God and Dramatica

Now here’s a touchy subject.  Still, over the years, many have taken a philosophical, even spiritual view of Dramatica.  There are even some who have drawn a comparison between Dramatica’s 64 elements and the 64 trigrams of the I Ching.   In fact, two of them wrote articles on that topic.  Here are the links:

Noa’s Archetypes
by noted ballet coach,
Anthony Noa

The One and the Many
by C.J. Lofting

Some find this comparrison odd, and at first so did we, since neither Chris nor myself had studied the I Ching before creating Dramatica and only after having this brought to our attention did we explore the similarities.  Ultimately, for me, it is just another indicator that we are all looking for the same answers to the same universal questions.  Dramatica is just another lens through which to focus on our own existence.

A new Dramatica user recently sent to me the following:

I’m probably stating the obvious, but have you thought about the Story Mind in terms of God, and human beings in terms of representing different aspects of God?
 
Well, as you might expect, I do in fact have a few thoughts on that matter.  But before I pen them, a caveat:
 
In the early days of our development of Dramatica, some twenty years ago, Chris and I encountered legions of fans who were so enraptured with the potential of the theory as a model of the mind that they started applying it to all kinds of areas outside of the realm of the creation of fiction.
 
For example, one lawyer was using it to help structure his closing arguments in criminal trials.  A student in one of my UCLA classes began exploring how Dramatica might be applied to the patterns he encountered in sub-nuclear physics.  And another student in a Deep Theory class I taught was having her pyschiatrist apply it to help her integrate her multiple personalities.
 
Due to the comments by users and students and our own awareness of some of the philosophical implications of Dramatica, Chris and I began to worry about the potential abuse of Dramatica as the basis for some new religion.  After all, Dramatica (in its original form) dealt with four Classes – Universe, Mind, Physics, and Psychology – which were already a keystone in Dianetics (something neither of us knew until long after the theory was complete).  Of course, we use the terms differently as meaning the four posible realms of exploration in a story – External or Internal States or Processes.  Every story problem can be identified as being either an External or Internal State or Process.  Universe is an External State, Physics is an External Problem, Mind is an Internal State, Pyschology is an Internal Process.  And so, for us, this was just a story issue.  But, quite naturally, stories are about the way we think and feel and we realized that people would probably try to resolve problems in their own lives by identifying them in the same way, with the same terms.
 
So, we have always been pretty wary and on guard against any “cult-like” movements that might crop up around the ol’ theory, lest the power of Dramatica from an organizational and self-illuminating aspect might be subverted to lure in and control innocent seekers of truth.
 
(After all, in my pre-Dramatica days I had written and edited a feature length documentary on Jim Jones and the People’s Temple and the Guyana suicide.  I spent a year on that project, and it has made me ever-watchful for any charismatic leader who isolates his or her flock and professes to be the sole source of God’s Truth.  Again, the Tao that can be spoken is not the Eternal Tao.  In fact, I went on to write a song about what I learned in that year – including interviewing one-on-one a survivor from the massacre.  Here’s a link to a rendition of that song, if you are interested: on mp3 at Guyana Dreamin’ or on video at Guyana Dreamin’)
 
And so, knowing that the last thing I want to do is encourance any kind of following of my personal philosophies, please take this as just a little sharing of some of my speculations with that new user who asked:
 
I’m probably stating the obvious, but have you thought about the Story Mind in terms of God, and human beings in terms of representing different aspects of God?
 
Here’s my reply:

If God is within us and we within God, then the concept of characters within a Story Mind might be a useful perspective in our attempt to better understand our relationship with the Divine.

Consider – suppose that we experience our linear lives like scanning lines on a television. Suppose our souls do not perish at death, but simply reset to the next scanning line, so that we either have been or will at some time be and live the life of every thinking creature that has existed, currently exists, or will exist. In other words, be good to your neighbor and every bug on your wall, for it is you.

Time is irrelevant to God, for it is our one continuous life as a single soul that scans the experience of reality from a Main Character view – I think, therefore I am. But God sees all the scanning lines not as individual linear experiences, but as comprising a bigger picture – the fully scanned image, in motion, as the universal collection of thinking creatures is constantly altering as new hosts are born and old hosts die, frame by frame.

Together, we play out across God’s mind, informing God’s thoughts and, in a sense, continuously creating God as God puts us (who are really one) into play.

God is both author and audience to his own creation in a way no player on the field can ever fully appreciate, for ours is not to watch the movie but to live the role.

I call this concept “co-creation.”

Just idle speculation.  Make of it what you will.

Melanie

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