storymind.jpg (11001 bytes)
Hidden in the dramatic structure of stories is a model of the mind...



Story Mind Basics

The Minds of Men & Women

How to Solve Problems

A Model
of the Mind

The Math Behind the Model

of Mental Relativity

The Mental Relativity Tapes

Press Coverage of the Story Mind

Letters & Replies



Thoughts on Mental Relativity

by Melanie Anne Phillips

E/E <-> E*E

The above equation represents the distillation of our efforts to solve the meaning of story and the function of the mind. It is the equation of Mental Relativity and is the essence of self-awareness.

All the variables are labeled "E" to express the holistic, homogenous nature of our perceived universe as a whole. Yet, each stands for a different word: a different kind of variable.

The initial E refers to Existence. The second E is Emptiness. The third E stands for Entropy. The fourth E is Extropy.

The equation reads: Existence divided by Emptiness is the equilibrium of Entropy times Extropy. Conceptually, this means that what defines the edges between existence and nothingness is the balance between the opposing forces of building down toward stability and building up toward complexity.

Jumping ahead, we can see that what we see as a process toward destruction or toward growth is actually the placement of the equilibrium point along a sliding scale between creation and destruction. Examples would be the tendency of a board to rot when the equilibrium point is closer to Entropy than Extropy. Yet a tree that grows has its equilibrium point closer to Extropy than Entropy.

Because of the fractal nature of the relationship of these variables, an item may be growing in one fractal dimension, even while it is disbanding in another. The human body is a point in case. We grow older and older and our bodies become more complex. Yet a point is reached in which that complexity becomes top heavy and can no longer be supported. The infrastructure crumbles and the body dies, succumbing to entropy which had been working in another fractal dimension. The line dividing life from death is drawn by the equilibrium between growing into complexity and falling apart.

We tend to see objects as either there or not there. We tend to see time as approaching some limit line that defines one state on one side and another on the other. In fact, objects are only perceived by taking a frame of reference and setting the limit at which the resolution of our perception discerns an edge. Binary states are only perceived by limiting the number of fractal dimensions so that the homogeneous nature of existence appears divided into moments.

In fact, we see an object degrade over time, or grow, but so slowly to our senses that we discount the temporal fractal as if it were not involved at all. We therefore see a desk or a tree and imagine that it has an existence outside ourselves.

In fact, there was a time when the desk did not yet exist and when the tree had not grown, and there will again. By ignoring the analog nature of existence, we form edges that truly are not, yet serve in a practical sense within the limits of our life span.

When we perceive a human as alive at one moment and dead the next, we mask over the degree of life that they existed in which varied over the years and see them as wholly alive on one side and wholly dead on the other. But when we take into account waking and sleeping, being groggy from medication or unconscious from an accident, the line between life and death becomes blurred or analog.

Is this to say then, that there are no true dividing lines, no edges, no stability? Well, of course, that depends on the frame of reference. When one selects a fractal dimension as the measuring stick, there quickly comes a point at which our mental perception fails to resolve the difference between one dimension and the next. This is our edge, and it is very real indeed.

It seems that we are hobbled by the limited complexity of our own minds into seeing roughly the same edges as our comrade human beings. Some see a bit more, some a bit less, but all that one sees is real to them, from where they stand.

This subjective reality is all that any of us can hope to be aware of. It is that great mystery of creation that there should be any separation at all, rather than a homogenous flux with currents and eddies that defines both processes and states, both mental and physical.

Newton once said that science was the greatest of all endeavors because it might someday answer why there is something rather than nothing. I suggest that this question will never be answered, and in fact is actually the wrong question. The real issue is: why is there something divided from nothing? I imagine this question is also unanswerable, but at least we now know that we will never answer the right question.

June 11, 1993

When we divide our appreciation of all that we perceive into the binary nature of E/E and the process nature of E*E, we actually create another binary pair between the two. Yet the influence they have on each other (causality in both directions) creates another analog pair. In this case, we might see the process of Entropy at work in our very perception of the equation. We take four items and group them into two. But Extropy is also functioning, since we then see another analog pair that did not exist in our original perception and this describes the process of creation.

Of course, grouping the two variables on each side of the equation into a single unit on each side is only one direction as well. We might just as well describe the relationship between E which is divided by E, creating a new process that then shifts the binary appreciation onto the two variables themselves. The similar effect could be employed on the right side of the equation.

Altogether, the point is, that when ever we see a pair, we project a relationship between them that determines a causality. And although one direction for that causality seems most comfortable, in truth, both directions work. So that the function of the human mind is to take pairs and make them fours by Extropy and to take fours and make them twos by Entropy.

From this point of view, binary pairs are what we are looking at, and analog pairs are where we are looking from. Of course, the opposite appreciation is just as true, yet the human mind seems biased to most comfortably employ the former. Problems arise when we try to use the same kind of appreciation for both sides of the equation (both pairs of variables). Suddenly we see objects in the universe and states of mind, but nothing gives or evolves. Or, we see an endlessly flexing universe in conjunction with a constantly altering mind set. These are the perspectives of chaos, and define the nature of awareness. However, it is the capacity to see one pair as objects and the other as interacting processes that defines self-awareness.

Obviously, the capacity to merge variables in one direction and to impose relationships in the other create an open ended vector of reorganization, which is the nature of the workings of the mind. Yet, a closed nature exists in tandem, for once one has either reduced or produced far enough, all the elements of consideration assume the same arrangement as their original position. In other words, the condition of the mind returns full circle to the beginning of a cycle imposed by the number of dimensions we can perceive. The cycle continuously repeats, always touching base with the intrinsic infrastructure of its order, yet endlessly spiraling through one fractal dimension to the next. It is the differential between the values assigned to the variables in one fractal dimension compared to the values assigned in the next that is perceived as chaos since it has no apparent source nor explanation, being intrinsic to the foundation of perception itself. One cannot look at the point one is standing on at the same time one is standing on it.

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips

Brought to you by

Owned and Operated by the Creator of StoryWeaver & Co-Creator of Dramatica
Serving more than 12,000 writers since 1997

Get the Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package
FREE with ANY Purchase!

Writing Software Buyer's Guide
About Our Store

 We'll Beat ANY Price!
     90 DAY Return Policy

Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 Movie Magic Screenwriter
List price: $269.95
Your price: $179.23
Academic: $99.95)
Storyweaver Software-<br>Your Step-by-Step<br>Guide to a Complete Story!
Step by Step Story Development Software

Just $29.95
Dramatica Pro 4.0<br>Story Development<br>Software Dramatica Pro 4
Story Development

List price: $269.95
Your price: $179.23
Academic: $99.95)
20 hour Writing<br>Course on CD ROM<br>featuring Dramatica 20 hour Writing
Course on CD ROM
featuring Dramatica

Dramatica Tips & Tricks Book Dramatica Tips & Tricks Book
Dramatica Software<br>Companion CD ROM Dramatica Software
Companion CD ROM

Dramatica Writers DreamKit 4.0 Dramatica Writers DreamKit 4
Hollywood Screenwriter Hollywood Screenwriter
Final Draft 7 Screenwriting Software
List price: $249.00
Your price: $199.47
Academic: $129.42)
Power Structure
Story Development

List price: $269.00
Your price: $159.95
Power Writer
List price: $159.95
Your price: $99.95
How to Create
Great Characters
Online Workshop

How to Create
Great Characters
DVD Video
How to Make Your Movie
An Interactive Film School

List price: $89.95
Your price: $49.95
The Dramatica Theory<br>2 hour audio program The Dramatica Theory
2 hour audio program

$59.95 & Up
Master Storyteller:<br>Improve your<br>Writing Skills! Master Storyteller:
Improve your
Writing Skills!

The Story Mind:<br>Structure Vs. Passion The Story Mind:
Structure Vs. Passion

20 hour Writing<br>Course on CD ROM<br>featuring Dramatica StoryWeaving Seminar
In Person - $199.95
Online Video - $99.95
Dramatica Theory Book Writing with
the Story Mind
1 hour audio program

Writing Characters<br>of the Opposite Sex Writing Characters
of the
Opposite Sex
2 Hour Plot Class<p>Learn how to<br>plot your story! 2 Hour Plot Class
Learn how to
plot your story!

Mental Relativity Book: The Psychology Behind Dramatica Mental Relativity Book: The Psychology Behind Dramatica
Dramatica Pro 4.0<br>Story Development<br>Software Mastering
Dramatica Pro
Online Workshop


Prefer to order by Mail or Fax?
Click here for information.

Questions? Email

We'll beat ANY Advertised Price! REALLY! 
AND, if you see a lower price within 30 days of purchase
we'll refund the difference!

90 Day Full Money-Back Guarantee!
Return item within 90 days for a complete refund
of your original purchase price!

Get the Writer's Survival Kit & Sampler FREE
with ANY Purchase!

StoryWeaving Seminar
Join the creator of StoryWeaver & co-creator of Dramatica
for a two-day writing & story development seminar
Click here for details!

Visit the best writers' site on the web:

storymindad.gif (9491 bytes)

Subscribe to the
Writing Tip Newsletter!

Available at the Storymind Store:

Software for Mind Analysis & Problem Solving

Dramatica Pro

Dramatica DreamKit


Mental Relativity: The Story Mind


Mental Sex

Products for writers based on the Story Mind Theory


Dramatica Software Companion CD ROM

20 Hour Dramatica Course on One CD ROM!

Dramatica Theory Basics 2-hour CD Set

Writing with the Story Mind CD


Dramatica Tips & Tricks Book

Dramatica Theory Book