According to NLP causality is a distortion of reality.

The error of imaginary causes. To begin with dreams: a cause is slipped after the fact under a particular sensation (for example, the sensation following a faroff cannon shot) — often a whole little novel is fabricated in which the dreamer appears as the protagonist who experiences the stimulus. The sensation endures meanwhile as a kind of resonance: it waits, so to speak, until the causal interpretation permits it to step into the foreground — not as a random occurrence but as a “meaningful event.” The cannon shot appears in a causal mode, in an apparent reversal of time. What is really later (the causal interpretation) is experienced first — often with a hundred details that pass like lightning before the shot is heard. What has happened? The representations which were produced in reaction to certain stimulus have been misinterpreted as its causes. In fact, we do the same thing when awake. Most of our general feelings — every kind of inhibition, pressure, tension, and impulsion in the ebb and flow of our physiology, and particularly in the state of the nervous system — excites our causal instinct: we want to have a reason for feeling this way or that — for feeling bad or good. We are never satisfied merely to state the fact that we feel this way or that: we admit this fact only — become conscious of it only — when we have fabricated some kind of explanation for it. Memory, which swings into action in such cases without our awareness, brings up earlier states of the same kind, together with the causal interpretations associated with them — not their actual causes. Of course, the faith that such representations or accompanying conscious processes are the causes is also brought forth by memory. Thus originates a habitual acceptance of a particular causal interpretation, which, as a matter of fact, inhibits any investigation into the real cause — it even excludes it.

Twilight of the Idols, The Four Great Errors, paragraph 4


In NLP causation is considered to be a distortion of reality because there doesn’t exist such a thing as a cause and effect. For that reason within NLP we don’t look for the root cause of the problem as they would in psychology, but rather make sure that we help people overcome the symptoms of their issues. When you get rid of all the symptoms of the problems then there are no hidden or repressed problems anymore. In fact the person is free of problems.

The error of a false causality. Humans have always believed that they knew what a cause was; but how did we get this knowledge — or more precisely, our faith that we had this knowledge? From the realm of the famous “inner facts,” of which not a single one has so far turned out to be true. We believe that we are the cause of our own will: we think that here at least we can see a cause at work. Nor did we doubt that all the antecedents of our will, its causes, were to be found in our own consciousness or in our personal “motives.” Otherwise, we would not be responsible for what we choose to do. Who would deny that his thoughts have a cause, and that his own mind caused the thoughts? Of these “inward facts” that seem to demonstrate causality, the primary and most persuasive one is that of the will as cause. The idea of consciousness (“spirit”) or, later, that of the ego (the “subject”) as a cause are only afterbirths: first the causality of the will was firmly accepted as proved, as a fact, and these other concepts followed from it. But we have reservations about these concepts. Today we no longer believe any of this is true. The “inner world” is full of phantoms and illusions: the will being one of them. The will no longer moves anything, hence it does not explain anything — it merely accompanies events; it can also be completely absent. The socalled motives: another error. Merely a surface phenomenon of consciousness, something shadowing the deed that is more likely to hide the causes of our actions than to reveal them. And as for the ego … that has become a fable, a fiction, a play on words! It has altogether ceased to think, feel, or will! What follows from this? There are no mental causes at all. The whole of the allegedly empirical evidence for mental causes has gone out the window. That is what follows! And what a nice delusion we had perpetrated with this “empirical evidence;” we interpreted the real world as a world of causes, a world of wills, a world of spirits. The most ancient and enduring psychology was at work here: it simply interpreted everything that happened in the world as an act, as the effect of a will; the world was inhabited with a multiplicity of wills; an agent (a “subject”) was slipped under the surface of events. It was out of himself that man projected his three most unquestioned “inner facts” — the will, the spirit, the ego. He even took the concept of being from the concept of the ego; he interpreted “things” as “being” in accordance with his concept of the ego as a cause. Small wonder that later he always found in things what he had already put into them. The thing itself, the concept of thing is a mere extension of the faith in the ego as cause. And even your atom, my dear materialists and physicists — how much error, how much rudimentary psychology still resides in your atom! Not to mention the “thing-in-itself,” the horrendum pudendum of metaphysicians! The “spirit as cause” mistaken for reality! And made the very measure of reality! And called God!

Twilight of the Idols, The Four Great Errors, paragraph 3


Cause and effect statements are a distortion of reality according to NLP. In fact there are no cause and effects. Hence claiming that there are causes distorts reality. So if you want to use your communication for clarification and thus follow the guidelines of the metamodel you need to refrain from the use of cause and effect statements. On the other if you want to use the reversed metamodel as part of the Miltonmodel to influence people than the use of cause and effect is highly recommended. Nevertheless, NLP is only applied correctly when you are able to use cause and effect statements without believing in their truth or existence.

The cause of itself is the best self-contradiction that has ever been conceived, a type of logical rape and abomination. But humanity’s excessive pride has got itself profoundly and horribly entangled with precisely this piece of nonsense. The longing for “freedom of the will” in the superlative metaphysical sense (which, unfortunately, still rules in the heads of the half educated), the longing to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for your actions yourself and to relieve God, world, ancestors, chance, and society of the burden – all this means nothing less than being that very cause of itself and, with a courage greater than Munchhausen’s, pulling yourself by the hair from the swamp of nothingness up into existence. Suppose someone sees through the boorish naivete of this famous concept of “free will” and manages to get it out of his mind; I would then ask him to carry his “enlightenment” a step further and to rid his mind of the reversal of this misconceived concept of “free will”: I mean the “un-free will,” which is basically an abuse of cause and effect. We should not erroneously objectify “cause” and “effect” like the natural scientists do (and whoever else thinks naturalistically these days –) in accordance with the dominant mechanistic stupidity which would have the cause push and shove until it “effects” something; we should use “cause” and “effect” only as pure concepts, which is to say as conventional fictions for the purpose of description and communication, not explanation. In the “in-itself ” there is nothing like “causal association,” “necessity,” or “psychological un-freedom.” There, the “effect” does not follow “from the cause,” there is no rule of “law.” We are the ones who invented causation, succession, for-each-other, relativity, compulsion, numbers, law, freedom, grounds, purpose; and if we project and inscribe this symbol world onto things as an “in-itself,” then this is the way we have always done things, namely mythologically. The “un-free will” is mythology; in real life it is only a matter of strong and weak wills. It is almost always a symptom of what is lacking in a thinker when he senses some compulsion, need, having-to-follow, pressure, unfreedom in every “causal connection” and “psychological necessity.” It is very telling to feel this way – the person tells on himself. And in general, if I have observed correctly, “un-freedom of the will” is regarded as a problem by two completely opposed parties, but always in a profoundly personal manner. The one party would never dream of relinquishing their “responsibility,” a belief in themselves, a personal right to their own merit (the vain races belong to this group –). Those in the other party, on the contrary, do not want to be responsible for anything or to be guilty of anything; driven by an inner self-contempt, they long to be able to shift the blame for themselves to something else. When they write books these days, this latter group tends to side with the criminal; a type of socialist pity is their most attractive disguise. And, in fact, the fatalism of the weak of will starts to look surprisingly attractive when it can present itself as “la religion de la souffrance humaine”: this is its “good taste.”

Beyond Good & Evil paragraph 23


For a further explanation see: cause.

‘Cause and effect’. – In this mirror – and our intellect is a mirror – something is taking place that exhibits regularity, a certain thing always succeeds another certain thing- this we call, when we perceive it and want to call it something, cause and effect – we fools! As though we had here understood something or other, or could understand it! For we have seen nothing but pictures of’causes and effects’! And it is precisely this pictorialness that makes impossible an insight into a more essential connection than that of mere succession.

Daybreak paragraph 121


If an explanation makes use of cause and effect it is not a clarification but a distortion of reality according to NLP.

Cause and Effect. — We say it is “explanation”; but it is only in “description” that we are in advance of the older stages of knowledge and science. We describe better, — we explain just as little as our predecessors. We have discovered a manifold succession where the naive man and investigator of older cultures saw only two things, “cause” and “effect”, as it was said ; we have perfected the conception of becoming, but have not got a knowledge of what is above and behind the conception. The series of “causes” stands before us much more complete in every case; we conclude that this and that must first precede in order that that other may follow — but we have not grasped anything thereby. The peculiarity, for example, in every chemical process seems a “miracle”, the same as before, just like all locomotion; nobody has “explained” impulse. How could we ever explain! We operate only with things which do not exist, with lines, surfaces, bodies, atoms, divisible times, divisible spaces — how can explanation ever be possible when we first make everything a conception, our conception! It is sufficient to regard science as the exactest humanizing of things that is possible; we always learn to describe ourselves more accurately by describing things and their successions. Cause and effect: there is probably never any such duality; in fact there is a continuum before us, from which we isolate a few portions ; — just as we always observe a motion as isolated points, and therefore do not properly see it, but infer it. The abruptness with which many effects take place leads us into error; it is however only an abruptness for us. There is an infinite multitude of processes in that abrupt moment which escape us. An intellect which could see cause and effect as a continuum, which could see the flux of events not according to our mode of perception, as things arbitrarily separated and broken — would throw aside the conception of cause and effect, and would deny all conditionality.

Gay Science paragraph 112

Showing the succession of things ever more clearly is what’s named explanation: no more than that!

Notebook 35, May – July 1885, paragraph 52


One of the reason people believe in cause and effect is that they believe in the existence of laws of nature. But this mistakes a mathematical description of an event for an explanation. It also explains how cause and effect is tied up with necessity.

The ‘regularity’ of a succession is only a figurative expression, as if here a rule were being obeyed: it is not a fact. Likewise ‘conformity with a law’. We find a formula to express a kind of sequence that occurs again and again: doing this doesn’t mean we have discovered a ‘law’, and even less a force which is the cause of the recurrence of sequences. That something always happens thus and thus is here interpreted as if a being’s always acting thus and thus resulted from obedience towards a law or a legislator, while without the ‘law’ it would be free to act otherwise. Yet precisely that thus-and-not-otherwise might originate in the being itself, which behaved thus and thus not on the prompting of some law but as constituted thus and thus. It only means: something cannot be something else as well; cannot do first this, then something different; is neither free nor unfree, but just thus and thus. The mistake lies in a subject being invented in.

Notebook 2, autumn 1885 – autumn 1886 paragraph 142