Language Is Magic and Not Only By “Spell”-ing
Oh, our language! It is something most people use so unconsciously! When communicating to each other people blurt out words thinking that everybody else uses the same words with the same meaning as they do! Are they mistaken!
Most people never stop to think why they use the words they use to describe something, and they never stop to consider why they express themselves the way they do! Most people never pause to ask themselves how much of life’s disappointment comes back to the misunderstanding of their own or other people’s communication.
One main presupposition of NLP tells us that “the meaning of communication is the response you get.” Another says that what is inside our heads, in other words what we think we understand, is not what really happened. “The map is not the territory.” And yet, our primary tool for communication – language – is so little understood and studied.
The language, with all its nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives (how boring, right?) is working a kind of magic. Oh by the way, just in case you’re worried, in NLP we don’t do any of that! It a different approach to language that we’re concerned with.
If we only understood what language is doing to us especially when used on us and we’re not aware! It’s a grim magic mostly because nobody pays attention to it and yet everybody is affected by its spell. (“Spell”-ing anyone?)
This magic actively commands over empty, shallow and unconscious minds (and I am as gracious as I only can be when I say that) and convinces us that empty, shallow and unconscious is how things should be. This empty, shallow and unconscious becomes the “norm” and is therefore “normal”. If you can think differently and for yourself, you become ab-normal. Nobody stops to consider that the norm is just that: empty, shallow and unconscious (read here average, pedestrian, second-rate, ordinary, mediocre, etc.) This “language magic” is like a ceremony designed to lead people into smaller and smaller boxes of shallower and shallower thinking.
If we go back in time to the Latin word “grammatia”, or the Greek “grammatike tekhne”, which could be translated as the art of letters we can think of the spoken and written words as a set of magical symbols. Remember that during the Dark Ages most of the serf population was illiterate and even forbidden to learn how to write or read. It was obvious that those who were capable of reading and writing had a major advantage over the illiterate masses.
The educated ones had access to literary works of other thinkers and scientists and were capable of understanding what they read, which is no small task either. Before literacy became available to the average Joe, the ability to write and read was formally recognized as a form of power, a form of magic. And this was correct! Lack of knowledge and understanding leads the mind to the empty, shallow and unconscious state we described above.
In our modern age this state of affairs has been all but forgotten, although it becomes again more and more obvious. Indulge me here please. In two previous articles “Freeing Ourselves from Emotional Manipulation” and “Got Your Mind on the Palm of My Hand” I decried the state of our youth’s ability to think and I attributed this partly to the restricted usage of words – as in text messages. The obvious question is then what new “magic” is used again by the few against the many? Mind manipulation and mind control IS a form of magic.
Here is a question for you: how many times do you read the small print on the forms you sign for a credit card application? Oh maybe you’re reading it, but do you understand what it means? How many times do you read and understand the contract you enter in when you sign your mortgage application? When you apply for a loan? Oh, forget that, what about when you watch the evening news on television?
According to a recent survey by the National Center for Educational Statistics shows that 40 to 44 million adults in the US alone have literacy competency skills at the lowest level. They can understand only the simplest written instructions – whatever that means!
If you examine linguistically every instruction and public relations technique you are bombarded with every single day through the mass media you’ll realize that there is an amazing linguistic skill being employed in an absolutely magical style. On one hand the information you receive is reduced to the simplest sixth grade level, and on the other hand the language employed is a masterpiece. But what is the consequence of this? It is very simple; you’re going to end up with a population unable to think anymore beyond sixth grade level. And this is what we’ve witnessed for the last at least 15-20 years. Did you notice? More empty, shallow and unconscious minds who could be capable and creative but who unknowingly fell into this trap.
All sentient creative and productive thought is reduced to primary instinctual knee jerk response. See this? You cry!
See that? You get angry.
See the other? You get scared out of your skull.
You respond automatically and unthinkingly to the magical procedures employed on you. You allow this magic to take over your mind because you don’t know that you can say no.
NLP Practitioners and Master Practitioners know what I am talking about. This merciless usage of language patterns and embedded commands makes the majority of people into unwitting recipients of the new “magic”.
A question we receive very often nowadays during the NLP VidChats or during our trainings is how do you think outside the box? And the short answer is, you can’t if your language and belief system is generated from outside you, served to you by an exquisite usage of language which you don’t recognize but accept unconsciously (by the way it is not your fault, nobody trained you). Do you think you’ll be trapped within a tiny thinking box dictated from outside you?
Would you know you’re trapped in this tiny box? Probably not, unless you have a deep down feeling that something is not quite right. That’s your first clue. Don’t ignore it. Take action and do something about it.
While I am most definitely very understanding with everyone when they excuse themselves “Well, I simply didn’t think of that……” ultimately only someone entirely controlled by some influence is not responsible for the language s/he uses and the thought box s/he’s in.
Until next time, be well.