Awakening World

A documentary that explores the power of intimacy and human connection.

One of the documentaries that still sits with me and I watch over and over again with the students I teach is AWAKENING WORLD by Sebastian Siegel. This documentary touches on valuable questions that are important to be mindful of every day, especially when you are busy building resiliency in yourself and others. At the end of each course that I teach in the helps industry (teachers, social workers, nonprofit leaders), I play the documentary.

Why this documentary?

AWAKENING WORLD has a Hawaiian Mahalo vibe, which helps the class relax after a long semester of studies, but also helps the students critically think about what the meaning of life is, which is critical to building their hope and resilience. Working in the helps industry, it can be easy to lose perspective when you feel overwhelmed with life, family and work caseloads and are carrying the stress of those students or families you are trying to help. AWAKENING WORLD helps create a calm amidst the storm.

What inspires an awakened world?

This is what filmmaker Sebastian Siegel endeavors to explore by asking critical questions at the core of human fulfillment from “what is love?” to “what is the purpose of life?” to “what is intimacy?” to “what is heaven?” and “what is hell?” Through interviews with enlightened thinkers, acclaimed artists, noteworthy authors and extraordinary personalities, AWAKENING WORLD encourages interpersonal connection and advocates the spirit of “Aloha” to inspire widespread joy in humanity.

What is intimacy?

Marianne Williams, a spiritual leader who recently announced her run for the presidential candidacy states in AWAKENING WORLD:

“We go around living in the world that we live in with a lot of veils of obfuscationof masking and defending and when we are really lucky and fortunate and having a blessed moment, the veils are removed. And the real connection between two people is made obvious. That’s intimacy,” Marianne Williamson.

Photo from Awakening World.

How important is intimacy?

One big component I have found critical to resilience is intimacy. And this doesn’t have to be in the typical sense, such as romantic partners. It can be between siblings, mentor and mentee, and friends. In fact some of the most powerful intimacy is when you have a trusted friend that will just tell you like it is, or what they have noticed about you, in a caring way. It is beneficial when there is no judgment, there is no mal intent, there is no agenda. It is just for the sake of being vulnerable and sharing or recognizing something in you they want to share with you so that you, whether it is a praise or a way to help unblock you from reaching your higher self.

Who is Sebastian Siegel?

Sebastian Siegel is a British-American screenwriter, director, author, and actor from Oxford, England. His father is an Indian Religions Professor and widely acclaimed writer, Lee Siegel. Sebastian began studying drama at seven-years-old and won the drama prize at Kent School. Sebastian has taught girls who are incarcerated in Los Angeles.

When is the next screening?

On Saturday, January 19, 2019, screening of Awakening World with a discussion on intimacy and transcendence in a private home in Malibu. For information, email