What are you watching?


Cultural enfoldment = folding each other’s perspectives into our own. Often “shared cultural experiences” helps facilitate this :slight_smile:

Re-cohere = restore a basic sense of “coherence” within the community by remembering that, while we may have some fairly different views of the world, we are all here for essentially the same reasons :slight_smile:

As for your other questions, I personally find that the integral framework helps increase my enjoyment and appreciation of “earlier-stage” cultural products, because all of these stages are to some degree still alive within us. We cover some of this in our “Learn Integral By Watching Movies” episode, here:

Corey and Ryan take you on a cinematic journey through the stages of human development, using a series of 21 carefully-curated film clips to illustrate some of the most important qualities of each stage.

Why film clips? Simple — it’s fun! Plus, these clips are from some of the most popular films from the last 80 years, commonly-shared reference points that most of us are already familiar with. This gives us the opportunity to put together one of the most accessible, friendly, and entertaining ways to introduce these important ideas to newcomers.

And for those who are already familiar with integral thought and practice, this discussion will still be fascinating, fun, and occasionally moving, while also helping you more deeply contemplate the important difference between enjoying integral art and enjoying art integrally .

And as you watch, try to remember: all of this is actually happening inside of you. You may be viewing these film clips on a screen in front of you, but the stages we explore here are all alive within you right now, either as capacities you’ve already developed or as potentials that are waiting to be unleashed.

The Witness itself is the ultimate movie screen — the effortless, simple feeling of being behind all of our perceptions. All of this is just a fleeting dance of light, sound, and shadow projected within your consciousness against that empty, all-pervasive awareness.

So grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy this very special tour of your own inner theatre.


I like trains and was drawn in to The Railway Man w Collin Firth & Nicole Kidman last night. Not what I expected. Amazing Wake Up, Clean Up’er of a transformational watch.


I think it would be fascinating to do more work like this examining archetypal themes in other popular games:


I thought of a similar analysis of archetypes interacting with plot in the 1981 movie “Excalibur” but haven’t written it down, lol.


You missed my point entirely…
Perhaps some day you and Ryan will give your take on the film Network
which drives home exactly how I feel about the present film, television, sports, and game industry. If you find the excerpt below disturbing because you see it actually happening in 2021, good. And so, what are we going to do about it? What is the integral answer to this madness that we have become addicted to?


We talk specifically about Network at the 47:10 mark in the video I linked above :slight_smile:

Sorry if I missed your point. I was trying to respond to your question:

for those who have reached higher stages of spiritual and psychological development, do they find the industrial entertainment complex a rich source of narratives that are meaningful, thought provoking, and transformational hence worthy of the evolution of humanity? Why does the vast majority of people take pleasure in all manner of movies that depict wars, violence, rapes, corruption, fatal romances, stupidity and ignorance?

My answer is basically yes, I myself do continue to find the “industrial entertainment complex” to be a rich source of narratives, even if those narratives are themselves expressions of previous stages of being and becoming. As to why people watch films with war, violence, rape, corruption, etc., I think I tried to answer that as well – because the stages that produce those qualities are, in some way, still within us. They are certainly still among us, in terms of the larger human family. Plus, I don’t think these films are typically ABOUT these painful realities, as much as they are about overcoming these sorts of conflicts, and finding some sense of stage-appropriate meaning in response to them.

It is considerably harder to find integral-stage cultural artifacts that are totally fulfilling for people who are themselves at integral stages (beyond integrating previous stages), but they are out there, and Ryan try to identify a few of them ourselves in that episode.

Plus, I think there is tremendous value in allowing ourselves to set filters like these aside, and simply have fun with some of these films. Conan the Barbarian or Mad Max: Fury Road does not satisfy my integral 2nd-tier longing for meaning and sense-making. But I will still watch those movies any time they are on, simply because they are well-done and so much fun.


And then, of course, there are the multiple states of consciousness that these films evoke, which in many ways are more immediate and more universal than whatever meanings are also coming through the film. Whether these are emotional states such as fear, awe, inspiration, disgust, humor, etc., or whether those are spiritual states of consciousness (which are obviously much more rare, and yet sometimes some of our favorite films are carrying a spiritual transmission that the creator never actually intended in the first place), all of these remain vital parts of the tapestry of our daily lives, regardless of how “highly developed” we might be. And so of course we select art that is capable of evoking and sometimes even transforming these states.


Another episode that explores some of these themes:

The Art of Conscious Recreation

In this episode, 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. We are constantly taking in the symbolism and themes and ideas from our surrounding cultural artifacts and reconstructing them as reference points for our own thinking, which then shapes the way we interpret and make sense of the world, whether consciously or unconsciously.

We are re-creating ourselves time and time again every time we engage with our favorite films, music, books, television shows, etc. The goal here is to escape the cynically critical inertias of a culture that tends to define its tastes in negative space, and find a way to bring this ongoing cycle of re-creation into consciousness as much as we can — the art of conscious recreation.

After all, who among us doesn’t have both an inner Tiger King and an inner Ted Lasso living somewhere inside us?

Art is not inert, and our enjoyment of art is anything but passive. We have a deeply psychoactive relationship with our art and entertainment, often revealing territories within us that we never knew were there, and these psychoactive qualities largely depend on the kosmic address of both the artist and the observer. In this episode we hope to make some of these psychoactive properties a bit more noticeable, and demonstrate how integral perspectives can radically increase our enjoyment and appreciation of art and culture. It’s not just about enjoying integral art, but enjoying art integrally.

Topics include:

0:00 — The Art of Conscious Recreation
21:39 — Why Are We Talking About Entertainment?
29:31 — Grace and Grit: An Integral Appreciation
44:52 — Integral Art vs. Enacting Art Integrally
49:23 — The Spiritual Awakening of Nine Inch Nails
1:01:22 — Cutting Through Cynicism: Ted Lasso, Life Coach
1:05:50 — Looking Forward


Thanks for taking the time to share your Integral perspective at length on this subject, Corey.