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.
MONTE GRANDE’s structure 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 family (former partners and children), leading scientists, friends and thinkers, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Heinz von Foerster (the father of cybernetics), Jean-Pierre Dupuy (philosopher and founder of Center for Research in Applied Epistemology at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris), Harvard professor Anne Harrington (Co-Director of Harvards Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative), Humberto (biologist, joint developer of the autopoiesis idea) Maturana, and others.
Three key concepts shape the film: the relationship between body and mind (embodiment), the meaning of self-responsibility (autonomy) and spirituality