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 free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details." 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
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Copyright ©1992-2000, by Guhen Kitaoka. All rights reserved internationally.