John Cleese of Monty Python fame will serve as our on-screen host-narrator and “everyman” guide. He has a passion for the subject matter of Changing of the Gods and bringing these ideas more widely to the world. He has a vivid grasp of cosmology, history, culture, and mythos. He has a long, close relationship with Richard Tarnas and the two have taught together on these subjects. Cleese is an English actor, comedian, writer and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. In the mid-1970s, Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote and starred in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. Later, he directed and co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and former Python colleague Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. He also starred in Clockwise, and has appeared in many other films, including two James Bond films, two Harry Potter films, and the last three Shrek films.
Cleese reunited with Monty Python in July 2014 in London for sold-out shows. He published his best-selling autobiography in 2014, and began producing a live U.S. tour in 2015 with fellow Python member Eric Idle called “John Cleese & Eric Idle: Together Again at Last … for the Very First Time.”
Richard Tarnas is author of Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, on which the movie is based. Rick is an acclaimed, bestselling author and professor of philosophy and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In 1968 he entered Harvard and studied Western intellectual and cultural history and depth psychology, graduating with an A.B. cum laude in 1972. For ten years he lived and worked at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, studying with Joseph Campbell, Gregory Bateson, Huston Smith, James Hillman, and Stanislav Grof, and later served as director of programs and education. He also wrote The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View, an acclaimed narrative history of Western thought and archetypes that became a bestseller and continues to be a widely used text in colleges. In 2007-09, John Cleese and Tarnas lectured together in Santa Barbara as well as in San Francisco about the importance of regaining a connection to the sacred in the modern world. They then taught a full graduate seminar at the California Institute of Integral Studies on “The Comic Genius: A Multidisciplinary Approach.”
Eve Ensler is a Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, and activist. She is renowned as the author of The Vagina Monologues (translated into 48+ languages, performed in 140+ countries), and is the founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising, the vast global movement to end violence against women and girls. Eve also co-founded The City of Joy, a transformational leadership community for women survivors of violence in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo.
Stan Grof, M.D., Ph.D. is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years experience researching the healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. His groundbreaking theories influenced the integration of Western science with his brilliant mapping of the transpersonal dimension.(www.stanislavgrof.com)
Chief Oren Lyons is Faithkeeper of the Wolf Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs of the Haudnosaunee (Iroquois Six Nations). A globally renowned voice for indigenous peoples, he helped establish the UN’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations in 1982 and has long been active defending indigenous rights around the world. Retired as a professor at SUNY Buffalo and as Director of its Native American Studies Program, he is a widely exhibited artist and author, and a legendary figure in world lacrosse.
Luisah Teish is a writer, performance artist and ritual events consultant. Her writing credits include several plays and she is also the author of several books on African and African American spiritual culture, including Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals, a women’s spirituality classic. She has contributions to thirteen anthologies and has written numerous movie, play and book reviews. She has published articles and interviews in magazines such as Essence, Ms., Shaman’s Drum, and the Yoga Journal.
Rev. Cynthia Brix is an interfaith minister and Co-Director of Satyana Institute. Cynthia is co-director of the Gender Equity and Reconciliation International project, and co-founder of the Women’s Spiritual Mastery project. Cynthia co-chaired the Race Relations Committee for the City of Muncie, Indiana, and later initiated an interfaith project to address racial tensions at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Cynthia organized an international conference in Turin, Italy that brought women spiritual masters together from Buddhist, Christian, and Hindu traditions, and produced a DVD video from this conference in 2009 entitled Cultivating Women’s Spiritual Mastery.
William Keepin, Ph.D is co-founder of Satyana Institute and Gender Reconciliation International (with Cynthia Brix), which has conducted 80 programs in eight countries for reconciliation between women and men. Will previously worked as a mathematical physicist and sustainable energy scholar. He was a whistleblower on nuclear science policy. He is co-author of Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation between Women and Men, and Song of the Earth: A Synthesis of Scientific and Spiritual Worldviews.
Jay Harman is described as a “visionary” and “futurist” by the Science Channel. An award-winning entrepreneur and biomimetic inventor, he converted his lifelong fascination with the deep patterns found in nature into multi-million-dollar research and manufacturing companies that develop, patent, and license innovative products inspired by nature. He was among the first pathfinding scientists to make biomimicry—the science of “innovation inspired by nature”—a cornerstone of modern and future engineering.
Jeremy Narby Ph.D. is a Swiss-based anthropologist and indigenous land rights activist, author and speaker. He grew up in Canada and Switzerland, studied history at the University of Canterbury and received his doctorate in anthropology from Stanford. He is author of The Intelligence in Nature: An Inquiry Into Knowledge and The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. He has worked for three decades with indigenous Amazonian peoples in efforts to guarantee their territories and cultures.
john a. powell is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, race, ethnicity, housing, poverty, and democracy. He is a professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley where he serves as Director of its Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. He has founded several institutes, taught at numerous law schools, including Harvard and Columbia, and authored several books, including Racing to Justice.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a 17-year old indigenous change agent, environmental activist, public speaker and eco hip-hop artist. He is Youth Director of Earth Guardians, where he is a powerful voice on the front lines of the youth-led climate movement. He performs internationally at music festivals, organizes demonstrations, and has spoken at over 100 high-profile rallies, events and conferences around the world. He received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President’s Youth Council.