That’s what he said to me. I was in Hong Kong and we were doing a promotional workshop on Meta-Coaching and Mediation. And we had several guys from various NLP Schools, several who had read some of my books and several who were “interested, but unconvinced.” They were unconvinced that Neuro-Semantics had “anything” to offer that was actually different from NLP. At least that’s what they said. So they wanted to know.
“What’s new and what different in Neuro-Semantics? And you can’t say that it is higher because NLP has higher or meta-levels and positions.”
“You’re right!” I immediately acknowledged. “Dilts has introduced four meta-levels in his Neuro-Logical Levels pattern and even Bandler and Grinder had the ‘meta-position’ in their original model as well as they acknowledged that language is a ‘meta-representational system,’ and so developed a ‘Meta-Model of Language in Therapy’ as they called it to address that higher level. So in all of that, you are right on. NLP modeled higher levels.”
“But while NLP has that, there’s one thing that NLP did not have, not until I introduced the Meta-States Model. Only then did NLP obtained a model of the very special and unique kind of mind that man has, well, women also.”
“And what is that?”
I threw in the humor bit and paused, all designed to facilitate some “response potential” as Milton Erickson would have said. “Okay, so do you want to know what it is?” I said that in the tone and tempo that Morpheus uttered the same line to Neo in The Matrix movie, knowing that they would like that. One of them had read my book on The Matrix Model and had spoken about that when we began.
“What NLP does not have, apart from the Meta-States Model, even to this day, is a model of the self-reflexiveness of the human mind, and that’s the most unique feature of human consciousness. NLP began as a modeling of consciousness, of how our brains operate and of how to effectively run your own brain, and yet NLP from 1975 to 1994 completely ignored the self-reflexivity of our minds. And that’s what the Meta-States Model added to the NLP Communication Model that was so revolutionary.”
I paused for a moment … there was an awkward silence, so I added. “Where in NLP is there anything, one comment, one note, one pattern, one anything about the self-reflexivity of the human mind except in the Meta-States Model? Do you know? Have you ever seen it? Has any NLP trainer ever even mention the fact that there is structure to our meta-cognitive skills and that our meta-cognitive abilities, processes, and competencies is what enables us to not only think, but think-about-our-thinking?”
“That’s a good point that you’re making.” one of them said. And when he did, another looked at him as if he had just betrayed their alliance! That’s when he said in a challenging way, “So it’s all about thinking, conscious thinking, and that’s the biggest problem with Meta-States!”
“Well, I hate to disappoint you, but because a meta-state is first and foremost and ultimately a state, yes it is a mental state, yet it is also an emotional state and a somatic state. And that’s why when you meta-state, you not only bring one thought-to-another-thought, you also bring one feeling, one emotion, one physiological state to another. And that’s why meta-stating has nothing to do with the so-called ‘dissociation,’ and everything to do with creating the more complex and riches emotional states possible to human beings.”
“But I heard that a Meta-State is a dissociated, non-feeling state and that that is why you are so academic and non-emotional.”
“And who did you hear that one from?” Well, he couldn’t say. “Do you mean you cannot or that you don’t want to say?” He didn’t want to. “And why would you not acknowledge the source of that rumor? Why hide what someone has obviously communicated to you and probably to others? They made it public, so why protect them against the truth?”
“So tell me, if you love learning, does that make the state of learning more or less emotional? What about joy of learning, passion about the joy of learning? And what about such meta-states as gloriously fallible, uninsultability, robustly resilient? Do those sound like academic and non-emotional states?”
“And do you think that the ‘higher’ states in Dilts’ list— mission, purpose, identity, spirit are less emotional, do you think they are dissociated states?” Well he didn’t.
“So now you know the difference! And knowing this difference, and realizing that to step back in your self-reflexive awareness can enrich your knowing with appreciation or joy or wonder, how do these delightful and playful states now transforms what you use to know and give you that broader and more comprehensive competency to explain to anyone who asks you about the revolutionary difference in Neuro-Semantics, and I’m wondering, just wondering if you were able to track all of the levels in this statement?”
Ah, now he knows about the “so what” of the higher states! I hope you do too.
Schedule of Neuro-Semantic Trainings — go to www.neurosemantics.com
APG Schedule — Meta-State Trainings occurring around the world.
Dr. Hall’s Schedule — Where Michael is or will be.
Neuro-Semantic Trainers Schedule —where other Neuro-Semantic Trainers and Trainings are occurring.