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The Structure of Synergy Applied to the NLP Community

The Structure of Synergy Applied to the NLP Community


Whatever Happened to ‘Abundance’? Did the Scarcity Meme Gobble it Up? As you look out onto 'the NLP community' does it strike you (as it does me) that we have an abundance of the Scarcity Model and a Scarcity of the Abundance Model? We talk about, and even presuppose, a Model of Abundance, and yet as a community we seem to live and act more according to a Model of Scarcity. What gives? How do we explain this? And even more important, what can we do about it in order to get Abundance Mentality more and more into our way of being in the world and recognized as the very spirit of NLP? When NLP first burst upon the scene, Grinder and Bandler spoke about operating from a model of the world that presupposed abundance rather than scarcity. This attitude, in fact, set NLP apart from most of the other models of human beings and human functioning. Now I don’t know where precisely they picked this up from, but I would suspect they got it from Satir or Erickson with their abundant attitudes of possibility, optimism, options, and flexibility. And they may have also picked it up from Bateson who wrote extensively about systemic processes and the abounding emergence of new properties. Now some theorists might want to argue that scarcity has deep roots, even 'deep blood,' in our very 'nature.' They might want to argue that we have evolved successfully by adapting to scarcity and so we inevitably default to a competitive Win/Lose style. Such genetic determinists would reason we fall back to Win/Lose competitiveness, beating out a competitor, operating from scarcity, etc. as part of our genetic heritage. Evolution has made win/lose, scarcity, competitiveness, etc. our 'natural' default program.Personally, I don’t believe that. It seems to me that at best, the idea of scarcity exists as a meme (a culturally transmitted idea) rather than a gene in our species (see Mark Furman’s articles on Memes, July and August, 1998). And if our race has experienced scarcity of resources and unmistakable universal experience of the Win/Lose mentality (as it surely has over the centuries and millennia), it only makes sense that a meme on the order of 'Survival of the Fittest, 'There’s only so much of the pie to go around,' 'Every time someone wins, someone else loses,' etc. has developed as a model of the world. Aristotelian either-or thinking would have further supported this idea.