A NLP Thought Experiment for You


-L. Michael Hall. Ph.D., Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D. Min., Jason R. Schneider

Here’s a “Thought Experiment”  from the book, User’s Manual for the Brain, written by Michael Hall & Bob Bodenhamer. Try it out. Have you ever experienced anything that you would call “pleasant?”

Recall a pleasant experience from your past. As various things may pop into your mind, just allow yourself to go with some pleasure memory for the moment and allow yourself to go with that thought….

As you experience this pleasant memory, notice its visual aspects. What do you see? Notice the images. Now make the picture larger. Let it double in size… and then let that picture double again… Notice what happens. Do your emotions intensify?

Now shrink the picture. Make it smaller and smaller. Allow it to become so small you can hardly see it… Stay with that a moment… Do the intensity of the feelings decrease? Experiment again with making the picture bigger and then smaller. When you make it smaller, do your feelings decrease? And when you make it larger, do your feelings increase? If so, then running the pictures (sounds, feelings) in your awareness in this way functions as it does for most people. However, you may have a different experience. Did you? No big deal. We all code our experiences in our minds uniquely and individually. Now, put your picture of that pleasant experience back in a format where you find it most comfortable and acceptable.

As you maintain the same picture, move the picture closer to you. Just imagine that the picture begins to move closer and closer to you, and notice that it will. What happens to your feelings as it does? … Move the picture farther away. What happens when you move the picture farther away? Do your feelings intensify when you move the picture closer? Do your feelings decrease when you move the picture farther away? Notice that as you change the mental representation in your mind of the experience, your feelings change. This, by the way, describes how we can “distance” ourselves from experiences, does it not?

Now experiment with the color. Are your pictures in color or in black-and-white? If your pictures have color, make them black-and-white, and vice versa if you have them coded as black-and-white . . . When you changed the color, do your feelings change?

What about the focus of your images? Are they in focus or out of focus? Do you see an image of yourself in the picture or do you experience the scene as if looking out of your own eyes? What about the quality of your images: in three dimensional (3D) form or flat (2D)? Does it have a frame around it or do you experience it as panoramic? Experiment by changing how you represent the experience. Change the location of the picture. If you have it coded as on your right, then move it to your left.

Did you like playing with your brain in this way? The powerful thing about playing with our brains in that way is that as we change our coding, we change our feelings.  Your neurology responded to the linguistics (or symbols) of our brain. When you change various features of your representations, it affects your responses.  How about that!

What was your experience? What are your takeaways?  Please post your responses below and lets discuss!

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To your ever continuing growth,


Jason Schneider

Founder of the Perception Academy

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