Announcing the launch of the Lived Inquiry MetaLab


Dear family, friends, supporters, colleagues, students and all those new to my work, I would like to announce my latest project, the Lived Inquiry MetaLab on Substack. 

I have worn many hats and had many different journeys in different domains and on different platforms. Now I will be attempting to bring all my life paths together in this one virtual space…exploring my adventures in transformative art, media, technology, consciousness and beyond.

I believe, like many others, that we are going through a major civilization-wide transition. Anthropologists call the kind of transition we are in a liminal phase, where we experience such a radical shift in the underlying paradigms of our world that every aspect of our inner and outer beingness goes into flux. Old constructs fall apart and there is a blank space that emerges within and around us before new ones fully emerge. Some call what we are going through the Metacrisis, where all domains are in crisis…and it definitely feels that way to me.

At this moment I am experiencing this liminal-ness in all dimensions of my being and surrendering into it. 

My previous work in the domains of art, media, technology and consciousness still lives within me, yet the frames in which I have held this work are deconstructing. 

  • What is art now that A.I.s are generating a wild new stream of art out of the collective consciousness of humanity? 
  • What is media when there are so many new forms overlapping and inter-mingling with themselves and other previous non-media domains? 
  • What is technology when it is transcending all its previous boundaries and becoming alive in strange new ways? 
  • And what is consciousness when our human world appears to be going mad while our machines start to think like us?

I believe that in this liminal phase we are all called upon to be lived inquiry explorers, beta testing the future as it unfolds within us and all around us…so that we can help navigate our way toward a more positive future. For me, this calling is a calling for us to turn our lives into labs without walls, without boundaries…a meta-lab of lived inquiry…

Groundbreaking Shamanic Cinema: Everything Everywhere All At Once


New podcast! A conversation with Mark Allan Kaplan of Integral Cinema Project about the groundbreaking shamanic cinema of Everything Everywhere All At Once. 

We have been blown away, again and again, by the way the film maps a shamanic journey through multiple universes and realities, in a quest for love and connection. 

My personal belief is this staggering film will prove to be as influential on the cinematic language going forward as seminal works like Citizen Kane and The Matrix. 

* Yes, it's also the case this film is definitely not everyone's love language.

How Andor deepens the entire Star Wars universe

Andor is a prequel to Rogue One and may be the best Star Wars property ever, standing on the shoulders of giants. Andor's complex and detailed worldbuilding unpacks both the Empire and the Rebellion, giving the viewer a new and expanded perspective on both. 

The Emperor Has No Clothes (TEHNC) is a podcast devoted to unpacking the lies we believe and the truths we can't see. We frequently cover the transformational aspects of popular media and the ways it can evolve societal consciousness at scale.

Andor is the first Star Wars show we'd consider a masterpiece. Andor creator Tony Gilroy famously "saved" Rogue One, and here Gilroy had nearly complete creative freedom to bring to life the preceding 5-year arc of rebel fighter Cassian Andor, and the physical, mental and spiritual journey that brought him to the events of Rogue One. Andor's first season has just ended and we decided now was the time to bring back the dormant TEHNC (The Emperor Has No Clothes) Podcast for a discussion on an angle we haven't seen anyone else cover: that Andor's deep-dive into the grinding bureaucracy of the fascist Empire, as well as its compassionate close depiction of the seeds of the rebellion, not only illuminates both of those Star Wars domains but actually deepens all other Star Wars works, past and present. In other words, the "referential density" of our new knowledge about the inner workings of these domains means when we watch other Star Wars works (like the original Star Wars film) we will have a whole new sensory understanding we didn't have the first time around. 

Needless to say, you should NOT watch this discussion if you haven't already seen Andor and Rogue One. Rogue One is the story of how the rebellion got hold of the plans for the Death Star, and it ends literally at the moment Star Wars (Episode 4, technically) begins. It has emerged as one of the best-loved Star Wars films, probably because it deepens our grounded understanding of what it means to sacrifice for a higher cause. Andor is a prequel to Rogue One and it greatly expands the terrain of Rogue One, showing us the lived experience of being inside two adversarial fields, that of the Empire and that of the Rebellion. It's a deliberately-paced, complex and masterful work packed with memorable characters and tremendous specificity. We can't recommend it highly enough.

Find us on Twitter: Jonathan: @MagicPeaceLove Mark: @MarkAllanKaplan

The Time In-Between

Eyes to the sky

Feet leaving the ground

All around and inside me...

Heads in the sand

Rocks in hands

Faces behind masks

Viruses of the body, heart and mind

Darkness inside the light

Sparks between hearts

Butterflies in the stomach

Bare feet on the summit

Walking across burning hot coals

Forests on fire

Melting ice

Sunbeams crying in the Heavens

A trembling at the core

Poles polarizing, North and South

Wars raging, East and West

Social fabrics unraveling

Bonds breaking

Paths unwinding

Truths telling lies

Lies speaking truths

Yesterdays coming back as tomorrows

Living inside history

Boys becoming girls

Girls becoming boys

Alphas going wild

Shadows rising up

Fears afraid of themselves

Human swarms

A great storm

A quivering breath

Things becoming smarter

Minds going meta

Gravity pulling us harder down to the ground

Centrifugal force spinning us faster around

Virtual likes, dopamine fixes

Virtual windows across space and time

Talking cars taking us to an unknown home

Birthing pains in every soul


The old house is on fire

The old ship is sinking

Liminal waves washing over every shore

Old paradigms crumbling

New paradigms vying for a place in the sun

Disparate futures whispering on the other side of 


Feeling like I am living inside 

a time in-between…

What Makes a Media Work Integral?

This was a special event for all past and present transformative media shaman course participants, along with members of the wider Integral community. In this session, we explored the big question that everyone has been asking us over the years..."What makes a moving image work Integral?" 

Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of the Integral Cinema Project, started us off with a deep dive into the basic patterns his years of research have revealed and then we opened it up for a deep community exploration of the topic. 

Media Yoga - Media Shaman Studio Event

Research shows that the human brain processes moving-image-based media the same way it processes dreams and the human imagination. When we are deeply immersed in moving images our bodies react as though we are having a lived experience, which gives it the power to deeply affect us individually and collectively.

Renowned French philosopher, sociologist and complex thought pioneer Edgar Morin spoke to the transformative power of media: 

By means of the [cinematic] machine, in their own likeness, our dreams are projected and objectified. They are industrially fabricated, collectively shared. They come back upon our waking life to mold it, to teach us how to live or not to live. We reabsorb them, socialized, useful, or else they lose themselves in us, we lose ourselves in them. There they are stored ectoplasms, astral bodies that feed off our persons and feed us, archives of soul. (The Cinema, or the Imaginary Man)

In essence, moving image media are collective dreams that have a profound impact on how we view ourselves, each other and the world around us. 

As media consumers, every media work we consume is food for our psyches and our souls. Like the food we eat, our media diet has a profound effect on all aspects of our lives. Conscious media creators, too, must therefore be awake to the power of the keys they hold, as well as the responsibility to use it wisely.

Which brings up the question: How do we use this powerful and pervasive aspect of our lives in a healthy and transformative way?

Through many years of research and experimentation, along with actual clinical studies, we have developed an approach to harness the power of media for healthy and transformative purposes using the viewing and creation of moving image media as a form of Media Yoga. While Tibetan Dream Yoga uses individual dreams as yogic practice, this approach uses the collective dreaming of the moving image as a transformative practice that helps us to be able to discern how media is affecting us, what type of media we want to consume and include in our media diet as well as giving us practices to use that diet as a path to help us evolve into higher, deeper and more expansive ways of being and becoming. 

For this month’s Media Shaman Studio we will explore this form of yoga and give you some simple practices you can employ to use media in a healthy and transformative way as a consumer and as a creator.

Be sure to join us for our live discussion on 
Wednesday May 19th at 12pm PT.


Media Shaman Studio is a monthly in-depth public lecture and discussion series on the relationship between consciousness and media with host and facilitator, Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D and Jonathan Steigman. This series is offered for free and is open to all members of the Conscious Good Creators Network, the general public, and participants in our Media Shaman courses.



Miracles are Seen in Light (ACIM 111)

Here is a short video meditation I created in an attempt to capture and communicate one of the transcendental concepts from A COURSE IN MIRACLES. I have been doing the Course for many years now and it has become a foundational path of guidance for me on my Search for a Divinely Guided Life...

How Consciousness is Embedded in Media

Research shows that when we communicate with each other through any form of media our own consciousness is embedded in that work. In fact, anything we humans create resonates with the consciousness we used to create it.

The Internet, for instance, is a Pluralistic, or postmodern technology that reverberates with the Pluralistic structure of consciousness and the postmodern worldview of multiple relative perspectives. The smartphone, by contrast, is an Integral, or metamodern technology, and as such it integrates multiple forms, functions and dimensions into a single integrated experience. As we use these technologies they affect our brains by laying down new neural pathways which change the way we think and perceive of ourselves, each other and the world around us.

The same is true for the types of media we consume. Media works can be embedded with premodern, modern, postmodern, metamodern and even transmodern structures of consciousness, and these embedded structures in turn affect our own consciousness.

For conscious media consumers and creators, it is thus very important for us to understand how these different structures of consciousness are embedded in media and how they affect us. As conscious media consumers we can then choose the types of media we wish to consume. Equally important, as conscious media creators we must understand our own consciousness and how it affects our work.

To create powerful transformative media, we have to learn how to elevate our own consciousness and that of our work.

For this month’s Media Shaman Studio we will explore these structures of consciousness and how we can use them as conscious media creators and consumers to help elevate and enlighten ourselves, each other and the world.

Be sure to join us for our live discussion on 

Wednesday April 21st at 12pm PT.



Media Shaman Studio is a monthly in-depth public lecture and discussion series on the relationship between consciousness and media with host and facilitator, Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D and Jonathan Steigman. This series is offered for free and is open to all members of the Conscious Good Creators Network, the general public, and participants in our Media Shaman courses.



Collateral Beauty: Shadow Work with an Overlooked Gem

Virtual Discussion Date: Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 at 12 p.m. PT 

Using media to work with psychological wounds and the Shadow -- to examine all that we have repressed or denied that still lives in the dark parts of our deep unconscious -- can be a powerful transformative experience for all involved.

This month we will be exploring the integrally-informed hidden gem film Collateral Beauty (2016). In the film an advertising executive (Will Smith) crippled by the death of his young daughter pens letters to Love, Death and Time. His loss propels him on a journey of deep shadow work and ultimately not just healing, but profound evolutionary growth and development.

Though not without flaws, Collateral Beauty is a wondrous (and occasionally very funny) work that can touch the hearts and souls of anyone scarred by deep grief. It does something I have never seen a film do: it captures that moment in the midst of a great loss where one can awaken to the beauty of all existence, almost as though that walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death lets us experience the essence of what it means to be alive.

The film imparts an important lesson in working with Shadow material. The key to Shadow work, with or without the use of media as a vehicle of expression, is to find the lesson, the gift that each of our wounds and shadows have to offer us. Through this process our shadows become our teachers and allies as we learn the lessons we need to learn.

Be sure to JOIN US for our live discussion on Wednesday March 17th at 12pm PT.


Media Shaman Studio is a monthly in-depth public lecture and discussion series on the relationship between consciousness and media with host and facilitator, Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D and Jonathan Steigman. This series is offered for FREE and is open to all members of the Conscious Good Creators Network, the general public, and participants in our Media Shaman courses.


IMDb Integral Movie and TV List 2020 Updates


The following are all the movies and television and streaming series that were tested and added to the Integral Movie and TV List on IMDb in 2020 (listed chronologically by release date):

It's a Wonderful Life (1947) - This Frank Capra Christmas classic is also an early stage integral work that maps how the main character George Bailey (James Stewart) evolves from egocentric to Kosmocentric circles of care and concern in a way that shows us how we can evolve through various stages while also holding onto earlier stage drives and projections. In George's case he holds onto his childhood egoic dream of being a world explorer and doing great and big things, all the while not realizing that he was already doing great and big things as he developed throughout his life. A beautiful journey that teaches us that it is often the little things we do in life that end up having the biggest impact in the long run.  The film is also told directly from the Kosmocentric witness perspective from the angels watching over him beyond the dimension of the world of form.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - The quintessential Santa Claus movie of all time, this Christmas classic is perhaps the most magical Santa movie ever and yet it shows no magic directly. The miracles that Santa brings are miracles of consciousness. He is operating at a higher more integral level than everyone else and is able to see how they are trapped in their worldviews and constructs and he gently awakens them to higher dimensions of being and becoming. He is also very human in many ways, sometimes losing his faith that he can save Christmas, which only adds great depth to the wonderful performance by Edmund Gwenn. At the end we get a hint that this man may indeed be Santa Claus, but we are left with only a sense of standing at the edge of a great Kosmic mystery.   

Rashomon (1950) - Profound cinematic masterpiece that puts the viewer in the integral witnessing state of being as the film deconstructs relativism and deconstructionism itself, making the pluralistic structure an object of our awareness and thus helping us to transcend it.

8 1/2 (1963) - Master Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical cinematic masterpiece is actually a deep integrally-informed exploration of the artists struggle to tap into and be a channel for the creative force of the universe. Fellini's main character is a famous filmmaker who is in preproduction of  a film while being unable to access that creative force. His dreams help him seek for it in the past, in waking life the dreams bleed through and take him on a surreal creative journey to gaining that Kosmocentric witness perspective that feeds the artist's soul. 

Local Hero (1983) - A magical little integrally-informed off-beat comedy that gradually has us feeling that everything we are seeing in this cinematic reality is at the edge of a vast conscious mystery, giving us a gentle and subtle taste of the Kosmocentric realities beyond the veil of what is known. This veil includes the separation between the manmade world we live in and the natural world we are cut off from as well as the great mystery beyond the stars.  Amidst all this, our main character evolves from egocentric to the early beginnings of  Kosmocentric circles of care and concern in an almost imperceptible way. Everything here is just below and beyond the surface, just beyond our grasp.

Field of Dreams (1989) - This magical film classic explores the healing of shadow material for individuals at various stages of development as they come in contact with the transcendent reality of the Field of Dreams itself. Through this journey we are taken to the edge of what can be known and hints at what is beyond, giving us a taste of the Kosmocentric Integral Witness.

I.Q. (1994) - A sweet little integrally informed romantic comedy that explores Einstein's famous idea that God does not play dice with the universe and applies it to love. The characters and the story subtly  dance  between our reality and hints of that greater force behind it. This wondrous lightness around such deep and heavy concepts produces a beautiful and sweet and silly Kosmo-centric journey.

50 First Dates (2004) - An evolutionary time-loop Kosmic love story where the narrative actually takes us through different circles of care and concern as the main character evolves through them. So we first start with the world as it evolves around him and his ego...then to a connection with another person, his love interest...who is stuck in her own personal 24 hour time-loop…then to her family...then to the greater community (the others at the brain institute) and finally the world at the end when he takes everyone with him as he does research for the planet and humanity itself. Pretty simple and fun movie that is at its heart essentially integral.

Eli Stone (2008): A funny, profound, deep and light integrally-informed series explores the neurological boundaries between brain and consciousness, between spirit and science, and between madness and mysticism. Eli Stone is also a hybrid genre work that beautifully integrates comedy, drama, and musical forms into a wondrously mystical legal procedural show. In the end this magical yet grounded work climaxes with a deep visceral existential experience of transcending the age old question between fate and free will by revealing a beautiful synergy between them.

Atlanta (2016) - An Integrally-informed series that finds hilarity in the absurd while unpacking the core traumas of being black in America. Creator & star Donald Glover (whose alter-ego Childish Gambino scored with the breakout hit This is America) plays Earn, a young Princeton dropout from a low-income neighborhood who begins to manage his cousin, a locally-famous rapper on the verge of breaking big. Atlanta unpacks how race intersects with every domain of society -- from the personal and interpersonal to the social and systemic -- and does so with a metamodern tone of plangent, loopy surreality.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (2017) - Fun off-beat comedy TV series with the main character Keven kicking and screaming his way through an integrally-informed transcendent education process. This process forces him to evolve through multiple stages of development on his way to fulfilling his destiny of saving the world…maybe… 

WeRiseUP (2019) - Well-made conscious documentary seeks to empower us to rise to the great challenges we face as a species and meet this moment in history with deep passion. WeRiseUP goes deeper and more expansive than normal works in this genre by anchoring it in an integral framework.

Messiah (2020) - This complex and layered integrally-informed Netflix series unpacks the interrelationship of religion, consciousness, culture and society. This brilliant series seems to be consciously designed to bring more expansive awareness to viewers cross-culturally.

Star Trek: Picard (2020) - The sixth spin-off streaming series in the integrally-informed Star Trek universe is a sequel to the popular Next Generation series and feature films that finds an aging Captain Picard coming out of retirement for one last grand adventure that seeks to complete haunting unanswered questions and story arcs from the Next Generation storyworld. 

Homemade (2020) - This Netflix short film series stitches together a bunch of shorts made by a crop of talented international filmmakers making films in and about quarantine. Together these shorts create a mosaic experience of the pandemic across the globe that gives us a sense of a bigger picture just beyond our reach. Truly beautiful, profound and deeply resonant and inspiring...and operating at the frothy edge of a new form of integrally-informed conscious media.

Palm Springs (2020) - An integrally-informed "Groundhog Day" evolutionary time-loop romantic comedy with two…or even three…or more…characters caught in a time-loop that is helping them all heal and evolve.

Tenet (2020) - Christopher Nolan's mind-bending time-twisting groundbreaking integral temporal cinematic work. Part spy movie, time-travel thriller where the future is at war with the present. Bullets going backwards and forward, people die in one time and come back to life in another, people in the past die in the future while people from the future die in the past. A truly wild temporal ride with the protagonist evolving through all the stages of development both in time and all at once. This film also has perhaps the cinema's first temporal war battle scene and becomes a visceral cinematic training in temporal field awareness.

Soul (2020) - A deeply moving, uplifting and transformative Pixar journey into the nature of human existence and the human soul. The main character evolves from an egocentric lost soul unable to see his relationships and the world around him beyond how they either help or hinder the fulfillment of his dreams of success to a Kosmocentric inspired soul, ultimately recognizing the depth and impact of his relationship with others and the world and the full transcendental beauty of all of existence itself. A journey deep into what it means to be human and what it means to be truly alive in all dimensions of sentient beingness.


The above movies and series have integrally-informed elements to varying degrees according to testing criteria developed during research on the application of Integral Theory to cinematic media theory and practice. According to this research, a cinematic work is deemed to be integral if elements of the integral stage of development are represented in the cinematic form, style, structure, content, and/or are embedded in the material as a presence or atmosphere. These representations of the elements of the integral stage of development can include:

  • The exploration and integration of multiple evolving dimensions and perspectives of lesser and greater depth and span;
  • The concretion of abstract and interior dimensions and perspectives, such as time and interiority, in the service of evolutionary growth and development;
  • An evolutionary story, event, and/or character progression that is given greater than or equal emphasis to conflict resolution, with progression developing vertically through at least three stages or levels of development;
  • The evolutionary impulse as a driving force or causality pattern;
  • The valuing of truth that is qualified by evolving perspectival fields;
  • And/or a Kosmo-centric circle of care and concern that suggests an awareness, integration, and embracing of all of existence. 

It should also be noted that the above works have been tested for having integral elements to ANY degree, which means some of these works have more of these elements than other works on the list. In addition, just because a cinematic work has integral elements does not automatically indicate its quality, though it will have elements of a more expansive worldview to some degree.

Media Shaman Studio - Surfing the Inflection Point: U.S. Inauguration Edition! (January 2021)

Virtual Discussion Date: Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 at 12 p.m. PT 

This January of 2021 finds us in the midst of a major inflection point as multiple polarized reality fields collide, which has brought us to a crisis point in this phase of the age of transformation. Between now and January 20, the date of the U.S. presidential inauguration, the liminal field within, between and around us will continue to expand and deepen, especially here in the United States but also reflected in many other countries around the world. Anything can happen in this moment of human history. The race between the old collapsing paradigms and systems of power and emerging new paradigms and systems has reached a critical point. 


For our Media Shaman Studio this month we will be holding a special session during the scheduled U.S. inauguration to help us individually and collectively work with this major inflection point in real time, using our Zoom meeting as a mini-mediasphere bubble inside the larger mediasphere, unpacking the events unfolding around us and the reactions to those events as they evolve.  

Be sure to join us for our live discussion on Wednesday January 20th at 12pm PT. 


Media Shaman Studio is a monthly in-depth public lecture and discussion series on the relationship between consciousness and media with host and facilitator, Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D and Jonathan Steigman. This series is offered for free and is open to all members of the Conscious Good Creators Network, the general public, and participants in our Media Shaman courses.


Integral Holiday Movies to Warm the Heart and Stir the Soul (and the Evolutionary Impulse)

This  holiday season finds the world still reeling from the pandemic amidst major polarization and conflict between ideological perspectives. The limits on our social interactions have amplified the psycho-dynamic separation and tensions of the growing ideological divide distancing us from each other mentally, emotionally and sometimes even spiritually. Many of us are seeking new ways to celebrate the holidays that honor and respond to the present moment.

I myself have been feeling a need to find solace in the holiday season spirit while also wanting to keep a clear head about the world situation. How can we combine the holiday light with a dive into the shadows of the great challenges ahead? One way I found is by watching integrally-informed holiday movies that attempt to both warm the heart and stir the soul, or -- from the integral perspective -- stir the evolutionary impulse within us by working with our shadow material. 

Below are a few classic and newer Christmas-oriented films that can help us do just that. What connects these works is their integration of an evolutionary perspective into their cinematic realities. Their characters face challenges and have to find ways to grow and evolve through them, all the while learning deep lessons on facing their shadowy fears, healing their buried wounds and pushing through the barriers of their comfort zones. Of course they all have happy endings, but these happy endings are earned by a revelation of the heart and mind, and not solely by the resolution of a conflict. This holiday season, we can watch these with an awareness of their potential use as a form of media-assisted shadow work and bring our attention to these underlying dynamics and reflect on similar patterns in our own lives.

Christmas Classics

This year I discovered that two of the most highly regarded holiday classics of all time are integrally-informed: Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and the quintessential Santa movie Miracle on 34th Street (1947). 

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

This Frank Capra Christmas classic is an early stage integral work that maps how the main character George Bailey (James Stewart) evolves from egocentric to Kosmocentric circles of care and concern. The film shows us how we can evolve through various stages while also holding onto earlier stage drives and projections. In George's case he holds onto his childhood egoic dream of being a world explorer who does great things, all the while not realizing that he was already doing great things as he developed throughout his life. The film’s beautiful journey teaches us that it is often the little things we do in life that end up having the biggest impact in the long run. The film is also told directly from the Kosmocentric witness perspective, that of the angels watching over George beyond the dimension of the world of form (Currently available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes and YouTube).

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

The quintessential Christmas movie, this classic is perhaps the most magical Santa Claus movie ever and yet it shows no magic directly. The miracles Santa brings are miracles of consciousness. He is operating at a higher and more integral level than everyone else and is able to see how they are trapped in their worldviews and constructs. He gently (and sometimes not so gently) awakens them to higher dimensions of being and becoming. He is also very human in many ways, sometimes losing his faith that he can save Christmas, which only adds great depth to the wonderful performance by Edmund Gwenn. Although we end with a hint this man may indeed be Santa Claus, we are left with only a sense of standing at the edge of a great Kosmic mystery (Currently available on Amazon Prime, Disney+, Google Play, iTunes and YouTube).

During the last couple of years I uncovered two more recent integrally-informed holiday works, both TV movies: Dear Santa (2011) from Lifetime and 12 Dates of Christmas (2011) from Freeform. 

12 Dates of Christmas (2011 TV Movie)

A sweet and sappy Christmas movie that uses the integrally-informed evolutionary time loop formula from Groundhog Day with a Christmas spin and a female main character. 12 Dates is a cute little movie filled with holiday spirit, light on the outside with deep evolutionary patterns on the inside as the main character grows, heals and evolves through several stages of development (Currently available on Amazon Prime, Disney+, Freeform, Hulu and iTunes).

Dear Santa (2011 TV Movie)

Another sweet and sappy Christmas movie that follows a female character through her evolution during one holiday season. Our main character is swept into a period of accelerated development when a little girl's letter to Santa appears to magically find its way into her hands. The letter sends her on an emotional journey that helps her evolve from an egocentric spoiled and ditzy rich girl to a more mature woman whose circle of care and concern has expanded to include all of humanity (Currently available on Amazon Prime, iTunes and YouTube).

Extending my search beyond individual movies, I have been researching the entire genre of holiday movies, in particular Hallmark Movies, and mapping their structures of consciousness patterns to see why these genres are so successful across religious, cultural and political boundaries. 

Hallmark Movie Genre

Holiday movies in general owe their roots in many ways to the two integral holiday classics we examined above, It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. The Hallmark movie genre includes the holiday movie genre but also other types of family-friendly works. These include its classic Hallmark Hall of Fame for its highest quality more literary works. They also include its Hallmark Channel original movies, which cycle through seasons of celebration and romance with a yearly slate of movies focusing on Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines Day, Easter, Passover, wedding season, and special seasonal love stories for winter, spring, summer and fall. Hallmark also has a mystery channel which adds the “solving a mystery” twist to their genre patterns. This genre is so successful it is being copied by other channels and services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Lifetime, Freeform and UP TV. All told, hundreds of these movies have been produced over the years, and in recent years around 30 to 40 are released each year.

What I have learned from analyzing all these works is that the Hallmark movie genre in particular is in many ways integrative. It seeks to integrate traditional, modern and postmodern worldviews and values. It works to transcend the polarities we see in the world around us right now. 

The Hallmark holiday movie universe, for instance, is a world where political ideologies are mostly transcended, showing us a world in which conservative, traditional, liberal and progressive values can co-exist and actually support each other. So rural and small town America becomes the symbol of family and traditions that ground us. The city is where we go to find our dreams, search for ourselves and learn valuable life lessons. But in the end we can only truly find our true selves and live our dreams when we return home after all our seeking and find everything we were seeking inside ourselves...with the help of family and friends and sometimes even otherworldly forces. Sometimes these stories even transcend the rural/city divide by having a story take place solely in one environment but represent the traditional-progressive integration values within subcultural patterns. 

In this cinematic universe most of the stories are love stories, and they tend to focus on a strong female lead. Both men and women (and more recently of different races, faiths and gender identities) are seen as being able to have it all once they realize that the achievement of worldly goals is not truly valuable unless it is human centered and human grounded. 

(Hallmark movies are available online on Hallmark Now streaming service with a 7 day free trial)


Whether we just watch the classics or dive deep into the feel-good movie ocean, with these movies we have the potential to lift our hearts and spirits while reflecting our own inner and outer challenges. We can consciously use these works as a mirror for our own challenges, and as a way of facing and working through that which has wounded us and been buried in the shadows of the unconscious. We can even get a taste of a possible future where the cultural divide no longer exists, a place of “peace on earth and goodwill to all.”

And if you wish to go deeper into media-assisted shadow work 
during this holiday season, 
join us on Sunday December 20th at 12 noon PST 
for our FREE virtual discussion on 
as part of our monthly Media Shaman Studio series.


Shadow Work in the Mediasphere - Xmas Edition!

This December finds us in a very strange liminal moment amidst the ongoing inflection point surrounding the US presidential election. That the election process remains unresolved is just one of the major challenges and tensions between polarized political, ideological and cultural fields, both locally and globally. Meanwhile, the holiday season is upon us and the traditional patterns of connection and celebration are in flux because of the global pandemic. 

After so many months of social isolation and heightened cultural polarization, the holiday season has the potential to create many more stresses and traumatic experiences than what is normally experienced during this time. For many of us the past four years have already been very traumatizing, and much of the world has shared a collective trauma around the pandemic for most of the past year. These traumas can be seen as our individual and collective shadows, because they get buried in the darkness of our unconscious and then profoundly affect our behavior as individuals, groups, cultures and societies. 

This process can be likened to the way the tides beneath the surface of the ocean can remain unseen but nevertheless affect the entire oceanic environment in profoundly powerful ways.

Many of us feel called to work with not only our own personal traumas, but also those of the culture and society as well. Media has a critical role to play in helping us to process these traumas because media acts as a mirror for our consciousness. Our individual and collective shadows are reflected in the shadows of the cinema, the shadows of the internet, and the shadows of the entire mediasphere. All of these combined make up the collective shadow of our collective self.

The mediasphere is deeply intertwined with this whole process as our source of collective information and expression. Through all our various media streams we receive, share and create information between each other, within and between our reality bubbles. Every new tweet, post, video and podcast has the potential to trigger new awarenesses -- or reinforce old biases. They can affirm our constructs of self, others and the world -- or challenge them. Overall, they reflect our individual and collective shadows, all at breakneck pace across multiple domains of our everyday existence. 

Old norms are collapsing all around us, as polarization separates us from each other and distorts our perceptions. For many of us the world has become unstable and our sense of security and safety has been profoundly undermined.


For this month's Media Shaman Studio we will be exploring how we can use media to work with both our own personal shadow and the collective shadow, and how to understand and address the collective shadow that’s reflected in the mediasphere. This will include how to discern our individual and collective shadow material using individual media works and the collective mediasphere as mirrors for discernment. We will also explore some media-assisted shadow work practices in the creation, reception and sharing of media processes. Finally, we will try to identify various types of media content that can help us at this moment in our lives. 

And, of course, for this holiday season we will be exploring how Christmas films can often put shadow work into the frame of a modern fairy tale, which enables them to tackle difficult themes with a certain detachment and a sense of optimism and hope.

Be sure to join us for our live discussion on Sunday December 20th at 12pm PT

Media Shaman Studio is a monthly in-depth public lecture and discussion series on the relationship between consciousness and media with host and facilitator, Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D and Jonathan Steigman. This series is offered for free and is open to all members of the Conscious Good Creators Network, the general public, and participants in our Media Shaman courses.


The Calling of the US Election 2020 Inflection Point

At this moment a major shift is happening in the collective field as we are entering what many are saying will be a major liminal inflection point phase of the Great Transition we are in. This particular inflection point is oriented around the US election and the potential for it to destabilize the US and the world even more.

An inflection point is a major liminal field transition point. Think of those major moments of transformation for the caterpillar as it evolves toward becoming a butterfly. That moment when the caterpillar's body starts to dissolve is an inflection point, as is that moment when its body is completely dissolved, and another inflection point occurs when its new butterfly body structure starts to emerge.

Each inflection point can be traumatic to various degrees. In our situation we are potentially looking at a major flood of disinformation and polarization, along with possible major disruptions and crises extending into any and all dimensions of our everyday reality.

A key is to understand that all this disruption may be required for us to make the shift in consciousness this major inflection point is calling us toward.

So how do we learn the lessons from this grand collective exposure therapy challenge, while limiting the collateral damage and the degree of human suffering? 

First, we need to hold the bigger picture and ask, What are the lessons? We need to be prepared to face our own individual and collective shadows, learn the lessons and share that learning with others. 

We need to take care of ourselves and each other, and expand our circle of care and concern beyond my family, my faith tradition, my community, my political party, my race, my that which is beyond. 

We need to let go of all our past ways of being and becoming, to open ourselves to thinking the unthinkable and finding a new way unlike the past.

We need to find a new way of making sense of the world as individuals, and also establish sensemaking networks to help us use collective intelligence to make sense of what is happening and how to respond in this accelerated and complex reality we are moving through. 

We also have to become more conscious of how we consume, share and create media, and attempt to transcend the extreme polarization fields and reality bubbles that have taken over the mediasphere. 

And most of all we need to wake up to the truth of who and what we are beyond polarization, and re-member that each of us is merely a wave in the great molecular and quantum ocean of beingness, and have compassion for those who are lost and afraid of waking up to this truth.



State of the Mediasphere - November 2020

Featured Topic: The State of the Mediasphere - November 2020

Virtual Discussion date: Sunday, November 15th, 2020 at 12 p.m. PT

The mediasphere is the collective ecology of the world's media. The mediasphere includes social and streaming media along with all dimensions of the Internet including the Dark, Deep and Surface web. It also encompasses interactive and immersive media like video games and VR, as well as more traditional media such as newspapers, journals, television, movies, radio, books, novels, advertising, press releases and publicity.

Join us this month for a special Media Shaman Studio series event with an exploration of the state of the mediasphere during this major transformative moment in human history. With the US election and various other similar challenge points happening at this time across the globe, the world is facing many great unknowns all at once. 

Instead of featuring a movie or series for us to review for the month we are asking you to try to observe the mediasphere during this month and see if you can get a sense of what is happening locally and non-locally. Go outside your reality bubbles and try to get as many perspectives as possible of events as they unfold around you. If you are taking our Media Shaman Toolkit mini-course, use the sensemaking techniques we talk about there. Be aware of any stories, events, media expressions or general observations that call to you for further exploration. You are invited to share these at the bottom of this posting in the comment area and/or bring them into our live discussion on Sunday November 15th at 12pm PT.

In the live discussion we will share a perception practice to aid your ability to “read” the mediasphere zeitgeist, along with additional tools and maps to help us make sense of what is happening in the mediasphere. We will discuss how to seek the biggest picture we can and how to discern what the calling is for us in relationship to what is unfolding around us.

We will also be exploring how we can face our individual and collective shadow material that is being reflected in the mediasphere without getting caught in polarization or getting overwhelmed by the darkness we see. We will also explore how to help shepherd us through the Great Transition we are going through by helping to seek a new future unlike the past while also trying to help limit the collateral damage and suffering as the systems of the past necessarily collapse around us.


Media Shaman Studio is a monthly in-depth public lecture and discussion series on the relationship between consciousness and media with host and facilitator, Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D and Jonathan Steigman. This series is offered for free and is open to all members of the Conscious Good Creators Network, the general public, and participants in our Media Shaman courses


Surfing the Inflection Point

As we approach election day here in the United States I would like to take a moment to express my deep gratitude to all of you for supporting our work in your own way and to perhaps offer some ways we can use media to help ourselves, those we love and all of humanity through these challenging times.

First, I want to thank everyone who is contributing to my Medicine for Mark GoFundMe campaign, helping to keep me stable until we find a cure. My medicine is helping and I am able to do more than I could before. I still struggle every day to function in many ways but I have a lot of help from family and friends and community services agencies. In the meantime I am doing everything within my power to continue my work and help as many people as possible to navigate the media war on our consciousness, which is part of the great transition we are going through. 

Secondly, I also want to thank all my long time supporters, contributors, co-researchers and co-learners for all that you have done to support and contribute to my work through the Integral Cinema Project.

Media Shaman Offerings

Finally I wish to thank the Transformative Media course participants who helped me awaken to the Media Shaman framing of this whole process. This awakening is not just about my framing of this work. It also includes a deeply personal re-awakening of my own Media Shaman journey which started many years ago when one of my teachers, Barbara Myerhoff, basically told me that I was a Media Shaman...that my stuttering was considered a calling to heal myself and others through media. With this reframing of the work into the Media Shaman framework, that original transformative framing from Dr. Myerhoff flowered inside my being and bore more fruit for my own journey of transformation. 

So you may be wondering what is a media shaman? Media shamans works toward using media to help heal and evolve themselves, others and the world. They transform their own perceptual field into an object in their awareness and an evolutionary accelerator, and help others do the same. The Media Shaman sees the bigger picture and uses media as an individual and collective healing and evolutionary intervention coming from these higher perspectives, attempting to address problems at the level of cause rather than the level of effect. 

Here are our new reframed Media Shaman offerings:

  • Media Shaman Toolkit - A 3-part video course to improve your ability to make sense of the world, learn how to use the transformative potential of media, and help yourself and others evolve into the grounded consciousness we need right now (Available now; see video below)
  • Media Shaman MasterClass - Our 15 week Transformative Media Creation and Reception Course on using, designing and creating media for the transformation of self, other and world (Course starting in mid-November; see video below). The MasterClass includes a Certificate of Completion and entrance into our ongoing Media Shaman Community of Practice.
  • Media Shaman Studio - A free monthly online and live discussion exploration of consciousness and media (formally the Conscious Movie-of-the-Month group) 

Research Breakthrough: Using Media to Accelerate the Evolution of Individual and Collective Consciousness

Together we have made many great discoveries along the way and I want to share with you the biggest one we have come across so far. This discovery happened through our Transformative Media Creation and Reception course at Campus Co-Evolve (the Media Shaman MasterClass), with amazing contributions from all the participants of both cohorts so far and the Campus Co-Evolve team and its founder George Pór. What we discovered together is a way to accelerate the evolution of our individual and collective consciousness using media. This breakthrough is important because all major problems in the world are the product of an unprecedented gap between our technologies and our capacities to use them in a healthy way. This is a gap between the stages of development of our technologies and the stages of development of our individual, cultural and societal consciousness. So the key is for us to accelerate the evolution of our individual and collective consciousness to catch up to our technologies and keep pace with them going forward. And according to our research, the key to this acceleration of the evolution of consciousness is for as many of us as possible to become active observers of our own perceptual field using the very technologies we are trying to catch up with.

So what is the secret here? The secret is that if we train ourselves to continually observe our own perceptual field as an object in our experience, then our perceptual field becomes a developmental accelerator itself. This appears to occur when we use a unique educational process we discovered that trains us to be aware of how media communicates with us and affects us, how consciousness is embedded in our media, and how that embedding affects our own consciousness and perceptual field. This unique educational process is what we are calling media-assisted consciousness training and integrates the following approaches:

  • Media metatheory theory and practice, or praxis;
  • Individual embodied learning projects combined with collective intelligence research and support teamwork;
  • Individual and collective perception practices;
  • Media-mirroring techniques, which entails the use of media creation and reception processes as both a mirror for our own consciousness and a learning tool to transform our perceptual field into an object of our experience (Based on the work of Edgar Morin); 
  • 3-brain neuroplasticity training to help participants restructure their own neural pathways and reprogram their minds to constantly observe their own perceptual field. 

For more on this breakthrough check out the talk we did with some of the course participants for the Up Convergence Conference and to experience it yourself take the Media Shaman MasterClass in Transformative Media Creation and Reception starting mid-November.

This Moment...

And in this moment, as the world holds its breath, no one can be sure what the world will look like on November 4th. We are in a potentially major liminal inflection point moment, as we discussed in our last update. One of the things we can do is to be one with the uncertainty, entering a liminal space in our own beingness, and move through the moment with full awareness and presence, letting go of what was and opening to what might be...and do our best to Surf the Inflection Point. And if you want some tools to help you navigate through these challenging times, both our Media Shaman Toolkit and the MasterClass are designed to help.

In deep gratitude to you all...Stay well, Stay Safe, Stay Awake.


Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director
Integral Cinema Project

Media Shaman Toolkit Preview and Panel Discussion (Video Replay)


Betsy Chasse assembles an expert panel on how to make sense and develop media literacy in a Post-Truth Age. The discussion makes the case for all filmmakers and content developers to awaken as Media Shamans, to use media to heal and uplift the individual and the collective. 

She is joined by: Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.  is an independent award-winning filmmaker and the pre-eminent theorist and practitioner of the application of evolutionary metatheories to moving image media. Mark is also the founder and executive director of the Integral Cinema Project.

Jonathan Steigman is a Bay Area activist, filmmaker, magician, communication consultant and independent researcher. Jonathan is also the Director of Communications at the Integral Cinema Project.

Anahita Parseghian is a visionary, strategist, entrepreneur, organizer, somatic trauma therapist, and plant medicine expert. Some of her recent creations include Project OneVoice, Sanity Sanctuary, and Plant Remedy. 

Mark DeNicola is a social media strategist that since 2010 has helped clients meet and exceed their online goals, including helping a number of films hit the #1 spot on the US iTunes documentary sales chart.

Interested in becoming a media shaman?

Learn more about the 3 part video course

"The Social Dilemma" and the War on Consciousness

Welcome to the new Media Shaman Studio (formally Conscious Movie-of-the-Month)

Featured Topic: Netflix’s new documentary The Social Dilemma (2020) and the war on consciousness.

Virtual Discussion Date: Sunday, October 18th, 2020 at 12 p.m. PT

There is a war on our consciousness. The main battlefield is the social media sphere. Our screens are the frontlines. The targets are our hearts and minds. There is no single enemy. Our freedom and democracy itself are at stake. The war is bleeding into our relationships and onto our streets. Many military historians and strategists believe we are in the middle of World War III. They speak of a new form of war called Nonlinear Warfare. This approach integrates advanced propaganda and social programming techniques with the weaponization of social media platforms, big data and A.I.. This form of warfare has been open-sourced, and nation states, corporate states, political parties and movements, splinter groups, subcultural groups and more are using it to vie for control and power by creating chaos, confusion and polarization in all dimensions of civilization. The other great World Wars included some nations, but not all. This war is covering the entire planet. Every human being in the world is a combatant. Is this the war to end all wars? Is there something more going on? Is this all part of the great transition in consciousness we are called to make during this Age of Transformation?

Join us this month as we begin our new Media Shaman Studio series with an exploration of this war on consciousness and it’s transformative potentials using Netflix’s new documentary The Social Dilemma (2020) as our leaping off point. This profoundly resonant documentary delves deeply into how the utopian dreams of those who helped create social media platforms have been shattered by its weaponization against the very ideals they were working toward.

If you have not seen The Social Dilemma you can stream it on Netflix. You are also invited to share your thoughts, reflections and musings about the film in the comments section below.. 

And of course join us on October 18th at 12 p.m. PST for our virtual discussion of the film, the war on consciousness it addresses, and how this all speaks to us at this moment in human history. As part of our virtual discussion we will be sharing a perception practice specifically designed to use this film for training us in the new emergent consciousness this war is calling us toward.


Media Shaman Studio is a monthly in-depth public lecture and discussion series on the relationship between consciousness and media with hosts and facilitators, Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D and Jonathan Steigman. This series is offered for free and is open to all members of the Conscious Good Creators Network, the general public, and participants in our Media Shaman courses. 

If you have not already joined our FREE Media Shaman Studio group, 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.

Watch the video replay of this event HERE.