NLP and Spirituality

©1992-2000, by Guhen Kitaoka

The author has been involved in spiritual work for many years 
and, through his own spiritual growth, his conviction has more
and more deepened that every single human being is seeking, 
either consciously or unconsciously, for the inner state called 
"enlightenment", such as reached by the Buddha or Jesus Christ. 
  What should be pointed out here first is that the author 
doesn't support any religious sects (organisations), but rather 
denies all of them. This attitude is epitomised by the following 
words by Vivekananda, an important disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, 
in his book, "Raja Yoga": -

    "Each soul is potentially divine. 
    The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling
  nature, external and internal.
    Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or 
  philosophy(*1) - by one, or more, or all of these - and be 
    This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or 
  rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary 

NB(*1): These four means are used in Karma (action) Yoga, 
Bhakti (devotion) Yoga, Raja (mental control) Yoga, and Jnana 
(knowledge) Yoga, respectively.
  Although it seems that no other words are more subject to
misunderstanding than the word "religion", the author claims 
that what can be defined as religion could be simplified as, or 
reduced to, only one fundamental question; this question which
will make literally everything else a sheer "secondary detail" 
is "Who am I?".
  What is meant when it was said above that the whole of 
humanity is looking for "enlightenment", either consciously or 
unconsciously, is that all of us are searching for the answer 
to this one and only question, and that all of our problems in 
life will be solved and the whole mystery about life explained, 
once this question is answered satisfactorily.
  Moreover, it is possible to try to answer this religious 
question by means of a scientific methodology such as has been 
used by materialistic science with the view of observing the 
external world; namely, it is possible to observe and analyse 
our own inner world (inner self), using an objective and 
scientific methodology, while getting rid of all superstitions
and prejudices, just as in the case of observing and examining
a cell under the microscope. In this sense, the "authentic 
religion" can be regarded also as a science. (One of the
compiled books by Vivekananda bears the title, "The Science and
Philosophy of Religion".)
  One of the author's recent interests is in one of the branches 
of the Indian Vedanta philosophy. The biggest claim of this 
philosophy is the absolute monism which consists in "God and 
our true self are one and the same". It seems to me that there
cannot exist more fundamental teachings than this claim of
Advaita (non-dualistic) Vedanta that Absolute God ("Brahman" 
in Sanskrit, i.e., "something", which transcends both Everything 
and Nothingness [the void] and which cannot be grasped by the
limited human mind or reason) and our true self or identity 
("Atman" in Sanskrit) are nothing but identical. And, to realise
this experientially - which will necessitate our going beyond 
mind and reason - instead of intellectually (i.e., as knowledge 
borrowed from the scriptures), is equivalent to getting
"enlightened". Advaita Vedanta (*2) has already expounded a 
thousand years ago the notions and the methodology required 
for reaching enlightenment ("Nirvana" in Sanskrit), and the depth 
of its "scientific psychology" (or "spiritual science") is  
something beyond that of the Freudian or Jungian psychology of 
this century. 
NB(*2): Vedanta itself, of which Advaita Vedanta is an 
independent school, is regarded as an at least several thousands
year old tradition.

  Unfortunately, human history has been dealing with the so 
called "mind/body dualism" since Aristotle 2,500 years ago, and 
has since been developing scientific methodologies (e.g., 
physics, chemistry, etc.) at a faster and faster rate, with the
view of conquering the outer environment and nature as something 
foreign to our own self. Nevertheless, readers would agree with 
the author's opinion that modern individual human beings lead, 
despite this, a no better life than "primitive" human beings,
with similar sufferings and problems in their own daily life. Or
rather, it could not be denied that psychoses suffered by modern
men, living in a materially too advanced world, would tend to be
more serious than those suffered by primitive men.
  In this situation, humanity has achieved the scientific 
development of "quantum leaps" since the industrial revolution 
of the 18th century, and, above all in this century, even 
"ordinary" people have been able to benefit from the outcome of 
this development, such as telephone, radio, TV, facsimile, 
computers, jet planes, satellites, nuclear energy, etc. In this 
sense, it would not be wrong to say that the process of our 
daily communication has been accelerated at an astronomical rate 
(presumably, billions of times more) since the last century, 
without usually being recognised as such. 
  The author himself had been wondering why this rate of outer
scientific development could not be reflected also in the field
of inner science, namely psychology, and, through his study of 
spirituality and psychotherapy, finally came to discover that 
this very thing had been made possible through Communicational 
Science (*3) (especially NLP). In this sense, the author often 
describes NLP as "the ultimate psychology having gone through 
quantum leaps".

NB(*3): This description by the author is to include Batesonian
Epistemology, the theories/philosophy of the Palo Alto Group (the
group of psychologists who made researches at the Mental 
Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, under the guidance
of Gregory Bateson) and the methodology of NLP.

  In other words, the author claims that the advent of 
Communicational Science has enabled human beings to 
accelerate any learning processes at a rate of "quantum leaps", 
and has also made it possible to accelerate even the process to 
spiritual enlightenment at the same rate. 
  To the author's understanding, Communicational Science
(especially NLP) is equivalent to Raja (mental control) Yoga and/
or Jnana (philosophy or knowledge) Yoga among the four Yogas
mentioned above (Cf. NB *1); also, as far as he knows, it is the 
most advanced among the scientific methodologies equivalent to
these two Yogas which exist currently in the world. 
  I will discuss below in a comparative form how Communicational
Science is based on the Vedanta Philosophy (and the Buddhist
Philosophy, as its derivative) propounded thousands of years ago,
and how its methodology could be applied to the acceleration of
the "process to enlightenment". It is nothing but awe-inspiring to
know that the one end of the curve line which started to be drawn
by the "inner science" of Vedanta, has finally been reconnected
with the other end (i.e., the starting point) of the curve by
Communicational Science, only after the development of the "outer
science" for thousands of years; namely, a human development
which might not have been necessary.

This page consists of Introduction of the small paper written by Guhen Kitaoka, "NLP and Spirituality". A full version of the paper has the following ten sections:

(1) Absolute God and Cybernetics
(2) Mind/Body Dualism and Batesonian Epistemology
(3) Raja Yoga/Jnana Yoga and NLP
(4) "Here & Now" and 4Te (Uptime)
(5) Samskara and Anchoring/TD Research
(6) "Forms are Voidness" and Positive Constructivism
(7) "Gone, Gone, Gone Forever" and Continuous Transcendence of Beliefs
(8) The Void and Identity Member
(9) Zen Koans and First & Second-Order Change
(10) Enlightenment and Double-Bind

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Copyright ©1992-2000, by Guhen Kitaoka. All rights reserved internationally.