“Neuro-Semantics” is it a new word, or is it a new concept? Dr. Hall states, “Neuro-Semantics is actualizing your highest and best. It is making real your highest meanings and visions, and it is implementing your best values and ethics.” How is that done? Again by Dr. Hall, “Neuro-Semantics is Winning the Inner Game.” The inner game is won through asking questions about the meanings we give to things in life. It is questions asked by others, asked by coaches, or questions asked by self. In any case, it is checking our assumptions, checking our beliefs, checking our meanings, updating our meanings and then performing those new meanings that enhance our inner game.

Given that we are the meaning makers and that meaning only exists “in here” and not “out there” we start to get a picture of the earliest Neuro-Semanticist - Socrates. It has been said that the Oracle of Delphi stated that Socrates was the wisest man alive. When Socrates heard this it bothered him because he realized that he could not be the wisest man alive, but the oracle stated such. So Socrates went about to find men who were wiser than he, but after much inquisition, he found that there were none who were wise; they only thought they were wise (they thought meaning exists as actual, and not as ephemeral). Socrates finally came to the conclusion that what the Oracle must have meant by calling him the wisest man alive was that, “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” And to Socrates, knowing that one knows nothing, is wise. What was that nothing that Socrates knew? What did he mean that the only thing he knows is that he knew nothing? Was Socrates a Neuro-Semanticist?

We are the meaning makers; meaning is an inside game, lived and expressed through our outside game. If we are the meaning makers, then when I know something, that is, give meaning to something, then all I know is that which I gave the meaning, and not the meaning itself. I know what I believe to be right, or believe to be beautiful, but I cannot know what is beautiful, for beauty is an inside game. I only know that I believe something is beautiful, but I cannot know what beauty is. One is intrinsic, the other extrinsic. I can know the intrinsic meaning, but the extrinsic does not exist. This is so with all meaning. I feel, I believe, I value, I evaluate, but in truth, all I know about that belief, that value, and that feeling, is that I have it. That is all I know. I have the belief of a specific value, or a value of a specific belief. If you ask me what I know, I can only, in truth, Socratic and Neuro-Semantic, state that I believe or that I feel that this is such and such (nice, kind, beautiful etc.), yet outside of knowing that I believe or feel or value such and such, I know nothing because we are the meaning makers. I know my meaning, and nothing else.

What other Neuro-Semantic ideas did Socrates have? How about “Know thyself.” Does that fit within the domain of Neuro-Semantics? To update meta-programs, do we not become self-reflexive and know ourselves? Can we perform our highest meanings if we do not know our highest (meta) meanings? We must know ourselves. We move along the self-actualization quadrants by performing our meanings and adding meanings to our performance; can we do that if we do not “know thyself?” The Meta-Coach and Neuro-Semantic trainers bring the client up and down the ladder of meaning until the person loops back on themselves; this usually represents the core belief, value, feeling, etc., that represents a “know thyself.” It is through knowing oneself, one’s beliefs, values, interests, etc. that one can then add meaning to his or her performance and add performance to the meanings. Know Thyself!

It would seem then that thinking humans, down throughout the ages have recognized the role that meaning plays in everything. Neuro-Semantics is the phrase, or to answer the interrogative from the first part of the first paragraph, Neuro-Semantics is new word, updated with new robust meaning, of ideas of men of old who loved knowledge, who sought wisdom, who changed the world and the way we think. Thus begins the history of Neuro-Semantics, a new word, an old concept.

For more information about this subject and the idea of self-actualization please visit the website www.cfsas.org

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Charles DesJardins is the founder and president of the Center for Self-Actualization Studies. I have lead corporate performance improvement change for many years. I am certified and experienced in Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and Lean Office, Organizational Development, Coaching, Leadership, peak performance, Training and developing individuals and organizations in and through the self-actualization process.

I have been responsible for training, coaching, and mentoring teams to improve organizational performance resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of savings, reductions of quality issues, and improved organizational performance.

I am a Certified Meta-Coach and I have my Ph.D. in Training and Performance Improvement. I also have a M.B.A in Strategic Management.

I teach graduate and undergraduate classes at several accredited Universities in the Foundations of Business, Leadership, Strategic Management, and Business Research Methods.

I am also the publisher and chief editor of the Journal of Self-Actualization Psychology