This Website is to Respond to what Wilhelm Reich called the “Murder of Eros.” Eros is a central dimension of Marc Gafni’s teaching. It is so central that Marc Gafni and Eros are almost synonymous. For some people this is seen as wonderful and for others it is seen as dangerous. The truth is that Gafni’s teaching on Eros is dangerous only to our sense of petty contraction. It is radically safe in terms of integrity and love. These notes on the Murder of Eros is an organic part of this core teaching.
In this Marc Gafni Eros video, Gafni starts by saying:
Here I want to give a little bit more of an in-depth view of some of the structure of what’s gone on in these smear campaigns, and I want to do it through the writings of Wilhelm Reich. Wilhelm Reich is one of the great figures of our time. He was a student of Freud. I have never studied his writings intently. I have followed him in a kind of loose way, but I feel connected to him in some significant manner.
He then addresses the nature of his teachings on Eros:
Much of my teaching is about a new vision of Eros, a new vision of relationship, of erotic possibility, a new vision of sexuality, a new sexual narrative, and my life has been in many ways playing with the fire of Eros, playing with new possibility, trying to understand the relationship between the erotic and the holy, teaching a new vision of sexuality. And in the coming years I want to focus an enormous amount of my effort on teaching both about a new vision of politics and economics, which parallels a new vision of relationships, of sexuality, of family, of Eros. And the two are inextricably related. They can never be separated. Reich had a similar vision. A person’s Unique Self is their Eros. Name is a symbol for Unique Self. In that Marc Gafni Eros are synonyms. Unique Self expressed in name is both the incarnation of and the portal to Eros. Speak your own name followed by the word Eros, Kristina Kincaid Eros, Marc Gafni Eros, Lisa Engles Eros, Barbara Marx Hubbard Eros and you begin to get an embodied feeling of what this means.
Dr. Marc Gafni places his work and experience into the context of Wilhelm Reich:
I came to Reich in a serious way the first time a decade ago when a teacher in the Jewish Renewal movement suggested that I read Reich’s book The Murder of Christ and his book Little Man! to understand what had happened to me 10 years ago when I suffered the false complaints in Israel. And I read Reich. I read Listen, Little Man! I read pieces of his book The Murder of Christ. And then a close colleague, friend, my beloved, collaborator, Kristina Kincaid, also refocused me on the work of Reich.
Both this teacher 10 years ago and Kristina pointed to a particular passage in Reich which is important, and it captures what I would call the underlying dynamic. It’s not the only dynamic, it’s not the entire story, but without this it’s hard to understand the outrage, the senselessness and the injustice of the false complaints 10 years ago and all that they destroyed and of the smear campaign which is a natural extension and continuation of the false complaints from 10 years ago.
Gafni goes on to tell the story of Wilhelm Reich:
Reich himself was persecuted terribly. He wrote about sexuality. He wrote about Eros. And in the end there were two critical articles about him which came out in the magazines The New Republic and Harper’s in 1947. Right afterwards the United States Food and Drug Administration moved in and obtained an injunction against him on the grounds of fraud for the interstate shipment of one of his devices which he used in therapy. He persisted with his work and was charged with contempt and sentenced to two years in prison. A little bit afterwards there was a court order and more than six tons of his publications were burned. And Reich ended up dying in prison a year later of heart failure. So this is the Reich, the renegade student of Freud who writes about the murder of Christ.
Marc Gafni then clarifies:
Now, I know that the mockers, the haters will say, “Look, Gafni is saying he’s Christ.” But of course that’s not what I’m saying and that’s not the intention at all. Reich is talking about Christ in the sense of Eros, and by Eros he means life force, he means commitment, he means devotion, he means life energy, he means aliveness, and the desire to murder aliveness which moves us often to try and murder leadership. Those who feel small, those who feel threatened dress up their sense of feeling small, their sense of feeling threatened in noble-sounding motives and move to murder life force. Reich calls this the emotional plague.