In this remarkable exploration, Mark walks us through all of the main elements of Integral theory—using some of our favorite movies to illustrate the basics of the Integral approach, while noting how each of these elements has shaped the cinema experience since the invention of film itself. Not only does this series offer a wealth of perspective and insight to film, filmmakers, and audiences alike, but it also brings more color, more sound, and more awesome explosions to Integral thought and practice.
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 test of these evaluation criteria with the viewing of several motion pictures is summarized; the results suggest that several past and recent films demonstrate qualities that could be said to constitute an integral cinematic work.
Wayne Shorter, likely the greatest jazz composer since Thelonious Monk, was also one of the most influential tenor and soprano saxophonists in the post-John Coltrane period from the mid-1960s onward. His death on March 2, 2023, at the age of 89, marks the end of a musical life that spanned a panoply of styles and configurations, from hard bop to electronic fusion and funk to Brazilian and Caribbean to orchestral and the avant-garde, all suffused his own idiosyncratic melding of sounds and sensibilities which seemed to reach from the heat-center of the earth to the infinite expanses of the cosmos.
Barbara Hunt talks to host Stephen Banks about her personal musical journey, the different effects of major and minor chords in music, the One Taste of pain and suffering as it is expressed in our creative expression, and more.
What is art, at its most fundamental level? This is one of those perennial questions that we have been asking and re-asking at every stage of the human journey, from the first cave drawings all the way to the emergence of sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms like MidJourney that are once again blurring the lines between art, beauty, and perspective and forcing us to find new ways to answer this timeless question. Watch as Ken and Corey take a fun and fascinating look at the intersection between art, semiotics, and technology.
Filmmaker, life coach, and long-time Integral friend Jason Lange sits down with Corey deVos to talk about his new television series, Stuck in Development, now available on all major streaming platforms.
A stunning collection of hand-drawn imagery by Markus Pintzinger, detailing the evolutionary journey through the major stages of development (as depicted by Spiral Dynamics).
Corey deVos talks to Steve Banks about his integral approach to woodworking, and how he tries to transform beautiful ideas into beautiful art. Corey and Steve go on to have a robust discussion of integral art as a whole, as well as their shared appreciation for music.
The world premiere of Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio, composed by Steve Banks and performed on 14th May 2022, at St Giles’ Cripplegate, London.
Blue Pearl is an ground-breaking new oratorio for choir, four solo singers and orchestra. It is inspired by the writing of American mystical philosopher, Ken Wilber, and his Integral vision.
The intention of this paper is to explore using Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP) to construct a fictional, narrative story as part of a greater consideration into using the distinctions of Integral Theory in creating any kind of story or character driven work of art. The key component is using the mixed method information, especially the developmental knowledge, in combination with one’s own experience to make up the personality content of the characters and the moments of decision, discovery, and tension of the story; making sure to touch all the dimensions of the character’s life and the story’s world. The paper begins by discussing how and why IMP works for story creation, moving into a story I wrote using it. The second half of the paper is an in depth look at the process of locating and utilizing information and knowledge to craft the story, the characters and the relationships.
This article investigates music’s ability to facilitate flow states of consciousness as peak experiences. The research first uses two first-person methods, phenomenology and structuralism. The results of two second-person methods, hermeneutics and ethnomethodology, are then detailed. The final research section uses two third-person methods, empiricism and systems analysis. The empirical section utilizes a survey, while the systems analysis section investigates factors that contributed to the phenomenological research method. Results focus on tracking a conceptual understanding of the terms flow state and peak experience.
Brooke McNamara and Stephen Banks explore integral art as an expression of Integral spirituality, with its embrace of every dimension of our humanity. Includes a 20 minute performance combining Brooke’s poetry with excerpts from Steve’s Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio.
Stuart Davis talks to host Steve Banks about his own creative process, the central themes that inform his art, and how he unpacks the radical unknowable mystery at the center of the creative furnace. Stuart and Steve focus on two themes in particular: sex and death (aka eros and thanatos, creativity and destruction, the self-transcending and self-dissolving drives shared by all holons in the Kosmos). They also explore how these themes are all expressions of a single primordial creative lineage running through all of our human activities, and indeed through all manifestations in this universe.
Using Integral Theory as my framework, I explore the four quadrants or fundamental perspectives of reality with respect to writing. This consists of inquiry into the use of subjective, objective, intersubjective, and interobjective perspectives to better understand and express writing. My thesis is that together these interrelated perspectives comprise the whole writing space: an Integral writing space. I also identify three developmental levels within each quadrant (e.g., three increasingly complex subjective perspectives, objective perspectives, etc.). This results in a total of twelve unique perspectives that map the horizontal breadth and vertical depth of the territory of writing. I offer experiential exercises for each of these writing perspectives in order to help the reader recognize them. My conclusion is that each of these perspectives is already present within our experience and is vital for a comprehensive understanding and expression of writing.
Santiago Jimenez, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music producer, talks to host Steve Banks about his remarkable composition, The Journey of Sound Through the Stages, as well as the many influences and inspirations that went into its creation.
Steve Banks talks to Canadian Integral artist Gaia Orion about how she came to Integral, her experience of living an Integral lifestyle, and putting together exhibitions of Integral artists at the Integral European Conferences since 2016. Steve and Gaia go on to talk about three of Gaia’s exquisite paintings.
This isn’t another hyper-cognitive discussion of integral theory. This is more of a “perspectival yoga”, and we hope that by the time you have finished watching this episode you will be more familiar with these fundamental dimensions of your experience, right now in this very moment.
Corey deVos and Ryan Oelke explore how to more fully inhabit our art and entertainment. We tend to think of “recreation” as a passive activity, but we actually share an active symbiotic relationship with our art and entertainment, both personally and culturally. We create art, which in turn re-creates us.
In recent years, much of my creativity has been focused around my woodworking. It has become an all-consuming passion for me, and over the last year or so I have created a number of custom-designed carvings that try to bring integral ideas and iconography out of the abstract and into solid material form.
In this continuation of our “integral media” series, Ryan and Corey take another look at the major stages of human development, this time using a series of 33 video games in order to illustrate the qualities and characteristics of each stage. All of this allows you to not only observe these stages within you, but to actively inhabit, engage, and play with them as well.
Corey and Ryan take you on a cinematic journey through the stages of human development, a tour of your own inner theatre, using a series of 21 carefully-curated film clips to illustrate some of the most important qualities of each stage.
Julia Ormond interviews Sebastian Siegel at the 2020 Integral European Conference about the film adaptation of “Grace and Grit”. Bence Ganti facilitates with an introduction to Ken Wilber. They discuss book-to-film, acting, directing, producing, characters and set, filmming, and pivotal elements of production.
This article briefly outlines a general definition of art and the main approaches of art theory andpractice. It then illustrates how those approaches coherently fit together via the four quadrants of AQAL theory. The article concludes that Integral Art preserves the important truths of these approaches (while negating their more extreme versions). Therefore, nothing short of an Integral approach will suffice in both tuning artists to their fullest expression and reminding critics of their widest embrace.
We live in an infinitely creative universe — and with every passing moment we have the option to actively and consciously participate with that creativity. Watch as Ryan and Corey explore ways to more fully align ourselves with our own deepest source of beauty, inspiration, and creative emergence.
Corey is making these beautiful Four Quadrant carvings available by commission. Hand crafted in Corey’s workshop, these are available in a variety of beautiful and exotic hardwoods. Click through for more details.
Brooke McNamara weaves poetry and meditation in this moving presentation from the 2016 Relational Leadership Summit, exploring poetry as a transformational practice — “language being used to go beyond language.”
In this episode of The Ken Show we explore one of the oldest and, in many ways, most profound and consequential philosophical questions in history: what is the nature of “free will”, and is it ultimately just an illusion?
“Daemon” is a Greek word that, in classical mythology, refers to “a god within,” one’s inner deity or guiding spirit, also known as a genii or jinn, the tutelary deity or genius of a person; one’s daemon or genii is also said to be synonymous with one’s fate or fortune.
The soul of Star Trek isn’t optimism or idealism or a roadmap to utopia. All of those are byproducts of the actual moral core of the series: exploring post-conventional morality, and owning the consequences of decisions made from that stage.
Jeff is joined by Cindy Wigglesworth and Corey deVos, and together they dive deeply into the rich mythology and mysticism of the Star Wars universe — sharing their personal connection to Star Wars, their integral appreciation of its central themes and principles, and their best guesses as to where the Force may be taking us next.
Does the film Dunkirk qualify as integral art? What the hell is “integral art”, anyway?
Part mystic, part alien, part genius, and part octopus, Q was the perfect person to talk to about subjects that seem out of place in a conversation about djing. He’s delightfully bizarre and I knew talking with him would make for some great conversation. For me, interviewing him was a form of deity practice (how do you talk to a God about being God?) and I am genuinely appreciative for him allowing me to see through his eyes for a minute.
Hiphop is largely studied from the outside in. We enjoy the music, the art and the dance. We judge, argue, evaluate and rank it, but not much attention is paid to what happens inside the artist. The 4th Spinning is an attempt to look at Hiphop from an Integral perspective, which simply means exploring the inside-and-outside of individuals (behavior, psychology and spirituality), and the inside-and-outside of groups (culture and society), to not only understand but to manifest Hiphop in all of its fullness.
Can food be transformative? In this first-of-its-kind integral review of Michelin 3-star restaurant Joel Robuchon, Robb Smith explores why the world’s best dining has always been at the center of his aesthetic Integral Life Practice, and what integrative metatheory brings to a night at one of the world’s best restaurants.
Sutras is an hour-long musical meditation that includes spoken word pieces by Alex Grey, Ken Wilber, Lama Surya Das, Sally Kempton, and Alan Watts. A synaesthetic journey through gross, subtle, causal, and nondual realms. Sonic tonic for your aching body, mind, and soul. Liberation upon hearing.
In this fascinating New York Times Op-Doc, noted photographer Phil Toledano takes us on precisely this 3-year journey within himself, confronting all the various ways he can grow old, disease, wither, and die. At first blush it seems like Mr. Toledano’s project was custom-designed to address only his deep fears and neuroses. But don’t blink, or you might miss the ways his project speaks to what is universal in each of us.
Art is often the leading edge of cultural and conscious evolution, and jazz today continues to lead the way. Listen as Greg Thomas takes us through the history of jazz — from its roots in the magic, mythic and traditional interiors of African Americans at the turn of the last century, through the modern and postmodern strains of the mid and late 20th Century, to the more wild wooly contemporary scene.
There are few experiences in life as satisfying as the poetry of Jalal ad-Din Rumi, which for many is the spiritual equivalent of enjoying a piece of rich delicious chocolate, listening to Bach, or perhaps sipping a glass of fine red wine. In this extraordinary performance you will hear Rumi as you never have before — through the resonant, whiskey-and-syrup voice of Coleman Barks, a preeminent poet, scholar, and interpreter of Rumi’s work, and the music of Grammy-winning artist David Darling.
Ken Wilber explains how we can connect with the creative spark at the core of every moment, and how we can harness that creativity to manifest our own unique vision and purpose in our lives.
The first track from Stuart’s album, Songbook of the Dead .
Steve Beckett is the founder and owner of Warp Records, located at the epicenter of the electronic music revolution for decades. Founded in 1989, Warp has worked with some of the most groundbreaking and influential artists in the world: Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus, Autechre, Squarepusher, LFO, Nightmares on Wax, Boards of Canada, Brian Eno, and dozens of other electronic pioneers, all of whom have stretched our minds (and our eardrums) in ways we never imagined possible. Steve also happens to be an accomplished integral coach and a longtime fan of Ken Wilber’s work, as he discusses with host Stuart Davis.
The content of these marvelous works ranges vastly from the kosmic to the micro, from tantric beloved to sacred civics, from expansions of consciousness to reconfigurations of our three bodies.
The Kosmic Slop: a high-energy, hour-long odyssey through space, time, rhythm, and rhyme. An eclectic mix of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.
“Lets try an experiment. Feel into who You really are for a moment. Relax into You. Imagine we are holding a conversation and you are telling me all about You. You may start telling me about what you love, when you feel alive, or some of the rich life experiences you have had. You may end up telling me some of your story. As you speak, I am using every sensory faculty I can muster to feel into the fullness and freedom of who You really are. Im listening beyond the words you say. I’m stretching out to feel You. I’m also listening to God. Then, I feel you inside me as a cascade of colour and form: I sense the unique symphony of light and the quality of energy that is you and You alone.”
Empty Spaces is an 80-minute musical meditation, featuring Alex Grey, Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton, and Alan Watts. A soundtrack for Dark Nights. Liberation upon hearing.
“I used to do some research before creating an artwork, now I only “submerge” and begin working, knowing and trusting the magical force that operates this awesome universe. I make the analogy that I have never seen a bird taking a flying course, it comes with all the equipment and skills it needs to cross an ocean without fear of getting lost. I believe if we consider that our origin is beyond our human comprehension, then we need to trust our “heart’s compass”. At the end we are travelers passing by. As someone stated, “we are spiritual beings having a human experience”.
Alex Grey offers a riveting tour through some of his most significant works, offering unique insight into his creative process, his personal inspirations and influences, and his most profound psychedelic experiences.
For artist Michael Welch, the myth of being pierced by love’s arrow is an allegory of a shift in consciousness beyond one’s control, Desire taking hold and pointing one into Mystery. If we are too literal about the myth, he warns, the power of the arrow “loses its transformative power and becomes lethal.”
Diana Calvario’s art weaves stunning imagery of nature, culture, divine beings, dream states, macro and micro scales of order, into remarkable evocations of creative emergence. Within the Kosmic flows of nested holarchies, what might be the interactive, energetic, and meaningful interplays of these various elements? Calvario’s art shows us the ever emergent circuits of this dance, and does so with profound invention, beauty and grace. Hers is an art that has the unique power to rewire and enhance one’s integral soul—a great achievement and singular aesthetic gift.
“My work is an offering of my heart and an aspiration towards ever increasing strength, grace, joy and faith, a celebration of divine magic and infinite love and an expression of gratitude to the spirit that animates this cosmic dance.”
Grab a snack, turn off your phone, and enjoy this groundbreaking exploration of the cinematic arts.
Alex Grey and Ken Wilber take us on a breathtaking journey through five of Alex’s paintings — Gaia, Net of Being, Cosmic Christ, Light Walker, and Theologue — offering an intimate glimpse into the creative process, the nature of reality, and the unique capacity art possesses to awaken the viewer with a single glance.
Alex Grey and Ken Wilber take us on an intimate, in-depth tour through the seven panels of Grey’s “Nature of Mind”, discussing both the inspiration and the execution of the piece as well as Alex’s background, his growth as an artist, and his distinctive style of portraying the gross, subtle, and causal anatomies that we all possess.
This is a soundtrack for psychonauts, an adventure through shifting tones, textures, and soundscapes. Do not listen if you suffer from irrational fears of the future. Experiences of bliss, involuntary dancing, and spontaneous dropping of the bodymind are normal. If any of these symptoms persist, continue use and consult your metaphysician immediately.
We are very happy to present the following dialogue with a living legend of the jazz world: Pat Martino. Hosted by Greg Thomas, Pat shares some of the deepest depths of his inspiration, his vision, and his creative process, all of which has made him one of the most remarkable performers in the jazz scene.
Mark DeKay talks to Ken Wilber about his new book Integral Sustainable Design, exploring the world of architecture and design through the lens of the Four Quadrants. Listen as Mark and Ken explore the deepest and most profound potentials of Integral design and architecture.
Greg Thomas explores the fascinating intersection between the work of Albert Murray and Integral Theory.
In early May of 2011, Alex and Allyson Grey stopped by Ken’s loft for an afternoon of catch-up and conversation. This is a spontaneous iPad recording of the meeting, offering you a chance to sit in with some of the most important creative minds of our time.
Chris Huang’s art celebrates animals in the wild. His paintings reveal these creatures not as mirrors of our own humanity, but as radiant Others, at home in their Kosmic habitats, mysterious living beings of Spirit who are to be encountered in reverential awe and wonder.
From an integral perspective, the blues has many dimensions, from the personal to the bio-behavioral aspects of the individual, to the cultural and social dynamics of collectives. The blues can be experienced from an egocentric, ethnocentric, and world-centric value level or stage of development. We can view the blues as a musical or cognitive or aesthetic line of intelligence or development also, and even as a philosophical proposition—an existential response to life in the late-19th through the 20th century.
Kelli Bickman’s art is characterized by vivid shapes, dynamic patterning, minimal modeling, and luminous color, all of which generates a childlike style of directness and immediacy. This is an art that weaves together religious, natural, and popular imagery, written characters from various languages, archetypal figures, and diagrammatic signs into coherent communicative wholes. Diverse modes of symbolization are integrated into scintillating orders of revelatory meaning.
Coleman Barks and Stuart Davis explore the powerful cultural and spiritual legacy left by one of the world’s most famous and most beloved spiritual writers, as well as Coleman’s own creative process as he works with this fascinating material.
How should we go about finding meaning in art? Should we ask the artist herself, or is everything we need to understand a piece of art already contained in the artwork itself? Does meaning exist only in the observer, thereby varying from viewer to viewer? Or is the meaning of art determined by the circumstances surrounding the artist? Listen as Ken Wilber describes each of these major schools of interpretation, how they originated, and how they all fit together into a more cohesive vision of art and aesthetics.
“I open myself to all experience as a path to remembering divinity. In my desire to share my experiences along this path, I paint that which I find difficult to express in words. May you find yourself feeling invited into experience.”
De Es’s art de-familiarizes our taken for granted sense of what it means to be human. Please take your time to allow these subtle and profound images to crack your soul wide open to the sheer mystery and extraordinary gifts of being here now, just as you are.
Whether or not Albert Murray’s thought and frameworks of analysis are Integral remains to be seen and decided by Integral readers and scholars; however, what’s indisputable is his deeply pluralistic and interdisciplinary approach to knowledge. A prime example, in which he elaborates definitions of art and aesthetic statement, follows.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the figure beautifully rendered and by pattern and decoration. In my new work, I focus on these two interests: my figure studies are given a context within the designs found in erotic Japanese “Shunga” prints, Persian miniatures and the pattern traditions of Eastern Art: realism and pattern/Eastern and Western aesthetics.”
Ken Wilber is the Olo’eyktan of the AQ’AL clan. He is the teller of many tales, all of which can be accessed at your local Tree of Souls. Here he offers a long-awaited review of James Cameron’s sci-fi blockbuster, Avatar! (Warning: spoilers…!)
“My art is a true expression of the creativity that lives inside of me. This creativity is a gift, and I am honored to have been chosen for it. My hope is that my art identifies with the creativity that lives within you, and that it somehow inspires you to seek your creative self.”
“An Artist romps around in the mystery like a child plays alone in his own backyard, imagining and making up his own rules and reality. An Artist romps around in the mystery like an animal roams the woods, curious and wide-eyed and alert. An Artist romps around in the mystery like an explorer traversing an unknown land, excited, careful and fully alive.”
Alain de Botton and Stuart Davis discuss the many ways architecture affects our moods, minds, and identities, shaping our experiences and bending our will according to the patterns of society. Together they help us recognize all the ways we are influenced by our surroundings, allowing us to deepen our relationship with history and more consciously engage our environment in the present moment.
Zach Lind from Jimmy Eat World offers a fascinating glimpse into some of the inspiration behind the band’s distinctive sound, as well as a personal tour through his own upbringing in a conservative Baptist household. He and Ken then discuss an Integral approach to understanding spirituality, religion, and fundamentalism, paving the way forward for Christianity in the 21st Century. Zach and Ken also talk about his experiences touring with bands like Green Day and Blink 182, expanding Jimmy Eat World’s already distinctive sound in the studio, and balancing his stardom with his life at home as a husband and a father.
Jim James and Ken Wilber discuss the spectacular rise of My Morning Jacket, examining the circumstances and intentions behind each of their albums, tracking the band’s career from their humble beginnings to their latest forays into rock stardom. They take a look at the personal side of Jim’s career, exploring some of the more difficult aspects of maintaining one’s relationships, sanity, and integrity amidst the mania of the rock and roll lifestyle, and reflect on the role that rock music often plays as the primary source of spiritual experience and connection for a great many people in the world.
Saul Williams talks to Ken Wilber about his album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust. Listen as they take an in-depth look at many of the songs on the album, while discussing Saul’s creative process and his experience of live performance.
Few bands in recent history have done more to express idealism and authenticity in music than Pearl Jam. In this far-reaching interview with guitarist Stone Gossard, we are offered an insider’s view of the gritty origins of grunge music, the iconic rise of the “most popular band of the 90’s,” and the struggles of maintaining one’s artistic ideals in the vertigo of sudden fame.
For two decades, Steve Whitmire has served as the performer behind the world’s beloved Kermit the Frog as well as other famous Muppets and Sesame Street characters. In this two-part dialogue, he discusses the impact the Integral vision has had upon his own life, career, and creativity, and opens the door to a possible future of explicitly Integral puppetry….
Seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette takes us on a tour of her life and career by sharing how the threads of her life have increasingly come together into one integral tapestry — where once there may have been jagged fragments, we can now see conscious and playful entanglement with all of life.
The co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender, one of the most entertaining — and enlightening — animated shows on television, shares the story behind Avatar and why working on Family Guy just wasn't enough.
The creator of some of the most transcendent art of our time explores why it is necessary to go beyond the faded postmodern milieu of today’s art world, how psychedelics can play a role in discovering and manifesting one’s deeper realms of being, and how the “two kinds of higher” can impact artists and their work.
Ken Wilber, Ed Kowalczyk, and Stuart Davis met at the Ken Wilber’s house in Boulder for a special meeting focusing on Integral Art and Transformative Practice. What followed was an afternoon of vibrant discussion and electrifying performances, centered on the themes: What is the relation of art and transformation? How can art be part of an integral transformative practice?
Rick Rubin, MTV’s “most important white boy in hip-hop,” has produced some of the most influential and creative albums of the past two decades with artists like The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Slayer, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Nine Inch Nails, Audioslave, Jay-Z, Saul Williams — and the list just keeps on going. Here Rick and Ken discuss why truly great music almost always transcends our concepts of genre, before waxing philosophic about rock, romance, and the potential perils of paternity….
Listen as Julia Ormond talks to Ken Wilber about her experiences as an actress, as well as the psychotherapeutic work and “ordeal by vulnerability” that is intrinsic to an art that derives its prima mater from the fertile ground of the actor him/herself….
The Matrix trilogy is the most successful cinematic venture of the past several decades — together, all three films have grossed over three billion dollars worldwide, an impressive accomplishment within any genre (let alone science fiction.) The attention of audiences worldwide has certainly been captured by the mind-bending storyline and phenomenal special effects, but the perennial question remains: What does it all mean?
Ed Kowalczyk, the lead singer and songwriter for the acclaimed rock band Live, talks with Stuart Davis about music, creativity, and performance as a powerful form of spiritual practice — a means to transcend self and contact Self.
Serj Tankian, lead singer of System of a Down, talks to Ken Wilber about the intersection between art and politics, discussing some of the most important aspects of his life that contribute to the “post-everything” bouquet of sound that is System of a Down.
Integral Life has, as one of its primary concerns, the resurrection of the avant garde—the idea, the movement, and the practice. In this far-reaching, sharp, and insightful dialogue, Billy Corgan and Ken discuss the nature and meaning of the avant garde, using Billy’s own career as a touchstone for the discussion.
When Ken and Saul first met, they talked nonstop for four hours, only interrupted because Saul had a gig. All Ken said about that meeting was, “That might be the most beautiful human being I’ve ever met.” This isn’t that conversation, but it’s still pretty awesome. Please join us in sitting with this extraordinary soul….
In this intimate discussion of the heart of a rock and roll (that actually has heart), Eddie talks about how the very essence of an authentic performance is awakening and sharing with the audience a glimpse into that oneness that is everybody’s natural condition. If you don’t think rock and roll can do this, you haven’t heard Live.
In this classic dialogue — so classic, in fact, it is the very first dialogue we ever published! — Stuart Davis discusses his music and creative process in intimate detail and offers an intimate performance of 8 of his songs, including a incredibly touching version of “Swim”, based on the death of Treya Killam Wilber.