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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Mystery of Love
Marc Gafni
Atria Books 3/03 Paperback $14.00
ISBN: 0743442210


Are you ready to join the dance of eros? You may have thought of this term only in connection with sex but it has a much broader reach. Poets and mystics have always celebrated the potencies of living in the fullness of the present moment, doing everything with passion and enthusiasm, savoring the connections which tie us to others, letting go of control and going with the flow of love. They also know that to a large degree, the emptiness that so many people feel cannot be adequately filled with addictions, consumerism, sex, or violence. The healing medicine is eros.

Marc Gafni, author of the national bestseller Soul Prints, has emerged in the last ten years as a premier voice in Israeli and international spirituality. He teaches graduate seminars on mysticism at Oxford University and is the founder of Bayit Chadash, an international spiritual movement based is Israel. He leads retreats around the world and is the author of three Hebrew works of philosophy.

In this impressive tome, Gafni spells out the mystery of love as incarnated in the dance of eros. As he puts it: "It is the mystery of eros that was at the core of the teachings of the Temple in ancient Jerusalem. I will call these teachings the path of Hebrew tantra. One of the meanings of the Sanskrit word tantra is 'to expand.' Hebrew tantra is about expanding eros beyond the sexual to include all the nonsexual areas of our lives. Hebrew tantra is a means of utilizing erotic energy to become one with the divinity that courses through us at every moment."

Quoting from ancient Kabbalistic texts and Talmudic teachings, Gafni ranges freely in his examination of the many ways we can express our love of self, others, and of the grand adventure of life. Whether discussing Shechina, the nurturing presence of the feminine Divine; the poetry of Emily Dickinson; the bounties of the Song of Solomon; the daily meditation on the unity of God in the Shema; or the Kabbalistic idea of women as circles and men as lines, the author proves himself to be a master of nuance and a reveler in enchantments.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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