oday’s guest, Sebastian Siegel, is the screenwriter and director of the upcoming movie, Grace and Grit. The film tells the true love story of iconic, Integral philosopher Ken Wilber and his wife Treya. Based on the acclaimed book that chronicles Treya’s journals, they fall madly in love in 1980’s California and are immediately faced with illness and challenges that tear them apart. They overcome by finding a connection beyond this world, and love beyond life.
The film stars Mena Suvari and Stuart Townsend as Treya and Ken, and features supporting performances by Frances Fisher, Rebekah Graf, Nick Stahl, and Mariel Hemmingway.
In our conversation, Sebastian, who is an integral practitioner, friend, and long-time fan of Ken’s work, talks in depth about many elements of making the film from writing, development, and casting, to directing, storytelling, and production, and his overriding mission to serve not just this epic love story, but also the emergence of Integral consciousness itself.
Sebastian Siegel is author of the book, “The Consciousness Revolution”, and is the creator of two documentaries: “Awakening World” and “Spirit of Evolution.” You can find out more about Grace and Grit at the movie’s website, Sebastian’s instagram account. , and his website.
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Ken Wilber’s acclaimed and globally popular book, Grace and Grit, has been made into a feature film starring Mena Suvari and Stuart Townsend, with Frances Fisher, Rebekah Graf, Nick Stahl, and Mariel Hemingway – produced, written, and directed by Sebastian Siegel. The film adaptation explores Ken and Treya’s courage, commitment, transcendence… and their discovery of love beyond life.
Just ten days after their wedding, before they really had a chance to begin their life together, Treya was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. For the next five years, Treya and Ken did everything they possibly could to recover from this devastating illness, including a full arsenal of orthodox and alternative treatments, before Treya’s life came to an untimely end in 1989. This is their story. It’s a story of incredible suffering, of radical liberation, and of an ever-present love that transcends time and space itself—a love that reaches so far beyond life and death, both seem like very small things in comparison. It is one of the greatest love stories ever told, and once you’ve heard it, you will never be the same again. Includes 3.5 hours of discussion.
The Ken Wilber Biography Series is available for free to all supporting members of Integral Life.
About Sebastian Siegel
Sebastian Siegel is a British-American screenwriter, director, author, and actor from Oxford, England. He often credits gratefulness to theatre, zen, rigorous exercise, authors Alan Watts, Ken Wilber, James Hollis, other philosophers and artists, and friend and mentor James Whitmore.
About Jeff Salzman
Jeff Salzman worked with Ken Wilber for several years in building the Integral Institute. He is a co-founder of Boulder Integral, the first bricks-and-mortar venue dedicated to the development of integral consciousness. These days Jeff provides integrally-inspired commentary on politics and culture on Integral Life and The Daily Evolver.