One of the most important metaprograms is called “away from” / “towards”. This is the distinction that some people motivate them by focusing what they want to get away from (and hence they filter reasons to move towards something away). Or people who motivate themselves by moving towards a goal (and hence filter reasons to move away from something bad).

The desire for suffering.- When I think of the desire to do something, how it continually tickles and stimulates millions of young Europeans, who cannot endure themselves and all their boredom.-I conceive that there must be a desire in them to suffer something, in order to derive from their suffering a worthy motive for acting, for doing something. Distress is necessary! Hence the cry of the politicians, hence the many false trumped-up, exaggerated “states of distress” of all possible kinds, and the blind readiness to believe in them This young world desires that there should arrive or appear from the outside-not happiness – but misfortune; and their imagination is already busy beforehand to form a monster out of it, so that they may afterwards be able to fight with a monster. If these distress-seekers felt the power to benefit themselves, to do something for themselves from internal sources, they would also understand how to create a distress of their own, specially their own, from internal sources. Their inventions might then be more refined, and their gratifications might sound like good music : while at present they fill the world with their cries of distress, and consequently too often with the feeling of distress in the first place! They do not know what to make of themselves — and so they paint the misfortune of others on the wall; they always need others! And always again other others! — Pardon me, my friends, I have ventured to paint my happiness on the wall.

Gay Science paragraph 56


Chunking is based on David Boyd’s hierarchical analysis. Chunking is way of determining where the boundaries lie of whatever has our interest. A chunk is a  piece of information at a particular level of details. Up chunking means getting less detail and more abstraction by figuring out of what set the subject is part of. Down chunking is the opposite: getting more details and less abstraction. Lateral chunking is getting more similar informational pieces at the same level of detail/abstraction. Finally there is a metaprogram called chunk-size where people filter out information that differs from their preferred level of details and abstraction.

Order of rank. – There are, first of all, superficial thinkers; secondly, deep thinkers – those who go down into the depths of a thing; thirdly, thorough thinkers, who thoroughly explore the grounds of a thing – which is worth very much more than merely going down into its depths! – finally, those who stick their heads into the swamp: which ought not to be a sign either of depth or of thoroughness! They are the dear departed underground.

Daybreak paragraph 446


Sorting for sameness or difference is one of the metaprograms.

What is ‘knowing’? Tracing something alien back to something one is acquainted’ and familiar with. First principle: what we have got used to we no longer consider a riddle, a problem. The feeling of the new, of the discomfiting, is dulled: everything that happens regularly no longer seems questionable to us. This is why the knower’s first instinct is to look for the rule – whereas, of course, finding the rule doesn’t yet mean anything at all is ‘known’! – Hence the superstition of the physicists: where they can stand still, i.e., where the regularity of phenomena allows them to apply abbreviating formulas, they think knowing has taken place. They have a feeling of ‘security’, but behind this intellectual security is the soothing of their fearfulness: they want the rule because it strips the world of dreadfulness. Fear of the unpredictable as the hidden instinct of science. Regularity lulls to sleep the questioning (i.e., fearing) instinct: to ‘explain’ is to show a rule in what happens. Belief in the ‘law’ is belief in the dangerousness of the arbitrary. The good will to believe in laws has helped science to victory (particularly in democratic eras).

Notebook 5, summer 1886 – autumn 1887 paragraph 10


A useful metaprogram is the one called “filter on/off”. The brain has to filter out a lot of the data that the five senses produce in order to work. Every person filters a lot. Yet, sometimes some people filter a little bit less than others. Even if an average person filters out like 98% of the data and someone else would filter only 97% that 1% difference can mean a whole lot of problems. For instance, in most cases of real High Sensitive Persons (HSP) what is happening is that said person is filtering maybe 1% or 2% less than average. For instance, if people experience something traumatic the brain might change the way it filters and filter less in order to try to not overlook what happened just before the traumatic event in the senseless notion that if only the brain had filtered less the trauma might have been avoided. Of course this is nonsense and fortunately with NLP it is easy to get the brain to filter more so the HSP disappears.

The fundamental errors. – For man to feel any sort of psychical pleasure or displeasure he must be in the grip of one of these two illusions: either he believes in the identity of certain facts, certain sensations: in which case he experiences psychical pleasure or displeasure through comparing his present states with past ones and declaring them identical or not identical (as happens in all recollection); or he believes in freedom of will, for instance when he thinks ‘I did not have to do this’, ‘this could have happened differently’, and likewise gains pleasure or displeasure. Without the errors which are active in every psychical pleasure and displeasure a humanity would never have come into existence – whose fundamental feeling is and remains that man is the free being in a world of unfreedom, the eternal miracle worker whether he does good or ill, the astonishing exception, the superbeast and almost-god, the meaning of creation which cannot be thought away, the solution of the cosmic riddle, the mighty ruler over nature and the despiser of it, the creature which calls its history world history! – man is the vanity of vanities.

Human, All Too Human, book 3, paragraph 12


One of the more useful metaprograms is the one that is called “sameness/difference” Our brain works by making things the same. Evolutionary this has  a great advantage because once your learn that a specific tiger is dangerous you don’t have to learn that again for the next tiger you meet. Sameness makes life saver. So the brain filters out differences. Nevertheless in some people the brain filters out less differences and in others more. That distinction can be described within NLP with the metaprogram “sameness/difference”.

Judgement: this is the belief that ‘such and such is the case’. Thus, judgement involves admitting having encountered an identical case: it thus presupposes comparison, with the help of memory. Judgement does not create the appearance of an identical case. Instead, it believes it perceives one; it works on the supposition that identical cases even exist. But what is that function, which must be much older and have been at work much earlier, that levels out and assimilates cases in themselves dissimilar? What is that second function which, on the basis of the first, etc. ‘What arouses the same sensations is the same’: but what is it that makes sensations the same, ‘takes’ them as the same? – There could be no judgments at all if a kind of leveling had not first been carried out within the sensations: memory is only possible with a constant underscoring of what has been experienced, has become habit – – Before a judgement can be made, the process of assimilation must already have been completed: thus, here too there is an intellectual activity which does not enter consciousness, as in the case of pain caused by an injury. Probably, all organic functions have their correspondence in inner events, in assimilation, elimination, growth, etc. Essential to start from the body and use it as a guiding thread. It is the far richer phenomenon, and can be observed more distinctly. Belief in the body is better established than belief in the mind. ‘However strongly something is believed, that is not a criterion of truth.’ But what is truth? Perhaps a kind of belief which has become a condition of life? In that case, its strength would indeed be a criterion. E.g., regarding causality.

Notebook 40, August – September 1885 paragraph 15


In NLP we have so called metaprograms. A metaprogram is a brain filter. Our senses produce way too much data. For instance a single eye produces about one million signals per second. Within psychology there is a dubious experiment that tries to show that our consciousness is only capable of processing two hundred signals per second. Even if we take this figure with a pinch of salt, the way our brain works by more and more abstracting data a lot of data is lost. NLP describes this loss as metaprograms. Although there aren’t specific metaprograms in the brain we as human interpreters of the lost data can name certain parts  of this lost data to single that part out to use within specific NLP techniques and NLP strategies. For that reason it is important to note that metaprograms are made up rather than found. And that, although you can make up hundreds of metaprograms, there are only a handful that are helpful.

Our perceptions, as we understand them: i.e., the sum of all those perceptions the becoming conscious of which has been useful and essential to us and to the whole organic process before us; not, then, all perceptions in general (e.g., not the electrical ones). That is: we have senses only for a certain range of perceptions – those we have to be concerned with in order to preserve ourselves. Consciousness exists to the extent that consciousness is useful. There is no doubt that all sensory perceptions are entirely suffused with value judgments (useful or harmful- consequently pleasant or unpleasant). A particular color simultaneously expresses a value for us (although we seldom admit this to ourselves, or only after a single color has operated on us for a long time, e.g., for prison inmates or lunatics). This is why insects react differently to different colors: some they love, e.g., ants.

Notebook 2, autumn 1885 – autumn 1886 paragraph 95


Sameness is one of the two option in the metaprogram “sorting for sameness or sorting for differences”.

Sameness and similarity: (1) the cruder organ sees much illusory sameness (2) the mind wills sameness, i.e., the subsumption of a sensory impression into an existing series: just as the body assimilates inorganic matter into itself. On the understanding of logic: the will to sameness is the will to power. – the belief that something is thus and thus, the essence of judgement, is the consequence of a will that as far as possible it shall be the same.

Notebook 2, autumn 1886 – autumn 1886 paragraph 90


One of the more useful metaprogram is the hierarchy of value. On any topic you can determine which values are in the top 3. These are the values that the brain processes. All other values are filtered out.

The world which matters to us is only illusory, is unreal. – But the concept ‘really, truly there’ is one we drew out of the ‘mattering-to-us’: the more our interests are touched on, the more we believe in the ‘reality’ of a thing or being. ‘It exists’ means: I feel existent through contact with it. – Antinomy. To the same degree that this feeling produces life, we posit meaning in what we believe is the cause of the stimulation. Thus, we construe ‘what is’ as what exerts an effect on us, what proves itself by exerting its effect. – ‘Unreal’, ‘illusory’, would be that which is incapable of producing effects, yet appears to produce them. – Supposing, though, we put certain values into things, then these values have effects back on us after we’ve forgotten we were the ones who put them in. Supposing I think someone is my father, then much follows from that concerning everything he says to me: it’s interpreted differently. – Thus, given the way we comprehend and construe things, the way we interpret them, it follows that all the ‘real’ actions of these things upon us then appear different, newly interpreted – in short, that they exert different effects on us. But if all construals of things have been false, it follows that all the actions of those things upon us are felt and interpreted in terms of a false causality: in short, that we measure value and disvalue, benefit and harm, in terms of errors, that the world which matters to us is false. Fundamental solution: we believe in reason, but this is the philosophy of grey concepts; language is built in terms of the most naive prejudices now we read disharmonies and problems into things because we think only in the form of language – thus believing in the ‘eternal truth’ of ‘reason’ (e.g., subject, predicate, etc.) we cease thinking when we no longer want to think within the constraints of language, we just manage to reach the suspicion that there might be a boundary here. Thinking rationally is interpreting according to a scheme we cannot cast away.

Notebook 5, summer 1886 – autumn 1887 paragraph 19

One should at last put human values nicely back in the corner where alone they have any right to be: as personal little values. Many species of animal have already disappeared; if man disappeared as well, nothing would be lacking in the world. One must be enough of a philosopher to admire even this nothingness (- Admire nothing -)

Notebook 11, November 1887 – March 1888 paragraph 103