One of the three main processes in our brain, our language and communication is that of generalization. In order to be able to communicate we must express the identity of one thing to another, and the sameness of our words.

The development of consciousness as an apparatus of government: only accessible to generalizations. Even what the eye shows enters consciousness generalized and trimmed.

Notebook 34, April- June 1885 paragraph 187


Richard Bandler, the creator of NLP, is a genius. Not only in coming up with NLP as a methodology, set of techniques and attitude. But also when you see him work with people it is pure genius.

My conception of genius. — Great men, like great ages, are explosives in which a tremendous force is stored up; their precondition is always, historically and physiologically, that for a long time much has been gathered, stored up, saved up, and conserved for them — that there has been no explosion for a long time. Once the tension in the mass has become too great, then the most accidental stimulus suffices to summon into the world the “genius,” the “deed,” the great destiny. What does the environment matter then, or the age, or the “spirit of the age,” or “public opinion”! Take the case of Napoleon. Revolutionary France, and even more, prerevolutionary France, would have brought forth the opposite type; in fact, it did. Because Napoleon was different, the heir of a stronger, older, more ancient civilization than the one which was then perishing in France, he became the master there, he was the only master. Great men are necessary, the age in which they appear is accidental; that they almost always become masters over their age is only because they are stronger, because they are older, because for a longer time much was gathered for them. The relationship between a genius and his age is like that between strong and weak, or between old and young: the age is relatively always much younger, thinner, more immature, less assured, more childish. That in France today they think quite differently on this subject (in Germany too, but that does not matter), that the milieu theory, which is truly a neurotic’s theory, has become sacrosanct and almost scientific and has found adherents even among physiologists — that “smells bad” and arouses sad reflections. It is no different in England, but that will not grieve anybody. For the English there are only two ways of coming to terms with the genius and the “great man”: either democratically in the manner of Buckle or religiously in the manner of Carlyle. The danger that lies in great men and ages is extraordinary; exhaustion of every kind, sterility, follow in their wake. The great human being is a finale; the great age — the Renaissance, for example — is a finale. The genius, in work and deed, is necessarily a squanderer: that he squanders himself, that is his greatness! The instinct of self-preservation is suspended, as it were: the overpowering pressure of outflowing forces forbids him any such care or caution. People call this “selfsacrifice” and praise his “heroism,” his indifference to his own well-being, his devotion to an idea, a great cause, a fatherland: without exception, misunderstandings. He flows out, he overflows, he uses himself up, he does not spare himself — and this is a calamitous involuntary fatality, no less than a river’s flooding the land. Yet, because much is owed to such explosives, much has also been given them in return: for example, a kind of higher morality. After all, that is the way of human gratitude: it misunderstands its benefactors.

Twilight of the Idols, Skirmishes of an Untimely Man, paragraph 44


In NLP there are four conditions for well-formed goals:

  1. Goals need to be stated positively, i.e. you have to figure out what you want rather than what you don’t want.
  2. You need to know what you feel, hear, see, smell and/or taste when you reach your goal. Otherwise you might achieve your goal without knowing it.
  3. You need to be able to achieve your goal yourself.
  4. Your goal needs to be okay for you, your loved ones and your environment.

‘Nothing too much!’ – How often the individual is advised to set himself a goal that he cannot reach and is beyond his strength, so that he will at least reach that which his strength is capable of when put to the farthest stretch! But is this really so desirable? Must even the best performers who live according to this teaching, and their best performances, not acquire something exaggerated and distorted precisely because there is too much tension in them? And when as a result one sees nothing but struggling athletes, tremendous efforts, and nowhere a laurel-crowned and triumphant victor, does that not envelop the world in a grey veil of failure?

Daybreak paragraph 559

Good feelings

It is a mistake to think that NLP is about peak experience. NLP is about feeling good for most of the time.

It is not the strength, but the duration of high feelings that makes great men.

Beyond Good & Evil paragraph 72

Lofty Moods. — It seems to me that most men do not believe in lofty moods, unless it be for the moment, or at the most for a quarter of an hour, — except the few who know by experience a longer duration of high feeling. But to be absolutely a man with a single lofty feeling, the incarnation of a single lofty mood — that has hitherto been only a dream and an enchanting possibility: history does not yet give us any trustworthy example of it. Nevertheless one might also some day produce such men — when a multitude of favorable conditions have been created and established, which at present even the happiest chance is unable to throw together. Perhaps that very state which has hitherto entered into our soul as an exception, felt with horror now and then, may be the usual condition of those future souls: a continuous movement between high and low, and the feeling of high and low, a constant state of mounting as on steps, and at the same time reposing as on clouds.

Gay Science paragraph 288

Having much joy. – He who has much joy in his life must be a good man: but he is perhaps not the cleverest, even though he has attained precisely that which the cleverest man strives after with all his cleverness.

Human, All Too Human, part 2, paragraph 48