By ALAN BAISS, Integral Counseling Psychology alum and filmmaker. Learn more about Alan and his films at Integral Inspirations.
Alan has been running an online fundraising campaign for his new film, Conscious, at Indiegogo. If you would like to support his campaign, you have until May 28.
Imagine creating movies that highlight the deep philosophies taught at CIIS in collaboration with a group of alumni who are passionate and dedicated to the vision. We are doing just that, and it’s a dream come true.
"Conscious," our current production, asks about the profound meaning of our moment in time as well as humanity’s great potential to participate with Nature in the next turn in the evolution of consciousness.
Filmmaker Alan Baiss
We are making films under the banner of Integral Inspirations; maybe you have seen "Integral Consciousness," our film about Haridas Chaudhuri, the history of CIIS, and the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo. Maybe you have heard of the film "Conversations with Bina," which we had the great honor of making after Bina Chaudhuri passed away. "Conscious" is our third and undoubtedly most ambitious project.
Creating a quality film on a shoestring is a journey loaded with challenges, but when that film is spiritual in its basis, the production takes on elements of a spiritual practice. Over and over we are being challenged to let go of desired outcomes and to exercise faith in the grace that is present in the production. Imagine flying to India and filming magnificent interviews, only to make the difficult decision of putting most of the interviews in abeyance because of an unanticipated and unrelated situation that arose after filming, and then feeling challenged to trust that somehow this is taking the film in a better direction.
How about our current funding campaign? We are barely over 10 percent of what we need and hoped for. Maybe the invitation is to trust that something greater is arising from our efforts. It could be that the support of the amazing individuals we have connected with as a result of our reaching out will provide vaster riches for the film than achieving our funding goal could; maybe, but of course it would also be nice to reach our goal. Somehow the film "Conscious" insists that we practice the yoga as an integral part of our participation in the production.
We have been interviewing Jerry Schwartz and Pravir Malik for "Conscious." These are two men who are greatly respected in the world of economics and whose philosophy about money grows out of Integral Yoga. Can I present their wisdom on a potential alternative relationship with money in the film with integrity while retaining my familiar values?
"Conscious" is inviting me to act congruently with the film, to have faith in a consciousness far greater than my small "I," and to release what resources I have into service for the realisation of a deeper aspiration, in this case, to make a film with the potential to participate in the evolution of human consciousness.
I graduated from the Integral Counseling Psychology program at CIIS and had a good 12 years in private practice; I really loved this work. Then, after the deaths of my parents, a close friend, and narrowly escaping from a house fire, I realised I did not want to look back on my life and wonder what might have been possible for me if I had taken a chance. I soon closed my practice and returned to San Francisco, and it was here that a series of synchronicities landed me in the unlikely role of producer of films featuring Integral Yoga. I came into this knowing nothing about filmmaking or about Integral Yoga, but thankfully, I have been deeply honored to have been joined on this journey by talented and respected individuals, many of whom, much to my delight, are CIIS alumni.
Please have a look at our campaign and watch some of our videos. If you like what we are aspiring to achieve, please send the film your gift and see what we have for you to show our appreciation. We would also love to hear from you.