SUPERNATURE: ESALEN AND THE HUMAN POTENTIAL is a documentary film about the influential Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and The Human Potential Movement it spawned. Esalen was founded in the early 1960s by Stanford grads Richard Price and Michael Murphy as a place to explore and nurture what Aldous Huxley had named the “human potentialities,” his expression for the fantastic reaches of mind and body hinted at in the altered states of mystical literature and psychedelic experience. Drawing on the ideas of Huxley, Abraham Maslow, and many others, Murphy and his colleague, journalist George Leonard, named this new initiative “The Human Potential Movement.” The result was a new visionary school that fostered techniques to actualize these human potentials and delved, enthusiastically, into questions about the latent or secret nature of reality and the human being that were, and still are, considered out of bounds in the universities and religions.
At a time of unprecedented political, social and ideological conflict, we believe the world would benefit from a broad, beautiful, and sophisticated exposure to the ideas and practices fostered by the Esalen Institute, particularly those that move us beyond the present schizophrenic split between religion and science. We believe that the world is presently “without vision,” and that it cries out for positive, even ecstatic models and ideas that can embrace the best of our religious pasts without being bound to those pasts; that can celebrate the discoveries of science without equating these discoveries with a materialism of despair and meaningless; and that can finally envision the human being as a conscious embodiment of the evolving cosmos. With SUPERNATURE, we hope to bring exactly this vision to a much wider audience and so play our part in the transformation and future of American culture.
As one of SWAMP’s Sponsored Projects, SUPERNATURE raises money under our 501(c)(3) status, which means that all your donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE to the fullest extent allowed by law. Any questions, please call Executive Director Mary Lampe at 713-522-8592 x3 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPERNATURE is directed by SWAMP member Scott Hulan Jones, a filmmaker with a wide range of skills honed over twenty-nine years of storytelling. He excels at finding the emotional core of any given story and infusing his films, whether thirty seconds or ninety minutes, with a poetic spirit, with soul, and thus creating authentic, memorable and meaningful experiences for audiences. This is Sam, a short documentary he directed, won Best Documentary at the Gulf Coast Film & Video Festival, and the Audience Choice Award at the Houston Halloween Film Festival. In addition to working on his own films, Scott works as a freelance director, writer, cinematographer and editor on select documentary and commercial projects. He is currently working with The Methodist Hospital System as a contract filmmaker.
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