Integral Cinema Studio: A Comprehensive Guide to the Cinematic Experience

Mark Allan KaplanAesthetic, Art & Creativity, Audio, Cognitive, Conversations, Perspectives

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ark Allan Kaplan has been curating a groundbreaking integral project, something he calls the Integral Cinema Studio. In this remarkable exploration, Mark and Ken walk 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.

This dialogue serves as a wonderful introduction to the major elements of integral theory. For those already familiar with the Integral model, this is a nice opportunity to both revisit your understanding of integral theory and to see how it can be applied to just about any interest, activity, or pursuit that you may have.

Either way, Integral Cinema Studio is a terrific way to deepen and enrich your own experience of film, simply by recognizing some of the deeper patterns and perspectives running through your favorite movies that you may not have recognized before.

All of the elements of the Integral model are present in our awareness right now; Integral theory simply points to all the various aspects and dimensions that shape our experience of this present moment. It’s therefore no surprise that we can see all of these elements reflected in various characters, conflicts, and stories throughout the history of film. Of course, whether the film-makers themselves actually intended this, or just intuited it, is another question–and to some degree inconsequential to the beauty and profundity we experience when these ideas and perspectives come to life on the big screen.

What’s more, this discussion and blog series promises to inspire a whole new generation of writers and filmmakers. It’s not just how you express these perspectives, ideas, and insights — Integral Art does not require you to represent all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, etc. in your work (though all of these elements are implicitly present in every piece of art). Rather, it’s about whether you are able to account for all of these in your own awareness, thereby allowing you to draw from a far richer, more colorful, and more comprehensive pallet of human experience.

So grab a snack from the concession stand, turn off your phone, and enjoy this groundbreaking discussion between Mark Allan Kaplan and Ken Wilber.

As you listen to this conversation, you can use the Notes app in the bottom-left corner of your screen to record any reflections that may come up for you.

Growing Up: A Guided Tour

Watch as Ken Wilber and Corey deVos offer a guided tour through each of the major stages on the Path of Growing Up — an exploration of your own greatest, deepest potentials — and offer some simple practices to help you actualize those potentials.

Because these stages are so difficult to point to in our immediate experience, we’ve compiled a series of short clips from some very popular films, each of which demonstrates some aspect of that stage — the view from that stage, the values of that stage, or the general leadership styles associated with that stage — offering some well-known cultural reference points to help flesh out our understanding of these stages of growth and development. Includes clips from classic films such as Casablanca, Jurassic Park, Network, The Matrix, Mad Max: Fury Road, and many others.

Mark Allan Kaplan

About Mark Kaplan

Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D. is a Transdisciplinary Artist, Filmmaker, Researcher, Consultant, Educator and Media Psychologist focusing on Integral, Transpersonal, and Transformative approaches to Art, Media, and Spirituality. Mark is currently exploring various applications of Integral Theory, including the research and development of an Integral approach to cinematic media theory and practice.

Ken Wilber

About Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.