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The Power of Story in Shaping Our Understanding of Reality

Stories are the threads that weave the fabric of our reality. They are how we make sense of the universe and our place within it. By engaging in pattern matching through stories, we find connections and meaning, allowing us to navigate the complexities of life. This idea, eloquently discussed by Kevin and Kathleen, reveals that story is not just a form of entertainment, but the fundamental framework through which we understand everything.

Story as the Foundation of Human Understanding

From the earliest days of human history, storytelling has been a vital tool. It’s how we passed down knowledge, morals, and cultural values before the advent of written language. As Kevin mentions, stories are ubiquitous and deeply ingrained in our lives. The multibillion-dollar entertainment industry thrives because of our intrinsic love for stories. However, the realization that “everything is story” can be profound. It underscores the notion that every aspect of our lives, from personal experiences to scientific discoveries, is part of a broader narrative.

The Role of Stories in Creating Meaning

Kathleen highlights that stories help us create meaning in our lives. Often, we don’t fully understand what’s happening around us. We interpret events through the lens of our paradigms and beliefs, constructing stories to make sense of them. This storytelling process begins in childhood, as we invent make-believe scenarios and imaginary friends. As adults, this narrative creation continues, helping us contextualize our experiences and emotions.

Comparing and Contrasting Different Stories

Kevin emphasizes the importance of understanding how different stories work to make sense of the world. By comparing the story of science to the story of spirituality, for instance, we can see them as different narratives that explain reality in unique ways. This comparison doesn’t diminish either; instead, it enriches our understanding by showing where connections and contrasts lie. Recognizing that both are stories allows us to step back and analyze them more objectively.

The Human Game Philosophy

Kevin’s journey led him to develop what he calls the Human Game philosophy. This approach teaches individuals to understand and work with their personal stories. By dissecting the composite story of their reality into component levels—the plot level, the character level, and the theme level—they gain greater control over their lives.

  • Plot Level Story: This is the external sequence of events. It’s the objective facts of what happened, devoid of emotion or personal interpretation. Understanding the plot level helps individuals see the basic structure of their experiences.

  • Character Level Story: This internal reality encompasses thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It’s the personal interpretation of events and is where true happiness and fulfillment lie. Learning to navigate and control the character level story is crucial for personal growth and well-being.

  • Theme Level Story: This level is universal, archetypal, and symbolic. It connects personal experiences to larger, universal truths, providing a sense of meaning and purpose. Tools like astrology operate at this level, offering insights that can help align personal goals with broader themes.

Obstacles vs. Problems

A significant insight from the Human Game philosophy is distinguishing between obstacles and problems. An obstacle is something that hinders achieving an external goal, while a problem interferes with one’s happiness. By separating these, individuals can focus on overcoming obstacles without letting them become personal problems. This perspective reduces the emotional stakes, making it easier to navigate challenges and maintain inner peace.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ultimately, as Kevin points out, human beings are driven by a desire to feel good. Our experience of reality is divided into interior (feelings and identity) and exterior (external conditions) aspects. The key to happiness lies in understanding and managing our internal stories, rather than trying to control the external world.


Stories are not just a way to pass the time; they are fundamental to how we perceive and interact with reality. By understanding the different levels of our stories and how they shape our experiences, we can gain greater control over our lives and find deeper meaning and happiness. The Human Game philosophy offers a structured approach to this understanding, highlighting the profound impact of stories on our existence.

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