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19.11.2017 : 11:27 : +0100

Integrales Forum Statement Concerning Further Cooperation with Marc Gafni

 

After renewed allegations were presented against the spiritual teacher Marc Gafni in the fall of 2011, Ken Wilber took a three month period of time for reflection in order to state his own opinion in the matter. This statement (end of December) is now available [link]. In the statement Ken Wilber explains his further support and cooperation with Marc Gafni in the continuing development of the Center for World Spirituality (CWS) which was founded and is being led by Marc. At the same time Ken Wilber noted that this is his own personal decision and each and every individual should develop his own responsible position with respect to the situation. All members of the board of Integral Forum, including the working group for Integral Spirituality, have done just that.

After intensive discussions with members of the Integral Forum, partners, friends and also critics of Marc Gafni, we have come to a different decision than Ken Wilber. Until further notice, IF as an organization as well as individual members of the board will not take part in CWS and IF will not work together with Marc Gafni as a spiritual teacher. The main reason for our decision is our conviction that the leader of such an organization as CWS should exhibit a high degree of integrational capabilities in order to bring different religious and spiritual movements and personalities of the world together.

In a current statement, Marc Gafni confirmed that he does not exclude the possibility of sexual relationships with students of his circle in the future.

"Let me state formally that if in the future I enter into a monogamous commitment, then I will honor it and live in it to the fullest. If that is the right path for me then I will enter into it with full delight and even ecstasy. If I do not enter into that path, and choose to love from a different place, then I will enter into that path with full delight and even ecstasy. If that is the case then it is not impossible that at some point I will date women who are in my circle. If that feels uncomfortable to someone in principle that it might not be wise to join my circle of teaching."

We do not see this position as commensurate with the expectations for someone in such a prominent role as the leader of CWS, particularly in view of the many years of critical discussions with respect to his person and behavior [link]. Against the background of the existing spectrum of cultural values, Marc Gafni polarizes people and opinions and for this reason does not meet the criteria we expect in a personality with the ability to lead and integrate such a meaningful global project.

This polarization could also be seen within IF in view of the reaction to the most recent events. Many of us still hold him in high esteem as before, others view him very critically as a person. We are however unanimously of the same opinion that Marc Gafni, as author and integral thinker for the further development of the integral theory with concepts such as the unique self, provides an important contribution and we will continue to provide access to his contributions in our media.

The subject of world spirituality remains on our agenda. We will further promote this within the framework of the School for Integral Spirituality (SIS) in connection with the development of principles and ethical basics of this school.

Our wish is that a constructive and responsible interaction with differences of opinion concerning theory, individuals, methods, and paths will lead to the realization of a truly integral and integrative spirituality.

Integrales Forum, January 2012

Michael Habecker, Sonja Student, Dennis Wittrock, Hilde Weckmann, Rolf Lutterbeck, Erich Carl Derks, Stefan Schoch und Helmut Dörmann

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IF Board and working group School for Integral Spirituality (SIS) in the IF

A Statement of IF concerning Marc Gafni

Since its foundation, Integrales Forum has made an effort to develop an independent integral perspective in the German speaking countries, while also continuously looking for contact with the American integral scene around Ken Wilber. During the past years, several occasions for fruitful contact and cooperation have emerged, including with Marc Gafni, who together with co-teacher Diane Hamilton offered a contribution at the IF conference 2010 in Berlin and was a main contributor at this year's annual conference in Nuremberg.

A few years before this cooperation there were indications of Marc's ethical misconduct in connection with female students. At the time, this lead to a break between Marc and the Integral Institute. In this context Ken Wilber composed a critical text, which we have published in German language in the „Integrale Bibliothek“(integral library), which has now been incorporated in the general website of the Integral Forum. A few years later, Marc was officially rehabilitated by Integral Life (the CEO  Robb Smith). This was the basis for the ensuing cooperation between Integrales Forum and Marc, after thoroughly checking the reasons for the rehabilitation, which had been supported by many teachers. Now (September 2011), new accusations of misconduct have been made against Marc, which we from Integrales Forum take very seriously and which have shaken the trust which we had shown in him after his rehabilitation. We have entered a new process of information and clarification. We will bring this process of clarification to a temporary conclusion from our side by the middle of October at the latest, and then make a statement. During this time we will put our cooperation with Marc as a spiritual teacher and in the context of the project of world spirituality on halt.

The IF aims to contribute to a more integral understanding in a variety of fields, including business, education, ecology, politics, etc. This also includes the very sensitive field of spirituality that we want to help evolve from an integral perspective with the help of many other spiritual teachers. We will continue working on the subjects such as world spirituality, a new concept of self and an evolutionary-integral understanding of love. In this, we will also take into account  Marc's contributions, such as the ones we are publishing in the new edition of our magazine Integrale Perspektiven and the Online Journal. We’ve started this public discussion about spiritual standards already last year with our position paper (also discussing the role of spiritual teachers) and we will definitely continue to deepen it in the future.

The Integrales Forum Board and the DIA-Team:

Dennis Wittrock, Sonja Student, Hilde Weckmann, Michael Habecker, Rolf Lutterbeck

September 15th, 2011

What's New?

Trialogue:

Integral Art – The Search for an Aesthetic Compass of the Next Avantgarde

With Axel Malik, Harald Kimmig and Dennis Wittrock

DENNIS:

Dear Axel, dear Harald, first of all, thank you very much for taking the time and accepting my invitation to this e-mail ‘trialogue’ about the topic of  ‘integral art’.

My first question goes to you, Axel, first – I know from talks we have had that you are quite critical of much of what is labeled ‘art’ in integral circles. Let me ask you, rather provocatively, this: how much of it would you even consider to be art and what is wrong with the rest of it?

read the whole article

A Statement of IF concerning Marc Gafni

Since its foundation, Integrales Forum has made an effort to develop an independent integral perspective in the German speaking countries, while also continuously looking for contact with the American integral scene around Ken Wilber. During the past years, several occasions for fruitful contact and cooperation have emerged, including with Marc Gafni, who together with co-teacher Diane Hamilton offered a contribution at the IF conference 2010 in Berlin and was a main contributor at this year's annual conference in Nuremberg.

A few years before this cooperation there were indications of Marc's ethical misconduct in connection with female students. At the time, this lead to a break between Marc and the Integral Institute. In this context Ken Wilber composed a critical text, which we have published in German language in the „Integrale Bibliothek“(integral library), which has now been incorporated in the general website of the Integral Forum. A few years later, Marc was officially rehabilitated by Integral Life (the CEO  Robb Smith). This was the basis for the ensuing cooperation between Integrales Forum and Marc, after thoroughly checking the reasons for the rehabilitation, which had been supported by many teachers. Now (September 2011), new accusations of misconduct have been made against Marc, which we from Integrales Forum take very seriously and which have shaken the trust which we had shown in him after his rehabilitation. We have entered a new process of information and clarification. We will bring this process of clarification to a temporary conclusion from our side by the middle of October at the latest, and then make a statement. During this time we will put our cooperation with Marc as a spiritual teacher and in the context of the project of world spirituality on halt.

The IF aims to contribute to a more integral understanding in a variety of fields, including business, education, ecology, politics, etc. This also includes the very sensitive field of spirituality that we want to help evolve from an integral perspective with the help of many other spiritual teachers. We will continue working on the subjects such as world spirituality, a new concept of self and an evolutionary-integral understanding of love. In this, we will also take into account  Marc's contributions, such as the ones we are publishing in the new edition of our magazine Integrale Perspektiven and the Online Journal. We’ve started this public discussion about spiritual standards already last year with our position paper (also discussing the role of spiritual teachers) and we will definitely continue to deepen it in the future.

The Integrales Forum Board and the DIA-Team:

Dennis Wittrock, Sonja Student, Hilde Weckmann, Michael Habecker, Rolf Lutterbeck

September 15th, 2011

„Grow Up, Wake Up, Clean Up, Show Up!“

photos: Sri Vishva

Rewiew of the 2011 Integral Forum Conference in Nuremberg, Germany

Dennis Wittrock

Which answers does integral conciousness provide for the urgent questions of our time? All those who brought this question to the annual conference of the Integral Forum with the titel “Integral in Action – Solutions for a Complex World” from June 17.-19. in Nuremberg, Germany, not only found themselves in the best of company, but certainly found some convincing answers to their questions. The 200-odd participants who had come to the catholic Caritas Pirckheimer Haus, right in the historic centre of Nuremberg, found themselves presented with a dense and varied programme, with both stars and newcomers to the integral scene, a live-interview with the integral philosopher Ken Wilber, various show-acts, plenty of opportunity for exchange in open space discussions, a party, as well as diverse opportunities for integral life practice.

...more

 

Greeting Words to the IF conference 2011 from Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber

Hello to all my Integral friends in Germany.

This year’s conference looks to be a truly profound meeting, and I encourage as many as possible to attend.  The topic couldn’t be more important: Integral in Action—Solutions for a Complex World.  Integral has increasingly moved from the creation of a Theory—which we feel we have fairly well completed—into using the Integral framework to create practical and real-world applications in the real human world.  This move is crucially important if the Integral Approach is to have its important impact on the actual world and on real problems in that real world.  All of these problems are now global or planetary, and thus all of them demand a global, planetary, or integral approach in order to solve them.  So please join others in this year’s gathering to share your ideas and hear of theirs’.  It promises to be enlightening in many, many ways!  I’ll be looking forward to my live call-in.  So until then, sending much love and light to all of you!  

Best wishes,

Ken Wilber

Integrity, Spiritual Teachers, and a School for Integral Spirituality

Sparked by the discussion about (alleged or real) abuse of students by spiritual teachers, that also involved some of the teachers with whom the Integrales Forum is in contact and exchange, the IF board of directors formulated a position paper to demark the position of the organization on these issues. This paper articulates both our ethical premises for ourselves and our work, as well as explicit criteria for spiritual teachers and people in positions of leadership and responsibilty in general. 

Parallel to this and in dialogue with spiritual teachers, the idea of a "School of Integral Spirituality" (SIS) arose, as a forum and space for an encounter of broad science (natural sciences as well as the humanities) and spirituality. We hope for a rich mutual exchange, that on the one hand lays a foundation for a solid scientific and academic basis of the topic "spirituality", as well as a (re-)discovery of the spiritual "heritage of premodernity" (Ken Wilber) as an indispensable cultural heritage of humanity.

Read the IF Positionspapier and the responses by the spiritual teachers, among them Terry Patten, Andrew Cohen, Annette Kaiser, Helmut Dörman, Richard Stiegler, Thomas Hübl und Marc Gafni..to the texts

Interviews with Ken Wilber

For many years we cherish the tradition to interview Ken Wilber at our annual conferences and on other occasions, where we inquire into a broad range of topics including the many facets of his work as well as personal aspects. It's a great joy!

Below you will find a collection of links to audio-recordings of the interviews of the past years. Enjoy!

Interviews

2007 - Interview with Monika Frühwirth, IF conference in Hart

2008 - Interview with Dennis Wittrock, founding of DIA in Frankfurt

2009 - Interview with Monika Frühwirth, IF conference in Bremen

2010 - Interview with Monika Frühwirth & Dennis Wittrock, IF conference in Berlin