In article <CG0DF8.654@news.Hawaii.Edu> Lee Lady writes:
It occurs to me that it will save me a bunch of writing if I repost an article I originally posted two and a half years ago.
>From: Lee Lady
Subject: Re: ``feelings'' (was ``Thrills'')
Summary: People have very different ways of thinking.
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1992 07:41:31 GMT
In article <1992Feb05.firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Dave Butterfield) writes:
>I have had several very long conversations with a small number of
>people about the processes they perceive they go through when
>thinking or remembering or doing other mental processes, and I've
>noticed that all of them seem to have different processes they
>use to think. (I might even go so far as to call those processes
>"metaphors", but that's pretty deep and not needed here.)
I don't think they are metaphors. When I was doing NLP with people and they went into trance states (especially during six-step reframing), they often reported things in terms that seemed extremely strange to me. For instance one woman wanted me to deal with an internal voice: at certain times, especially when walking, she would start telling herself things that got more and more depressing. Or rather this internal voice would say these things --- it had its own characteristic tone of voice. Anyway, the final resolution her unconscious mind came up with for dealing with this voice with was to have all the ``parts'' of her --- which she apparently saw as people --- hold hands in a big circle, even though none of her other parts really wanted to hold hands with this ``ugly, slimy part'' --- the voice. (The initial suggestion her unconscious mind made, which I thought was unwise, was for all the other parts to build a fence around the ugly slimy part.)
When I finished working with her, she seemed happy but my thought was: ``This is the weirdest piece of work I've ever heard of!''
It turned out, though, that the reframing was fantastically successful. She reported back to me: ``The voice is gone! Some of the other things you've done with me were good, but this is absolutely amazing. It's almost like becoming a different person. And the thing is, sometimes I almost miss that voice. But I just have to get used to it not being there and that won't take long.''
At the time, I thought: Okay, holding hands in a circle is just the metaphorical way her unconscious mind communicates its idea to her. But later, after doing somewhat similar things with other people in trance states, I decided that it's not a question of the unconscious mind [which term itself is a metaphor, of course] communicating by means of metaphors or symbols. But rather these images are actually the way the person's mind stores (or ``codes'') the relevant information. (I think that the videotape on changing beliefs put out by NLP Comprehensive is also very enlightening in this respect.) And that by dealing with the images I was communicating with her mind in its own terms, whereas if I had insisted on interpreting her images and translating them into verbal equivalents, she would have had to go through another translation process to really make sense of what I was saying.
This woman (a good friend of mine) was an example of someone whose thinking was very visual. She was the first person I'd ever known who said that she did not have an internal dialog (or ``self-talk'' as people seem to like to call it now) going on all the time. She thought it was very strange when I told her that I think in words. (I'm one of those people who have to turn the car radio off in order to get into a tight parking space.)
She was also surprised when I told her that I don't see pictures whenever I close my eyes. She asked ``Well what do you see then?'' and I answered ``Just black. Nothing.'' And she said ``You poor thing!''
``If alexandrian fires were to consume all the thousands of metres of library space devoted to the archive of behaviorist and pavlovian journals from the 1920s to the 1960s, I doubt that much of more than historical interest would be lost.'' -- Steven Rose, The Making of Memory