If you read my personal blog, you already know how much I love John Grinder and Richard Bandler, and their books on neuro-linguistic programming. In the last few days I picked up Trance-Formations where I’d left off awhile back and found something that gave me glee:
I’m suggesting to you that there are at least two ways of building new generalizations. One way is to break an old one, and the other way is to simply build a new one. You see, one nice thing about people is that they can have incompatible generalizations within themselves. There’s nothing that prevents them from being able to do that. There’s a whole form of therapy based on trying to get rid of all your incompatible generalizations so you can be one-dimensional. According to that system, to be authentic is to be totally consistent.
There’s no need to break old generalizations or get a person to be completely consistent. It can be simpler to define something as being new, so that the person has no generalizations and therefore no limitations. That doesn’t mean the person will know what to do, but it does mean he won’t have any interference once he finds out.
I realized that this is how I started working with John in voice lessons. As much as I talk about feeling “deconstructed”, we’re not really deconstructing at all. We’re building new processes, not really worrying about the old ones but moving forward in whole new ways so that I can learn without being bogged down by “changing”. I love encountering the same information from two disparate sources—but I’m not sure the sources are all that disparate, these days. Not just because John has already mentioned NLP, but because everything, at a certain point, seems connected, seems the same… It’s awesome.