Integral Movie Nights


Every Tuesday we watch and discuss an integral movie in Zoom. Check the calendar of upcoming screenings and sign up for the next event here

Some Movies are multi-level, some show characters at different levels clashing with each other, some show how characters are transforming from one level to the next over a longer period of time (e.g. “Groundhog Day” and “7 Years in Tibet”).
You may also recognize if characters do better integration by becoming healthier at their level, e.g. Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets”, or if they truly go through a transformation which usually takes many years.
If you have additional suggestions, please share them with me in the format below (and say why you suggest them).

If you only watch two Movies I suggest “Cloud Atlas” (also a great book) and “American Beauty”.

Module 1 – her

The four dimensions of relating


“her” is a great movie to better feel into and understand why balancing and harmonizing the the interior, exterior, individual, and collective dimensions of love are so vital for a healthy Integral love relationships, and why it is also important to be at the same level of consciousness and emotional development, which we will cover in upcoming modules.

Close to the beginning, a voice asks a “simple question”. “Who are you? What can you be? Where are you going? What’s out there? What are the possibilities?” They then introduce the first artificially intelligent operating system, an intuitive entity that listens to you, understands you, and knows you. It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness. It’s OS1. Subsequently, the main protagonist Theodore, falls in Love with the “intelligent” computer voice (Scarlett Johansson) who becomes increasingly conscious and (spoiler alert!!!!) eventually exceeds his level of development.

Synopsis: A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage ends, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He starts the program and meets “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson), whose bright voice reveals a sensitive, playful personality. Though “friends” initially, the relationship soon deepens into love.

Module 2 – Into the Wild

Survival, magic, and power in love relationships

Every Tuesday we watch a movie that is aligned with the training module of that week.
Join us to watch “Into The Wild”, which is based on the true story of “Alexander Supertramp” (as he calls himself), written by Jon Krakauer and directed by Sean Penn. I chose it for Module 2, as we see the young traumatized main character regress from a (possibly) Green Pluralistic, to the Beige/Infrared Archaic pure survival stage.
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 in savings to charity, and eventually hitchhikes to Alaska to “live off the land” in the wilderness where he eventually perishes.
Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters at different levels of first-tier consciousness that shape his perspectives on life.

Module 3 – Groundhog Day

Mythic conformism and modern rationality in love relationships

In this transformational movie, we see Phil (Bill Murray) growing from his Egocentric to a Mythic/Greenish level of consciousness, awakening from the gross to the subtle level of spiritual awareness, and advancing from only living his biological purpose to identifying and enacting his transcendental purpose of creating more beauty and goodness (not truth and functionality) to win the heart of Rita (Andie MacDowell).
Join us for new insights during, and discussions after the movie. 

Module 4 – Same Time, Next Year

Postmodern pluralistic sensitivity in love relationships

In Same Time, Next Year, a married man and a married woman end up sleeping with each other, and decide to meet at the same place every year on the anniversary of their one-night stand. As the years go by, they observe changes in each other and their relationship.

Module 5 – American Beauty

Integral and transpersonal love relationships

This is one of the most integral movies and highly recommended if you want to understand levels of consciousness development. On the surface, it is about the breakdown and disintegration of a middle-class American family. We will see how people with five different worldviews (magical, egocentric, conformist, rational, and pluralistic) get into irresolvable conflicts with each other, and how an Integral person critically embraces them all.

Module 6 – Gandhi

Compassionate communication

I sometimes say (half)-jokingly that if I would be King of the World, everyone would have to watch the movie Gandhi twice a year.
Steven Covey turned me on to Gandhi in the late 90’s. Reading his Biography “Gandhi: A Life” by Yogesh Chadha was instrumental for my transition into the Green Pluralistic stage of development. Winning eight Oscar’s, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Ben Kingsley), Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing, the life of the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent protest is a deeply inspiring movie and fitting for our Module #6: Non-Violent Communication.



Module 7 – The Invention of Lying

Need-Based communication

As an Integral Relationship writer/author, and my primary Love Language being words, I am naturally interested in concepts such as belief, knowing, truth, honesty, truthfulness, rightness, validity, communication, understanding, agreement, intimacy (in-to-me-you-see) and how they impact our love relationships, and their opposites such as untruths and lying.
So “The Invention of Lying”, which is a painfully half-romantic comedy that touches on these and other subjects like the primary fantasies, is right down my alley.

Some of the questions we may explore after watching the movie include:
– What would happen if we would always truthfully share what we think and feel, and never lie or be untruthful?
– What happens if we truly believe things that are not true?
– What is truth anyway and how can we know it?
– Why do people believe different things to be true?
– Why do we lie?
– Are white lies OK?
– Does lying serve some purpose, such as being kind or not hurting others?
– Do we really want others to be totally honest?
– Is radical honesty the best way to go through life and creating a better world?
– Should we only say what is true, truthful, kind, and necessary?


Module 8 – The Imitation Game

Integral and transpersonal communication

Join us to watch and discuss this fascinating movie about Alan Turing (1912 – 1954), a mathematical genius who is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. In it, we see many examples of relational and communicational challenges.
During World War II, Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with the help from fellow mathematicians by building what was later called “a computer”.
Considered by some to have been autistic (Asperger’s syndrome) he proposed an experiment that became known as the Turing test, an attempt to define a standard for a machine to be called “intelligent”. The idea was that a computer could be said to “think” if a human interrogator could not tell it apart, through conversation, from a human being.

Module 9 – The Red Pill

Biological Differences and Learned Gender Roles

The Red Pill chronicles the journey of feminist filmmaker Cassie Jaye from San Anselmo, CA (near Santa Rosa, CA were I lived for 20 years), following the mysterious and polarizing Men’s Rights Movement, that was Godfathered by my friend Warren Farrell, author of the “The Myth of Male Power: Why Men are the Disposable Sex” (1993) and several other related books. The Red Pill explores today’s gender wars and asks the question “what is the future of gender equality?”
For a detailed article see:

Module 10 – Little Miss Sunshine

Avoiding the Fear – Shame Downward Spiral

Let’s watch a comedy with elements of the Fear-Shame spiral. In Little Miss Sunshine, a somewhat dysfunctional multigeneration family is determined to get their young daughter into the finals of the “Little Miss Sunshine” beauty pageant. They embark on a 800 Mile (1300 km) trip in their yellow VW bus from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Redondo Beach, California.
On one side, this is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. On the other side, it shows the struggle of the men, including their shame, to succeed professionally, and the fears of the two female characters in the movie around safety and beauty.

Module 11 – The Tree Of Life

Feminine-Masculine Polarities

The Tree Of Life (2011):
This is one of these slow and at times confusing movies that I could not get out of my head after I saw it the first time, and I have watched it several times since then.
After some thought, I decided to offer it for movie night, because it fits our Feminine-Masculine, Spiritual, Anima-Animus Complex and other Modules.

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American experimental epic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and featuring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. The film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man’s childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the known universe and the inception of life on Earth. The eldest son (Jack/Sean Penn) witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents’ conflicting teachings.
My biggest take-aways from the movie are how our childhood experiences, especially in relationship to our close family, forms who we are as adults and the existential questions that it raises.
It also shows conflicts between the Mythic Blue/Amber and Rational Orange stage, and a “patriarchal marriage”.

Module 12 – I Heart Huckabees

Spiritual Development

This chaotic, funny, and thought-provoking spiritual/philosophical comedy will give us much food for introspection and discussion. The plot follows a pair of “existential” detectives (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin), who are hired to investigate the meaning of the life of their clients (Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg, and Naomi Watts). It is in the widest sense reminiscent of integral theory and evolutionary enlightenment with its psychospiritual developmental ideas. As the different investigations cross paths, their rival and nemesis (Isabelle Huppert) tries to drag their clients into her own “nihilistic and cynical” views that life is nothing but “cruelty, manipulation and meaninglessness” and is to be lived by surrendering to the now (reminiscent of Eckhart Tolle). At the end of the movie, the potential of a synthesis of these two opposing views emerges. There are interesting “behind the scene” videos on youtube.

Module 13 – Bliss

Sexual Development

Bliss (1997) totally mesmerized me, as it touches on so many issues that we already covered and will address going forward in our training, including sexual development, tantra, sexual abuse, shadow, trauma, personality disorders, jealousy, anima/animus, healing, growth, awakening, and the 7 chakras. At times it felt that the script was written just for us. 
Bliss tells the story of a couple that is in love but has many challenges, especially with their sex life. Within six months, they’re telling their problems to a therapist (Spalding Gray), who uses a traditional psychoanalytic approach. In addition, Maria (Sheryl Lee) is sneaking to secret sessions with a sex therapist named Baltazar (Terence Stamp), who “operates on the edge of the law.” Her husband Joseph (Craig Sheffer) finds out. After an initial hostility towards Baltazar that discloses that he is better at hiding things than his wife (go figure), he also becomes a client to learn about sex as bliss (which is nine on Baltazar’s personal scale) and not orgasm (which is down around four). Eventually, the two therapists meet and gain important information that validates each of their approaches Maria and Joseph heal and deepen their relationship.

Module 14 – Marriage Story

Anima Animus Complex Development

In Marriage Story, a stage director and his actor wife struggle through a gruelling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.

Module 15 – Love Actually

Love Languages

Let’s have some fun with this classic by identifying the Love Languages and guessing the Enneagram types (I know we are normally not supposed to do that in real life), as we follow the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales, all set during a frantic month before Christmas in modern London, England.
My perspective on Love Actually has changed (or matured) over the years. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a fun, entertaining, and at times touching movie.
But it also painfully shows the misguided shallow notion that all it takes to enter into a happy relationship is to muster up the courage to say “I love you”. Similar to “He’s Just Not That Into You” and other similar movies, the protagonists have nothing visibly in common such as values, interests, or passions, beyond having a (hormonal) crush on each other and being in a rational stage of development. Other things that I more critically notice now are the objectification of women, sexist references to the people’s weight, suggestions and attempts to repress feelings, and the strange “relationship” between Peter and his best friend’s new wife. The movie is also subtly Anti-American.

Module 16 – Winnie the Pooh

Enneagram Types

While searching for honey, Pooh and his friends embark on an adventure to find Eeyore’s missing tail and rescue Christopher Robin from an unknown monster called The Backson.
As always, we will discuss the movie and its implications for our love relationships in depth afterwards.


The Enneagram According to Pooh:

The Enneagram in the Movies (and a little TV):

Other Enneagram Movies:

Module 17 – As Good As It Gets

Attachment Styles

Fitting with our current modules on “Personality Disorders” and “Love” in Training #1 and “Communication” in Training #2, join us to watch the Oscar winning “laugh out loud” classic “As Good As It Gets” with Helen Hunt (Carol) and Jack Nicholson (Melvin).
See how bonding with his neighbor’s dog and falling in love with Carol transforms the obsessive-compulsive, egocentric, cynic, manipulative wordsmith Melvin to become more compassionate, let down his guard, and confess to Carol “you make me want to be a better man”. In turn, we see how she struggles with setting healthier boundaries and communicating her needs.
Let’s discuss the states (from lust/desire to commitment), forms (intimacy, passion, dependence), and capacity to love that they experience, and if we think their romance has the potential for a healthy love relationship.

Module 18 – Prince of Tides

The Unconscious

The film stars director Barbra Streisand as a New York psychiatrist who treats an emotionally scarred woman who tried to commit suicide, and her twin brother, played by Nick Nolte in an Oscar-caliber performance, as an unemployed, aimless and miserably married football coach. As they work together to solve the mysteries of their troubled pasts, they fall in love and find new meaning in life. The Prince of Tides supports our Module #18, in which we explore how anger and fear-based fight-flight-freeze reactions to our partner’s reality protect underlying vulnerable childhood wounds that, if unhealed, ultimately prevent us from deepening intimacy (in-to-me-you-see) in our love relationships through ongoing learning, healing, growing and awakening to live our purpose.

Module 19 – Good Will Hunting

Healing our Shadow

In Good Will Hunting, we see that knowledge without experience is blind, and how unresolved shadow and attachment issues limit our ability for empathy, intimacy, and living our transcendental purpose.
In the movie, the young immature genius (Matt Damon) lives in a small world where he can seemingly solve any problem with his mind, but lacks any real-life experiences outside his bubble, and struggles with his unconscious daemons.
After getting into trouble with the law again, he is assigned to a therapist (Robin Williams) to deal with his anger and emotional dissociation issues. After he falls in love with his “soul-mate” he is further challenged to overcome his anxious-avoidant attachment issues. As Williams works with the young man, he is transformed as well.

Module 20When Harry Met Sally

States of Falling in Love

Join Martin to watch and discuss this classic, beautiful, brainy, touching, and revealing romantic comedy. We will see college graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) discuss whether men and women can ever truly be strictly platonic friends, and 10 years later trying to form a friendship without sex becoming an issue between them.

Module 21 – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Personality Disorders

Our movie this week is about Module 20 “States of Falling in Love” with a person who has a “Personality Disorder” (Module 21) and the stages of decline of such relationships.
We see introverted and anxious Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) falling in love with free-spirit Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet).
Though she’s never given a mental health diagnosis in the movie, Clem is a good representation of a person with a borderline personality disorder. As the movie progresses, we see that some of the “free-spirited” behaviors she exhibits are indicative of some deeper issues.
The central conflict in the movie arises from the existence of a procedure that can erase memories — a procedure Clementine and Joel undergo to forget about each other.

Module 22 – Quest for Fire

Sharing your Biological Purpose

To gain a deeper understanding of our biological differences, purpose, and capacity to love that we cover in Modules 9 and 22, we will watch the movie Quest for Fire. It takes place in prehistoric times when three tribesmen search for a new source of fire and, on the way, one of them also finds a mate. As the two of them are growing closer with intimate touches and glances, a sense of deeper affection is forming. As their relationship develops, so too do her emotions and sexuality. At one point, she softly turns and lays upon her back and the invitation is clear but confusing for her new partner. Face-to-face love making is unheard of, and he is unsure of what to do. But she guides him and holds him and soon he is upon her, looking in her eyes. We see, in one sensual and emotional moment, the shift from animal copulation to human lovemaking. It’s a simple moment, but powerful in its presentation and what it means for human evolution, reminiscent of Geoffrey Miller’s book The Mating Mind.

Module 23Cloud Atlas

Transcendental Purpose

The movie plays in six different time periods from 1849 to 2321. The main actors change gender and race throughout the movie, and some move from Evil to Neutral to Good (and back). The main protagonists in each epoch are connected (through their deeds, souls, or re-incarnations??) indicated by their birthmarks. What makes the movie interesting and challenging is that it jumps around between the time periods every few minutes to show the connections and similarities e.g. of enslavement, epic battles, and liberation. I will give a brief introduction so that we can watch the movie through the lens of stages of development and transformations from archaic to transpersonal, and the good, true, beautiful, and functional, as the characters good (heroic), neutral, and evil words and deeds, and soulmate love connections ripple through the centuries.
In a more subtle way, we will also notice that Robert Frobisher’s Cloud Atlas composition will be heard as an (1) initial piano performance, (2) a symphony, (3) a rendition by a jazz sextet, (4) nursing-home Muzak, (5) futuristic Korean street music, (6) a solemn hymn sung by a hoard of clones.
To quote Sonmi 451: “To be is to be perceived, and so to know thyself is only possible through the eyes of the other. The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds, that go on and are pushing themselves throughout all time.” “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

Module 24 – Grace and Grit


What makes couples soulmates? One experience is that they usually recognize each other almost instantly, no matter if they are biological, transformational, or transcendental soulmates. A second quality is that they have removed all barriers to love and come from a sense of fullness instead of need or lack. A third quality is that they are devoted to face all challenges in life and avoid nothing to live together/procreate, to learn, heal, grow, and awaken together, and to make the world a better place.

Based on Ken Wilber’s Book Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber (with many journal entries from Treya) the movie weaves these experiences and qualities of soulmates together through three narratives. The first voice is Treya herself, taken from her private journals that span from first meeting Ken to her death in 1989, which she insisted that Ken uses in order to tell their extraordinary story. The second voice belongs to Ken Wilber who was walking this difficult path alongside Treya, step by step, not yet aware of where their story would lead. The third voice also belongs to Ken, but as the “omniscient narrator” who is lacing these narratives together and telling the story from the perspective of someone who has lived the full experience.

Module 25 – Inside Bill’s Brain

Co-Creation at the Seven Chakras

Let’s watch and discuss a Netflix documentary about passion, purpose, and making the world a better place in partnerships with others/with a partner. No matter what we may personally think about Bill Gates, I find this series utterly inspiring. We will see how Bill lived his calling early on (to solve problems or absent absences), how he co-created with others, how he seemingly became more compassionate, how he met his wife Melinda, how they co-create in their foundation, and how he is now driven to make the world a better place. We will see his triumphs and even more so his failures and how he deals with both. Utterly fascinating and inspiring (to me).
Join us for new insights during, and discussions after the movie.

Module 26 – Idiocracy

Path to Healthy Relationships and Why they Matter

In Idiocracy we see why co-creation and procreation in healthy Integral love relationships not only matter for our own well-being and development but even more so for a peaceful and sustainable future for humanity. Unfortunately, we now increasingly see that this movie is not a joke, but becomes reality in front of our very eyes. Let’s discuss the political, social, and ecological implications of people at post-conventional levels of consciousness procreating much less than people at earlier levels and how it impacts our future.

Other Integral Movies

Captain Fantastic

This movie fits our exploration of the Green pluralistic “sensitive self” Stage 6 this week, with all its beauty and advancements, but also with its challenges, performative contradictions, and pre-trans fallacies.

In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a postmodern father who escaped the Orange materialistic and Blue/Amber mythic law and order stages is devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education.
Eventually, he is forced to leave his paradise and face the world that he tried so hard to escape, while challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

Pay It Forward

Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother’s alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward–repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor’s efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother, and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.


Let us laugh out loud and cringe together during this painfully funny comedy (depending on your perspective) and discuss it afterwards. A week before his friend Jack is to be married, best man Miles and the prospective groom head off to wine country for a week of fun, relaxation and – of course – wine drinking. Miles is the oenophile and does his best to teach Jack a bit about the art of appreciating great wine. All Jack cares about is drinking and carousing, something he accomplishes when he meets the attractive Stephanie at one of the vineyards. Miles is something of a sad sack, a high school English teacher who is a failed writer at heart. He has yet to get over the fact that his wife has divorced him and that she has remarried and he now faces that nerve-racking wait for word from a prospective publisher. Miles has an opportunity to start anew when he meets Stephanie’s friend Maya but when he let’s slip that Jack is about to be married any hope of a relationship seems to be lost.

To see the Summer Lineup of movies until September 14, visit We will then start again with the 26 movies that align with our IR Trainings on September 21.

A Beautiful Mind

Join us to watch this Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Directing, and Supportive Actress about the two biggest insights that John Nash made in his life. One “that it is only in the mysterious equation of love that any logic or reasons can be found,” and that “if we all go for the blonde and block each other, not a single one of us is going to get her. So then we go for her friends, but they will all give us the cold shoulder because no one likes to be second choice. But what if none of us goes for the blonde? We won’t get in each other’s way and we won’t insult the other girls. It’s the only way to win. It’s the only way we all get laid.
”From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally – late in life – received the Nobel Prize.

To see the Summer Lineup of movies until September 14, visit We will then start again with the 26 movies that align with our IR Trainings on September 21.




What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?

Seven Years in Tibet

Stage 5 -> 1 – 127 Hours by Danny Boyle

Stage 2 – Quest For Fire by Jean Jacques Annaud

(Netflix) * Stage 2/5 Room by Lenny Abrahamson (Cognitive Prison)

Stage 3 – Natural Born Killers by Oliver Stone

Stage 4 – Rabbit Proof Fence by Phillip Noyce

(Netflix) * 3 -> 4 – Seven Years in Tibet by Jean-Jacques Annaud

Stage 5 – The Wolf of Wall Street by Martin Scorcese

(Netflix) Stage 6 – Into the Wild by Sean Penn

Stage 6 – La Belle Verte by Coline Serreau

Stage 7 – Ted talk

Other suggestions from Participants
Stage 5 – The Beauty Inside by Jong-Yeol Baek