I have just come across a fascinating online story resource called Biology of Story, which describes itself as an interactive documentary . You can watch the trailer above, billed as ‘a guide for the perplexed’ although quite frankly I was more perplexed after watching it - although curious enough to take a proper look.
The site/documentary seems to be the brain child of screenwriter, Amnon Buchbinder who has developed the notion that story is a living thing, and living is a story thing. He has tried to create a site that is also a kind of living thing.
It a little bit like a choose your own adventure where you must make choices and take paths. It is also like getting lost in the forest, getting deeper and deeper into an aspect of story until you aren’t sure where you are any more, and you need to look for the crumb trail to find your way back.
It all begins with the tab ‘The Big Idea’ which is a set of five short (2 -3 min) videos ofAmnon Buchbinder, explaining the big idea - that story is a living thing, and also how the site is sorted. The headings are:
- The Science
- The Experience
- The Journey
- The Cells
- The Infinite
Even just one of these videos is full of incredible notions. Take the first heading for example. A 3 minute video where Buchbinder challenges our views of science and says that while traditional science is all about observing the physical realm, story tells us that life is so much more than that.
Story adds three other dimensions to life:
- Inner dimension of intention/desire/longing for things to be different in some way.
- Cause and effect - not predictable like chemical reactions, but unpredictable in the way life unfolds as we encounter it
- And arising from these two, is the third dimension of meaning, ‘the larger pattern that coheres at a moment of ending, in which life can be known, if only briefly, as a whole’.
Buchbinder says we live these processes of need, causality and meaning every day. Story tells us that they are at the very heart of our existence. He suggests that story is in fact the original science in that it is the primary way we as humans seek to see patterns.
This resource is dripping with thought provoking phrases and paradigm shifting ideas, and I hope to dip into and bring you other sections.
y next stop, which I’m very curious about, is the section in ‘Principles’ titled: ‘Not all narratives are stories.’