The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Modeling: Beliefs


We talk a lot about body, mind, and spirit…but how exactly do you quantify such things?  It’s my belief that the ultimate truth of these subjects is beyond direct discussion, but we can have great fun dancing around it.

The discipline of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) long ago said that if you want to pattern the skills of another human being, you would examine the belief systems (emotions), mental syntax (mind) and use of physiology (body), and then implant them into your own consciousness.

This can easily be applied to writing.  Our belief systems are composed of symbols and the emotions anchored to them.  What are relationships?  When you close your eyes and think of one, do you visualize happy, intimate people, or a screaming fight?  A ball and chain, or a secure home?

When  you think about career, do you visualize a service-oriented existence?  A thieving salesman?  An impoverished artist?  What beliefs underlie each of these images?

When you think about the body, do you visualize someone who can’t change their body composition regardless of what they do?  A child being abused?  A master athlete?  A sensual encounter?  What do each of these images say, and what beliefs underlie them?

When you create characters, do you create them with conscious awareness of the way their lives represent belief systems on your part?  On the way their actions and the world’s reactions represent your thoughts on the ethical structure of the universe? 

These things cannot be separated from the life you yourself lead.  Look more deeply into that life…find your attitudes. Decide if they will actually take you where you want to go.  If so, nurture them.  If not, change them.

How?  Well…that would be telling, wouldn’t it?  Heh heh.  More later…

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