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Home NLP Presuppositions 4. Experience has a structure

Experience has a structure

NLP Presuppositions
Our internal experiences are formed by inner representations of the five external senses. We can begin to explore this inner subjective world and learn how to change the structure of each experience.

There are main components in our thought – pictures, sounds, and feelings. Each in turn is composed of detail or qualities. For example, the picture can be in colour, black or white, clear and bright. It can be moving like a film strip or still. It can be far or near. Such distinctions can be made regardless of what content the picture has. Similarly, a sound can be high or low pitched, near or far, loud or soft. A feeling could be hard or soft, hot or cold, mild or intense. All this constitutes the structure of thought or experience.

We can change the detail to suit our preference or alter our experience. For example, we change the colour in a picture by making it colourful instead of just black or white, and if it is still we can speed it up. This will certainly make us feel better. For the sound we can raise it to high-pitched, increase the volume and bring it closer. Replacing the qualities of an unpleasant memory with those of a happy memory will enhance our thought or feeling. At times, changing some of these qualities may make minimal difference to the structure of an experience and changing a few critical ones can cause a significant difference. It therefore follows that identifying the critical ones can be of immense advantage.

To intensify our feeling in a happy memory, we can associate ourselves by being present there and seeing things with our own eyes. This gives us a happy feeling. It is opposed to being dissociated, that is looking at things from outside. Being dissociated however can have a significant effect on how bad we feel about an experience. By being dissociated, that is outside the unhappy experience it will reduce the pain.

If we make changes to the detail to induce the state we desire, we are in a better position to create varying states of mind. Our subjective experience, especially the painful and unpleasant ones, can be easily changed at any time by manipulating the detail. This is extremely important considering that when something, especially unpleasant ones, happened no matter how long ago or how recently in the past the experience cannot be simply be erased from memory. Besides, they may continue to torment us due largely to the way we accept or react to them. But we can change the memory by changing the structure of the experience. When we change the structure of the experience, we change its meaning. The change in meaning leads to a favourable change in our feelings towards the experience.

We can now take control and decide to think or feel in ways suitable to us. We do not have to be adversely affected by external sensory inputs however frequent they are. By changing the structure of our experience we can change any experience and create new ones as well as change our behaviour and bring about our desired outcomes.