Monte Grande: What is Life?

Posted By: tomasvalparaiso
Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life? (Francisco Varela)
Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen | Aspect: 16:9 (853x480) | English (Spanish sub link) | 80min + 120min (Bonus Content) | 4,3 Gb
Directors: Franz Reichle | Actors: Francisco Varela, H.H. Dalai Lama, Humberto Maturana | DVD Release Date: July 30, 2007

Varela was one of the great minds and grand souls of our day. MONTE GRANDE carries his spirit for all time.

Daniel Goleman, Psychologist & Author of Emotional Intelligence.

Francisco Javier Varela García (September 7, 1946 – May 28, 2001), was a Chilean biologist, philosopher and neuroscientist who, together with his teacher Humberto Maturana, is best known for introducing the concept of autopoiesis to biology. How is it possible for body and mind to exist as an integrated whole? The Chilean neurobiologist Francisco Varela devoted his entire life - from childhood to death to answering this question. The structure of the film is based on Varela's non-linear thinking and focuses on autopoiesis, ethics, consciousness, meditation and dying. The film also includes narrative accounts and reflections from Varela himself, his relatives, leading scientists, friends and thinkers, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Heinz von Foerster (the father of cybernetics), Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Evan Thompson, Anne Harrington, Humberto Maturana, etc. Three key concepts shape the film: the relationship between body and mind (embodiment), the meaning of self-responsibility (autonomy) and spirituality. DVD features include film stop to access additional information, 120 minutes of bonus interviews, topics and places, and the short, "Making Empanadas."

Monte Grande: What is Life?


Monte Grande: What is Life?

Francisco Varela was born in 1946 in Santiago in Chile. Like his mentor Humberto Maturana, Varela studied first medicine then biology at the University of Chile, then did a Ph.D. in biology at Harvard University. His thesis, defended in 1970 and supervised by Torsten Wiesel, was titled Insect Retinas: Information processing in the compound eye. After the 1973 military coup led by Augusto Pinochet, Varela and his family spent 7 years in exile in the USA before returning to Chile to become a Professor of biology. Varela became a Tibetan Buddhist in the 1970s, initially studying with the meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Vajradhatu and Shambhala Training, and later with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, a Nepalese meditation master of higher tantras. In 1986, he settled in France, where he at first taught cognitive science and epistemology at the École Polytechnique, and neuroscience at the University of Paris. From 1988 until his death, he led a research group at the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique). He died in 2001 in Paris of Hepatitis C after having written an account of his 1998 liver transplant. Varela had four children, including the actress, environmental spokesperson, and model Leonor Varela.

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Varela was primarily trained as a biologist, and was fundamentally influenced by his teacher and fellow Chilean, Humberto Maturana, also a biologist with a strong philosophical orientation. Varela wrote and edited a number of books and numerous journal articles in biology, neurology, cognitive science, mathematics, and philosophy. He was a founding member of the Integral Institute, a thinktank dedicated to the cross-fertilization of ideas and disciplines. Varela was a proponent of the embodied philosophy which argues that human cognition and consciousness can only be understood in terms of the enactive structures in which they arise, namely the body (understood both as a biological system and as personally, phenomenogically experienced) and the physical world with which the body interacts. He introduced into neuroscience the concepts of neurophenomenology, based on the phenomenological writings of Edmund Husserl and of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and on "first person science," in which observers examine their conscious experience using scientifically verifiable methods.

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

Monte Grande: What is Life?

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