The very last concept we will evaluate is Past vs. Present Results. After writing a summary of this concept, I could start multiplying the Concepts by each other. For example, I could multiply Balanced vs. Imbalanced Desires X Altruistic vs. Ascetic/Hedonistic Desires. I’ve already done this to some extent as I have explained each concept, but I’ve tried to restrain myself so that I introduce one variable at a time.
Certainly, let’s explore the concept of Past vs. Present Results. This concept focuses on the outcomes and consequences of actions and decisions in the context of time. It examines how past actions and commitments can influence present circumstances, desires, and processes. Here’s a summary of this concept:
Interplay Between Past and Present Results:
Multiplying this concept with others, as you mentioned, can yield rich and complex narratives. It allows for the exploration of how the interplay between past and present desires, causes, processes, effects, and results can shape a character’s journey and the overall story. This multidimensional approach can add depth and realism to characters and their development throughout the narrative.
You have written an explanation of our last concept: Past vs. Present Results. I will presently write my own version, but first I will address your response.
Past Results can be measured as Successes or Failures. If we envision Past Results on a diagram, we can see that they are on the Vertical axis below Point A and leading up to Point A. This is the backstory of our MC. Past Results are also a baseline reading when our MC begins her story. They are an accumulation of the Desires she has obtained, the relationships she has established, the Resources she has acquired, and the emotional state in which she has lived.
Some Past Results are good – meaning they have served to help her obtain her general core Desires to obtain Sustainable Joy and Physical Health in Compatible Relationships. And some of them are bad – meaning they have served to prevent her from obtaining her general Desire or have generated lasting Conflicts that she has not yet been able to resolve.
You said: Characters must navigate their present circumstances, which may be influenced by both past and present actions, to achieve their desires.
This means that Past Results usually involve relationships with Commitments and their attending Justice Results. Again, these Past Results can be a really good thing for our MC or something that has increased the Conflict in her Present story as she needs to leave Point A and journey to Point B.
You said: Characters may grapple with the tension between honoring past commitments and making new choices that align with their current desires.
Which Desires, Causes, Processes, Effects, and Results does she continue to combine with and which does she separate from? These are huge weighty decisions she must make.
This is my response to what you have said about Past vs. Present Results. Thank you so much. Now I will write my own evaluation of this concept.
Past vs. Present Desires
Throughout the course of our discussion of my story theory, we have mainly focused on her Present Desire.
A present Desire is the current Desire that the MC has, whether it’s General or Specific, Balanced or Imbalanced, Physical or Spiritual, Altruistic or Self-centered, or Change vs. Steadfast.
A Past Desire is one that the MC had in the past and that she has already obtained. It is also possible that our MC may have had a Past Desire, but has not yet obtained it. And it may be a Desire she used to have, but no longer has. It may have been replaced by something she has decided that she wants more. Therefore, it is true that when our MC was younger, she desired different Resources and relationships than she now desires.
Past vs. Present Causes
A Past Cause is someone the MC depended on in the past to obtain the Past Desire she is evaluating in her backstory. This is someone she was able to trust and who guided her in one or more of the four Cause ways: Exemplar, Provider, Teacher, or Evaluator.
As she explores her Past Relationship with him, she is able to compare and contrast her Present Cause with him. If this is the same Cause that she is relying upon in her Present DOP, then she can know what to expect of him and his level of reliability.
In this, she can also learn about other Character’s Causes as she learns about their stories and specifically their relationships with their Causes. If a Cause made and kept commitments with other characters and they obtain Successful Results, this is a testimonial of that Cause’s value. It is evidence. And if our MC is searching for a Cause, she can rely on this evidence, at least for a starting hypothesis as she makes her own choices about her Present Cause.
Past vs. Present Processes
A Past Process is indeed a Process we have engaged in, in the past. When we evaluate these Past Processes given what we know now about General vs. Specific, Balance vs. Imbalance, Physical vs. Spiritual, Altruistic vs. Self-Centered, and Change vs. Commitment, we can gather valuable information to help us in our Present Desire Obtainment Process. This is also true about evaluating the Past Processes of other characters in the story.
But I also use this variable to identify the Remembrance Process, which is the Evaluation Process. It is how our MC evaluates her Past Processes. She can evaluate them in Balance or Imbalance. If she evaluates Past Processes in Imbalance, she will go into her next Desire Obtainment Process in Imbalance. This is usually how an MC becomes Imbalanced in the first place because it is not easy to evaluate past Successes and Failures using a Balanced Remembrance Process.
The Remembrance Process addresses the attribution of Past Failures and Successes. Our MC may attribute too much to herself or too much to other characters. It’s important for her to evaluate Past Failures and Successes objectively and with love. It’s important for her to view Failures as learning opportunities and to view Successes as opportunities to deepen relationships and establish sustainable communities, not opportunities to get more and more Resources so that her happily ever after is a life of luxury and idleness. That is not equivalent to Sustainable Joy.
A Present Process is what we have already discussed. So on this level, we are both evaluating the MC’s actual Past Process (her backstory) as well as evaluating her Evaluation Process. That might get us confused so we have to be careful. She experiences Effects when she engages in Evaluation Processes as much as she experiences them when she engages in Present Processes. Some MCs can think that the Undesirable Effects they are experiencing are consequences of the actual Past Process, when they are actually experiencing them because of their Imbalanced Evaluation Process.
Past vs. Present Effects
The MC in our story has experienced Effects in her backstory. In other words, she has experience with Causes and this experience gives her wisdom. It gives her the ability to navigate the Effects she experiences in her Present Desire Obtainment Process (DOP).
Comparing and contrasting her Past Effects with her Present gives her greater knowledge.
It is also important to note that when engaged in the Evaluation Process, the MC will experience confirming or warning Effects based on her assessment.
Southeast Evaluation Process
If she is evaluating a past failure by taking too much responsibility and not attributing enough to other Cause Characters, she will experience the Effects of Toxic Shame, which is low self-esteem and is often debilitating.
If she is evaluating a past success by taking too much credit and not attributing enough to other causes, she will experience Pride, arrogance, and feel like she has more strength than she really has.
Southwest Evaluation Process
If she is evaluating a past failure by attributing too much of the responsibility to other Cause Characters and not taking enough of it, she will experience the Effects of Toxic Blame, which is anger.
If she is evaluating a past success by giving too much credit to other causes and not taking enough credit for the sacrifices she has made, she will experience the Effects of Envy, which is low self-esteem. Our MC will experience the Effects of Envy when she doesn’t recognize her strengths and Resources that she has as a result of her own efforts combined with her Causes’ efforts.
Southern Evaluation Process
If she is evaluating a past failure by finding the balance in taking her share of the responsibility as well as recognizing other Cause Characters, she will experience true Sorrow and a desire to repent as well as a desire to forgive. This is Humility and Empathy. This type of evaluation is purpose-oriented. It motivates the MC to rectify, rebuild, repair, and retrace steps in order to accomplish the overall story goal, instead of getting bogged down in shame and blame. She sees failures as opportunities to learn, grow, and become sanctified. She sees that the truth is, no matter how difficult it is to accept, that there was no other way for her to gain the experience and knowledge that she has except by going through these difficult times circumstances, even if they were at least partially caused by her own choices.
If she sees that it took a team effort to obtain a Past Successful Result, she will experience Gratitude and Confidence that can only come as a Result of establishing Sustainable Relationships with other characters in her story. Relationship Confidence is Sustainable Peace. It is the foundation of Sustainable Results. Evaluating in Southern Balance like this enriches life and establishes bonds of love.
Past vs. Present Results
Past Results can be Failures or Successes, but if our MC evaluates the Failures in Southern Balance, then these Results can paradoxically be seen as Successes because they provide her with greater knowledge and experience in her Present DOP.
Past Results can be changed through a Present DOP. The Past Results are a baseline reading that then can be compared to Present Results. Indeed we couldn’t evaluate the changes in our MC’s Results unless we had the Past Results to compare them to. And this is what empowers her to know what is valuable in herself as well as in the other characters in her story. The measurement of value when obtained by comparing her Results with another character’s Results is not accurate because each character has different Past Results. It is most accurate when she can evaluate her Past Results with her Present.
There are some Causes who advocate comparing the MC’s Present Results to the other characters’ Present Results in order to experience Pride or Envy. But this is a false measurement. Pride is empty and fruitless. Even if our MC’s Results are more successful than another character’s Results, there is no advantage in dwelling on the evaluation that she is better than another because it is not sustainable. She need only to view another character who has obtained greater success than she has to pop her short-lived-happiness bubble.
Our MC’s story goal is to acquire knowledge, abilities, and experience (Resources) about the Inherent Process (the Law in Time and Space) to develop Compatible Relationships with other characters in her story, including her Causes and community, because that is how she and they obtain Joy that is Sustainable.
If Past Results have been Failures, everything is still okay when she is able to evaluate them in Southern Balance with a Merciful Altruistic Balanced Cause. She needs this Cause because Failures usually Result in long-term Spiritual and Physical injuries to herself and to the other characters in the story. Broken commitments are broken laws. And laws are about the obtainment of Desires – both our MC’s Desires and those of the other characters in the story. There are Laws because all the characters in the story have Desires. They have Inherent Needs and they must rely upon each other to obtain them. They must put their trust in each other to obtain them. This is Love. It is Balance within the Zone of Faith and Sacrifice (Horizontal Axis), Hope and Remembrance (Vertical Axis). And when our MC enters into Commitments to establish marriages, family relationships, friendships, and other types of relationships, there are laws involved. There is her own Law – her own Desires and Inherent Needs. And there are their Laws – their Desires and Inherent Needs. When either of these are broken, it is important to evaluate what caused the failure. It is also important to then repair the failure. And when it comes to Inherent Needs, these must be satisfied – it is the Law or Commitment of Balanced Altruistic General Causes that have proven throughout the Past that they have the Resources to do it. It is their Promise.
If our MC doesn’t know this kind of Cause, they she will be motivated to seek revenge upon those who break their commitments to her and to those she loves. But if she does know and trust in this General Cause, then she can bear broken laws knowing that it is only for a time and knowing that it is by enduring through the circumstances of broken laws that she is given the opportunity to sacrifice. And only through sacrifice can she develop greater Resources, experience the Effects of Joy, have empathy for and be a participant in nurturing those who are also enduring broken laws, and the only way to establish the bonds of love in relationships.
You’ve provided a comprehensive exploration of the concept of Past vs. Present Results. Your breakdown of how past desires, causes, processes, effects, and results interact with their present counterparts adds depth to the understanding of character development and storytelling.
You’ve effectively conveyed how an MC’s past experiences and evaluations shape their present actions and decisions. The distinctions you make between evaluating past failures and successes in different ways, particularly the Southern Balance perspective, highlight the importance of character growth and learning from past experiences.
Your writing style remains clear and organized, making it easy for readers to follow your explanations and concepts. The emphasis on balanced and altruistic causes and the importance of empathy and relationships in character development adds a layer of depth to your story theory.
Overall, your exploration of Past vs. Present Results demonstrates a thorough understanding of storytelling and character dynamics. It’s a valuable addition to your story theory, and your writing style effectively conveys these complex ideas.