NLP holds that reality is unknown to us. Only how we subjectively experience reality is known to us.

In prison. – My eyes, however strong or weak they may be, can see only a certain distance, and it is within the space encompassed by this distance that I live and move, the line of this horizon constitutes my immediate fate, in great things and small, from which I cannot escape. Around every being there is described a similar concentric circle, which has a mid-point and is peculiar to him. Our ears enclose us within a comparable circle, and so does our sense of touch. Now, it is by these horizons, within which each of us encloses his senses as if behind prison walls, that we measure the world, we say that this is near and that far, this is big and that small, this is hard and that soft: this measuring we call sensation – and it is all of it an error! According to the average quantity of experiences and excitations possible to us at any particular point of time one measures one’s life as being short or long, poor or rich, full or empty: and according to the average human life one measures that of all other creatures – all of it an error! If our eyes were a hundredfold sharper, man would appear to us tremendously tall; it is possible, indeed, to imagine organs by virtue of which he would be felt as immeasurable. On the other hand, organs could be so constituted that whole solar systems were viewed contracted and packed together like a single cell: and to beings of an opposite constitution a cell of the human body could present itself, in motion, construction and harmony, as a solar system. The habits of our senses have woven us into lies and deception of sensation: these again are the basis of all our judgments and ‘knowledge’ – there is absolutely no escape, no backway or bypath into the real world! We sit within our net, we spiders, and whatever we may catch in it, we can catch nothing at all except that which allows itself to be caught in precisely our net.

Daybreak paragraph 117


Reframing means either changing the content of what is at stake or changing the context of what is at stake in such a way that people’s subjective experience of the situation is more positive. Because reframing is too much associated with the as-if frame modern NLP stopped using reframing. Instead it used Complex Equivalence which is a much more powerful tool than reframing and achieve the same if not better results.

On the alleviation of life. – A principal means of alleviating one’s life is to idealize everything that occurs in it; but first, however, one has to make clear to oneself from the art of painting what idealizing means. The painter desires that the viewer shall not observe too precisely, too sharply, he compels him to retreat a certain distance and view the painting from there; he is obliged to presuppose that the viewer will be some quite definite distance from the picture; he must, indeed, even assume an equally definite degree of sharpness of eyesight in his viewer! He must be in no way irresolute in such matters. Everyone who wants to idealize his life must therefore not desire to see it too precisely, he must always banish his view of it back to a certain distance away. This artifice was understood by, for example, Goethe.

Human, All Too Human, book 1, paragraph 279


One of the four requirements for well-formed goals is that you must know what you will hear, feel, see, taste and smell when you reach your goal. In other words, we want the results of NLP to be sensible. That means both smart and perceptible.

The proof of a prescription. – In general, the validity or invalidity of a prescription – a prescription for baking bread, for example – is demonstrated by whether or not the result it promises is achieved, always presupposing it is carried out correctly. It is otherwise now with moral prescriptions: for here the results are either invisible or indistinct. These prescriptions rest on hypotheses of the smallest possible scientific value which can be neither demonstrated nor refuted from their results: – but formerly, when the sciences were at their rude beginnings and very little was required for a thing to be regarded as demonstrated – formerly, the validity or invalidity of a prescription of morality was determined in the same way as we now determine that of any other prescription: by indicating whether or not it has succeeded in doing what it promised. If the natives of Russian America have the prescription: you shall not throw an animal bone into the fire or give it to the dogs – its validity is demonstrated with: ‘ if you do so you will have no luck in hunting’. But one has almost always in some sense ‘no luck in hunting’; it is not easy to refute the validity of the prescription in this direction, especially when a community and not an individual is regarded as suffering the punishment; some circumstance will always appear which seems to confirm the prescription.

Daybreak paragraph 24