In the “Coaching Values Inventory – Using Values For Individual and Group Growth and Development” which we give to our students in the NLP Coaching Master Practitioner Training we analyze and explain each individual type of thinking based on three factors: (1) environment (2) neurological disposition of each individual and (3.) the values – the words – themselves.
You cannot ever separate the environment from the neurology of the body and the words the person uses to describe what’s important to them. These three work together and each influences the other. If the environment is not supportive to the expression of a set of values (thus a certain type of thinking pattern) that set of values will not be expressed. And this leads us to the next three important things to remember aside from the first set in Part 1 – which is reproduced here for ease:
- Values are not what we like but what is important to us
- Every person has values
- Every individual set of values is different from another individual’s and
- No values levels (IE types of thinking) are “better” than others” but they are all geared to support existence inside a certain type of environment.
- Development through the values levels and different types of thinking is possible but not guaranteed.
- Values are not related to intelligence or IQ, nor are they related to how people think (in NLP we call these strategies). They are not even related to the concepts of “toward” and “away from” (carrots or sticks).
In other words regardless of the neurological development inside an individual and the capacity for higher complexity of thinking, if the environment is not allowing the expression of that type of priorities in thinking, the evolution will not occur. We will take examples later on so it will become all easily understandable.
The values levels (VL) are described in great detail in the book “Time Line Therapy® and The Basis of Personality” available here, but here is a brief overview of the seven types of thinking prevalent on our planet today.
- VL1 is pure survival, basic satisfying of core physiological needs, not self-conscious; living mostly like any other mammalian.
Life concerns are food and water, some sort of shelter, perpetuation of the species, and basic responses are flight or fight. Not really present on the planet with some very small exceptions of small groups of VL1 people in the Amazonian Jungle (if they’re still present).
- VL2 has to do with gathering in larger families, tribes and clans for improving chances for survival. Although more complex that the basis survival functioning in VL1, it is not self-conscious. Misplaced cause and effect (the cow drowned in the lake therefore the lake is at fault – we need to pray to the god of the lake so such a thing will never happen again).
Life concerns are communal and collective (IE the survival of “us” – “the family”, “our kind”); kinships and blood lines are the binding elements. Very right brain oriented. The thinking revolves around family and it always has a “chieftain” – somebody in charge, possibly the elder of the clan (grandfather/grandmother). Spells, omens, lucky charms, shamans, myths of “otherworldly spirits and gods” abound; a very “mystical” type of thinking. We can see VL2 present in every corner of the planet in developed and under developed countries. We see a push for reversal to VL2 in many organizations of the world. Whenever the family or the clan is important, we are seeing the thinking of VL2. Every time you call mom when you’re in trouble you’re exhibiting VL2 thinking.
- VL3 has to do with every one for himself – Me, Myself and I, My all powerful self against the world which is a jungle and only the fittest survive. Here is the first VL where an individual becomes self-conscious – s/he wakes up to the fact that s/he exists separate from the clan/family/tribe. It is a very individualistic, impulsive, concerned with immediate satisfaction of all desires way of thinking. The predator sociopath who does not care about any consequences. No guilt. Kill with impunity.
Life concerns are: immediate satisfaction of personal desires, dominance, power, intimidation and exploitation of others, glory, elimination of competition, grandiosity and physical force; from here we have the absolute rights of monarchs and dictators. Cunning and deceitful VL3 is a contemporary encounter in corporations, banks, politics and country leaders. Millions of people around the world live inside VL 2-VL3 environment.
- VL4 is righteous and sacrificial for the unique “truth”, one right way to everything. The opposite of VL3, it is determined to bring order and perpetual stability to all things – unchanging and everlasting everything. Believer in a divine plan who assigns people in their right places.
Life concerns have to do with doing the right thing according to a book or a manual so that one is worthy of everlasting life. Everything is divided in right or wrong, there are no shades in between. Postponed reward, absolute faith in the book, proving oneself worthy, following the reason and purpose for living described in the book, indoctrination with the right policy, principle or creed, everyone must sacrifice for the “greater good” – these are all concerns of VL4. It is a very rigid, dogmatic, oppressive and redundant system of thinking. Even if it touts compassion responds judgmentally with order and regimentation – everything must be in the proper place. It strives to create uniformity and sameness, as in socialism and communism as well as fascism. There must be a book or a manual in which the right thing is described and that book is the right book. Everything else is wrong.
- VL5 is connected with autonomy, independence, progress through “the best way”. Materialistic and competitive, progressive through searching for best solutions, VL5 is scientifically oriented, driving technology development through the exercise of one’s “own thinking mind”. NLP was born in VL5.
Life concerns have to do with making a “good life”, comfort, life style, money and prosperity. Market economy (not what we experience today as in crony capitalism but true market economy), scientific rational methods that replace superstitions and blind faith, the rise of the individual as opposed to the mass of people where there are no individuals (as in VL4), are marks of VL5. Initiating action, start-up capabilities, change, experimentation, success and winning are part of this way of thinking which is geared toward progress and high life-style. The ways of the elites of the world, displaying fabulous wealth and trophy wives, competing for market share (of the world), the way of the transnational corporations for whom the people are not human beings but consumers – therefore they need to be sold more stuff even if it is making them sick (se Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and the giant pharmaceutical corporations). The responsibility is with the consumer – if you’re silly enough to buy what we sell, that’s your problem. Humans are resources. We care about profit.
We will continue with the relationship between consciousness and values – stay tuned for Part 3.
Until then, be well