Chris Jack chris_jack at
Tue Sep 11 13:38:45 BST 2007

> Being able to back up what you say is part of being an expert in a field. And those> who have spoken up in favour of NLP in this 'ere thread are the closest> we come to having experts in the field here. Consequently I expect them> to be able to do so.
My experience of psychology and spirituality is just that: experiential. If I told you some of the exercises we got up to at Tantra, I imagine (and that is my imagining, which may or may not be correct) it would both be open to being misconstrued and would lack the power of the experience that I had. I have heard other people on workshops say similar things.
There's something in Zen buddhism about not being able to describe Zen without losing your own Zen nature. For someone like me, from an academic background - that can sometimes be a frustrating thing to deal with. If you were in a Tantra workshop and you said the things you are saying NLP but swapping the word for Tantra, chances are the teacher would bring you back to your body and your feelings - what is physically going on in your body. Tantra is far less about thought than mood, connection with yourself and others, and openness. It's about noticing when we contract away from painful experiences and learning to accept and embrace those feelings - and in the process move beyond them and feel more pleasure and love. 
So simply noticing if you are feeling happy, anxious, angry, loving, and so on - without needing to interpret - and noticing what you are doing with that emotion.
Now I can tell you that stuff and I can believe it sounds like new age guff, and I can even give you a plausible biological explanation for why it works - but unless you have actually experienced it for yourself; I'm not sure how easy it is for you to accept it.
I don't want to get in a loop with you whereby I present you with arguments and you keep saying where's the evidence. It can be quite pleasurable to try to win arguments, but it can also get old after a while. I get more long term pleasure from talking to people about their problems - and helping them come to better terms with their feelings. The biggest buzz in my life is not how many bug free perl programs I have written - it's how many suicidal people I have talked down this year. I'm a bit disappointed that no-one from this list has yet donated to help with that work ( if anyone wants to).
My evidence is my experience. When Perl added object-oriented programming going from version 4 to 5 - I thought it was unnecessary and overkill for the language. It wasn't academic arguments that changed my view, it was using those features and finding them useful.
I respect your anxiety that by doing NLP you might be wasting your time and you might get nothing out of it or be worse off. I have insufficient experience of NLP to offer an informed view - maybe I will in November. Ross Jeffries, who teaches seduction using NLP, had a good quote when challenged about NLP in a not dissimilar way to the way you are challenging it, however. He said something like "NLP is all rubbish, it just happens to work".
If you are happy in your life, you may not need any of this stuff anyway. If you are not happy in your life, or believe you could be happier - do you have any intentions regarding dealing with that? I have often avoided trying new things due to anxiety - which has sometimes expressed itself as angry defensiveness. I used academic arguments to avoid my feelings because I have always felt safer with thoughts than feelings. But that's me - how is it for you?
Oh, and I might leave my story about the hot tub at my last Tantra workshop for another day.
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