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A nod to the past – those wonderful creatives and explorers of the mind… they knew something was going on! 

Some crazy ideas and enthusiastic self-development evolved through the last century. 

Only when the genius of Richard Bandler got to work and discovered the “structure of magic” did the picture become clear.

Add to this list with your vintage treasures by comments or email me.   

Here’s to curiosity and failure*!

* The popular NLP mantra says “There’s no such thing as failure – only feedback”


Psycho_Pictography by Vernon Howard

Very exciting title!  And the black-and-white diagram promises fun for all the family.  Chapters such as How to face and overcome life’s crises and How you can expel emotional troubles quickly re-inforce the NLP credentials of Vernon Howard’s approach.

The more I scan through this book I think he must have been very excited by what he was using in his life – visualisations, re-framing, emotional control.   The cover blurb says he sold more than 2,000,000 copies of his works around Alchemy, Voodoo, Zoroaster… from Lapland to the Congo!   I hope the results he found in his own life and those he loved were reward enough for these years of psycho-anthropological study.


How To Stop Worrying And Start Living by Dale Carnegie

I really needed this book.   I had just given up smoking – or rather it had given me up – and this book helped me through the stress that emerged.   Economic downfall closing in, work pressure, disillusionment and disappointment etc… but this really took the edge off it. 

I particularly remember the airtight containers – like a submarine or ship – lock each day in its own airtight container so avoiding the build-up of many worries accelerating and re-inforcing.   A great visualisation.

Dale Carnegie also wrote the self-development classic How to Win Friends And Influence People but for me I found that too facile, cheesy and even manipulative when I read it years later.   How To Stop Worrying… is very practical and full of tips.   It reflects the best tradition of NLP because it works.


Love, Courtship And Marriage

Positively awful nonsense! Victorian puritanical claptrap which might be entertaining if you can get past the veiled racism of phrenology and all that.

This cover is from a re-print in 1967 – the hippy summer of love.

Of course self-development is important to us – because we love.

And even the Victorians recognised that as they loaded a catapult into Modernism and the First World War. Life moves on and it’s great we always try to learn more. Especially when it comes to getting laid.




Cosmic View by Kees Boeke

In 1949 a Dutch teacher worked with his schoolchildren on this demonstration of scale. From a child sat in a chair we go up in 40 pictures to the edge of the universe. Then for laughs they go the other way to see the nucleus of a sodium atom. And this at the beginning of the nuclear age a few short years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This reminds me of some aspects of Provocative Therapy . It’s good to see things from different perspectives. As the American business gurus say “Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.”

As with the physical and visible world so with the unconscious and invisible. Within us can be discovered a very useful infinity. All kinds of chunking up or going into detail can produce transformational insights and revelations. Cosmic!


The Gospel According to St. John

In principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat verbum.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

“Language patterns…are the things that set people free.”
Richard Bandler Make your Life Great

The words we choose create the world we live in. Coaches and trainers and counsellors love the words we have to use for change. This is what we do. The language of love. Language is Love. And everything else is freedom – to misquote Our Lord Bandler! 😉

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