Neuro Linguistic Programming is a broad umbrella for some related insights in how the mind makes associations and moves between mind states and how these different mind places have different groups of associations connected with them and are susceptible to different pressures and will make different decisions, and how to invoke and use various mind spaces and set them up to include new associations.
“Bloody academic fineries. The lobster fork is placed here, the big spoon shouldn’t be used in tea. Why not make ideas user friendly, not just for initiates? Communicate easily and well? The 16 hundreds, the 16th century. Bloody academic fineries.”
In the above paragraph, it isn’t until the 5th of 6 sentences that I bring in the subject of “The 16 hundreds, the 16th century”, up until then I’m setting up a host of related associations, so that by the time I get to “The 16 hundreds, the 16th century”, it plops into place as part of the whole mindspace. The last sentence just ties the whole thing together rhythmically and re-enforces the association.
Wilber talks about the developmental stage of the centaur, also called vision logic, which is characterized by seeing matrixes and even matrixes of matrixes of related ideas, and seeing them all at once, especially in the form of images. So when you say that sometimes I come up with striking and strangely apt metaphors, the image comes to me first, and then I unravel it in words, which lends the paragraph or page a very cohesive feeling, even if it seems as free association. Sometimes what on paper looks like free association is actually a palpable feeling that defies a one image metaphor – it’s a specific flavor that gets spread out over a host of related images – like the academic fineries thing – the image is too broad for one picture, it is a host of related pictures, but it comes to mind in one flash, and gets spread out on paper in any number of related images. It isn’t a matter of coming up with a metaphor to match the idea, the images come first and contain in them a full cohesive picture, that can be unpacked into it’s related details.
At other times free association is a way to spiral around a vague idea until a clearer image forms.
Looking at the above paragraphs, I see the separate subjects of NLP, vision logic, and free association. I know that all these concepts arose pretty well at once as a feeling in me, or at least came out as a package, so now I have to tie them together with a broader image. In this case, what I’m doing with writing is a type of free association around a feeling to discover a more coherent image, out of three related images. I can tell by the feeling in me that a deeper unifying image is asking to be found – the connections aren’t random or forced – they came out as a force looking to gel into details. What comes to mind while searching for the unifying image is still vague, but has to do with the minds ability to organize it’s complexity such that more and more of experience can be experienced simultaneously with meaning. Vision logic as the umbrella that includes the understanding and manipulation of NLP principles of sets of related mind spaces and free association as a vehicle through the mind to create coherence. The image is a centerless yet creatively organized network of associations, little neurons of ideas associating and associating into a networked big related full coherent package, with the theme of the image being the possibility for vast spontaneous organization of previously un-related associations.
Vision logic and NLP are nicely tied together, and can be used to advantage in writing. Especially propaganda or advertising or seduction, but also just in flavoring an idea with a background, or, more strongly, in setting down an entire landscape all at once that includes an idea as if it belonged as part and parcel of the landscape. That is perhaps the essence of propaganda. A united interrelated world with central themes stuck out for easy access, the themes seamlessly related to a world of detail rich enough to perhaps be our details of our inner world, or a world we’d want to participate in. Weak minds are easily swallowed up by enthralling meaningfully organized details, just as when we nod off it is a struggle to maintain awareness that our sensory world is now just a dream. Visionaries have it all over simpler folk, and get laid more. People write in to soap opera stars, people vote for Bush, people can’t differentiate between someone else’s propaganda and their personal lives. They can’t relate one matrix of ideas to another – they aren’t at the vision logic stage – they get hypnotized by one vision, only one vision at a time – they are trapped in their minds as subjects only, never looking down at their ideas as a multiplex of related visions. Never lucid dreaming while awake. Truly funny ironic humor is bitter sweet, and only permanently accessible to the centaur, able to see two contrasting or opposing views once, and spark them against each other.
I think a person needs to be at the vision logic stage to be able to think clearly enough to spot propaganda. That’s why I don’t believe open democracy is a good idea at all. Only people that can cast an informed vote should have the power to vote.
Allright, I think I’ve made my point, and waddled around the theme with enough images. Vision logic is powerful and cool, and can deepen to fantastically inclusive degrees. It can also be hoped that the next stages of development will be able to use vision logic in ways that vision logic alone can’t foresee. My last email had one poetic line about being so intimate as to be as intimate as silence is to dreamless sleep and as death is to life, and that the insight that sees these gaps in our stories and feels them as part of our body and mind and awareness laughs at an irony usually invisible to us.
As examples of NLP tricks in writing, I had written to you:
” If she can bring forth the fuel of my interest, ok, I’ll light, I’m up for it,…”
“so it’s not a snap to piece it all anew”
“my fire is tendered as only the pilot light now”
It turns out that the order of words isn’t the total cause of meaning in a sentence, and words with related sounds can also drag in unconscious associations. So “my fire is tendered as only the pilot light now” uses tendered not just to mean “to put forth”, but also to drag in the association with tinder, to flesh out and broaden the associations with making fire, to bring in a background tone, with the sound of the word, not the meaning or position of it. And “so it’s not a snap to piece it all anew” obviously uses snap as in to snap pieces together as well as the literal meaning in the context used of not being easy. Basically I use one word in two places at once in the sentence, just the fact of it being there brings in the associations related to “snap”, regardless of the contextual literal meaning. And in “If she can bring forth the fuel of my interest, ok, I’ll light, I’m up for it,…” I put “I’m up for it” right after “ok, I’ll light” to make the phrase “I’ll light up”.
So associations aren’t constrained by order, the mind doesn’t work like that – you can build in associations craftily, just by letting the mind slide around and re-piece things together anagrammatically. Done with rhythm and a sense of sound it packs a bigger poetic and visual punch, than focusing on strict meaning alone.
By the way, the connection of NLP and using language shiftily isn’t an afterthought commentary on what I wrote, but was part of the process of writing, even if it did come out all at once as fast as I could type. I was consciously using words with multiple meanings for effect. Because I was aware of some NLP tricks, from reading about it on the web a year ago, that context was available, and was included into my knowledge of putting forth ideas – writing, so from a vision logic description all of that happened at once – the image and the NLP tricks – it arose together in the process of fleshing out and detailing the image.
I mention this because it is interesting to me as a description of how the mind works, or can work; how meaning is created and conveyed. It’s about associations, and after being able to organize associations with rules and logic, and after being able to examine the rules, comes this wider facility of a great complexity of associations all creatively organized in a flash and up and out at once, miraculously, from no one can say where. All in a big boom, like an intricate dream, from no particular place.
That kind of thinking, vision logic thinking, is a big contrast from piecing together a sentence, aiming to create and convey idea. Instead of building up a sentence from parts, the whole comes out as an image or broader imaginary feeling, and then that image rolls around the mind gathering up it’s related words, which get arranged also in the all at once inclusive vision logic way, using several different rule sets at once – rhythm, sound, meaning, associations, context, readership. Many associations play together, free form jazz style, and co-ordinate in real time remarkably.
The fun, the edge, the interesting place, for me, is at the moment before the image comes. That empty place, brimming with potential. To stay in that place while writing means to never use a cliché. It means that something related has space to show up and play. Once you know, once you are concretized, the jazz is recorded and fixed. The fun is before it is fixed. Why a writer is transcendently good is that she doesn’t come from cliché; she doesn’t come from what she knows. She comes from this space before she knows what she knows. She comes onto the page as a surprise to herself.