The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Hero's Movie #10: The Student Becomes the Teacher

The Hero’s Movie #10: The Student Becomes the Teacher

And here we come to the end of this cycle.  I’ve gone through this countless times, and will continue to, because it is my experience that any truth that would change your life can be expected to meet psychological resistance.  Part of us really does NOT want to change.   If you didn’t have internal resistance, it is likely that you would already have changed.  So…if we consciously want to find a healthy relationship, change a bad habit, lose weight, or master our finances, what’s going on?

Pretty simple, really.   Most of what we know, believe, or feel is tied to UNCONSCIOUS drives, laws, beliefs, and perceptual filters.  We simply don’t have enough room in our conscious minds to hold all the instructions on how to live our lives.  That stuff gets handed over to “unconscious competence” as rapidly as possible.    We literally forget how we do about 99% of what we do unless we stop and think about it very carefully.   The more advanced the writer, martial artist, or evolved spirit I’ve encountered, the more likely they are to speak in generalities, about sweeping overarching feelings rather than the actual nuts and bolts they used to get where they are.

It is a very rare expert who can teach beginners.  I suspect that this is where the “those who can’t do, teach” attitude comes from.  Experts often have forgotten so much about how they got there that they are superstitious about their abilities, actually frightened that one day the now-unknown processes will shut down and leave them totally in the dark. That what Stephen King calls “the boys in the basement” will stop doing their job.

While there are no paths that guarantee success, there are certainly those that guarantee failure, and selecting OPTIMAL paths helps to keep us away from those.  Accept that nothing guarantees success, select your goals for the joyous path they offer us, live every day for its own passion and purpose, and let the world decide about external success or failure.  YOUR success comes from living your life, on your terms.  The external measures form a “safety rail” (especially if you choose health/fitness, career, and love.  Heck, if I have success in those three, it really doesn’t matter much about anything else.  I’ll “settle” for those happily!) within which we can, if Maslow and the Chakras are correct, evolve toward a higher and higher level of integration.

So let’s take a look at the steps as they related to our film project:
1) Confronted with challenge.   Seeing others making short films for self expression and career advancement.
2) Reject Challenge.   “I can’t do that.”
3) Accept Challenge.  “Yes I can, and will.”
4) Road of Trials.  Studying the success patterns of those who completed such films, and dividing the work into a series of weekly/daily steps.
5) Allies and Powers.   Identifying the people, processes, skills and resources that will be necessary, filling in the holes in our own abilities with a Mastermind.
6) Confront Evil-defeated.  The previous steps are both macro and micro-cycles.  There will always be a moment of Greatest defeat, and for us, it was late Sunday night when we were over budget and over-time.
7) Dark Night of the Soul.  The inevitable fatigue, depression, and doubting voices.
8) Leap of Faith.   For me, it was faith in my understanding of deep process, and in my selection of allies: our actors, our director, and my wonderful wife.  I didn’t need to know the answer.  I needed to believe that there WAS an answer, even if I couldn’t see it. 
9) Confront Evil—and succeed.    T came up with the answer.  I had to drop my concept of how things were “supposed” to work. The expression “you can have anything you want, if you can release your expectation of how it is supposed to look” comes to mind.
10) The Student Becomes the teacher.   When you have learned something, the best way to integrate it is to teach someone else.   Also, it is the best way to give thanks to the teachers and role models who have gone before..  Humans as individuals aren’t much smarter than chimps.  It is because we share knowledge, have access to information from men and women long dead, have more information in our brains than in our genes…this is one of the few things that makes us so different, for good or ill.    I am profoundly grateful to be a part of this information flow…to have received, and also to have given.

I’m documenting every step of the process of making “Danger Word” and will be lecturing about it in the future, showing people how, if they have the honesty to look at the needed work and evaluate their own capacities, and the heart to gather a Mastermind of like-minded people to fill in their gaps, and the energy to last the Road of Trials, and the courage to face their own fear…they can do it too.   That is MY commitment.  This has been, and continues to be, a fabulous journey. Can’t wait to see where it leads next!



latisse said...

why this title is "the student becomes the teacher"?

it should be different.

Steven Barnes said...

No, "the student becomes the teacher" is the last step in the Hero's Journey cycle. And...I'm teaching it right now.