General Semantics NLP Language Essay
by Silvia Hartmann
Well a good morning to all the listers here and a good
morning it is indeedy.
Strange how mornings just recently have found a habit of being that ...
But on to more word magic.
Recently, I ran a copy of In
Serein through an untrained spellchecker - one that isn't pre-set to my
preferences of spelling and expression.
Naturally, it freaked out massively.
I started making a list of my wordlings and unwordings, just of Book 1 where I'm
still reasonably restrained in what I do with the English Language.
It was a surprisingly large or long list; but far more interesting than that I
noted that there was absolutely a structure to my madness.
The actual from scratch word creations are only found in names and locations,
all the rest of the undictionarisable words, hundreds of them at that, are
structural derivatives and genesized in a way that is TOTALLY BUILT INTO THE
PERMISSIONS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Now, let us back up here and remember that a dictionary is a collection of words
that were being spoken at a certain time and nothing more. Words that have never
been spoken before, therefore are not to be found in any dictionary and THAT has
led some very, very stupid people to formulate the idea that "if it isn't in the
dictionary, it is WRONG".
One can only shake one's head in astonishment at that and so let us move on to
If I was in a court of law, defending my usage of the English language in In
Serein, I would simply cite precedence.
Here's just one simple examplet.
There exist very clear rules in EL (English Language) about the addition of
syllables which change the meaning of a word, in this case, of a verb.
If they can be used with one verb, then they structurally can be used with ANY
verb - that lies in the precedence and the structure.
So, for example, in the dictionary we find the word, born.
We will also find the derivatives of unborn, and reborn.
I hold and practically DO this in In Serein with many verbs.
Things may be spoken. Thereby, they may be unspoken, or respoken. A road may be
walked, and thus it may also be rewalked, or unwalked.
A song can be unsung.
The really cute thing about these words is that they make perfect sense to any
EL speaker because they are pre-supposed in their existence by the structure of
Just think if you had the opportunity to unthink some thoughts, unlive some
events and unexperience some times of your life. Would that not be a useful
thing? To be able to relove, undecide something, rerealise and unimagine?
And if the words don't exist because no-one has done it, does that mean it is
I think not.
Those reformed and unexisted derivatives are just one examplet of those word
forms that are presupposed but not used (as yet) although they legally could be
used because of the structural precedents.
Now of course there is a lot more to this, but this short intro will suffice to
lead into the reason for posting this today, and that is the question of the I
of identity, which Korzybski rightfully identified as a big problem.
I am fat.
I am stupid.
Or I am poor.
In NLP, the problem with these statements which are outside of time and thus
practically unhandlable is attempted to be corrected by the use of the meta
model, to put time back, for example:
What? All the time? Was there ever a time when you were not? Will you remain
like that forever?
However, this is both irritating as well as quite a difficult thing to be
dealing with - it is not natural, if you will, to most people.
They respond to the Meta Model in general with annoyance and often with
aggression. And long term, it does very little if nothing at all to change the
DEEP STRUCTURE OF FAULTY ASSOCIATION. So even if we have successfully destroyed
the single occurrence idea of "I am fat", all the other samestructured
relatives, I am poor, I'm a loser, I'm a Manchester United Fan, I'm white, I'm a
woman and so on still remain in action and still cause major havoc, all the
time, every time they are applied, thought, felt, pre-supposed.
I thereby propose something else, namely to not change the "I am" which seems to
be such an effort but instead of an adjective or noun (and these adjectives and
nouns are interchangable, such as, I am green might as well be I am Peter or I
am an elephant, as far as interpretation is concerned by the neurology) to use a
verb instead and that way, to return the process to the whole unfoldment.
Not I am fat but I am fatting.
Not I am stupid but I am stupiding.
Not I'm rich but I'm riching.
Not I'm poor but I'm pooring.
Now, the NLP type meta model questions that arise have a different flavour and
when they are posited, something VERY VERY different happens in the neurology
than when you challenge the "I of Identity In Combination With A Static
Are you currently riching or pooring? Or perhaps middleclassing? How do yo do
that? How does it work? HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY SUCH APPALLING BEHAVIOUR???
Perhaps, like myself, you are fatting. What got into you? How do you sustain
that over time? What is the process and strategy you are employing here? I
personally seem to be doing that all the time, and I only notice when it comes
out in a behaviour, such as eating a cupcake. then it drops back below the
surface of the ocean but it is still there - like a dolphin leaping out every so
often which makes you think there's no underwater swimming in between at all if
you thought the surface of the water was solid and all there is ...
Something very interesting happens when you begin to consider how you very
practically do your riching, pooring, fatting, smoking, victiming, paining,
suffering, stupiding, failing, lonelying and so forth.
What it seems to do is to re-connect the dots of observable behaviour and
"unconscious" thought strategies that run all the time and not just when the
behaviour itself is present.
And it immediately gives a whole number of bright new leverage pointlets to have
a new go at making changes in very, very old, very, very stuck systems that have
seemed to be so resisting.
Perhaps they are not resisting at all.
Perhaps they're just undiscovered, waiting for us to leverage them correctly.
Perhaps it is only when you understand both the underwater swimming behaviour of
a dolphin AND the times when they leap as a TOTAL EVENT can you predict when
it's gonna jump out again next, exactly where that will be, and be ready with a
net underwater if you wanted to catch it ...
Well try it out on some of your own favourite things. I'm aggressing to I'm
sadding again .. I am anxieting and I am fearing ... I am magicking and I am
loving ... and yesterday, I was stupiding briefly before I remembered to start
joying again ...
It is a surprisingly simple little trick once one can get over the fear of the
dictionary and a very interesting neurological event at that. And in the energy
Have fun, or should I say, start funning
© Silvia Hartmann 2004
* In Serein can be found on