Narrative Intelligence

chagne your story.jpgNarrative intelligence is the ability (or tendency) to perceive, know, think, feel, explain one's experience and INFLUENCE reality through the use of stories and narrative forms. Thus the stories we tell become storyfields - fields of influence organizing behaviors, choices, and outcomes for individuals, families, organizations and communities.

In the field of co-intelligence, stories are more than dramas people tell or read. Story, as a pattern, is a powerful way of organizing and sharing individual experience along with exploring and co-creating shared realites. It forms one of the underlying structures of reality, comprehensible and responsive to those who possess what we call narrative intelligence. Our psyches and cultures are filled with narrative fields of influence, or story fields, which shape the awareness and behavior of the individuals and collectives associated with them.

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Story fields are fields of influence or patterns of dynamic potential that permeate psycho-social space and influence the lives of those connected to them. They are made up of many mutually-reinforcing stories (myths, news, soap operas, lives, memories) and story-like phenomena (roles, metaphors, archetypes, images). A story field paints a particular picture of how life is or should be, and shapes the life within its range into its image.
  • Our story field frames what we think is real, acceptable, and possible, and directly shapes our lives and our world, often without our even being aware of it. It shapes everything we see, think and do.
  • Great news! Purposefully activate the magic of neuroplasticity ~ a tricky tactic using storytelling to get what you want in the world: The brain doesn’t know the difference between present and future so when you create a sensory detailed story, it is like a play that you want to live in - your neurology and inner choices start organizing so you can really be the MAIN character in the story you would LOVE to live in.
  • Change the story field of a culture and we change what is real, acceptable, and possible...


Imaginative Cells - A Metaphor for Changing Consensual Realities

Consensual Reality ~ refers to the agreed-upon concepts of life which people in the world, or a culture or group, believe are real and absolute truth of what is doable or possible. It is sometimes called a "Reality Tunnel" that we can only see possibilities within our own beliefs - a term coined by Timothy Leary and popularized by Robert Anton Wilson. The concept of reality tunnels fits nicely with the scientific concept of "confirmation bias" by which we tend to notice and assign significance to observations and experiences that confirm our prior beliefs [aka World Views] while filtering out or rationalizing away observations or information that does not fit with what we believe to be true.

Futuring.020-001.jpgCo-creating vision narratives to tell compelling new stories re-sets a group's consensual reality along with expanding reality tunnels aka cortical re-mapping in ways that changes the energy fields of groups and organizations. That's the science of storytelling and impact on people living in participatory worlds.

The best analogy I've ever heard to describe change is that of a larva becoming an insect. As the caterpillar approaches the time of metamorphosis, certain cells within the caterpillar's body begin to develop - biologists call these imaginal cells. These imaginal cells hold information different from the caterpillar's story - they are the beginning of a new story for "being a butterfly." These cells begin the process of building the various parts of the new organisms of the butterfly. They resonate at a different frequency. They are so totally different from the catepillar cells that his immune system thinks they are enemies...and gobbles them up--Chomp! Gulp!

But these new imaginal cells continue to appear. More and more of them! Pretty soon, the caterpillar's immune system cannot destroy them fast enough. More and more of the imaginal cells survive. And then an amazing thing happens! The little tiny lonely imaginal cells start to clump together, into friendly little groups. They all resonate together at the same frequency, passing information from one to another.

A long string of clumping and clustering imaginal cells is NOW telling the NEW story of being a butterfly, all resonating at the same frequency, all passing information from one to another there inside the chrysalis. The power within those imaginary cells being created became ‘blue print cells’ (consensual reality) of another way to live life. The new parts expand and emerge, and the tissue in between disintegrates, and in a very smooth and non-disruptive way, the caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

Caterpillar to Butterfly.jpg