Forum Message

Topic: questions for Dr. Grinder:
Posted by: Constance
Date/Time: 10/08/2002 03:33:37

Hello Dr. Grinder,

Your book has been very helpful for me. Let me be more specific: NLP book written in the last 15 years or so have been so not helpful for me.  As the creator of the Meta Model, I wouldn't (don't you love the ambiguity that this sentence, so far, is rolling down this semantic hill; at this point it is quite a nice fantasy, you think?)be surprised if YOU were asking yourself, "I wonder how specifically, Constance, is experiencing my book as helpful.  Good question.

'Whisperings' is one of the only books in the above time-frame that has even attempted to contexualize and ground NLP epistemologically.  Your book actually asked me to think, consider, ponder the implications of 'doing' the art. It encouraged me to rethink NLP. So it helped me. Thank you.

ON page 41 you quote from SoM, "...When people come to us in therapy expressing pain and dissatisfaction, the limitations they experience are typically in their representations of the world not in the world itself." pg 179 of SoM.

As it relates to a broader question I am presently contemplating, I would be very interested if you could give me a few examples of clients that you have seen who's experience of limitations was in the world itself.  I assume your choice of the word 'typically' was determined necessary for some reason.

Please poke fun at me if the following question appears tedious- I won't mind; my former boyfriend told me that my ability to draw upon extreme arbitrariness in my questions sped up our break by about 3 years.  I told him the exact location and amount of pressure into which he could shove my questions.  I have a mechanical sense of humor, indeed, but it was built with pride.  On to the question:

On page 42 you are discussing the fact that in NLP we are dealing with representations, nothing more.  You introduce us to the hypothetical agent of change who has a person sitting in front of him who has been severely brutalized (or some other heinous experience). You then write,

"Now if the professional fails to recognize that he is in the business of manipulating representations...the task {of helping her, I assume}is literally impossible, undoable."

Yet, I assume you would be one of the first people to acknowledge the work of professionals over the last century, say, who have effectively helped people get over such horrible pain, yet who would not only 'fail to recognise' this articulation ('representations nothing more')but who might actually feel the need to argue against it, believing that they are in fact acting on the Real World. This is what I assume you would acknowledge, but I guess I should ask, would you?  I would guess that your articulation of this pressupostion is congruent with your statements that "...NLP in no aspect of its work impinges on the real world (pg 42)" and "this recognition has immediate and concrete consequences, among which is the final (we hope) burial of a particularly flawed nominalization called 'truth'(pg 43)"  ...congruent in that you are not expressing it as a fact of reality, but as a useful way of helping the reader focus his attention on the manipulations of representations.

I understand, I think, why you wish for the burial of 'truth', but it does seem that it works wonders in the research phase of methodology. I mean, wasn't this 'visciously flawed nominalization' most likely the culprit for getting scientist to undertake the research projects that collected the data that forms the basis for the understanding that "NLP in no aspects of its work impinges on the real world"?  Perhaps we need this awful nominaliztion of 'truth' to motivate the researchers to collect the data which leads us to make contextually 'useful' statements and which allows us to simultaneously reject the same data in its efforts to be considered true?

And finally, in this example of the professional working with somebody who experienced some form of extreme trauma, are you distinguishing between the way in which the original events were 'real' and the way in which the manipulations made by the NLPer are real?  You say, "How can he asisst the client in changing the brute historical experiences of assault, rape, abuse- all events that ACTUALLY OCCURRED...(excuse my use of bold- I'm only attempting to draw your attention to that specific portion of the quote, however I can't shake the feeling that I am only drawing your attention to the fact that I sound like a real bitch) I wonder if you are implying that those events actually happened while the manipulations of representations happen in a different manner than is actual.  When you say,

"...we are capable, ONCE WE RECOGNIZE That The Representation is Not The Thing Itself, of systematically and ethically manipulating those representations so that the client frees herself of these obstacles and moves forward in her life...(43)"

Again, I don't see how it is This understanding about representations not being the actual event(which you are not claiming is true, but are using for it's utility, correct?)that makes it possible for a therapist to help the client.  Surely no matter what the therapist believes about his work, the degree to which the interaction is helping the client find choices is the degree to which the client's representations are changing. However if we don't believe that it is true that representations are the actual cause of pain, if we are merely using that presupposition to help the practitioner focus on that specific aspect of the application of NLP, what do we believe about actual causes of suffering?

I don't have a conscious stand on this issue yet, but as I type I am aware that I am worried that little devil truth is getting some kind of a bad rap. Or perhaps I am beginning to form the conclusion that 'truth' should be regulated to function as a useful way to get people to do research that I can use for useful purposes. But then doesn't 'usefulness' seem to depend quite a bit on the hallucination of truth? 

Thanks for your time,


P.S. When I first read the structure of Magic I imagined that you and Bandler were very similar in your manner of expression.  I always was curious as to how you both contributed to the writing of SOM vol I- it was so consistently expressed throughout.  After attending a few seminars it was obvious that you two are very different in how you speak and articulate things, and I my initial curiosity as to how you divided up the work in writing SOM shifted into a curiosity about what the hell Bandler even wrote. Did he just cheerlead by your side?  And after reading a few of the books that he penned on his own,  my curiosity began to shift into a guess that he didn't have much to do with the actual writing of that book. He might have played a major role in discovering the ideas behind it, but it's hard to imagine you two were just writing different sections.  Or, I guess, he might be so good as to be able to enter into that mode of articulation when he deems it useful. To bad it has lost all sense of usefulness to him over the last 20 years.  I understand that you are probably legally forced to answer this curiosity in a specific manner, but perhaps you could just ignore the above and read me merely asking, "Hey, John, how did you and Richard go about sharing the responsibility for writing that fine book?"

The writing process of SoM

Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
questions for Dr. Grinder: 10/08/2002 03:33:37Constance
     Re:questions for Dr. Grinder: 10/08/2002 18:33:36kc
     Re:questions for Dr. Grinder: 10/08/2002 22:03:15J Rose
     Re:questions for Dr. Grinder: 12/08/2002 14:39:21Tamara Riggs
     Re:questions for Dr. Grinder: 12/08/2002 22:56:27John Grinder
          Re:Re:questions for Dr. Grinder: 13/08/2002 03:06:46Constance
               Re:Re:Re:questions for Dr. Grinder: 13/08/2002 07:09:56John Grinder and Carmen Bostic
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:questions for Dr. Grinder: 13/08/2002 19:17:51Constance

Forum Home