Back to All Events

Crazy Wisdom, Spiritual Emergence, and the Future of Mental Health

  • CIIS Namaste Hall 1453 Mission Street San Francisco, CA USA (map)

Please join us for a presentation by Phil Borges, director of CRAZYWISE, followed by a dialogue co-facilitated by Phil, Ted Esser of ISEN, and SE CIIS student leader Michelle Boyle.  Our dialogue will build on what we began after our screening of CRAZYWISE and Emerging Proud in the fall, and will explore the Crazywise/ Mad Pride/ Spiritual Emergence movements and alternatives to the dominant mental health paradigm, and how they connect with the current evolutionary turning point in our world.  All are welcome.

If you have not seen the films, and would like to, they are available here: and

Phil Borges

For over twenty-five years Phil Borges has been documenting
indigenous and tribal cultures, striving to create an understanding of
the challenges they face. His work is exhibited in museums and
galleries worldwide and his award winning books, which have been
published in four languages, include Tibetan Portrait; Enduring
Spirit; Women Empowered and Tibet: Culture on the Edge.
Phil’s project Stirring the Fire has produced several short
documentaries, a book and an exhibition highlighting some of the
extraordinary women worldwide who are breaking through gender
barriers and conventions in order to enhance the well being of their
Phil’s Documentary, CRAZYWISE reveals a paradigm shift that’s
changing the way Western culture defines and treats “mental illness”.
The film highlights a survivor-led movement demanding more choices
from a mental health care system in crisis.
Phil has hosted television documentaries on indigenous cultures for
Discovery and National Geographic channels. An experienced
lecturer, Phil regularly presents at universities, teaches workshops,
and has given several TED talks; including TED in 2007, and
TEDxUMKC in 2013.

Ted Esser

has been the Director of the Spiritual Emergence Network (founded by Stan and Christina Grof in 1980) for eight years. He has had training and experience with several spiritual traditions in both hemispheres, with expertise in the areas of lucid dreaming, kundalini, nonduality, altered states of consciousness, and other things transpersonal.

He is an Adjunct Professor teaching graduate-level Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Philosophy, Theory, and Research Methods courses at Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) and Consciousness & Dream Studies courses at John F. Kennedy University.

His dissertation, Lucid Dreaming, Kundalini, the Divine, and Nonduality: A Transpersonal Narrative Study examines its subject from a transdisciplinary framework, including transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies, religious studies, and dream studies. He is a contributor to a forthcoming book on lucid dreaming to be published by Prager in late 2013. Previously, he worked in public and educational television for 7 years, producing the Midnight Theatre series for KCTS 9 in Seattle, WA.

He holds BA & BFA degrees in Communications (New Media) & Photography (Video Art) from the University of Washington, and an MA in Philosophy & Religion (Philosophy, Cosmology & Consciousness program ) and a PhD from the East/West Psychology program (Consciousness Studies track) from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He is married with three children in Marin County, CA where he has a spiritual counseling practice.

Earlier Event: December 12
SE Support Group
Later Event: January 24
SE Support Group