Grace and Grit: Your response to the film

The Grace and Grit film releases on Friday, June 4th! If you’ve watched the film, we invite you to share your own reflections and reviews bellow.


What about talk that will mess it up for someone who hasnt yet seen it? The movie ending didnt match what I was hoping for but I dont want to go further into details.

I guess I can say that they showed the wrong book early when Ken is sitting outside at a campus autographing a book, ‘A Sociable God’. Problem is the book they show is a later edition, not the 1st edition that should have been there at that time.

So, Corey, how to deal with the spoiler issue?

I added a spoiler warning to the top post :slight_smile:

Also, if you hit the gear icon in the editing menu, you should see “Hide Details”, which let’s you do this:


I loved the movie.

Thanks Corey.
The movie was not a tour de force in any category, but more about that later.

Naturally it was the ending, always the ending. From the book, Ken’s lesson with Treya was clear, and the movie just missed it. Completely. (Or I missed it with my poor computer speakers. ugh) From the book. P 408 1st edition:
"And there, there it was; that was exactly why she had so insistently asked me to promise that I would find her. (That’s where the movie left it.) It wasn’t that she needed me to find her, it was that, through my promise to her, she would therefore find me and help me, yet again, and again, and again. I had it all backwards. I thought my promise was how I would help her, whereas it was actually how she would reach and help me again, and again, and forever again, as long as it took for me to awaken…"

So the movie doesnt reflect Ken’s retroflective awareness about the meaning of his relationship with Treya. This seems so pivotal to the arc of the story, I hope someone tells me it was in the movie and I need new speakers.


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Grace and Grit was truly enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the use of Stuart Davis’ song Nicola.

Here’s an appreciation I wrote last night after watching, and sent to Sebastian.

I just finished watching. What a blessing, Sebastian — all I can say is thank you so much for bringing this into the world. It is such a beautiful tribute to Treya, to Ken, and most notably to the love that they shared.

Hearing Ken’s voice at the end turned me into a puddle. Now all I want to do is drive down to Denver to give him a big hug and tell him how much I love him. This movie actually makes me feel closer to Ken, and that alone is such a gift. So thank you for that.

It really strikes me how much this movie was set within that invisible 2nd-person "betweenness” that Ken and Treya had, and how rare it is to see that so well executed in film. Mena and Stuart were both perfect in their roles, I honestly cannot imagine better casting. But beyond their individual performances, it was that chemistry between them that really made this movie so special, and such a fitting shrine to Ken and Treya’s love.

I also really appreciate and admire your directing. It felt to me like the film unfolded as a series of memories, assembled in a purposeful way. Which is evocative of the book itself, of course, as a series of journal entries assembled and edited in order to tell a story that would be meaningful for other people. So I appreciated that as an homage to the original book.

But it was also evocative of something far deeper and nearer, the Ground of Being itself. The directing style seemed to reflect one of Ken’s lines in the film:

“Perhaps you, like most people, feel that you are basically the same person you were yesterday. You probably also feel that you are fundamentally the same person you were a year ago. Put another way: you never remember a time when you weren’t you. In other words, something in you seems to remain untouched by the passage of time. Your mind, your body, your feelings, all have changed with time. But you know that something has not changed. Something feels the same.”

This film evokes a similar state for me. We are all different people at different moments in our lives, and yet we know that “something seems to remain untouched by the passage of time”. This movie reveals the parts of us that are touched, and the parts that remain forever untouched.

Postmodern movies are self-referential. Post-postmodern movies like this one are Self-referential. The directing style seems to be holding a mirror to consciousness itself and how we remember our own lives (not to mention how we remember our favorite films). Not as a linear sequence from A to B to C like an Avengers movie, but as a poetic flow of contrasting scenes, feelings, interactions, and tones, all constellated by our own interior patterns of meaning-making and projected onto the empty screen of Witness consciousness.

This is how the film presented itself to me, as a purposeful series of shifting memories – and behind and between every scene, both Love and Ground shine forth. Every scene, every transition, every fade-to-black and fade-to-white is lit with Radiant Emptiness.

Love and transcendence. Death and liberation. Passionate equanimity. These are the central themes of Grace and Grit that caused so many people to fall in love with the book, and I am so satisfied with how they come through in this film.

Absolutely loved this Sebastian, it’s a precious gift you just gave, an absolutely stunning tribute to Treya, to Ken, to Love, and to Ground.

Congratulations to you and to everyone involved in bringing this story to life. You’ve helped make this world just a bit more beautiful, more loving, and more wise than it was before.


PS - It was jarring to hear a Stuart Davis song coming out of someone who did not have Stu’s famous “Queen: News of the World” face. But I get it, you can’t have too many bald-headed ectomorphs in one movie. :slight_smile:

SPOILER: I will be referring here to some particular scenes in the movie.

I thought the movie was perfectly cast, and Mariel Hemingway was a joy to behold, even though her character was only briefly on screen. But I have known people like that! and she played it so well, with the perfect amount of flamboyance and grandiosity, and callous dismissal of her clients other than the one she was ingratiating towards, trying hard to impress. Bravo Mariel.

The early scenes of the close-ups of the face-to-face romantic encounters between Ken and Treya were so intimate and well-shot, I felt the vulnerability and ‘nakedness’ of the two (who were fully clothed); so intimate and well-done were these scenes that I felt a little embarrassed, as if I were intruding. Silly me, close to blushing. Bravo to all involved in creating that!

I am a big fan of heavy-handed symbolism when it’s done well, and I thought the scenes of Ken underwater were really powerful. Perhaps I was projecting, but there was one scene when he surfaced and the expression on Stuart’s face was so profoundly capturing of a multitude of thoughts, feelings, aware-nesses that it spoke “Ken Wilber” (or my sense of Ken Wilber) with near-perfection. Drowning in pain, being dragged into the unconscious, and fully aware of both, and fully aware one is (at least temporarily) unable to do a damn thing about it. It was the scene that best captured for me my sense of Ken as both ordinary human being and beyond ordinary human being. I experienced it as a powerful “holy moment” in the movie. Bravo Stuart.

The scene of Ken and Treya in Ken’s office, with Treya and the newspaper, was so real! based upon my own experiences in partnership. Sometimes we are just so wise at an unconscious level, knowing that the only way to bring tensions to a head and get beyond them, move things forward, recapture the best of our maturity, is to be childish–stubborn, rebellious, selfish. I loved that scene! reflecting as it did an aspect of our psychological nature so well.

While I had major identifications with Treya as presented in the movie, and also throughout the book, none is more meaningful than the kinship I felt with her when she spoke those repetitive dying words: “I am so ______________.” I want to go that way too, and believe that with ongoing grace and grit in my own life, perhaps I will. My visions tell me so. Mena was just absolutely superb throughout the film, I thought, but this last scene is the one that had me “in the puddle.”

Thank you to everyone involved in this beautiful movie, which was quite meaningful on personal, psychological, and spiritual levels and has so many teaching moments for many people about so many things, without ever showing an obvious intent to do so. Absolutely loved Stuart Davis’ final song, “Nicola” which was remarkably germane and touching. Thank you Ken Wilber for sharing so much of yourself with us.