An interview with our keynote speaker . . .
During the planning of the conference, a few of us were privileged to spend some time in conversations with Judith DeLozier. We spoke with her about her role in the history of NLP leading up to her latest thoughts on the field, her recent achievements, and a new book she and Robert Dilts are writing. We invite you to join the conversation at IASH Forums.
Tell us about the book you are working on
with Robert Dilts.
NLP has evolved enormously since its beginnings. The third generation of NLP trainers, developers and practitioners is now moving into the field, building on the work that has already been done. This third generation is reaching further and higher, developing applications that are generative, systemic and focused at even higher levels of learning, interaction and development. These applications relate to identity, vision and mission on the systemic level.
The book will focus more on the framework of relational logic as opposed to logical logic or conscious mind logic. Where we think about ‘the field.’ The body has a generative impulse to be creative, a generative impulse to heal, and that comes out of the core of us, more than our conscious mind which is relatively limited. It’s going to focus on the field between individuals and the idea of bringing grace and beauty into the system beyond the individual, in order to enrich others and the world. It’s been said that the energy of the universe originates in the body and is generated as a field between bodies.
The conscious mind is only able to understand linear thoughts and conscious purpose. First Generation NLP had more to do with language and representations in the individual. Second Generation had to do with levels of belief, value. Neurological levels came in. First Generation had a lot more to do with problem solving. Second Generation started to open the area of generativity, creativity and modeling positive, successful excellence. It became more future focused. The New Code that John and I did in the mid-1980s was a transition. Perceptual positions started to develop, levels of learning and some of that stuff. Now it’s moving towards going back into self, finding the dynamic balance in self and then bringing that to the field, to really enhance the field. The body will play a key role, of course.
Since we are embodied minds.
Yes, exactly, not emminded bodies! Or perhaps both.
So it’s a dance between the inner and the outer.
Yes, that’s right, that idea of the dance between all of it. The conscious mind would make the statement “this relationship between the unconscious and conscious” but I prefer the way Gregory Bateson talks about it where he says it’s a “unit of mind,” so that every pathway, every nuance in movement, gesture, tone of voice change, all of that is mind that’s being exhibited because information is sent and that’s the whole idea about what mind is. It’s the sending of information. Then you’ll see mind in trees in the way they’ll send information to another tree to make a certain kind of chemical in the leaves to keep from being eaten by the caterpillars or something. Mind is eminent. It’s eminent in nature and we are, for sure, nature.
Part of Third Generation NLP speaks about the break from the natural world and the consequences of that. How very short a time we’ve had that break, and the very long period of time that we lived in the natural world. People have a longing, when they feel empty, not connected to the larger system any more.
You said in our last conversation that the heart of NLP is in the presuppositions.’ Could you say a little more about that.
It was being able to hold the presuppositions, at the heart, that allowed us to go out and model. We had to hold the idea of “The map is not the territory,” and “There is no failure, there’s only feedback,” and along those lines. That’s the heart. The spirit is to go out and build models. If the breath of NLP is to build models, what pumps the blood in that direction is the presuppositions. Then you start to notice what it brings to you in your personal life. It brings a lot of peace into my personal life, in my world in general. Those were the effects of NLP that I noticed. All of us were out there trying to create and build models that were helpful and useful in the world. It’s really the heart that it takes to breathe the spirit, you know.
You also talked about applying NLP to social change and that being the direction you were going in.
For me it’s always been about social change. My background was anthropology and comparative religion. I first read Structure of Magic when John Grinder gave it to me as a manuscript and asked me to read it and tell him what I thought. Coming from a whole different reference focus, I just saw it as evolutionary. I saw it as revolutionary as well but that had more to do with my thought that people are going to hear “everything is wrong” when they read this, as opposed to seeing it as another set of tools, but I saw it as evolutionary much more than problem solving. Now I see it as being for the benefit of individuals and groups, aggregates of individuals, how can we use this to support social causes, social change, social development, cultural understanding, things like that.
Do you have a sense of where a person can connect up to bring that out?
Well, when I think about that, first I think about it as an individual. If my frame is health, what’s one thing I can do for myself that I’m willing to take responsibility for. What’s one thing I can do with my family that I can take responsibility for, my community, my business, my workplace.
So expanding circles.
Yes. First of all, what you can do. You know I can plant a tree when I get to the environment level. Then from that point on — one of the things Robert and I worked on at the conference last October was moving toward creating a generative community and generative collaboration. It doesn’t matter to me whether it stays inside the field of NLP or whether it’s people connecting with other people, even outside the field, who are making contributions and asking, “What resources do I have that can support their contribution and what resources do they have that can support mine.”
You also mentioned the “200 to 2,000″ project. Could you tell us about that.
A wonderful friend of mine, Dr Patricia Novak, has worked in social change in Chicago, and has always been a social activist. Her framework is bringing health to the community.
She’s now also a minister. She has a health ministry in Chicago. I have done some projects in the past with Patti and also am fortunate enough to be a coach, whenever she has projects. We get together and go through them, sort things out, and talk about what NLP skills, might be appropriate.
One of her recent projects was the “200 to 2000 Project.” This developed out of a degree program in holistic health at DePaul University. We envisioned five different pathways that would reach into the community like the five fingers of a loving hand, to create health in various sectors. The “fingers” would include worksite wellness, through designing healthy organizations, churches and schools, hospitals, supporting good public health policy and supporting people in the parts of Chicago that were more ethnic, like the Latin community or the Vietnamese community, to support the natural healers who were there.
The “200 to 2000 Project” was this: Twenty women from the Latina community were taught eight basic health skills (things like breast exams, stress prevention, and so on). Each of those women taught 20 more women. So now that twenty is ready to each teach twenty more women, and so on, to bring more health into the community.
Another one she did was this: In her area of Chicago in the last few years there were seven or eight deaths in the ministry, all heart disease and diabetes. So she has created a project to pass on health skills to the ministers. The ministers will pass those on to their congregations. At the same time they’re having somebody coming in to look into environmental concerns that are not being met in the churches. These things are very holistic and not hard to do!
She can produce a million projects like that. She would say, “I can’t do it without the ‘dreamer, realist, critic’ model that I use all the time.”
The ‘dreamer, realist, critic’ is one kind of model out of NLP. Is this thing you’re calling Third Generation NLP also about folding NLP back into the community?
Yes, that’s an effect — bringing the frameworks into our own personal lives. For some people it’s health. For some people it will be education. For some people it will be the arts. Whatever your frame is, whatever you believe is important to bring into the world.
That all could be seen as health.
It could. Creating a healthier world in general is the effect. And then there’s what we can do as individuals if we don’t have the means to find an organization or hook up with other people. There are people who spend their whole day just making enough to live, but that person can do a healthier thing for themselves and for their beloved, for their environment. We can do things as individuals, and those of us who are better placed can make more of a difference.
What do you want to say about your keynote address at the upcoming 2006 IASH Conference?
I don’t know yet but it might be something that relates to health because, after all, it is the IASH Conference. It might be health in the social sense, maybe relating to the health of community or health of society, expanding our horizons with respect to health.
We invite you to add your comments and join the conversation at IASH Forums.