Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Diane Hamilton Owns Her Role in the Gafni Situation

Diane posted this at Integral Life - I am grateful for her honesty, even in the areas where I disagree with her. I have always questioned her involvement with Gafni, and I have always respected her as a person of wisdom and kindness.

I am posting the whole thing - I hope Diane does not mind, but more people will see it the more it is circulated.
My Bad
Posted September 14th, 2011 by Diane Hamilton

I supported Marc Gafni’s return to teaching after a two-year hiatus because he is one of the most subtle thinkers I have encountered, he has more creative force than anybody I know, and whether you like his style or not, he has a remarkable and uncommon gift for opening heart-minds when he is in front of the room. I felt that like all of us, he should be both confronted and supported in addressing the issues that caused him to leave Israel.

Since his return to work three years ago, he has generated the Integral Spiritual Experience, the Future of Love series, the Unique Self teaching (which many of us have found to be invaluable in our work with students), and with Ken Wilber and his colleagues at CWS, he has begun to articulate the tenets of a World Spirituality which is indeed appropriate and necessary to our time. There are probably only one or two other people in the Integral world whose contributions are as significant.

What I didn’t see clearly (although I was certainly told) is that contained in Marc’s creativity and charisma is an equal and opposite impulse to self-destruct and to repeat the same patterns that have caused him and others suffering throughout his life. Whether he has one girlfriend or five, and whether the relationships are transparent or private is not the real issue to me.

The issue is that the very same people he loves still end up angry and hurt, and his relationships still become a public spectacle. And very sadly, I am one of the people who has been his intimate friend and colleague and who inevitably feels that I have to move away from a source of such unknowable inspiration and energy because the cost to me is too great and the risk to others is too high. I question how it is that someone so brilliant and insightful can repeatedly hand his enemies a loaded weapon, and like Bill Clinton did, squander the incredibly hard work and gains that he and other people have made in establishing the Integral and World Spirituality ideas in the world. My wish is that he was asking the same set of questions on his blog.

Ultimately, it is my responsibility to question myself and my choices. To be honest, I am not sure if I made a mistake in supporting Marc’s return. I still feel tremendous value in the work we have done in the last three years, and collaborating with him has been a source of great pleasure. But if anyone feels that my support of him created the conditions for them to be injured, or even disappointed for that matter, I will be accountable for my role in that.

Most importantly, I see again that my desire for change can’t be displaced onto others, but has to be rooted deeply in myself and my own patterning. I have to look into what it means to see, clarify, and take responsibility for myself and for the very real mistakes I have made in my own life, and act according to what I see.

In addition, I am still wondering what it means to genuinely love the extremely gifted and unmanageable people in my life, of which there are a few. And similarly, how to befriend the deep parts of myself that are irrevocably broken, while learning how to spare others of the ill effects of them. I have to accept that I will be criticized for rescuing Marc, but I will also determine that I have a choice not to be channeled into the role of either victim or persecutor because I genuinely believe that our lives are much too complex, profound, and ultimately beautiful to be contained by such limited categories at those.
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