When I first discovered the reflexivity of meta-states, I knew that I had in hand a structural format for the complex human states. Similar to the primary colors and all of the secondary and triary colors that arise through the mixing of the colors, so with states. We begin with primary states and then through the mixing of them, we create scores of first-level meta-states, then hundreds of second-level meta-states, then tens of thousands of third level, then millions of multiple layers of meta-states.
Reflexivity is a function of reflecting back on ourselves. As we reflect back on to ourselves, our experience, our thoughts, our emotions, even our physiology (the component elements of a mind- body state), we then entertain other thoughts-and-emotions about our first experience. On the surface, this sounds simple. It is not. As a system of interactive parts, when we step back and reflect on ourselves, we move to a higher or meta level and we set the second thoughts-emotions as the classification or category for the first. Now we have some system complexity at work.
Stepping back to reflect on ourselves is known in NLP as “going meta.” From Integral Psychology it is known as “transcending and including.” From logical levels, it is known as classifying and categorizing. From Korzybski’s General Semantics it is not as “abstracting at a higher level” and creating our human “psycho-logics.”
Wow, it means all of that! Yes, and even more but that’s enough to bite off for this Reflection on Meta-States. When we meta-state by going meta, we transcend the state of mind and body that we’re in and move to a level higher from which we then include the first state inside of it. In this we are embedding our states inside of higher frames.
As we transcend our first state and include it inside of a higher thought or emotion, that higher or meta-thought and feeling becomes the governing frame. It is in this way that we create layers upon layers of meaning. Let me give an example.
Start with the primary mind-body state of learning. Now step back to entertain some thoughts- and-emotions of delight, pleasure, even fun and joy about the learning. Do so by thinking about what the learning will do for you. Do so by considering what the learning will open up for you, what it will unleash inside you. As you now transcend your learning experience and step up into the delight and pleasure feelings about it, notice how you include your learning experience within the frame and category of joy.
Ahhh! Now you have the meta-state of joyful learning. Ready for another step back? Then go meta now to passion about your joyful learning. Transcend joyful learning to the state of passion, excitement, and love for so that joyful learning becomes embedded inside of that passion. Now you have passionate joyful learning. What class is learning a member of for you? Fun things. And what class if joyful learning a member of? Passion. Is this logical? Probably not. But is it psycho-logical? You bet it is.
The process of meta-stating is the process of transcending and including, going meta, setting higher frames, abstracting to create beliefs and belief systems, and abstracting to set up psycho- logical structures. Pretty profound, wouldn’t you say?
All of this is also a higher and different facet of “running your own brain.” In NLP, running your own brain mostly means managing the representations on the screen of your mind. This is the genius of NLP. NLP focuses mostly on representation. By zooming in to the movie theater of our mind, NLP looks at the sensory representation systems (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.) and the meta-representation of language, mathematics, etc.
NLP also discovered that there are even finer cinematic features within each of these systems and so developed the domain of sub-modalities. Yet the cinematic features like an image being close or far, clear or fuzzy, big or small, two-dimensional or three-dimensional, etc. are actually how we edit our movies and so operate as higher frames to our movies.
How the Meta-States Model of Neuro-Semantics takes this further to expand and enrich it is to recognize the meta-levels of our mind— the multi-dimensional nature of our thinking-and-feeling matrix.
Consider “sub-modalities,” as an example. Prior to the Meta-States model, all of us in NLP thought that the cinematic features of our movies were somehow at a “lower” level, a “sub” level. Then one day we began to realize that to make our pictures closer or further away, we have to step back, notice this feature of our representation, and then edit it in a new and different way. In other words, we had to go meta to detect and alter the close-far “sub-modality. This led to the Aha! Discovery that “sub-modalities” are meta-frames, that is, meta-states.
And it doesn’t stop there. Because of the infinite regress dynamic (the infinite progress dynamic) we can always step back, transcend and include, go meta, and meta-state yet one more level up. And it is this unending process that allows us to always outframe to get leverage on managing the meta-levels of our mind.
The art of learning Meta-States is that of learning to handle and manage the meta-levels that we dynamically create through the going meta process. And when you know this and become skilled in this process, you’ll understand that nearly all of the “magic” of NLP occurs at meta-levels.
For Training in Meta-States, check out the APG (Accessing Personal Genius) trainings. I will be in Portland OR. With Rich Aanrich and Cat Wilson in March Then will do APG in my home town of Grand Junction CO. in July
Other Neuro-Semantic Trainers present APG trainings in the USA and around the world. See www.neurosemantics.com schedule for such trainings.