Integral Cinema Project Receives Fiscal Sponsorship from Fractured Atlas

The Integral Cinema Project has been granted fiscal sponsorship from Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, allowing us to receive tax-deductable donations by check and credit card as well as non-cash donations of property (equipment, materials, etc.).

Non-Cash Donation of Property
(Equipment, materials, etc.)

Unfinished Work

I was touring Europe and visited the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, Italy where Michelangelo's David is housed. There was an art class walking through the Galleria and I tagged along. The instructor was showing the students Michelangelo's unfinished sculptures and explaining to them that Michelangelo left many of these behind because he would stop working when he learned what he needed to learn. Sometimes this coincided with the manifest completion of the physical work, but often he would walk away from a work "unfinished" because something within himself told him it was time to move on. Then the instructor said something that blew my mind. He said that "strangely" enough, these unfinished works have been the most valuable to art historians because they have given us a complete and accurate map of just how Michelangelo worked. So in the end, his unfinished works were a profound gift to humanity. This really rocked my world. I sat there alone, looking at his unfinished works, for several hours, as my mind and soul deconstructed the notion of what it means to complete something.

In Loving Memory of My Father - Harold Kaplan (1919-2010)

Today my father passed from this world of form. I have entered that thin-place between the worlds that is the altered state of loss and grief. The father that gave his seed for my birth into this world is gone. The image of my father within me is in flux, as projection, reality, and archetypal forces swirl loose from their intra-psychic moorings. Memories of all the moments of love, challenge, bonding, and all the perfectly imperfect father-son experiences dance in the silence between the world of doing and the world of being. My father always believed in my gifts and talents. His eyes lit up with joy and pride at the sight of all my endeavors. Though we were different in so many ways, I always felt his quiet acceptance. Every time I draw a line on a blank piece of paper I will remember sitting at his architectural drafting table. Every time I face a challenge I will remember how he never retreated or surrendered. I will always remember his charm and his love for life. And though he was a greatly imperfect being, as am I, there is nothing I now hold against him or against myself. All that was love shines bright; and all the illusions of fear and doubt within and between us have melted away. He danced this life the best he could, I danced with him the best I could, and his light and love shines through and into my mind and heart and spirit. I feel grateful that his suffering has ended; and blessed for having him as my father. Goodbye my father. Thank you for loving me so unconditionally and so beautifully imperfectly.

Integral Cinema Presentation

Towards an Integral Cinema: The Application of Integral Theory to Cinematic Media Theory and Practice.

Abstract: A historical, theoretical, and viewing analysis is offered of Germaine Dulac’s “integral cinema movement” of the 1920s, suggesting an early introduction of Integral consciousness into cinematic media that corresponds to and predates both Jean Gebser’s and Ken Wilber’s Integral Theories. Defining characteristics of what may constitute an integral cinematic work are mapped out and developed into a set of evaluation criteria using the works of Dulac, Gebser, and Wilber. A preliminary typology of forms of Integral cinematic creation is also presented, and the potential benefits and challenges for the application of Integral Theory to cinematic theory and practice are discussed.

Presentation at Integral Theory Conference 2010 on July 30th, 2010 by Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.

My First Integral Cinematic Experiment

A little over ten years ago I had my first encounter with what might be called “integral filmmaking.” I had been studying Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1995) and practicing George Leonard and Michael Murphy’s Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) on a daily basis. One day I performed my ITP Kata (a set of integrated body, mind, and spirit exercises) right before running a camera test on my new digital video camcorder. Still being in a post-practice transformative state, I had a profound cinematic experience. As I moved through the house with the camera on, I appeared to be fully aware and conscious of my inner experience, the camera in my hand and the space within which I was moving. I exited the house and was drawn to our koi pond. Once there, I felt drawn into the world of the pond and entered a deep state of pure presence or witnessing. My camera became my eyes, and my body, my awareness and the camera danced with the fish, the gently rippling water, the shimmering sunlight, the caressing wind and the material forms of the pond and its surroundings. I spent hours at the pond, lost in a deep cinematic meditation process. Afterwards I felt a profound sense of gratitude and grace.

When I viewed my footage I was amazed at what I had captured. There before my eyes appeared to be a cinematic example of the four dimensions/perspectives of Wilber’s Integral Theory (Subjective/I Space; Inter-Subjective/We Space; Objective/IT Space; and Inter-Objective/ITS Space): Besides the physical reality of the pond (IT Space) and the environment within and around it (ITS Space), I had footage of the individual koi fish in which I could sense their individual presence (I Space) and footage of the fish in pairs and groups that seemed to reveal a collective and inter-relational presence (WE Space).

I decided to continue my accidental experiment, spending the next few days editing the material while in a post-ITP state. I would basically perform my ITP Kata (Leonard & Murphy, 1995) and then sit down at the computer and edit in that state. It was a wondrous experience, and once I finished, the viewing of the final work sent me into the very state I experienced while shooting it. When I showed it to a few people they all said the same thing -- that the video put them into a very relaxed state and gave them the experience of actually being at the koi pond.


Kaplan, M. A. (2002). The Pond [Digital Video].

Leonard, G. & Murphy, M. (1995). The life we are given: A long-term program for realizing the potential of body, mind, heart, and soul. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, ecology, spirituality: The spirit of evolution. Boston, MA: Shambhala.

Integral Cinema Project Advisor Announcement: Sean Esbjörn-Hargen, Ph.D.

Sean Esbjörn-Hargen, Ph.D. has agreed to be an advisor on the Integral Cinema Project. Sean is an associate professor and founding Chair of the Integral Theory Program at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California. He is a leading scholar-practitioner in Integral Theory and has worked closely with Ken Wilber for a decade operationalizing the integral (AQAL) model in multiple contexts. Sean is a founding member of Integral Institute and currently serves as their Vice President of Applications and Research. He is also the founding Director of the Integral Research Center, the founding Executive Editor of the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, and co-founder of the biennial Integral Theory Conference. Sean is one of the most published authors applying the integral model to a variety of topics, including: Research, consciousness studies, intersubjectivity, education, sustainable development, ecology, science and religion, and play. His articles have appeared in academic journals such as the Journal of Consciousness StudiesWorld FuturesReVision, and Journal of Humanistic Psychology. He also co-edited Ken Wilber’s book The Simple Feeling of Being, (2004) and is the co-author of Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World (2009) and the editor of Integral Theory in Action (2010). You can learn more about Sean at:

Integral Cinema Project Receives Fiscal Sponsorship from the San Francisco Film Society

The Integral Cinema Project has been granted fiscal sponsorship by the San Francisco Film Society, making all donations to the project tax-deductable.

To make a donation please visit the the SFFS Integral Cinema Project donation page at:

My First Taste of an Integral Life

My first inkling of an integral life came upon me when I was sitting at the bedside of my dying mother in the spring of 1993. Alzheimer’s and a severe stroke had taken their toll upon her and she could no longer see, speak, or move her body, except for small motions of her hands, head, and feet. As I sat by her side with various members of my family for several days, I had a profound mystical experience. All my years of studying many different spiritual traditions, mysteriously and automatically coalesced into a multi-tradition integrative practice of prayer, meditation, and presence that appeared to assist my mother and my whole family through the dying and grieving process, while also transforming my own heart and mind.
After this profoundly sorrowful and grace-filled experience, I began to see how each spiritual tradition I had studied had its own unique gifts and perspectives, which when put together created a more complete picture of my self, the world, and the Divine. This gave me my first real glimpse of what it means to live an Integral Life; a life that strives to engage in a wondrous evolutionary journey of ever-expanding and integrating fields of awareness, revealing higher, deeper and more expansive visions of self, others, and the world.

Judaic Cycles of Prayer

Judaic spiritual practice can be divided into four major cyclical patterns of observance: The daily cycle – weekday practices; the weekly cycle – Shabbat practices; the monthly cycle – welcoming the new month; and the yearly cycle – festivals and Holy days (Falk, 1996). The daily cycle focuses on the cyclical spiritual practices that occur during the day and includes three prayer services (morning, afternoon, and evening) performed on weekdays (Sunday through Friday).  The weekly cycle draws us into the cycle of the Sabbath, which creates and honors the cyclical spiritual practices that occur at the end of each week. This cycle connects us with the sacred pattern of creation (the seventh day). The monthly cycle brings us into harmony with the phases of the moon and the cyclical spiritual practices that occur from month-to-month. The yearly cycle expands our practice to the historical and seasonal patterns of spirit through the celebration and observance of the festivals and Holy Days.

Two additional patterns of observance exist within and around these four major cycles. These patterns fall into the two categories of the momentary cycle and the life cycle. The momentary cycle consists of the blessings and benedictions that are practiced from moment to moment, awakening us to the sacredness of all things and providing a vehicle of expression for the gratitude we feel for the blessings in our lives.  These practices include blessings and benedictions for all our actions and reactions in life from eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom to traveling, seeing beautiful sights, and experiencing something new. The life cycle observances are the blessings and benedictions we use to celebrate meaningful life events such as births, weddings, and funerals.

Prayers for the Awakening Self eBook Release



Prayers for the Awakening Self offers mystical and psycho-spiritual translations of traditional Jewish daily prayers and practices designed to invoke deep personal transformation of heart and spirit.



"I loved this siddur. Yesher koach!"
- Rabbi Rami Shapiro (Author of The Angelic Way and Minyon)

"This is a remarkable piece of work. I really enjoyed it, especially your humanistic translations of the prayers. Keep up the excellent work."
- Rabbi Roger Ross (Executive Director of The New Seminary)

  • $10.00 – Read-Only eBook Edition for Digital Viewing Only
  • $22.00 – Personal eBook Edition for In-Home Personal and Small Family Use (Printable/up to 4 copies*).
  • $40.00 – Family eBook Edition for In-Home Personal and Large Family Use (Printable/up to 8 copies*).
  • $90.00 – Congregational eBook Edition for Public/Non-Commercial Printing Use (Printable/up to 18 copies*).

*Additional permissions to print available for purchase for all printable editions at $5.00 per copy.


Author: Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Contributor: Maja Apolonia Rode
Format: PDF, 8.5 x 11
Pages: 92 pages
Language: English/Hebrew
Item Number: OGPUB-PASE
ISBN-13: 978-0-9797980-2-3
ISBN-10: 0-9797980-2-7


Kosmic Surf

molecules swimming
in the atomic sea
particles becoming waves
waves becoming particles
table top ripples
from the hit
of my liquid fist

turning into thought
into dream
into action
into matter
into nothing that matters

in an ocean
of connectedness

in the Kosmic Surf

the future,
a one-eyed monster
wanting to be feed

the past,
a shadow
cast ahead

and now,

riding the waves
Kosmic surfing
going with the flow
nothing else needed
to Know.


Image: Particle Wave by me (MAK)

Fragmentation and Wholeness

I was standing in the rotating rooftop restaurant of the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel, gazing out the passing windows and the moving cityscape beyond them. One of the buildings across the way had mirrored windows and was reflecting back a fragmented image of the Hotel I was in. In that moment I felt a strange mix of fragmentation and wholeness; as I stood inside a moving cylinder-shaped room, looking out at the image of the exterior of the space I was in reflected back at me in the fragmented mirrored windows across the way…it was like I was part of a spinning planet at the center of the whole universe, and at the same time, that planet was made up of pieces of something, that was a piece of something else. My mind went blank as I lifted my camera and captured the moment. Reflection upon reflection upon reflection, spinning and turning, a whole with parts of another whole…

Book Review: "A Mystical Passover" (KabbalahConcepts)


Title: "A Mystical Passover: A Transformational Passover Haggadah"
Author: Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Publisher: Original Gravity

With the Festival of Passover around the corner, I thought it appropriate to share with you details regarding a very beautiful and highly compacted text, in which the Pesach seder and the period of Omer are addressed from mystical and contemporary perspectives, these being aptly reflected in the title "A Mystical Passover: A Transformational Passover Haggadah." The author tells us that this work represents a process comprising, in his own words, "a radical interpretation of the Passover rituals and prayers into a language and process that resonated with my own heart while also attempting to honor the heart of Judaism itself."

Having said that, it is important to note that Mark Allan Kaplan's "Mystical Passover" offers all readers, Jews and non-Jews alike, a way to mental, emotional and spiritual transformation. The ancient saga of a nation being freed from bondage and slavery is "reinterpreted" in a manner which allows the reader the opportunity to have a personal "exodus," so to speak, i.e. being "freed" from the "bondage" of Mochin Katnut, the limited consciousness of the egoic pseudo-self, literally "passing over" into Mochin Gadlut, the condition in which personal consciousness is expanded to embrace the greater "whole," and so, whilst transcending into physical, emotional, mental and spiritual freedom, "awaken" the real "Self."

With his unique "Haggadah," Mark Allan Kaplan invites all and sundry to transform the traditional festival of "Pesach" into a personal journey in which "the land of Egypt becomes the realm of narrowness of body and mind, and Moses becomes the Higher Self being called upon by the Divine to free all the different voices of the psyche (the children of Israel, the Awakening Self) from the bondage of the ego (Pharaoh)." What is truly effective about this specific journey of transformation, is the actual process of "acting it out" in a physical manner, e.g. cleaning the house and the traditional "Pesach" preparations, candle lighting, assembling of family and friends, chanting and the various aspects of the Passover Seder itself, etc., all interpreted from a mystical perspective, so that these will combine into a "pathway through the metaphysical gates of these ancient and sacred rites of inner and outer freedom," which the author correctly maintains will lead to "the discovery of a personally transformative psycho-spiritual Passover experience."

The process expounded in "A Mystical Passover: A Transformational Passover Haggadah" also incorporates the "extended journey" beyond the "Festival of Passover," this being the seven week cycle known as "Sefirat ha-Omer" (Counting of the Omer). Traditionally these seven weeks comprise a period of self examination between Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Feast of Weeks). Each of the seven weeks represents a spiritual cycle attributed to one of seven Middot (qualities) equated with the seven lower Sefirot on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, i.e. from Chesed to Malchut. Each of the seven days of the week is likewise related to one of the mentioned lower Sefirot, hence the days of the first week would be Chesed in Chesed, Gevurah in Chesed, Tiferet in Chesed, Netzach in Chesed, etc.

In this particular regard, I find the section titled "Meditation and Practices - For the Days of Passover and the Counting of the Omer" in Mark Allan Kaplan's "A Mystical Passover" especially meaningful and beneficial. The week/day/sefirah associations are rendered into physical, psychological and spiritual "aspirations," to be achieved by the one undertaking this "journey of transformation." For example, what the author terms the "weekly energies" of the seven weeks respectively associated with the mentioned Sefirot, would be "Mastery of the Body," "Mastery of the Ego," "Attainment of Willingness," "Attainment of Will," "Submission of the Soul," "Access to the Spirit," and "Contact with the Divine," all vitally important factors in what I like to call the "Work of Self Creation."

Now, this text is available as an ebook in various editions. A "personal edition" will cost you $22.00, permitting the printing of 4 copies, whilst the "family edition," which allows the printing of 8 copies, costs $40.00, etc. If these prices should not suit your pocket, you could acquire the "read-only" edition for $10.00.

So, check out Mark Allan Kaplan's website, and whilst you are there, you would do well to investigate the rest of that very interesting domain on the world wide web!!

Jacobus G. Swart
KabbalahConcepts, March 21, 2010
The Sangreal Sodality

The Birth of Trans-Opera: The Convergence of Cinema and Opera

A new form of opera emerged recently. For this year’s production of the Barber of Seville, the Florida Grand Opera company blazed new territory by using an animated digital screen backdrop for their production, adding depth, movement, and cinematic immersion to classic opera. This animated digital backdrop added evolving background environments replete with changes in location, light, and weather. It also added shadow characters that interacted with the live actors on stage, from groups of musicians and soldiers to a lone alley cat. Beyond these dimensions, the animated background also appeared to add greater symbolic and thematic depth to the relatively simple story of the Barber of Seville. Then, in the final moments of the opera, something even more wondrous occurred. The actors climbed up the steps of the central set piece and in the digital background, giant animated wings unfolded and began to flap. The juxtaposition between the animated backdrop and the live action actors and set pieces created the effect of flying to the heavens. The audience let out a collective gasp and for a few brief moments the stage was transcended and the audience, actors, and set pieces soared.

This convergence of opera with digital cinematic elements created a new multi-dimensional form of entertainment that could be called “trans-opera.” The birth of this new opera-cinematic hybrid is the work of French Director Renaud Doucet and Canadian Production Designer Andre Barbe, with the technical help of Miami’s Lava Studios. The impetus for the birth of this new approach came out of current financial constraints, and from these limits an artistic phoenix has risen. I feel honored to have personally witnessed this event.

Image, Form and Formlessness

I remember walking along the base of the Tetons’ and seeing the rays of the setting sun striking a giant cloud formation in front of me. I stopped dead in my tracks as the beauty of the sight filled my being and for a brief moment I was breathless. The giant cloud looked like an anvil.

There was something strange and wondrous about the juxtaposition between the fluffiness of the cloud itself and the heavy-mass-related anvil form of its shape. Several other people stopped and gazed up at the cloud. Some of us took photos, some just stared up silently, and others conversed about the sight they were sharing. For a few moments, we were a community of beings joining together in a shared mystical moment of beauty and grace. Then the shifting light of the sun, the currents of the wind, and the movement of the clouds began to transform the anvil-cloud back into just another cloud. The shared state of grace dissipated as well, and we all returned to our separate paths.

As I walked away and looked around me, I couldn’t help but wonder about the permanence and impermanence of any image or form…and I felt as though I had briefly touched the edge of formlessness. Deep gratitude and wonder filled me as I pondered the seemingly random string of simple everyday events and choices that brought me to this moment.

*Image: Anvil Cloud by MAK

What is Love?


I have traveled far to ask,

“What is Love?”

A Buddhist Monk once showed me that

Love is a compassionate heart;

A Christian Saint once showed me that

Love is a forgiving heart;

A Muslim Sheik once showed me that

Love is a devoted heart;

A Taoist Sage once showed me that

Love is a heart that accepts all things as they are;

A Jewish Prophet once showed me that

Love is a heart that sees the one within the many;

A Native American Shaman once showed me that

Love is a heart that feels the interconnectedness of all things;

A Hindu Holy Man once showed me that

Love is, when all that is not love ceases to be.

I have traveled far to ask,

“What is Love?”

And I have seen the many faces of Love,

and I have felt the many ways of Love,

and I have touched the heart of Love itself

and learned that

Love truly is all these things.


*Image by: Daniel B. Holeman

A Mystical Passover eBook Release



A Mystical Passover: A Transformational Passover Haggadah offers a powerful psycho-spiritual approach to the Passover experience and includes individual and group psycho-spiritual exercises to help transform the holiday into a deeply mystical and magical experience for young and old alike. This unique Passover haggadah incorporates all three levels of Judaic interpretation (Biblical, Talmudic, and Kabbalistic) and integrates perspectives and practices from all the current Judaic movements (Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Renewal).



"Thank you for your magnificent work. Our Passover was not only Mystical, it was magical."

"I received the Mystical Passover today. Thank you very much. It is so in line with my way of thinking. God bless you."

  • $10.00 – Read-Only eBook Edition for Digital Viewing Only.
  • $22.00 – Personal eBook Edition for In-Home Personal and Small Family Use (Printable/up to 4 copies*).
  • $40.00 – Family eBook Edition for In-Home Personal and Large Family Use (Printable/up to 8 copies*).
  • $90.00 – Congregational eBook Edition for Public/Non-Commercial Printing Use (Printable/up to 18 copies*).

*Additional permissions to print available for purchase for all printable editions at $5.00 per copy.


Author: Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Contributor: Maja Apolonia Rode
Format: eBook (PDF), 8.5 x 11
Pages: 60 pages
Language: English/Hebrew
Item Number: OGPUB-AMPE
ISBN-13: 978-0-9797980-5-4
ISBN-10: 0-9797980-5-1


The 1-2-3 of Healthcare

I am one of the many faces of the recent and current healthcare and financial crisis. It all began when I became ill after having lost my health insurance. I ended up going into major debt paying for my own care, which led to financial ruin and near-homeless. I experienced first-hand the profound tetra-enmeshed nature of the healthcare and financial crisis in our country…feeling and perceiving loss, isolation, and pain on the physical, emotional, communal, and systemic levels of experience. During this whole process I felt a strange kind of connection between the inner and the outer as my own personal health and financial crisis appeared to be reflected in the greater culture and society. I could not help but feel that this was all part of a tetra-evolutionary process. On the individual level, besides my outer physical healing work throughout all this, I have also been attempting to process this whole experience on the using various inner Integral Life Practices, including Shadow work to uncover my own personal Shadow patterns that contributed to this situation. Concurrent with this individual inner-outer work, I have also been attempting to reflect on the collective and social dimensions of my experience by exploring the current healthcare debate from an Integral perspective, using various Integral lenses.

Looking at the issue from Integral Theory’s Big Three of I-We-It or 1st-2nd-3rd Person dimension-perspectives, it seems to me that within the boiling healthcare debate-soup there are 1st Person (1p), 2nd Person (2p), and 3rd Person (3p) competing healthcare reform approaches:
  • Individual-Freedom-oriented (1p) free-market “private” healthcare approaches;
  • Social-Systemic-oriented (3p) government-run “public” healthcare approaches; and
  • Collective-Community-oriented (2p) co-operative/non-profit “semi-public/private” healthcare approaches.

The private (1p) approaches appear to be most heavily associated with the conservative and mythic value meme (vMeme) political camps; The semi-public/private (2p) approaches associated with the centrist and rational vMeme political camps; and public (3p) approaches associated with the progressive and pluralistic vMeme political camps. In between these centers-of-gravity there appears to be varying degrees of attempted integration from those who are on the borders (between mythic/rational and rational/pluralistic vMemes).

Within this debate there also appears to be a fundamental question of whether healthcare is an “inalienable right” or “a privilege.” I believe this question is rooted in the central duality of our country’s doctrines which attempt to include equal measures of individual freedoms and certain socially-protected “inalienable” equal rights. Many of the 1p or private approaches to healthcare appear to champion freedom (individual and market) while forsaking some level of equality (degree of healthcare depends on economic class) and inalienable rights (degree of health is often directly related to an individual’s capacity to pursue the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and Happiness). Alternatively, many of the 3p or public healthcare approaches appear to sacrifice some degree of freedom (individual and market) in exchange for healthcare equality and inalienable rights, and most of the 2p or semi-public/private approaches seem to sacrifice some degree of both freedom and equality.

Then we have the issues of cost and quality. The private (1p) healthcare approaches tend to cost more for the individual person or group directly and cost less in taxation, while offering a relatively high degree of quality for those who can afford it and often a poor degree of quality for those who cannot afford it. The public (3p) approaches appear to cost the individual or group less in direct costs and more in taxation, while offering a more moderate degree of quality to a greater and more equal population. The semi-public/private (2p) approaches generally seem to offer a moderate degree of both cost and quality.

I believe this type of public/private/semi- (1p-2p-3p) tension can also be observed in our approaches to education. While our system is far from perfect, we seem to have achieved some degree of integration between the three perspectives by simultaneously offering public (3p) education, private (1p) education, and semi- public/private (2p) education (charter schools, home-schooling, etc). I think education is a good correlation to healthcare because both education and health affect an individual’s ability to pursue the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and Happiness.

In light of our country’s dual aspiration of individual freedom and socially-protected inalienable equal rights, I believe that a 100% private or a 100% public healthcare system is untenable and fundamentally incongruent with the aspirations and doctrines of our republic. While the nuts and bolts of our education system still needs a lot of work, I believe the 3-tiered structure that has evolved is inherently natural to our country’s ideals and current vMeme structures. Using this model, here is one possible scenario for an Integral “Big Three” approach to healthcare reform…

Basic Healthcare System Design:
  • Public Healthcare: Expansion of Medicaid and Medicare into a full-blown public healthcare system for those who cannot afford private care.
  • Private Healthcare: Strike a healthy balance of regulation and freedom for the Private Healthcare system (i.e.: Stronger patient rights; allow competition across state-lines; insurance pooling system; and balanced tort-reform).
  • Semi-Public/Private Healthcare: Regulatory support and incentives for Cooperative, Charter, and Non-Profit healthcare groups.

Obviously within this kind of three-tiered (1p-2p-3p) system there are a lot of complicated details that would have to be worked out, but I do believe a more Integral approach, like the basic template of the above three perspectives and the inherent dual aspirations of our system, can help a great deal. For example, with this awareness in mind, it seems to me that the notion of requiring all citizens to buy health insurance may go against the individual freedoms doctrines of our country. Interestingly, it seems that with the above proposed three-tier healthcare system, this requirement would be unnecessary, since the public system would be a free system for those who cannot afford private or semi-private/public healthcare.

So here it is…my own personal attempt to jump into the healthcare debate. I toss these words into the healthcare tetra-evolutionary soup with my prayers for vertical transformation for myself, for those in similar and worse situations, and for the greater system in which we live and co-create and co-evolve…

*Originally published at Integral Life

Some Nice Moments at the 2010 Oscars

While this year’s Oscar Ceremony was as long as always and had many misfires in terms of style and substance, I was touched by several great and small moments and flourishes throughout the ceremony, including:
  • Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first woman to receive the Best Director Academy Award;
  • Geoffrey Fletcher becoming the first African-American writer to receive an Academy Award;
  • Mo'Nique becoming the fifth African-American actress to win an Academy Award;
  • Sandra Bullock transcending previous constructs to win the Best Actress Academy Award;
  • The heart-felt and heart-warming honoring of each of the actors and actresses competing for the top Awards by their peers;
  • The Hurt Locker, a small independent film with masterful execution in all creative and technical areas, winning the Best Picture Academy Award;
  • And a gentle and gracious atmosphere that seemed to pervade the whole event.

The Integral-Convergence Age

If the co-evolutionary dance between the Pluralistic worldview movement in the LL cultural holon and the Information Age in the LR social holon is evolving to the next level, that of an Integral worldview movement in the LL cultural holon, the question arises: What is the equivalent Socio-Techno-Economic Age in the LR social holon?

There are many indicators that suggest that this next age is already unfolding, as information technologies and networks evolve into convergent technologies, networks, and systems. Terminologies like convergence media appliances, virtual reality, immersive environments, avatars, embedded technologies, and augmented realities are swirling around in the information soup. Entertainment streams across multiple delivery platforms into our theaters, homes, cars, computer screens, phones, gaming consoles, and even through digital walls in the architectural and social spaces around us. The movie Avatar immerses us in its world through immersive IMAX 3D technology telling us a story about becoming technologically immersed in another body and reality. Gamers take on virtual personas and play each other in living rooms and on cell phones across the globe. On other technology fronts, human and natural realities are converging as well, from genetic modification to hybrid and nanotechnologies. We ride around in hybrid vehicles, eat genetically modified foods, wear nanotech clothing, attend virtual concerts, purchase goods and services in a virtual economy, and communicate with each other through phones that are also computers, radios, televisions, and global positioning devices.

One of the first observers of the convergence trend in media technologies was MIT political scientist Ithiel de Sola Pool who noted an emerging media convergence process that he called the “convergence of modes” in which the lines between media platforms are blurred and “the one-to-one relationship between a medium and its use” is eroded (Pool, 1983, p.23).

American media scholar Henry Jenkins extended this work through his observations of a co-evolutionary trend between convergence media socio-techno-economic forces (LR) and what he calls convergence culture (LL), noting that “convergence does not occur through media appliances, however sophisticated they become. Convergence occurs within the brains of the individual consumers and through their social interactions with others” (Jenkins, 2008, p.3). This new convergence culture is made up of individuals and social networks that engage with and integrate dispersed media content into meaningful wholes. Jenkins notes that this co-evolving techno-cultural movement appears to be ushering in an “…era of media convergence, collective intelligence, and participatory culture” (Jenkins, 2008, p.170).

Another hallmark of this Convergence Age is the increased capacity for embodied “perspective-taking.” Whereas the Information Age gave us a multitude of information and information sources, the Convergence Age portends to offer us the capacity to take on a multitude of perceptions and worldviews, one of the essential qualities of the Integral perspective.

Both Pool and Jenkins note that the capacity to navigate this rapidly evolving and convergent environment is incredibly complex and challenging. If this trend is indeed the co-evolutionary movement in an Integral-Convergence Age, then the Integral worldview would be the most appropriate level of consciousness for fully comprehending and mastering this unfolding era.

One of the coming major tipping points in the emergence of this Convergence Age will most likely be the widespread disbursement of high speed and high bandwidth communication networks advanced enough to fully handle immersive, embedded, and virtual realties. While this technology already exists, its widespread dispersion is dependent on various political and financial constraints…so this tipping point in the technological and communication domains can occur very soon or take many years to actually reach its evolutionary moment. Google’s recent announcement of their intention to bring this type of widespread and advanced networking technology to the world is an indicator that there is indeed movement toward this particular tipping point.

Wilber notes that as we evolve up the evolutionary ladder, greater depth and span also brings greater challenges and potential dangers (Wilber, 2003). This new Convergence Age also ushers in the potential threat of nano-viruses, genetic mutation, the erosion of direct human contact social structures, and many other new challenges.

Many of these threats come from the potential misuse of these higher technologies by individuals and cultures operating at a lower worldview. History is full of horrific examples of this mismatch between consciousness and technology, from the holocaust to the potential for nuclear terrorism. The complex and often push and pull co-evolution of consciousness and technology is interestingly reflected in the film Avatar, which appears to be a convergence technology movie with a Pluralistic worldview center-of-gravity, telling a story about the use and abuse of convergence technologies by a dysfunctional mythic-rational human culture against an idyllic (Pre/Trans) magic-mythic alien culture.

As with all evolutionary movements, there is great challenge and also great potential. As one nanotechnology futurist website proclaims… “We are approaching an evolutionary event horizon, where the organic and the synthetic, the virtual and the ‘real’, are merging together into an operational ecology, an existence morphology for which there is no precedent in the history of which we are currently aware” (


Henry Jenkins (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: NYU Press.

Ithiel de Sola Pool (1983). Technologies of Freedom: On Free Speech in an Electronic Age. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Ken Wilber (2003). Volume 2 of the Kosmos Trilogy: Excerpts A, B, C, D, and G. Available at:

*Originally published at Integral Life

Integral Cinema Presentation

Integral Cinema Project lead researcher Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D. has been selected to present preliminary research findings and theories on the the application of Integral Theory to cinematic media theory and practice at the 2010 Integral Theory Conference.

The Integral Theory Conference 2010. July 29 through August 1, 2010. Pleasant Hill, California.


A holon (Greek: ὅλον, holon neuter form of ὅλος, holos "whole") is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part.

"A new perspective on whole-part relationships is taking shape around the concept of the holon - a term coined by Arthur Koestler to designate that which is simultaneously a whole in its own right and a part of a larger whole. An atom is a whole in itself. When it is also part of a molecule it becomes a holon, or a whole-part. The molecule that is also part of a cell is a holon, as is the cell that is part of an organ, and so on. This hierarchy of relationships from the atom to the organism is known as a holarchy. The concepts of holon and holarchy are fundamental to understanding the healthy function of complex living systems, which requires that each of their whole-parts maintain its own identity and boundaries even as it functions as part of the larger whole."
(The Post-Corporate World by David C. Korten)

Individual holon
An individual holon possesses a dominant monad; that is, it possesses a definable "I-ness". An individual holon is discrete, self-contained, and also demonstrates the quality of agency, or self-directed behavior. [3] The individual holon, although a discrete and self-contained is made up of parts; in the case of a human, examples of these parts would include the heart, lungs, liver, brain, spleen, etc. When a human exercises agency, taking a step to the left, for example, the entire holon, including the constituent parts, moves together as one unit.

Social holon

A social holon does not possess a dominant monad; it possesses only a definable "we-ness", as it is a collective made up of individual holons. [4] In addition, rather than possessing discrete agency, a social holon possesses what is defined as nexus agency. An illustration of nexus agency is best described by a flock of geese. Each goose is an individual holon, the flock makes up a social holon. Although the flock moves as one unit when flying, and it is "directed" by the choices of the lead goose, the flock itself is not mandated to follow that lead goose. Another way to consider this would be collective activity that has the potential for independent internal activity at any given moment.

*Adapted from Wikipedia.

The Three Faces of Spirit

One of the ways to deepen the practice of seeking, receiving, and following divine guidance is to unpack our constructs of the Divine Source.

Integral Theory has a great practice to help open our perceptions of Source. It is called the The Three Faces of Spirit and can be found at:

Zones and Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP)

In addition to the five elements of integral theory, which comprise the basic foundation of the AQAL model, there is an another more advanced aspect that is important to mention. This aspect is less of a new element and more of a complexification of the first one (the quadrants). Each of the perspectives associated with the four quadrants can be studied through two major methodological families, namely from either the inside (i.e., a first-person perspective) or the outside (i.e., a third-person perspective). This results in eight distinct zones of human inquiry and research. These eight zones comprise what integral theory calls integral methodological pluralism (IMP), which includes such approaches as phenomenology (an exploration of first-person subjective realities), ethnomethodology (an exploration of second-person intersubjective realities), and empiricism (an exploration of third-person empirical realities). The above figure includes all eight zones and their respective labels.

Integral methodological pluralism operates according to three principles: inclusion (consult multiple perspectives and methods impartially), enfoldment (prioritize the importance of findings generated from these perspectives), and enactment (recognize that phenomenon are disclosed to subjects through their activity of knowing it). As a result of these commitments, integral theory emphasizes the dynamic quality of realities as being enacted through a subject using a particular method to study an object. That object can be a first-, second-, or third-person reality. For example, we can study first-person psychological realities as an object of investigation just as easily as we can study third-person biological realities.

- Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Ph.D. (2009). AN OVERVIEW OF INTEGRAL THEORY: An All-Inclusive Framework for the 21st Century. Integral Institute, Resource Paper No. 1, March 2009, pp.16-17.

Integral Theory

"Integral theory is an all-inclusive framework that draws on the key insights of the world’s greatest knowledge traditions. The awareness gained from drawing on all truths and perspectives allows the Integral thinker to bring new depth, clarity and compassion to every level of human endeavor — from unlocking individual potential to finding new approaches to global-scale problems." (From the Integral Institute Website)