It is often said that creativity, intuition, inspiration, enlightenment ("grace" in the Christian terminology) cannot be learnt, nor can their learning process be accelerated.

Contrary to this common sense, the Guhenian system advocates that even such "mental activities" can be learnt, and their learning process accelerated. I would like to put the grounds for this claim forward below:

For instance, native language speakers can tell "intuitively" which sentences expressed in their own language are well-formed, and which are not, but they usually cannot tell how they are distinguishing well-formed sentences from ill-formed ones. It was only through the advent of Chomsky's Transformational Grammar that the way in which native language speakers make this distinction "intuitively" was made explicit as a linguistic grammar.

The co-founders of NLP, i.e., John Grinder, a linguistic professor, and Richard Bandler, a mathematician, at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), utilised this Transformational Grammar, in their first book entitled "The Structure of Magic, I" (1975), to invent "meta-models", as a set of explicit techniques, which can detect "ill-formed" linguistic activities which fail to represent fully the speaker's model of the world, and then recover the deleted or missing part of his or her model of the world. Further, in "The structure of Magic, II", Grinder and Bandler made explicit, as a set of learnable techniques, the rules of human non-verbal activities typically encountered in the therapist/client setting.

This means that any human outer and inner activities must be governed by a certain set of implicit rules, and that these rules can be made explicit as a set of learnable tools. It may be significant that these two psychologists who succeeded in making explicit the rules governing our verbal and non-verbal activities (which are usually out of our consciousness) were a linguist and a mathematician; these fields are those where explicit rules (i.e., a linguistic grammar and mathematical formulas) are intrinsically well established.

Also, "The Pragmatics of Human Communication" written by Paul Watzlawick et al. of the Palo Alto Group (1967 [!]) was an excellent attempt to make the rules governing human communication in general explicit, and had great influence on the advent of NLP.

If our verbal and non-verbal behaviour are rule-governed as shown above, and if these rules can be made explicit, there is no reason why the process of such "mysterious" human mental activities as creativity, intuition, inspiration, enlightenment or grace cannot be made explicit. Once the process is made explicit, then we will be given a possibility to learn these mental activities and accelerate their learning process.

Although some people may think that such a way of looking at the human psyche may be equivalent to regarding human beings as a robot/sophisticated computer deprived of emotions, sensations, etc., I would like to quote the following from "Psycho-Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz:

"It is rather ironic that Cybernetics, which began as a study of machines and mechanical principles, goes far to restore the dignity of a unique creative being. Psychology, which began with the study of man's psyche, or soul, almost ended by depriving man of his soul.... The science of Cybernetics does not tell us that 'man' is a machine but that man has and uses a machine."

Also, from the point of view of NLP, the fact that the kinaesthetic (feeling) experiences of a human being may be rule-governed, does not mean that she/he is not having that very experience; on the contrary, she/he may be able to experience such kinaesthetic experience considerably more intensively, when she/he knows that that experience is rule-governed, and can control it.

Copyright ©1996-2000, by Guhen Kitaoka. All rights reserved internationally.