My Creative Process


Seva Gate (MAK)

Several people who have seen my art work recently have asked about my creative process. So, for those of you who are interested: I use an integral-transpersonal creative approach, going into deep meditation and contemplation on the multiple levels of being and becoming of the moment and then letting my hand move from that state of being. I feel guided at every step. First I digitally draw patterns as the creative flow moves me, and then when I get a sense of completion for that phase I take the drawing patterns and play with them with different filters and tools, again letting myself be guided by whatever is seeking to move through me. Finally I reach a point of feeling a sense of completion for the whole creative work. At this point, if I have not already had a title revealed to me during the process, I seek to receive the title with an inner guidance practice I have developed from my years of research into the experience of inner guidance. Finally, when it feels like the right moment, I send the piece out into the cybersphere with a meditation/prayer asking that it be a blessing onto others and the world.

Here is a short Art-in-Motion video I created that shows the different stages of a recent work I created:

Manifestation Gate - Art-in-Motion Video (MAK)

Currently and for the last few years I have been creating only through the digital art medium. This arose out of the need to not produce any directly physical works since I was nomadic and could not carry or store them anywhere.

For the last year and a half I have tried to create an art work every single day and share it, no matter how I personally feel about its aesthetic value. This creative process is therapeutic for me, and hopefully for others as well, as I attempt to capture and convey various states and structures of consciousness and patterns of being and becoming. It is also a political act for me in that I attempt to capture the inner and outer zeitgeist of myself and the world at any given moment. Because of this orientation I feel as though I need to put these works out as they are being channeled through me, no matter what I think of the final piece. This process has been affirmed to me by my discovery that the pieces that I feel the most profoundly affected by are not always the ones that most deeply affect others, and vice versa. I really do feel as if the creative muse is in charge here and my job is merely to be the channel and let go of the rest.

Compassion Gate (MAK)

For those who are interested in the technologies I am using: I am currently using an old iPad and stylus. I start with one of two drawing apps, ArtStudio and Sketchbook, where I channel the patterns coming through me using my stylus and the apps' various brushes and tools. Then I process the image further in the Paper Artist app. I then use Apple Photos app to view the variations I created for a piece and seek the guidance for which piece is the “one.” When the choice is clear I bring that image into the Instagram app and do some final adjustments to the work before sending it out to the world.

For more on my process, its origins and how I evolved into it, you can check out my blog post about the 45 day transformative creative expression experiment I conducted that gave birth to this approach...

My Transformative Creative Expression Experiment



For those who want to check out more of my recent works of art you can find them on my Tumblr blog or Instagram feed.

If you are touched by my work and would like a print of one of my pieces check out my Artpal page for print options. If you cannot find the piece you want on Artpal, you can contact me directly at arcofconsciousness@gmail.com and I will make it available for purchase on Artpal for you.

And finally I would like to express my deep gratitude for Mr. Lietso, my 7th grade science teacher, who threatened to haunt me after he died if I did not live my life as an artist; to Jill Mellick, who taught me how to use art for personal and collective transformation; to James Fadiman for teaching me about transpersonal and transformative storytelling; to Ken Wilber and Michael Schwartz for inspiring me to explore an integral approach to art and media; to fellow integral artist Jimmy Lusero for re-awakening the artist in me after years of creative slumber; to dear friends Jonathan Steigman and William Kueppers, and my amazing sister Mardi who gave me shelter and helped me through these challenging yet creative times; and to all my friends, family members, colleagues and strangers who bore witness to my journey and gave me their wondrous words, likes and emoji’s in affirmation of my art work along the way.

Black Panther Marks a Major Integral Cinema Milestone


Marvel's Black Panther is taking the world by storm, raking in over a billion dollars worldwide in its first five weeks of theatrical release, garnering rave reviews from critics and fans, challenging racial and diversity biases and boundaries in Hollywood film culture and beyond, spawning numerous testimonials about the films positive impact on individual viewers and minority communities, and eliciting glowing commentaries on how the film is a milestone in these and other various domains. After analyzing Black Panther and its impact on the individual and the collective, it appears that this wonderful superhero film is a major Integral Cinema milestone as well. 

Black Panther's Integrally-informed cinematic structuring beautifully and subtly mirrors multiple stages of development in all aspects and levels of its narrative, visual, auditory and temporal/editorial expressions. It also shows both healthy and pathological manifestations of each developmental stage and represents subtle ways that one can transcend the pathologies and evolve to higher stages of development. At the same time, the film tackles major psychological, cultural and social issues, from primal psychological wounding to complex issues of race, gender, class, oppression and isolationism, in subtle and deep ways. Most extraordinarily, all of this is elegantly hidden beneath the surface of a wonderful, fun and seemingly-traditional superhero genre piece.

In terms of Black Panther being a milestone in the history of Integral Cinema and the cinema itself, it appears to be groundbreaking in its advanced capacity to integrate and synchronize all dimensions of cinematic expression (Text, Image, Sound and Time) through all levels of storytelling (Textual, Subtextual, Metatextual and Transtextual). While this form of synchronization is at the heart of the cinematic expression tradition, dating back to Sergei Eisenstein in the 1920s and used by many filmmakers since, Integral filmmakers like Ryan Coogler appear to be creating an advanced form that also integrates the different structures of consciousness, culture and society (Archaic, Magic, Mythic, Rational, Pluralistic, Integral). Mr. Coogler's use of this type of cinematic expression in Black Panther is unparalleled in its depth and breadth and the sublime way it hides and integrates its complexity beneath its deceptively simple surface. This approach has the potential to induce subtle yet deeply immersive and transformative experiences in the viewer, transformation that could potentially extend to culture and society as well. This potential is hinted at by the cultural impact the film is already displaying.

From an Integral Cinema perspective, our research suggests that major advances in cinematic expression like those represented by Black Panther affect other creators and their cinematic works. These advances in expression create a major shift in cinematic consciousness, which is the collective way moving images in a given era communicate with the viewer. In turn, these types of advances in cinematic consciousness tend to entrain the audience to perceive in deeper and more expansive ways. In this way the moving image, consciousness, culture and society can be seen to co-evolve.

For more on all of this check out the new Integral Cinema TEHNC podcast series on Black Panther...


3 Keys to Unlock Black Panther (Short introduction to full-length analysis) - This special preview episode introduces you to 3 important keys you can use to unlock the hidden genius of Marvel's blockbuster Black Panther. This 5-minute summation by Integral Cinema Project research associate Jonathan Steigman is a sort of Cliff Notes version to whet your appetite for the full-length examination of the keys and how they manifest in the film with Mark Allan Kaplan, ICP lead researcher and the leading scholar of Integral Cinema.


The Hidden Genius of Black Panther (Full-length analysis) - Mark Allan Kaplan of Integral Cinema Project joins ICP research associate Jonathan Steigman to discuss 3 major keys that can help viewers discover the hidden genius behind the recent Marvel worldwide smash hit, Black Panther. Mark and Jonathan believe the film holds the potential to transform consciousness the world over and they unpack some of its secrets and point to why the film could transform cinematic consciousness as well. Filmmakers and others, take note!

Be sure to also check out Jonathan's short preliminary podcast on The Subversive Brilliance of Black Panther and Mark and Jonathan's short bonus podcast exploring The Previous Films of Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler.

The Ark of Consciousness: A Creative Inquiry into a Model for Transformative Spatial Metadesign


Announcing the online posting of The Ark of Consciousness, my Masters Integral Paper that introduces a model for transformative spatial design that I developed using the example of the development of a transformative community and university with outreach, agency and enactment capacities.

This model for spatial metadesign is multidimensional in scope. The metadesign of this proposed transformative community space encompasses its structures, landscape, maintenance & services, subtle energy fields and organizational paradigm. The forces of community, personal growth, spiritual development, education, service, commerce, and ecology are interwoven throughout the community's function and form. The metadesign also attempts to bring together the symbols and archetypes of the worlds' spiritual traditions while aligning integral, transpersonal, complexity and ecological theories with action.

The metadesign of this community space exists on the gross, subtle and causal level. The gross level includes physical forms and the general functions of these forms. The subtle level is the realm of subtle energy fields, eco-design, sacred geometry, directional forces and numerological design elements. The causal level includes the goals, purpose, mission, vision and values of the community. These forces combined are designed to create a multidimensional environment to support, nurture and induce individual and collective transformations of consciousness. While this example is for a physical community space, the theories and approaches used can be equally applied to the creation of virtual and immersive spatial realities as well.

Complete paper available at: https://www.academia.edu/35925956/The_Ark_of_Consciousness_A_Creative_Inquiry_into_a_Model_for_Transformative_Spatial_Metadesign

Research Report: Integral Cinema Project 2017 Year in Review



Due to the profound shifts in the American zeitgeist, this past year has been deeply soul-searching for many individuals and collectives, and that includes myself and my work through the Integral Cinema Project. I have been asking the question, how can I and the Integral Cinema Project respond to this new landscape and be of service to the evolutionary moment in which we find ourselves? Life as usual just isn’t working any more. I feel a deep impetus to rise to the calling of this moment and seek the what-when-and-how of that calling. While I still do not have all the answers I am called to finally communicate with you and update you on the state of the Integral Cinema journey…

With the ongoing support of many of you, I have been working on several projects this past year, each exploring in some way how to respond to the calling of this new zeitgeist. These include:

An Integral Cinema Project presentation to the Carey Institute for Global Good outlining an integrally-informed approach to media literacy designed to help people discern what is the truth in this age of fake news, reality bubbles and invisible propaganda networks. 

A collection of moving image meditations that attempt to use advanced audiovisual and cinematic entrainment technologies along with animated abstract art to explore the human perceptual field, potentially inducing shifts in our awareness of our own perceptual field and bringing the normally unconscious perceptual construct-forming system of the human mind to conscious awareness.

My 45 day lived-inquiry experiment of doing a video journal recording and creating a work of art  (still and/or moving image) every day, along with video journal notes on my integral cinema research and soul searching process. The 45 day time-frame is purported to be the time it takes for the human brain to lay down new neural pathways to make a behavior feel natural and easy. Given my history as stutterer, I chose video journaling to see if I could transcend my awkward feelings around speaking in front of the camera. I chose daily art creation to see if I could transcend the constructs that prevent me from fully owning my creative soul.



I have also been busy on the integral cinema research front:

  • Exploring an integral approach to more deeply understanding the language of the moving image;
  • Developing an integral transformative approach to cinematic and experiential design to help creators storify and gamify the spiral of human development;
  • Experimenting with new inception and creation practices designed to help creators tap into the evolutionary impulse and generate new story ideas that will speak to the calling of the evolutionary moment;
  • Working on a new integral cinematic lens (The Evolutionary Lens) based on the work of Sri Aurobindo and others, and;
  • Continuing to write my book on integral cinema (stay tuned...).

At the same time, I have continued my research into the co-evolution of the moving image, consciousness, culture and society, and testing cinematic works for signs of the integral structure of consciousness. For those interested I have posted the 2017 new integral movie and television discoveries on the IMDb Integral Movie and TV List.

On the publication front, I wrote a short piece on What Sam Sheppard Taught me about Storytelling and Life to mark his passing.

On the education front, I am redesigning the meta-movieology courses on using the moving image for the evolution of consciousness, and developing them into asynchronous online courses for general release.

On the enactment front, I am currently in production on an integrally-informed avant-garde video meditation on the wind, and am in development on a low-budget feature film and a television series, videogame and VR/AR/MR transmedia project designed to storify and gamify the individual and collective evolutionary spiral. These projects are all enactment experiments designed to utilize and test the new integral-evolutionary inception and design approaches I am been researching and developing.

And amidst all this I was honored that the Integral Cinema Project was named one of the TransTech 200 Innovators for advancing the work of using technologies for individual and collective transformation.





I believe every problem we have is a problem of consciousness, and that media is one of the most powerful tools humanity has created to affect consciousness on a deep and expansive level. As we have seen more clearly this past year, media has the capacity to shape the hearts and minds of millions of people, for good and for bad. We live in times of ever-present and hyperreal media, fake news and vast propaganda networks. We must find more ways to mitigate and transcend the use of media to manipulate and limit our capacities, and to use media for higher and nobler purposes. I am committed to continuing to work towards these goals and deeply appreciate all the support I have received.

With deep gratitude,

Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Integral Cinema Project
Founder and Executive Director

Media Literacy for a Post-Truth Age


Announcing the release of "Media Literacy for a Post-Truth Age," an Integral Cinema Project presentation to the Carey Institute for Global Good outlining an integrally-informed approach to media literacy designed to help people discern what is the truth in this age of fake news, reality bubbles and invisible propaganda networks.

This approach has been developed from an integration of the some of the most recent understandings and advances in the fields of communication theory, propaganda theory and practice, media psychology, human perception research, and Integral, complexity and systems theories. Topics covered include identifying truth frames, discerning types of truth, sorting truth by spotting propaganda framing techniques, and a set of practices for good media literacy hygiene in the post-truth age.