Is a Human Being Robot-like?

The author often hears people saying that NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) may consider human beings to be similar to pre-programmed robots, excluding elements like "humanity", "emotions", "morality", etc. from its study.

The author understands and is sympathetic to this kind of criticism to a certain extent, in the sense that the advent of NLP was made possible partially by a pragmatic tendency (tending to seek only the end results) epitomised in a extreme way by Skinners' Behavioural Psychology, which went so far as to deny the presence of "consciousness" in human activity, or even thought processes altogether.

Yet, quite ironically, modern sciences like cybernetics and communication psychology including NLP, which are the study of human mental and behavioural activities from the point of view of how they are pre-programmed, don't end up regarding human beings as thoughtless robots. This very important aspect of cybernetics, etc., is most elegantly phrased by Maxwell Maltz in his "Psycho-Cybernetics": -

    "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."

In brief, it is very paradoxical that modern Western psychology ended by "depriving man of his soul", like in the case of Behavioural Psychology, while "Behavioural Science" which began by considering human beings to be pre-programmed automata had to come to the almost religious conclusion that there must be something transcendent behind all of our behaviour, thinking, feelings, etc.

The author is of the opinion that, contrary to common sense, the more we become aware of our unconscious programmings (i.e., Samskara, Anchoring, SDMLB, etc.) which are controlling our daily behavioural and thinking processes, the more we can control these processes, and even intensify such important human properties as emotions, feelings, etc., in a way that we like.

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