Monday, 22 October 2007

Perceptual Positions

Years ago, I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which is a body of knowledge that enables one to understand how the human mind works. One area I found fascinating was the four Perceptual Positions i.e. how we see the world/universe.

In the First position, I experience the world purely from my standpoint i.e. my feelings, thoughts, beliefs and conditioning, which are my filters. It is these filters that enable me to experience the world in my own unique way.

In the Second position, I experience the world through another's standpoint. When I am empathising with someone's situation, I'm in the second position.

In the Third position, I experience the world as the observer. This means that while I'm interacting with people, I get to see their perspective from a detached place. It is at this level that I'm accepting of all that I am and all that another is being without judgment.

In the Fourth position, I experience the world from all three positions. This means I can identify with every single point of view. In other words, we share a common thread. Another way of defining that common thread is Love.

One reason why I didn't pursue NLP to mastership level was because I thought it focused too much on the first three positions, which only reinforce the human personality as split into "them and us." I was more interested in experiencing the Fourth position. I guess that's when I went on my own quest to discover more about the Fourth.

In No More Mr Nice Guy!, I discussed a migraine experience when I was split into the Observer self who was completely detached from the headache and not experiencing any pain; and the me who was having the headache experience. Let me apply the Perceptual Position model to that experience. When I was experiencing the pain, I was experiencing it from the First position. When my mother felt my pain and offered to give me some tablets, she was experiencing the migraine from the Second position. As the Observer that was totally detached, I was in the Third position. However, it was only when I stopped seeing myself as split that I stepped into the Fourth position, when I could feel myself as the one thread, Love, in all experiences. At that moment I integrated myself and I was whole, which translated into no migraine.

As the Fourth Position, I can see that who I am never changes. I am the same Love, Joy, Peace, Light, Wisdom whether I'm being in my own skin, being there for someone, or just being there in silence.

The purpose of life, as I see it, is to live permanently in the Fourth Perceptual Position: to be the Love that I am no matter what the experience. Then and only then am I free to be Me.

I am Me and I will always be Me.


Related articles: No More Mr Nice Guy!; Open for Business; Reality Check; Seeing Through Rose-Tinted Glasses; Staying On an Even Keel; Me, Mine, My, Myself and I are One

Image by: Starchild