Facts Can Tell You What To Do

Written by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D Posted in L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. on Thursday, 06 January 2022.

From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #78
December 6, 2021
Facts #8

The Transition from Is to Ought

First, the is.  What exists—where, when, and in what way.  What we can assert as a true and valid statement about the data we discover in the world. Normally facts point to grounded sensory-based information.  Yet Maslow also noted that they also point in a direction, i.e., they are vectorial.

“Fact just don’t lie there like pancakes, just doing nothing; they are to a certain extent signposts which tell you want to do, which make suggestions to you, which nudge you in one direction rather than other.  They ‘call for,’ they have demand character, they even have ‘requiredness’ as Kohler [co-founder of Gestalt] called it.” (Farther Reaches of Human Nature, 1971, p. 26, italics added)

The discovery of facts, truth, and reality depends on what is, that is, on what exists.  When you know what is, often you then know what to do.  In fact, Maslow suggested that the facts, the is,  can tell you want to do.  He illustrated by referring to carving a turnkey. 

“Carving a turkey is made easier by the knowledge of where the joints are, how to handle the knife and fork —that is, by possessing fully knowledge of the facts of the situation.  If the facts are fully known, they will guide us and tell us what to do.  But what is also implied here is that the facts are very soft-spoken and that it is difficult to perceive them.  In order to be able to hear the fact-voices, it is necessary to be very quiet, to listen very receptively. ... If we wish to permit the facts to tell us their oughtness, we must learn to listen to them in a very specific way...” (Ibid., p. 120)

Now “to listen very receptively,” in NLP terms, is “losing the mind and coming to one’s senses.” It is coming into an uptime state (rather than down inside oneself) and into sensory awareness.  Then you can more cleanly see and hear reality for it is rather than for what you wish it to be.  As Maslow was modeling fully functioning people, he noted that the self-actualizing person is “a good perceiver of reality and truth” and has a “clear perception of facts” because he accepts reality for what it is.  He places no demands on reality.  This enables her to see what is the case and to end up be superior in perception of reality and in the ability to reason.

The Fear Pandemic Worsens

Written by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D Posted in L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. on Thursday, 06 January 2022.

From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #77
December 1, 2021                                                
Facts #7
A Mental Health Alert


It was reported this week that there’s a new variant, the omicron.  When it was reported by a doctor in South Africa, the doctor said that those who had catch it had “very mild symptoms” and they were all treated at home.  No hospitalizations.  That was the “fact.”  Oh, yes, there was one more “fact”— there is, as of today, not a single case at this date in the United States.

But facts have to be interpreted.  And that is exactly what the mainstream media did, the
President did, and Wall Street did.  However, how they interpreted it and the kind of reasoning they used in interpreting it created an even bigger problem.  Yes they reasoned from the facts but they did not do a very good job in reasoning.

Reasoning About Facts

Written by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D Posted in L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. on Thursday, 06 January 2022.

From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #76
November 29, 2021                                              
Facts #6


When you reason, you reason using facts and about facts.  The process begins with data, the data is then turned into facts as a factual statement that assert something.  The process for turning the details into facts involves reasoning—how you order your thoughts.  This process is the very way that you and I construct meaning.  We invent meaning about what exists and so in our reasoning we make factual statements, “X exists,” “There is such a thing as Y.”  We invent meanings about causes, “X causes Y.”  We make meanings about what’s important and significant, “X is Z (a value term).”  The bottom line is that we have to structure facts, to put them together in an ordered form to construction meaning.

In this way each of us invents our sense of reality for ourselves.  We express this in NLP by calling it a person’s model of the world.  This internal representation of things that we select and present to ourselves operates like a map—we map what things are, how they work, the rules by which they work, what we can or should do, etc.  To make all of this work, we first construct facts and then we work the facts into a coherent picture or a coherent narrative as the story we tell ourselves.  As we do, we start to assume our facts and take them for granted.  This moves the facts to a position where they are unquestioned, and even unquestionable.  They become the premises upon which we build more elaborate theories and understandings.

Amazing, isn’t it?  I hope this description brings into focus the critical nature of facts and the importance of getting your facts right.  This is such an important piece for clear thinking, rational reasoning, and creation of knowledge that makes a positive difference in your life.  Only in that way can your reasoning from the facts give you a map by which you then navigate your life effectively and productivity.

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