conversations with bianca

Esoteric Agenda & Kymatica film maker Ben Stewart: The Inevitable Age Of Art, Shamanism & Fight Club

US-based film maker and musician Ben Stewart is doing fascinating work. His documentary films Esoteric Agenda, Kymatica and Ungrip have opened up many people’s minds and hearts to different ways of thinking, feeling and experiencing the world. His ontological work is very interesting. We chatted last year before he came to tour Australia to speak about his work.

I listened to an interview with you recently where you commented ‘Year by year in my life, I always encounter something that drastically changes me.’ I wanted to start by asking, have you encountered anything this year so far that has drastically changed you?

BEN STEWART: [Laughs] Oh my god, have I! This year is probably leaps and bounds more profound than any year of my life. It would stand to reason, understanding astrology and understanding my natal chart, being ruled by Saturn and this being my Saturn Return. As soon as 2011 hit I was in the studio with the band (Hierosonic) and as soon as we got out, things just started coming up: this Australian tour; a world tour at the end of the year; basically this film being finished but also, that’s just the physical material stuff that’s been shaping and forming in my life. A lot has been happening just on an energetic and conscious, emotional and psychological level.

I understand that when you were ten years old you got into Taoism?

BS: Yes. Basically it was my brother that handed me the Tao Te Ching. That was really my first introduction to anything along those lines. I was raised Catholic and it seemed to not really make sense to me until after I had been reading a lot of the eastern philosophy. It was pretty wild.

When you moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at fifteen you ‘rediscovered’ Taoism?

BS: When I moved here to Harrisburg basically – I can’t even count, it was maybe the tenth to the fifteenth time I’d moved in my life – when I arrived here, it was quite a bit of a different energy. My entire life to that point had been making friends, leaving friends, making friends, leaving friends, making them, leaving them over and over again—when I would move I wouldn’t just move down the street or across town it was across the country, out of the country, across the world, different hemispheres, just all over the world. Finally, when I realised that this was going to be my home base for the remaining years of me being in school (because I was still in Junior High when I moved here) that was when I decided that I was going to learn to be in the best company by myself. Realising the fluidity of friends coming in and out of my life, some sticking there but also friends changing in their lives and molding and shaping on their own independently of me, I realised that the only thing stable in my life was within me. That was what got me back into reading the Tao Te Ching.

What was it about eastern philosophies that attracted you more so than western?

BS: I would say that there is nothing that I could really verbalize or put dialogue to in anyway because it was really just… I don’t look at one or the other being more correct or more true; there’s just a certain energetic stance that it had that really resonated with me. With the Tao Te Ching you can read one line and ponder it for months, that’s what I liked about it. It wasn’t this vast volume such as the Hindu Vedas. It was really just short, simple and poetic.

I was more interested in how to visualize or recognize the impossible rather than the very simple rational logical. It’s always made more sense to me, to look into those things such as some of the allegories and some of the things that they say you really need to put yourself into—nature being perfect if you try to hold it, it will be destroyed in your hand. It’s more or less this flow that you enter into, rather than something that you acquire. That’s me paraphrasing obviously. When I started pondering these things, I started to realise that that is where I felt more actual learning, actual wisdom; knowledge coming in, rather than reading a scientific or a geographical book or one of the text books from school. It required my conscious active participation. It required me to challenge myself, for me to look into it quite a bit more than reading a text book. I just didn’t find that interesting which is why from Esoteric Agenda, I moved closer to where I was with Kymatica which is far more arcane in its approach. I decided for those that are going to be watching, for those that like to enter themselves into this type of research, it’s better for them to balance a lot of that intellectual material with something that you can energetically attach yourself too or emotionally attach yourself to in some way shape or form. If you don’t have a relationship with the information that is coming in then to me, it’s kind of pointless to have it a part of your life. It’s like extra luggage and extra baggage; like furniture that you never intend on using for its function or purpose, you just have it.

When it comes to the eastern philosophies like the Tao Te Ching, it was something that there were only short little phrases. It would take me months to conceptualize and comprehend what they mean to me. When I would discover one of those lines in the Tao Te Ching within, in me or within my life, as something that I can feel or actually experience, that was a billion times more valuable to me than any bit of information I could read in any other book. That’s where my interest in eastern philosophies came from—they required me to actually be conscious and aware.

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  1. jr
    January 31, 2012

    great stuff, really interesting! thanks for sharing xo

  2. darioush
    October 3, 2012

    i am living in Tehran, i can not get youtube in this country, please let me know if i can watch the movie”Esoteric Agenda”
    thank you so much

  3. Bianca
    October 4, 2012

    Hi Darioush, Try checking out Ben’s EA site for more info/other ways of viewing the film: …thanks, B

  4. Cristobal
    December 26, 2012

    Hi bianca, my name is Cristobal Paez, I’m the director of Verböten an online
    magazine from Spain. I’m tryng to contact Ben Stewart, the film maker. maybe you can help me. Thank you and great interview by the way!.

  5. Bianca
    December 27, 2012

    Hi Cristobal, pleased to meet you! Glad you enjoyed the interview with Ben. You can contact Ben via his Facebook and Twitter accounts or via his site: …I hope you get in contact with him. Good luck. Best wishes.

  6. Samantha Wells
    August 18, 2018


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