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Feb. 19, 2020

Beyond: Origin story of Belly of the Beast Life Stories with Artie Wu

Beyond: Origin story of Belly of the Beast Life Stories with Artie Wu

This story is a discussion about the origin story of Belly of the Beast Life Stories with our advisor, Artie Wu. 

Wisdom for our Soul, Courage for your Journey. In Belly, we share our extraordinary life stories of personal transformation to illustrate the nature of personal transformation. Beyond helps us go beyond personal stories to comprehend the overall pattern of transformation.


  • Artie Wu describes the origin of Belly of the Beast Life Stories from his perspective as a longtime friend and advisor to David All
  • The meaning behind the term, “Belly of the Beast”
  • Discussing the overall pattern of transformation using the metaphor of a caterpillar, down into her cocoon, and climbing up a butterfly
  • Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale
  • Modern examples of the Belly story pattern include Star Wars and The Matrix (films)
  • The difference between grief and depression and why accepting the meaning of your pain matters



“Belly of the Beast really is an allusion to some call it ‘hero’s journey.’ Some call it sort of transformations people go through over the course of their life cycles. And there are many ways to describe that.”

 “There’s a natural shape of the transformation process in a person’s life in a phase they go through in nature. And, you know, one metaphor that comes up a lot is that of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.”

“In the Bible story, [Belly of the Beast is] an allusion to Jonah and the whale.”

“In classic Star Wars, the belly of the beast is the trash compactor in the belly of the Death Star. In The Matrix, for instance, the belly of the beast is when Neo actually physically dies and then comes back completely transformed, knowing he has his powers.”

“Like for instance, when we talk about the difference between grief and depression. Grief is when you’ve had a loss and you actively, willingly sit with it and just sit with the pain of a loss and you don’t run away from the pain. You actively go down into the belly of the beast. You go down into grief, you go down into your cocoon phase. Depression is where you say, no, no, run away. Get away. Get away. Numb it with alcohol, numb it with drugs, with sex or whatever. And you keep running from this pain you know is coming. And eventually a hand comes up, grabs you and drags you down anyway. That’s the difference.”



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Thank you for listening.


David All

Creator, Storyteller, Producer


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