In Numen, Old Men I highlight how the integral community replicates many of the problems of the wider men’s movement, and new examples keep on cropping up. This week sees the Male Sexuality and the Masculine Invitation for a workshop in Salt Lake City. The spiel reads:
“For this 3-day weekend retreat at a beautiful, green-built, urban retreat center in Utah as Dragon’s Den begins its 2-year evolution of what it means to be a man in our postmodern world. Spiritual artist and teacher Dr. Rabbi Marc Gafni and his team of evolutionary teachers lead an exploration to find your cutting edge in body, mind and spirit through your masculine form. Discover how to hold your masculine power. Learn how to deepen, expand and deploy this power as the highest expression of your Authentic Divine Self. Navigate the unique demands of your life in an integral community of like-minded evolutionary men. Step into your greater wisdom, lead from a greater perspective and discover how your sexuality is essential to your purpose in the world.
During our 3-day retreat you will:
* Understand the 5 core characteristics of the Masculine Sexual Self
* Dive into the 5 dimensions of the Feminine Sexual Essence
* Gain integrated practices for working with Pain, Intimacy and Love
* Learn the 3 most potent practices to cultivate your Masculine Power
* Embody the new Emerging Masculine Identity for the 21st Century”
As I wrote back in The Guardian earlier this year in reference to the presentation of masculinity in Andrew Cohen’s EnlightenNext magazine, “It seems that if a man wants to express his spiritual side, whether it be in a church or at the glossy leading edge of spirituality, he is encouraged not to think of new ways of being a man, rather to revert back to the old”. The idea, outlined above, of “masculine power” doesn’t sound particularly “evolutionary” to me, nor do essentialist ideas about the “core characteristics” of the masculine self.
The workshop is claimed to be run by “a first-of-its-kind Men’s Integral Practice Community committed to the evolution of masculine leadership and consciousness”. So, from “power” to “masculine leadership”: welcome to the Integral Promise Keepers!
It’s also hard to ignore that the workshop is being run by Marc Gafni. Just as the integral community has aligned itself with Andrew Cohen, whose abuse of students has been alleged at What Enlightenment and a new book, so too Gafni who has been accused of sexual harassment before leaving Israel to pursue his career in the US. It clearly doesn’t bother Ken Wilber that much, who has been fielding these accusations since 2006 and, according to Gafni’s website, he “holds the Chair of Integral Kabbalah at Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute”. Now, I don’t know enough to pass comment on these accusations, but it’s not a good look, is it?