NLP is all about what you can actually do and your subjective experience.

On the ‘realm of freedom’. – We can think many, many more things than we can do or experience – that is to say, our thinking is superficial and content with the surface; indeed, it does not notice that it is the surface. If our intellect had evolved strictly in step with our strength and the extent to which we exercise our strength, the dominant principle of our thinking would be that we can understand only that which we can do – if understanding is possible at all. A man is thirsty and cannot get water, but the pictures his thought produces bring water ceaselessly before his eyes, as though nothing were easier to procure – the superficial and easily satisfied character of the intellect cannot grasp the actual need and distress, and yet it feels superior; it is proud of being able to do more, to run faster, to be at its goal almost in a twinkling – and thus it is that the realm of thought appears to be, in comparison with the realm of action, willing and experience, a realm of freedom: while in reality it is, as aforesaid, only a realm of surfaces and self-satisfaction.

Daybreak paragraph 125


Besides a methodologies and techniques is NLP fore and foremost an attitude. It is an attitude of experimenting. Trying to figure what happens if you do this or that.

Sense for Truth. — Commend me to all scepticism where I am permitted to answer: “Let us put it to the test!” But I don’t wish to hear anything more of things and questions which do not admit of being tested. That is the limit of my “sense for truth”: for bravery has there lost its right.

Gay Science paragraph 51

From this morbid isolation, from the desert of these years of temptation and experiment, it is still a long road to that tremendous overflowing certainty and health which may not dispense even with wickedness, as a means and fish-hook of knowledge, to that mature freedom of spirit which is equally self-mastery and discipline of the heart and permits access to many and contradictory modes of thought- to that inner spaciousness and indulgence of superabundance which excludes the danger that the spirit may even on its own road perhaps lose itself and become infatuated and remain seated intoxicated in some corner or other, to that superfluity of formative, curative, moulding and restorative forces which is precisely the sign of great health, that superfluity which grants to the free spirit the dangerous privilege of living experimentally and of being allowed to offer itself to adventure: the master’s privilege of the free spirit! In between there may lie long years of convalescence, years full of variegated, painfully magical transformations ruled and led along by a tenacious will to health which often ventures to clothe and disguise itself as health already achieved. There is a midway condition which a man of such a destiny will not be able to recall without emotion: it is characterized by a pale, subtle happiness of light and sunshine, a feeling of bird-like freedom, bird-like altitude, bird-like exuberance, and a third thing in which curiosity is united with a tender contempt. A ‘free-spirit’- this cool expression does one good in every condition, it is almost warming. One lives no longer in the fetters of love and hatred, without yes, without no, near or far as one wishes, preferably slipping away, evading, fluttering off, gone again, again flying aloft; one is spoiled, as everyone is who has at some time seen a tremendous number of things beneath him- and one becomes the opposite of those who concern themselves with things which have nothing to do with them. Indeed, the free spirit henceforth has to do only with things – and how many things! – with which he is no longer concerned …

Human, All Too Human, Preface paragraph 4


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