Forum Message

Topic: Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience
Posted by: Pete West
Date/Time: 16/12/2003 01:57:42

Brian Van der Horst, in his article*, “An NLPrimer on Spirituality”, presents commentary which may be worthwhile reading to those of us interested in modeling ‘spiritual’ experience and/or exploring alternative ordering approaches to Dilts’ vertically linked “chain of nominalizations”.  I find the following excerpts particularly valuable for me to consider:

“…The essential dilemma of investigating belief with NLP is our investment in pragmatism, utility and verifiability: our basic tools of exploration and test of reality is the sensorium. This is a problem. In virtually all disciplines of the spirit, the spiritual experience is described as transcending what we can see, hear, feel, taste or smell in everyday life.

…If in NLP, we use an analogous model, the Theory of Logical Types, perhaps we should review the presuppositions of this model, most well-defined by anthropologist/philosopher/psychologist Gregory Bateson as The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication.

Bateson defined these 6 as
• Learning I-- acquiring content, correcting errors within a set of alternatives.
• Learning II-a change in the process of Learning I -- acquiring the context of content, correcting errors by changing sets or sequences of sets of content alternatives.
• Learning III-- a change in the process of Learning II--generating the context of context. This is the level of enlightenment, satori, of sudden illumination.
• Learning IV-- a change in Learning III--generating the context of context of context. This for Bateson was the domain of the spirit, ‘Where Angels Fear to Tread.7’ He also said the most human beings accomplish this type of learning before they are born, as the foetus transforms from single-cell organism, to sponge, to coelenterate, to fish, to mammal, to baby homo sapiens. Or as they say in biology, ‘Ontology recapitulates phylogeny.’

…Warren McCulloch, one of the fathers of neuro-computing preferred a heterarchy of values rather than a hierarchy. You can establish a hierarchy of colors of the spectrum, but there is no physical way to say that red is better than blue. Hierarchies, he felt, are not validated by the natural world.

…Instead of assuming a hierarchy, how can we use this model (Dilts’ Neurological Levels model) to represent a holographic, inter-connected, heterarchical system? This would allow us to continue to use logical types, without having to make the value judgements inherent in the concept of logical levels.

…The meta position that NLP offers its students is analogous to the witness, or not-being, egoless outcome frequently sought in meditative disciplines. While many teachers have pointed out that there is nothing more egotistical than thinking that you can be without an ego, it remains a common experience: moments of transcendence when people feel senior to their own experience, above and apart of the ordinary sensorium, and frequently identified with all humanity, rather than as single point of personality.

How can NLP deal with all the personal interpretations of such moments-- and the beliefs that have been constructed to explain them? Because there are experiences behind those beliefs.”

Van der Horst describes a few classical models of the spiritual experience, including those of James, Huxley, Wilber and the oriental chakra model.  He closes with a representation of his “R Model” for describing the qualities of spiritual experience.  This model, in the words of Van der Hurst, “is a model of criteria, but also one of the paradigms inherent in the basic structure of any discipline: be it science, art, religion or philosophy.”.

*The article can be found at


Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience16/12/2003 01:57:42Pete West
     Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience17/12/2003 20:11:53John Schertzer
          Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience17/12/2003 21:09:21Pete West
     Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience21/12/2003 20:21:06Jim R
     Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience21/12/2003 21:06:12Jim R
          Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 00:32:52GPMG
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 02:35:57Spike
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 02:57:51scott
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 11:12:24GPMG
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ?spiritual? experience22/12/2003 04:49:58J Rose
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ?spiritual? experience22/12/2003 16:45:35John Grinder
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 16:35:48John Grinder
          Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 02:41:16Spike
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 06:38:07Jim R
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 16:54:22Spike
          Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/12/2003 16:31:58John Grinder
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/12/2003 00:16:37Jim R
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/12/2003 00:41:46Pete West
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/12/2003 04:39:14Jim R
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ?spiritual? experience23/12/2003 04:46:36kate
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience26/12/2003 05:53:50nj
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience24/12/2003 19:04:39John Grinder
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience24/12/2003 21:02:53Jim R
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience26/12/2003 19:28:49John Grinder
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience26/12/2003 20:41:30Jim R
                                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience27/12/2003 00:10:34John Grinder
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience27/12/2003 15:59:03Jim R
     Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/12/2003 01:24:06Pete West
          Re:Re:Modeling: ?spiritual? experience23/12/2003 04:45:29kate
     Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience21/01/2004 22:16:11Brian Van der Horst
          Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/01/2004 11:19:24Pete West
          Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience22/01/2004 17:06:54John Grinder
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/01/2004 09:40:13Pete West
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/01/2004 17:41:41John Grinder
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/01/2004 18:10:40John Schertzer
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience24/01/2004 02:50:36Pete West
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience24/01/2004 19:08:37John Grinder
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience24/01/2004 22:23:19zero cool
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience26/01/2004 14:06:49John Schertzer
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience27/01/2004 14:23:34John Schertzer
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience23/01/2004 20:28:20Ryan Nagy
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience24/01/2004 20:54:09nj
          Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience24/01/2004 21:58:23nj
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience26/01/2004 20:37:31abbott
               Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience26/01/2004 21:44:13Brian Van der Horst
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Modeling: ‘spiritual’ experience27/01/2004 08:10:18nj

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