NLP is the child of developmental psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and human potential movement. If we follow the path of NLP in a very dedicated way, we end up in eastern philosophy.
We find ourselves here today in spiritual development not by choice, not by intent, but by evolution. We just found our way here. If you’re in personal development, one day you’re going to find yourself confronted with the truth of what the self actually is.
Once you’ve explored it enough, you will truly see that the construct nature of what we take ourselves to be, which we call in NLP “personality”, isn’t satisfactory. Inside every single one of us, we know that our personality isn’t true; it’s just a legacy from our parents and institutions.
NLP And Enlightenment
Now we’re moving into the space of the line of spiritual development for people to explore questions such as “Who am I?” and “What am I?”. This has nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do with the ontological reality of being you. It’s kind of a nutshell overview.
The retreats we do are to open, to facilitate, and to deepen each individual’s personal inquiry into what they are and who they are. Many people will come because they know who they are, but they realize that they’re also not what they think they are. So there’s this very small pocket of awakening happening.
NLP has brought awakening for us as an organization and as individuals as well. You start realizing that you are what you do and see the world that you live in objectively. It’s actually pretty subtle; you find out that your reality is not concrete. So, the point of the retreats we do is going from concrete reality to subtle reality through to causal awareness. It is a formal investigation in order to find who you are.
For example, I think religions are beautiful human practices and beautiful cultural systems. People find their way in those spaces and cultures. But this spirituality, this movement of awakening is not based on religion. The deep paradox inside of this work is “if you believe it, it’s not true”. If you’re operating from faith, and from knowing, from a belief structure from yourself, that’s it. Our spiritual movement and retreats are on behalf of the truth. Not known truth, but direct truth, in the present moment, uncontainable though history or in the future, just true now.
One of the core aspects we explore is to realize that your mind will never know the truth about awakening and unfolding what people call enlightenment. Those enlightenment events do not happen in the mind and yet everybody is running around to try and get knowledge to know themselves. It’s never going to happen if you are doing a sitting practice and meditation, waiting to understand yourself, waiting to have some flash of inspiration. It can’t happen in knowing, since it’s not an interior reality.
What’s In It For People
The most eminent reality is the end of a suffering individuals don’t need to have. We shed a light on our work in personal development and share the light of spirituality. Suffering is trying to shore up, to invest in, to be valued, and to be this personality. They think “Look, this personality looks good, they fit it, they belong, they’re a good person, people like them” etc.
There’s an investment in who we take ourselves to be. Let’s call that the small self. There an investment, which is not an investment, it’s the ongoing investment: energy, money, time, attention, vitality, into what we call the occupant (the conditioning we got occupied by as we grow up).
Virtual Realities And Personalities
We’ll talk about something slightly different now. You know that feeling when you follow someone on Twitter and they follow you back? You feel like “Yes, I made it!”
There’s a movement for people to start going “yeah but we got all these friends but they’re not following, they’re not engaged, they’ve un-followed you” (because Facebook has split between “follow” and “friend”).
However you find out one truth in the end: What matters is that people click on the post and buy whatever you’re offering. There is a need to let go of the desire of “oh I’m secure now, I’m comfortable now, I’ve got that thing, therefore, I am”.
On social media, our identities are shored up by the pretense of who we are connected to. It is a modern pathological statement we put ourselves in, in an identity sense. We are formed by those people, even though they’re not following us most of the time. All of the time we’re online, we’re attempting to be something, we’re attempting to position ourselves. We’re marketing ourselves and building our brand when we post and want people to see us in a particular way. This is a subtle form of narcissism on behalf of the not-self, on behalf of the construct.
And it’s only going to get worse. Let’s just keep in the social media space. Let’s look 25 years out briefly, when it’s going to get difficult. The person thinks that they are this human with these values. They think they’re someone that they’re not. It’s a parasitic relationship.
AI starts to emerge, and people will start going into Virtual Reality and into other dimensions artificially created as their self, mistaken for who they are. If people do this, they will have a second occupant within themselves that is somebody in a virtual reality. However now they’re going to suffer when they go offline. All of this because now they’re going to have their old condition self (the first occupant) as their everyday offline self that is just not going to work anymore.
Now they’re going to spend more and more time in virtual reality simply because they think they really enjoy it. They take themselves to be somebody else. That’s a pandemic issue emerging for the developed nations. These are fundamental sociological emerging issues.
The other issue with our construct self is, as AI moves into vehicles your relationship based on “you’re the man, you drive everywhere, you don’t get lost” changes. Now you’re sitting with your arms crossed not doing anything. All of a sudden the reality of building your value proposition as somebody is going to be undermined. And now there’s going to be this desperate search to become somebody of some value.
There’s going to be a catastrophic immense level of suffering if we are not leading across that in tandem with the artificial intelligence in this emerging age. Now the subtle industry from the information age is emerging. This subtle industry is the recognition that the work isn’t in the concrete world it’s in the causal world and there’s a causal revolution waiting to occur.
The Benefits Of Spiritual Retreats
The benefits of a spiritual retreat depends on what stage of their unfolding an individual is in when they come to the retreat. It also depends on the effect of the unfolding in this space. But at the end of the day, they’re going to be freer. To what degree, who knows? However what is surely going to happen is emancipation.
What they get is silence, freedom, and spaciousness. It’s a very intense reality unfolding, but it’s also natural and part of their humanity’s inheritance. It’s the birth right to be and know what and who you are. They will be imminently in the world, free, and more fully engaged. This is beyond authenticity and self actualizing. This is an inquiry, a formal investigation into the truth of you.
Our retreats are a few days where they’ll find out about awakening, enlightenment, and practices for inquiry. It frees them to have good relationships, because they won’t be chasing outcomes at the short term anymore. Neediness falls away and choice based relationships open up.
This whole movement is on behalf of unbecoming. Not becoming somebody, not the extraordinary, but the ordinary. They will end up finding themselves seeing beauty and appreciating it somewhere they haven’t seen it before.
The NLP still transitions in the space of construction and building skills. With our work now it’s really starting to come into the deconstruction space, the spirituality space, which is really this later stage beyond the NLP that’s about negation.
It’s not about what we can get more of, it’s about what we can let go of.