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To a Hammer, the Whole World is a Nail

 Dr. Robert Dee McDonald


Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a cognitive science used by practitioners to examine subjective experiences, copy them, and create goal-oriented procedures, designed to help people achieve measurable results.


From perhaps the largest perspective, the Perennial Philosophy, NLP fits snugly within the Great Chain of Being, which consists of five levels of reality: matter, life, mind, soul and divine.  NLP clearly belongs to the psychological domain and relates effectively to the first three levels. The relationship of NLP to the two Spiritual levels, however, reveals a limitation inherent in NLP:  Like a hammer to which the whole world is a nail, NLP reduces Spirituality to mental representations, ultimately based on the body's sensory systems.


This unavoidable reduction is the glory and the gloom of NLP. 


Glory because, being single-mindedly utilitarian and not encumbered by questions of the Good, the True and the Beautiful, this reduction has made possible the creation of tools that rapidly resolve many forms of human suffering, all the while improving self-confidence and astounding professionals and the lay public alike. That is, by reducing nominalizations to sensory-based representations, NLP transforms ideas, opinions and conclusions into useful observations and step-by-step procedures, the foundation of measurable achievement.


Gloom because this same reduction either ignores or leads people away from the Divine, the numinous, the ultimate Good, "the many-splendored thing." By explaining all human experiences, including the Spiritual -- infinite existence, infinite consciousness, infinite bliss -- in terms of modalities, submodalities, perceptual positions, and physiology, NLP reveals its fundamental limitation: Being a cognitive science, the highest level of reality it can acknowledge is its own.


One remedy is The Destination® Method, which uses the extraordinary power of NLP but continually opens to heart-felt compassion, based on a practical Spiritual model that includes and fosters the Path of the Seven Virtues: authenticity, humility, mercy, forgiveness, grace, wisdom and love.