Springingtiger's Blog

Words in Mind
April 16, 2016, 00:31
Filed under: Health, NLP, Poetry, Writing | Tags: ,

Can words change minds
Used with intent
Words of all kinds
However well meant
Belief that binds
And effort spent
Blown on the winds
Broken and bent
By lies and blinds
People resent
The truth that finds
What they present
Falsely defines
The accident
That enshrines
The evident
But false designs
That represent
Their made up minds

All In The Mind


One of the things that has lived with me since I did the est Training is that two things cannot occupy the same space. It reminds me of the story of the intellectual who went to a Zen Master for teaching. The master called for tea and began to fill the man’s cup. Soon the cup was full and running over. The man protested that no more tea could go in the cup, to which the master pointed out that neither could teaching be put into a mind that was already full of preconceptions. I have been fascinated of late to read transcriptions of conversations between Nisargadatta Maharaj and questioners. It is so very difficult for people to let go of what they think they know and so they are unable to even consider a new possibility. In NLP it is postulated that the purpose of the unconscious mind is the survival of the body whereas in est the primary purpose of the identity is the survival of the body or whatever the mind considers it to be. Thus one person may flee a burning house while another rushes back in to grab a child or perhaps the manuscript of their novel, whatever they associate with their identity.

However I digress. What excites me is the idea of creating out of nothing. As long as there is a pre-existing concept or idea in our mind the best we can do is to change it, and that may be a good thing. What est taught me was that if that space is empty then rather than mere change anything is possible. And that is another thing I learned from est, creation happens in that empty space that comes into being when we put aside what we know, what we have been conditioned to believe is possible. I recently went to an introduction to ‘The Forum‘ a course that grew from est and the other work of Werner Erhard. The guests had all the usual reasons for not doing the course that I had over thirty years ago for not doing est: haven’t got the money, haven’t got the time, haven’t got a babysitter and so on. It was obviously impossible for either my wife or I to have done est, we had so many reasons not to. However we put aside our ‘better judgement’ and we did it, we did the impossible. Since then whenever something has called to us strongly enough that we knew we really wanted to do it, we have done it. Neelam has crossed continents, but somehow distance and money have ceased to be the barriers they once were. We still have all the old doubts and considerations come up and if our love is strong we do it anyway. It’s not just courses, but travel and other things. We don’t know how, I suppose Darren Eden would say we are harnessing our will to the service of what we love.

In est terms you could say we create an opening for possibility. It is very like buying a lottery ticket. It is only by buying a ticket that you have any possibility of winning the lottery. I know the odds are very heavily against winning, but people do. The point is not necessarily to win the money, but to create an opening for possibility. In est we were told to stay in the room and take what we got. The trick when creating an opening for possibility is to take what you get. You may not win the cash, however in that period between paying your pound or dollar and the numbers being drawn your creativity can be unleashed. That is the time when you see what you would love to do had you the money to do it. The dreams you create before your hopes of a win are gone are the real prize. It is these dreams that tell you what you would love to do. When you can see clearly what you really would love then you can set about achieving it.

Robert Fritz in ‘The Power of Least Resistance’ talks about the process of creation beginning with the end result. Darren Eden would describe it as the vision of what your heart would love, which may be flowery, but it works. Werner Erhard said something similar of leadership, “It’s called a ‘project’ because you throw it out in front of you.” In NLP we will walk someone forward along their time line to the place where their objective is reached then turn them round so they can see what whey did to get there. In Time Line Therapy® the process is similar, but done entirely in the imagination. The point is to harness the will to accomplishing what you would really love and not what you think you should.

People tend to use the dismissive term, “It’s all in your mind!” However in a properly trained mind, that is where the magic happens. Some years ago the ‘Inner Game’ books were all the rage. Today it is commonplace for athletes and artists to spend as much time in mental rehearsal as in actual physical rehearsal because of the improvement it makes to their performance. Does it work? I was on a NLP World Master Practitioner Course in a very short time Jeremy Lazarus of the Lazarus Consultancy coached me into breaking boards with my bare hands. Darren Eden had me driving drinking straws through potatoes on one of his courses, again with nothing more than my hands and the focus of my will. We each of us have an amazingly powerful mind if we just put aside all our nonsense and use it. The next trick, of course, is to put aside the mind and enter possibilities which the human mind can never hope to imagine.

Literal Communication

“The Meaning of a communication is the response you get.” is one of the lessons of NLP. It is a lesson too easily overlooked.

Yesterday I constructed what I thought was a nice analogy to make a point. I was surprised by an angry response that totally missed the point I was trying to make. I forgot of course that it is one thing to construct an analogy, but reading one is something different altogether. On seeing the response it occurred to me, somewhat belatedly, that someone reading literally could have missed the analogy.

The response I got was not related to the meaning I thought I’d put into it. Had the reader got ‘the wrong end of the stick’ and missed the point? The fact is that if anyone takes the wrong meaning from a piece it means that the wrong meaning was there to be taken and of it was there, I am responsible for it.

The problem with posting a blog every day for the year is that some of them (for ‘some’ read ‘most’) are not as thoroughly proofread as I might like. However urgency should not be allowed to displace accuracy. As for yesterday’s blog, I shall put the point I was trying to make into another post completely free of analogy. If the meaning of a communication is the response you get, then it is for me to ensure I get the response I’m looking for.

The Language of Choice: Or and the Illusion of Choice


To return to ‘vanilla or chocolate’ we see that sometimes choice is an illusion. It appears that we are free to choose between Vanilla and Chocolate; what is less obvious is the exclusion of all other possibilities. It is an ‘exclusive or’.

When a husband says to his wife, “Where do you want to go on vacation this year, Florida or Spain?” It appears that he is giving her a choice whereas in fact he is confining her options securely to what he wants. He could really ramp up the illusion of choice by adding, “Or  ̶ if you’d rather ̶ we could go on a cruise.” In fact all he is doing is adding one more option. This choice is illusory. It is not a true choice, but a decision.

A decision is a choice determined by the consideration of options. In an ‘exclusive or’ situation there is no freedom of choice because the options are predetermined and limited. The ‘exclusive or’ is a linguistic structure. Sometimes the circumstances in which one finds oneself provide a physical equivalent of an ‘exclusive or’ in that circumstances severely limit one’s options. If you fall down a hole do you try and climb out OR wait to be rescued? The more options a person has the greater the illusion of choice. A student faced with the task of choosing at which university they will continue their studies appears to have an unlimited choice, in reality they have already restricted their choices.

It is practical to shut off choices and make a decision, otherwise a person could end up never really choosing to do anything. However there is in everyone’s life a real freedom of choice which is usually unacknowledged. Our freedom of choice is concealed behind the expectations placed upon us by family and society. Our society is designed to have us close down our unlimited possibilities and we do this when we make a choice and exclude other possibilities. Sadly the choice we make is too often the sensible one and we exclude the joy of craziness.

I can’t remember whether it was in the old Communication Course I encountered an exercise called ‘What am I Building?’ in which one takes any action of daily life and elicits its ‘in order to’, that is to say that to which it leads. In NLP terms this is a ‘chunking up’ exercise. It is also useful in empowering choice. It goes like this: Why am I going to university? Possible answers may include to deepen my knowledge? To gain a qualification? To meet girls? Everyone has their own motivators. Let’s say for this example we have said “To gain a qualification (Oh dear, but all is not lost!) Why do I want a qualification? I want a qualification to get a good job. Why do I want to get a good job? To earn money? Why do I want to earn money? To be respected….yadi, yadi, yada. At any point it is possible to step sideways and ask a question like, “What is another way I can get a good job? Which opens up new possibilities. The ultimate purpose of the exercise is to push beyond the mundane and elicit what we would really love, our ultimate purpose. When we have elicited our ultimate purpose we will see that there are infinite ways of chunking back down from it to the level at which we are now. In reality when we can see that ultimate goal which is usually a state of being ̶ when examined carefully ̶ we open up unforeseen possibilities for its attainment unlimited by conventional thinking.

Ordinarily every decision we take closes down options. However when our focus remains on our ultimate goal ̶ I just noticed the ‘goal’ word is back in the conversation ̶ our Fundamental Choice, then we actually keep our possibilities open, if suspended. As long as our choice of action is given by the Fundamental Choice and not by the constraints of the particular path we have chosen we retain the possibility of stepping onto a different path.

I Choose Not To Be Depressed

Why would I now find myself on the verge of sinking into another depression? It seems to have been started by last Sunday’s meltdown. I firmly believed I got my life under control, Kinetic Chain Release had broken my susceptibility to loud noises and my blue glasses, to photosensitivity; they also help me read pages without jumping backwards and forward and recognise faces as a whole rather than as a collection of pieces. I was in control and my meltdown stripped away any illusion of control.

I like to feel in control, I may know it’s really an illusion, but as long as I’m not reminded of that reality I am happy. I have invested so much energy to construct the illusion of control, that when it’s stripped away I find myself wondering why I bothered. The other big problem is that, because the illusion was constructed to prevent depression, when the illusion goes, the possibility of sinking into depression returns and so does the memory of being depressed. It is the memory of depression that makes suicide attractive.

However I must also accept that every time I have been depressed I have come through it. I know I have a pattern of recovery from depression. It occurs to me the language of depression is the language of powerlessness. If I say ‘I have been depressed’ I am saying SOMETHING depressed me. When the dread of powerlessness is so poignant it is little wonder depression is so dreadful! I am reminded of the Richard Bandler question, ‘How do you do being depressed?’ It turns the language of depression on its head and tells me I can only be depressed because I am doing ‘being depressed’. But I feel depressed. However 5 Banks would stay that those feelings just indicate that there is something wrong with my thinking. The most important thing is that I am still in a place where I can take action and I have the tools to do so. I choose not to do being depressed!

Lego and Free Thought

When, yesterday, I shared my Lego Brick Planner, a system to introduce structured flexibility into scheduling, a friend told me to patent it. However as I said to her I will not. I don’t believe in the ownership of ideas, but in sharing them. It may be argued that by publishing I have established intellectual ownership; if I own the idea I can do with it what I will and I will share it.

Despite all the infighting and arguments I still like to think of those affected by autism spectrum disorders as a community and communities share. There are too many people who seek to profit from the misfortunes of others, who exploit the desperation of parents; there are too many who see autism as a source of income rather than an opportunity to serve people. I have received help and support from the community, I chose to give back. If someone uses my. Lego system to help people and earns money by doing so, I will not begrudge it, but no one owns this, it is a free idea, an Open Source thought.

Lego, quite rightly, owns the copyright on Lego products. However what they do not, nor do they try, is to own the creativity Lego inspires. I use a kitchen timer to divide my day, the timer only goes up to an hour. I use My Daily Greatness Journal, it has a daily planner that divides a day into half hours, as do most paper schedulers. Can I help it if I saw these regular units of time as Lego bricks, and if, when they became bricks, they became interchangeable. Lego is about creativity, you can use the colours of the bricks, you can move a mini figure from day to day as your week progresses to keep track of the days (Batman is good),. You might want to go to the Lego store and make mini figures to represent significant people you  meet regularly and put them on the days you are going to meet them. Lego is about creativity, the Lego Brick Planner is about creating a visual tool to plan your day and to accommodate changes to your schedule less painfully. It works for me because it is visual and kinesthetic, it won’t work for everyone, but everyone is free to try it. Me, I’m going to develop it further because that’s the NLP way, “What else can I do with this?” as Richard Bandler would ask.

I have to say I am delighted with the response from the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (if you haven’t already, buy the book, it’s very useful). This is what community is about, sharing, and Lego, and Dr. Who, and the National Railway Museum in York and it can all be plotted with colored (American spelling in honor of TPGA) bricks. I’m in an awfully good mood today happy, happy, happy…that gives me another idea for my colored bricks!

Lego Planner


I like to have my day mapped out so that I know what I am going to do and when, I really do not like having my schedule disrupted. In summer,when so many of my plans include gardening and the Scottish weather is so unpredictable, I face daily frustrations. I have been working with NLP for many years to discover strategies that enableme to get through my days without exploding, and the Glasgow weather has inspired the Lego Brick Planning Strategy.

Put in its simplest terms, I plan my day as if time were made of Lego bricks.I can either do it by visualising the day as bricks or by actually using bricks. The eight stud, rectangular brick represents one hour; the four stud, square brick is half an hour and the small, two stud rectangle is fifteen minutes. Personally I still plan my day on paper, but I think of each timed segment as a Lego Brick, interchangeable with any other Lego Brick or bricks that have the same number of studs. This allows me to rearrange the bricks should it be necessary without substantially altering my day, although living in Glasgow sometimes outdoor bricks have to be swapped to another day of the week. I do my planning with a diary and the weather forecast, the diary tends to be more useful because my wife supplies the information it contains. Not all bricks are moveable, every week has some immovable bricks, these are scheduled appointments, but every other brick in the weekly wall is swappable.

At the moment I prefer to work with the Lego Brick plan one day at a time, but I intend to work up a full planner, not only using different sizes brick for different lengths of time, but different colours for different types of task. Now I need my own set of Lego bricks, the ones my granddaughters left here are too big and too few for my purposes.