My Fears Preventing Me From Having A Solid Footing

While I tried to dismiss this in the past, it’s evident to me now that I am fearful of talking about how we don’t see reality directly. In fact, if anything, it makes perfect sense why I’m not making any progress with my work if I can’t get past this point because the entire foundation of it is based upon it. So with no foundation, I have nothing to layer everything else upon which perfectly explains why I feel like I’m not standing on solid ground.

What’s even more interesting about this though is that only by realizing that we don’t see reality directly, do so many other confusing and misinterpreted things in our lives suddenly start making sense. So a lot of the sense-making and meaning-making that comes after realizing this can’t happen until this foundation is laid first. So it’s kind of feels like untwisting a knot that we’ve twisted up ourselves because we were trying to force it through in the wrong direction.

Expanding upon this further though, in terms of trying to simplify things, I’ve also realized the basic psychological structure of my work is as follows.

Hero’s Journey + Vertical Development = Life’s An MMORPG

This also makes sense to me now because the Hero’s Journey is the psychological journey we undergo to transform ourselves and our perception of our world via our worldview which is like our perceptual “augmented reality” lens. This happens when our current worldview, as a narrative myth, no longer works in our lives.

But the problem though is that the Hero’s Journey is not enough because it only focuses on understanding the elements of what it takes to psychologically level up, it doesn’t take into account how these same elements evolve, are different, and become much more complex with each level gained.

Comparing it to playing an MMORPG, it would be like saying the “monsters” you face at Level 1 are comparable to the monsters you face in an end-game raid. They’re not. They’re dramatically different in their complexity.

So it is recognizing that the game itself changes its dynamics as you level up and thus each level is like its own game within the larger game. This is what vertical development helps us to understand. It helps us to see and understand the different monstrous fears we face, as well as the quests we will be undergoing that are appropriate for our current level.

In other words, it’s like seeing the map of World of Warcraft with different zones, along with the levels appropriate for each zone, as well as the monsters you’ll probably be encountering along with the typical quests tied to them.

To put it another way, vertical development gives the Hero’s Journey a larger context to play within, as though Life were an MMORPG, helping us to understand, make sense, and make meaning of life in a way that is often well beyond the horizon of most conventional minded people.

And I’ve actually likened this to stepping outside the safety of Stormwind city in World of Warcraft, whereby the city represents your societal programming and scripting, thus causing you to act like an NPC (non-player character). But by stepping outside the city gates, one heroically becomes a PC (player character), “recoding” themselves (like Ryan Reynolds in the movie Free Guy) and authoring their own script for life.

But back to my original point though. Until I can get over talking about “how we don’t see reality directly”, thus defining the setting, simulation, and “game” that we are playing within, the rest of the elements of my work don’t have a foundation that they can be laid upon.

By Nollind Whachell

Questing to translate Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey into The Player’s Handbook for the roleplaying game called Life, thus making vertical (leadership) development an accessible, epic framework for everyone.

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