On the NLP Modeling of Wolves, like Shamanic Power Animals.

This is a slightly edited version of an email reply to someone. Details of the recipient, & direct quotations have been removed. They asked: (1) How one might model a wolf, (2) What that might do for them, & (3) How one might use the non-verbal communication of a wolf to improve one's daily life?

    What you ask is indeed a difficult question, or not, depending on where one stands today. And I believe that you may be asking me this question on several levels. You ask how to model, which in NLP is usually about Behavior. And yet, given that you have just returned from seeing [Trainer Omitted], you *know* at some innate level that it is more than about behavior... it goes straight to the heart of beliefs. And to press the point, you raise the issue of how Native American Indians succeed in such a modeling process? Those who know any Native Americans and have taken the trouble to ask them of their heritage would know that this goes not to behavioral context but to beliefs... and often two beliefs in particular. That what we may have believed we are, we are not necessarily, and, that what we believe we can become, we can become. Amongst others, necessarily, of course, of course.

    Have you ever walked into a fight situation and diffused it nonverbally? In terms of how wolves might imply trust, or other emotional states?

    Have you ever felt the electricity of the fight-or-flight-response and turned it into twice as much analytical focus of your own and other people's kinesthetic responses? In such a way that your sensory acuity as to how much sharper your sensory acuity has become is as clear as the crystal that rings the bell? Ring a bell? No? What do you think I mean?

    Have you ever wanted to feel more loyalty or commitment to a mate, and not known what behaviors would help prove to you that you had it within you to show that commitment and mean it fully with every cell of your body?

    Have you ever found yourself walking down a dangerous street and known, somehow known, that you were (1) practicing behavior that would prevent anyone, and I mean anyone from assuming they could take advantage of you? or (2) in such a state that you were bleeding off energy that, if it could talk, would say, 'you go your way, I'll go mine, perhaps we can meet, talk, become friends, perhaps not. But if you think you're going to take advantage of me, it may have been your last thought.' Know that if you model the wolf, you must accept that it is a predator. And yet, know also that it doesn't kill for fun or pleasure, it only kills to survive. It is intrinsically a finely-tuned -- and elegant -- survivor. Could that be useful set of places to START?

    Perhaps going to the Zoo is another way. Perhaps renting real wolf documentary films or mainstream wolf films (other than Disney movies) would be helpful. One I would recommend would be "Call of the Wild."

[The poster of the original questions had then pointed out that in using NLP, a practitioner might ask a certain set of questions, in a directed way, in order to improve (or perfect or optimize or verify) some developing model. According to this individual, in the case of modeling a wolf, we cannot ask questions; we have to rely on our imaginations!]

    I believe the information is still ALL OUT THERE. And you can model non-verbally. Sometimes, the verbal language literally gets in the way. It takes beliefs. It takes some time &/or opportunity to watch & model behavior(s), then it takes a willingness to go wherever the 'trying on of the model' takes you, before you can choose what to discard, reduce, or amplify.

    I find most animals are much simpler than us. They are in touch with their survival instincts and skills to a much greater degree! Most everything in their lives hinges much closer to that basic mindset/skill set -- than does most everything in our lives. So by modeling animals, I believe we have the opportunity to approach a purity of experience and intent often missing from 'normal' human everyday life. Since most people are intimidated by, or are easily led by, real congruity, that could be a useful 'class' of mental states to nourish and nurture in your work with NLP....

    Or, perhaps the simplicity of pleasure to an animal is an idyllic state for many of us to experience pleasure.

[The individual then pointed out the differences between modeling a wolf, and imagining being a wolf. Then I was asked if the hallucination can become a model, and how?]

    And how, indeed!

    The hallucination can be a wonderful meditative state to help amplify your modeling work. But since your brain knows who you are, it might bode poorly for you, and get you into troublesome situations, if you were to somehow convince yourself that you WERE a wolf. So I think the difference is in the outcome you choose from the activity of modeling or hallucinating.

    I am always curious to learn of other opinions on this matter, of course, and I categorically do NOT presuppose that my own is any "better" than anyone else's! Mine is just one human opinion. It's still just a reflection of my own map.

    Show me my deletions, distortions, and generalizations, I beg you!


Jonathan Altfeld