Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 17, 2011.

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Beyond reason. Beyond belief. A documentary about the legendary Esalen Institute and the Human Potential Movement it spawned.

Welcome to the SUPERNATURE Kickstarter campaign! Our deepest gratitude to all of our backers for helping us reach our goal, and to those of you who have 'Liked' the project. The campaign is not quite over so there's still time to become a backer if you like. Thank you again for all for your support!

If you're new to the site you might want to first watch the introductory video above. Or, CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAILER BELOW! We are a bit thin on imagery at this point in production, so our friends Chase Rees and Josh Dallera kindly let us use some of their footage for the trailer.

SUPERNATURE Trailer 2:


SUPERNATURE Trailer 1:


"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 Esalen..."

ABOUT SUPERNATURE: ESALEN AND THE HUMAN POTENTIAL
In the early 1960's two young visionaries, Richard Price and Michael Murphy, founded 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, psychical research, and psychedelic experience. They named this new place "Esalen." And they sparked an enduring movement that has changed countless lives.

Murphy and his colleague, journalist George Leonard, named their new initiative “The Human Potential Movement.” The result was a new visionary school, a Hogwarts before Hogwarts, that fostered both a set of techniques to actualize these human potentials and a worldview in which these potentials could be recognized, accepted, and nurtured. Most of all, they 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.

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. 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 Esalen, particularly those that move us beyond the present schizophrenic split between religion and science. We believe that the world is crying 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 meaninglessness; 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.

SUPERNATURE is based on Jeffrey J. Kripal's definitive and wide-ranging history, ESALEN: AMERICA AND THE RELIGION OF NO RELIGION. In the film we are focusing on Esalen as the mecca of the Human Potential Movement, and the people and ideas that have comprised that movement for 50 years. Principle photography began at Esalen in May, 2011, when we shot interviews with and presentations by a number of Esalen luminaries: Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy, Track-Two Executive Director Dulce Murphy, Experimental Physicist Russell Targ, Theoretical Physicists Nick Herbert and Elizabeth Rauscher, Neuroscientist Ed Kelly, Historian of Psychology Adam Crabtree, Professor of Religion Dana Sawyer, Psychologist Charles Tart, Transpersonal Psychology Pioneers Stanislav and Christina Grof, Professor of Somatics Don Hanlon Johnson, and German Professor of Slavic Literatures and Culture Birgit Menzel. We also have previously recorded interviews with Astronomer, Computer Scientist and UFO Expert Jacques Vallee, Writers Erik Davis, Mitch Horowitz, Victoria Nelson, Doug Moench, Lawrence Sutin and Christopher Knowles, Parapsychologist Dean Radin, Physicist Ed May, Professor of Religious Studies Christopher Partridge, and Clairaudient Paul Selig.

We will be shooting additional interviews in Saulsalito, California in January 2012. Among those who have been confirmed are Jim Fadiman, Steve Harper, Ed Maupin, Michael Murphy, Chris Price, Richard Tarnas, Pam Walatka, Gordon Wheeler, and Nancy Lunney-Wheeler. Closer to home we will soon shoot interviews with G. William Barnard and Jessica Grogan. Our efforts to recruit additional interviewees is ongoing. We are also planning to shoot footage at Esalen for two or more weeks in July 2012. Finally, we hope at various times throughout the year to shoot expanded profiles of some of the principle subjects.

The work we've done so far on SUPERNATURE has been funded out of our own pockets. In this initial funding phase, we are raising $22,000 to help cover the travel and partial production costs for our upcoming shoots, and to acquire some archival imagery. Every dollar helps and will be greatly appreciated. Our goal is to finish at least a rough cut of the film in time for Esalen's 50th anniversary in September of 2012 and premiere the film that same month in Big Sur.

Please reach out to anyone you know who might appreciate our effort to tell this story and so impact the broader culture in positive and creative ways. You can tell the world you like us on Facebook!

SUPERNATURE: ESALEN AND THE HUMAN POTENTIAL
Producer/Director: Scott Hulan Jones
Writer/Producer: Jeffrey J. Kripal
Director of Photography: Richard Lacy
Composer: Noel Flatt

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