We will now evaluate Altruistic vs. Ascetic/Hedonistic Results.
This concept examines the motivation behind our MC’s Desire. If she is motivated by Altruism, then she wants what she wants in order to fulfill her responsibilities to take care of her own needs as well as the needs for family members, friends, and/or community members.
Choosing an Altruistic Cause is choosing someone who also is motivated by fairness, equity, and empathy. This is someone who views the Desires and Conflicts of others as if they were his own. When our MC chooses an Altruistic Cause, she is choosing someone who has the same morals, values, and beliefs as she does. They are united in purpose.
An Altruistic Process involves using the Resources our MC has right now to at least begin to accomplish her goals. She may not have everything that she needs or know everything that she needs to know, but she is willing to at least start. She is willing to take a leap of faith and make sacrifices that may appear to the uninformed observer as illogical.
Altruistic Processes may even feel physically illogical. But spiritually, our MC experiences peace and reassurance. Her Effects are conflicting but in a constructive way. She has natural fear of failing or losing but she also senses a spiritual beckoning to let go of those fears and trust in her Cause as well as other faithful characters in the story.
Altruistic Results are Paradoxical. By some judgments, it may have appeared like our MC has failed. But by the judgments of an Altruistic Cause and his standards, she has obtained valuable Results that could not be obtained in any other way.
When our MC or other characters in the story are motivated by Asceticism, we are saying that they are motivated by Pride and the pursuit of Self-Glory. They want others to praise them more than they want to help anyone. When an MC has this issue in the beginning of the story, it is often a really important theme to explore as she experiences the bitter, unsatisfying Paradoxical Results of having such a Desire and then chooses to separate from it.
Ascetic Causes will not be concerned about helping our MC obtain her Desires. He will be more interested in his fulfilling his own Pride and obtaining Glory and Praise or even just Acceptance from his community. He will throw her under the bus when it comes to people seeing him in some less-than-perfect light. He will put the blame for failures on her rather than take the portion of responsibility that belongs to him. This is natural. Most people have the tendency to do this. The important thing for a Cause or for our MC is to work to overcome the fear that the community will not accept them.
An Ascetic Process is when our MC sacrifices just so another character or her community will give her praise. The sacrifice is often over-the-top and dangerous. That means that it is in her extreme NW. It is also not done to accomplish her deeper inherent Desire to develop Compatible Relationships and Sustainable Joy. In fact, the reasons for sacrificing are often hidden and obscured even from her own consciousness. An Ascetic Process is empty sacrificing.
Ascetic Effects help our MC differentiate between Sacrifice Processes that are real and Sacrifice Processes that are fake. She will experience Pride if she is engaged in empty processes for glory. She will experience Altruistic Paradoxical Effects if she is engaged in a real Sacrifice Process.
Ascetic Results are also Paradoxical. By the judgments of the world, our MC may end in glory, riches, and fame. But by the judgments of an Altruistic Cause which is felt in the depths of her own soul, she may have not fulfilled the measure of her creation, which robs her of Sustainable Joy and Compatible Relationships.
When our MC or other characters in the story are motivated by Hedonism, we are saying that they are motivated by Envy and the pursuit of Pleasure. They don’t see how much their sacrifice is needed. They don’t know about their individual worth. They only can see that others have talents, abilities, and plenty of Resources. They have no idea that sacrifice brings a kind of lasting Joy that is far more intense than any form of Hedonistic Pleasure they have ever experienced.
Hedonistic Causes are more concerned about using our MC and other characters in the story to satisfy his own Pleasure at the expense of Sustainable Joy for himself and for them. This type of Cause will have slaves or enslave the people he has relationships with. And sometimes this isn’t obvious. It is often disguised as his need for love and care, but is distinguished by his Hedonistic Processes.
A Hedonistic Process is when our MC tries to avoid sacrificing as much as is possible. This type of character seeks to get out of her responsibilities at every turn. If she has to sacrifice, she gives it grudgingly. So a good label for this type of process is “Grudge Sacrifice”.
The Effects a Hedonistic Process returns are temporary pleasure and ease. Too much peace is equivalent to feeling stuffed, indulged, and bored. The Effects of a Grudge Sacrifice are a feeling of being used and abused even for processes that are part of their responsibilities.
The Paradoxical Results of a Hedonistic Process are increased weakness over time, loss of Resources, loss of abilities, talents, and drive. Physically, the unused muscles atrophy over time if not used. This is also true of the Spirit. If Altruistic Spiritual muscles are not used to willingly and voluntarily sacrifice out of love and empathy for others, then the Spiritual heart or the Spiritual Effect Sensors atrophies and numbs over time. That means that our MC can’t sense even the pleasure that she seeks. She must decrease her sacrifice in increasing amounts over time in order to retain her ability to feel anything. Eventually, even small tasks cause her to strain and struggle and she becomes overly prone to injury.
You’ve effectively explained the concepts of Altruistic, Ascetic/Hedonistic Desires, Causes, Processes, Effects, and Results within the context of your story theory. The distinctions between these motivations are clear and will undoubtedly add depth and complexity to the character dynamics and plot developments in your story.
Altruism, motivated by a genuine desire to help others and fulfill responsibilities, aligns with the pursuit of Sustainable Joy and Compatible Relationships. The concept of Paradoxical Results adds an intriguing layer to the narrative, highlighting that what may seem like failure by external standards can actually be a fulfillment of deeper, more meaningful desires.
Asceticism, driven by pride and the pursuit of self-glory, introduces themes of ego and the consequences of empty sacrifices. It creates a tension between outward success and inner fulfillment, offering a rich source of conflict and character development.
Hedonism, motivated by envy and the pursuit of pleasure, underscores the idea that immediate gratification can lead to a shallower sense of joy and a lack of understanding of the true value of sacrifice. The physical and spiritual atrophy concept adds a unique twist, illustrating how avoiding sacrifice can ultimately lead to a loss of abilities and a sense of emptiness.
Overall, these concepts provide a strong foundation for exploring the moral and emotional dimensions of your characters’ choices and actions, making your story not only engaging but also thought-provoking. I look forward to your next exploration of these themes or any other aspects of your story theory.