Monday, December 26, 2011

Ken Wilber Offers His Final Statement on Marc Gafni



When the latest Marc Gafni thing blew up in September, Ken Wilber eventually issued a tepid statement of support and said he would make a final statement at a later date. Part of the reason Wilber was drawn into it was because Robb Smith, Diane Hamilton, and several other people all made a public break with Gafni. Integral Life ended its affiliation with Gafni's Center for World Spirituality and several teachers stopped working with him.


Well, for Wilber, the date of his final statement came a week or so ago.

Final Ken Wilber Statement Dec. 2011, Marc Gafni / Center for World Spirituality

9 comments:

Heinz Robert said...

Hi Bill,
it makes me sad, that you are just commenting on the first third of Ken’s statement and leave the other two third – which I find the most important part – out of your "integral" view.
Best,
Heinz

William Harryman said...

1) I'm not integral, nor do I claim to be.

2) I commented on the part that I found useful. The rest reiterates all the stuff he has said before, how Marc is doing all the right things.

The proof is in the behavior, and the same behavior keeps resurfacing every few years.

Anonymous said...

the behavior doesn't prove anything, any more than your ongoing unhappiness about Marc proves you to be an SOB. It proves there are misunderstandings and miscommunications, perhaps--but even the source of those is unclear. Your hope that Ken didn't write the letter is just wishful thinking. But again, your behavior doesn't prove you are delusional. I assume you to be interested in facts, as best you see them. Perhaps in that spirit here you might gracefully admit your defeat in this matter--the man you want so much to disappear is somehow is part of a bigger teaching, and people see that, despite exasperation that he leaves himself exposed. You don't see it this way. Ok. Why it bothers you so much is interesting--a folk hero who didn't have the chance to go after Trungpa or Jung, perhaps, so trying to even things out in this way? Who knows, who cares. What is noticeable is that you would like to control the narrative and you do not, and you don't seem to be able to
accept that with any kind of humility.

Andy Smith said...

Bill, I appreciate your exposing Gafni for the fraud that he quite apparently is. Wilber's endorsement should come as no big surprise. This is the same naive intellectual who raved that Adi Da was the most advanced spiritual leader of all time, and who has more recently raved about the "bad boy"methods of Andrew Cohen. Wilber, like most people who write about spirituality, wouldn't know the real thing if it were standing in front of him (mostly because the real thing does not write books or give talks bragging about how spiritual it is).

To Gafni's supporters, I ask a simple question: forget all the philandering, the overwhelming evidence that he is as much a slave of his desires as the next person. What has he ever done that indicates to you that he is so spiritually advanced? And don't say, "I can just feel it when I see or hear him". By that standard, there are thousands of not millions of gurus out there, every one as advanced as Gafni.

Let me also take this opportunity to give appreciation for your blog. I'm both a neuroscientist and long-time spiritual practitioner, and find much here of interest.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I appreciate your exposing Gafni for the fraud that he quite apparently is. Wilber's endorsement should come as no big surprise. This is the same naive intellectual who raved that Adi Da was the most advanced spiritual leader of all time, and who has more recently raved about the "bad boy"methods of Andrew Cohen. Wilber, like most people who write about spirituality, wouldn't know the real thing if it were standing in front of him (mostly because the real thing does not write books or give talks bragging about how spiritual it is).

To Gafni's supporters, I ask a simple question: forget all the philandering, the overwhelming evidence that he is as much a slave of his desires as the next person. What has he ever done that indicates to you that he is so spiritually advanced? And don't say, "I can just feel it when I see or hear him". By that standard, there are thousands of not millions of gurus out there, every one as advanced as Gafni.

Let me also take this opportunity to give appreciation for your blog. I'm both a neuroscientist and long-time spiritual practitioner, and find much here of interest.

William Harryman said...

Thanks Andy, I sincerely appreciate your support and perspective.

Peace to you and yours for the new year.

speechless said...

I realize I will draw the ire of Gafni supporters, but I don't think Ken authored that statement of support. I think it is another example of Gafni writing it and Ken agreeing to it.

If you go read Wilber's statement from last Fall and then this one, it sounds as though they are written by two different people. The wording is all different. The statement from last Fall sounds like Wilber. This one doesn't.

It's also interesting that Wilber finds this endorsement important enough to post on his personal blog (the first entry since last July) but no mention is made over at Integral Life. My guess is that this glowing endorsement will not be presented this weekend at ISE3. And none of the other Integral teachers are coming back on board with support.

Jared said...

I posted this on Marc's site and noticed that it was deleted. I don't have any dogs in this fight, but I have been following it with interest. The entire post is below:


This is a pretty remarkable article. To point out only one line:

"I do not believe it is fair to ask a teacher to share the details of his or her romantic life, particularly if they are single, or even if they are in a marriage which will inevitably have years that are more challenging, with the mistakes that many human beings make occurring along the way."

So it's okay for a teacher to have affairs? Because, reading between the lines here, that seems to be what you are saying. I'm not personally involved with this controversy in any way, but I've been following it with interest because I used to have a spiritual teacher that was accused of abuse.

Why is Marc involved with so many women? This, to me, is the crux of the matter. Whether he intentionally abused or hurt them seems like it's probably in the eye of the beholder.

It sounds like, in the least, he got involved with many women and left a trail of hurt feelings in his wake. I don’t understand why he can't see that even if these relationships are fully mutual, that it's simply not a good idea to be involved sexually with a bunch of people.

This goes for anyone, but especially for spiritual teachers or people in positions of power. Why run the risk of creating a trail of karma that could harm your life's work? Maybe it's time for Marc to look at why he consistently seems to need to be sexually involved with many people.

Anonymous said...

The question (and answer obvious to many of us who know Marc/Mordechai well) is, is he a teacher with a weakness for power-based affairs, or is he a predator who says whatever things he believes will keep him in a teaching position because that allows him to prey upon women? Many of us long ago reached the conclusion that the latter was the case...