Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 2020 Conscious Movie-of-the-Month



This month’s Conscious Movie-of-the-Month is Interstellar (2014).

Virtual Discussion date: April 18, 2020 at 1 p.m. PT


During the pandemic we will be focusing on specific media that can help us during this crisis by lifting our spirits and helping us gain deeper and more expansive understandings of the challenges around us.

This month we will be exploring Interstellar (2014), another groundbreaking evolutionary cinematic work by integral filmmaker Christopher Nolan, which is eerily prescient to these times while inspiring with its exploration of how to use the power of love to transcend great obstacles.

A civilization on the edge of collapse. Our species is facing possible extinction. A parent faced with the challenge of saving the future for his family and the whole human race. In the face of this great challenge people all around them respond from fear and denial…but some respond with love and courage. Which way will win? Will humanity survive and thrive or will we bury our heads in the sand until there is nothing left?

Years ahead of its time, this integrally-informed science fiction epic attempts to answer this question. It incorporates the capturing of the real physics of outer space while simultaneously concretizing the non-physical dimension of love as a cosmic level force of existence, on the scale of gravity and centrifugal force.

If you have not seen Interstellar you can stream it on most of the major streaming services. We recommend watching the film at least twice, the second time with the intention of seeing any patterns of consciousness you had not seen before. You are also invited to share your thoughts, reflections and musings about the movie in our group's online discussion forum. And then of course join us on April 18th at 1 p.m. PST for our virtual discussion of the film and how it speaks to us at this moment in human history.

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If you have not already joined our FREE Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Group/Club, you can still join us anytime by signing up for a free membership at the Conscious Good Creators Network.

Conscious Good Creators Network presents the Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Club with Integral Cinema Project Founder and Executive Director Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D., for anyone who wants to use media to raise individual and collective consciousness.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Star Wars Saga and the Evolution of Consciousness



It's a Star Wars month for the Integral Cinema Project! Join us as we explore perhaps the most successful consciousness-raising cinematic work of all time, the nine+ theatrical film Star Wars saga, which finally completes its major storyworld arc with the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Star Wars is unique in the history of cinema on so many fronts; that one cinematic work could have such a deep and expansive impact on individual and collective consciousness as well as major effects at the cultural and social level is truly mind-blowing. A small sampling of its impacts include:

  • The rebirthing of mythology for the modern and postmodern age; 

  • The introduction of numerous technological advances in both filmmaking and the movie watching experience, advancing the fields of special effects, animation, sound design, and theatrical projection and sound systems that all increased the capacity for more immersive and consciousness-raising experiences for all cinematic works;

  • The introduction of the “hybrid” genre, which integrates multiple cinematic genres into a meaningful whole and which has contributed to the penetration of an integral structure of consciousness into the popular entertainment domain;

  • And of course, the introduction of the idea of The Force and the exploration of the very nature of individual/local consciousness and collective/non-local consciousness and their intersection, as well as exploring various evolutionary dynamics of consciousness and its relation to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of being and becoming.

The Rise of Skywalker is currently in theaters. We recommend watching the film at least twice, the second time with the intention of seeing any patterns of consciousness you had not seen before.

New Podcast!

You can increase the transformative potential of the second viewing experience by watching our new TEHNC/Integral Cinema Sessions podcast: Why The Rise of Skywalker is brilliant! (and why it matters).


And if you really want to dig in, you may want to check out our previous discussion: Unpacking Star Wars 1-7.


Conscious Movie-of-the-Month discussion is Saturday, January 25th at 1pm PST



For this Conscious Movie-of-the-Month event, we will be discussing the entire Star Wars ennealogy (9-film series). Please join us as we explore the transformative impact of this groundbreaking and historic cinematic work. As always, you are also invited to share your thoughts, reflections and musings about the movie in our group's online discussion forum. You can join the Conscious Good Creators Network for free and sign up for the Conscious Movie-of-the-Month discussion at the same time here: https://conscious-good.mn.co/events/star-wars-conscious-movie-of-the-month-virtual-discussion.

If you have not seen any or all of the three major trilogies of the Star Wars saga you can still participate in this exploration by reading the Wikipedia overview of all the films. Serious fans of the work might also want to check out ICP founder Mark Allan Kaplan's two articles, My Cinematic Emancipation and Star Wars and the Tetra-Evolution of American Cinema. If you are really ambitious and want to binge watch some or all of the series in preparation for our CMoM discussion on the 25th you can now stream every major work of the saga (excluding The Rise of Skywalker, which is currently in theaters) on Disney's new online streaming service, Disney+ (a free trial is currently available).

Happy New Year and New Decade to all...and...

May The Force be with us all!


Friday, November 1, 2019

November 2019 Conscious Movie-of-the-Month



This month’s Conscious Movie-of-the-Month is Black Panther (2018)


Join us this month as we explore perhaps one of the most groundbreaking evolutionary cinematic works we’ve ever seen, Black Panther (2018). This extraordinary film hides its deep and expansive exploration of the evolution of multiple stages of individual and collective consciousness inside a classic pop superhero adventure. Extremely simple on the surface and infinitely complex just below, this masterwork of conscious cinema has become one of the most successful films of all time and has delivered its hidden consciousness-raising messages around the globe to millions of viewers.

For this Conscious Movie-of-the-Month event we will be unpacking just how the filmmakers achieved this amazing mix of engaging simplicity and consciousness-raising complexity, which can help any conscious media maker learn how to do the same thing in any form and at any budget. This exploration can also help conscious media viewers to deepen and expand their capacity to use media as a consciousness-raising viewing practice.

Those interested in beginning a deep dive into the film may want to check out our special podcast series on Black Panther. This series will give viewers a grounding in this exploration, which we will be continuing with our monthly live virtual chat on the 20th.

If you have not seen Black Panther you can stream it online on most of the main streaming services or get a free rental from your local library. We recommend watching the film at least twice, the second time with the intent of seeing any patterns of consciousness you had not seen before. You are also invited to share your thoughts, reflections and musings about the movie in our group's online discussion forum.

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If you have not already joined our FREE Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Group/Club, you can still join us anytime by signing up for a free membership at the Conscious Good Creators Network.

Conscious Good Creators Network presents the Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Club with Integral Cinema Project Founder and Executive Director Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D., for anyone who wants to use media to raise individual and collective consciousness.


Friday, October 18, 2019

"Game of Thrones" Journey of Consciousness




Not everyone who has watched Game of Thrones realizes it is a deep and profound journey of consciousness because that journey was masterfully hidden under the surface of the series until the final season. Once we have seen the full arc of the storyworld we can begin to see that this series is, perhaps, one of the moving-image's largest scale efforts to viscerally capture a stage of individual and collective human development and take us on a journey deep inside it's structure of consciousness as it evolves to the next stage of development for many of the characters and for the society as a whole.

The following is a video podcast that Jonathan Steigman and I did on GoT where we take a deep dive into an exploration of this journey of consciousness and how it reveals itself in the series finale and how when we look back at the series after seeing the whole storyworld arc, the journey of consciousness reveals itself hiding just under the surface...a journey about the transition from the Mythic structure of consciousness and the end of feudalism...and the rise and fall of an authoritarian demagogue with the equivalent of weapons of mass destruction.

Why the Game of Thrones finale is BRILLIANT! (TEHNC 26) from TEHNC Podcast on Vimeo.

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And don't forget to join us for our live virtual discussion of Game of Thrones on Tuesday October 22nd. Click here to find out more, register to attend and get the Zoom link for the discussion: https://conscious-good.mn.co/events/game-of-thrones-conscious-movie-of-the-month-virtual-discussion




Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 2019 Conscious Media-of-the-Month


This month’s Conscious Media-of-the-Month is Game of Thrones (2011-2019).

During the month of October we will be having a special exploration of our first television or streaming series, the Emmy Award-winning internationally-acclaimed HBO cable series Game of Thrones. If you have not watched the series or need to review it again for our exploration and you do not have HBO, you can get a 7-day free trial of HBO Now for a quick review or pay for the full month if you are up to the challenge of trying to watch the whole series. You can also subscribe to HBO on both the Hulu and Amazon Prime streaming services.

We have chosen Game of Thrones for this month’s selection because we believe it is a groundbreaking series in the domain of conscious media and contains valuable lessons for conscious media makers and consumers. The series is groundbreaking because it represents the largest scale attempt at capturing a specific stage of human development and consciousness with the intent on taking us deep inside it and ultimately through it to the next human evolutionary stage. Hauntingly, the evolutionary turning point with which the series has ended also has profound resonance with the evolutionary turning point that humanity now faces in our "real" reality.

One of its most valuable lessons for us conscious media makers and consumers is to remind us that conscious media sometimes has to go into the darkness in order to wake us up. It is that intent for waking up that is the heart of conscious media itself. It is also important for us to realize that for media to wake us up or raise our consciousness, it first must meet us where we are at, and sometimes that means going down in the mud of life with us.

We will be posting various explorations of the series over the month and then as always have a live virtual chat about it at the end of the month. Please consider joining us on this profound exploration of a major work that has a lot to teach us about conscious media.

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If you have not already joined our free Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Group/Club, you can still join us anytime by signing up for a free membership at the Conscious Good Creators Network.

Conscious Good Creators Network presents the Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Club with Integral Cinema Project Founder and Executive Director Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D., for anyone who wants to use media to raise individual and collective consciousness.



Friday, September 27, 2019

Hacking "The Great Hack" - A Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Virtual Discussion



Please join us this Monday September 30th at 6:30pm PST for a live FREE virtual discussion of The Great Hack (2019), the recently released Netflix documentary on the Cambridge Analytica election hacking scandal and the role of Facebook in facilitating the mass data gathering that may have contributed to the passage of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

Together we will explore how this documentary explores the relationship between our consciousness and our evolving media technologies. The Great Hack sounds an alarm that should be heard by all us conscious media makers and consumers. A war is being waged for control of our individual and collective consciousness, with our media, especially social media, being weaponized against us and used to tear our society apart.

We will also be exploring the nature of the new propaganda war on our consciousness and what we can do about it as conscious media consumers and media makers. This important conversation in our community will continue beyond this month’s exploration as we roll out courses to help train ourselves to answer the calling of this moment by using media to raise consciousness. Together, we can help win the battle for the hearts and minds of humanity.

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If you have not already joined our free Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Group/Club, you can still join us anytime by signing up for a free membership at the Conscious Good Creators Network at: https://conscious-good.mn.co/share/wPseacTS1JFJmxu8?utm_source=manual

Conscious Good Creators Network presents the Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Club with Integral Cinema Project Founder and Executive Director Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D., for anyone who wants to use media to raise individual and collective consciousness.

To find out more about this free event and register to attend visit: https://conscious-good.mn.co/events/hacking-the-great-hack-a-conscious-movie-of-the-month-virtual-discussion


Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Big Picture of the NOW




Here, by popular request, is Mark Allan Kaplan, media psychologist and founder and Executive Director of the Integral Cinema Project, explaining why "All problems are problems of consciousness" as he unpacks the current global situation: how we got here, why it's unprecedented in world history, and why media in all its evolving forms may be the best and most powerful tool to awaken us into a new paradigm of being.




If you want to take a deeper dive, Mark will be teaching "Transformative Media Creation and Reception" for Campus-Coevolve.org starting in early October, 2019. (I am a Contributing Faculty Member.) To find out more, please visit: https://campus-coevolve.org/course/transformative-media/

You can also join us for our Conscious Movie-of-the-Month discussion group hosted by the Conscious Good Creators Network and stay tuned for our Conscious Media-making certificate program, also at Conscious Good. To find out more about these offerings visit: https://conscious-good.mn.co/


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Transformative Media Creation and Reception Course




Announcing a new online course in 

Transformative Media Creation and Reception: 

Designing and Creating Transformative Media Experiences for Self, Other and World 

with Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.


Starting the week of November 3, 2019


This is a course for aspiring and accomplished change makers who want to learn how to use media to extend and deepen their efforts to create transformation in self, other and world. It will illuminate the comprehensive toolkit for designing media to catalyze healing, personal growth and the evolution of consciousness on an individual and collective level.

Together, we will learn about the co-evolutionary relationship between moving-image-based communication mediums, consciousness, media, culture and society, and how these mediums can be used as a driving force for individual and collective healing, growth, and revolutionary and evolutionary change and transformation. We will also be exploring how to consciously create and receive moving image works as a transformative practice for self, other and world through the development of both individual and group projects. No previous media-making experience required.





For more information and to sign up for this course visit: 

Campus Co-Evolve: https://campus-coevolve.org/
Admissions: https://campus-coevolve.org/admissions/

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Media Ethics and "The Great Hack" - A Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Exploration


The Great Hack (2019)

During the month of August, you are invited to watch the newly-released Netflix documentary The Great Hack on your own. This documentary covers the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the role of Facebook in facilitating the mass data gathering that may have contributed to the passage of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

There are many reasons why we have chosen The Great Hack for this month’s selection. It was recommended by one of our group members, plus we received several other synchronistic indicators bringing this work to our attention. Furthermore, its timeliness in relation to what is happening in the media world right now speaks to the challenge of this moment in human history and gives us a taste of a film attempting to tap into the current zeitgeist.

Together we will explore how this documentary explores the relationship between our consciousness and our evolving media technologies. The Great Hack sounds an alarm that should be heard by all us conscious media makers and consumers. A war is being waged for control of our individual and collective consciousness, with our media, especially social media, being weaponized against us and used to tear our society apart.

Brittany Kaiser in The Great Hack (2019)

This month we also thought we would explore the ethics of media, with particular questions around the issues brought up in this movie and the ethics of conscious media in general, starting with the question: Where is the line for conscious attempts to use media to change people’s minds?

Some people believe that even if you are trying to have a positive impact on your audience, any deliberate attempt to manipulate people’s consciousness is an unethical invasion of privacy.

On the other hand, most artists working in most arts specifically intend to have an impact on their audience.

Many of us in conscious media are attempting to raise peoples consciousness itself, or to raise awareness around certain issues or ideas.

Some of us, myself included, feel called to use the power of media as a force for good, to counter those who are using media in such unscrupulous ways as trying to convince people not to vote, to fan the flames of hatred and division, to deliberately misinform for political ends, or to suppress knowledge or action on global-scale dangers for the sake of short-term financial interests.

The big data driven propaganda machines The Great Hack spotlights are a clear and present danger to democracy itself, and emerging media technologies like “deepfake” videos can accurately create a false visual record of any person saying or doing things they never said or did. We are indeed entering a new frontier.

A war is already being waged for control of our consciousness and behavior, as evidenced in this movie, and the technologies being weaponized against us are evolving rapidly.

How do we combat this...without crossing the line ourselves? The Great Hack eloquently explores the awakening of whistleblower Brittany Kaiser's awareness of having crossed her own ethical boundaries without realizing it. It raises the question: How do we keep awake, aware and ethically grounded in a world of so many blurred lines?

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If you have not already joined our free Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Group/Club, you can still join us anytime by signing up for a free membership at the Conscious Good Creators Network at: https://conscious-good.mn.co/share/wPseacTS1JFJmxu8?utm_source=manual

Conscious Good Creators Network presents the Conscious Movie-of-the-Month Club with Integral Cinema Project Founder and Executive Director Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D., for anyone who wants to use media to raise individual and collective consciousness.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Avatar" and the Co-Evolution of Consciousness, Culture and Society



As we explore the movie Avatar (2009) as our conscious movie-of-the-month, we have the opportunity to use it to more viscerally learn about the different stages of human adult development and how the structures of consciousness of each stage co-evolve with human cultures and societies. We have this opportunity because Avatar masterfully gives us clean and clear examples of each stage and structure through the consciousness of the characters and the cultures and social structures that relate to each stage.


Avatar imagery representing Tribal or Magical consciousness, culture and society

First we have the Tribal or Magical structure of consciousness and stage of development. This is represented by the tribal characters, the cultural worldview represented in them and between them, and the very structures of their society in the film. This stage includes a magical sense of wonder and beauty and a deep connection to nature and to the tribe.


Avatar imagery representing Traditional or Mythic consciousness, culture and society

The next stage of development is the Traditional or Mythic structure of consciousness. This is represented in the human military characters, their cultural worldview, and the social structures and conventions of their world. This stage includes a black or white, right or wrong way of perceiving, being and doing in the world, a tendency toward authoritarianism, and the strict adherence to rules and regulations and a prescribed order.


Avatar character representing Modern or Rational consciousness, culture and society

The next stage of development is the Modern or Rational structure of consciousness. This stage/structure is represented by the business, corporate and politically-oriented characters, most notably the Parker Selfridge business leader character played by Giovanni Ribisi, and the cultural and social patterns of their reality. This stage is marked by an adherence to logic and reason, empirical knowledge, the discounting of anything that is not objectively verifiable, and an almost religious attachment to financial gain as the ultimate goal of human life and interaction.


Avatar character representing Postmodern or Pluralistic consciousness, culture and society

The next stage is the Postmodern or Pluralistic stage of development and structure of consciousness, represented most clearly by the Dr. Grace Augustine social scientist character played by Sigourney Weaver, and the cultural and social constructs surrounding her character. This stage includes a deep recognition and valuing of subjective experience along with an over-arching cross-cultural perspective and an empathy for the suffering of others.


Avatar imagery representing Meta-modern or Integral consciousness, culture and society

And finally the Integral stage and structure is hinted at in the final moments of the film when the main character leaves his human body that is dying and goes fully into his avatar body via a transference of his consciousness by and through the world tree. All we see are his eyes opening in that scene, but we get a sense that he has been to "the other side" and has seen the big-picture of the universe. This big-picture awareness is one of the hallmarks of the Integral structure of consciousness, along with the awareness of all the previous stages and their inherent value and limitations, and how the stages and structures evolve. The Integral structure seeks to see and understand as much as possible from as many perspectives as possible and then integrating it all into a big-picture understanding.

Individuals, cultures and societies tend to co-evolve through these stages and structures. Individuals at the leading edge create and innovate from the new emerging stage and structure, and in turn their creations resonate with the stage and structure they were created from, which then stimulates others in the culture and society to evolve to meet the new stage/structure patterning embedded in these creations. In Avatar while we do not see the various cultures and social structures co-evolving with consciousness, the main character evolves through all of them, which gives us a sense of the arc of development at the heart of this whole co-evolutionary process.


Our research suggests that this type of integration of multiple stages and structures in a cinematic work contributes to the potential success of the film, by giving the film a greater capacity to reach a wider population across the stages of development. This hypothesis is based on the results of an meta-analysis of the most successful films of all times revealing an unusually high percentage of these films having this quality.

Monday, June 24, 2019

“What the Bleep Do We Know” about Tapping into the Zeitgeist?

What the Bleep Do We Know (2004)

Exploring What the Bleep Do We Know (2004) as this month’s Conscious Movie-of-the-Month selection has made clear that one of the major hallmarks of this work is that it somehow tapped into the zeitgeist, or the spirit of the times. The historical data suggests that a media works’ potential to achieve financial success or major transformative impact is directly related to its relationship to the zeitgeist, or collective field at the time of its release. Even traditional entertainment industry watchers have recognized this issue, as reflected in this Hollywood Reporter article from 2015. This is a wonderful insight, to be sure, but it begs a larger question: Is it possible to create a media work with the intention of connecting with the zeitgeist? Or is this too subtle and complex a connection for us to work with on a conscious and direct level?

Using What the Bleep as a case study I think is valuable for helping us examine this question. What we have learned from the filmmakers William Arntz and Betsy Chasse, and one of the distributors of the film, Ron Laurie, during this month was that they were conscious of it happening on some level at some point during the creation process, and they attempted to ride the wave the best they could in each of their own ways and as a team. Exploring their distribution efforts, we see an example of using an integral approach to consciously tap into the zeitgeist wave and maximize the ride…which they did successfully.

I have been researching this potential to consciously tap into the zeitgeist, or as we say in Integral Theory, tapping into the “evolutionary impulse,” or the driving force of the evolving universe. From this perspective the zeitgeist can be seen as the current collective field within the evolutionary stream of a culture and society. The key to tapping into it is to become conscious of the evolutionary arc behind this wave. Becoming conscious of the evolutionary arc that has led to any given moment in the life of an individual or the collective has the potential to give us the capacity to sense the energy of trajectory of this collective wave, and in turn the evolutionary impulse behind it. While this is a very complex and subtle process our research suggests it is indeed possible to consciously tap into the zeitgeist and evolutionary impulse, and thus increase our chances of both audience reach and transformative impact.