Into Eden

2010 / Into Eden
2010 / Into Eden

We are living at a time when the assumptions and behaviors of our modern civilization have undermined not only our economic and social stability, but, more important, the earth’s very life support systems. Now the human race must respond and solve these crisis. We have long known, for at least 30 years, that human activity is undermining the ecosystem, polluting the air, water and land, and causing massive species extinction; as well as creating vast disparities of wealth distribution, and financial instability in our modern economies. However, we have been unable to halt our destructive behavior. This brings me to a very critical question: If the earth is our only home and stability is what we seek, why do we behave the way we do? The 11th Hour started to address some of these questions and at the end of the film, Wes Jackson, farmer and President of the Land Institute, said:

“Now to me the value that comes from the healing power that comes from getting, that it’s not just global warming, it’s not just fossil fuel dependency, it’s not just soil erosion. It’s not just chemical contamination of our land and water, it’s not just the population problem. And it’s not just all of those, the deterioration of the environment, of our planet, is an outward mirror of an inner condition. Like inside, like outside and that’s a part of the great work.”

Into Eden is about this “great work,” the work of understanding what has happened “inside,” inside the human species and inside our consciousness. As the outside is our home, planet earth, and it is in crisis, we, then, clearly are in crisis on the inside. I want to explore this crisis, understand why we are in crisis, and how to shift out of crisis into healing and solution. I feel that once we better understand ourselves, we will heal ourselves, and stop the deterioration within and without. We will also then realize that we live in Eden, that the garden of life is still about us and in us, and that we are able to live in it, in harmony. There is no more urgent work than this, and we must get about the business, as fast as we can. – Leila Conners

Into Eden is a documentary film directed by Leila Conners.

We are living in a time when many of our fundamental assumptions about the world are in question because human civilization is being confronted with significant challenges – the life-support systems of the planet are deteriorating, resources are becoming scarce and we are undergoing a dramatic shift in the fundamentals of our economic system around the world. The stress of this uncertainty and rapid change are plunging human consciousness into the fires of transformation. In a sad irony, many of the solutions to our problems are known to us; however, we don’t embrace them, nor do we act to implement them. Why is this?

We believe that the real problem that is blocking change, and, the source of all other problems, has not yet been identified and broadly understood. Our perspective is that the crux of the problem rests at the level of the human spirit and a certain disconnection we have individually, and as a collective, with consciousness. The healing of this divide is the task of our time. Into Eden will explore human consciousness at this critical junction in human development – the challenges we face and the healing before us – with thinkers and leaders from around the globe.

What we are Exploring: The Challenge of Knowing the Truth

Throughout history, humans have sought and achieved insight into the mysteries of consciousness and the truth of our reality here. Expressions in the many forms of art, poetry, monuments and oral histories, have all been created to celebrate such awareness; yet, as time has progressed, history has obscured and often buried such insight. The truth or access to knowledge has been hidden, kept secret, or, just simply forgotten.

Then humans continued to learn, change and evolve, build civilizations, discover technologies, and all the while, the persistence of the truth of our nature continued to shape movements to lift and shift our consciousness. Like the in and the out breath, our remembering and forgetting has gone on for centuries.

And now we find ourselves here, today, with a biosphere strained to support our form of life and civilization; and there is a return to remembering and an evolution to a greater degree of awareness. We believe it is now important to understand what the forces are of remembering and what the forces are of forgetting, so that we can throw off the bonds of obfu-scation and move toward greater clarity of existence.

Eden is a Western construct that carries within it the notion of a “fall from grace,” and a banishment from the garden. This can be viewed as the initial separation from the one, the new perception that we were no longer part of the whole and that we were no longer connected to God and spirit. This fissure and separation now must be healed. Whether the separation ever occurred, as is believed in the West, or not, as is held by many other world beliefs, is not our central concern, what is important is that the West does confront and transform this myth. The West’s confrontation with this myth is critical to the advancement and healing in our time given that West so thoroughly leads human civilization, and, currently, to a path of destruction.

It is because of the central notion of Eden that it will be a metaphor and theme throughout our film. We will mirror it, reflect off of it and evolve the concept to a new myth that can encompass a universal view. The Tree of Life in the center of Eden, a universal symbol, will help us through the idea of spiritual evolution and integration, both concepts that are important in meeting today’s challenge of freedom and enlightenment amidst the ever denser forms of existence that confront us.

Background research and discussions with:
Deepak Chopra, The Chopra Center; Mandaza, Svikiro Healer & Mhondoro Peacemaker from Zimbabwe; Barbara Marx Hubbard, Foundation for Conscious Evolution; Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, Sufi Mystic in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Order; Benjamin Webb, Episcopal Priest, Center for Regenerative Society; Carter Phipps, Enlightened Next Magazine; Deana Metzger, Medicine Woman & Storyteller; James Hillman, Jungian Psychologist Archetypal Psychology; Nathan Gardels, New Perspectives Quarterly; Orland Bishops, ShadeTree Multicultural Foundation; Sanda Jaspar, Reiki Master, Osani Health; Paul Gorman, National Religious Partnership for the Environment; Yogiraji Gurunath Siddhanath, Living Kriya Master; David Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College; Adyashanti, Zen Buddhism; Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Turtle Clan, Onadaga Nation, Haudenosaunee, Six Nations, Iroquois Confederacy; Oscar Miro-Quesada, Shaman in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition.