society will collapse. And in India, or a kind of Eastern society whose ethos is rooted in true self, will have an ashram in the middle of a neighborhood of abject poverty. And it'll be deep in its own meditation and won't engage what's all around it because it's true self. I'm not engaging, I don't need to engage. There's no demand by cosmos that I engage. It's only unique self that can formulate the love demand of cosmos. But it's demand that's of enormous joy. It's the demand that Lady Vy's presence makes in Aubrey. The love intelligence. Uniquely love desire and love beauty awake and alive in you. Wow.

AUBREY: It's a choice for those in the ashram to take the bodhisattva path or not in a kind of a way. Either way. Either stay here and meditate or enter into the fray.

MARC: Either I'll be an air heart, as they call it, meaning I won't enter the fray. Or I'll be a bodhisattva but my gig. My gig. We have to get to the bodhis... It's a genuine unique self experience means that I'm obligated to be a bodhisattva. And that word bodhisattva, meaning I'm going to actually not just experience my own enlightenment as true self, but I'm going to go and bring everyone with me on the path to their fullest realization. That is in unique self. Actually in the unique self book in chapter four, there's a section called the unique bodhisattva vow. It blows it out of the water.

AUBREY: It's like Snoop Dogg says. It ain't no fun if the homies don't have none.

MARC: Snoop Dogg it is man.

AUBREY: Snoop Dogg the bodhisattva.

MARC: Snoop Dogg the bodhisattva. That's good. Snoop Dogg the bodhisattva.

AUBREY: At least one he's passing joints and gin and juice.

MARC: Oh my god. Snoop Dogg, yes.

AUBREY: The other thing I was going to contrast with is similar situation. I'm actually driving in a car and I'm going down one side, it's a much bigger road. It's the road Cesar Chavez. Going down one side going home late at night. And there's this guy who tries to make a run across without any lights. Run across both sides. He runs across my side. Plenty of room across my side. But he didn't see there was another car coming on the other side. Faster car. And he's kind of lumbering. Thought he could make it. Couldn't make it. The other car slams on the brakes. Not enough time. And the guy hits the car, and then goes up over the car, which is good. He didn't get pinned underneath it. It kind of took his feet out. But it was a big hit. I'm driving, I pull over. And I look back. And I see four cars pulled over. I see somebody on the phone. I'm listening to what's going on. There was people with him, there was people calling. And then I was like, I can keep driving. They got this. I am not uniquely needed. There's nothing actually that I can add. I'm not a fucking medic. I'm not a doctor. I don't have a unique set of skills that actually makes me better and more equipped to handle this than anybody else. The ambulance has already been called. And actually we saw the ambulances racing on the way home. That was the difference. I would have helped if I was on the other side of the road. I was first there. But because it was just a slightly different situation in which I could make the assessment like, no, actually. This isn't mine. And I can keep going.

MARC: Gorgeous. And there's a key word you just said, brother, I can make the assessment. That's the phrase. Meaning I actually have the capacity to discern. In the true self world, there's what they call an inquiry question. An inquiry question is who am I? In unique self enlightenment, if you will. When I say unique self enlightenment, I mean unique self enlightenment, not as the practice of the elite, but what we call the democratization of enlightenment. And unique self allows for the democratization of enlightenment. It actually demands it because you can't just have an elite that have realized their true self meaning their identity with all that is... Actually for unique self enlightenment, you need every unique self to be realized, to be self-organizing or self-actualizing based on the allure or the call of their uniqueness. Because my uniqueness is my unique set of allurements. That's actually what it is. For Ramana Maharshi, the question is, who am I? And when I'm supposed to realize who am I? I'm the whole thing. I'm one with consciousness. But then that's the end of the story. And unique self enlightenment it's who am I? Your unique self and if you really ask the question well, you'll get who am I? Your unique self, your own irreducible unique expression of the love intelligence and love beauty of all that is, that lives in you as you went through that never will be is ever again, other than through you and as, you'll get the whole thing.

AUBREY: I see now how you really kind of cheated a little bit when you said you could get-- You hustled me yesterday, when I challenged you to say something in less than 90 seconds you haven't rehearsed. You knew your timing.

MARC: I wasn't rehearsed but I did know at the time it was a hustle. Which is why I regretted not making a bet. What the fuck was I doing? I knew I could do it. Why didn't I make a bet? Complete lost opportunity. Lost opportunity.

AUBREY: I think you tried to hustle me in ping pong too, but actually, there was just too much of a gap.

MARC: To go to the ping pong gap between us in the middle of a dialogue where we're trying to change culture, it's just a cruel thing to do. I'm just saying we're not going to go there right now. But I got a couple good slams in there. I did a couple.

AUBREY: You did. That's why I was saying there was a little bit of hustling. You're like, I don't know if I can really do this. Wah-bam! But then I returned it and you're like, uh-oh.

MARC: That was a problem. We're just at the beginning of the ping pong conversation. We're at the beginning. Here we go. As unique self, it's very beautiful. The question is, who am I? One, your unique self. And then it elicits a second question. And this is the real inquiry question. What does reality need from me in this moment? That's the unique self inquiry. And that inquiry by itself. And the reason we can joke about Ping Pong is that's why... Because reality doesn't need me to win a ping pong game. That's what we can enjoy about. We can play. That's the gorgeousness of play, we get to step into play. And then we get into the incredibly seriousness of life, which has joy. It's actually even a deeper play. And the deeper play is, the deeper joy is the joy of being unique self and knowing that all of reality is turning to me in this moment. I'm literally centerstage and reality needs my service. And that's a lineage phrase. 16th century [inaudible 00:26:16]. Reality needs your service. And I just want to say, holy brother, that there's so much more than Prozac. The actual experience, reality needs Christian. Reality needs Ryan. Our friends with us in the studio today. And I'm actually needed by reality and that no one that ever was, is, or will be, or was alive at this moment, can address that need other than me. That's joy.

AUBREY: Yes. And all that's absolutely true. And it can also be a source of deep challenge because I've experienced this challenge as well. When you recognize that you have unique gifts, there are things that only I can offer.

MARC: Is there ever joy without deep challenge?

AUBREY: That's true. But let me just eliminate the challenge for people. When you recognize that you are unique self and you do have unique gifts, at any given moment, there's something uniquely I could do that would be of unique service to the world. I could reach an audience. I craft a post. I make a poem. I write another newsletter. I make another connection. Or even I offer my body work, which is a radically unique experience that I was trained, one of one, and from the lineage from Porangui. There's so many things that I could do that there's almost a near infinite amount of things that I could do in a finite amount of time and energy. Actually, the discernment gets sometimes difficult because—

MARC: This is a great inquiry. How do I make that discernment? In other words, it's never ending. One, it is never ending. And there's an insane joy in that, that comes with meeting that challenge. It is never ending and. And reality demands mad love of my beloved, and all my beloveds, and mad love of myself. And we can actually move into love here a little bit. But part of loving myself is the ability to nourish myself, the ability to nurture myself. And I nurture myself through play. I nurture myself through making love. And I nurture myself through playing ping pong with Marc. When I destroy him, and I feel really good about winning that game with my left hand. That's a lot of nurturance going on there. There's an enormous delight and we don't know how to do self-love. Because we don't know how to do self-love, we don't actually get that if you're not in mad devotion to yourself, you can't be in mad devotion to anyone else. Because not only is everybody else a unique self, I'm unique self. And we kind of move into the love thing here. Love actually is not an emotion. Love at its core is a perception, which is a huge, beautiful idea. And we can talk about love here a little bit. But just for now, in terms of what you're talking about, love is not an emotion. That actually destroys love because the emotion is energy in motion. And then it's gone. You get hit by Cupid's arrow and then it hits the secretary. It's gone. You can't control that arrow. It's an emotion happening to you, which is why all of love language is passive. I fell in love. I fell in love. I was love struck. Love is always happening to me. It's always Cupid's arrow that happens to get fired at me, happens to hit me. But then when the holy poison in the arrow wears off, I'm out of the game. That's a great tragedy of how we understand love. We can talk about it in more depth. But love at its core is not an emotion. Love is a perception. It's a stunning realization. And it's not just a perception, it's a unique self perception.

AUBREY: Isn't that type of love—

MARC: It's exciting.

AUBREY: Of course. Of course. That type of cupidiness love. What's interesting is, I believe from my studies of antiquities, that's actually what they would have called Eros back in the Hellenistic and Roman times. But you've reclaimed that word in a different way.

MARC: Eros is a big word. Eros is a big word. But Eros is the experience of reality. It's the experience of radical aliveness in reality. It's reality seeking, desiring contact and desiring the creation of greater wholeness. Now, one of the methodologies of Eros is to see, to perceive. Eros awake in the human being, the way I make contact, 'cause Eros is the experience. We have an Eros equation in the interior of science that we've developed in this new story of value in cosmo-erotic humanism. And the equation is, Eros equals radical aliveness, desiring ever deeper contact, generating ever greater wholes in wholeness. That's an Eros equation. And of course, these last two conversations, we've been talking about this new story of value in cosmo-erotic humanism. In this new story of value, Eros is at the core. Cosmo-erotic humanism. We live in a world that is lined with Eros. Eros lives in us, as us and through us. As Eros goes from matter to life, the biological world into the human mind, into the depth of the self-reflective human, and then awakens as a human being. In the human being, the desire for contact isn't only physical. We want to touch each other. We want to touch each other physically. We want to touch each other emotionally. We want to touch each other existentially. We want to touch each other spiritually. We want to touch each other psychologically. That's what love is. Love is the perception, the contact I make by seeing you. Love is a unique self perception, meaning I see your Aubreyness. That's what it means. For me to love Aubrey is I see and feel his Aubreyness. And I'm delighted by Aubreyness. Aubreyness gives me joy. That's the big deal. It says, love your neighbor, love your friend, sacred text, as yourself. You have to love yourself. So, self-love is also unique self perception. It's a self-perception of my unique self. And if I would want you, Aub, to be able to play and to be nurtured and to be in celebration because I see your unique self and I see that it's worthy and it deserves the experience of radical joy, and of giving your gift, and writing your poem, and sing your song, and being in the spaciousness of reality and the self-evident goodness, for its own sake. We call it in lineage lishma. I do things for their own sake. For its own sake. And if I only do that for you, I don't do it for myself, then I'm actually slapping the goddess in the face. Because love your friend, sacred text, [inaudible 00:33:37], the way you love yourself. And just like you love your beloved as unique self perception, I love Aubreyness. If I don't love Marcness ultimately, I can't love Aubreyness.

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. The way out for me is to actually listen to my own unique allurement and actually start to trust that what I want to do is actually so much closer to what I'm obligated to do, if I actually clarify what I want to do. Because in this thing, we're talking about your ability to give your unique gift and meet a unique need is your unique obligation. But then when you have an infinite or near infinite set of potential obligations, because you have unique gifts that offer a range of unique gifts—

MARC: A range of unique gifts. You have to decide in every minute which one to do.

AUBREY: And really, some part, it can be strategy, and you can figure it out. But actually, the part that I've found personally is I'm actually drawn towards it. I want to do it. And when I want to do it, it happens so much more powerfully, magically, beautifully. And to learn to trust my own desire again and say, actually, my desire is truly pointing me in the right way. And to know when there may be a desire that's like, this is another part of me. This is a separate self desire. Got it. And that's birur and that's another big topic. It's a clarification of desire. But to learn to trust my own desire has been the way out of this riddle.

MARC: It's gorgeous. Gorgeous. That's like, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. Because who are you? We said yesterday you are desire. Let's go back. Let's rewind. Let's rewind to that hustle from yesterday. It's very beautiful to see it. We even see it on the screen? Who are you? You're an irreducibly unique expression of the love intelligence, the love beauty, and the love desire of all that is that lives in you as you and through you. That has unique perspective, unique quality of intimacy that foster your unique gift, that allow you to address unique need in your unique circle of intimacy and influence. What you just did is, very beautifully, is you picked up and amplified one part of the equation that of course, we hadn't talked about. Which is I'm a unique expression. Aubrey is a unique expression of love desire. Now, another word for desire is allurement. That's the equation. Aubrey is a unique set of allurements. It's not that obligation is imposed from without. That is to say, from something which violates your essence. When you hear the word obligation, do you go like, yes? You go, oh. And the word obligation, it's a bad word. And the original Hebrew word [inaudible 00:38:52], which we said earlier, plays with the word love, it's the same root as the word love, it's a much better word. In other words, what tells me that I'm obligated or I'm being demanded by love, is my, what you just described gorgeously, my allurement. I want to do that. I'm allured to that. And my unique self is my unique set of allurements. Cosmic allurement moves uniquely through me. And when we say reality is Eros, we talked about this maybe in our first dialogue, Eros runs through all of reality alluring together subatomic particles to form atoms and atoms to form molecules and molecules to form macromolecules and macromolecules form primary cells and then multicellular, then organisms and neural net, neuro chord and all the way up the evolutionary chain. Allurement's driving the whole thing. You and I are talking to each other because we were allured to have a conversation. To know, to listen and know Aubrey's unique set of allurements, and you invoked a critical lineage word, birur, you have to clarify, is this what I'm allured to do? Am I covering up some early issue? Attachment theory Do I got a trauma that I'm trying to deal with? Is it pseudo-Eros or pseudo allurement? Or am I actually allured. To listen to the murmurings of your own allurement is what it means to be enlightened? But every human being has that capacity. We can talk about the democratization of enlightenment. And now again, we're growing corn here. We're growing corn.

AUBREY: Another interesting aspect that I've meditated on is, people are always looking to equate your purity with this lack of desire. If you want to do it, if you really want to be president and you're president, it's like, you're fucked up. That's just your ego. This is like an ego game. But actually, all of these things can go hand in hand, and you can through birur clarify where there's a little part. Yeah, my ego wants to have this position and hold that title. But also, I'm drawn to this. I'm drawn to this by the unique needs of the cosmos and the unique ability for me to give this gift. And it's okay to want to do the right thing and to want to do the thing. And actually to take great pleasure in doing it. And you can still be trustable. And actually, you're only trustable when you acknowledge that. There's this old model of the only worthy leader is the farmer who doesn't want to be the leader. Like George Washington. Like, no, no, no. I don't want to do it. Okay, if I have to. Not like, let's go fucking kill some Redcoats. I'm fucking into this. Let's lead the revolution. You'd be like, can we trust him? It's this very strange thing where if you actually enjoy what you're called to do and really take pleasure in it, people get skeptical of you.

MARC: I'm going to bracket the kill some Redcoats thing. We'll get back to that. You're batting a thousand here. Because what are you saying? Let's just pick this up and find it. What we're saying is that first off, desires at the center. And it's my desires and clarifying my desires. You can't talk about unique self, you can't formulate obligation without desire. Without knowing my desire, and clarifying my desire, there's no move. And the ability to trust my own knowing of my own desire is huge. And actually, in the end, the only person you can trust is yourself. In other words, you can trust other people to give you advice, to reflect yourself back to you, you can do a 360 and get important information about yourself. But in the end, the only person who can actually own your enlightenment is yourself. Its unique self enlightenment, which is why unique self theory intentionally kills the guru. Not the teacher. Not the guide. Not the coach. There's lots of important roles in the world. But the guru, who says, I'm telling you what you should be doing, the guru has to be killed on the path. You meet the guru on the path, kill them with unique self enlightenment, because enlightenment means I've got more true Self Realization, Aubrey's got more true self than Marc or Marc has than Aubrey, I'm your guru. You're my guru. I'll tell you the way. But I can't have more of your unique self than you. By definition. There's no way Marc can have more of Aubrey's unique self than Aubrey. Can't be. Not possible. Therefore, Aubrey has, and this is the idea of autonomy, has an ultimate, he's part of unique self symphony, he's listening to the music, but his autonomy is that he's trustable in discerning what his unique self responsibility is. That's enormous joy in that. And here's the thing, pleasure. We've taken pleasure out of the game, we've taken desire out of the game, we've made desire an enemy. If you're filled with desire to do that, that must be problematic. Your George Washington example, it's actually precisely the opposite. The only thing you should be doing is that what you're filled with overflowing, pulsating, throbbing, tumescent desire to do. If you're not filled with that, don't do it. Now, clarify your desire. Make sure it's not a surface desire. Make sure it's not pseudo-Eros. Make sure it's Eros, it's the Eros of unique self because unique self is the ultimate Eros. Unique self is the ultimate Eros. When you're in your unique self, you're in Eros. Unique self is a conduit for Eros. Remember, we said uniqueness is not separateness, which is the currency of alienation. Unique self is the currency of connection. What is it connected to? And the best image is if you have a cord, at the end of the cord, you have a plug. The cord is the sameness that we all participate in. Everyone's got the same cord. At the plug, the plug's absolutely unique. The plug is your unique self. The plug plugs into the portal of cosmos and literally animates you with Eros. If you're not in your unique self, you're not plugged in, you're actually out of Eros. When you're out of Eros, you're not trustable.

AUBREY: Yeah, because then, and I definitely want to talk about this, then it leads you down this path of pseudo-Eros because your desire turns into the shadow. And then you get all of this self-righteous behavior. And this is going to be an obscure reference unless people are really familiar with Game of Thrones, but you might remember it. There is a scene with Septa Unella who is this kind of very harsh. She was in charge of keeping the prisons for Lady Margaery, and Cersei, and Loras. And she would just throw the food on the ground and tell them to repent and read scripture at them and very stern. Finally, Cersei turns the tables on her and tries to get her to admit that she wasn't doing this out of some sense of piety, that she liked it. She liked it. She thinks she's the most pious nun in this new reclamation of the Faith and the Faith militant. And she's like, no, you fucking liked it. And I know you liked it, because she's a villain, Cersei. And Cersei knows the pleasure of being a villain. She's not split off from it. She's just chosen a very dark path. But she's actually aware that she desires the hurtful, hateful things that she's doing. She can see the shadow of the septa.

MARC: She can see the pleasure.

AUBREY: She can see the pleasure and see the villainy in that. In a way, obviously, Cersei has some deep fucking issues that make her go down the dark path, but at least she's aware that she's doing it because it feels good. It's like somehow her darkness is in the light and she's still choosing it. That's a whole different pathology. But she's able to recognize the darkness that's in the shadow. That's in another person.

MARC: This is a big fucking deal. We brought pleasure to the table. We got to do a whole conversation on pleasure. But let's just spend a word on it. Your unique self is crazy pleasurable because, and we'll follow it carefully, because your unique self is your Eros. Eros is the experience of radical aliveness, desiring ever deeper contact and ever greater wholeness. That experience is pleasurable. In other words, pain is when things fragment inappropriately, they dissociate, they're ripped apart. The interior experience of Eros is pleasure. The movement of Eros is the movement of pleasure. That's why healing is the movement to wholeness, which is the movement of Eros. All movements of Eros are healing in that they're wholing and they're pleasurable. Pain, fragmentation shit's ripped apart. If your unique self is the embodiment of your Eros, that means that you get enormous pleasure from being in your unique self, even when you're in fucking pain. If I'm moving between manuscripts, I'm trying to write the great library and my head is splitting open. I can barely keep my head up. But I've got three more hours to work and it's midnight. And I'm like, fuck me, why am I doing this? But there's no one in the world that's making me do it. No one. No one would say anything if I stopped doing it at that moment. But I am in and I'm actually in pain at that moment, I'm filled with pleasure. That's because I'm doing the right thing and I'm glad I'm doing this. And although I'm going to complain and Kristina's going to say to me, you chose to do that. Why are you complaining? That's a good point. Fair. You win that one. But I'm in pleasure because I'm in the pleasure of my unique self. And people are suspicious of people who are in their pleasure when they're not. Pleasure's somehow demonized when pleasure actually is a huge sense. Pleasure's the source of all ethics. We think pleasure is the opposite of ethics. Actually, we've made the split in Western culture between hedon, hedonism, and daemon. You invoked daemon, I think it was yesterday. Daemon's a part of the image of unique self. I'm being called. Actually hedon and daemon are completely one with each other. The deeper I'm in my daemon, the more pleasure I have. Pleasure actually is a reliable, trustable guide to ethics. Now, you have to clarify, what's your pleasure? Every pleasure in a different conversation, different book in the great library is six levels of pleasure, and 10 voices of pleasure, and 23 principles of pleasures. We're not doing that now. But minimally, we can say is that every pleasure has counterfeit. You got to watch. Are you in the pleasure or in the counterfeit. Let's say you got the pleasure of standing for a cause. That's a pleasure. It's different than the pleasure of ice cream. That's what we call level three. Pleasure of standing for a cause. Counterfeit, pseudo cause, bad cause. You're wrapping yourself in a suicide bomb and you're going to blow up a bus because you're standing for the cause of a particular form of tragic jihad. Every pleasure has a counterfeit and you have to clarify and discern between what's the actual pleasure, what's not the pleasure? That's a big deal, not our conversation. But for now we can at least say that literally, the source of all ethics is pleasure. If you actually follow your pleasure, your authentic pleasure, you will be the most ethical person you can possibly imagine. That's shocking. And here's the thing. Evolution evolves because it feels good. That's not a clever sentence. It's not a slogan sentence. That is 20 years of research summarized in a few words. Evolution evolves because it feels good. There's what one scientist called a kind of quantum hedonism. Kathy Kaufman's phrase. A kind of quantum hedonism that lives all the way down. Such a great realization. Evolution evolves because it feels good. And because goodness is actually inextricable from pleasure. You might say, no, no, what do you mean? In order to be good, you got to give up your pleasures. That's fucked. You got to give up your pseudo pleasures. Let's make this kind of crazy extreme for a second. Even dying for a cause is a great pleasure. Even when you give up your life. And to live in a world where you don't have anything you'd give up your life for is the most deadening experience you can possibly have. It's shocking. To live in a world when there's nothing you would die for, you shouldn't go die for it, you should live for it. Should figure out what you want to die for and then go live for it. But to live in a world where there's nothing you're willing to give your life up for is the most deadening possible experience a person can have. Wow.

AUBREY: One of the reasons why it gets confusing is the example I gave. Cersei taking pleasure in the torturing of people, in the breaking down of another person's position and her rise to power. And the important distinction you're making is even though they look and feel like pleasure, it's actually a counterfeit pleasure. It may actually feel and elicit action. Because you're missing one aspect of your development of your unique self, which is the actual experience of true self, your connection to the field, to recognize that that person that you're torturing, hurting, killing is actually you living a different life. And so, you have to be in this distorted delusion to actually get pleasure from it. You're not in the truth.

MARC: You're batting too high today for me to keep up. Let's play for a second. What's the pleasure? What's the pleasure that Cersei is experiencing? It's the pleasure of power. It's the pleasure of impact. That actually my being impacts another being and I actually sense that I'm causing them pain. So, I experience the pleasure of power. Now that comes from, however, that's the paradox, and again, we're going to grow corn. It comes from actually impotence, not potency. Because if I actually experience the genuine experience of my unique self, I actually have an experience of radical power at every second because I know I can live and be in my unique self. And if I don't have an experience of unique self, I don't have experience that actually, reality is moving through me and I've got a unique gift of radical aliveness to give that no one that ever was, is or will be, can give other than me, that that love desire is moving through me and I feel impotent, there's a sense of radical emptiness. And the more powerful I am, Cersei is a powerful figure, the more powerful I am, the more I'm going to be desperate to experience my impact and power. So actually, when I'm powerless, because genuine power comes only from unique self. My power is always unique. My power, the Eros of my power is my plug at the end of that cord that plugs into the wall and gives me the unique currency of connection, unique energy that's mine. I'm not just plugging into reality and getting energy, I'm getting Aubrey's energy. It's why I can't steal your energy. In other words, when someone tries to parasite off your energy, you're like, that's my energy. There's Aubrey energy and it's different than Marc energy. We can exchange but also we have got to be in devotion. It's your quality of energy. When you're impotent, when you don't have power... Can I tell you, brother now, because you said something about ego we got to get back to. I have a 10 second story. God, I haven't thought about this in a long time. 2006 was a hard moment in my life. It's a kind of a big tragedy time. I'd experienced a very big tragedy and I was in Salt Lake City. And I was staying at my dear friend, Kristen Ulmers. Is a great skier, way in the boondocks there. And I had to get to town. And I'd gone through probably the most painful two weeks of my life. And I had to get to town for a critical meeting that I didn't want to go to, but I needed to, to engage in... And by the way, good news, thank god there was a happy end to this story, to this tragedy. To the extent that tragedies ever have happy ends. It was tragic but it worked out okay and I'm so grateful for that. I hadn't slept, Aub, for two weeks. Literally an hour a night. No hyperbole. I was just gone. And Kristen says... There's a bus. She was skiing that day, it was near Snowbird. There's a bus that will take you into town. That bus in Utah, from where we were by Snowbird mountain to get to the center of Salt Lake City, came over like, I don't know, five days. I'm sitting there waiting for the fucking bus. I'm going to be late for the meeting. I haven't slept. I have no energy. And I'm like, I'm done. I’m just done. It was an experience of betrayal that I was working with. Then this car pulls up and says, you want a ride. And I said, probably an axe murderer, but what the fuck?

AUBREY: I don't got a lot to lose at this point.

MARC: I'm just taking the ride. I get in the car. This Mormon woman, she says, I had this vision this morning that I was supposed to pick up this man. He needed a ride. It was very important that I pick him up. So, I came this route and there you were. I'm like, okay. I said, who are you? And she starts telling me her story. It was a tragic story. I can see myself in the car now. I can see the car where we're driving, I can hear her voice talking about her son and her son betrayed her. And it was a drugstore, her husband who left, and a father... And there I was listening to her. And the truth is, my heart just opened. We drove for an hour and I was crying. I'm just listening to her story and I'm just kind of sharing with her back. And we're talking. And I completely forgot about everything going on. We were just there in the car. I got out of the car, and she's Mormon. And Mormons bow to the tabernacle in the reenactment of the Israelite covenant, and about the temple, about the priest. She looks at me, she says, who are you? Are you the high priest? No one's ever talked to me like that. And I got out of the car, tears streaming down my face. And it was at a moment where I didn't know whether I'd be able to respond to what was going on appropriately. And I didn't know where my life was going to go in the next year. And I said, even if it all goes bad, I can always listen to someone's telling their story. And that's my unique self, I can do that. And I can give a person a sense that they're kind of radically beautiful and gorgeous. So, no matter what happens, I'm good. And from that moment on, it shifted then, and I found myself again. And everything else moved. I found my power again. I had no idea whether I could, in this world at that moment, navigate it. But power was moving through me. That's power. That's what power is. That's real.

AUBREY: And to just finish this analogy with Cersei. I think they did a good job on the show. Actually, if you trace back all of the layers of impotence that she felt. First of all, her father Tywin Lannister, monster of a man. Never allowed her to express the natural power that was moving through her. It was always her brother Jamie. And it was always Tywin holding on to the massive amount of power. Never actually giving the children any real meaningful power. Always staying in the super dominant position. Then she has to marry Robert Baratheon. Doesn't want to marry him. He's an animal. Kind of a very vital animalistic animal, but he's a fucking animal. And then she's in a romantic relationship with her brother, Jamie.

MARC: Hate when that happens.

AUBREY: That's tough. She's hiding that and that's riddled in her own shame, which is also a sense of impotence, that she can't share her love. And it's really actually a story of deep love. That's like one of the redeeming kind of threads. This is really fucked up. This is incest. However, it's actually a meaningful love story between the two of them. There's levels on levels on levels that have just impacted this impotence, and then that comes out in the monstrosity of her claim for power over others. And the proof of that power being the pain that she's actually inflicting. And so, you see that and then you can contrast that. And I want to contrast that with another character who happened to be season three's, my friend Ed Skrein, he was Daario Naharis who is Queen Daenerys's is boyfriend. And he is fully in his fuck. Fully, fully in his fuck. And Ed plays that character so great. I was heartbroken when they switched characters season four on because he just played it so well. And Daenerys is trying to be like... And he's the head of this group of mercenaries and he does this very honoring thing for her. Kills the other mercenaries. Says, I'm yours. And she's like, what's your deal? Explained to me, you, why are you doing this? Trying to figure out something. And he goes, I'm a very simple, and I'm paraphrasing. He goes, I'm a very simple man to understand. There's two things that I live for. One is to fuck a woman who wants to fuck me. And he proves that actually because he never actually wants to be with any of the whores that are around town. It's contrasted with all of his other mercenaries. They're like, why don't you want to be with these whores? He's like, no, no. Not for me. He explains it then. No, I only want to fuck a woman who wants to fuck me. That's number one. Number two, I want to kill the man who wants to kill me. And that's his simple credo. And it's this very interesting thing where he's actually intensely good, an intensely good character in the film. And obviously, there's a field of context where killing is part of the whole game of the field.

MARC: We're not applying it to the contemporary situation.

AUBREY: Exactly. But he's an intensely good character in the show. The show is riddled with very complex characters, but he's actually intensely good. And because he's not impotent in any stretch of the imagination, and he's fully in his fuck, it actually allows him to be one of the most ethical characters in the whole show.

MARC: That's gorgeous. There are four things you said. We're not going to pick up all of them but let's just get the last one. And it enables him to be one of the most ethical characters in the show. Eros and ethics are not oppositions. That's gorgeous. We think the erotic and the ethical, they're complete oppositions. They're not. In other words, Eros, and let's now link unique self and Eros. And unique self is one of the places where Eros comes fully alive. When I'm in my Eros, I'm in my unique self and I become profoundly ethical, I become noble. And this character has a sense of nobility about him. And he's powerful. Because you actually own your fuck. And fuck, the word fuck which is a whole conversation. And as you know, I was privileged to write a 20,000-word essay on the word fuck. That's a big and important word. And how that word works, different conversation, we'll get to that, I hope, one day. But for now—

AUBREY: I have to remember that I have the tendency of using that word, having read the essay and used it colloquially in the house, and then I say it and people are like, what is he saying? It's a good reminder. So, I thank you for that.

MARC: We have to get back to that. We've never gotten to it. But it's on the agenda. But let's just be in this for a second. It's such a fucking big deal. And it's fucking awesome. Because fuck actually is an amplifier. It's a fucking big deal. It's not ordinary. You have like an ordinary asshole and a fucking asshole. One of the dimensions of fuck is it amplifies things and intensifies things. If I'm in my unique self, which is my Eros, then ethics flow from my fullness. If I'm not in my unique self, meaning I'm de-eroticized, I'm split off from Eros, then I'm living in a void, then I need pseudo-Eros to cover it over. It's a very big deal. Now, when I'm in my Eros and my unique self, I can actually experience the goodness of power. And we need to reclaim power as a virtue. We've made being powerless a virtue, which is part of the victim culture. Sykes wrote a great book called "The Nation of Victims." There's a great essay called "A Culture of Victimhood." The victim derives their power from being powerless. Therefore, the victim can never give up their position. The victim is always innocent. But the price of innocence is impotence. Victim is always innocent, but the price of innocence is impotence. And the victim can never be potent, because potent would be I'm not impotent, means I'm not powerless. But my power comes from being powerless. It's this strange trap of victimhood, which you got to move beyond. I've got to actually step into my power and my power is good. We have to claim the goodness of power. And not only that kind of liberal distinction, which is power for is good, but power over is bad. Not true. There's power for, that's sacred light. And there's power for that's actually completely damaging. The mother who smothers s/mother, a mother who smothers her child and doesn't allow her child to speak is tragic. In other words. The government, the fascist government, that as a collective is the mother who smothers the people. The top-down closed society that functions as a mother. In other words, power for. China. The surveillance state of China is all about power for. There's actually this new social contract in China. Give up your kind of ordinary privacy and we will, through machine intelligence, figure out the kind of society you want and provide it for you. An "MIT Technological Review," just this morning, in the bathroom early, too much information, too much of an image. But I'm sitting there reading "MIT Technological Review" about the social contract in China. China is the mother. Give up, we'll control everything. Power for, for your sake. That's the contract. No freedom. Power for can be completely fucked and complete fascist and totalitarian. And power over can be beautiful. Power over can be abusive. We've literally identified the word power with abuse. But Britain's powerful. There were power relations there. There was power at play. It's just a tragedy. Even in issues like sexual harassment. You've got a 30-year-old student and you've got a 45-year-old professor. Let's say he's her professor. Let's even say that they had this great relationship for two years and then she gets mad. And she accuses him of sexual harassment. And everyone says it was sexual harassment when actually it wasn't. And David Mamet wrote a play about this called "Oleanna," about how this tragedy, exactly about this story. But everyone says there were power relations. Of course, there were. There's always power relations between people. The teacher had power, for sure, and she had power. Fact is, she just destroyed his career without there being a proper investigation. That's a fair amount of power. He can't do that to her. Of course, there's always power at play between people. And of course, inappropriate power relations, quid pro quo, sexual harassment is completely wrong. Or a guru who says, all my students have to be obedient to me. That Guru can't sleep with their students because he's demanding obedience, or she's demanding obedience. There's no autonomy. But in other words, power relations are always at play. There's always power over in different ways. We all have power over each other. There's actually a great joy to power over. Power over means I'm taking responsibility. I'm grateful for the people that have power over me. I have a deep gratitude. And I also realize I have power over people. And I hold that responsibly and beautifully. And there's a reason why we call the divine in every great tradition, the infinity of power. All this stuff is politically incorrect. You're not allowed to talk to power. We have interrogated power as being identical with abuse. It's not.

AUBREY: Which is a real mind fuck. Because yes, we all know that there is a disgusting nature to what power has done. We've seen our whole history books and even our lives filled with times where somebody had power over us and used it in an abusive way. And we feel the contempt and rage for that and so, we see that. But then when we feel our own power and associate power with only those truly actually disgusting abuses of power, then we start to look at our own power with a sense of disgust. And then we create this kind of double bind. This thing that we know that we desire and actually we know anthro-ontologically, again, to use that word, we know it's good. We know that feeling is good. But actually, all of our associations and all of the cultural associations tell us that it's bad, then we get very, very confused and split off.

MARC: Sweetheart, that's gorgeous. We're creating this field together. You have an anthro-ontological, and that's a word that we use here, meaning I have an interior knowing of value that lives within me that I can identify and trust. Anthro, a human being. Ontology, for real. I've got an anthro-ontological experience that power actually has dignity. And then I'm told that power is only its abusive side/ we identify power with its abusive side. And you point out correctly, power does hurt. Power misused is horrific. It's a violation of all that we hold dear. Power misuse can be evil. That's absolutely correct. However, that's not the nature of power. It's the misuse of power. That's critically important. And Machiavelli got it wrong when he said power corrupts. That's the statement that went into culture, power corrupts.

AUBREY: There was somebody else. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Who was that else? It was some like Lord Acton or something. Wasn't it Acton?

MARC: Was it Lord Acton or Machiavelli? We'll have to check that out.

AUBREY: Check it out, Christian. I think it was Acton.

MARC: Lord Acton or Machiavelli. Could so totally have been Lord Acton. I'm not wagering on that.

AUBREY: Lord Acton, yes!

MARC: You should have bet on it.

AUBREY: That's like the one time I've ever had something where I actually had—

MARC: Nicely done. You should put it down on that. Laid it down.

AUBREY: I'm writing it down.

MARC: I'm writing it down. Gorgeous. But power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Not true. Power doesn't corrupt. Power actually can ennoble. Power calls us to who we are. And power is our nature. I have a unique quality of power that no one that ever was is or will be can deploy in reality other than me. And if god, again, the god you don't believe in doesn't exist, not the caricature god, but god as the field of love intelligence and love beauty and love power. If god lives in you as you, that means that the only place that that infinity of power which is divine can live is in your finitude. And you get the gorgeousness of that sentence. The only place where that infinity of power, divine power can live is in your unique finitude. Your unique finitude participates in infinity. You deploy that divine power. If you decide to wimp out and to go powerless, you're basically slapping the goddess in the face. She's demanding that you deploy your power there. Yes, birur. That's a word now people are familiar with. Clarify your motivation. Find the deep heart of what's driving you. I'm going to give you a great example. Barack Obama. I was talking to Barack this morning. We have kind of a little morning chats.

AUBREY: Morning tea.

MARC: Morning tea shit. You know what I mean? Me, him, Michelle, KK. I ask Barack man, why'd you run for office? I wanted to serve people. I got it, man. But it's just us here. Why'd you run for office? Why'd you run for office, man? He says, 'cause fuck, it's so much pleasure. What's the nature of that pleasure? It's the pleasure of power. Barack Obama ran for office because of the intense pleasure of power which he wanted to deploy, one hopes and I trust that that's very likely true, for the sake of good, for the sake of truth, for the sake of beauty. But if there just would have been an abstract calculus, and we got to understand the nature of the motivational architecture of the inherent cosmos that lives in us. If there just would have been, you will become president and you'll be able to click off a few boxes that do good. But there will not be an experience of the pleasure of your unique power. There's no way he would have subjected himself, his family, his entire world to 20-hour grueling days, intense pain, intense danger. What actually allured him, he was allured to run for president, it moved in his body, it throbbed. And it should!

AUBREY: And the acknowledgement of which is what makes you trustable.

MARC: And the acknowledgement of which is exactly what makes you trustable.

AUBREY: An interesting, just a story to share is, the second time I sat with Maestro Orlando Chujandama, the Dragon of the Jungle, El Dragon de la Selva, he's in the deep Quechua lineage, did a documentary about him. But I sit with him, and dragon is his power animal. And appropriately, the second time I drank with him, I was visited by this giant dragon made of smoke. Giant grey dragon made of smoke. Filled up the sky like I was looking at the top of a stadium, like that big. And he's just looking down at me and says, you want power? And I go, I certainly can't lie to this dragon here. But that's a very confronting question.

MARC: Lying to dragons is bad.

AUBREY: For sure. So, I was like, yes. And I felt like I was brave, but it's the truth. I do. I want power. And the dragon goes, why? And then I was like, man, he's really pressing here. All right. To help people. I believed that answer and it was true. But then the dragon goes, are you sure? And actually went through because that answer was true but incomplete, true but partial, my answer that I gave to the dragon, which was I want to help people. Yes, true, but partial. And it showed me all of these instances in my life where I've taken great joy in my power. And whether that was on the basketball court, or whether that was in another situation where I got to feel the fuck again. To feel the fuck of being a powerful being. And I never misused it. It wasn't a misuse of power. But the dragon was showing me the pleasure of my own power and saying, yes, you do want to help people. However, you fucking enjoy it and don't forget it. And then as soon as I acknowledged that and owned it, I jumped on the dragon's back and we cruised through the cosmos in this beautiful ride. And it was one of the most profound and brief two minutes in its entirety. Obviously, time is strange when you're in this quantum vision state—

MARC: And riding a dragon.

AUBREY: And riding a dragon. But it was this beautiful moment that I've never forgot. And at that point, any part of my pleasure of power that was split off was reconciled in a really beautiful way. And that made me a lot more trustable.

MARC: Trustable, and it made you more good, and it made you more true, and it made you more beautiful. That's the point of unique self. Unique self demands that you actually step into your power. And part of our power is to ensure that every human being has power. In other words, what unique self says is that every human being deserves to experience the unique nature of their own power. And to violate a person's power, to oppress the powerless, to abuse the powerless is therefore the ultimate violation. But when I'm in my power, my power is power for. My power recognizes the dimension of power over I have. And I allow my power to guide me, but again, only if I clarify it again and again and again. But that clarification is a joy. I'm always clarifying it. What's moving me? And this is where the ego thing is important. You mentioned ego which is such a big deal because ego gets demonized. And you could define unique self as higher individuation beyond ego. That's a really good... Unique self is your higher individuation beyond ego but not that leaves ego behind. Because ego actually prefigures unique self. Ego is an illusion to unique self. Here's a good example. Just like in metaphysics, the idea that you as this personality is immortal, is going to live forever, which is not true. You're not going to live forever as this personality. But that false claim is pointing to something that's true, which is there is continuity of consciousness, and there is some unique dimension of you. It actually lives for, not your particular personality separate self embodiment. What lives forever is the pattern of your unique self or the essential thread of your story. But that false sense of this is going to be immortal, there's always going to be Marc in this way or Aubrey in this way, is pointing to a deeper truth. The ego prefigures unique self, it points to unique self. And the ego is important because it's telling something that's true. It says, I matter. I'm important. And I'm thinking about myself. And I'm thinking about myself all the time. Enlightenment teachers tell you, or psychologists tell you, each in their own way, the reason you're thinking about yourself all the time is because you're fucked. You're a narcissist. You're not empathetic. You're a little sociopathic. And those might be true for some people, but actually, most people, for an enormous amount of time, I'm not saying most of the time, for an enormous amount of time people, think about themselves. That's actually true. That is what human beings do. They spend an enormous amount of time thinking about themselves, but not because they're narcissistic. Not because they're fucked up. But because they're eavesdropping on the divine conversation. When I'm thinking about myself, and this is a pointing out instruction, I'm eavesdropping on reality thinking about me. It's very beautiful. And I'm not thinking about myself all the time because I'm somehow flawed. And again, that violates my anthro-ontological sense of my own goodness when my teacher tells me, you shouldn't be thinking about yourself. You want to be thinking a lot about other people, and you want to be feeling people a lot, and you want to be in service, you want to be fit for service. You want to be in devotion. But you're also thinking about, am I devoted in the right way? Am I showing up in the right way? Am I able to be. That hurt, I got to work with that hurt. You're thinking about yourself because you matter. And so, ego prefigures the experience that you matter. And you never want to evolve beyond ego. And you can't trust people who claim that they evolved beyond ego.

AUBREY: The most toxically selfish individuals, I wouldn't say maybe the most, but one characteristic of what I would call toxically selfish or egotistical individuals, is their belief that being egotistical or selfish is shameful or bad. Actually, their selfishness and their egotism is in the shadow. It's split off from what they'll accept from themselves. They actually don't see how unbelievably selfish they are because they won't allow themselves to see any degree of selfishness that's living in them.

MARC: You just beautifully described the ideology of narcissism. When a narcissist is disgusted with themselves, and since they're disgusted with themselves, they split off that disgust. They can't hold that self-referential at all as you exactly described. They split it off. But self-disgust actually creates narcissism. Split off self-disgust is the ideology of a narcissist. And a narcissist means, I've got a social demeanor, or I have empathy. Or really, it's all about me. Because I can't own that healthy egoic sense that can and should live in me. And again, I had a friend who... We're still in touch. We lost touch for a while, and I think he's a good man. He went through a hard time. He was and is a significant public teacher. And at a certain point, he was one of the most significant public teachers in the kind of North American evolutionary scene, if you will. And his basic teaching was evolution beyond ego. Evolve beyond ego. That is the most damaging teaching you can possibly teach someone because no one ever evolves beyond ego. And if you claim to have evolved beyond ego, you're not trustworthy because you can't call the person out on anything because I've evolved beyond ego. You never evolve beyond ego, you evolve beyond your exclusive identification with ego. I'm not identified with my go because that's my ego at play. And I also want to listen to my ego because my ego is reaching for something. It's reaching for unique self. The ego prefigures something. Here's a good example. That "Course in Miracles," which is a very important text in a lot of ways. The "Course in Miracles" has something to offer and it's also complex. The "Course in Miracles" has a whole thing about not being special. Don't think you're special. That's a mistake. Your ego shouldn't hijack the experience of specialness because that's aggressive. That's like, I'm special.

AUBREY: And you're not.

MARC: And you're not. You can do it in that energy. Hey, I'm special. I know what you're doing. Stuck doing this podcast here in wherever the fuck Austin, but I'm special. I live in Vermont in a Victorian house with a dog. There's an ugly energy to it. It's aggressive. But there's also, I am so special, and you are so special. And it's such a special moment that our intimacies got to meet in the world. That's trustable. Actually, you are special. But your ego hijacks the specialness of your unique self. That split, that distinction. The ego always betrays. The unique self is loyal. The ego is always greedy. The unique self has the capacity to be satisfied. The ego is always a victim. Unique self is a player at the table. The ego always says, I want more. Unique self says yeah, I've got enough. And you can go through, it's a long list. The response of the ego is very different than the response of the unique self. But the ego's pointing towards the unique self so, we need to reclaim and put the ego back on the table. And by the way, btw, the best developmental studies we have that have been done, Suzanne Cook-Greuter and a bunch of other good writers have pointed out that in developmental cycle graphs, the ego always exists at the highest levels of development, both spiritual and psychological. But the ego gets more subtle. And it gets more harder to detect. It appears more noble, and it should. The ego should always be in conversation with the ego. You cannot trust a person who's dissociated from their ego, or thinks they've evolved beyond their ego. And a person who is stuck in their ego but knows they are is trustable. You can have a conversation. Never evolve beyond ego. That's our spiritual advice. Evolve beyond identification with the ego but let the ego whisper in your ear because it's pointing you somewhere, which is towards your unique self. Like that.

AUBREY: And I think one of the things that we've referenced here is when we have these incomplete, incorrect, true but partial stories, it actually leaves a lot of space for shadow, that thing that we do not see and that actually guides us from the murky depths of our psyche. And it's a place that I've been allured to go in this conversation, to actually talk about. And actually because of the unique beliefs and the unique way that we have things, we all have a unique shadow, some aspect of ourselves that we don't see. You have a really kind of also advanced understanding of this concept and also some other aspects that actually even go deeper into lineage. Let's dive in there now and then just leaving a breadcrumb because there's some really exciting stuff to go about taking your unique risk as well. We got to get to that, but let's dive into the shadow aspect because we've been referencing it.

MARC: Let's dive into shadow aspect. But again, you're fucking bucking us up today because you're batting so high. Because you just said something in passing, which was really important. I just want to throw it back on the table, which is, the reason we need a new story of value based on first principles and first values, to actually respond to the meta crisis and to create this new human and new humanity. We need that because that which organizes a complex system and makes it coherent is the simple principles that get iterated again and again. But what you point out and added to that is you got to get those simple principles right. In other words, when you're creating a foundational structure, when you're telling a story of value, you can't be casual, you got to be rigorous. There's not a word that we've spoken today, and I say this kind of trembling before god, that I haven't spent 30, 40 years thinking about carefully. And then having people challenge, and then working with it with students, and working with it clinically, and then challenging myself again. So, when we get to a simple formulation today, it's a second simplicity. It's just out of integrity to put models into the world that are kind of sloppy. Because a sloppy model causes suffering. And a sloppy model and a model that's kind of true but partial but claims to be whole, actually destroys the very structure of society. So, we need a story of self that's accurate. We need a story of relationship. We need a story of value. These are not meta-theoretical conversations. That phrase that we invoked earlier. It grows corn. So, getting it, getting it precise. Like this distinction between ego and unique self. That's not some stupid, casual conversation. It's everything. In other words, if you put a major teaching into the center of Western culture, which is what's happened in the intelligentsia, evolve beyond ego, then you violate your own inner sense of ego. And you feel fundamental shame about who you actually are. And then you become split off from your own goodness, that's where shadow emerges. That's always how it happens. So, it's a great segue into shadow. I just really appreciated you saying it. Yay. It's the last nice thing I'm going to say today, so just relax. Don't get excited. Shadow. Shadow is a very, very big deal. Shadow is a very big deal. And in the unique self book, there's a hundred pages on shadow, and with Claire Molinard, who's the head of our Unique Self Institute. We're going to actually put out an actual book on shadow and unique shadow. It's crazy important. Here's the 10 seconds of it. I know it's not going to be... 12 seconds. A dude named Robert Bly. He's a good dude. Invoked a lot of drumming circles, put a lot of great poetry books out, and made a real contribution, and fucked this next one up. We mean that affectionally. Wrote a book called "A Little Book on Shadow." That book is widely quoted throughout... Just last night, at your house, we were talking a little bit about shadow and somebody said, I read that book. Yeah, I read that book. It's this book where Robert Bly tries to explain what shadow is. There's another book which became very popular in human potential circles. A book with a black cover. Appropriate, I guess, for a shadow book, edited by Connie Zweig, put up by Jeremy Tarcher, called "Meeting the Shadow. About 60 essays. And they all share the same common and false assumption, which basically kills the conversation. And again, lots of good in those essays, obviously. But they got something fundamentally wrong which we have to correct. Which is they identify shadow with what I would call shadow qualities. Robert Bly says, I wanted to kill my brother and just destroy him, but couldn't say that out loud so I put it in the bag. That was my shadow in the bag, my desire to kill my brother. And he goes through rage, and jealousy, and pettiness and all the vices. We put all that stuff in the bag. And then Bly says, in order to be whole, you got to integrate your shadow. The simple question is, why? You want to integrate your desire to kill your brother, maybe you just shouldn't kill your brother. You know what I mean? You want to integrate your kind of desire to murder your dog. Maybe don't murder your dog. Work it out. Of course, what he means is, and it's not entirely wrong, it's true, but partial. If you don't own those dark desires, they're going to take the wheel of your vehicle because you've split them off. That's fair enough. That's good. That's legitimate. It's a legitimate answer. But doesn't get it. There's this movement towards owning your shadow that's very powerful. Integrate the shadow. Really? Just so it doesn't split off and doesn't steal the wheel of your life. Valid. Something bigger. We have this sense that there's a larger wholeness that happens when I integrate the split off shadow. So, why? The answer is because my shadow and again, I'm saying this in the level of second simplicity. My shadow is not my shadow qualities. My shadow is the light of my unique self, if you will. I'll do it with the sacred texts. There's a lot of ways to do this, but just say [inaudible 01:30:10], the beautiful lineage text. The candle of the divine is the person of the human, the person of man, the soul of man. Meaning I'm light. I'm a unique singular frequency of light. That singular frequency of light is my Aubreyness. That's the singular frequency of my light. Now, let's say that Aubrey takes a big part of his singular frequency of light, he's not willing to live it. Let's say he's supposed to stand for this or that. He's supposed to do this to express this, to create this. But he's not willing to do it because for whatever the set of reasons is. So he splits that off and it's now in darkness. That's shadow. Shadow is your unlived story. Shadow is your unlived unique self. Or shadow is the distortion of your unique self. If I can use an earlier language which I use in a book way back when, when I was a kid. Soul print. It's called soul print. It's a nice word to use. I later turn to the word unique self. Too long of an academic conversation why that happened. But your unlived soul print, your distorted soul print, that's your shadow. That's a big deal. If you take a piece of who you actually are and you split it off and you put it in darkness, whoa, that's shadow. Then that shadow is your actual unlived self, and it wants to be lived, wants to attract your attention, wants you to like, come live me. What it does is it acts out. Those are shadow qualities. In other words, you act out in shadow qualities. Here's just an image. I just remember this when I was first teaching this, I was in Germany with my friend Diane. And we were teaching this notion that there's no such thing as shadow, there's only unique shadow. Shadow doesn't exist. Shadow is generally used as a generic term. It's not generic. Shadow is, just like there's a unique obligation, there's unique responsibility, there's your unique joy, there's actually unique shadow. So, I was giving a seminar in Germany. And there was one guy in the room who was just like, fantastic. Just present and alive. That person in the room that everyone was just kind of in resonance with and just an incredibly lovely man. I'm doing the unique shadow thing. And he's saying, I don't get this. This is ridiculous. And I said, what's your unique shadow? He said, up to you? You can tell me privately. He said, I'll tell you. And his voice gets a little hard. He says, I go to clubs. I'm gay. And I do tons of meth and fisting. And I'm doing it all the time and that's my unique shadow. I said, first, why is that shadowy? The room laughed. Told him where the problem was. So, he said, because I'm doing too much. I don't want to be doing it that much. I'm doing it all the time. It's out of control. I said, that's fair. That's fair. I said, just tell me about what you do. He said, I'm a therapist. I said, great. You're a therapist. How does your clientele work? I'm very nice to them. And people love being with me. I hold people really well. I said, wow, that's great. What do you do when someone has a really significant thing they're fucking up? Do you tell them? I think you don't want to be that kind of confrontational in that kind of way. So, what you got to do is you really got to hold the person. I said, okay. When someone has la real fuckup and you're their therapist, you kind of hold them but you don't really confront them, you don't go all the way in. He said, you got to be careful to go all the way in. And I said, really, you got to be careful to go all the way in? You're a therapist. Your life's dedicated to therapy. This is your unique self. And you're responsible for your people but you don't go all the way in. And what's your shadow? Your unique shadow.

AUBREY: Going all the way going all the way in.

MARC: Going all the way in.

AUBREY: Elbow deep.

MARC: Elbow deep, all the way in.

AUBREY: That was too much. I apologize. That's too much for me.

MARC: That's on you.

AUBREY: That's on me. That's my bad, everybody. Sorry. Unnecessary.

MARC: Unnecessary. But it was really a beautiful moment. And he was crying, and I was crying. This beautiful guy. We all got together in that moment. It was brave of him, and he blew the place open. He was actually an intensely beautiful man. And he did this. This was like a devotional service. Sometimes someone stands for the whole group. And actually, it turned out he needed the intensity of actually fulfilling his unique self and being in that Eros and actually confronting people in a way that was loving, but he was afraid to. So, he only became a holding feminine receptive space. He was dissociated from his unique self and a central part of his unique self was in shadow. It was distorted, his fundamental unique self was distorted so, it expressed itself in shadow. And of course, what was so beautiful about the moment is that everyone kind of assumed there's no way you can make this work. But it always works. It's always true that when you're not living a dimension of your story, your unique story, not your ego story. When teachers say move beyond your story, true but partial. Move beyond your contrived ego story and embrace your unique self story. And we owe each other a big conversation on stories. I know that. Embrace your unique self story, the precise extent that you split off any part of your story. Story in the lineage, the Hebrew word for see sipur, story is sapir, sapphire, which is the blue light. And in meditation and in the psychedelics of meditation, the experience of the blue sapphire light is in all the traditions, equated with unique self. That experience. Muktananda, for example, in the Siddha Yoga tradition, all of us would talk about the blue light which was the experience of god in you as you. When your sapir, your sapphire, your story, same word in and Hebrew, sapir and sipur, same word, sapphire and story. When part of your sapphire, your story, is split off, it goes into shadow, your unique self distortion. That's your unique shadow. And that's why you got to integrate it. It's so gorgeous. You integrate it not just because if you split it off, it's going to take the wheel, because it's you! You actually follow the yellow brick road of your unique shadow back to your unique self. Wow.

AUBREY: One of the things that I think people don't really sometimes realize is that part of your unique self, like the body itself actually returns in your unique self in a way. We think of the body as just the animalistic side and then we think of the unique self as the transcendence of that. But actually, it's the inclusion and transcendence of it. There's aspects of our animality that are there. We carry with us traces of all the mammals that have come before. Maybe some have taken different turns. But there's a feral King Kong kind of pound your chest and raise up and fight your rivals. There's a piece of that aggression that's part of our animality.

MARC: Give me that movement again. Nice.

AUBREY: And there's a piece of our desire to fuck. To really fuck. And those are aspects, actually, that if we don't claim those as part of our unique self... Now, it doesn't mean that those actually have to turn to using your fists. Your fuck doesn't also have to mean that you use it to sleep with people. But you have to find that animality and know that that's in you, know that that impulse towards aggression, that impulse and desire to fuck, you have to find that, locate that and then weave that into your story however it's woven.

MARC: So, you're weaving, again, beautiful. You associated from unique shadow to animality. From shadow to animality. Our animality is in shadow. We got to claim it in some way. Yes. Now let's put the two together, brother. You don't just have animality. You have unique animality. And this is a very, very, very big deal. I've got a unique fuck. We have a big set of conversations to have on sexuality so, this is really for there. But I just want to say a word about it for a second. No one has just animality. You have unique animality. What we try and do is we try and claim our animal in a way that's not true to ourselves. One of the names for unique animality is kink. kink is an expression of unique animality. But kink is only one expression but we think that's the whole thing. When we're not actually accessing our unique animality, often we'll go for generic kink. When we go for generic kink, because I actually feel a little empty, that makes me feel alive. Let me go for that. Now, kink is beautiful. But actually, you want to go for your unique kink. Paradoxically, you can go for the generic kink, you want to find your own. Your own means that you have a unique sexuality and just stay with me for a second, brother. I'm just so delighted that we get to have real conversations in the world. It makes the world so much of a better place. I'm just feeling a wave of delight and gratitude for the beauty of a real conversation. We think that sex is an event, that fuck is an event that happens. Sex is not an event, sex is a journey. And it's a big distinction. For us, there are sexual events. We did that. We did that kind of sex. These are all events, and the events are over. But sexing, my unique sexing is not an event. It's not a series of events. It's a journey. And it's a journey into the depth of my unique self. Stay with me for a second. The only way to actually be able to liberate oneself from the deadening effect of pornography, which is deadening. We need a new kinds of pornography, a new kind of erotica, which is a different conversation that we've had offline, and we've written about and we'll talk about it a different time, I'm sure. We need to move from porn 1.0 to erotica 2.0. Porn 1.0 to porn 2.0. Different conversation. But for now, let's talk about the deadening... I remember I was with a partner about a decade ago and we said, let's try the porn thing. Let's take a look. And she had a very fancy TV in this beautiful house, kind of overlooking the ocean. There are we are ready to take... We flip and flip and flip till I said. One thing was more boring than the next. We were yawning. It just wasn't interesting. It wasn't erotic. Porn kind of focuses on sensation and on event, and not on journey. But the pull is real. The pull of deadening pornography, low grade, degraded pornography is real because there's an instant arousal that can happen. But the only way to actually liberate yourself from pornography, which is a huge issue that is actually deadening to you. If it's liberating to you, stay with it. If it's ethical, if there's no sexual slavery involved, if it's done appropriately, great. And there's actually a channel called, where a friend of mine worked, where they actually try and create an ethical context, for example. If it's ethical and it's arousing to you, and everyone's treated in a holy way, mad blessings to it. But you got to be careful. And it's a larger conversation. I've shifted in pornography over the years because I've actually seen the devastating effect on kids who come to me who are 20 years, who’ve gone through eight years... Different conversation. But the only way to actually liberate yourself from it is to actually find your unique fuck. In other words, the only thing that is more alluring than pornography is the unique depths of your own unique animality. And it's very beautiful. It's very subtle. There's a unique way your body wants to move. There's a unique journey that deepens. And in a relationship, if you're together doing sex as a series of events, the sex and the relationship will die because you run out of events. And you can hire a million event planners, and you get a million toys and tools, and you can have a million new partners who come in every once awhile to create an event, creating a new event with a new partner. I'm not saying that those are all possibilities, but those won't get your home. If those are part of something else. They're part of your unique sexual journey, your beloved's unique sexual journey, and now you're in a sexual journey together into your own unique embodiment, your unique animality, then that's more beautiful when you're 30 than when you're 20. When you're 40 than when you're 30. When you're 50 than when you're 40. When you're 60, when you're 70, when you're 80, and when you're 90. And by the way, I don't want to keep the 100, centenarians out of the story. It's really beautiful. Yes, an animality. I would just say unique animality.

AUBREY: I think that's good to understand too, because then we're not all trying to think like, man, I'm not expressing some aspect of my animality because look at this other person over here. We're not all designed to be Kyle, or Tim Kennedy, or David Goggins, or whoever these people. It's not always how our unique make-up—

MARC: Are those all scholars?

AUBREY: In their own way.

MARC: Scholars of the flesh.

AUBREY: Scholars of the flesh.

MARC: And your unique animality is wild. I remember 20 years ago, I was going out with a woman, it was 30 years ago. Might be 35. How old am I? I'm only 30. Jesus, anyways, I can't get the dates straight. It was a long time ago. I was going out with this woman. Just gorgeous human being. And for whatever reason, this part of her body was the place she was aroused. And it was a unique—

AUBREY: Marc's mentioning her ribs.

MARC: Right. And that whole area, that's where Eros lived for her. And it was a unique, there's a whole history to it. Your unique and a animality is part of your unique myth. It's part of your unique story. It probably has something to say to you. Finding it and living it is the journey of a lifetime. And when that happens, the body sings. The body is intelligent. The body whispers. The body tells us things. When we say through my body, I vision god, the verse in Job, it's not about the body as a generic body. The body is unique. That's what we talk about in our first dialogue of who are you? The body's unique. And so my animality is unique. That's a big deal. I'm super happy you brought that on to play because we want our animality, but we take somebody else's. That doesn't work. It doesn't work.

AUBREY: Something occurred to me in this conversation, and I offer it with the danger of leading us down another path that may not be the best path for this conversation. But it occurs to me that every one of our curse words that came to mind has to do with our animality.

MARC: That does lead us down a different path. You're right.

AUBREY: Fuck, shit, piss, cunt, pussy, asshole, cock. Every one of our curse words has something to do with our animality. It's interesting even having that as the bad words starts to create shadow. It starts to split us off from our essential animality.

MARC: I hate it when you do this, Aubrey. It's beautiful. It's such an important thing to say. Let's stay in it for a sec because it's such a big fucking deal. We normally understand, and you brought us into the world of shame. You opened the door to shame. And we've already made a commitment to each other. That's three conversations we got to have big fucking time. It's a big conversation. But in a word. The initial level of shame is I have an experience of my aliveness. I'm hanging out at home with my mother. She's single. She just got for the first time, a new apartment. Ain't that great. She's out there talking to the painter. I'm hearing a lot of noises out there with her talking to the painter. This is a true clinical story. Something's going on with her and the painter. And there we are and dad's not home. I'm here in the room and I'm feeling my own aliveness, my own kind of Eros moving in me. Mommy left her purse in the room. And I go into the purse, I find her lipstick. And all these white walls, isn't that nice? And mommy's busy out there. I take out the lipstick and I just start drawing on the walls and I'm really excited. Another thing of lipstick and mommy's still out there. Wow, look at that wall. It's filled with a crazy lipstick. And then I go outside to find mom and she seems a little bit too close to the painter but whatever, I'm four years old. I say mommy, come in, come in, come in. What are you doing here? Then she comes in with me. She's already a little bit irate. And she comes in and she sees the lipstick all over the room. Says, you little bitch, what did you do? Whoa. That was my aliveness. My aliveness just got shamed. When I'm very, very young, my goodness and aliveness are inextricably bound. And we all have an experience of our aliveness, whether it's our sexual aliveness, or it being shamed. So, we got to move through shame and shame is insidious and multi-layered. We got to move through shame by actually telling that story, by being fair witness. Shame festers in the dark. But here's the thing, and that's what you're pointing to. That takes you only through the first level of shame. There's a deeper level of shame, which we don't have time to go into now. But I call it the shame of finitude. Finitude, my mortality. And one of the three dimensions of the shame of finitude is the shame of my animality. We have this paradox. On the one hand, you're an animal, is a curse, or you're an animal as a compliment. Depending on the context. But there's this shame of animality. And the shame of animality is because animals seem to move in a herd. We don't actually see them as unique. They seem to move based on instinct, not based on choice. And I'm not going to get into the studies of animals and see what is true about that, what's not. But clearly, animals don't have the same level of choice as humans. Don't have the same level of individuation as humans. And animals don't build hospitals. In other words, the notion that actually animals and humans are the same is a dumb idea. The notion that animals are, as Descartes thought, split off from the world of soul and life is also a horrifically cruel idea and it creates factory farms. But for now, let's just say the shame of animality is that animality is this dimension of me which is not human. This dimension of me which hijacks the wheel of my life. It's not my kind of public face. It's not my nobility. So I'm shamed by my animality. So, what we do is we take those words that express our animality; cock, shitting, pissing, fucking, you're an asshole. What does it mean when you call someone an asshole? What does that even mean, you're an asshole? How do you even work with that sentence? Really, I'm not a finger? Really? I thought I was a belly. No, you're an asshole. What does that mean? You're a fucking asshole. Meaning double the animality. You're full of shit, you fucking asshole. Triple animality. You cunt, fucking asshole, cock sucker. What are we doing? We're kind of piling on the animality here. We exile the shame into language. Wow. It's why actually reclaiming words is a big deal. And one of our promissory notes that we have not fulfilled, which we will at the right time, is talk about the word fuck. So, reclaiming these words and reclaiming my animality. But not by regressing to my animality. But by embracing and weaving my animality into my nobility. There's no nobility unless I'm in my animality. Split off my animality breathes my nobility because my nobility comes from my power, from my fullness, or from my standing in it. And you can't stand in it as a disembodied artificial intelligence. You stand in your body, you stand in your cells, you stand in all of it that's moving through you. That's where nobility comes from. It's where beauty comes from. Animality has to be embraced and we got to move past the shame of animality. But I've got to embrace my unique animality. And Aubrey's animality is different than Marc's. It's like a funny thing to say. There's a lot of jokes we could do now and there's definitely a road down there. But just for a second, I'll bracket it, it's actually a very big deal. Because if I can't embrace someone else's animality, whether it's a beloved or a brother, or a beloved brother, then I can't actually find them because they've got a different quality of animality than I do. And if I suddenly shame my close friends or my beloved's animality, and there's all sorts of subtle ways we shame it by kind of pushing it away. Wow. It's a big road. It's a big road.

AUBREY: This is part of the journey, too. And again, this conversation, the overarching theme is your unique self. And part of understanding your unique self is to reclaim all of the aspects of unique self, including these aspects that we mentioned.

MARC: All the split off stuff has to be brought to the table because at its root, it's holding a dimension of your uniqueness. We want to talk about unique risk for sure before we finish, but maybe let's talk about joy and loneliness just for a second. Little joy, little loneliness. Just talk about loneliness for a second. All the lonely people. Aub, I think I'd forgotten till about this second. In my early 20s, I spent maybe age 20 to 26, 27 wanting only to write about one thing, loneliness. And I devoured the literature on loneliness. Both the internal literature. Just feeling to my own, just a very profound loneliness. I was intensely lonely. And I got divorced in my very, very, very early 20s. If I had to go back and do it again, I probably would stay in. And what moved the divorce was this intense feeling of loneliness. And I felt that actually, that was wrong. And it felt like a violation. And I was deeply attuned to just the loneliness of people, all the lonely people. And what does it mean to be lonely? We describe loneliness, poetry describes loneliness, but we have to kind of define it to get it. Loneliness is my inability to share my soul print with another person, to share my unique self with another person. It's not just a feeling, it's not just a black, it's not just a depression. Loneliness is my inability to share the essence of who I am with another person. And there's not that many people we can share it with. People say, why are we lonely? Because we don't have people to share it with. That's sometimes true. We need someone to share it with. But often, we're lonely, not because we don't have people to share it with, but because A, we don't know how to share it. Or B, we don't know what it is. In other words, you can't share your soul print or your unique self unless you have a sense of what it is. If I'm actually alienated from my own soul print, my own unique self, I can't share it with anyone. And the experience of the interior of me being unable to talk to the interior of you uniquely. If my unique interior can't meet your unique interior, life is not worth living. That's the human experience. It's an accurate experience. There's actually a text on this. The text is it's not good for the human being to be lonely. It's a primary sacred text of the Western tradition rooted in Genesis 2. It was an incredible text. The actual text reads [inaudible 01:54:41]. It's not good for the human being to be alone. But the context of the text suggests it's not alone, it's lonely. The experience of loneliness is shattering. And we deny it.

AUBREY: And you've mentioned this before. And I think it was one of the very moving parts of "Avatar" was that instead of saying, I love you, they said, I see you, which is the unique self witnessing the unique self of another. And in that witnessing unique self to unique self, you're accessing the field of love intelligence, love beauty, love desire because that's what you see. You see the truth and you see the unique person before you and you fall in love. Fall in love is a challenging term. But of course, you're in love. You're in love. You're in love with the one you see.

MARC: It's gorgeous. And now we're back to where we started, which is love is a unique self perception. It's that love is not an emotion. There's obviously an aspect of deep emotion to love. But the emotion comes from the perception. Because if it's just the emotion, energy in motion, the energy dissipates. But when it's a perception, it deepens all the time. It deepens all the time. And I shared with you once in a different context. I think we were not in a podcast. But when I shared this In this strange meeting with the Dalai Lama, where he invited me to Dharamsala. We had a fabulous, gorgeous time after he'd actually taken something of mine. And I brought it to Dharamsala with an impish smile and kind of said to me, come to Dharamsala and get it back, which I did. And we had a gorgeous time. And we actually wound up doing this gorgeous public dialogue. And the thing he got most excited about, and was literally, there's a recording of it, I think, on my website, someplace, he was, beautiful, beautiful! In that kind of beautiful Dalai Lama, childish, adult, noble way was this idea that love is not an emotion. That love is a perception. And that love is a unique self perception because that's so hopeful. Because if it's an emotion, we're 25, it's happening, it's kind of hot. 35, great and then it's gone. But actually, if it's a perception, we deepen perception. We can actually cultivate perception. We can cleanse the doors of perception until all we see is the infinite. So, to love a person has to love their infinite specialness, their unique Aubreyness. And the more we talk, we just spent a week together. We spent a lot of time on the phone and studying. But actually, I know you better a week later. We've been in a house together In the morning. I love you so much more than I did a week ago. It's beautiful. It's a unique self perception. The more we see, we see, we sense the nuance. It's big.

AUBREY: And it's big in relationship too. And one of the things that I thought was actually the great virtue and a great teacher for my years in a polyamorous relationship was actually, it was the most honest relationship that I was ever in. Because we didn't have to hide those desires that we had, we didn't have to pretend anything. We could really, genuinely be honest about what we wanted because all the things that we wanted as far as at least the expression of our sexuality, were on the table. They were on the table. There was a real beauty to that. Now, there was other ways in which we wouldn't see each other, couldn't see each other, our jealousy would blind us to the truth, there's all this stuff. But there was something really valuable about that. And when I would share one of the virtuous lessons of this, it was you don't have to be polyamorous. Of course not. But what I felt like was necessary for you to overcome loneliness was to actually at least share what your desires were and have those desires held by your partner so that you could actually be seen. And without being seen, you're locked in this place where you're never going to actually feel fully loved because your unique self in its totality will never be recognized. And so, you'll be perpetually lonely.

MARC: And that is gorgeous and important. And I'm going to take issue with you but not really take issue with you. I'm just going to play for a second. But you actually have to be polyamorous. There's actually a moral obligation, I want to state it clearly, there's a moral obligation to be polyamorous. Anyone's who's not polyamorous is in violation of their true nature. Now, I don't mean sexually polyamorous. Because actually, god's polyamorous. Let's be clear. And what religions tried to say in the medieval period is god's monogamous with me. That was the point of the great religions. God's monogamous. God only loves me, my people. God doesn't love your people. God loves only my people. In other words, monotheism in its classical forms, or Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism made the same claim as classical monotheisms did. Buddhism said reality, sunyata, the ground of being only loves this particular form of Tibetan Buddhism. And Judaism Christianity, Islam, Sufiism, as noble as it was and as much Rumi as we read made a similar claim. God loves only me. That was the tragedy of the medieval period. It was rivalrous conflict governed by win-lose metrics, but not between individuals but between religions. God loves only me. Whoa! Let's slow down. Let's slow down. It's like a big fucking deal. God's polyamorous. Let's start there. God only not only loves every human being and every being, god not only is the love that suffuses all reality, that holds all reality, but god also in the image of the interior sciences is fucking everyone. Meaning divinity is interested in intimate communion with you. The actual language of the text is called the [inaudible 02:00:28]. Divinity lusts. That's the precise translation. Differently lusts. [inaudible 02:00:35]. To make his/her dwelling place, [inaudible 02:00:39] in your lower places. What a text. There's this great urge of divinity to erotically merge and that's called [inaudible 02:00:49], the erotic union with the divine, with she. And here's the deal. Divinity is not just urging, not just moved by this urge, this divine urgency to merge with Aubrey, sorry about this, but god wants to fuck me too, and KK, and Lady Vy. And Christian, I don't know if you know this, but god wants to fuck you, man. Just letting you know. Ryan, just be looking out there. But it's exactly right. God wants to fuck me open and love me open. And wants my merger with he/she, which is me merging with my highest self. And my highest self is part of this larger field of self with a capital S. God's polyamorous. Now let's stay with this for a second. It's kind of beautiful. In the classical traditions, the [inaudible 02:01:40], be like god. You got it, right? If god's polyamorous, then I should be polyamorous. But not per se sexually. We exile Eros into the sexual. No, no. Be erotically polyamorous. And what I mean by that is, is fall in love. I'm not saying fall romantically in love. But if you exile your experience of loving to one person, you only love one person, then you're actually dead already. When I was 17, I was madly in love with D. H. Lawrence. Madly in love. "Lady Chatterley's Lover," is the famous book but he wrote another book called "Sons and Lovers." A gorgeous book. And one of the protagonists says to his potential beloved, he said I can only be with you if when I love you, you're not a wall and my love stops there. I've got to be able to, through you, love all of reality. It's very beautiful. I want to be for KK, I want to be the transparent person, I want to love me personally and uniquely and completely. And I want, through me, to be able to love lots of people. Not in the same way. Now with the same quality. There's a monogamy between us. KK and I have a monogamous polyamory. And I'm not talking about sexuality. We both love a lot of people, but there's a unique quality to our love. There's a unique commitment. We sleep in the same bed. We have shared bank accounts. We're committed to each other's unique self in a particular way. We have an emotional intimacy of a particular kind. There's a monogamous polyamory. But do not trust anyone to love you who's not polyamorous. And by polyamorous, I mean, poly amorous. I love more than one person. And we have to fall in love with each other.

AUBREY: And this is one of these frameworks that needs to actually be given life and light. Because otherwise, when you're told a different story, then that leaves room for jealousy.

MARC: Anthro-ontologically, I feel, what's wrong with me? Why am I loving more than one person?

AUBREY: And also, if your partner is, or even your friends. People get jealous of friendships when friendships blossom and there's a particular strong season of allurement with a new friend, friendships can even get jealous. It's not just lovers.

MARC: Your partner can say, why are you paying so much attention to that friend? Because there's a sense of scarcity. Because let's stay close for a second, it's gorgeous, because we experience love as being ordinary love. And maybe this is worth a second, it's worth a billion years. This is what you and I were talking about the other day, we were hanging out deep inside studying. We were talking about the exile of love. There's this six-fold exile of love. We take love from the cosmic, outrageous love or Eros that inheres in reality and we exile to the human realm. Exile one. Exile two. We exile only to the human realm of emotion. It's a particular emotion. Exile three. It's the emotion of infatuation. Exile four. Its infatuation which yields a particular kind of fuck that looks a particular way. Exile four. Exile five. That's got to be only with one particular person in your entire life, if it's true love. And exile six. And it's got to last and look that way your entire life. We've just destroyed culture. Welcome to the destruction of culture. We've just done it. It's unbelievable. We have to liberate the experience of loving. No, actually, love's not just ordinary love. And if it's ordinary love, it's a human strategy. Then there's not a lot to go around. Because all that love is just me and there's so much love in me. And if I give some of it to somebody else, there's the sense of scarcity. But if it's outrageous love, if it's Eros, I'm actually part of the field of Eros and reality that's moving through me. There's a lot more of that to go around. And it's not just an emotion, it's a perception. And if love is a perception, I got to fall in love with Aubrey. And I couldn't be alive if I couldn't do that. When do you feel most alive? When you fall in love. Imagine you fell in love only once. Person fell in love once for about six weeks in their life, if it lasted that long. And it's that six weeks of falling in love with one person. And the entire rest of their life, culture tells them, never fall in love again. And that's your maximal aliveness. Means you've got six weeks of 80 years or of your maximal life. And the entire rest of the time, you're in a deadened place. That's a collapse of Eros. The collapse of Eros leads to the collapse of ethics. We've got to literally resource, evolve the source code out of culture itself.

AUBREY: Now, let's say someone's just listening to this. We haven't done this very much in these dialogues, but I think this is a worthy place. Let's say someone is deeply moved and inspired by this discussion and it makes perfect sense, which is actually one of the impetuses for my polyamory journey is this understanding of the way that god loves. The way that the sun does not choose, I love this tree, but not this tree. I'm only going to give my love there. And I was using the sun as a metaphor for the divine at that point. And I just understood that there was something about the divine nature of love that I wanted to actually model in my own nature of love. And of course, there are my vital, carnal, primal, feral, hairy desires.

MARC: Vital, carnal, primal, feral, hairy, I got it.

AUBREY: Those desires were there too. But if somebody is inspired by this, but either they, in an honest assessment, you don't have to raise your hand or anything, but in an honest assessment, know that they find themselves jealous when their sworn, monogamous Eros partner is finding a kind of allurement or love with somebody else. Or they're in a partnership, conversely, where their desire to love, even if it doesn't involve sexuality, and I think we should actually exclude sexuality from the table here for this one.

MARC: We're talking about polyamory as loving big.

AUBREY: If people want to move into this, what are some of the practices? What is the yoga that we can step into that can help open this up so that we can kind of loosen the vise grip that these ideas that are destroying culture have on us?

MARC: That's great. What we're saying is, we're saying is our love lists are too short. We need to be enlivened by the experience of falling in love. How do we do it in a way that can actually not shatter our containers? How do we find our way in? I think first, we just have to practice loving. And the first practice of loving is to actually insert a wedge of awareness. I'm sitting and eating. This is going to sound silly, but it's a beautiful tantric and it's beautiful. I'm eating. The food's delicious. I barely notice I'm eating it. Because let me stop for a second. Let me notice the taste. My favorite food, let me fall in love with the food. Just start there. Second, I see something wildly beautiful. A gorgeous tree. I want to fall in love with the tree. Falling in love means, love is a perception. It's not I'm getting an entangled emotional relationship with the tree. But I perceive the divinity in the tree. Now that you get that love is a unique self perception, you actually get, oh. Now I see this unique tree that's unlike any other and it just blows my heart open. Now I'm training myself in loving. You see, our training in loving is that loving means we fall in love. Our general move is kind of either love, fuck, trust. Or fuck, love, trust. Unclear which way it goes. Usually it's fuck, love, trust. A bad order. You should go trust, love, fuck. Different conversation. When you say falling in love, you associate that with a U-Haul. In other words, we fell in love, we shared our assets, we forgot to do the prenup. Here we are living together. And this is my one and only. That's not what falling in love means. We have to retool and reclaim the language of falling in love. I fall in love with an idea when I perceive the divinity and the gorgeousness of an idea. I fall in love with a tree, I fall in love with food, I fall in love with a place, I fall in love with an animal. Now that I'm training falling in love, now I'm getting really well trained, now I can meet you and fall in love. I can fall in love and doesn't mean we're going to sleep together. It's not a sexual issue. It's an erotic issue. And I actually fall in love with your divinity, with your beauty. And I kneel and I kiss the ground. And I'm in devotion to you. And I'm delighted by you. And I let you delight me. I'm perceiving and seeing. And when you look in my face, you see your unique beauty. That's what it means. When I'm in love with you, you look in my face and you're blown away by your own beauty. That is how you create a society. And here's the thing, we're not going to take care of each other if we're not in love with each other. The environmentalists thought we can actually show people that they're going to die if we don't take care of the environment, they're going to take care of the environment. That's not true. You can't get a person, even for their own utilitarian, unless it's happening tomorrow. If there's any split off in time, any temporal split, people have temporal myopia. People can't see past a very, very short amount of time. If you tell people, If you fuck the environment, in X amount of years, it's going to get fucked, they're not going to do anything. The only way you can create actually, a kind of love of the environment is to fall in love with it. We don't fall in love with reality, we won't create a successful environmental movement. Can't be done on utilitarian grounds. Existential risks, the death of humanity. If we don't fall in love with each other, the existential risk to the present. If we don't fall in love with the future. Maybe this is too much of a confession to share on a public podcast, but I spent a decent amount of my time meditating on unborn children. When I meditate, I'm meditating on the unborn. I can actually have a shared identity with the future. Intimacy equals shared identity. I want to be intimate with the future. And I want to feel the unborn calling to me. I want to fall in love with the unborn. Because otherwise, I can't work with existential risk. I've got to cultivate my capacity, the great work of becoming a lover. If reality is Eros equals outrageous love, then I have to become an outrageous lover. And it's outrageous to be a lover. We've got to actually train in loving. I'll just give you one other yoga, just a direct yoga. There's a practice, and I know, again, I apologize, friends, listeners. This is another promissory note that we're going to do a deep dive dialogue on what outrageous love is and the practices of outrageous love. But one practice of this Eros moving through you, this outrageous love, which is not ordinary love human, it's the cosmic love moving uniquely through me, we call the practice of writing outrageous love letters. At the think tank and in the group of friends, and colleagues, and students that is involved in this great writing of the new story, we write each other outrageous love letters. And when you write an outrageous love letter, you exaggerate till you're accurate. And actually, even without calling it by that practice, you and I actually fell into that practice naturally. I'll often write you a note and say, hey, my love. And what do I mean? Do I mean that I'm competing with Vylana or that you're competing with Kristina? No. But saying, hey, buddy? That's not how I feel. And actually, something relaxes in my field. I'm reaching out to Aub. Wow, that's great. Something happens there. And you can literally feel in the text, you can feel in the transmission of it. And if it's somehow off or rushed, you feel that also. You can feel the whole thing. We actually developed a formal practice which is called the writing of outrageous love letters, which are written not between sexual beloveds.

AUBREY: It could be.

MARC: Totally could be. It's beautiful between sexual beloveds. It's not limited to sexual beloveds. I write and receive sometimes a couple dozen outrageous love letters in a day. Every single day. Now, they're not letters. They're usually a note, a couple of words. But just back and forth with a whole circle of people, with men, with women, with small mammals. And we're just writing letters. But it's a practice. It's the practice of writing outrageous love letters, which is the practice of the Song of Solomon, which is the most sacred texts in the canon. Actually, when you read the song, actually, it's not an essay on love, not a Western essay, it's not a con, it's a series of outrageous love notes between a lover and beloved. And that book is called [inaudible 02:14:57], the Holy of Holies. That's the practice of writing outrageous love notes, is the practice of Song of Songs. And it's the yoga of polyamory, but not yoga of sexual polyamory, but of loving wide and loving big. Our love lists are too short. We can't engage existential risk without longer love lists.


MARC: Amen.


MARC: And you got to take unique risk to do that.

AUBREY: Oh, the segue.

MARC: Oh, the segue.

AUBREY: The segue. I didn't know how you were going to get there, but it worked.

MARC: But it worked. Unique risk. Fuck, unique risk is the big one. Here's the sentence. You can't realize your unique self, which is the purpose of human life, not because we declare it to be so, but because the inherent movement of cosmos is towards uniqueness. We go through all of the steps of reality till we get to the human level. We go through all the levels of human development, we get to where we are today, and we have this new realization of unique self. Just to say that. Realization of unique self is new. I'm a unique expression of the evolutionary impulse. I can feel and see the whole evolutionary story. And I'm now an expression of conscious evolution. I'm aware of the whole evolutionary story. And I actually know and feel that the evolutionary impulse is awake and alive in me. I have a unique gift to give. The love desire, and love intelligence, and love beauty of all realities moving through me. I'm here to live, realize my unique self, give my unique gift and be my unique self. It's not just my unique gift. It's actually the unique quality of my being, which is a gift by itself. That's the purpose of my life. To do that, I have to take my unique risk. There's no possible way to do that without taking your unique risk. And anyone who thinks they're just going to glide into it, doesn't work that way. It's kind of the cosmic principle applied to unique self of the old no pain, no gain. There's always a unique risk. And being willing to take my unique risk is everything.

AUBREY: I've been using a lot of "Game of Thrones" references because I'm watching it with Vy. And there's something that just came to mind that I think people who are also "Game of Thrones" heads like myself, there's this idea in the Iron Islands, the Greyjoys who run the Iron Islands, that you pay the salt price for anything that's worth it. And the salt price is like you don't wear jewelry, you don't go to the jeweler and buy jewelry because your family had money and then you just buy jewelry. If you have jewelry, it's because you, and again, they had a whole different culture, like a Viking culture of raiding, and reaping, and fighting. But you take it off the slain enemy and then you then you get to put it on your body. That's paying the salt price because you took the unique risk to actually risk your blood and your life to have earned it. And it's like you pay the salt price. And in some ways, it's a pre-personal idea about what this is, which really means to actually get what is of true value, you have to put your blood on the line. You have to pay the salt price.

MARC: You have to pay the salt price. And let's just put the two together now. But you only want to pay the salt price for your unique risk. Risk is not unique risk. Often, we risk for something which wants to give us a sense of pseudo-Eros, wants to give us separate self status and ego, we take wild risks for that. I only want to take that level of risk, where I'm willing to literally risk my life, for the sake of my unique self. And my unique self might be in service, it might be in devotion, it's in love, it's in creativity. But I'm going to lay my life down, whether that's figuratively and sometimes literally. But we hope not to die for it, we hope to live for it, for my unique self. Because you can't get there without it. And here's the funny thing. It's not actually really a risk because my entire life force comes from my unique self. If I don't do that, I'm going to die. I'll be deadened, I'll die, I'll go into depression, I'll go into breakdown. I'll go into a sense of what Steiner called unwe, this sense of sick deadness. Kierkegaard called it a sickness unto death. This sense of malaise. Not to take my unique risk is insanity. But I've got to be willing to take and to identify, is that my unique risk? That's a very, very big deal. I'm thinking about an example. Here's an example and maybe we can, I'm sure, both come up with five of them. But let me just the first one that comes to mind. We were talking about this the other day. Back in 2014, I'm with my dear friend actually who's local Austin boy, John Mackey. We ran something called a Success Summit. It was great. This is really beautiful. And the book hasn't yet been written. We did one book out of it, but it's about this new vision of success. Different dialogue, different conversation. And it was a great thing to do. And there were a thousand people there. And there was art, and beauty, and love, and creation, and creativity. And in a certain sense, it wasn't exactly what I should have been doing. And as I did that, because I thought it was less risky than writing, I did it because I loved it. But underneath the loved it, and underneath the beauty of it, and underneath the, and I ran it with my friend Mike Beckwith, Michael from Agape. It was gorgeous. But underneath, you got to get really quiet, really, really quiet. If I go really, really deep, deep, deep, I realize, I should write a phenomenology of Eros and I should write about revisioning sexuality. But wow, I've dealt with a little controversy around that shit. I'm a little tired. Let's talk about success. That's a kosher topic. Mainstream kosher topic. Let me do that. In a certain sense at that moment, I wasn't willing to take my unique risk. She's madly blessed me. I feel alive and I have more energy than I know what to do with.

AUBREY: And when Marc says she, he's referring to shekhinah.

MARC: Shekhinah, Eros, the field of Eros, she. And yet there was a part of me, a hidden part of me, I couldn't even identify that was tired. It's like, really? I'm going to write a phenomenology of Eros. Are you for real? I'll change culture and I'll get murdered of Eros and get crucified. How many times can you get crucified? Only one time in a lifetime. So, I didn't do it. I didn't take my unique risk. And of course, what happened is out of that success summit, I actually had to deal with another tragedy that actually emerged from it, that we dealt with, and it was effective and we were able to transform it. But it was a direct result in my own self-understanding. No one else could tell me. If someone else were telling me that, I'd tell them to go fuck off. Don't tell me why that happened. That's spiritual bullshit. But you can say it to yourself. Wow, I didn't take my unique risk. Now, here's the thing. No one can tell you what your unique risk is. There's no spiritual teacher, there's no psychologist, there's no guru. That comes from your own intimacy with yourself. That's for birur. That word that you and I have used so often, which comes from the lineage, the clarification of risk, the clarification of desire. What's your unique risk? To be a human being is to know your unique risk. If you don't take it, you're already dead.

AUBREY: And I think one thing to double-click on here just quickly is one of my former teachers, Maestro Hamilton, Souther, he said, one thing that's very simple and very self-evident, but he said, when you're actually dealing with challenging aspects of what you may encounter in the astral and how to integrate those aspects and how to actually... And it applies to life as well, energy levels matter. And in this moment, actually... And there's another from a sports perspective. My old boxing coach Rudy Vasquez would say, fatigue makes cowards of us all. Meaning that there is a point at which, when you run out of energy, actually you're not willing to take your unique risks because pain increases the more energy you push when you're already tired, and you actually step back from it. And that's actually when you get your ass kicked. What he was saying is you allow that moment to happen, you're going to get cornered in the ring and you're going to get pounded until you drop to the canvas. This is what happens. You just take way more damage. Or on the other side, in your example, it's where some gnarly things happen. Being aware of your energy and then sustaining your energy, trying to build your life force, your vitality, through lots of ways in which you're expressing in life. But also the reason I wrote "Own the Day, Own Your Life" was to create an arc of an entire day that it could actually support your vital energy because actually, that matters for the whole picture. And to ignore that would be to be a little bit foolish. To say that I'm going to act exactly the same when I'm full of energy and vital life force as I'm going to act when I'm exhausted on two hours of sleep, tired, coming off of seven days of Burning Man, where I've depleted my serotonin system. Energy Levels matter. They fucking matter.

MARC: They matter. They matter. And we'll come back to unique risk. You wound us around there into energy levels which is critical. You're absolutely right. And that sense of the imperceptible sense of being tired. And your tiredness, I didn't even know what tiredness was. The notion that I could be tired. But it was just that fatigue. And I love that, give me that fatigue statement again.

AUBREY: Fatigue makes cowards of us all.

MARC: It's fantastic. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. Joy. Joy's got a big player. Not happiness. Not happiness, but joy. Joy in the lineage is associated, what's called in the lineage, the Hebrew wisdom lineage, what's called the Tree of Life, which has 10 qualities. Sephiroth, they're called, qualities or illuminations of reality, or illuminations of the divine. And one of this those sephiroth is called Bina. And Bina is kind of intuitive wisdom. And Bina is associated, the energy of Bina is associated with joy. Bina is the higher she, the higher shekhinah. The higher Eros. She's called the higher Eros. There's kind of a lower shekhinah, a lower she and a higher she. The higher she is called Bina. She's the kind of raw Eros of cosmos. And she's joy. She's associated with joy. Joy is an energy, and this gets really beautiful. Remember our image that we talked about maybe two hours ago, or however long we're in here. We've talked about an electric cord. Everyone's got the same electric cord, your sameness. And you got the plug at the end of the cord. That's your unique self that plugs into, as it were, the circuit of reality and you're filled with energy. Meaning there's not generic energy, there's unique energy. That's a very big deal. Aubrey's energy can only come through his unique self. Let's now get to joy. Where's joy come from? Constitution, founding document, America, pledge allegiance to the flag, born in the USA. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life, good value. Liberty, I'm all about liberty. Liberty is really important. Not just freedom from, but freedom for something. Real freedom. Pursuit of happiness, pursuit of joy is a crock. They got that one wrong. You can't pursue happiness. You can't pursue joy. That is a categorical human error. And the entire self-help movement is about that error.

AUBREY: You don't disambiguate happiness and joy.

MARC: For now, I'm going to lump them. You just wanted to use the word disambiguate and I know that. Which I get that. I'm in. I'm in. It's worth it. Such a fucking good word, isn't it? You're right. I'm not splitting. I'm not disambiguating for the moment, happiness and joy. But I'm using them the way the founders used them as generally the same thing. Correct. For the present. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life, good. Liberty, good. Pursuit of happiness is a crock. Why? Because when you pursue happiness, runs in the opposite direction. Just a rule. You try and be happy. There's a story about a master whose student says, you told me that you can't pursue happiness. This is a loose translation from Aramaic into Hebrew. And he said, I always run away from happiness and happiness never came and found me. You were running away but you were always looking behind you to see if happiness was following. So, happiness was confused about which way you're going. But the point is you can't pursue happiness. How do you get joy? How do you get happiness? And yes, I'm using them together now for a second. The way you get joy, you get to joy, you get to happiness, by pursuing something other than happiness. And as a natural byproduct of that other pursuit, you get joy. What's that other thing that you pursue? The other thing you're pursuing... I had an argument with my colleague then, Dennis Prager. Dennis and I did a conversation I think on his show about this. And Dennis said, you pursue ethics and goodness. And as a byproduct of pursuing ethics and goodness, you get joy. No, that's not true. Ethics and goodness are good things to pursue, but you will not get joy just as a byproduct of pursuing ethics and joy. You've got to pursue your unique ethics, your unique self, your unique goodness. In other words, joy is a byproduct of living your unique self. That's a big deal. Meaning there can be ups and there can be downs, there's going to be agony and ecstasy, there can be crisis, there can be breakdowns and breakthroughs. But when you're in your story, when you're living your story, when you're doing that, joy is a byproduct of living your story. It's a byproduct. And your story is your unique self. Joy is a direct byproduct of living your unique self story. Now, that means that if joy is energy, because joy is understood in the lineage correctly as being actually a current of energy, in Hebrew, it's chiyut, C-H-I-Y-U-T, chiyut, raw energy, which is similar to chi in the Chinese system. The chi, the energy of cosmos. My joy is actually a function of my unique self. And as I get joy as a byproduct of living my unique self. Because that plug at the end of that cord is my unique self. So, I plug in my unique self, that is my access my, conduit to joy. There's no other conduit to joy. Th precise extent. And this is directly proportional relationship. That I'm not living my unique self. If someone told me I don't have energy, I can't find my joy, I know they're not living their unique self. Then I talk to them, not about how to get more energy, talk to them about their unique self. And we can almost always correlate the two. If you were doing more of that, so people only do less, they'll have more energy. No, do more. But do more of your unique self. That's where energy comes from. That's really beautiful. And you correlate it and say you can't take your unique risk, you can't know what your unique risk is unless you're awake. Awake on all levels. You've got energy. If I asked you what your unique risk was, what would it be?

AUBREY: That's a very personal question that I don't think I'm quite prepared to answer in public.

MARC: That is a personal, I apologize.

AUBREY: That's all right. I'm very transparent here. I think it's actually the embodiment of the possibility of what my consciousness uniquely can hold. The frequency that my consciousness can uniquely hold. And my unique risk is the feeling that I think comes from the same lineage that you're from, which is, if you actually step into the full breadth of your aliveness and consciousness, you get fucking nailed, and you get the spear, and you get the crucifix. And this is what happens if you step into your full aliveness. So, keep the lights down on the dimmer, just a little bit, just enough that you're safe. And I think, really, it's... And this doesn't mean I'm trying to be fucking Jesus or something. It's just about turning my lights all the way up, all the way up. And I think the unique risk is, do I trust to turn my own unique Aubrey light all the way up? Can I crank it to the maximum? And that's one aspect of my unique risk. Another is, there's certain topics that I like to talk about maybe, certain aspects like, I've shared this, I write erotic fiction. Some part of me kind of wants to share it, but I don't know. Does that really make sense? There's other elements of things that I kind of want to do that feel risky and edgy. There's a couple of different components but it's a beautiful question and it's an intimate question.

MARC: It's an intimate question. First off, I apologize, insincerely, for asking it. And I super appreciate. It's a really beautiful answer. I share both of those with you. In other words, the murder of Eros is a real thing. At the end of the "Return to Eros" book that we wrote, I wrote with KK, we wrote a chapter on the murder of Eros. And as I went through, a bunch of years ago, this tragedy moment, my response was to sit with Kristina and to write this book "Return to Eros, because I had kind of turned away from Eros in a certain way. I'd done the Success Summit and I realized, I've got to go back to she and actually write about her. That's what she wants. II wrote "Return to Eros." And at the end, we wrote this very poignant chapter, poignant for us anyways, about the murder of Eros. In other words, and Reich talks about it. He wrote a book by this name, Wilhelm Reich. HE who wrote a book called "The Murder of Christ." He doesn't mean Christ. Just like you said, I don't mean to be Jesus. But by Christ, he meant the same thing you meant by Jesus. The fullness of life force. And Reich talks about the desire to murder lifeforce that he calls the murder of Christ. We call it the murder of Eros. There's a desire to murder Eros because when someone's embodying Eros, it reminds me of that which I'm not embodying. And Reich wrote a second book called "Listen, Little Man!" which was about the little man or desire to murder Eros where I'm not on the inside. I'm not inside my circle of Eros, so, I play someone else on the outside and go to kill them in order to give myself the illusion of being on the inside. That sense of, wow, do I let Aubreyness shine all the way? No one can answer that question. And if anyone would ever attempt to answer that question for you or for me, they can't do it. They can advise, they can share. But in the end, there's this very deep resonance of what does that mean? And it's a very unique, particular, gorgeous, it's called in the lineage [inaudible 02:35:19], the individual revelation to Aubreyness. That revelation, that illumination. How far do I go? What do I share? There's a practice we have of outrageous love letters. And there's a practice we have of outrageous erotic love letters. Outrageous erotic love letters is a very, very beautiful practice. Kristina and I did that practice for years. And in the circle, there's a particular track, this practice of outrageous erotic love letters, that people have written. And they're intensely beautiful. They're elegant. They're sacred. And there was a movement at a certain moment, let's publish them all. The world needs them. And it was like, maybe not. In other words, is that a unique risk? And I thought, actually, at the time that it was. Maybe it's not. You know what I mean? You actually have to wrestle with this and you have to be willing to be in the cauldron and the wrestling of where are you going to drive your stake in the ground? You drive your stake into ground for your unique risk? And sometimes there's different moments in life.

AUBREY: Sometimes it's just a risk.

MARC: And sometimes it's just a risk. Because that's why it's called a unique risk. I'm not going to give you one last example. Or will I? That's a unique risk. There’s' this unique risk whether I should share with you this unique risk. I'm living in the Middle East at the time and someone's coming to Israel, who wants to be in relationship. Calls me and calls a very close friend of mine. Completely appropriate, aboveboard in all the good ways. And something in my body said, can I trust this person? I called the person. I can remember the conversation till today. And I said, whatever the name was, I said, this is a totally legitimate, beautiful, great... She was studying with me. And she wanted to have a relationship. Had her talk to a woman I was very close to. Was holding a lot of my world. And they had a great talk. It was done in such integrity. And I said, can I trust you? We wound up going out for six weeks. That was it. It was a short period of time. I said, can I trust you? And my body told me not to. And I thought, you know what, this is my unique risk. I want to be a trusting person. And I don't want to let the experience of having been betrayed violate my ability to trust. That's what I told myself. And I trusted the person and it was a mistake. Let the hint be sufficient to the wise. I thought that was my unique risk. And it wasn't. Actually should've listened to the murmurings of my body. Unique risk is a very personal, intimate conversation. But it's one that no person who wants to live the fullness of their unique self can avoid having. There is a unique risk to live my unique self. And if it's not there, then it's not your unique self.

AUBREY: And it's the pathway to your unique gift.

MARC: It's the pathway to your unique gift, which the world desperately needs. Which the world desperately needs. And maybe as we move towards closure, that realization, when we kind of go back to the beginning of what we said. It's like, wow. You're an irreducibly unique expression of the love intelligence, and love beauty, and love desire that needs your service. The experience of being needed is the most wondrous human experience. We're not at home in the world, we don't feel welcome in the world until we're needed. It's a conversation which I think is also about our second of the three great questions of cosmo-erotic humanism, which is where are you? Am I in a world that welcomes me? Are there welcome signs in the universe? We'll get to that conversation, but maybe just for a moment now. You can't be welcomed in the universe if you're not living your unique self. When you're living your unique self, your unique self is a welcome sign tacked on to the doorway of your life. If you're not living your unique self, your essential experience of being alive is you're not quite welcome. You're like a guest who reality's putting up with. It's kind of like you go to someone's house and they try and make you totally welcome. And you do your best, and you're there, and everyone's good. You're sitting at the table, but you kind of want to get home. But then you're sitting at the table and let's say something happens. And they pick up the phone. The person, or the man, or the woman picks up the phone and wow, something went wrong. And they turn to you, oh my god, I'm so glad you're here. You're the one person who can deal with this for me. You're welcome. The whole sense of alienation is gone. You're welcome. Unique self gives me the experience that I'm welcome in reality. Doesn't get better than that. Wow.

AUBREY: It's actually exhausting to give something repetitively that's not your unique gift or unique obligation. For example, we're both teachers. And in teaching, when someone is really accessing or podcasting, even, when I'm a guest on another podcast, when they're accessing some of my unique gift, it's enlivening, it's energizing. But if I hear one more motherfucking time, tell me why you started Onnit. I feel my energy draining out of my body at fucking rapid pace, like a stampede of energy buffalo going the wrong fucking way. Oh my god, I've answered this 300 fucking times. You really want me to answer this motherfucker again? Here we go. And same thing with somebody who's asking a question that I can answer some way, but not even answer anywhere close to as good as myriad other people could answer, then it takes energy from me. But when somebody asks me a question that specifically I can answer. Say, some interesting interweaving between polyamory and psychedelics, or some particular thing that I have particular insight about, or the darkness retreat, contrasted with Iboga, I'm like, ah, that's a fucking good question. And those are obviously extreme examples of my unique genius coming together. But in those questions, energy actually is filled into my body. And it's this beautiful thing that happens.

MARC: It's gorgeous. Uniqueness is the conduit of energy. It just is.

AUBREY: And that's why also, when somebody asks you, when your friend asks you, can you help me move my house? It's like, oh god. Because you know there's thousands of people who could move the house. Picking up furniture, packing boxes. You're not uniquely capable of doing that. You may do it because you're a good friend, but it's not going to be energizing. But if they're like, can you walk me through this difficult integration? Talking to me personally. I got to do this difficult integration process after I had this strange DMT experience. And I'm looking around like, yeah, all right, I'm there. When do you need me? Now? Cool. I cancel my shit. I'm there. And I'm actually happy to be there. And I think that's an important distinction.

MARC: It's a great distinction. And of course, and this is self-evident in what you said. But of course, there's particular moments when someone you love dearly is moving their house. That becomes unique, not because of the action, but because of the relationship. It's gorgeous. There's one last thing that that maybe is worth saying. It's very subtle. It's very beautiful. Which is that unique self implies something about the nature of who you are. And this is connected to kind of where are you in a certain ways and what do you want? But just this piece of it is key for unique self. Which is, unique self implies that you're intended. It's a very big, subtle, gorgeous realization that you can actually get in your body that just kind of wakes you up. In other words, my uniqueness tells me that I'm not like any other. And that actually, it took cosmos an enormous amount of effort, through generations of allurement, and allurements of precise language of cosmic intelligence, to generate me. And there's no one that ever was, is, or will be, that's like me other than me. Which means, I'm intended. If I buy my wife a gift and it's kind of the standard gift, doesn't matter how much it cost. It's a standard gift that people buy or it's an expensive gift. It's a classical, expensive gift. It's okay. It's nice. It's sweet. Or she buys it for me. But if I have intention and I actually think about it, and I think about who she is and what she wants, and I create it long in advance, right before her birthday. I do it like for six months, I'm intending it. The deeper your intention, the more specific the intention, the more unique intention, the more love there is. That's what a human being is. A human being is exponentially unique, intended by reality. And the actual experience as a pointing out instruction, for actual enlightenment, that's what we mean by the democratization of enlightenment, we can actually access the enlightened experience. Unique self itself is a pointing out instruction for my own enlightenment. I actually have an experience of reality intending me. Wow. I have an experience of reality choosing me. And what we do is we outsource being chosen to one person. If we're not chosen by that one person, we're not chosen. And if that person therefore didn't remember our birthday far enough in advance, they're fucked and we're fucked because we've outsourced our experience of being intended to that one person. But actually, in the very structure of my being, is I'm intended. When I actually get a sense of my uniqueness, I can actually get a sense of actually being intended. I've got to be able to look at myself, to get out of myself and look at myself and realize reality intended me. For a bunch of years, I asked my students to carry around a mirror. We started as a bathroom thing. We all did it when we were in the airport. You're in the airport, you go into the bathroom, I know there's lots of things people can do in bathrooms on planes, but this was a different one.

AUBREY: Not that much. It's fucking cramped in there, what people are doing.

MARC: There's some limits. And the way I got to this, the way I got to this teaching instruction was, it happened to me by accident once. I go into the airport bathroom and I look in the mirror for a second. I'm like, wow, who's that? And that doesn't happen in your mirror at home because it's ordinary. You're so used to your mirror at home that it's just part of your day. As soon as you go into a different mirror you've never seen, you look and see, who's that person? And you get the sense of like, wow, who is that? And you can actually see yourself in third person. When you can see yourself in third person, you can actually perceive yourself. You have a sense of perception of self you can't get any other way, which is why self-love comes that way. You can't do self-love by looking at yourself. You can only do self-love by actually doing a practice which actually lets you look at yourself in third person.

AUBREY: There is another mirror, really, yoga. And when I say yoga, like exercise, actually. And I stumbled upon it in my own journeys. One day, I was on a particularly thick dose of psilocybin mushrooms. And I went to the mirror and I was just going to wash my hands after going to the bathroom or something. And I started looking at myself and I had that experience, as you've described in the unique self-experience, of seeing myself through god's eyes as me through me and seeing myself looking back. And it was like this really potent experience where I saw all my animality. Of course, all the hairs that were bristling out of my body, but also all the light that was pouring through every cell of my being. I stayed there for a while and a little smile crept on my face. And I was like, hey, there you are. There you are, Aubrey.

MARC: That's it. That's exactly it. Literally, that's exactly that experience. You're in the bathroom of the plane and you look in the mirror like, wow, who is that? And you get to fall in love with that person. That's called self-love. That's actually what self-love is. The way I do it, and again, her grace, practices new yoga has emerged spontaneously. I was working with a dear friend of mine. Student and friend who we've worked together for 10 years. And just self-love wasn't working. What we did is, we said, let's put a baby between us on the floor. Let's put the baby in a nice place on the floor. Nice, cushy carpets so the baby's comfortable. And I said whether that baby lives or dies depends on you. Whoa, depends on me whether that baby lives or dies. Yep. If you love that baby, that baby lives. I asked her, is that baby alive? Yes. Why is that baby alive? That baby's alive because I'm loving that baby. He's 6 months old. A year old. Is that baby alive? Yes. Why is that baby alive? Because I'm loving that baby. And we went through, maybe must have done it 20 times. Is that baby alive? Yes. Why? I'm loving that baby. That baby only lives, I said, I'm the lord of hosts. I decree that baby only lives if you love that baby. We went through all the years till we got to her age. And her age was, let's say 57. I said, now we're at 57. Is that baby alive or dead? Baby's alive. Why is that baby alive? I'm loving that baby. That baby's name is her name. The first time she had this beautiful, stunning, her whole just came alive and had a direct, clear experience. And Kyle and I just actually did this practice as we were chatting. And it's a fantastic, gorgeous practice because you can't love yourself just by going inside. Because you can't find yourself inside. If I want to access Aubreyness, Aubrey, taste of Aubrey, good. We talked about this the other day. But I can't access it myself. I've got to see myself in third person, was what happened to you in the journey. I actually look at myself and I said, wow, reality intended this. Wow. I didn't decide where to be born. I didn't decide how to be born. I didn’t decide to who to be born. I didn't decide when to be born. I didn't decide with what capacities to be born. I'm being lived by this larger thing. Reality intended me, I belong here. I'm welcome. Reality chose me. And then you get to reality needs me. That's the experience of unique self. It's the source of joy. It's the source of human dignity. And it's actually our true nature and maybe... 10-second break. I'm just going to get something. Aubrey, I grabbed as I walked out, this poem, which I love by Walt Whitman. And the crazy thing is that everyone thinks... People always send it to me. This is a unique self poem. But it's exactly not. And maybe this is a great place to close on why isn't it. This is a gorgeous Walt Whitman called "O Me! O Life!" And d'you remember that movie? What was it called? It's a great movie, "The Dead Poets Society." This was kind of core in "The Dead Poets Society," where ostensibly, Robin Williams, we talked about in the beginning. So it's good that we're talking about him at the end. We start with Robin Williams, we're ending with Robin Williams. There's actually a text in the book of creation, 2,200 years old, which says that a great conversation, not with intention, but just the nature of things, [inaudible 02:52:08]. The beginning is in the end and the end is in the beginning. The demarcating characteristic of a holy conversation is that somehow...

AUBREY: Weaves together.

MARC: Weaves together. And the beginning in the end. That's actually what just happened, quite literally. Robin Williams is doing this poem actually in "Dead Poets Society." It's a great Walt Whitman poem where he reads, O me! O Life! Of the questions of these recurring, of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish. Of myself forever reproaching myself. For whom more foolish than I and who more faithless. And of eyes that vainly crave the light of the objects mean. Of the struggles ever renewed. Of the poor results of all of the plotting and sorted crowds I see around me. Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest of me entwined. The question o me, so sad, recurring, what good amid these, o me, o life. And his response is. That you are here. That life exists in identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. On the one hand, it's really beautiful. He's intuiting unique self-conscious, that you may contribute a verse. But here's the thing. And that's why we were so precise in our first dialogue. What Whitman is saying is, even though it's sorted crowds, and even though it may be over when it's over, and even though it might be a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing, okay. But you have an experience of contributing a verse. That's not what unique self is saying. Unique self is saying, no, the world is overflowing with meaning. And it's all significant. You've actually realized I'm not... That you may contribute a verse is written to the separate self. The separate self is trying to wrest meaning. That's not what unique self is. Unique self is the world's filled with meaning. You're actually part of the seamless code of the universe. You're part of the field of consciousness, which is the field of desire, which is the field of value, which is the field of meaning. And you're contributing a verse, not absently, but as an expression of a cosmos overflowing with meaning. You're not just contributing a verse, you're contributing a verse to the cosmic scroll. It's not the same. It's not a random verse. It's not an existential claim for meaning. And what Robin Williams does beautifully, it's a great movie. What he says to the kids is, in the movie, and he uses the Whitman poem in that context. In the beginning of the movie, he brings them to see the pictures of the old students who used to be there who were young in their age. And he says, listen to the whispers. Can you hear them? Can you hear them? It's a very beautiful scene. But now, they're just fertilizing the grass. There's nothing left of them. What should you do? Brings out the Whitman poem. At least contribute a verse. It's exactly not unique self. Unique self means reality is filled with meaning. You're part of the field of meaning. And we need your unique verse, your unique letter on the Torah, your unique verse in the cosmic scroll. Unique itself. AUBREY: Christian raised a good question that we thought we would circle back here because I think it's important. The question being, what if I don't feel like I have a unique self? And I think that question arises when you start comparing what you think is your unique self with somebody else's unique self, which is the exact antithesis...

MARC: Of unique self.

AUBREY: Of unique self.

MARC: That's exactly it. The question is a question of what matters. There's a text in the lineage from [inaudible 02:56:05], that's the name of this tome, in page, I think, 50A, which tells the story of a near death experience. It's an early near-death experience. The person comes back and they say, what did you see? And he says, [inaudible 02:56:19]. I saw a world turned upside down. Meaning that which we think matters, actually is irrelevant. The great speech, the big public thing. And all of these seemingly innocuous and private moments are actually of unimaginable value. I remember, Aub, reading a book by William Sapphire. He was a "New York Times" columnist back in the day, called great speeches in history. And they were all about these great public speeches. And I wrote him an angry letter as a kid. I said, why do you think the great speeches in history happened in public? They happen maybe at 4:00 in the morning between a person and their partner. They happen in a business. They happen all over the place. Our sense that that which is public, that which is famous, that which is witnessed, which is kind of an early Instagram consciousness, that's actually a devaluation of unique self. It's exactly the opposite of unique self, as you said so beautifully, so correctly. Actually, my uniqueness shows up in two ways. First off, in my being. My unique self is not just my public unique gift to someone, it's in the way I uniquely show up in reality. That's not my unique becoming, it's not evolution moving through me to do something, it's my very beingness. When it's actually authentic. It's clarified, it's really me, there's great joy. In just me actually being the depth of my authenticity. And second is, my gift is not just that which is powerful, that which is monetized. It's me giving the unique gift of my insight, my presence. It may be me exchanging a word with the teller at the bank. And by the way, it's one of the reasons it's so tragic when you move everything online, it's because we miss lots of unique self encounters. But in all of my encounters, both in the online world and in the personal world, every single encounter is a unique self invitation. Every single encounter is a place to give a gift. Every single encounter is infinitely significant. And there's always a place to create value. Having said that, our political economic obligation is to create maximal opportunity for maximal people to actually give the fullness of their unique selves. And it's actually correct that it's tragic in the world, where there's an inequity of unique self possibility. There's always unique self possibility in the worst and most horrific time. And maybe it's a good place to close, is a story of a... Wow, I haven't thought about this in a long time, brother. There's a story that a close friend of mine told, that her father used to tell. Her father was a folk singer, and beautiful man and a kind of mystic lineage thinker. And he told a story of him walking on Higher Cone Street, which is the street on the beach in Tel Aviv and running into a street sweeper. They started talking. And her father Shlomo, was his name, noticed something about his accent, the accent of the street sweeper that seemed to be connected to a very important master called the Master from Piaseczna who was killed in Treblinka in the Holocaust. And this master was called The Rebbi, the teacher of children. He says to him, did you know the holy master? And he says, yes, I actually knew him. I was one of his children. And he says, wow, gevalt, you were one of his children. Who are you? How'd you get here? And this street sweeper was a hunchback. He was completely bent over. And he says, I'll tell you what happened. I was one of his children and his services were gorgeous. He opened up the heavens. And the way I got bent over is when I was in the camps, I was strong when I came. And they beat me. And they beat me so hard that I hunched. And so many times I would want to go to the fence that was electric and kill myself. But I remembered what that master, the Master of Piaseczna used to say. When he would gather all the children, he would say [inaudible 03:00:57]. The one thing that you can always do, no matter what's happening, is to [inaudible 03:01:02], is to do a favor for someone. So here I was. I was bent over in the camp. I was completely hunched back and disfigured. But because I was bent over, I could listen to anyone. I would walk around and I would just listen to people. And they would tell me their stories and their suffering. And I would listen. And that's how I survived. Wow. And the words of the Piaseczna. No matter where you are, the best [inaudible 03:01:29], the most beautiful thing you can do is to [inaudible 03:01:32], is to do someone a favor. And that's always possible. No matter where I am, no matter what's happening, I can always be in that car in Utah and receive someone. That's unique self right there.

AUBREY: There it is. Amen.

MARC: Amen. [inaudible 03:01:49].

AUBREY: Hallelujah.

MARC: Hallelujah. What a joy, brother.

AUBREY: What a joy. Been an amazing week.

MARC: Amazing week. Oh my god.

AUBREY: Thank you everybody for tuning into these dialogues. Many more to come. We love you.

MARC: [inaudible 03:02:01].

AUBREY: Bye-bye. Thanks for tuning into this video. Make sure you hit subscribe, follow me at 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.