Fourth Generation NLP and Modelling - International Academy for Deep Transformation

Fourth Generation NLP and Modelling



Love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.

– Swami Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That



Four Generations of NLP

This article begins to explore what might be the nature of modelling in fourth generation NLP. In the first first half I consider how the practice of modelling evolves through the different ‘generations’ of NLP. I also consider how NLP modelling evolves when applied in the helping relationship. In the second half I describe how my own work with clients has developed through third to fourth generation NLP.

I felt called to write this piece after revisiting my 1995 article, ‘Maps Beyond the Mind: NLP and Spirituality’ in preparation for the gathering ‘NLP 4th Generation: Exploring Source and Beyond’ held in Bali, 7-17 September 2017.[1]

The earlier article focused on the kinds of mapping that might guide or emerge from an NLP that espoused an interest in modelling the spiritual. It didn’t really touch the question of how this topic might have been approached in the different phases of NLP’s development. I suppose this is because I was writing at a moment when my own interests were evolving, like NLP itself, beyond first and second generation NLP, without enough distance to recognize the kind of shift happening in myself and in the field as a whole. So the question of how the modelling process might evolve in the development of NLP through its various iterations or ‘generations’ was moot.

Looking back, it would seem, as far as I am aware, that accounts of the first three generations of NLP have tended to focus on the characteristics and interests of the different generations, as opposed to what is presupposed and expected on the part of the modeller.

Thus we know that first generation NLP was focused more on observable behaviour, sensory-specific experience, and language patterns, such as sense-related ‘predicates’, and ‘meta-model’ distinctions. The focus was on what Gregory Bateson termed ‘Learning I’, simple rote learning and the identification and practice of sensory and behavioural shifts to replace unwanted responses and generate new behaviours.[2]

Very soon practitioners found that, while behavioural shifts were remarkably powerful in enhancing performance and life-quality, such changes were constrained by attitudes and strongly held ideas. And so innovators in the new field of NLP began to consider the conceptual frames conditioning this kind of Learning I.

For example, in helping his mother overcome cancer, Robert Dilts found that he needed to address the beliefs and values influencing not only his mother, but the doctors and medical system treating her. Dilts realized that our beliefs and values not only reflect meaning given to previous experience, they set the boundaries for future responses to similar situations. For instance, our experiences of intimacy or lack of it in childhood, not only determine how relations are understood in the past, they shape our responses, such as our ability to trust or not, into the future.

This kind of deep learning from experience can have an impact on almost every area of life. For example, in attempting to make learning spelling easier, Dilts observed that we might model a good strategy for learning new spellings effectively. But will people be prepared use it, if it does nothing to address influential old learnings (beliefs) about the nature and place of teachers and schools in their lives?

Second generation NLP also witnessed the emergence of powerful cognitive maps, notably Dilts’ Unified Field Theory of NLP, which showed how the eclectic elements of NLP were connected conceptually. Unified Field Theory provided an holistic way of thinking about NLP, linking the micro elements of language, physiology, and sensory systems to macro organizing principles, in particular, logical levels, perceptual positions, and time frames. It explained the NLP endeavour through an overarching spatial metaphor, as we analyse the micro and macro structure and processes that shape a particular cognitive ‘problem space’ and determine how to enlarge that space to become a ‘solution space’. In this conceptual endeavour, second generation NLP is, arguably, demonstrating Bateson’s ‘Learning II’ or ‘learning to learn’.[3]

For my colleague Jan Ardui and I, the transition to third generation NLP began in earnest – although we did not really know this at the time – during a large NLP practitioner training we were co-leading with Judith DeLozier and Anne Entus, near Moscow in 1992. We began wondering innocently why NLP seemed to have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person perspectives, but no collective or ‘we’ position. We wondered what happens when we allow our bodymind to experience what it is like to hold a whole community, company, or country within it. And we invited participants to try this new perspective.

Given the powerful residual tensions still present among participants from the various former Soviet republics, this was quite a daring and dramatic move. Our realization that the ‘study of the structure of subjective experience’ had a completely unexplored yet vital dimension in our collective lives led us to go deeper into group process and the facilitation thereof – something one of Europe’s pioneering NLP trainers, Gene Early, had seeded for us a few years previously.

We returned to the systemic roots of NLP in Gregory Bateson’s work, as we began to look beyond the focus on individuals to consider our collective dimension. And we began to consider what kind of qualities would be necessary to approach this collective domain effectively.

In considering the kind of responsiveness needed for exploring group consciousness and handling the complexity of group process, we identified a number of higher order skills, which we called ‘transcontextual skills’. However, these meta-abilities, which we considered essential for modelling at this level – attentiveness, reflection, discernment, commitment, and simple awareness – seemed to be taking us some way from the sensory-based roots of NLP, towards something we sometimes felt more akin to a kind of Buddhism. We wondered if our interests still fit within NLP, a question echoed by one of its founders, John Grinder.[4] However, in his forward to the book we had started in 1995, but finally published 10 years later, Robert Dilts perceptively situated our work at that time squarely in third generation NLP:

Third generation NLP is more generative, systemic, and focused at higher levels of learning, interaction and development – including those relating to identity, vision and mission.[5]

Early NLP had no notion of development. It approached the human being in pretty much the same synchronic way, whatever the subject’s age. Second generation NLP, with models such as Reimprinting, acknowledged how our present condition is influenced by earlier imprints. But it was only as NLP matured, that people like Nelson Zink began exploring how we develop through a number of phases or ‘levels of development’.[6] Meanwhile, other trainers took an interest in Ken Wilber’s work in this area or began to explore developmental models like ‘Spiral Dynamics’.

Third generation NLP, then, has an interest in the modelling of systems and their unfolding. Like Bateson’s ‘Learning III’, it begins to transcend the conceptual and experiential frame of separate selves.[7] If first generation NLP was essentially linear and behavioural, focusing on simple change, we find second generation NLP more focused on learning, and third generation NLP more focused on growth of the whole person and his or her situation as a part of a larger context.


Fourth Generation NLP

As to fourth generation NLP, it surely points beyond the content of experience of the individual perceiver to the context of that experience. This is the fulfilment of what Bateson understood by Learning III. For Bateson, if Learning I means a shift in behaviour, Learning II involves learning about the context of that learning, cognitively and conceptually. Learning III, in turn, for Bateson, involves learning about the context of Level II learning. And that context is ultimately provided by our ‘self’ or pseudo-self, what we take ourselves to be – the sum of our learnings, not only about what we can and cannot do, but about who and what we are:

Selfhood is a product or aggregate of Learning II. To the extent that a man achieves Learning III, and learns to perceive and act in terms of the contexts of contexts, his ‘self’ will take on a sort of irrelevance. The concept of ‘self’ will no longer function as a nodal argument in the punctuation of experience.[8]

To be coherent, we would expect fourth generation NLP to go further in deconstructing the conceptual mapping of the personal self, to explore what, if anything, underpins or provides the ground or context for that self. Such a process cannot be purely intellectual, for the intellect is what provides the context for Learning II learning. It cannot be personal or individual, because Learning III addresses the nature of the context of our Learning II learning, the self, eventually transcending it altogether. Learning III implies a different way of knowing that is not only systemic but essentially transpersonal. Fourth generation NLP, as such, implicitly recognizes that our habitual self is primarily a construct arising from memory and its subsequent reinterpretation.

Deconstructing our entrenched Learning II understandings is thus arguably a key focus of fourth generation NLP. Such deconstruction presupposes and leads to a new kind of knowing: a direct apperception of the groundless ground, the undefined reflector prior to experience and cognition. Such direct knowing is posited by philosophers such as Franklin Merrell-Wolff.[9] Paradoxically, such direct knowing is itself the wherewithal to the realization of this new kind of knowing.

Just as first generation NLP makes a firm distinction between experience that is sensory-based and abstractions and generalizations about that experience, fourth generation NLP, in my view, should be able to draw a clear line between the contents of consciousness (both sensory-based and generalizations) and what Merrell-Wolff calls ‘consciousness-without-an-object’, between the perceptual content of experience and the content-free pure reflector of that experience.

Such experience and its description sounds abstract, but is actually well-documented in the writings and utterings of many saints and poets from a number of different periods and cultures, as I discovered in the late 1970s in my doctoral research on Higher States of Consciousness and Literary Creativity.[10]


Evolution of Modelling in NLP

The evolution over time in the way NLP has been conceived and practised is naturally reflected in the process of modelling itself.

First generation NLP might be referred to as ‘black box’ NLP. The analogy is with computer programming. The NLP programmer analyses the programmes of the ‘computer’ or ‘subject’ (‘object’ might be more accurate). The NLP modeller considers him- or her- self outside the system analysing its programmes, translating them into sensory VAKOG code and rewriting that code for the benefit of that particular biocomputer or for others. The emphasis is on identifying and then streamlining or improving internal ‘strategies’ for enhanced behavioural performance. NLP modelling in this view is something I as an expert do for my own purposes, to acquire something of your expertise. Even if the intention is to learn something of interest and benefit to others or even yourself, I am learning from you rather than with you. I may do some of this covertly, by observation and ‘intuitive modelling’. Or if I proceed more analytically, I might need your cooperation, but we do not need to be deeply engaged relationally.

If John Grinder and Richard Bandler originated this style of modelling with its mechanical computer metaphors, and Robert Dilts brought his genius to codify and systematize best practice within this framework, it was Dilts’ work with beliefs in the 1980s that propelled classic first generation NLP towards second generation NLP.

Modifying Bateson’s ‘Logical Categories of Learning and Communication’, to his ‘Neuro-Logical Levels’, Dilts observed that you cannot explore and influence beliefs from the same impersonal stance of first generation NLP.[11] He realized that ‘higher’ logical levels, such as beliefs engage more of our neurology, impacting our autonomic nervous system, hence his preference for the term ‘Neuro-Logical Levels’.

In practice this was the death knell for black box NLP. If you acknowledge the impact of beliefs on behaviour, you have to conduct modelling in a different way. You can’t ‘do’ modelling to someone, you have to engage with them in a more intimate, way. You have to build trust and pace them, not only at the behavioural level, but empathically, accompanying them with the same sensitivity you are asking them to exercise in exploring themselves. For someone to open their heart to themselves and to you, you have to open your heart to them and engage with them without maintaining distance or detachment. You find yourself delicately part of the process. Without this connection, the process remains ‘mental’ and, hence, superficial, not delving into the highly influential and more hidden facets of a person’s world.

To reflect this change of emphasis, the operating metaphors of NLP in the 19080s shift, at least for Dilts and his partner Todd Epstein in their trainings. We are no longer programming a subject, rather are we serving as a guide to the one exploring.

Dilts and Epstein began teaching not only modelling, but ‘co-modelling’, where one might conduct NLP modelling in tandem with another person. Inevitably in the spirit of co-modelling, modellers and model enter into a closer relationship.

Taking this trend further in the spirit of ‘Systemic NLP’, as second generation NLP evolved into third generation NLP, Jan Ardui began to speak (mid-1990s) about ‘second order modelling’ in which the subject being modelled is an integral part of the modelling process. Modelling then involves co-operative learning in which the modeller and the model engage in a close relationship. Something emerges from, in, and through this relationship that is the fruit neither of the modelling subject nor the modeller, but an expression of their interaction. In this way of thinking, the person modelled not only contributes to, but benefits from, the process of modelling. What emerges would not be possible without their mutual co-involvement. In this ‘second order modelling’, the ability to enter a shared space, the ‘we’ emerging in and through their interaction is vital.

In third generation NLP, modelling also extends into exploring the deep defining patterns, not only of individuals, but of groups and organizations. The nature and quality of the ‘relational field’ becomes of interest, not only as a focus of enquiry in working with the organization, but in terms of how it is reflected in the relationship with the individual coach or consultant modelling that relational field.

The discrete ‘actions’ (Learning I) and interplay of ‘interactions’ (Learning II) of the group or system are important. But ultimately they are critical pointers to the overarching ‘choreography’ of group patterns (Learning III).[12] The choreography touches how the system coheres as a whole. It is apprehended not only through observation and enquiry into the system’s actions and interactions but through the consultant’s immersion in an engaging dynamic dance with that group or organization.

So, to sum up, if first generation modelling focuses on the behavioural level, developing capabilities in modelling on that level, and second generation NLP develops capabilities for modelling beliefs and values, while adjusting its best mu practice so that we can ‘match’ and build rapport with the subject of modelling on that level, in third generation NLP there is an attempt to model and embrace identity, both individual and shared.


The Challenge of Fourth Generation Modelling

We would expect, then, in fourth generation NLP, to model experiences and states that transcend identity, whether individual or shared. As such, fourth generation NLP has an interest in modelling experiences that are transpersonal, touching dimensions of wonder and awe beyond our usual ways of apprehending self and world. In approaching such experience, the modeller needs qualities and abilities beyond those necessary for modelling according to the first three generations of NLP.

Attention to the role of beliefs and values in second generation NLP does not eliminate interest in the sensory substrate to experience. It merely adds an extra dimension to it. Similarly, third generation modelling presupposes a continuing interest in the sensory substrate, as well as attention to the relevant beliefs and values, and, beyond that, attention to the overarching organizing principles of the system as a whole.

Fourth generation modelling will need to include all this, and besides these elements address the overarching transpersonal and transcontextual field of awareness situating all the elements of interest to first three generations of modellers. To do so, fourth generation modelling presupposes the expansion and growth of consciousness of the modeller, so as to be able to enter into and match the experiential world of the person or group encountering the transpersonal. If we are only approaching such experience analytically, from the frame of mind/capabilities, we remain practitioners of second or, at best, third generation NLP.

There is a problem here. Those who map cognitive development find that, while glimpses of more integrative states are relatively common, deep familiarity and grounding in those states – realization, awakening, enlightenment, moksha, satori, nirvana, etc. – remain very rare, present among just a few exceptional individuals. As Bateson points out, the ‘self-validating nature of the premises acquired by Learning II indicates that Learning III is likely to be difficult and rare even in human beings’.[13] The assumptions accompanying Learning II generalizations are tenacious and tricky as they lead us to perceive ourselves and the world through the very lenses that they create.

This has important implications for the challenge of modelling extraordinary experience. How well can we expect to model such experience if it is largely beyond our own model of the world? To have some idea of the challenge, we can consider Robert Kegan’s findings in the related field of cognitive development.

In comparing studies of the capacity to handle ‘mental complexity’ in adults Kegan observes that a bare 6-7% begins making the transition beyond what he calls the ‘self-authoring mind’ (in alignment and coherent with its own belief system, code, boundaries) towards the ‘self-transforming mind’ (transcending personal ideology, entertaining multiple perspectives, aware of their map-making ability, but not embroiled in it). And less than one percent of the population develop full self-transforming minds.[14]

Kegan’s findings sharpen the question: how do we ourselves become truly ready for modelling in a way that is fully congruent with the kinds of relationship with the larger wholeness implicit in fourth generation NLP if we are not even part of that 1%? And who will provide reliable representatives of the kind of personal, transpersonal, and spiritual integration that will help us fathom the nature of that wholeness and our relationship with it? If we shift in 4th generation NLP from Coach to Awakener, how do we as coaches awaken?

In pointing to ‘Source’, Robert Dilts deftly focuses attention in an accessible and understandable way towards what is beyond the frames of first, second, and third generation NLP.

‘Source’, however, is a bare one syllable word, a simple metaphor. It can point us in the right direction. But then our challenges begin. What does the word ‘Source’ refer to? Can we agree upon what it is? Is there one Source or more than one? More than one valid description of it? How do we recognize Source? How do we know it? In ourselves? In others? In the world? How do we untangle direct Learning III knowing of Source from our Learning II accounts and descriptions of that knowing? How can our work assist in unravelling map-territory confusions, as opposed to adding to them? Can our modelling of how Source is encountered and known help make otherwise inaccessible insights more accessible? Can 4th generation NLP make a genuine contribution to the developmental unfolding of humanity? Or could it end up increasing divisions through that which ought to bring us together?


Nerk-Nerk and Not Knowing

In a curious way, modelling in 4th generation NLP closes a kind of hermeneutic circle in the evolution of NLP. In the mid-80s, when Dilts and Epstein taught modelling, they encouraged their students to approach experience in the way ‘Nerk-Nerk’ would. Nerk-Nerk they suggested is a kind of idiot savant who understands language only at the sensory level. Nerk-Nerk doesn’t really have a gender, he/she/it is more a kind of perceptual space. Nerk-Nerk cannot abstract or generalize and can only ‘make sense’ of what ‘he’ hears spoken when it describes things he can see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or feel. If you talk about a grapefruit, he can see a largish bright yellow citrus fruit, but he has no idea what you mean if you talk about love, understanding, or communication.

As a pedagogical device, becoming a ‘Nerk-Nerk’ nerk has many benefits. It helps one stay close to the ‘deep structure’ of our model’s actual experience. It helps one tune into the modelling subject’s actual lived experience, rather than hitching the subject’s abstractions to our own personal associations to those generalizations.

It helps one listen carefully, and be aware of what we can genuinely say we recognize as the client’s experience and what is actually still hazy or vague in concrete terms.

It helps us probe more deeply to understand what our clients mean when they speak about, say, ‘confusion’ in terms of sensations in the body, visual phenomena, or internal dialogue, as opposed to hallucinating their ‘confusion’ from our own, often quiet different, embodied experience of that word.

Nerk-Nerk also helps us listen to the ‘dead’ metaphors in a subject’s communication, where a concrete image can be so revealing as to how the subject is ‘stuck’, ‘bogged down’ or a ‘high-flyer’ or ‘star’.

With Nerk-Nerk, we develop a quality of innocence and ‘not-knowing’ before the mystery of the modelling subject’s world. We become mirrors reflecting the other’s experience rather than projecting our own.

From one perspective, Nerk-Nerk harks back to 1st generation modelling, focusing on sensory ‘strategies’ or micro-programmes underlying how we motivate ourselves, make decisions, or think creatively. It also echoes the NLP model of the 70s in which all experience is sensory-based. We consist of so many sensory-based programmes, and there is no self or identity. Only referential indices pointing to our labelling of separate selves.

In this view, early NLP anticipates an essentially Buddhist view of the self as a phenomenological ‘heap’ of discrete patterns and programmes, rather than an identifiable someone or something.

With his map of Neuro-Logical Levels, Dilts pulls NLP towards a world of separate selves or ‘identities’. Perhaps 4th generation NLP, with its interest in the transpersonal returns somewhat to the earlier view, where consciousness-without-an-object provides a reflective mirror to experience that ‘witnesses’ the contents of consciousness, including the various patterns and programmes of the thinking mind, without becoming identified or involved with them. In modelling from this placeless place, Nerk-Nerk is reborn, no longer as a kind of hypothetical idiot savant that we endow with our mind-space, but as a higher order of not-knowing, an intelligent emptiness that innocently reflects all that falls within it without falling under the spell of identification.

Such witnessing awareness, however, is not a mental construction or contrived stance, as first generation Nerk-Nerk might have been. We don’t ‘try’ to witness. Witnessing happens, when we rest or ‘abide’ in non-dual awareness, as ever-present backdrop to active, content-filled knowing.


NLP in the Helping Relationship through the Generations

While NLP was founded as a discipline for modelling human excellence, in practice it rather quickly also became a methodology for helping people become more successful at what they do and more capable of leading fulfilling lives. As such many NLP practitioners began to work with people in ways bridging therapy and coaching. In effect, NLP became a kind of precocious coaching methodology, well before coaching emerged as a distinct niche in accompanying people in their development. However, even in working with clients in this role, NLP practitioners, ideally, do so in a spirit of modelling.

In first generation NLP, work with clients involves first specifying the client’s ‘desired outcome’, contrasting this with his or her current or ‘present state’ and identifying the adjustment or resource needed to help shift the present state towards the desired outcome. This process focuses on identifying discernible sensory or behavioural shifts. ‘Well-formed’ outcomes for the consultation are needed, and expected to meet certain criteria, such as being defined in sensory-specific terms, stated in the positive, and so on – essentially perceptible concretely, rather than abstract generalizations.

And although the process might acknowledge the unconscious mind, drawing on it, and attempting to reprogramme it, the approach is primarily driven by the conscious mind, following an essentially linear model. The client is ‘here’ and wants to get ‘there’. The therapist or coach helps the client identify the missing ‘steps’ to do so, as directly and elegantly as possible.

This process, nonetheless, involves modelling the client’s experience. Using the ‘outcome strategy’, we elicit the client’s model of present and desired states, and, by comparing them structurally, identify the element or process that will allow the present impasse to yield realization of the intended of outcome.

In second generation NLP, the recognition that the hinterland of past learnings profoundly influences how and whether the desired state can be attained, means the basic NLP outcome model, and the process of modelling, need to accommodate more complexity – in particular the potential interferences from past experience and the influential generalizations (beliefs) derived from it.


Robert Dilts’ SCORE Model

Reflecting this shift, Robert Dilts extended the first generation outcome model into the ‘SCORE model’ (where SCORE corresponds to Symptoms, Causes, Outcome, Resource, and Effects). The present state now includes not only the ‘symptoms’, but their underlying ‘causes’ derived from the beliefs and past learnings that had shaped them. Similarly, the desired result includes not only the outcome, but its potential impact on the client’s future.

Although these potential benefits are motivating the present outcome, just as the causes are driving the symptoms, the SCORE model in its initial form, like the old outcome frame remains essentially linear – addressing how to get from ‘here’ to ‘there’. Even if structurally, we expect to match the logical level (and other facets of the patterning) of symptom and outcome, causes and effects, we are extending that temporal linearity further into both past and future. Second generation NLP, translates this abstract spatial metaphor for time into a literal correspondence in physical space, situating the SCORE elements on a pre-agreed ‘time line’ laid out on the ground, which can be explored by walking along that line stretching from the present symptoms backwards in time towards initial causes, or forwards towards the desired outcome, and thence to its future effects

<– Causes – Symptoms – Outcome – Effects –>

Eventually the pertinent Resource(s) matching the client’s world, can be identified from the client’s own experience, present in some context, at some point on the line of time. The matching resources can then be connected to contexts and time frames where they are missing, so as to neutralize the influence of past causes and their resultant symptoms, easing the pathway to the enjoyment of the outcome and its anticipated beneficial effects.

In this way, the SCORE model provides a template for modelling the ‘problem space’ of the client, what constrains it developing into the ‘solution space’, and what can help it be transformed into the ‘solution space’.

As second generation NLP evolves into third generation NLP, this approach becomes more systemic and integral. Patterns are sought matching symptom and outcome, cause and effects. What I want and what I have reflect each other, as peace and turbulence, success and failure, getting down to work and procrastinating, matching not only content, but also structural features, such as logical level or perceptual perspective.


During our first forays into Russia in the early 1990s, Jan Ardui and I began using an adjustment of the SCORE model, which we renamed the ‘Systemic SCORE’. Instead of focusing on how the elements related to each other through time, we treated them spatially like a gestalt in which the key elements relate to each other in a structured way to form a coherent whole at this moment in the client’s experience. By situating the four elements of the SCOE on four chairs, corresponding to the four active branches of the compass model we were using to synthesize East-West approaches to enhancing performance and alignment, we were able to explore more easily the patterns and relationships inherent in the whole gestalt. We could then help the client to identify the resource that would be key to adjusting the pattern as a whole.

Much of what I have said earlier about the development of 3rd generation NLP in a more whole-person, systemic, whole-system direction is relevant to how we approach the helping relationship, I shall not repeat it here.

And since the full picture of how 4th generation NLP develops in the helping relationship is at this point (August 2017) still emerging, I don’t want to generalize too much about it here, either. What I would like to do in the second half of this paper is review how my own work in the helping relationship has developed in the direction of one possible 4th generation expression of NLP.


Modelling and the Helping Relationship in my Work with Clients

When I discovered NLP, in the early 1980s, I came to it from a decade of practising and teaching meditation and modelling states of heightened consciousness and awakening among writers and artists.[15] I began exploring NLP on the cusp between its first and second generations. I entered the field as Bandler and Grinder ceased collaborating and began to move in different directions. Robert Dilts was on the verge of that creative burst which led to the flowering of 2nd generation NLP in his integrative ‘Unified Field Theory of NLP’.

By the second half of the 1980s I was already developing a way of working with people that brought insights and understanding from the field of meditation and consciousness studies to bear on deep-rooted life issues and patterns. In this work, I was guided by the classical Sanskrit notion that all human difficulties are consequences of an unavoidable confusion in our thinking, termed ‘pragyaparad’, ‘the mistake of the intellect’.[16] Pragyaparad arises from a fundamental fracturing of the essential undivided unity of the field of experience into the manifold shards of multiplicity.

Such fragmentation is the inevitable consequence of the way we make meaning. Life, is intrinsically whole, undivided, and unlimited, but we have learned conceptually to split that which is not separate into many discrete elements. In our management of meaning, we divide ourselves from ourselves, from each other, and from the world. For radio waves, there is no significant difference between you or I, the table or the space between us. But for me the difference between us appears incontrovertible and substantial. As, no doubt, it does for you. Radio waves don’t split the world up the way that our minds do.

This cognitive confusion between the one and the many in all the forms it takes impacts how we conceive and relate to ourselves, the world, and each other, contributing to all our challenges. It is what consistently fractures the ultimately unbounded and indivisible ‘solution space’ into the impoverished ‘problem spaces’ we struggle with in life.


Open Heart Learning/Re•Patterning

In this new approach to working with people, which I came to call first ‘Open Heart Learning’ and later ‘Re•Patterning’, I abandoned the typical linear stance of first and second generation NLP.[17] There is no specific outcome to attain, although there might be an initial request. We are supporting the overall growth of the person, rather than particular Learning I or Learning II goals. Growth cannot be something we target, like an objective. It is something that emerges from our own unfolding.

In Open Heart Learning, I realized, we can start anywhere of interest to the client and include any part of the clients’ experience. All is grist for the mill, as we explore the beliefs and patterns behind problematic contexts to hone in on the deepest notion we encounter, one influencing the client across every facet of his or her life. We are approaching the client’s particular variant of the ‘mistake of the intellect’ shaping his or her world – both strengths and weaknesses, powers and limitations.

In this approach, we circle with the client through a number of layers, levels, contexts, and eras, rather than progressing in a purely linear way. The backdrop of primary awareness, at first in the coach, and ultimately in the client, provides the mirror for recognizing how the client’s deepest beliefs and assumptions are distorting, deleting, and generalizing experience to bring both success and suffering to the client.

Situating these client misprisions against the correcting mirror of pure consciousness – consciousness-without-an-object – allows the client to connect with the transpersonal source of awareness beyond thought, feeling, and perception. In so doing, he or she takes a first step in awakening to his or her ‘true nature’ beyond usual self-definitions. At the same time, deep cognitive confusions update themselves, freeing insight, understanding, and energy, positively influencing the quality of the client’s life as a whole.

As such, Open Heart Learning already anticipates third and even fourth generation NLP in its holistic and multi-levelled approach, referenced to the transpersonal. Where this process, in its early days, remained close to second generation NLP was in the considerable focus on beliefs, even if these include beliefs about self as a whole through time. It also reflected second generation methods in a tendency to rely at times a bit too heavily on cognitive analysis or understanding. In spite of my recognition that this approach meant connection and exchange between ‘Open Hearts’, it was still in the interest of a ‘learning’, which at times tended to privilege head over heart.

Fortunately, I quickly realized that the process was self-correcting. If one was too much on an inappropriate logical level (for instance, too mental), the process of tuning into the client’s deep patterns becomes stuck. Conversely, recognizing stickiness, invites a shift of level, which generally frees the process to go deeper. And in such freeing, I too must rest in a deeper kind of awareness. Shifts in my own awareness towards ‘consciousness-without-an-object’ are both a means to and a result of the realignment in the client and in our shared field.


Modelling and Open-Heart Learning

Although I wasn’t aware of it in the beginning, I later realized that in my Open Heart Learning sessions, I was practising a form of modelling. I was listening to and tracking the client’s experience in order to reach some kind of existential model of the client’s thinking in which, from the client’s stories, attitudes, and beliefs, I reached the notion, assumption, pattern that seemed to run through all facets of the client’s experience, cross-contextually and diachronically, to influence all its surface expressions in a manner that fitted with its own premises. In effect I was attempting to model the core of the client’s model of the world.

Typically the client’s version of pragyaparad resided in a form of self-definition that defined the undefinable, breaking the unitary nature of life into some narrative that was irrefutably both true and not true. For instance, if it emerges that at the heart of my stories and explanations, I hold the idea that ‘I am not good enough’, I am defining what I think I am as something substandard. I am setting up spurious comparisons with that which might be good enough. Whatever you might say about my looks or my talents may or may not confirm whether I am good enough for certain things in certain contexts – good enough listener, swimmer, carpenter, cook. In such applied domains I may label myself or be labelled in such ways. But in my self-essence, beyond labels and definitions what I am is beyond content, I am neither good enough nor not good enough. I just am.

Identifying the core mistake of the intellect allows one to use various reframes and ‘sleight of mouth’ patterns to loosen the old convictions and open space for the client to relax, release the old responses, and entertain a different relationship with those long-held truths.

This process owes a lot to Robert Dilts’ work with beliefs, but favours the more conversational approach that his sleight of mouth patterns lend themselves to, rather than the more formal structured formats, such as Reimprinting. In that sense, Gene Early’s improvised work with his ‘structural coherence model’ was a seminal influence, complemented later by Chris Hall’s ‘learning in reverse’, which, with its process of ‘backing up’ into the implicit thinking prior to what was being expressed, felt immediately familiar.[18]


Challenges Teaching Open Heart Learning/Re•Patterning

As my understanding and integration of this work deepened in the mid- to late- 1990s, I tried to share this work with others in NLP master and advanced master practitioner programmes in Italy and elsewhere. While I was able to share something of this approach, these attempts were often frustrating both for NLP students and for myself.

First, I found myself struggling with time constraints, trying to introduce this wide-ranging and holistic free-form approach to my students in the limited frame of a three- or four-day workshop.

Second, NLP practitioners tended to expect work to be conducted with focus on a linear outcome and a tool and technique problem-solving approach matching step-by-step formats to defined issues. Phobia? Use the Fast Phobia Cure? Unwanted responses, try 6-Step Reframing, etc.

From the late 90s, I began referring to Open Heart Learning as Re•Patterning, in accord with the work I was doing with Jan Ardui to stimulate what we called ‘Generative Patterning’. Generative Patterning refers to the way our individual and shared patterning is already potentially inherently self-transcending. It was our observation that this generative quality, already present in own patterning, can be furthered. With sensitivity and reflexive awareness, we come to recognize and embrace our patterns in such a way that change, learning, and growth unfold naturally and optimally. Re•Patterning is one powerful way to stimulate and support such recursive unfolding of possibilities already present in our lives.

During this time, I abandoned most of the NLP formats entirely and merely focused on the general basic modelling tools I had integrated, such as listening, calibration, sensory systems, language patterns, pacing and leading, together with some simple filters to orient interaction – such as the big frames of logical levels, perceptual position, and spatial and temporal awareness.

These basic skills and orienting frames allowed me to conduct a conversation with the client in which something unknown to either coach or client emerges as the key to the patterning expressed and explored in the conversation. We are allowing a model to emerge of the pattern which connects the recurring themes of the client’s life.

Re•Patterning, I found, presupposed integrating the basic 1st generation communication micro patterns and observation skills with 2nd generation macro frames (such as logical levels, perceptual perspectives, and orientation in space and time). It also implied integration of 3rd generation patterning and ‘transcontextual skills’. All these were necessary in order to approach the client’s patterns as organic expressions of the wholeness and coherence of his or her world.

The people I was teaching, however, were often still struggling with 1st generation skills, while doing their best to assimilate 2nd generation NLP.

In effect, I was trying to teach my students to work with clients who might be constrained in Robert Kegan’s socialized or self-authoring developmental stages. And I was trying to train students who had not necessarily transcended these stages themselves. I was trying to teach a method which presupposed some progress, at least, towards the self-transforming mind, which is able to appreciate the relativity and pervasive presence of our own map-making, while apprehending this map-making from a place outside that process.

We may teach NLP presuppositions such as ‘the map is not territory’ in NLP 101, but that doesn’t mean that we are automatically operating from that presupposition in our private lives, nor in communications with others. It takes a ‘self-transforming mind’ to really ‘live’ recognizing the presence of his or her own maps while being fully cognizant that these maps are indeed just maps, and not the territory.

But the biggest challenge of all arises from the way Re•Patterning presupposes familiarity with a kind of figure-ground reversal, in which one distinguishes between the ultimately sensory-based ‘contents of consciousness’ and the pure quality-less reflector of those contents, ‘pure consciousness’ or ‘consciousness-without-an-object’.

It is pure awareness, as a deeper, more inclusive kind of self, like a truthful mirror, that allows one to spot the cognitive confusions which fracture this subtle self-awareness and unmanifest wholeness in the client. To spot how frames of meaning both define and distort requires resting in a space outside those frames.

It is such spacious awareness that validates the adage that ‘the solution space needs to be larger than than the solution space’. This is Nerk-Nerk’s awakening.

However, it is challenging to explain intellectually to those who have not had this kind of direct knowing that what is needed here is, just that, direct knowing. It is not a simple task (though not impossible) to give everybody a significant glimpse of pure consciousness – sometimes called ‘the view’, or Rigpa, in the Buddhist school of Dzogchen, which practises this kind of ‘direct approach’. But it is an even taller order to ground them significantly in such not-knowing in a short space of time sufficiently to impact the nature and quality of their work with people.

In the struggles to share this work in the 1990s, I was not yet lucid enough about what the difficulties were that I was facing. I tended to blame my own limitations, which surely compounded my difficulties in sharing this material, even if I was not solely responsible for them.

Even so, with each attempt, I learned something. I realized that if I was to succeed, I needed a lot more time with students to lay some important foundations so that trainees might practise something recognizably analogous to what I was attempting in Re•Patterning.

By the mid-2000s, I was fortunate in being able to satisfy these conditions. Thanks, in particular, to the support of Russian partners, I was able to create a substantial 36-day training programme, in what we called first Transformational Coaching and subsequently Deep Transformational Coaching. This programme trained people in pertinent basic skills, and culminated in two weeks focused on Re•Patterning.[19]

Besides this programme in Russia, I was able for more than a decade to offer an annual two-week ‘Dynamics of Deep Transformation’ international training (now an International Coach Federation accredited diploma) focused on the art of Re•Patterning at the retreat centre I founded in Bali, the Nirarta Centre for Living Awareness.

And so, from the mid-1990s into the 2010s, partly as a result of insights gained through these trainings, I gradually made finer distinctions in what I was teaching and practising. I clarified and extended the model of core patterns to make it richer, more holistic, easier to teach and to practise.


Categorizing Core Beliefs

During the 1990s, as I worked with more clients, I realized that there were discernible recurring patterns among the kinds of deep beliefs that impact people’s relationship with themselves, with others, and with the world.

I noticed that beliefs reflect a progressive separation from Source-awareness. At a certain point, in birthing into this world, I discern myself as distinct from the larger Whole. Some beliefs, such as ‘I am separate’ or ‘different’ reflect this separation of inner wholeness from the larger whole of the ‘World’. When this separation happens, I may still be at home in my inner being, but I am now potentially vulnerable to the impact of that world which is bigger than me.

Once I am marking a separation between what I am and the rest of the world, I am at risk of losing my at-homeness in inner being, too. If I am small and vulnerable, relatively insignificant in the scheme of things, I easily lose my inner identification with Source-awareness, and identify with any number of surrogates of self: such as my body, emotions, feelings, sensations, mind, thoughts, actions, role, social status, etc. This fragmentation of inner and outer wholeness accentuates my vulnerability. My power and strength is potentially in question and at risk. And with my power, my worth, too, I can perceive myself as ‘weak’, ‘powerless’, ‘not good enough’ or just plain ‘wrong’, and many similar distorting shades of self-definition.[20]


Distinguishing Beliefs and Epistemology

While I understood early on that my work with life patterns was touching both core beliefs and key epistemological assumptions present in a client’s map of the world, in practice, at first, I did not sharply distinguish these two facets of the client’s world. I tended to focus on whichever element came more sharply into relief: beliefs, such as ‘I’m weak’, or assumptions such as ‘I am my feelings’.

‘I am not loveable’ is a belief. The notion that a particular sensation in my body means I am not loveable or that past experience is irrefutable evidence for this ‘fact’ are epistemological assumptions. They confirm what I am assuming to be so, in order to hold the belief.

As I noticed more clearly that cognitively some of the facets of core patterns I worked with were more like fundamental beliefs and others were more like epistemological presuppositions implicit in the client’s beliefs or map, I realized that it would be helpful to make this distinction more sharply. It is important to consider the client’s beliefs, but also to pinpoint the epistemological roots of the beliefs and patterns. After all there is more leverage on a belief, when it is clear that what it assumes to be true is not necessarily so. Rather than lumping beliefs and assumptions loosely in the same basket, and focusing more on whichever came more easily to light, I took more care to distinguish them and pay attention to both and include both in the Re•Patterning process.


Tuning into the Energetic Bias

Increasingly, during the 1990s, I noticed that as we explore deep patterns, the client expresses both verbally and non-verbally an important physical and energetic dimension to his or her patterns. I began to follow more closely, as clients shared their experience, how what they were saying was reflected in the flow of energy in the body. Typically, these patterns in the client’s sharing would repeat in a consistent way. For instance, in talking about connection or separation, clients would demonstrate this in movements of the hands and body, showing the direction and flow of energy, and where it was stuck. And very often, these deep patterns would reflect inter-relationships among our three primary centres of intelligence – head, heart, and gut – indicating which were favoured, how the energy flowed among them, and where it became stuck.

Core patterns are embodied. And the way they are embodied is not only reflected in the words, voice tone, posture, and gestures of the client, but that very embodiment is an essential part of the client’s pattern. We are back to the ‘neuro’ part of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, but now at a higher logical level, touching the identity and individuality of the client, and felt boundaries between self and world.

And so, I began to include what I came to call the ‘Energetic Bias’ in the work with clients to integrate and evolve the cognitive patterns that had emerged, at first sporadically and then more consistently.


The Resolution of Contraries

Fairly early on, in 1991, when I took a retreat alone in northern Arizona, to explore my own patterns, I realized that beliefs function systemically, through binary tensions they engender. And these tensions shape the dynamic unfolding of our lives. Like de Saussure and Structuralists such as Claude Lévi-Strauss, I realized that the whole of our meaning making unfolds through the dynamic tension among interconnected pairs of opposites.[21]

For example, as soon as I apply a belief such as ‘I am not loveable’ to myself, I set up a dynamic in which its opposite is also in play. In saying that ‘I am not loveable’, I am saying something that cannot be completely true. For whom and in what circumstances am I not loveable? And what is this ‘I’ whose lovability is in question? What I am cannot be defined either as absolutely unloveable or loveable. It all depends on perspective and definition.

And the mind inevitably seeks to redress the unavoidable bias in taking one side of a pair, by finding itself compelled to take the other. For example, the more I believe I am unloveable, the more I might feel driven to create situations where I can prove that I am actually quite loveable. I may then behave in a way that attracts a lot of love. But when people show their love, the other side of the polarity can kick in again, and I may behave in a way that challenges that love. If the other person becomes frustrated and withdraws his or her love, I am confirmed in my unloveable nature, which in turn leads to new attempts to find love, and so on. Many a life unfolds through such a dance. There is no escape except to resolve the tensions between both sides of the coin – what Bateson called, echoing William Blake, the ‘resolution of the contraries’ – whether by embracing them both or realizing that I am neither.[22]

Among the many binary oppositions shaping meaning in each one of us, I found that each person tends to favour clusters of just a few such ‘Primary Polarities’ as dominant orienting principles in their lives. And generally one or two pairs of opposites emerge at the centre of a person’s world, influencing his or her whole life. Such oppositions often show up in beliefs the client holds, while the tensions between opposites also point towards influential beliefs in the client.

During this period, I noticed that there are considerable overlaps with the tenets of ‘Non-Dual’ or ‘Advaita’ philosophy. Conceptualization engenders duality through the tendency of mind to define meaning by means of opposites: hot/cold, up/down, black/white, and so on. But all such conceptualization ultimately reflects a more essential duality between subject and object, between knower and known, consciousness and contents, between that which is conceivable and that which is conceiving it. In effect it turns out there is a kind of duality also between the field of duality (the world of conceivable differences) and the non-dual reflector of those differences. Since this last duality, between the conceptual and the non-conceptual is itself conceptual, ultimately, it too needs to be deconstructed for full freedom and awakening to be realized.

In a typical session of Re•Patterning, much of what we do involves helping the client resolve contradictions and confusions in the field of duality, helping ‘Primary Polarities’ become what Jan Ardui calls ‘Generative Complementarities’, where the tension between opposites is no longer toxic, as, potentially, between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ but creative and complementary, such as between ‘rest’ and ‘activity’.

Such work is very much in the spirit of 3rd generation NLP. It becomes 4th generational when the resolution of tension between opposites also dissolves the ultimate tension between pseudo-knower and known. When the tension between self and non-self is resolved, the freedom and release of awakening can arise.

In my experience it is rare that this happens in a single session of Re•Patterning, but it is what this work is predicated on and where it tends.[23]


By the mid-2000s, I was giving clients verbal feedback embracing the three interconnected facets to their deep patterns: Epistemological Assumption (deep epistemology), Primary Polarities/Core Assertion (core concepts), and ‘Energetic Bias’, as well as a written summary and follow up suggestions to help integrate the work.


Complementary Polarities

Towards the end of the 2000s, I realized that just as we find a creative tension between pairs of opposites, or ‘Primary Polarities’, as we unravel a client’s core pattern, we eventually discover a creative tension between two such pairs of opposites (or cluster of pairs).

If we map these pairs as two axes crossing each other at their centre at right angles, we typically find a ‘vertical’ pair, connected primarily with the client’s relationship with him- or her- self, while the horizontal pair points to the relationship between self and non-self, self and other, or self and ‘world’. The vertical pair touch the client’s inner alignment, how he or she stands in the world, how earth, sky, head, heart, gut, line up. The horizontal pair reflects how he or she moves through the world. These horizontal contraries point to the client’s dance with the world, with non-self, with ‘other’, to the quality of resonance between me and my context. Inevitably the relationship between these two sets of contraries is in some way dynamic and complementary, supporting the unfolding complexity of the person as a whole.

In the dynamic interplay of the self-self and self-other axes, we can generally discern a cycle or pattern through which the client revolves again and again as he or she deals with the consequences of how self and world and their relationship are conceived and engaged with. We typically discern a kind of life-strategy or life-process running through the client’s world as a whole. In this way, Re•Patterning reveals a simple model that is highly reflective of the main contours of the underlying dance and drama of the person’s life, the underlying pattern that repeats, over and over again, between, say, withdrawal and burnout, between head and gut. This understanding of where structure and process meet in a person’s life typically opens a way for the client’s pattern to adjust, to ripen towards wholeness and balance, while a window opens up to the realization of his or her true nature, prior to and beyond the pattern.


Connecting Metaphors

In 2010, I began including a fourth element in the core pattern, the key image or symbol that the client uses to describe the essence of his or her experience living the pattern we had been exploring together. I called this new element the ‘Connecting Metaphor’. [24]

I noticed that clients often spontaneously use quite powerful metaphors to describe their experience: ‘It’s as if I am pushing a train up a hill’. At other times, in reviewing with the client what they had shared of their pattern, I began to ask them to share an image or metaphor for their whole pattern.

Including Connecting Metaphors in exploring the core pattern enhances the Re•Patterning process. Firstly, the client’s metaphors provide a valuable way of checking how well the client’s pattern has emerged. The ’fit’ between the metaphorical, the embodied energetic, and the cognitive elements help confirm the coherence of the pattern. Connecting Metaphors carry their own in-built assumptions, which speak to the tendencies and tensions present in the pattern, as well as to the assumptions implicit in those cognitive patterns. Connecting metaphors also often dovetail in interesting ways with the energetic expressions of the pattern in the client. Together all four elements provides a clearer and more coherent model of the pattern.

In the Re•Patterning process, Connecting Metaphors provide a powerful way of supporting the unfolding of the pattern in the long-term. As the client allows updated versions of the metaphor to emerge, the metaphors provide a simple, yet influential, representation of the kind of direction the client’s bodymind might entertain in the coming period.[25]

The Fifth Element: ’Source’

From the end of the 2000s, after working with an exceptionally gifted and well-integrated client, I began including a fifth element pertinent to Re•Patterning, though I do not systematically focus on it every time. I’ve written it with inverted commas as ‘Source’, because this word here typically denotes what the client holds as source or ‘higher’ inspiration, support, guidance, and so on. ‘Source’ is a ‘catch-all’ word for all that clients take as their personal source or even a common source encompassing the larger whole – Humanity, Cosmos, Nature, Life, etc. Such words do not necessarily denote source in any absolute sense, though they denote something absolutely important or essential in the client’s world.

Sometimes the client’s sense of ‘Source’ can be of vital importance when we are exploring the client’s life patterns and personal epistemology. Experiences of source can be highly influential in a person’s life, whether through their presence or through their absence, and the concomitant sense of lack or something important missing.

Experiences of source can be vital in giving the client an orienting sense of coherence and alignment. Occasionally, we have a client who is very close to what he or she considers his or her ‘Source’. Such clients may appear extremely well integrated, often inwardly fulfilled and outwardly successful. Faced with such a client, one may wonder, ‘What can I do for this person? They have it all.’ And yet, the mere request for a session is an indicator that for all the client’s well-being, he or she has a sense that there is something else. There is a next step or another phase in that client’s development, which, while to that point has been deeply satisfying, has nonethelesss been arrested.


Closeness to ‘Source’ can become a kind of developmental limitation for the client. On occasion clients may share how fortunate they are to enjoy, say, ‘Wholeness’, a state of integration and balance, in which they feel inwardly aligned and in coherent connection with the greater world, creating and achieving, personally, and professionally, living in a beautiful place, wonderful partner and family, fulfilling work, everything delightful… And yet. And yet something very subtle is nudging them inwardly, saying, ‘This isn’t quite it; you’re just a little stuck’.

It may turn out that the ‘Wholeness’ is not quite whole. Although such a person may be highly self-actualizing and live each day like that, there are still moments that do not feel quite so whole. And if those moments are not so welcome, there remains a subtle duality, between such times when he or she enjoys ‘Wholeness’ and those unwanted moments when ‘Wholeness’ is lost.

There is something amiss epistemologically here: ‘Wholeness’ is not quite whole if some parts of experience are still rejected. True Wholeness would include everything, the rough as well as the smooth. For such a client, there is a kind of reduction of Wholeness into a particular way of feeling or functioning. That subtle dimension to my knowing which includes and welcomes it all, both the Whole and the lack of wholeness has been lost. Returning to that subtle knowing, which, without judgement, embraces more of the whole than ‘Wholeness’ frees the growth and unfolding that had become stuck.

‘Source’, then, like this client’s ‘Wholeness’, can reflect a kind of reification of that which is ultimately beyond labels or sensory modalities of any kind. Arguably, what we conceive as Source, cannot be Source. Source, if such there be, is inconceivable, beyond sensory and conceptual experience. In a sense, we cannot know Source, we cannot even awaken to it. We realize we are Source, when we let go of any separation or differentiation between that which knows or is aware of Source and Source itself. Then life flows from and within its Source without any interference of the pseudo-self, which is finally surrendered to, and serving, that upwelling wave of life.


Beyond Re•Patterning – Conversations on the Edge of Silence

As the formal Re•Patterning model has crystallized around these six facets, I have found something curious happening, particularly since 2016. My work begins to simplify itself. The discipline of exploring the four or five principal facets of core patterns leads to a kind of integration of the model, where I embody it in a new way. I feel I have it in the palm of my hand, where the four fingers represent the four main facets of core patterns – Cognitive Contraries/Concepts, Epistemological Assumption, Energetic Bias, and Connecting Metaphor, with the thumb, like the ‘Source’, helping to get a grip on the whole. Meanwhile, the palm, like indefinable, unknowable pure awareness, connects everything, while also being ‘Beyond’, beyond fingers and thumbs.

From this new sense of integration and completion, I begin to let go of the formal model and let go into that no-place place of receptivity and readiness, in which quite naturally and beautifully, we explore conversationally with the client, whatever is necessary to illuminate both important facets of the client’s patterns and the particular issue, so to speak, at hand. In these much shorter sessions, which I call ‘Conversations on the Edge of Silence’ or ‘Heart to Heart, Conversations that Matter’, I find myself more and more out of the way simply accompanying the process of the client, guided very lightly by the whole hand, guiding with the whole hand, keeping a grip on things, without needing to grip or grasp anything. There is a sense of structured unstructured unfolding. Everything is happening as it should, lightly, in a way that I am neither one with the client, nor separate, but in beautiful flow with them, in which what needs to emerge, emerges, what needs to happen, happens. When I am out of the way, we are on our way. In this pure unfolding, I feel I really begin to live the heart of fourth generation work, at least as I understand it.

It’s been a long journey in that intriguing area between the psychological and the spiritual, but worthwhile….




Peter Wrycza, PhD
Nirarta, Sidemen, Bali, Indonesia – August 2017



  1. NLP World, II, 1, March 95, pp. 35-65.

  2. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Ballantine Books, New York, 1972, pp. 287-92.

  3. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, pp. 292-301.

  4. Private communication.

  5. When Performance Meets Alignment: A Compass for Coaching and Mentoring, Authors OnLine, Hertford, UK, 2005, pp. 11-12.

  6. See the article we co-authored on the subject: ‘Levels of Development’, NLP World, II, 3, Nov. 95, 5-27.

  7. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, pp. 301-6

  8. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 304

  9. The Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object, Julian Press, New York, 1973.

  10. Higher States of Consciousness and Literary Creativity, doctoral dissertation, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 1983.

  11. Bateson’s Categories are themselves adapted from Russell’s Theory of Logical Types. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, pp. 279-308.

  12. Bradford Keeney, The Aesthetics of Change, Guilford Press, New York, 1983, pp. 37-44.

  13. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 301.

  14. Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change: How to Overcome and Unlock the Potential in yourself and your Organization, Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2009, pp. 16-28.

  15. Higher States of Consciousness and Literary Creativity, doctoral dissertation, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 1983.

  16. Term originally highlighted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and taken up by Deepak Chopra in Quantum Healing, Bantum, New York, 2015.

  17. In French, ‘Accompagnement au coeur de l’être’.

  18. I explored Gene’s groundbreaking work in the mid-1980s in a special 16-day post-master programme, entitled simply ‘Beyond’, inference in part being: Beyond [2nd generation] NLP. This programme was hosted by the UKTC for NLP, London, 1986-7. Chris Hall’s conversational ‘learning in reverse’, I encountered, in Trainer’s Training with Chris Hall, Germany, 1992.

  19. Firstly Yuri Ouchenikov and Emily Kasentseva sponsored this work, handing it on to the team from Psychology and Business On-Line, led by Igor Niesov. Later Natalia Tochilkina decided to go in depth into this work and together with Alena Savyuk, set up the International Academy for Transformational Coaching and Leadership, in a team with Marina Zakarova and Natasha Dudinkina. More recently, up to August 2017, this work has been sponsored by Lusia Karkle and Alena Loktionova. Throughout these years, Alexander Baikin made communication of this work possible with his patient and precise interpreting with classes and clients.

  20. Living Awareness: Awakening to the Roots of Learning and Perception, Gateway Books, Bath, 1997, p. 173.

  21. Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics, edited by Charles Bally et al., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1959. Claude Lévy-Strauss, Le Cru et le cuit, Plon, Paris, 1964.

  22. Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 305-6

  23. Ramesh S Balsekar, Experiencing the Teaching, Advaita Press, Redondo Beach, CA, 1988, pp. 53-8.

  24. A suggestion from a Ukrainian NLP trainer, Seva Zelenin, who had been studying with me a few months previously, initiated the reflection that culminated in the inclusion of Connecting Metaphors in Re•Patterning in mid-2010.

  25. Influential because such metaphors condense and hold an enormous amount of life-experience.