Introducing the Heroic Journey 2.0

Tim Grahl  00:02

Hello, and welcome to the story grid podcast. This is a show dedicated to helping you become a better writer. I’m your host, Tim Grahl, and I am a struggling writer trying to figure out how to tell a story that works. Joining me shortly is Shawn Coyne. He is the creator of story grid, the author of the bookstore, the grid, and an editor with over 25 years experience. In this episode, we’re continuing the discussion of what it’s going to look like to edit the second, the second book, so the first draft of my second book, and we get really deep into the hero’s journey, 2.0 stuff. So this is a class that Shawn taught a couple months ago. And it’s really a whole fresh take on not just the hero’s journey, but story grid overall. And it’s really powerful stuff. And it’s going to take a few weeks for us to get through it all. But this is a really great introduction to it. So I think you’re going to get a lot out of it. So let’s jump in and get started. So Shawn, before we dive back into the hero’s journey stuff, it’s been a couple weeks since we’ve recorded and I I’ve now crossed particularly like 71,000 words in some in the the in the ending pay off. As I’ve been going through and writing the book. I’ve been leaving myself all these notes in like brackets of like, Oh, I got to go back and weave this in. I got to set this up. I’ve got to figure out this piece. I remember back with the threshing, I was constantly like, oh, man, this scene wasn’t long enough for oh, you know, this isn’t you know, and you kept just encouraging me to keep going. So with this one, I’ve really tried to just keep writing, I feel like the stories working get the story down. In anything, I just leave myself notes as I go. So is this something where like? Cuz, you know, the things that we’ll do is like the spreadsheet and the full SCAP and then the hero’s journey stuff we’re going over. But like, so my question was just should I go back and try to tighten up all of these very loose ends before we really dive into fixing it? Or? Or is that like, could that end up fixing a bunch of stuff we throw out anyway. I was just I get confused at these points when, and this is where I understand where people get really frustrated, especially once they’re finishing up the first draft of like, what they should do first. So is this something where it’s like, no, no, no, just make that into, you know, just add that to the to do list that we’re going to come up with when we go back through it anyway? Or is that something that’s like, No, you know, try to kind of get it ready before we really look at it? Well,

Shawn Coyne  02:51

I’m kind of two minds about it. If you were not working with somebody that you’ve worked with before, I would suggest you do your best effort. Meaning go back and fix everything before you share it with an editor. There’s nothing that will drive an editor more into the depths of despair than when someone says to them. Hi, I’ve got a first draft, I know there are a bunch of problems. I’ve already written down all the problems that I think are already in there. But will you take a look at it now anyway. Because because the subtext of that kind of language is I’m too lazy to apply my own intellectual analytical ability to fix the problems that I see that are obvious here. So I’m just gonna wait until you prove to me that you share the same update, you know, it’s just like when you’re an editor, you want somebody to hand you their best work, right? You want them to, to say to you, look, I’ve gotten to the end of the line here. I’ve gone through this thing so many different times. I think I’ve fixed everything. I just need fresh eyes on this, then you go okay, cool. Now, they’re they’re committing to the work that they’re putting in my hands, instead of this sort of squishy? Well, I’m not really sure if this is exactly the best work I can do. But But But that said, One, you know, one of the things that I’m trying to do with the methodology is to clarify and to get greater resolution and to come up with your mystics that will be that will lessen the burden of the editing process that lessen it, but actually focus it so that it’s more potent. So one of the things that I’m doing is thinking about well, there are absolutely levels of analysis that we can go through when we’re editing a book. And it’s been my experience that when you start toggling in between different kinds of levels of analysis, that’s when you can start really getting off track. So, you know, part of the thing that had been working over the last few years, which is kind of culminating, which culminated in the heroic journey, 2.0 course that I did you know, a month or so ago, is looking at the global structure substructure, right. So, the global structure, all that means is how is the whole thing put together? So, you know, my great proposition and hypothesis is that there is a global structure that will appeal to the greatest number of people. And that global structure is represented by the heroic journey 2.0, which is derived from the work of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Christopher Vogler and on and on and on on. So, there’s another woman who wrote the heroines journey, and I, I’m blanking on her name, but I’m not trying to say that this is all a white male thing. It’s not anyway. So the heroic journey 2.0, in my estimation, is the grand structure of a story that will have the greatest probability of reaching the greatest number of people in a way that will bring them some sort of catharsis, okay, so that’s the big, the big Migaila of structure underneath that structure are kind of sub structures, right? So like, you have a building, that’s the superstructure, and then within the superstructure, our sub structures like the heating, the heating system, or the electrical system, or the plumbing system, and you need all of those sub structures to be perfectly coherent in order for the superstructure to be coherent two. So the first level of analysis, my estimation is heroic journey. 2.0 is that in the story? Alright, so that’s number one. And then the substructures are what I’m calling, you know, genre. So the substructure underneath heroic journey, point 2.0 would be your global genre, right. So let’s just say the global genre of this story is an action survival story. I don’t know that to be true, but let’s just do it for the sake of argument. Okay, so that would be the next level. And so what we would do, when we’re editing the book would be, I would probably start at the Global genre. So that would be the equivalent of sort of the engineering plan for the superstructure, you could build a beautiful building, but if the engineering isn’t working, and the physics aren’t working, the building will fall apart. So you can have a great heroic journey to point o superstructure embedded in your story. But if the engineering plans are all messed up, it’s not going to work. So I think you can see what I’m getting at here is that what you would do is all of these elements that you’re putting together, and all these questions that you’re asking yourself, like I need to address this, what you’re going to do at the end of this process of your first draft, is start to categorize each of those questions. Is this a question? That is part of the superstructure hero’s journey? Point 2.0. Or is this more categorizable as the global genre category, right. So she’s kind of see what I mean. It’s, it’s as if you’ve got, what you’re doing is you’re you have a big box. And what you’re doing is you’re you’re getting these little pieces that you have to fix and you’re putting it in the box. And some of these pieces around in some of these pieces are rectangular. And some of these pieces are triangular. So at the end, and you’ve got this big box, and it’s filled with all these mixed up pieces, some are circles, some are rectangles, and some are triangles. And so before you start fixing them and pulling one out after the other and trying to fix it, what you would do is bring all the circular pieces together, bring all your rectangular pieces together, and then bring all of your triangular pieces together. And then you would apply your efforts in each of those categories one at a time, so that you’re not moving from a circle to a triangle to a rectangle, because that’s too confusing. Each one of these categories has specific sub components that must be fulfilled. I hope I’m not being too abstract. But you get what I’m saying.

Tim Grahl  10:04

Yeah, yeah, no, I mean, I mean, we’ve done that in other ways before where it’s like, Okay, now we’re going to look at your book through this lens, and we’re going to go systematically through it and fix those or identify those problems, then we’re going to look at it through this lens. Because if, if, yeah, if I’m trying to look at the macro at the same time as the micro, I’m just gonna drive myself insane. Right?

Shawn Coyne  10:27

Right. So a part of the methodology is to teach people how to do things without needing me, right without needing show, right? So. So if I can get people to start to grab on to the concept of this sort of, like categorization of problem, and which sub category of problem is that piece, right? So you always want to be using the same lens to solve the same problem. So you want your circles problem and you want your rectangles problems, and you want your triangles problems, all in separate boxes. So the first thing after, let’s say, let’s say, Shawn isn’t available to you anymore. So you’re you’re writing your first draft, you’re making these notes and say, I got to fix that later. I got to fix that later. Okay, now you’ve got your first draft. And let’s say you’ve got 200, little jangly pieces that you know, need fixed. And so what you would do is the first thing you would do, instead of solving them, you would say, okay, what are my what are what is my superstructure hero’s journey, 2.0, I’m going to put a column and I’m going to put h j 2.0. And then I’m going to list all the things in this box that are applicable to the Hj 2.0. And then you’re going to put your global genre, which would be action. And so you do that, and then you’re going to put all problems that have to do with the action genre in that column. And then you’re going to do a worldview, right, and the worldview is part of part of my new sort of formation of, of the genre idea. And then you’re gonna list all the problems that are dealing with worldview problems. So and then you might have like, well, I’ve got a performance story sub genre as a sub plot. And there are some problems in that too. So I’m going to put that as another column, and then put all the pieces that are dealing with that there. And then eventually, then you would go problem by problem. And then you would go, Oh, that’s a heroic journey problem, you stick that there. And you could just see how you would drop these, you know, you would go through the pieces and drop them in the right baskets. And then once you’ve gone through all the pieces, then you would go. Okay, which one of these lenses? Am I most excited about fixing first? Right? But and then you would generally start with that one, and you would go through and you go, Well, if I fix that, that’s gonna mess up this other situation. And then what do you do? You start a new box, right? Yeah. And so through this series of analytical processes, you will eventually start to co hear the story so that all of the the sub component structures of the superstructure start to align and cohere. And then guess what happens the sum of all those parts, when they get more and more coherent, you know, they provide a working story. And, of course, this is all this is super macro, kind of blends looking. And then, then, once you kind of have that macro generally solved, and you’ve got some really bad sentences in your book, but you know, they’re fine for now. They’re placeholders, then you would go to the spreadsheet, and you would go, Oh, that scene doesn’t abide the five commandments got to fix that. And then you start fixing the, the micro. And, you know, it sounds very simple. But this is extraordinarily difficult to, to sort of get yourself out of the, oh my God, my book sucks, you know, framework, right? So it’s like, almost like looking at a car engine, instead of this is the product of all of my creative energy, you know? And yeah, but that’s the beauty part of the story grid methodologies enables you to define your problems very specifically, so that the probability of you losing your shit is decreased. And the better we get at categorizing these things, and the better I can bring the methodology into more higher resolution the better it’ll be for everyone.

Tim Grahl  15:02

Yeah, I mean, I’m, I remember, this not being nearly as painful as trying to get the working story in the first place. So I feel like, you know, you’ve, you’ve read the first half, and you know, get you out, I forget how I got to do the math again. But it’s like, I’m probably three weeks away from finishing this thing up. And having the SEC, you know, the actual full first draft, and I feel like the story works well. And then the under the hood stuff is the stuff that I feel much more comfortable doing, you know. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to doing it, cuz this is just such a different thing. Because I think, I think, you know, with the threshing, it was three or four scenes at most I would write before you would look at it. And so having this Having done this, you know, every day, you know, I’m, you know, I’ve been doing that writing every day, like 85, or 86, in a row now of writing every single day, just, you know, churning away it getting this thing done. It feels it feels good, I feel like I got something good. I, there’s like this whole thing. I mean, I don’t know, the thing I’m excited about is I’ve got. So I have it set up where it looks like Jesse’s helping the bad guys, but in this really subtle way. And, and I’m really trying hard to sell it and then pull it out at the end. Because there’s all these conversations she has, where she’s making a case for what she’s doing, and everybody doesn’t want her to do it. And she’s like, You guys are crazy. This is the only way to fix everything is to finally help the Reapers get what they want. And then the big ending will be when she pulls the rug out from the whole thing. So and the other is I think I found my theme. Because the first one, so the you know, and this will be the worldview shift for her in the second book is realizing that she, she doesn’t. And the first one, she took it on herself to to do this giant thing that affected millions of people without them having their own input on it. And in this one, she’s leaving it, she’s realizing that’s not her role, she can’t do that. So she has to leave it up to everybody else to make their own decisions. And so she’s what, that’s where at the end of this is where she will basically let everybody know what’s actually going on, and then just wait to see what they do. But she’s going to sacrifice sacrifice herself in the process of giving them that information. It’s like the end of Did you ever see serenity? That movie? Have you heard of the the show of Firefly? Yeah, so it was like the movie that they made to kind of wrap up Firefly because it got canceled. And the the end was, they basically found this secret that the gut, you know, air quote, government didn’t want everybody to know, in the end was they just told everybody that secret and would let them do what they will. And that’s kind of how I’m ending the second book. Anyway, that was a big tangent.

Shawn Coyne  18:46

No, well, I think it’s an important tangent because thematically. The first book is sort of, in my estimation, it’s, it’s the reaction of an immature person to assume that the systems of order and control that are in place are all inherently bad. And that we need to burn the whole thing down. So thematically, the ending of the first book is Jessie does that right? Because she’s, she’s not mature. So she doesn’t understand the second order effects of destroying whatever order is already in place. It’s not to say that the order doesn’t need to be refreshed and fixed, and that there aren’t real problems with it. But when you go and just say, Well, if we just burn the whole thing down, then we can just start from fresh and everything will be cool because everybody will be cooperative and everybody will work together to make a better world. And that is not real. That’s not true. because it’s it’s completely ignoring one half of our paradoxical nature, which is our shadow agency, right? So each individual human being has luminary agency and shadow agency. And so the immature person believes that, oh, we can just as long as we just kill or get rid of all the people who have shadow agency, then all of us luminary beings will be able to make a better world. And they don’t recognize that that’s actually the representation of their shadow. Right? Right. So and living in a paradox is the great existential dilemma we don’t have, it’s a very difficult thing for us to understand that there’s order, and there’s chaos. There’s predictable things that happen cause causes making effects. And there’s also randomness, right? So if you want to, you know, sort of lob on order into cause and effect predictability, that’s what an ordered system is. If I put the coffee in the coffee maker and pour the water in, I’m going to get a cup of coffee, that’s an ordered system. Cool, my causes, create the effects. And then there’s also the unpredictability element. Maybe, accidentally, I put vinegar in the coffee machine, because I accidentally saw vinegar, and I thought it was water. And that is a random chaotic moment, that doesn’t deliver coffee. So we have both of those things in our lives all the time. And I think the immature person, those who haven’t come to maturation, just believes that if we just get rid of the vinegar, then we won’t have a problem, because the water will always be available. But guess what, sometimes you need the vinegar, right? Sometimes you need the vinegar to season or to clean. So we don’t just get rid of one half of our psychic agency, you can’t do that. So the immature person doesn’t even recognize they’re ignorant to the fact that their shadow agency is alive and thriving. So Jessie’s shadow agency is certainly on stage in the threshing, and she unleashes it at the very end and burns down the entire grid. She burns down all order, not to not just the bad order, but all order. And the second book is really about her coming to a more mature worldview to understand, oh, my gosh, there are a second order effects to my actions, how am I going to repair the things that I inadvertently ruined? Do I just throw up my hands and become the new boss? Well, she’s not doing that in the second book. As far as I can see, what she’s trying to do is stop gap contextualize the problem set, so that she can fix problems one by one as best she can. So she’s going from city to city, repairing the grid herself, doing a small team of people, she’s taking responsibility for the things that she’s done before. And she’s trying to enact solutions that can be helpful for everyone. And of course, there’s a lot of shadow agency that wants to stop her from doing that. Because when you have the destruction of a system, there’s what a power vacuum. And a power vacuum attracts a lot of shadow agency, there’s a lot of people who want to go in there and step in, and Randy is one of them, who’s her brother. So I think you’ve got a really nice thing going here because this second novel is about the second order effects of burning down the tyranny to the ashes. And I think a lot of us believe, Oh, as long as we just burn down and get rid of all the bad people, everything’s gonna be cool. As long as we just you know, don’t let the bad people into this area. Everybody’s goodness will emerge. Well, actually, no. You got to be a student of history, you know. Now when there’s a power vacuum, the shadow agency arises and each and every one of us, we get a little nervous, we panic, we try and get ours first and it becomes a dog eat dog kind of really nasty evolutionary process where people are hurting each other over food and resources. Anyway, so I think thematically you’re on the right track in this second book, because this is about a worldview movement from not just embracing one’s agency but to now be able to contextualize that agency, according to the particular situation the character sees themself. And so Jesse is making extraordinary cognitive leaps in the stories which he should, and being able to play to the shadow agency, as represented by the Reapers to make give them the sense that they are getting what is good for them, while she is building up the possibility of dethroning them with minimal blood loss or minimal chaotic disruption. Sounds like a pretty mature approach to changing a system that needs to be changed without burning down all the food source. So I think you’re on a really solid path. Okay.

Tim Grahl  26:06

Yeah, if it feels right, and it’s, it’s coming together. And I think it’s, it’s I’m in that space, where I’m not sure I know where I’m going. But I’m still not 100% sure how I’m going to get there. But every day I go to write what I got to do next shows up so I’m going to just keep assuming that’s going to happen. Yeah. So back to the hero’s journey. 2.0 thing. You know, there’s, there’s parts of it that look familiar, which is the circle and the quadrants. But But then, you know, you do the quadrants different. There’s different signposts. So like, could you just talk a little bit about how you approach this circle and how it looks different than everybody else’s? That makes sense.

Shawn Coyne  27:07

Yeah. I mean, if I could just take a just a mild step backward. Just over the past couple of years, it’s occurred to me, just by sort of like, dipping my toe into the internet Zeitgeist and general culture, that there there seems to be a disgruntlement or dissatisfaction with the traditional sort of Joseph Campbell model of the hero’s journey. And, and when I was looking, and I was like, I wonder why that is. And then I started, you know, looking at hero with 1000 faces and looking at Vogler his work and seeing the language used, and the sensibility of the of the, the ways in which Campbell is mechanizing, the union individuation process, it seemed to me that, whoa, this is in danger of sort of falling down into, for lack of a better word, the cancellation mimetic structures of today’s cultural systems. And what I mean by that is, I think people might start throwing this stuff away and saying, This is not applicable to us anymore. Now, you know, like in the verbiage of Jesse, they want to burn down, or it’s possible that somebody would, would consider burning down Campbell’s work as the work of somebody who is not quote unquote, on the right side of history. And the same thing goes with young right, because, you know, Jung spoken in very quazi strange language that is difficult to interpret the individuation process is kind of hard to follow. And so this is why this project really appealed to me is that I don’t want people to lose the baby with the bathwater. And so, the bathwater here is language that is from a different context. It’s from a different cult collective cultural grammar, right. So, you know, I was having my conversation, my weekly conversation with Lesley Watts yesterday, who’s our editor in chief? And we were talking about Tolkien, right. And and what was interesting to me is that we were talking about the row of journey 2.0 And how the different means by which it applied to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. and how it applied to the Hobbit. And the notion of the collective cultural grammar really started to solidify for me. And the way it came up is, generally the heroic journey. 2.0 is all about what I was talking about earlier with Jesse, it’s coming to terms with the paradox of our experience. The paradox is that there are ordered systems, and there are chaotic, unexpected events that drop into our world simultaneously. And getting a grip on how we can both have order and chaos and the complex. The complexity of those two phenomena, phenomena constantly emerging in our everyday life is a paradox. It’s one of the great existential problems that we’re all trying to solve all the time. And so what the heroic journey 2.0, in my estimation is all about is how to do that. How do we adapt to changing systems? How do we create new order? How do we apply our shadow agency? When should we apply our luminary agency? What what are those two agencies anyway? What does it mean? You know, why are there Creative Forces and destructive forces in the world? Why do they both have to be around? What’s with the, the doubt a Ching? What did what was loud suit, you know, getting at with that, you know, the half black and half white circle, what was that all about? So, in terms of the collective cultural grammar of token, when he was writing, The Hobbit, there was an assumption. There was an assumption that the natural order of the individual homosapiens on the planet Earth, is when push comes to shove, one sacrifices one’s individuality in the service of the greater good. So, you know, at the end of World War One, and Tolkien fought in World War One, you know, we had, I mean, Europe was just drenched in blood, millions and millions of people were murdered and killed, generations were decimated. And for what, you know, the big, the big existential question is, well, what did that mean? What was the point of all that? And, you know, people have written 1000 page history books, trying to figure out what World War One was really all about? Was it about, you know, the murder of the cousin of the Kaiser? And what was it and it was, it was a very big problem. So meanwhile, you know, token notices that there’s a real meaning crisis post World War One, and he’s trying to relate to his children. So he decides to tell them the story of The Hobbit. And it doesn’t even occur to token to even make a big deal of the fact. And Leslie and I were talking about this moment in The Hobbit, it’s right after Bilbo slay sting the giant spider by himself, he finally seizes his own agency, and he’s unleashes, unleashes his shadow agency, his destructive force, his inner destructive force, in order to survive for himself. And so he’s successful, he kills the spider. And now he’s, he’s facing a crisis, right? Oh, geez, I have enough power that I could probably get out of Mirkwood in this forest all by myself, I could probably survive, if I just followed the bread crumbs back to you know, civilization. But he doesn’t even give it a second thought. He’s immediately like, I’ve got to go, you know, save my friends. So he immediately goes to battle more spiders in order to save the dwarves who were being subjected, you know, they’re imprisoned by the other spiders who were about to eat them. And so that moment was really interesting to me, because Tolkien really didn’t make a big deal about it. It was really just implied that of course, the heroic figure is going to sacrifice himself or herself in the service of the greater good. And today, that question is really up in the air. It becomes a big moment in a lot of stories, when the heroic figure has to confront this crisis. And so, the means by which Tolkien dealt with the big existential crisis How do I adapt to an ever changing environment that does not guarantee my survival at any one moment in time? How can I make my life meaningful in those circumstances? And how can I extend the meaning of my life to the larger context of humanity? I mean, these are big, big issues. And toking was definitely dealing with them in The Hobbit. And so was Baumann Wizard of Oz, and so was, you know, Lin, Manuel, Miranda and Hamilton. These are big, big existential issues that form the core of heroic journey 2.0. For me, the heroic journey is really about boiling down to, you know, what, I don’t have all the answers. I’m not sure if I will be able to have a meaningful life. I’m not sure even if there is any meaning to this existence. I don’t know why homosapiens is on the earth, capable of all these thoughts and capable of all these actions, and to be able to control their own actions. I don’t know any of the answers to those questions. But what I do know is that it’s important to go on, it’s important to keep searching for the answers to them, even when, especially when there’s no guaranteed result. And that’s what the heroic journey 2.0 was really about for me. And I think it absolutely was what Carl Jung was talking about. And I think what happened with Joseph Campbell, is that he was applying the lessons of the individuation process in such a way that could be formalized for storytellers. So he took the individuation process, and he used language to set up these mile markers of story for storytellers. And, boy, he was successful. I mean, George Lucas was his student, he created the Star Wars universe, He created all that stuff, based upon this mechanization, this sort of formulaic idea that Campbell came up with. Now, the problem is that formulation was culturally, contextually specific to the Joseph Campbell lifespan, right. So Joseph Campbell died in the 1980s, I believe. So he was a he was a child. During that, you know, the 20s, and 30s, and 40s. And he, he lived in a different world than we live in today. So of course, the language that he uses is based upon the collective cultural grammar of his time. And he’ll he’ll say, things that don’t ring very nicely today, right? He’ll talk about the importance of the Father and getting the the elixir and bringing it back to the people. And it seems it has a real colonialization kind of connotation to it, that I can absolutely see somebody coming at it without knowing anything about Jung, or just saying like, well, what’s the story structure hero’s journey, and then seeing this language, they’re like, this is ridiculous. Well, what does this mean? Mean? There are good people and bad people. And what you’re supposed to do is go exploit the bad people and get the elixir and bring it back to the good people, I can absolutely see how people can miss read, or even literally read that from the Campbell structure. So this is a long answer. But the point of the heroic journey 2.0 is to really boil it back down to its essence, what it’s really about. And in my estimation, it’s about how the hell do we continue to move forward and progressively level up our cognitive capacities, search for meaning, and try and find something true and authentic and good and beautiful about this world? When we are in the midst of a lot of chaos, and a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of really bad ordered systems that need to be refreshed and fixed. How can we continue to move forward? And that in my estimation, is is this wonderful, superstructure that’s built into all of the monolithic stories that Campbell and Jung really picked apart, and I have to write so when we look at Pride prejudice. So we look at The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, or we look at Hamilton, we can see that there are these superstructures thematic things about the character hitting rock bottom, and having to reform themselves, to resurrect themselves out of the depths of despair. And those depths of despair are reflective of these moments when we hit that wall. And something happens that makes absolutely no sense to us. And it undermines all of the things that we held deeply to our hearts to be true. And that system is no longer working for us. So that is the moment when we have to say, Geez, is everything meaningless? Or is it worth continuing to go on. And in my estimation, the heroic journey 2.0 is about getting people to understand just how freaking important it is, and how heroic it is. Just to go on in the face of uncertainty, doubt, difficulties, and all of that stuff, to go on your search to find your own personal meaning as it can lend additional meaning to the entire species, and to not lose it and say, Oh, everything’s meaningless. Let me get while the getting’s good, let me just take care of my own pleasure and comforts, and forget about everybody else, because, you know, it’s all meaningless anyway, we’re all gonna die and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We all know that nihilistic, you know, refrain, it probably rattles around in all of our heads at some point, or one or another. But the heroic journey is this deeply embedded system of truth that has come from the depths of our ancestors, this is the kind of stuff that people were telling each other around campfires, you know, pre pre language, you know, it’s like, hey, you know, it’s time to go out and, and try and get something to eat, who’s with me, you know, and like, somebody picks up a club and what they are, I don’t want him to go out by himself. And then I think it’s a goes that deeply. And so, the reason why that’s a circle, and why there are quadrants in this thing, is, is really, because of the attunement. Our, it’s kind of like two ways of looking at the world. You know, there’s the classic way that is deeply rooted in all of ourselves that comes from the depths of our ancestors from the Iron Age, and the Bronze Age, and the blah, blah, blah. This is when pre enlightenment pre scientific revolution, when all we had were stories to navigate the world. And the big story was that, hey, we live in a in a circle, and the seasons change. So we got fall turns into winter turns into spring and summer, each year, we grow a little bit each year, you know, my hair turns a little bit more gray. And this is just a really reasonable, rational way of looking at the world, I want to be in tune with the natural world, when it starts to get cold, I want to make sure that I have made clothing for the winter. And so life is a cycle and we try and cycle through it, and try and you know, improve our state in our lives through the attunement and coherence with those cycles. So that’s kind of like the circular path. It’s like returning back oh, here we are again. And here we go again, and circle. So it’s all about attuning to the natural, universal experience. And then sort of like around the beginning of the Christian calendar. And it’s not just a Christian idea. This is an idea that comes from multiple cultures, the notion of a linear arc kind of came into being, and that’s the progressive arc of my beginning, my middle and my end. Let me look at my life instead of a cycle as more of a beginning a journey from a starting place to some sort of, you know, reaching Valhalla, or reaching Nirvana, how can I navigate the world such that I can reach that beautiful place at the end, where I can find some kind of peace. So that became kind of like the progressive way of looking at life, looking at life as a straight line, an arc. Now, here’s what’s really interesting to me. Is that the book both of them are true. Right? Both of them are absolutely real, realistic, reasonable and rational. Yeah, every year, we have to cycle through things. And, and also we have a long term arc. So we have this sort of, day to day circular path, we wake up, we we go to work, we come home, we go to bed, we wake up, we went, but you know, it’s the groundhog day thing. It’s a circular pattern, right. And yet, we have long term goals, we have long term goal states. And those are progressive arcs that are linear. So the Hj 2.0 is a means by which we can create a system that can be coherent, that has both the circle and the end the line. So in my estimation, you know, breaking it into four quadrants makes a lot of sense. Because we have four seasons, we have sort of four states of a system, we have four parts of a story, we have our beginning, we have our you know, the first part of our middle, the second part of our middle, and so we have this, this really great kind of four part sensibility. And then if you add in, like the third dimension here, so we have the x and y axis, the third dimension would be the heroic journey 2.0, which is the Z axis. Now I haven’t, I haven’t plotted that out, because it could get ridiculously to conceptually complicated. But what I do think it’s easy for people to understand is that you could see how you could move through time. And it’s, it’s what’s, when you combine a circle and align, what do you get, you get a helix, you get like a corkscrew pattern. So we both travel around while we’re traveling through. So that’s why the four quadrants are so awesome. And then if you add in that third dimension, you have eight, sort of what’s the word eight sections, I don’t know what eight would be. And then then you could see like this helical movement, upward or downward. And so the upward movement is sort of the heroic journey, you know, opening up our cognitive capacities. And the downward spiral would be the anti heroic, which would be a belief in nothing. So the heroic journey is about moving forward, trying to create meaning, even when, especially when there seems to be none. That’s heroic. Anti heroic, is saying to oneself, when you hit that bottom, oh, everything’s meaningless. So I’m just going to take care of myself. And the way to take care of myself the best is to assume as much power I can here on earth. Because the more power I have, the more ability I’ll be able to be comfortable, the more ability I’ll be able to satisfy whatever desires I want, blah, blah, blah. So I know that’s a very long answer. But I think having this global sort of super abstract understanding of what I’m trying to do here is important. I’m trying to rescue a really, really brilliant and important hypothesis from from people who aren’t very popular anymore. So that we can really appreciate the hard work that those two people put into putting forward this idea without throwing it all away, because we don’t like some of the things that they’ve said that were context driven in their lifetime.

Tim Grahl  49:35

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The Book

Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.

First Time Writer

Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.


Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.