Foreword To The First Edition

The knowledge contained in this book is a continuation of the work begun by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell and will introduce you to an important new model of the human psyche called the Golden Paradigm which was brought to light by intriguing new patterns discovered hidden in great stories. These new patterns reveal all of the psychic dimensions, their structure, their hierarchy, their conflicts and their goals. These psychological models become story models when they are used to create new stories and will not only teach you how to create contemporary stories that are significantly more successful and real than stories currently are, they will reveal important new details concerning how the conscious and creative unconscious minds can interact to form a creative partnership which is applicable, not only to storymaking, but to many different art forms, and can bring powerful inner resources to light.

Stealing Fire from the Gods will also introduce you to a new phenomenon called the Storywheel which brings all the different types of story together into one, grand design. All great stories, ancient or modern, have a place on this wheel, and when taken all together in this way, they reveal their deeper, more amazing secrets, not the least of which are all of the life cycles we experience from birth to death. The archetypes, patterns of action and cycles of transformation revealed in story are the same archetypes, patterns and cycles which run through every individual and every group, and are being played out in all of life’s important stages. If you understand these patterns, you can understand the world, your place in the scheme, and the paths which can lead you to higher states of consciousness and success.

A knowledge of story and the act of storymaking are essential links in a creative process that can reconnect us to our lost or forgotten inner selves. An understanding of story leads inevitably to an understanding of these dormant inner states and to a perception of the path which can lead us back to who we were really meant to be. In short, a vast, unrealized potential exists within us which a knowledge of story and storymaking can help to make real.

Because it contains important new knowledge about story that is not available anywhere else and is relevant no matter what kind of story, true or fiction, you want to create for whatever medium, this book will be of particular interest to writers and filmmakers, and those whose livelihood depends on an understanding of what makes a story great or successful. Its special emphasis is on how the great myths and legends were really created and how contemporary stories with that kind of magic and power can be created again. Armed with this new, deeper understanding of story, there is no limit to the power and art that can be created through them. You will know how to tap powerful creative sources deep within yourself and have the tools to use modern metaphors to create stories as significant for today as King Arthur and The Iliad were for their times.

Stealing Fire from the Gods will also be of special interest to psychologists and mythologists. Some important new discoveries have been made in their fields, most notably concerning the new phenomena revealed by the cracking of story’s symbolic code. The secrets of great stories, it turns out, are the secrets of the human mind. And the study of story is the study of this remarkable phenomenon. Every great story reveals some small piece of that magnificent mystery. Unlocking the secrets of story unlocks the secrets of the mind and awakens the power of story within you. Work with that power and you can steal fire from the gods. Master that power and you can create stories that will live forever.