Forum Message

Topic: Where and how I see meta states fitting in.
Posted by: Peter Davies
Date/Time: 12/11/2002 22:15:41

From Peter Davies, Halifax, UK
To Neuro-Semantics Group and this web group.
Subject Calming down the wind:My response to Michael Carroll.

Dear Michael, Thank you for your interesting letter to me which arrived this afternoon via neurosemantics discussion group. I apologise for not having responded to you sooner but I have been thinking carefully about what the most sensible way to respond to you would be.

The apparent differences between us seem to centre on the value or otherwise to be given to the Neuro-Semantic Model of Meta-States. When I said you were wrong I should have been more specific and said that I think you are wrong about the value to be given to meta-states.

Actually maybe not even wrong, just a feeling that you are missing an opportunity to explore this new domain that emerges naturally out of NLP. Far from being a separate domain of study to me Neuro-Semantics builds on and encompasses all of NLP and adds to it. I hope in this reply to offer you some new insights and more options and possibilities that you may appreciate.

NLP is already a meta-discipline. The term is one of the least sensory specific ever invented and I challenge you to pick up and put any part of thought, word and action into a wheelbarrow. You could however demonstrate all of these in your use of the wheelbarrow. NLP draws from many wells of knowledge and because it is so good at analysing structures is useful in many different fields. I do not see it as a field in itself but rather as an enriching fertiliser to be added to other fields of study. After studying NLP I now appreciate the beauty of the architecture of knowledge within my own field of medicine far more. I can also appreciate the glory of the structures of knowledge of other people's disciplines more than before. Hence NLP can act as a useful unifying mechanism as people from many diverse disciplines discover common themes and structures to apparently disparate areas of intellectual and social endeavour. It is a valuable corrective to our modern tendency towards minute sub-specialisation. Wouldn't it be great if the whole country had NLP as an additional skill and a common language from schooldays upwards?

So if NLP is so good why do I want to add in meta-states as well? Actually I think they have been in there all along. We just have not been aware of them all the way from the start of NLP. The founders had to start somewhere and could not have been fully conscious of where their enterprises would take them or what other results were waiting to be discovered. What was the biggest island in the world before Australia was discovered? The fact we did not know about Australia did not make it non-existent, did it?

For me there are no pure mind-body states. When you examine any current state you find that there are other states around it that support it and indeed are essential to the existence of that current state. These other states may be above, below, around, about or even pre-suppositional to or implicit within the current state. These meta-states colour and texture the current state. Without awareness of these meta-states we do not fully appreciate the sense of the current state.


So for example if we are dealing with a problem state we need to know its full architecture including its meta-states to deal with it effectively. Oftentimes the problem is not the apparent current state but actually in one of the supporting meta-states. Change at the meta-state level may totally alter the meaning we give to the problem state and so our internal response to the problem state. Reframing is a classic example where multiple levels of a state are changed at once.

Another example would be changing a problem behaviour by altering someone’s beliefs about the problem behaviour. The problem behaviour could be tackled directly at that level, but how much more powerful is it to alter the beliefs, values and skills so that the problem behaviour becomes no longer credible, even to the person who was doing it? “Did I really use to do that?” they might ask. “I now don’t even think I was really me then, was I?”

The art of NLP and Neuro-Semantics is to find the tipping point at which a small change can cause great effects that gently ripple down through all the levels of a problem state, changing the sub-modalities as they drop down through. The reality check that success has been achieved is from accurate pacing, leading and calibration of the physiological changes happening as the mental changes occur. How good does it feel to achieve physiological changes as you successfully demonstrate an NLP technique? And how does it feel to realise that your appreciation of your skill is a meta-state to your skill? With as much structure and architecture to it as to your actual state of skilfulness? Isn’t that a nice tasty morsel to chew over?

To me herein is the beauty of NLP and Neuro-Semantics. It lies in our ability elegantly and cleanly, gently and firmly, enchantingly and entrancingly, to achieve effective change in just the right way for our clients and patients and for our colleagues and ourselves. This change is occurring at all relevant levels of our mental architecture. The more options I have to achieve changes the richer and more effective does Neuro-Semantics and NLP become to me, and for me in service to others.

Can you join with me in celebrating the abundant creativity within the evergreen, youthful, dynamic fertile world of Neuro-Semantics and NLP? Perhaps recapture the raucous iconoclasm of the young Bandler with endless curiosity and an insistence on at least five choices? But maybe now with the maturity to accept an ecology frame for this stage of the journey?


Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Meta-States in 17/10/2002 19:03:25L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
     Re:Meta-States in 18/10/2002 02:22:33The Other Side of Summer
          Re:Re:Meta-States in 11/11/2002 15:40:25Jurek
     Re: Correct me if I am wrong..18/10/2002 17:43:16Tone
          Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..18/10/2002 23:55:08sammy
          Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..18/10/2002 23:57:10sammy
          Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..18/10/2002 23:57:27sammy
               Re:Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..20/10/2002 21:49:10Stephen
                    Re:Re:Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..23/10/2002 13:55:19Caefu
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..23/10/2002 16:20:13Tag
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..23/10/2002 17:20:56Caefu
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..31/10/2002 14:27:12Loiusea Marnie
                                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..04/11/2002 23:52:34thepropagandist
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:ReReRe:Correct me if I am right or wrong..05/11/2002 12:15:20John Grinder
                                                  Please, correct me if I am wrong.06/11/2002 08:56:00propman
                                                       Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.08/11/2002 15:26:54Hello Propman
                                                            Re:Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.08/11/2002 19:27:46Caefu
                                                                 Re:Re:Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.09/11/2002 01:56:48Michael Carroll
                                                                      Re:Re:Re:Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.09/11/2002 18:17:11Dr Peter Davies
                                                                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.10/11/2002 00:20:31Michael Carroll
                                                                                Where and how I see meta states fitting in.12/11/2002 22:15:41Peter Davies
                                                                                     Re:Where and how I see meta states fitting in.13/11/2002 00:21:25thepropagandist
                                                                                          Re:Re:Where and how I see meta states fitting in.13/11/2002 00:22:22thepropagandist
                                                                                     To Peter Davies13/11/2002 03:28:32Michael Carrol
                                                                                     Re:Where and how I see meta states fitting in.13/11/2002 13:38:38Jon Edwards
                                                                                Please, correct me if I am wrong.13/11/2002 23:10:28propman
                                                                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re Re:Please, Just another whisper10/11/2002 00:46:04mel
                                                                                Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re Re:Please, Just another whisper11/11/2002 07:37:56Peter Davies
                                                                      Re:Re:Re:Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.11/11/2002 15:10:06Caefu
                                                                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.11/11/2002 15:51:42Caefu
                                                                      Re:Re:Re:Re:Please, correct me if I am wrong.21/01/2003 21:02:33Michael Worthington
                                                                 Re:Re:Re: A meta whisper09/11/2002 21:38:20Robert Holzhauser
                                                                      Re:Re:Re:Re: A meta whisper10/11/2002 10:11:53Robert
                                                                           Re:Re Re:Re:Re:Re: A meta whisper10/11/2002 10:22:06bert
                                                                                Re:Re:Re Re:Re:Re:Re: A meta whisper12/11/2002 07:50:31Robert
                                                             correct me if I am wrong.14/01/2003 12:26:49JT

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