Who we are...
What is a Media Shaman?
A media shaman is first and foremost someone who recognizes that humanity is going through perhaps its greatest challenge, a civilization-wide paradigm shift of unprecedented scope and scale. The evolution of our technologies has so outpaced the evolution of our individual and collective consciousness that the gap has produced an array of problems we cannot fix at the level of consciousness we are at.
The media shaman understands this foundational point and recognizes that every problem is a problem of consciousness. That the media we consume affects our consciousness. And that as creators of media, our consciousness is embedded in what we create. When we share media we are literally sharing our consciousness.
A media shaman is committed to using media for healing, transformation and the evolution of consciousness for self, others and the world.
Perhaps the most essential trait of a shaman is also found in great artists, inventors and major change agents like Martin Luther King and Gandhi: they all have a deeper and more expansive perceptual field than the norm of the culture and society they are a part of. This explains why their efforts in their particular domains are so impactful. With a deeper and more expansive perceptual field their work tends to be focused more at the level of cause rather than merely at the level of effect.
Media shamans and other effective change agents tend to operate from the state of beingness that they are trying to help others achieve. They are being the change they want to elicit. How can you give something you yourself don’t already have?
Media shamans use the tools of their cultures and societies for the purposes of healing and transformation. For the average person in traditional society, plants function as food and raw materials; for the Shaman plants are also medicine. Similarly, for most of us in the modern and postmodern world, media is a form of communication and entertainment; for the media shaman, media is also medicine for themselves, others and the world.
Essential Qualities of a Media Shaman
Seeks to use media as medicine for healing, growth, transformation and the evolution of consciousness for themselves, for others and the world
Seeks to deepen and expand their perceptual field for themselves, for others and the world
Uses their expanded perceptual field to see the deeper and bigger picture of situations and events
Understands how media affects us and seeks to step outside the bias and propaganda field of polarized media sources
Actively works to be the change they are seeking to elicit in others
Applies their expanded capacities to effect change at the level of cause as opposed to merely at the level of effect
Act as a bridge between worlds, worldviews and all dimensions of being and becoming
Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
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 has advanced degrees and certifications in the fields of Cinematic Media, Transpersonal Psychology, Integral Theory, Creative Expression, Spiritual Guidance, and Hypnotherapy. He has also studied and worked extensively in the Fine Arts, Architectural Design, Photography, and Poetics. Mark has worked professionally in the entertainment industry as a Motion Picture Producer, Writer, Director, Editor, Researcher, and Consultant. His creative works have been shown on television, in theaters, schools, and colleges, and at expositions around the world.
Mark has also conducted and published seminal research on the integral and transpersonal dimensions of the cinema and the experience of divine guidance across religious traditions and cultures. Mark is currently exploring various applications of Integral Theory, including the research and development of an Integral approach to cinematic media theory and practice. He has received the Integral Institute Integral Life Award in recognition of this work and has been named one of the TransTech200 key innovators who are driving the advancement of media and technologies for personal growth and transformation.
Jonathan Steigman is a Bay Area activist, filmmaker, communication consultant and independent researcher. While attending the University of Chicago (BA in Art & Design) this lifelong cinephile was co-chairman of Doc Films, the oldest continuous film society in the United States. Jonathan has worked in film production and post-production in Los Angeles, New York and Prague, and also has extensive experience in sales, marketing, writing and editing.
A childhood spent in France, Nigeria and Gabon gave him a broad appreciation of our essential global interconnectedness, while occasional stints in Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have helped him to understand different cross-cultural communication patterns. Adept in many domains of communication, Jonathan is a film and social media activist and host of the The Emperor Has No Clothes (T.E.H,N.C.) podcast, where he applies his knowledge to help bring awareness to the hidden structural foundations of inequality and injustice.
Jonathan is the Director of Communications at the Integral Cinema Project and he works closely with founder Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D. to help bring the Project’s transformational media practices to a broader audience.
You can reach Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Testimonials from previous class participants
Through the rich course content and expert guidance of visionary Mark Allan Kaplan, and Jonathan Steigman, I have come away from this journey with a renewed understanding of audience engagement, and a more perceptive respect of the vital force for healing and change we have in media, and our responsibility as filmmakers, story tellers, while also having expanded my own worldview and perceptual field.
Gina Bonmariage, ex-Dean, AFDA (Film School) South Africa
The Transformative Media course was both mind-blowing and heart-warming for me.
James Lee Thenard, Malaysia
The Transformative Media course was enlightening, transformative, enriching and powerful. So much knowledge and wisdom, paired with fun, community and insight into myself and others. and all this relevant for our global situation.
Kaa Faensen, Germany
The Transformative Media course changed EVERYTHING! I see media completely differently. I didn't have the slightest idea of how powerful and impactful the (media) tools I was playing with really were.
Victor Lopez & the Squadra Righello team, Switzerland
Testimonials for Mark’s work
Mark's passionate quest to explore the further reaches of film theory and practice is inspiring and holds great promise.
Jean Picker Firstenberg, President Emeritus, The American Film Institute
Mark belongs to a rare breed of cinematic artist – he is both a talented and skilled artist and a brilliant, innovative theorist. With his impressive body of work, he follows in the footsteps of Eisenstein, Truffaut, and Brakhage.
Dorothy Fadiman, Oscar-Nominated, Emmy-Winning Independent Filmmaker
Mark is a pioneer in the application of transpersonal, transcendental, and integral approaches to the theory and practice of the cinematic arts and the exploration of the relationship between the moving image and human consciousness.
James Fadiman, Ph.D., Consciousness Researcher, Author, Film Producer, Co-Founder and Faculty Member of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and Sofia University
Mark has taken the fundamental elements of Integral Theory and applied them to cinema and the results are rich and compelling and have opened up a whole new doorway for studying and understanding cinematic art.
Ken Wilber, Founder of Integral Institute, and originator and preeminent scholar of Integral Theory