1.1 ~ The Book of You (an unfurling story) ∆
Wherein we begin an insightful indulgence in narrative fallacy.
“Imagine your life as if it were an autobiography”, I say. “As if every single moment—leading to this moment right now—was written down in this big, unfurling story of your life.”
This is not actually the case, of course. But it is a prime example of a useful delusion.
In this lesson we touch upon:—
Why it might be useful to think of our selves as like an unfurling fern; emergent and fractal.*
Why thinking of our life through a ‘story-like’ lens can help to identify recurring patterns or loops amidst the otherwise nebulosity of self.
How any story we have about ourselves and our lives is undoubtedly a form of narrative fallacy—our ongoing fabricated attempt to make sense of the world.
Why our self-concept is intermittently continuous, and how the narratives we weave for ourselves is perhaps more malleable than we might otherwise suspect.
How ‘constructive discontent’ can be used as means of framing new narratives for self-development.
* Notice how I say ‘selves’ here—this is intentional. The less we fixate upon a fixed, single, eternal, ‘true authentic self’—the more open we become to self-development. Gird yourself; there be dragons and daemons ahead. (◕‿◕✿)
Meta-narrator here. The goal here—if there is such a thing—is to move closer to a sense of coherence and congruence. To move closer to semi-stable felt-sense of meaning, mattering, contribution, belonging and relevance. None of these things are fixed destinations, though. We never truly ‘arrive’, and the landscape of life is a dynamic and fluid thing. There is a wisdom of insecurity to cultivate here. Thus we cultivate a kind of fluidity in how we play this infinite game. We lesson our fixation of ‘self’, play more with the notion of ‘character’, and dance with the reality we find ourselves in. This is at the heart of The Character Handbook—the book to which this Ritual of Becoming serves as a precursor.
Some of us have a strong inner voice (or ‘narrating self’), wherein we clearly see ourselves as protagonists in life. For others, this sense is much more ethereal ephemeral. Some of yet still may have no distinct sense of an ‘inner voice’ at all. In time, we will learn to loosen any ‘self-obsessed fixation’ we may have with this potentially-hallucinated voice companion (and, further, we shall get better at deciphering pattern amidst the noise of our ego-chatter), but in the meantime: what is your experience of this? How do you relate to your ‘inner voice’?
Hoho, I was actually hoping to ease you into things, but already we are playing with some high-level metacognitive stuff. It won’t always be like this, I swear. Also, too, in time we will explore the activity of daily journalling as a means of sense-making. But for the meantime—enjoy the ride. This is a warmup for the extended activity to come.
This a work-in-progress ‘virtual book’, meta-blog and online programme by
. Illustrations by