Storygeist

Narratives at the intersection of spirituality & technology

Storygeist – the idea & the mission

We started Storygeist with the intention of melding our silent reverence for Spirituality, our deep inquisitiveness for Technology, and our fiery fascination for Storytelling. Each of them very disparate disciplines. And it would seem at first sight, they present an impossible mix to be had.

But as the Sciences delve deeper into the impossibilities of Quantum physics, decipher the world of vibrations and frequencies, technology closes in on the ancient truths which the mystical traditions have spoken to us from the dawn of time.

As our world is plunged ever deeper into a maddening acceleration of uncontrollable changes, we believe that stories are essential to our inner development. A ritual which passes timeless values from one generation to the next. And encapsulate not only intellectual meaning,  but also a beating heart which can feed our souls.

With this in mind, we hope you will stick around for a while and enjoy our inner cosmos of ideas, images and scribblings.

-Piotr (ed.), Kaja

Stories in all of their glorious incarnations

From spoken and the written word, through painting, onwards to the infancy of cinema, and arriving in our age at the immediacy of the VR-medium, storytelling has been with us since ancient times.

And this is what we want to accomplish through this blog, take an incisive, sometimes even lightly philosophical look at storytelling in all of its possible incarnations. Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or just plain storytelling workshop, we want to share with you micro-narratives which not only communicate through the written word, but also through the power of the HTML5 and beyond it. Be it with animations, still images or sound.

“The emotional core of the Story” mini-series inquires if we should write from what we know, or jump into the unknown, an often scary territory which pushes us into self-discovery mode.

“Agatha unravelled” is a two part short story which revolves around one man’s need to come to terms with his grief, while he attempts to unravel the secret behind his wife’s death and how it connects with a world upending event named “The Fissure”.

ha(V)en

Ingrid and Silje, mother and daugther, two seemingly perfect lives, intertwined in a deep, loving bond. But their connection is about to be broken when Ingrid one day is told by her daughter she has to leave her, or her mother will die. Why does Silje have a precognition of the future, one which seems to be coming true? Why is Ingrid dying? And what is ha(V)en?

When does a mother/daughter bond become an addiction, toxic and filled with attachment? And can there be a solution in the future, a magical technology, which will ease our grief? Help us work through these seemingly impossible emotions? Or will it be just an escape hatch, an easy way out, just so we don’t have to deal with what’s truly inside us?

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Clunky words, fuzzy images

There are quite a few stories around the web which explore the subject of adapting a novel into a screenplay, and ultimately film. What I would like to do is to take a look at these issues from my personal experience while writing my debut novel, “A child made to order”. I would also like to share with you some of the differences which are inherent in these mediums. And how a screenwriter/author might marry two such differing approaches in order to write a finely crafted Story.

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Rene v3.2 – part 2

“Rene v3.2” – a short story about a female robot companion. A woman made only to fulfill other’s needs. Seen through Rene’s eyes, the story takes the worn cliche of the dangerous Artificial Intelligence, and turns it on its head. It asks if A.I.’s will be able to replace true human relationships? Especially the ones of the intimate kind. How might we treat them? How will the Robot Companion react emotionally? What rights will she have if abused? And what is the nature of consciousness? The very thing that defines a human.

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Rene v3.2 – part 1

“Rene v3.2” – a short story about a female robot companion. A woman made only to fulfill other’s needs. Seen through Rene’s eyes, the story takes the worn cliche of the dangerous Artificial Intelligence, and turns it on its head. It asks if A.I.’s will be able to replace true human relationships? Especially the ones of the intimate kind. How might we treat them? How will the Robot Companion react emotionally? What rights will she have if abused? And is she less of a human if artificially made?

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The emotional core of the story – part 2 of 2

Last time, I concluded at how important it is to arrive at a deeper emotional connection between us, the writers, and the characters in our stories. The true stuff of life, our hard earned emotional experience which has burnt its way into our subconscious, and made us into who we are. This time around I would like to go deeper into my own experience of enquiry about the main character of my novel. A protoganist which was as far away from my own personality as I could possibly imagine. Or so I thought initially. But more importantly I would like to break down my process of enquiry into some more manageable steps and conclusions. So others might hopefully take away something of value from this.

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The emotional core of the story – part 1 of 2

Should we write only what we know? Play it safe and approach matters that we have lived through. Or should we take a wild chance, put everything on some fierce card, anything to blast our way out of the safe and comfy shell of ours. Out of our comfort zone. And what does that mean? Might it bring something deeper with it? Something which will bubble up from our subconscious, our heart(?), and attempt to enlighten our essence? To expand our inner cosmos?

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VR narratives revirtualized

When we delve into Storytelling, it can be through the lens of new technologies such as Virtual Reality. We would like to examine the possibilites heading our way, and how new tools will impact the way we communicate, and touch the audience emotionally.

Read up on our 5-part series “VR and the reimagining of Story” to read up on a hands-on analysis of how storytellers might translate their narratives into the new medium.

VR – a redefining technology or heroin for the masses?

With 2017 upon us, Virtual Realiy has been generating a huge buzz for over a year now. Many are saying that this year will be the year when VR finally breaks through into the mainstream. However we choose to look upon this technology, one thing is for sure. It might be just the most disruptive technology to ever appear in our society, one with the potential to change the way we connect, interact and live our lives, forever.

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VR and the reimagining of Story – part 5

So you grab his hand, and scramble for the sliding doors. You shoulder your way across the jeering crowd. You are almost there, the way out to freedom, but as you reach the doors, they are gone. You whip your head around and realize you’ve been pushing the wrong way. But you are 100% certain the doors were on this side. No matter. So you make a valiant effort, and crash your way onto the other side of the subway. All this time Markus begs you to hurry. He is about to capsize, and every second counts. It’s your son goddamnit, and those bastards are everywhere, standing between you and your son’s life.

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VR and the reimagining of Story – part 4

Your eyes blink open, then blink again. You attempt to grasp at a coherence, but the only thing before you is a dense fog. Your eyes shutter again and finally a smeared out vision coalesces into what looks like a hospital room. Now, if you could only remember how you got here, where is here, or who you are for that matter. Minor details. The only thing certain about is that your pupils have serious trouble adjusting to the reality at hand. Do the windows seem skewed, or are you just going out of your mind?

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VR and the reimagining of Story – part 3

As promised in the last part, I would like to see what the future holds for VR. And with this, I would like to draft my own personal vision, a rough crystal ball, of a new kind of movie/hyper-reality experience which I believe VR is headed for during this decade. In my opinion this experience holds so much promies on so many levels, that this just might be the palce where the true screenwriting/actor/theater/film talent will be heading for.

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VR and the reimagining of Story – part 2

This time around, as promised, I would like to get more into the hurdles the VR-medium poses on the storyteller, and how some people think it’s an obstacle, while I disagree with them, and think this is only an advantage and true power of this particular entertainment/art form. I also want to make a humble appeal to the future VR-filmmakers for a more sensitive sensibility in their tales. Stories which search and question something deeper, more humane, existential and morally complex, than what most games/interactive stories have to offer right now. Let’s go!

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The Infinite

When we touch upon Spirituality, we want to put the focus on inspirational narratives which stem from real world experience. From life itself, and from deeply personal practice, that is the spiritual path.

Our series “The culg of ego” puts under the scrutiny the multi-faceted nature of the Ego, how to recognise its illusionary manipulations, and how to approach it from the perspective of the Other, the divine being buried deep within us.

The mini-series “The fever for the sublime” is a retelling, albeit fragmented, of some of our spiritual experiences. Simultaneously, it attempts to inquire if spiritual practice can become destructive, why it happens, and what we can do to avoid this.

“Venture me out of the matrix” looks upon the Silicon Valley moguls endeavour to break us out of the Matrix, and how this meshes with the ancient ideas of the Gnostics.

Think with your heart. Feel with your head.

We exist in a world which demands from us on every level. To make something of ourselves, to be an utter success at everything we do. This is not a place to be last in the line, and if you can’t deal with that, then maybe something is wrong with you.
Well, let’s listen to Kaja and what she thinks about these life perspectives which are so common nowadays. How does she approach her life? How does she deal with her inner ego, which very nature is to pursue, to conquer and to divide?

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The evil that is within

What is the nature of the very thing that pushes us, human beings, into the most destructive patterns, unpredictable behaviour no one would think possible? And how does this dark side manifest itself in each one of us? Is any one spared from this? Or do we all carry this darkness within us, waiting to be triggered, in more or less unfortunate circumstances?

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The fever for the sublime – part 2 of 2

How can this fever manifest? What can it do to us? Can something as pure as the need for unconditional love, for the Truth, lead to desctructive behaviour? What are the inherent dangers of a forced practice? Both for ourselves and for the people around us. And if so, then what are the mechanisms, the root cause behind this behaviour?

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The fever for the sublime – part 1 of 2

My practice was an incessant fever. Done in the most dark corners of a galloping train, toilet compartments in a sleazy hotel, abandoned corridors on some freezing ferry, the roof of some unfinished building. Anywhere, anytime. As long as it would allow me to reach that sacred state. Even if it was for a couple of minutes. For some cherished, momentary glimpse of the Limitless.

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Venture me out of the Matrix

Two of the silicon Valley’s moguls latest project is to break us out of the Matrix, which they strongly believe exists and has the humanity enslaved. This is a perfect opportunity to look at the intersection of Technology and Spirituality and identify why these tech-billionaires have come to such a conclusion and what lies behind all of this, according to several ancient spiritual traditions.

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Tech-zeist under the loophole

Our stories focus on the current changes in technology, and what impact they have on the society, the core family and the individual. When we focus on the future, it is always grounded in the now, backed or inspired by recent trends and influences.

The “Data mining our children” & “Digital Footprint” series examines the commercially cynical nature of the Big Data algorithms, and how they are being used to profile our children, from cradle to grave.

“Will A.I. explosion lead to massive unemployment?”-story examines what Automation Revolution means for our society and the potential decimation of the human work-force.

Genetic engineering in the novel “A Child Made To Order”

If you enjoy psychological mysteries with intense drama, which tackle controversial scientific issues, look no further than A CHILD MADE TO ORDER. The issue of genetic manipulation of human embryos, of children literally made to order, is increasingly becoming one of the most important ethical and medical issues of our time.

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We are genetic Gods, but what about our children?

If you want controversy about our future and the moral choices we are making about our species, then look no further than the topic of Biogenetics. Not only has the method of in vitro caused some extreme reactions from the more religiously inclined, but on the horizon we are beginning to see the dawn of the human made in the laboratory. And it’s causing a storm. I would like to take a glance at this subject from an author’s point of view, where my main concern is, what kind of ethics will make up our future, both as parents for our children, and society as a whole.

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VR – a redefining technology or heroin for the masses?

With 2017 upon us, Virtual Realiy has been generating a huge buzz for over a year now. Many are saying that this year will be the year when VR finally breaks through into the mainstream. However we choose to look upon this technology, one thing is for sure. It might be just the most disruptive technology to ever appear in our society, one with the potential to change the way we connect, interact and live our lives, forever.

Read More

Data Mining – the future of education

The education system is undergoing major changes in every country of the world, due to the datafication of the whole process of education. What are those changes? And what are the pitfalls we might be heading for? Also, will this lead to an increasing effectiveness in the education, or will this cause a more distinct stratification of the children. Those who go on to have a future. And those who don’t.

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Digital Footprint – the Big Data generation – part 2 of 2

This time, let’s take a look at some of the technology behind the scenes while we surf, and point out some less than obvious ways that our character traits can be analyzed by the A.I. algorithms. Finally, I would like to come full-circle and conclude how we as parents can make a difference and teach our children how they can filter their behaviour online but still be genuine, and make lasting relationships.

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Digital footprint – from cradle to grave

The coming generations who inhabit this planet, will leave an ever growing digital footprint behind themselves. This faces our society with many ethical issues on how to deal with our online privacy. Are we headed into a safer world where total transparency is ubiquitous, where everyone knows everything about the other individual? Or is that just wishful thinking? And we are headed for a nightmarish scenario, one with zero privacy and even less freedom, something which Orwell and many other doomsayers were trying to warn us against.

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Storygeist – the Newsletter

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“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”” – Carl Sagan

Storygeist Authors

Piotr Ryczko

Editor & Author Filmmaker / Author page

As long as I can remember, a part of me has always been a keen, albeit very quiet, observer of the world around me. And another part has been a wide-eyed wonder boy who, from the get go, wanted to escape into another dimension, some yet undiscovered version of the land of Oz.

This combination of character has, on more than one occasion, shown itself to be a tad aggravating, and maybe even quite unfortunate to the outside world. And since my verbal skills are still locked away in some deep recess of my being, a talent still awaiting discovery, I had no other choice than to become a visual storyteller dressed up as filmmaker. During that process I also fell in love with words, quite many of them, actually.  Since then, there was no turning back, and I became a scribe of the written word.

Through this blog, and through my stories, be they written or told in moving images, I would like to share with you what I feel, think and dream of. And if anything on this blog connects with you, mail me, I would love to hear about it.

Kaja Kochanska

Author of the spiritual section Author page

Since I was a child I was courious in a wholeness of Life, its various aspects and power of experience which It carries within. I was delighted with exploring, knowing the unknown, drawing, painting, writing, spending time on creative acting. I loved to share with others what I already know and in what I am fascinated by.

Every day I trust more and more in my Path and in what I love. My life is a combination of various aspects of life into Oneness. Here, I share with you a wide part of my own life, showing a multitude of interests and wealth of experience.

In my work I join the facet of Earth as a root a base for a futher growth which is meant to be united with spiritual Element of Heaven ( Yin & Yang).

+ guest appearances by various visual artists/photographers