The Personal Face of Essence — by Marc Gafni

An Excerpt from Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment by Dr. Marc Gafni

Some mystics refer to Unique Self as ani atzmi, best translated as “Essential self.” Essential is that which is most substantial and real. Essence is what makes something what it is. The wonder of your irreducible uniqueness is your essence.

Would that you could

know yourself for a time.

You will be shocked by your delight.


The Persian poets Rumi and Hafiz wrote their verse to recall you to your essence. Essence is your enlightened state expressed in its unique form. Your Unique Self is not an object. It is the personal face of essence. To realize your essence is to realize your enlightenment. Let yourself be seduced by essence, and your life in all of its passing moments becomes filled with glory. Unique Self is not a mental construct or a concept: the Unique Self is the fullest flowering of your humanity and the blooming of your divinity. It is both the omega point and the dynamic purpose that drives us toward realization.

Unique Self is a direct manifestation of who you are. It is also your gift to the world. Your expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium. If you do not realize your Unique Self then all that only you can and must offer the world, all that the world needs from you, will be lost.

In Unique Self practice, you allow yourself to become available to the extra-ordinary capacities we each contain. You unleash extra-ordinary possibilities beyond your imagining. You gain access to knowing beyond your experience. You are connected to perception and practices far beyond the capacity of your small self. It is the individuation of your Unique Self that is the main task of your life.

You are the only perfect expression of what and who you are. So you might as well be yourself. In any event, everyone else is taken.

Too often, people never quite recognize themselves, because they are busy trying to be something or someone else. There is great shock and delight at self-recognition. Unique Self practice begins with a simple recognition of basic qualities of your unique Being and Becoming. Unique Self is not a reaction. It is the spontaneous expression of Self being Unique.

The willow is green, flowers are red. — ZEN SAYING

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