Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Structure of Subjective Experience

NLP has been described by its creators as “the study of the structure of subjective experience”. This merits further expansion:

Subjectivity is distinguished from objectivity in both science and philosophy. Objectivity attempts to be the study of “reality”. Subjectivity by contrast is focused on how people experience and conceive reality. It assumes that whilst there may be an absolute reality, and knowing it may be beneficial, for the most part a person does not and cannot in fact “know” it, but can only know what they perceive, and what beliefs they form about it as a result. Thus whilst objectivity looks for true facts, subjectivity looks at perceived reality and personal beliefs.

(A common example of the difference is, that in a dispute between people, often each side has their own view “what happened”. Whatever actually happened would be objective reality, whatever each side believed they experienced, saw, felt, heard, thought or believed would be their perception of reality. NLP by definition studies the latter, often highly relevant when exploring human mind and communication)
NLP further claims that this subjective experience of reality is organized, that is, structured, and that the manner of organization varies significantly between individuals. It does not (at least in its original form) speculate as to a theory or science of experience. Rather it simply says, that for any person, their perceptions, thoughts and beliefs are not randomly collected, but are organized, structured and interconnected. Classical clinical psychiatry takes the same stance for example, when it views a person’s problems as stemming from childhood - the problem is not random, it has meaning and interconnection within the body of their experience

NLP is a profoundly powerful suite of tools for dealing with people’s individual reality.

NLP is about how our human brains think; how we can achieve change in our own lives; how we relate to other people; and how we learn from excellence.

The core of the NLP understandings include how we deal with
our own beliefs, our relationships and our perception of time.