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Is The TV Series Mad Men Rooted In Spirituality?

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Congratulations Donald Draper! It appears you’ve won the game of life. You’ve reached the pinnacle of success receiving much praise and adulation for your work. You’re financially wealthy with an expensive car parked in the driveway of your big suburban home. You have a beautiful wife and outstanding children who love you very much.
When the time comes for your eyes to wander, it doesn’t take much for the prettiest girls to undress before you. To sum things up, as one of your co-workers once put it, “You have everything, and so much of it.” So Don, surely, with all of this comes joy and happiness, and feelings of being whole and complete. Am I right?

Mad Men

This Sunday marks ”The End Of An Era”, as AMC has marketed it, when the critically acclaimed series Mad Men airs its last episode of the series.  In the 7 years of production and 10 years of story line, Mad Men has provided its audience with a program distinguished in its storytelling and brilliant writing, which is patient but authentic at its attempt in showing the different facets of human psychology through the relationships the characters have with each other and with themselves.
Compared to more modern shows, on the surface it may seem like not much is happening, but underneath there is plenty of drama as we bear witness to how life unfolds for each of these characters. Pointing out its contrasting style, creator Matt Weiner often uses the example of a guy who goes to a party, meets a girl and gets her phone number but ends up losing it, “In a TV show he’ll go back to the party, find it in some way. In Mad Men he will never see her again.” The main themes in Mad Men include death, alienation, identity, sexism, adultery, business, alcoholism, racism and counter-culturism.
Attention to historical detail is a celebrated characteristic of Mad Men, a show set in the 1960s, one of the most fascinating decades of the 20th century. But what sets the show apart is the way Mad Men incorporates spiritual elements in its story and dialogue that when more of the show is taken in by the viewer, the more conclusive it becomes that there is clearly a spiritual foundation to the whole story.

Ad Men

From 1960 to 1970, Mad Men follows the lives of the people connected to the advertising agency, Sterling Cooper. It’s creative director, Don Draper, is a sharp, brilliant but complicated character with a shady past he can’t escape from. Although he’s reached the top of the mountain, he’s left feeling discontent. Suicide crosses his mind early in the series and remains a theme throughout–the opening credits is Don daydreaming about jumping out of his office window.
Don’s struggle to find fulfillment and happiness by external means ties into the idea of his profession; advertising isn’t about selling products as much as its about selling happiness, which Don alludes to in the very first episode. The idea of material and physical wealth having limits in its happiness is a spiritual concept that Mad Men is exhibiting through the story line of Don.

Do You Believe In Energy?

A hint that Mad Men’s creator Matt Weiner is aware of spirituality is in the logo of his ‘Weiner Brothers’ production company, which is ‘The Sun’ tarot card. We see this card again when one of the characters is given a tarot card reading. Lots of scenes in the series have hints of spirituality in it. In one episode, Don comes across a book called “Meditations In An Emergency,” which ends up being the title of a different episode. When one of the characters takes LSD, a man in the scene repeats verses from the ‘Tibetan Book Of The Dead.” Two of the characters attend a “Hare Krishna” chant ceremony. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great philosopher and spiritualist, is brought up along with one of his quotes. Jim Garrison–the famous lawyer from the 60s who pursued the JFK conspiracy–is mentioned on a television. But the most impactful scenes of spirituality are the strange occurrences and hints of foreshadowing through coincidences and synchronicites that it feels like there’s an invisible force at work. It’s in these scenes and others that indicate much more is going on than just advertising, adultery and drinking.  

 Some Of The Quotes From The Show

“Do you believe in energy?”
“Only awareness can make reality. And only what’s real can become a dream. And only from a dream can you wake to the light.”
“She’s the soul of the world . . . she says you are part of the world, air, water, every living thing is connected to you.”
“I know everything about you and I still love you.”
“I can’t believe that’s the way God is.”
“I’ve seen UFOs”
“You have to be a transparent eyeball.”
“You can’t put yourself in the right place at the right time. You have to be in the right place all the time.”
“There are people who get to decide what will happen in our world. You have been invited to join them. Pull back the curtain and take your seat.”
“There are people out there who buy things, people like you and me. And then something happened. Something terrible. And the way that they saw themselves is gone. And nobody understands that. But you do.”
“If I don’t go into that office everyday, who am I?”
“Dying doesn’t make you whole. You should see what you look like.”

What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Matt Weiner once described Mad Men as showing the difficulties in being a human being. It doesn’t matter who you are, everybody born on this planet is presented with challenges in life that can sometimes make it unbearable. What is the point? We all want happiness. We’re all wired to seek for happiness in things, experiences, conditions that will alleviate these difficulties and make life more pleasant and more enjoyable. Is that what life is about? Or does this wanting create suffering? As Don once said, “We’re flawed because we want so much more.” But is it possible to feel connected? Is peace obtainable? Fulfillment? Satisfaction? Lasting happiness? These are some of the deeper questions Mad Men explores in its creative and subtle ways.

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10 Great Conscious Films Of 2020 – If You’re Looking For A Good Film To Watch

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Finding a film that is both conscious and entertaining isn't always the easiest thing to do. Here is a great list to keep you entertained in a healthy way in 2020.

  • Reflect On:

    How do I feel after watching each of these films? Who else might benefit from watching them?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What makes a film conscious and what makes a film entertaining are not always the same thing.

As the Founding Director of the Tribeca Film Festival, former Head of Content for GAIAMTV (Gaia), and now Founder and CEO of CGood TV and Conscious Good, I’ve always been on the pulse of consciousness elevating entertainment.

Placing a high value on both consciousness and entertainment in film, my team and I have chosen 10 films from 2020 that we would like to share with the Collective Evolution community to act as your guide this holiday season and beyond.

1. Sing-Me-A-Song

Sing Me a Song, the new feature from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Thomas Balmès (Babies, Happiness), follows Peyangki, a young monk living in a rural monastery in Bhutan. When TV and the Internet come to the remote country, Peyangki is lured by the power of smartphones, which now compete with the rituals of monastery life. Unexpected and profound, Peyangki’s journey challenges us to reassess our own perceptions of relatedness and self-worth in an age of unparalleled connectivity. As highlighted by Courtney Howard from her Variety review, “Thomas Balmès’ profound documentary explores the ripple-effect ramifications of a seemingly positive invention perverting an unspoiled community.” We are compelled to wonder if technology has really made us more evolved or perhaps it’s the other way around?

WHERE TO WATCH IT: On CGOOD TV from January 14th-30th 2021

2. The ReUnited States

The Reunited States is a hopeful and deftly crafted documentary that follows several individuals who are committed to finding ways to heal the deep divide within our country. The filmmaker, Ben Rekhi, respectfully shares the hearts, souls and stories of these individuals, true American heroes.  A few of the people profiled include Susan Bro, who lost her daughter when a car drove through a crowd in Charlottesville; Steven Olikara, the founder of the Millenial Action Project, a bipartisan coalition of 1,500 young lawmakers; Greg Orman, an independent politician who ran for Governor of Kansas in 2018; 

and David and Erin Leaverton, a Republican couple who travel to all fifty states in an RV to find out what divides us.  As we usher in a new year and a new President, this is an ideal film to enjoy and share with family and friends who may have differing world views.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: iTunes and Amazon on February 9th 2021 – Watch Q&A with the filmmakers HERE

3. My Octopus Teacher

South African naturalist, Craig Foster closely follows a female octopus for a year and the result is nothing short of astonishing.  We witness Foster’s obsession with his shape-shifting muse through a personal narrative that evokes a love-letter.  Through his eyes, we don’t just witness the life of this other-worldly creature, but become emotionally involved with her in a way that elevates the film from a scientific exploration to a completely immersive experience.  Co-director James Reed ponders this emerging kind of nature documentary: “Hopefully the lesson is that, actually, everywhere you turn there are complex personalities in nature that just haven’t been documented yet.”  What March of the Penguins did for the penguin – igniting a worldwide love fest – this film does for the octopus.  Fall in love with your new favorite.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

4. The Secret: Dare To Dream

Starring Katie Holmes (Miranda Wells) and Josh Lucas (Bray Johnson), “The Secret: Dare to Dream” is inspired by the phenomenally successful 2006 book, “The Secret”, by Rhonda Byrne.  Like the book, the film is infused with the principles of the Laws of Attraction.  Without spoilers, the two main characters literally crash into each other in a minor fender bender, setting up a chain of events that involve a storm, a missing message, personal transformation, romance and humor.  Throughout the film, the enigmatic Bray’s musings on life echo the philosophy of Byrne’s book. The lesson is that in learning how to turn off automatic patterns of thought our minds become open to new and more empowering ways of thinking.  As Bray says, “we have to be careful because we get what we expect”, and therein lies the ‘secret’ to happiness.  Ultimately, this family film is a feel-good love story that draws you in and will warm even the coldest of hearts.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Amazon Prime

5. Kiss The Ground

Kiss the Ground is a full-length documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson that sheds light on an “new, old approach” to farming called “regenerative agriculture” that has the potential to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world. This film comes to us at a time when the health of our ecological systems are fragile. Understanding the root origin of how we thrive as humans is essential in empowering everyday citizens to make small but meaningful changes to their daily lives for the better.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix – Watch Panel with the filmmakers HERE

6. Infinite Potential:  The Life & Ideas of David Bohm

A transformational journey through the mystery of consciousness, Paul Howard’s film is surprisingly accessible for those of us who have never taken a physics course.  David Bohm, one of the 20th Century’s most brilliant physicists, was Albert Einstein’s spiritual son and the Dalai Lama’s “science guru.” Not only does Bohm discover through science Quantum Potential, he unites these discoveries with Eastern wisdom, firmly establishing the interconnectedness of all things.  Infinite Potential includes interviews with luminaries such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, esteemed artist Antony Gormley, Oxford philosopher and physicists Sir Roger Penrose, and many more who were influenced by Bohm’s revolutionary work.  Today Bohm’s work is finally being recognized for its potential to revolutionize human thought and our relationship to the planet.  If watching this film doesn’t spark your neurotransmitters, it’s time to up your consciousness-raising practice.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: GAIA – Watch a Q&A with the Filmmakers HERE

7. The Social Dilemma

The documentary examines the effect that a handful of leading digital social media platforms, including but not limited to Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have over the public; it is emphasized that a relatively small number of engineers make decisions that impact billions of people. The alarm bells have been sounded for years, but have been layered in tech jargon and a lot of consumer confusion. The Social Dilemma strips away the tech talk and speaks to the human impacts of these connected platforms that seem to be fragmenting society more than they are connecting them.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

8. The High Note

Starring the always inspiring and entertaining Dakota Johnson as Maggie and Tracey Ellis Ross as Grace, The High Note is set in the dazzling world of the LA music scene and tells the story of Grace Davis, a superstar whose talent, and ego, have reached unbelievable heights. Maggie is Grace’s overworked personal assistant who’s stuck running errands, but still aspires to her childhood dream of becoming a music producer. When Grace’s manager presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Maggie and Grace come up with a plan that could change their lives forever. A lovely film that reminds us that our stations in life are really just in our heads!

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Apple TV

9. A Life On Our Planet

Growing up in the UK, David Attenborough inspired my passion for world travel and nature. Now 93, this icon who practically invented the nature documentary genre, lays bare his ‘witness statement’ for the environment.  In his lifetime, Attenborough has watched with horror as the planet’s biodiversity has degenerated before his eyes. His utter sadness is revealed in Close-up shots of a face that has seen the advent of global air travel, the first images of the earth from the moon, and the astonishing beauty of the natural world.  Yes, we grieve with him, but all is not lost.  This beloved man lifts our spirits and raises consciousness with solutions that will save the planet if we act quickly.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Netflix

10. Happiest Season

Bringing an all-star cast together, including Kristen Stewart as Abby and Mackenzie Davis as Harper, The Happiest Season is a contemporary love story that will warm hearts and bring families together. Abby Holland and Harper Caldwell are a lesbian couple who have been dating nearly a year. Abby dislikes Christmas since her parents passed away, so Harper spontaneously invites Abby to celebrate the holidays with her family in her hometown. Things are looking bright and starlit until Harper reveals to Abby she actually hadn’t come out to her family, so back in the closet they go. Watch as The Happiest Season reveals how the key to our own personal freedom can’t be controlled by anyone, but ourselves.

WHERE TO WATCH IT: Hulu

Featured image photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Our Discussion About Dr. Fauci Telling People To Wear Goggles To Protect Against COVID-19

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Joe, Ruby and I recently sat down for our weekly show, “The Takeaway” to discuss Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent recommendation that all people should be wearing goggles as well as a mask in order to protect themselves against COVID-19. As most of you reading this will know, mask mandates in public settings have caused quite a controversy, especially in Canada and in the United States. Well known and reputable doctors and scientists seem to be the catalyst, having brought a lot of attention to themselves by sharing their expert opinions and research. Today, however, we are living in a very different environment as information that contradicts what’s told to us by our federal health regulatory agencies is now deleted, blocked, and censored from social media platforms and Google searchers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, based on what I have been seeing and from our own experience here at Collective Evolution, we are living in a time where a digital authoritarian Orwellian fact-checker is patrolling the internet and censoring information, deeming it as “false” when in many cases, the information doesn’t appear to be false at all. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of “fake news” out there, but should people not have the right to examine information and determine for themselves what is, and what isn’t instead of having someone else do it for them?

In the episode below we share our opinions and talk about where we see things going within the next few months. It’s a two part episode, in the second part we talk about an interesting document within the CIA’s electronic reading dealing with the affect human intention can have on physical material systems. If you’re interested in that, you can access it on CETV, here.  CETV is a platform we created to combat the censorship we are currently experiencing, as many  of you probably already know of by now.

Related CE Articles About Wearing A Mask:

Study Finds That Cloth Masks Can Increase Healthcare Workers Risk of Infection

Social Media Giants Remove Viral Video of Doctors Talking About Coronavirus, Masks & Treatment

Harvard Doctors Examine Whether or Not Masks Can Provide Any Protection From Infection

Are Mandatory Masks A Precursor To A Mandatory Coronavirus Vaccine? 

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Woody Harrelson Shares A Powerful Video: ‘Thoughts From Within’ He Calls It

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CE Staff Writer 1 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Woody Harrelson shares some spoken word with a deep message.

  • Reflect On:

    How do you view our current world? Does it truly resonate with you? Is it something you want to support? If you could put your energy into a world of thriving abundance, would you? Then why so much energy into the way things are?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

I sit here today having been reminded of a Woody Harrelson video after watching a movie he acted in. I recalled the first time I saw this video. It was one of the first realizations I had, about 9 years ago, that many celebrities also go through life with trials and tribulations of the average person. Perhaps not in all ways, but certainly in many. This is an obvious thought of course, but sometimes not all that common.

When I saw this video, I remember thinking, wow, I love what he is sharing, and coming from his place of influence this truly has a powerful message. This is an awesome video made by Woody Harrelson sharing some powerful thoughts from within.

In the video Woddy lays out a spoken word masterpiece that touches on all of the main aspects of our current society. If you truly take the time to listen, there is much to reflect on. And of course, there is an inspiring side of it all too.

This one is a bit of a throw back, but it’s a good one. Enjoy it!

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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