Marc Gafni on Digital Intimacy
Dr. Marc Gafni is a renowned spiritualist and is one of the most visionary personalities of recent times. He has had many accomplishments, including authoring bestselling books, teaching on the cutting edge of spirituality, hosted television programs, and founded influential think-tanks both in the United States and abroad. He is schooled in Hebrew traditions, yet is ready to challenge long-held beliefs in an effort to expand consciousness and to evolve the human spirit.
One of his more recent topics of interest is the concept of Digital Intimacy. He created a video that highlights some of the particulars of this innovative way of looking at the role technology can play in our everyday lives. As more and more people move to technology in their lives, intimacy can dwindle in the online world. People no longer interact face to face, and the web is seen by many as contributing heavily to this disconnection within society. Marc understands that such disconnect is possible, but that technology, particularly the use of social media, can actually build intimacy, provided that the technology is used in the right ways. He believes that friendships and relations cultivated on social media are every bit as real and as potentially intimate as those we create in the real world.
Digital Intimacy is the process of creating connections in the impersonal online world. Think of the ways that one uses social media, such as Facebook; it provides a platform to reconnect with long-lost friends and relatives. Despite the many voices decrying the loss of social interaction online, personal interaction is exactly what is happening when people reach out to their friends via Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Digital Intimacy can take many forms, but the major divisions are personal intimacy and what Marc refers to as “tribal”: familial or family-oriented intimacy, political, organizational, and corporate digital intimacy. Personal intimacy is what happens when relationships are cultivated through social media, text messaging, and instant audio/video messaging services like Snapchat or Voxer. One can be extremely intimate, using technology and technical gizmos to one’s advantage to connect, to flirt, and to even share pillow talk with a loved one.
In a similar way, the tribal intimacy of shared communication can be enhanced by the use of social media platforms. Think about how corporations communicate, or political interests, or families. They share daily information, interact on a very personal level, and adhere to the same goals. Social media platforms can enhance these interoffice and inter-organizational relationships, building accountability and trust into those organizational groups. Through Digital Intimacy, groups can improve productivity, enhance communication, boost effectiveness, and become more alive than technology naysayers ever thought possible.
Just like in real relationships, Marc stresses that it is not as simple as communicating through social media. To cultivate real, meaningful, and lasting relationships through the concept of digital intimacy, one must be attentive to the needs of others. One must be willing to listen, to consciously make efforts to share, and to work at the relationship as one would with a real, non-virtual connection. It is even possible to be vulnerable, letting one’s guard down and sharing deeply-held beliefs with those we interact with online. So, it’s not simply what technology one uses, but how that technology is being used. Marc Gafni’s vision can bring joy and fulfillment to people’s lives if they embrace the possibilities of social media in developing Digital Intimacy.
Simple Life Interview, 2013
Simple Life host Cynthia Fernandes interviews Dr. Gafni: philosopher, visionary scholar, and wisdom teacher.
The Great Invitation of Your Life
-excerpt from Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment
by Dr. Marc Gafni
Every person is responsible for their own awakening. In the same way every generation is responsible for its own evolution of consciousness. There is a covenant of partnership between generations. Each generation commits to contribute its own unique insights to the ongoing transformation and evolution of consciousness. At its core, consciousness is love—the evolution of consciousness is therefore nothing less than the evolution of love. If you then realize that God is synonymous with love, you begin to understand that the evolution of love is no less than the evolution of God. God is the infinite. The infinite is the intimate. God is the infinity of intimacy.
To be awake is to be a lover: alive, aflame, and open as love.
Therefore, at its heart, to be a lover means to be willing to participate in the transformation of consciousness.
Consciousness = God = Intimacy = Love.
Love is the spiritual technology operating through you as the expansion and transformation of identity itself. Enlightenment is no less than the ultimate transformation of identity, permanently widening and deepening the radius and depth of your love.
An evolutionary emergent is an idea whose time has come. It always comes at a time when the world can no longer live without it. It sits atop all that has come before, yet it adds something undeniably new. The book Your Unique Self is an invitation for you to understand, realize and practice Unique Self in the story of your life—for all of this is just words, until we learn it in the stories of our own lives.
We live in a world of outrageous pain.
The only response to outrageous pain
Is outrageous love!
This is your invitation to awaken
to the Path of the Outrageous Lover.
What does an outrageous lover do?
An outrageous lover keeps every boundary that should be kept, and breaks every boundary that should be broken.
And with that principle in mind, an outrageous lover commits outrageous acts of love.
An outrageous act of love addresses a unique need in your circle of intimacy and influence, which you are uniquely capable of addressing. In this way, your outrageous act of love stands in the face of all the outrageous pain in the world and in your own circles.
You are a unique expression of the love-beauty and love-intelligence of all that is – with the capacity to perform outrageous acts of love. These acts of love are yours to initiate – to take response-ability for – and they are the joy and the delight of your life.