Why Japanese people cannot become innovators and/or cognitive expansionists

One of my coaching clients who had begun to read “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari, after coming to know about it through my online newsletter in Japanese, recently sent me an email, saying that she was not able to finish the whole book because the general tone of the author’s claims was too materialistic to her and because she couldn’t find any “perspective of God” in the book, which she believed was indispensable in a book about the human history.

I replied to her in the following way:

While I may be able to agree to your comments about the book, I personally have been literally flabbergasted by Harari’s claim that the “cognitive expansionism” (this is my own terminology) of modern Western empires has enabled the humanity to continually get out of their own boxes and to expand their own consciousness on a perpetual basis, thus making it possible for them to discover the unknown continent of America, go as far as California during the Gold Rush period, invent electric bulbs, cars, airplanes, telephone, radio, television, nuclear weapons, spaceships including Apollo 11, and so on. This cognitive expansionism further later enabled modern Americans to discover and explore “the unknown territory of altered states of consciousness” during the sixties’ Counter-culture revolution, as well as “the unknown territory of Cyberspace” to start various revolutions in the fields of IT, VR, AI, genetic engineering, molecular biology, etc., from the late nineties.

Am I the only person who can see, and be astounded by, the fact that there is the single invisible thread tying all the above-mentioned examples of the unknown territories having been discovered and explored by the Western imperialists since 1492 until the present time?

This consistent thread may be said to be the “cognitive expansionism a la modern Western empires,” and, of course, I can admit that this particular interpretation of the modern human history a la Harari may not be prevented from being heavily biased, but still I have never encountered such a worldview as his, which I can consider to be probably the very best “model of the world” currently available for coherently explaining what has been happening to the human history at least since the discovery of the New Continent of America made by Columbus in 1492.

Also, although modern Japanese people have been (unconsciously) enjoying round the clock, virtually without any exceptions, the phenomenal (i.e., superficial) manifestations of the philosophy implied in the cognitive expansionism, as newly discovered and explored both real and pseudo-real territories or products, such as cars, airplanes, radios, televisions, mobile telephones, the Internet, worldwide travels, modern medical care, and so on – as if they were incurable heavy addicts of these staffs – it is nothing but amazing to dare to point out that none of these discoveries and inventions has historically been made by a Japanese, and that such innovators as can make “epoch-making” discoveries and/or inventions of this caliber can never be produced in Japan, where cognitive expansionism cannot be taken root structure-wise.

If fact, I had more or less intuitively had this epistemological conclusion before I came back to Japan in 2001 after my stay in Europe for some 20 years, but have come to be able to begin to tangibly and unmistakably feel that it is indeed the case, during my actually living in Japan in the middle of Japanese people for the last 15 years; for me, my recently happening to read Harari’s “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” and discovering (that is, coining) the term “cognitive expansionism,” were “the last straw that breaks the camel’s back” that made me come to the very final verdict about the matter.

It is fabulously, or ridiculously, interesting that such a conclusion about the Japanese nation, which I believe may rather be taken for granted in the international community, may not be universally supported in Japan, and that an “inconvenient truth” revealed by such a non-authoritative person as myself (laughs) simply tends to be completely silenced and/or to fall on deaf ears in this community.

As I indicated in the above quotation, Harari’s claim in “Sapiens” that it was the modern Western empires’ “cognitive expansionism” that has started in 1492 the discoveries and explorations of a series of “unknown virgin territories” in the modern human history may be heavily biased, though I believe that he has provided us with the most relevant model of the world currently available for making sense of what has been happening in the modern human history, in the sense that such modern products as cars, mobile phones and the Internet may have already become “must” items for people living not only in Japan but also in the savannas of Africa, which means that the modern imperialism and/or capitalism has virtually held hegemony in the whole world, after having wiped communism out from the surface of the earth (this fact may not be denied by any intellectually sensible person).

Further, Harari made an interesting contention in his second book “Homo Deus” that there is a clear distinction between consciousness and intelligence, and that, while they used to be nearly entirely overlapped with each other in human beings, in the recent years, the intelligence decoupled from consciousness has begun to be taken care of by the AI (artificial intelligence), like in such cases as the chess game where computers can now beat the top level players, automated manufacturing factory systems, autonomous cars, medical diagnosis, etc.

According to Harari, AI will in due course begin to hold hegemony – not unlike the Western modern imperialism – over human beings, by monopolizing the whole “algorithms” which would control not only behaviors but also feelings of human beings (Harari says that this situation has already been happening to the customers of Amazon or Facebook, who are successively shown the ads on the computer monitor to tell them what they should, or are supposed to, like and/or want to buy, after continually submitting their precious personal information to their computer algorithm systems which continue to accumulate big data so that their sets of algorithms may become more and more perfect until they eventually become, so to speak, “virtual God”). Harari arrives in his book at the rather dismal conclusion that, when algorithms begin to control human beings, they will either be exterminated as outcasts of the society like animals who have been historically dominated and/or domesticated by human beings, or constitute an elite class of “Homo Deus (divine human beings),” who will become a small number of dominators of the society, after upgrading their own mind and brains so that they may be able to cope with the “God as Algorithm.”

Harari provides his readers with this kind of doomsday scenario because he believes that we will be able to create our own future by closely investigating our past, and wants us to regard his scenario as one of many possible options, and it is amazing to know that his books are now very popular in the Western countries and that he has been lecturing for international audience, as a guest speaker, at such influential bodies as Harvard, BBC, Google, Ted, etc.

Yet, I am not sure how many Japanese people could grasp the real meanings of Harari’s alarm bells, because they don’t seem to have the habit of “cogitating;” for instance, Japanese people have begun in the recent decades to read books considerably less and less, thus throwing an alarming number of publishers out of business. They seem to want to remain within their own boxes where they let their minds controlled by an endless series of cliches and stereotyped ideas. I used to advise my students in my courses and workshops to study English – or any foreign language, for that matter – to get out of their own boxes, or to do consciousness expansion related experiments by going to the areas and countries outside Japan where the staffs used for this purpose are legalized, but have personally known in person no single Japanese individual who has followed my advice (!).

When I privately mentioned to my students the “youth culture” which I knew was current in the Western countries, I frequently was told by them who probably didn’t know the actual state of affairs abroad that what I was talking about must be what had been the case in the past, but was no more. Once one of my students told me that his breathing technique was “far out” and was beyond chemical staffs like LSD. When I asked him whether he had compared these two methods himself, he told me “How can I dare to try such a dangerous staff? I have never tried it, but SIMPLY KNOW that my technique is superior to LSD” (because perhaps some authoritative person had told him so?). Here, I personally have no qualm whatever with his stance that he never tried chemical substances – people are totally free to do or not to do anything, and it might after all turn out to be better for his mental welfare – but what I unfortunately can NEVER accept and what I think is the very cause of the “ridiculousness” of the Japanese mentality in general, is for someone to make an a priori judgements and comparisons in relation to WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW; they don’t even want to try to know what they don’t know yet in the first place.

I believe that what I described in the last paragraph above is also probably the biggest reason why Japan has historically not produced any cognitive expansionist, or any innovator of the caliber of the CEO’s of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla, for that matter.

Incidentally, Japanese people in general, who have never experimented with chemically altered states consciousness, tend to boast of their own “altered states generating products,” such as comic cartoons and computer RPG games.

It is true that I can see that Japanese people, to whom the Counter-culture revolution has not been introduced at all except for T-shirts and jeans in the sixties, historically began to go into their own “drug-free” altered states of consciousness, through cartoons and computer games, and have since become “masters” versed in these virtual reality fields, but, unfortunately, there are at least two serious epistemological problems about their situation:

One, they are really and sincerely proud of their own inner world filled with fancy cartoon heroes and figures, firmly believing that their own type of altered states of consciousness is definitely superior to, and healthier than, the “type ARTIFICIALLY induced by ‘dangerous’ chemical staffs,” while not having tried to experience them themselves, possibly except for the very creators of the cartoons and RPG games softwares that their customers naively adore (laughs).

One has the intrinsic right to make one’s own judgment, but I think that it is an “epistemological suicide,” if one makes a judgment about something one doesn’t know; in the ultimate analysis, consciousness altering substances are dangerous to Japanese people, apparently only because the government tells them so.

It is here interesting to note that I recently came to know about the fact that the constitutions of the Western countries presuppose and guarantee (or rather reserve) the right of the respective nations in question to OVERTURN their own governments or royal regimes. Now, I believe that this fact is simply inconceivable to Japanese people (I have not known it myself until I recently heard this discussion made in an online video by a Japanese university professor specialized in international politics).

I think that Japanese people may have been “brain-washed” (probably during the GHQ occupation period after the end of the War) to believe that democracy is based on the people delegating their own representatives to the parliament where decisions are made by a majority – which I think is no problem – and that, once these representatives decide, they need to BLINDLY and UNCONDITIONALLY follow these decisions – which I think is very dangerous – while feeling that they literally helplessly cannot do anything, because these decisions “come from above,” by which I mean that Japanese people tend to completely surrender themselves to the authorities which they regard as existing above them; they may be after all forced to believe that they should not be able to say No any more to someone, once they have already surrendered themselves to him or her (this very unfortunately reminds me of the young Kamikaze airplane pilots at the end of the War).

Two, I personally explicitly distinguish “good trance” from “bad trance;” by the former, I mean entranced states of consciousness which paradoxically assist one to eventually get out of trance (and to go to the Meta position), while by the latter, I mean those which make one continue to remain in trance.

Thus, I consider TV, daydreams, sports, gambling, etc., to be bad trances, while I consider, for instance, Vipassana like meditation to be good trance.

Now, in my own opinion, comic cartoons and computer games should be regarded as bad trance, because I can say for sure that cartoon readers and RPG game players definitely cannot help but remain in the same entranced states, but cannot imagine them becoming more aware of their behavioral and psychological patterns after finishing their reading or playing. On the other hand, in my opinion, NLP exercises can be regarded as good trance, mainly because, for instance, each time one does an NLP exercise, one becomes more aware of what one was previously doing in an unconscious way, and because it further enables its practitioner to reactivate rather at will the entranced state one has experienced in the past; unless one finds oneself out of trance, such a psychological manipulation would be simply impossible. It is for the same reason that I can consider consciousness expanding substances to be good trance.

Further, I believe that most of the “pre-NLP” hard therapies, such as Encounter, Primal, etc., tend to produce bad trance in the clients, in the sense that the clients can temporally obtain “psychic releases” after catharsis-like experiences in these therapy works, but will need to sooner or later come back to the same works again and again because they are unable to change the programmings of their behavioral patterns through these works.

In this connection, when I used to be living abroad, the only Japanese scholar I was eager to meet in person was Shinichi Yoshifuku, a well known transpersonal psychologist, and I finally managed to meet him in 2012 in two of his workshops held in Japan before his death in the following year, and was simply dumbfound to know that he had been doing therapy works, which were as hard as, even harder than, those prevailing at the Esalen Institute, etc., during the sixties, i.e., the “pre-NLP” period. Yoshifuku even intimidated me in front of his clients of the workshop, by shouting “Immediately stop teaching such a nonsensical thing as NLP!”

I couldn’t understand why he said this to me at that time, but now thinks that he had been in the opinion that what “emotionally oriented” Japanese people really need is not such “superficial” psychological manipulations as induced by NLP, but rather proper “emotion-laden” therapy work of “psychology of the depth,” where the clients can sufficiently “ground themselves,” by feeling their own inner emotions, etc.

(By the way, I now find it exceptionally interesting and dangerously paradoxical that, although I have been through my online newsletters providing my Japanese students/clients with rather highly profound (i.e., “deep”) and comprehensive expositions on how human mind works, from an epistemological and/or NLP point of view, the typical reaction I have received from them was, for instance, “Your writing is too long and complicated for me.” Yet, the very same Japanese people would categorically say that they don’t like to have “superficial” experiences, but “deep” ones. I strongly wonder if what they mean is that they would like to experience only “‘deep’ feelings,” but cannot tolerate any “‘deep’ thinking” at all?)

I now have come to the conclusion that, while Japanese people indeed do need to go through heavy therapy works as “pre-NLP” experiences, in order to indulge themselves in their own “emotional quagmire” BEFORE deciding to want to get out of it on the one hand, they don’t need to go back to the same bad trance, again and again, as “therapy addicts,” on the other hand, and that they can indeed get out of it through such good trance producing tools like NLP.

By the way, it is William Burroughs, one of the most influential beatniks representing the Beat Generation, that provided us with a highly insightful definition about the difference between consciousness expanding “soft” drugs and addition inducing “hard” drugs. He made the following comment in his article featured in the edited book “LSD: The consciousness-expanding drug,” published in 1964:

I will describe a simple experiment that will make the distinction between sedative and consciousness-expanding drugs more precise. So far as I know this experiment has not been carried out in detail. Here is the proposed experiment: Administer a consciousness-expanding drug together with a precise array of stimuli – music, pictures, orders, tastes – timed and recorded so that the entire battery of stimuli can be exactly repeated. Some days later when the effect of the drug are completely dissipated expose the subject to the stimuli in the same order. To what extent is the hallucinogen experience reactivated? Everyone who has used consciousness-expanding drugs knows that any one stimulus experienced under the influence of the drug can reactivate the drug experience. There is every reason to believe that the drug experience could be recaptured in detail with a precise repetition of associated stimuli.

Now try the same experiment with a morphine addict. Administer a doze of morphine together with a battery of stimuli. Wait until withdrawal symptoms occur. Now repeat the stimuli. Is any relief from withdrawal symptoms experienced? On the contrary, the associated stimuli reactivate and intensify need for the drug. The same is true of alcohol. Stimuli associated with the consumption of alcohol activate the need for alcohol and conduce to relapse in the cured alcoholic.

The use of sedative drugs leads to increased dependence on the drug used. The use of consciousness-expanding drugs could show the way to obtain the useful aspects of hallucinogen experience without any chemical agent. Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways, given sufficient knowledge of the mechanism involved.

I have not personally encountered such a crystal-clear definition about the topic as his to date, and believe that the same distinction can be applied to the difference between good trance and bad trance. Namely, good trance is “consciousness-expanding” and non-addictive, while bad trance is “consciousness-stagnating” and addictive.

(Incidentally, this analysis made by Burroughs serves, as far I am concerned, as the most succinct rationale available as to why NLP and my own method as its derivative can be described “as ‘in-brain drug dispensers,’ meaning that they turn out to be a purely psychological set of tools enabling their users to reactivate the same states of consciousness they have experienced in the past, by simply secreting the same natural neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, etc., without depending on any outside substances,” as I expounded in the “Definition” page of this site.)

It is very sad that, while I think that Western people are at least intuitively amenable to Burroughs’ very intelligent definition, which would enable them to have decent and mature discussions among them about such delicate issues as drugs – I believe that this is exactly what has been happening in the Western countries in the recent decades – Japanese people who have no frame of reference whatever for discussing such a topic, are not in a position at all to discuss it in a mature and composed manner, and cannot but help showing totally knee-jerk reactions to any mere mention made about ANY drug of any nature.

Here, I may be able to make the conclusion that Asian people – or the Japanese nation, for that matter – are, in general, the people who live within the “consciousness-stagnating” paradigm and are “non-cognitive expansionists,” while Western people in general are the people who live within the “consciousness-expanding” paradigm and are “cognitive expansionists.” The former can function only within the framework where everything is known, and once they find themselves outside that framework, they get at a loss and simply don’t know what to do – they are rather very good at enlarging the size of the pie they already have – while the latter are ready to go out of the framework where everything is known, in oder to discover and explore an unknown virgin territory; they are rather good at making an epistemological quantum jump, enabling them to find another pie of an altogether different nature.

In this connection, there is an “all-revealing” illustration which compares a ship of the armada of Zheng He during China’s Ming dynasty with Columbus’ ship at:


That is, this illustration insightfully proves that, when modern Western empires based on cognitive expansionism unanimously sought to discover new virgin territories during the 15th century, Asian empires at that time, certainly with more resources than the Western counterparts, could have done the same, if they had had only the desire to do so, but in reality opted for being content with “obtaining more of the same,” i.e., trying to conquer only their neighboring countries.

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About the forthcoming online newsletter/How I can be an innovation modeling consultant

I am currently planning to start to publish my online newsletter in English, entitled “A Psychonaut’s Monolog.”

In fact, I have been publishing an NLP related online newsletter in Japanese since 2003, and the total number of published issues is 386 to date (you can read the English translations of the initial 12 issues by clicking here).

I have been also publishing another online newsletter in Japanese for the subscribers of the closed membership (the latest issue No. is #48); I therefore already have rather a plenty of materials to translate into English, though I for obvious reasons will not be ready to translate everything I have written in these newsletters.

I would like to enumerate below what kinds of topics are expected to be covered in the forthcoming newsletter:

1) I would like to go through all the pages of the NLP related newsletter (a total of well over 1,000 pages), and pick up important and relevant discussions for translation, if and as necessary, which I will regard as hopefully interesting to the fellow English speaking psychonautical travelers.

2) I would like to do the same with the other more recent newsletter which was started in March 2016. In the different issues of this newsletter, I detailed the epistemological discoveries I had made after I left the NLP industry a few years ago and started to work as an executive life coach for my individual clients.

These discoveries are mainly related to a) how Western “pre-NLP” people (I am especially thinking of the participants of the Human Potential Movement in the sixties) came to recognize that everything they were experiencing may be only projections from the past, and that in-built programmings do exist in their own brains which determine their daily behaviors – I have succeeded in making explicit as a learnable set of exercises this very process which Western people probably are never able to make conscious by themselves – and b) how “pre-NLP” Westerners came to be able to “relativize the reality.”

With regard to the latter finding of mine, I have come to realize that all NLP and related exercises/techniques presuppose the “Choice Point,” a term which John Grinder, a co-founder of NLP and a friend of mine, used in his workshop held in London in 1988, in which I met him for the first time, and was literally flabbergasted by his highly refined epistemological teaching. The choice point is something like an imaginary fixed point of view in a virtual reality museum software in which operating the mouse can navigate you to go forward, to the left or to the right, enabling you to go into various rooms of the museum as you like, to scrutinize the paintings hung in each room, or like a virtual point of view in the Google Map system.

It is interesting to note that, in both cases, you can have a number of alternatives at a certain choice point, but “helplessly” cannot do anything between successive choice points (because there is no recorded data between them in the first place).

Grinder indicated at that time that human beings have a certain number of choice points in their daily life, that the reason why they repeat the same behavioral patterns again and again (possibly as part of their “Karma” repeated reincarnation after reincarnation) is that they have forgotten all the alternatives but one at each choice point, though they were initially available to them, and that NLP is a set of tools enabling its users to flexibly increase the number of alternatives at their disposal at each choice point (he further wisely pointed out that, if one has only one choice, one remains stuck, with two choices, one finds oneself in a dilemma, and, with three choices or more, one becomes free, because if you happen to find yourself in a dilemma, you can always go for the third choice!).

Now, I am now honestly not sure whether what I wrote in the last paragraph above is the literal transcription of what Grinder actually said in the workshop, or whether it is what I later came to understand in my own way after much trial and error – probably the combination of both was the case – but, in any case, this model did bring the most decisive and long lasting effects on me; retrospectively speaking, I even can go so far as to say that the single element that made me eventually decide to dedicate my whole life to NLP was the almost divine-like revelation I came to arrive at in Grinder’s workshop in question that I could become free and liberated in not a philosophical but a practical sense, solely by increasing the number of alternatives I can select – and fortunately three choices should always turn out to be sufficient – at each choice point in my real life.

Incidentally, I can add that the Choice Point model presupposes three things; one, human beings behave on the basis of the TOTE process. This well known “Test – Operate – Test – Exit” model proposed by George Miller, Eugene Galanter, and Karl Pribram, means, simply put, the black box-like behavioral process of “Input – Programing – Output” (this “Input” neatly corresponds with Grinder’s choice point).

Two, we can ascertain that we have a set of programmings at each choice point, which will be endlessly and forever repeated, unless we can have more than one alternative at each point, in which case the existing programmed patterns are bound to be interrupted. NLP turns out to be a very efficient set of tools which enables us to increase the number of alternative behavioral patterns.

Three, in order for us to become aware of the fact that we have a set of programmings at each choice point, we necessarily need to go into the “Meta Position,” meaning the Observer or Witness position, from where we can look at ourselves in an objective way, not unlike the “Out-Of-Body Experiences.” (The concept of Witness, which ancient Indian Vedanta sages say is the highest possible state of human consciousness, will be expounded in detail in the forthcoming newsletter in due course.)

Incidentally, with regard to this third presupposition, Stephen Covey, a personal development consultant, quotes a very interesting maxim “Between stimulus and response there is space,” in his well known book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (it appears that the original author of this saying seems to be an Indian guru, whose name I have not yet identified).

According to my own understanding, the more one is in the Meta position, the more space one can find between stimulus and response, and the more flexible alternatives one has in the space in question; this in return means that one is said to be purely like an automated and preprogramed robot, when one finds no space between stimulus and response, while one is said to be an enlightened and liberated person, when one can put infinity in the space in question (!).

Now, although the Choice Point model was the most important single factor in my whole studentship of NLP, Grinder mentioned this model only a couple of times in his London workshop in 1988, and, as far as I remember, I have not heard him mention it any more in his subsequent workshops and courses I took part in during the eighties and the nineties.

This must mean either that he stopped mentioning it because this model had turned out very trivial epistemology-wise, or that it has been so deeply and thoroughly ingrained in the Western NLP practitioners’ mind that they unconsciously have come to take it for granted in a matter-of-course way.

I of course believe that the latter is the case, and indeed I myself have never expounded this model in detail in my own courses and workshops held in Japanese after casually mentioning it a couple of times a la Grinder, because it had already entirely become part of my unconscious and automatized mentation, and also because I sincerely believed, that is, wrongly, that my Japanese students were able to understand the model sufficiently easily to start to take part in the NLP exercises while unconsciously assimilating the model. Of course, I can now say that it was not the case at all.

I came to consciously know that the Choice Point model is a literally crucial aspect of the process of self-transformation, only after discovering that “Japanese people in general believe that their reality is an absolute entity (as something which exists in an a priori way), which they are not supposed to to be able to change in any way (one of my executive clients went so far as to make the comment ‘How can a human being dare to try to change the “sacred” reality given to us by God?’, which, by the way, may be the most aptly epitomizing the attitude of Japanese people vis-a-vis this issue),” as I wrote in one of the recent posts published on this blog site.

Namely, Japanese people who have not gone through any “pre-NLP” disciplines apparently can never conceive of choice points – they typically cannot make head or tail of them, even they are given left brain oriented logical explanation about the model – and this sadly means that Japanese people in general who are devoid of the Choice Point model cannot possibly be made consciously aware of the TOTE process, the existence of the programmings, nor the Meta position, because these three things are something which is presupposed by, and implied in, the model in question alone – while general Western NLP practitioners, whose mentality is amenable to such cognitive expansionist paradigm as Counter-culture, seemingly can accept the model as naturally as they breath air.

In this connection, I can incidentally add that, when I said to Grinder, whom I met again in his workshop in Tokyo in 2016, that he had mentioned the choice point in the 1988 workshop in London no more than a couple of times, he, after agreeing with me about the crucial significance of the model, began, the following day, to very frequently mention and emphasize the model in front of his Japanese students (!). Also, when I indicated to Grinder that, because Western NLP practitioners have been accepting the Choice Point model in a totally matter-of-course manner, they may begin to laugh at me rather in a contemptuous way to hear that I had to dare to make explicit for Japanese people what even kindergarten children in the West may be unconsciously doing, he replied that other Westerners may laugh, but that he himself would like to congratulate me on my epistemological work by saying “Bravo.”

Here, I can conclude that why Japanese people cannot relativize their reality is finally demystified (!).

(By the way, my current impression I have after having taught a certain number of Japanese people my own new techniques developed by modeling Western NLP Practitioners is that they seem to need to be further taught how to apply these “one-level up” (i.e., more abstract) techniques to their inner reality. Namely, those who find themselves in a vicious circle seem not to be able to get out of it, even if they are explicitly taught subdivided or fractal (i.e., more abstract) versions of the escape method; they will always encounter a new situation where they come across something they cannot figure out in a still more subdivided or fractal way. Also, it is very interesting here to note that Western “cognitive expansionists” may begin to willingly try to comprehend the whole situation when they encounter what is totally new and ungraspable to them, while Japanese people in a similar circumstance may typically begin to shrink back, and may remain at a loss and immobile in a totally disoriented state.)


I indicated above that I have successfully developed my own unique exercises by modeling “how Western ‘pre-NLP’ people […] came to recognize that everything they were experiencing may be only projections from the past,” as well as “how ‘pre-NLP’ Westerners had come to be able to ‘relativize the reality’.” This reminds me of the fact that native English speakers more often than not have great difficulties to logically explain the syntactic structures of the language they speak, while I, as a non-native foreigner who started to learn English as late as at the age of 12, later came to be able to logically analyze all the syntactic and grammatical aspects of the language in a, say, quasi-perfect way.

I believe that this IS the strongest USP (unique sales proposition) of mine, in the sense that I can give, say, unheard-of and/or out-of-the-box advice to Western masters of NLP as a Japanese epistemologist well versed in NLP, as well as to Western executive businessmen as a unique Japanese consultant well versed in cross-cultural communication.

My unique greatness, if any, can be found in the very fact that I can go out of the box to always look from outside at what the already innovative and/or genius Westerners are doing in a totally unconscious way, in order to successfully model it so that I may be able to provide them with an explicit set of learnable tools – they intrinsically cannot make their unconscious patterns explicit from within the box they find themselves in – which in turn will not fail to enable them to endlessly become more and more innovative and/or genius, through my further assistance with incremental modeling work given to them.

No wonder why the Japanese students I have so far taught my innovation modeling methodology in my courses and workshops have apparently not been impressed by it at all, all the more because they themselves were not up to the level of the targets of my modelings, e.g., native English speakers, Western NLP masters, etc., and were utterly unable to make sense of what these Westerners are doing within their heads in the first place.

Also, I feel that the fact that my works have turned out not to be so effective to Japanese people in the last 15 years is, as far as I am concerned, something like a valuable “medal of honor” for me, all the more because, paradoxically speaking, I have rather succeeded in making what the Western masters and/or geniuses do unconsciously and/or automatically transparent as a learnable set of psychological tools, SOLELY by contrasting the behavioral and psychological patterns of Japanese people (i.e., non-masters and/or non-geniuses) with those of the Westerners in question. It is very clear that, without my ill-fated but inevitable failure to “wake up” the sleeping Japanese people, I would have never been able to arrive at my recent important epistemological discoveries, which I hope will turn out to be both of great value and seminal to serious Western epistemologists, including both NLP masters and visionary business entrepreneurs seeking to become more and more innovative and ingenious.

Be that as it may, I might hopefully prove to be an exceptionally unique person who would be in a position to provide international VIP people with such an innovation modeling work.

I personally and stealthily am inclined to believe that the real values of my high level unique “innovation consulting services” might be properly grasped only by such visionary and genius entrepreneurs as the CEO’s of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla (!). I further clandestinely desire to be part of a think factory of such enterprises, so that I may exclusively work for them as an innovation modeling consultant.

If you happen to be interested in my consultancy work as described above, then please consider having personal coaching sessions offered by me, and contacting me through the Contact page of this site.

3) In the online newsletter in Japanese for the subscribers of the closed membership, I introduced the works of such important thinkers as Neville Goddard, Robert Scheinfeld, and Fumio Nishida, whose works I would like to elaborate on in the forthcoming newsletter in due course.

In brief, I found that Goddard’s claim that you are within the godly consciousness, whenever you imagine as if your desire was already fulfilled, while you live within the sinful consciousness, whenever your desire is not fulfilled, and that to achieve the godly consciousness by imagining that your desire is already fulfilled does mean your redemption, is simply fascinating.

He further advises us to “think from [something],” instead of to “think of [something].” In the latter case, according to him, you are outside of what you desire, and therefore will never be able to obtain it, because you are continually sending your unconscious mind – or the whole universe, for that matter – the presupposed message that you don’t have what you desire in the first place, while in the former case, you are already inside of what you desire, and therefore will not fail to obtain it, because you are continually sending your unconscious mind the presupposed message that you already have what you desire in the first place. I found that this position of Goddard must be very valid and extremely useful.

Also, when I read “Busting Loose From the Business Game” by Scheinfeld, I was simply stunned to know that a simple mantra (or affirmation) he devised can be used to deprogram, rather than reprogram (a la NLP), our behavioral patterns, so that we may approach the so-called divine consciousness which is intrinsically devoid of all programmings.

I have been using my own version of mantra based on the original version a la Scheinfeld since I came to know about his method a couple of years ago, and have been ascertaining that once the old programmings are gone through the mantra, they would never come back to me. It is true that, when I used to extensively practice NLP exercises during the nineties (when I was staying in the UK), I had a similar feeling that the old programmings never would come back to me, but I tangibly realize that Scheinfeld’s “deprogramming method” has an “additional vertical” aspect; namely, while NLP, as a “reprogramming method,” can enable me to achieve, so to speak, horizontal self-transformation, it seems to me not to be able to make me devoid of more and more of old programmings to approach the pure divine consciousness, that is, upward, like in the case of Scheinfeld’s method.

Also, I am glad to say that I have succeeded in integrating NLP with Scheinfeld’s method to create a magick-like new technique so that the phenomenal world and the noumenal (yonder) world may be vertically transcended and fused in a cyclic and endless way.

By the way, Scheinfeld regards the phenomenal world as a holographic world, following another important thinker, Michael Talbot, who wrote “The Holographic Universe,” etc.

I will discuss the works of these holography oriented thinkers in the forthcoming newsletter.

Also, I happen to come across a quite interesting Japanese sports consultant, Fumio Nishida. I read nearly all of his books written in Japanese, mainly in oder to understand how the mind of ordinary Japanese people works, and came to know that unless one’s “amygdala” begins to feel pleasure, none of one’s efforts in the fields of sports, art, business, language learning, meditation, diet, desk work, etc., can bring any positive and enduring outcomes.

Unfortunately, Nishida never mentions any sources of his ideas either in the footnotes or in the bibliographies of his books – which I thought is quite unethical on his part and is not academic at all (he seemingly even goes so far as to recommend a kind of plagiarism to the readers (!); I think that his books would never be translated into foreign languages) – therefore, I had to begin to try to identify by myself who the worldwide authority in the study of amygdala is, and this search eventually led me to discover the name of Joseph LeDoux whom I will mention in the next paragraph.

4) I have published a total of seven recently written essays on my Japanese site. They mainly covered the topics related to my recent study of influential neuroscientists like LeDoux and Stanislas Dehaene, as well as to the important history books “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” by Yuval Noah Harari.

I intend to translate these seven essays in my forthcoming online newsletter in English, as faithfully as the original texts possible.


PS: I have been encouraged by an adviser to write a several thousand pages long book in English, bound in sheep-skin, about human consciousness. Well, I now think that I would like to write an at least several hundred pages long book on the history of human consciousness, in which the contents of the forthcoming newsletter will certainly be incorporated in some form or another. For this purpose, I may need to dedicate myself to scholarly research hopefully with some kind of sponsorship, which also should cover my current work as an epistemological modeler and/or innovation modeling consultant.

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Why I decided to start to become active in the English speaking environment

I used to live in the Western countries including the UK where I stayed for 15 years and in the Sahara Desert, between 1981 and 2001.

When I was living in London, I was extensively trained by the very top NLP trainers, and began to teach NLP in Japan after coming back to my native country in 2001. I have since held a number of certification courses for a total of over 1,500 students.

The main reason why I deliberately left the English speaking environment in 2001 and decided to dedicate myself solely to the NLP training in Japanese vis-a-vis Japanese people was that I had previously gone through a series of radical self-transformations through NLP, which I would define as a “methodology for continually getting out of one’s own box (mind, frame of reference, model of the world, presuppositions, etc.) and for expanding one’s own identity and consciousness on a perpetual basis,” and was firmly convinced in 2001 that this “mind-blowing” psychology, which can definitely be regarded as a “child” of the Counter-culture Movement of the sixties, and which I have only recently begun to describe as a “psychological epitome of cognitive expansionism,” could bring revolutionary breakthroughs to the minds of the whole Japanese nation, so that they may become more spiritually creative and psychically integral.

Well, if I am to be very honest, I now have to confess that this well-intended endeavor on my part has “utterly” failed (!). I will be able to forever go on enumerating an infinite number of small and big incidents I have encountered in Japan for the last 15 years, which have gradually led me to a great disappointment about my own spiritual venture, but would like to mention below only a few number of such incidents:

1) First of all, when I initially started to teach NLP in Japan, I was often literally dumbfound to find that the majority of Japanese students in NLP didn’t come to the industry to achieve their self-transformation, self-realization, inner freedom, etc., but did so only with the aim of obtaining certification papers (!). (One of the students of mine once rather proudly said to me that she had forgotten everything she had been taught by me in the courses in which she had participated several months previously, as if having wasted a lot of money in this way had been her medal of honor.) This was sheerly beyond my comprehension.

Also, the general interest of the whole NLP industry in Japan unfortunately seems to be after all only in how to make money with NLP.

2) I have discovered for the last 15 years that Japanese people in general seemingly don’t “cogitate” (i.e., use their left brain). I think that their ability to think in an abstract way is much lower than that of Western people.

For instance, when I was intensively being trained by the co-founders of NLP, especially by John Grinder, I found that there are similarities among mathematical formulas, linguistic drills, and NLP exercises.

Namely, in mathematics, if you have an abstract formula like “a + b = c,” you can apply any concrete number to “a” and “b” to obtain the necessary answer “c;” in the case of the English language, if you have the syntactical formula “Subject + Verb + Object,” you can “concretize” it, for instance, as “I love you,” in order to have a decent conversation with an English speaking person. Likewise, I found that there existed the formula “Problem + NLP Exercise = Solution,” and I was repeatedly surprised to find that, each time I applied a certain NLP exercise (or technique) to any of my problems in the daily life, that problem was nearly instantaneously solved by itself (!).

I now believe that Japanese people in general are so entangled with the concreteness of their daily life that they simply don’t seem to be able to believe that NLP exercises can change their in-brain programmings which are the very causes of the details of their behaviors.

3) With regard to the fact “that Japanese people in general seemingly don’t ‘cogitate’,” I can further mention two things:

One, I had a chance to publish 108 aphorisms a la Guhen through my Facebook page in 2011. I specially uploaded all the 108 aphorisms for your reference at one of the pages on this site:


At that time, I published an aphorism a day for 108 days, but didn’t receive practically any comments or feedback from the readers who had a look at these aphorisms, except for one of my British friends, with whom I exchanged a series of messages in English.

I believe that Japanese people in general are not up to decent philosophical discussions.

Two, in the last few month, I published on my Web site a few number of essays written in Japanese related to my recent study of influential neuroscientists like Joseph LeDoux and Stanislas Dehaene, as well as to the important history books “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” by Yuval Noah Harari (I intend to translate these essays on my online newsletter in English).

I have not got any tangible feedback from the readers to any of these essays either. I had to conclude that the level of Japanese people’s intelligence may be alarmingly low.

4) I also found that Japanese people consider being unique or different from others to be an anathema or spiritual suicide to them. I believe that NLP is by nature a methodology to seek to be more and more individual and unique.

What is interesting here is that, by way of illustration, no Japanese people dare to cross the road at the red traffic light even when there is no car passing and no apparent danger exists; they might rather decide to cross the road only if ALL of the pedestrians on the spot decide to do so together (!).

5) I came to find crucial aspects about why Japanese people are not amenable to such a behavior-altering methodology as NLP, after I left the NLP industry a few years ago and started to work as an executive life coach for my individual clients.

I often was surprised to hear from rather intelligent clients that they were not able to make head or tail of how to use NLP techniques to “change the reality of their daily life.” When I heard them making this kind of comments, I first was not able to believe them, because, as far as I was concerned, the formula “Problem + NLP Exercise = Solution” simply worked fine with me, and automatically enabled me to continually and rather easily change my inner reality.

It took some while until I finally discovered that Japanese people in general believe that their reality is an absolute entity (as something which exists in an a priori way), which they are not supposed to to be able to change in any way (one of my executive clients went so far as to make the comment “How can a human being dare to try to change the ‘sacred’ reality given to us by God?”, which, by the way, may be the most aptly epitomizing the mentality of Japanese people about this issue); what they can do vis-a-vis their “sacred” reality is only for them to do pure mental rehearsals before the bad thing happens – probably while praying to God so that such a thing may not happen – and to “console” themselves by changing the way they remember the bad thing after “it” happened.

In other words, I found that they could wisely use, for instance, the Anchoring technique (a typical NLP model) to prepare themselves for a certain crisis through doing mental rehearsals beforehand AND to make themselves feel better after the crisis in question has gone, BUT that it NEVER EVER had occurred to them that they could use the same Anchoring technique at the very moment of the crisis.

Now, this situation is like placing the cart before the horse, and I believe that it is something which denies, and goes against, the very “raison d’etre” of NLP (!).

After this unbelievable discovery, I had to continue to ponder for weeks and months over what is the crucial difference between Western NLP practitioners who can wisely change their inner reality and Japanese counterparts who can use NLP only for their mental rehearsals and consolation but cannot change their “untouchable” reality at all.

Then, I later finally came to the conclusion, after a long period of deliberation, that, in the West, there had been a number of “pre-NLP” disciplines such as psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, counseling, coaching, meditation, etc., where the clients usually could sooner or later get deep insights eventually enabling them to recognize that everything they were experiencing may be projections from the past, and that people do what they do because of the in-built programmings (I here specifically am reminded of the Human Potential Movement a la Esalen Institute in the sixties).

Also, I think that Counter-culture of the sixties was obviously another important “pre-NLP” element. It goes without saying that the consciousness-expanding substances hippies were fond of greatly contributed to how “pre-NLP” people were able to discover that their ordinary state of consciousness was not an absolute and fixed one, but rather one of many possible states, and to thus “relativize their inner reality.”

Thus, the problem for the “pre-NLP” Westerners was not any more whether the solid reality existed, but rather how they could change it for better so that they may become happier with it, and I understand that this is how and why NLP was brought into being.

Unfortunately, in Japan, there hadn’t been practically any disciplines mentioned above, nor had Counter-culture existed, prior to NLP. No wonder why Japanese students who come to study NLP without any such advance background cannot believe that their reality is nothing but relative and can be changed in the way it pleases them.

I think that I can safely, albeit unfortunately, conclude that the majority of the Japanese nation still live within the 400 hundred year old Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm, while other (mainly Western) modern nations in general have already begun to function and think, rather basing themselves on Cognitive Expansionism, within such paradigms as Quantum Mechanics, Virtual Reality, Cyberspace, etc., where, practically speaking, literally everything can be relativized. In this sense, the widely held view that Japanese people, as Zen Buddhists, may be specialists in tapping the inner space of Emptiness a la Buddha intrinsically alluded by the prevailing modern paradigms, is unfortunately just a myth (!).

6) By the way, the reason why I personally didn’t fall victim to such a spiritual predicament like other Japanese people was that, after I graduated from a university in Tokyo at the age of 25, I went to the Sahara Desert as a French-Japanese interpreter, and then was initiated by an Indian guru on the West Coast at the age of 27 – I took part in a 7 month long residential psychotherapeutic course in my guru’s commune in Oregon – and went through the process of the Counter-culture revolution in my own style in a belated way when I lived in London, before coming to know about NLP in 1988. Thus, my mind used to be very westernized and still is so.

Also, in the process of discovering that Japanese paradigm is so different that NLP per se may not be after all so effective to them, I have fortunately succeeded in modeling how I know that my programmings produce and determine my behaviors – which is related to the “Intention/Result” model in NLP – as well as how I can relativize my reality.

I have created a series of my own explicit, say, magick-like techniques on the basis of these modelings. I have not had final say as to how much effective they are to Japanese people, with a view to enabling them to get out of their own boxes, but firmly believe that these unique techniques of mine will turn out to be of great value to Westerners, all the more because they will make them consciously aware of what they have been so far doing unconsciously – they usually don’t need to dare to make explicit what they have been successfully doing in a natural way – while taking it for granted.

7) I have been more or less mentioning the spiritual predicament in which Japanese people find themselves, as well as the possible solutions for them to get out of it, such as the unique techniques I have lately developed, in the recent issues of my online newsletters in Japanese, but, unfortunately, my suggestions appear to have fallen on deaf ears (laughs). I once had a comment from one of my advisers that my recent remarks on the topic in question had been becoming more and more “pathetic” (laughs).

I think that I need to by now come to the reluctant conclusion, against my will, that Japanese people would not like to be awaken into “cognitive expansionism” and/or become a “psychonaut,” but to continue to stay in the cozy, lukewarm water like a “frog in the well,” about which I feel I have nothing I can do any more after these sincere efforts to want to assist them to get out of their own boxes on my part for the last 15 years.

This is the main reason why I decided to start to become active exclusively in the English speaking environment again.

I will use this Web site “A Psychonaut’s Monolog” as the main base for propagating my messages for the international audience. The above mentioned friend of mine in the UK once advised me that “it would be perhaps interesting for him [Guhen] to make his online presence even more global by sending his messages out in (at least) more English.”

* * * * * * *

The above is rather my “anthropological” report – or my cross-cultural analysis, for that matter – based on my own experiences in Japan for the last 15 years.

I do hope that this report/analysis will be of interest and of great help especially i) to a small number of Japanese people (who can read my writing in English and) who are really desperate to get out of their own boxes, ii) to high-ranking Japanese corporate people who want to produce international innovative entrepreneurs in Japan for the first time in its history, and iii) to Western executives based abroad or in Japan who would like to understand idiosyncratic behaviors and mentality of their Japanese counterparts.

Be that as it may, I would like to start to provide Westerners with a comprehensive and in-depth set of know-hows about how to effectively communicate with Japanese people from the point of view of cross-cultural communications.

If you are interested in my executive consultancy services of the nature I described above, please contact me via the “Contact” page.

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The “Services” page of the site of Office Kitaoka Inc.

I thought that the content of the “Services” page of the site of Office Kitaoka Inc., may turn out of interest to the readers of this blog site, which is quoted below:

Guhen has recently been working as a life coach for both Japanese exclusive clients and English speaking executives based in Tokyo, teaching them a set of powerful psychological and meditative tools enabling them to “continually get out of their own boxes (mind, frames of reference, models of the world, presuppositions, etc.) and to expand their own identities and consciousness on a perpetual basis.”

Also, since he came back to Japan in 2001, after having spent some 20 years in the Western countries including the UK, where he stayed for 15 years, he has held 26 Practitioner courses and 16 Master Practitioner courses, as well as three Trainers Training courses – Guhen is the sole Japanese trainer who has held this higest level of training courses – for a total of 1,500 Japanese students, as a top NLP trainer who had been directly trained by the most important four co-founders and co-developers of NLP, i.e., John Grinder, Richard Bandler, Judith DeLozier and Robert Dilts.

Incidentally, Guhen recently had a chance to read two extremely important best seller history books, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” and “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” authored by Yuval Noah Harari, on the recommendation of one of his advisers, and was literally flabbergasted by the contents of the books.

In these books, Harari maintains that the modern Western empires like Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, etc., had the spirit of coherent “cognitive expansionism” (this is Guhen’s own terminology) when they discovered the unknown continent of America, went as far as California during the Gold Rush period, and invented electric bulbs, cars, airplanes, telephone, radio, television, nuclear weapons, spaceships including Apollo 11, and so on. This cognitive expansionism further later enabled modern Americans to discover and explore “the unknown territory of altered states of consciousness” during the sixties’ Counter-culture revolution, as well as “the unknown territory of Cyberspace” to start different revolutions in the fields of IT, VR, AI, genetic engineering, molecular biology, etc., from the late nineties.

Guhen thus came to recognize that the cognitive expansionism embraced as their core epistemology by the modern European Empires, which were, say, right wing entities, and the left wing “Counter-culture,” which has been Guhen’s own spiritual foundation since he was a teenager, have the “common spirit” of trying to discover and explore “terrae incognitae” in a successive way, while always challenging the cognitive limitations and seeking to continually expand the human consciousness.

(By the way, in Japan, the term “Counter-culture” has, unfortunately and unbelievably, has become a completely obsolete word a long time ago – in fact, it is much nearer the fact to say that Counter-culture has never been imported to Japan, except for T shirts and jeans, in the first place (!) – and nobody can now make head or tail of this term associated with hippies.

Guhen personally cannot help smelling a kind of conspiracy theory behind this strange fact (laughs), all the more because all the CEO’s of modern mega enterprises in the States such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla can be said to definitely have gone through the waves of the Counter-culture revolution when they were young. I simply cannot imagine how someone who has not been functioning within the paradigm of “expanded human consciousness beyond the existing limiting frames” expounded by the Counter-culture proponents would possibly come to bear such visionary visions, and not only propose but also realize such unheard-of and pioneering ideas as those entertained by these great entrepreneurs.

Most Japanese people to whom I have mentioned these CEO’s cultural and spiritual background cannot, for some reasons unknown to me, understand this widely held common knowledge, while internationally minded people whom I know of course don’t fail to agree with me. No wonder why there has been practically no international innovator produced in Japan so far, and I firmly believe on the basis of my own experiences with Japanese people for the last 15 years that Japan will never be able to create any innovator of the caliber of these CEO’s, unless high-ranking Japanese corporate people are taught by me “the methodology enabling them to continually get out of their own boxes and to expand their own identities and consciousness on a perpetual basis” (laughs).)

What Guhen would like to thus specifically point out is that what he has been studying and practicing for the last 30 years is “the methodology for getting out of one’s own box and for expanding one’s own identity and consciousness,” integrating the Western psychology with the Eastern mysticism, and that this very methodology is exactly what “cognitive expansionism” stands for (!).

In other words, he will be able to assist his executive clients to continually “cognitively expand themselves,” so that they may contunually discover a new self in order to overcome any problems in the daily life.

I do hope that the above is of interest to you.

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Guhen’s new site has been created!

Latest Info: I have recently started to be online on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/guhenkitaoka. I will use this site to make my online presence more global and available for the international audience.

I intend to also shortly become more active active on LinkedIn at  https://www.linkedin.com/in/guhen-taiten-kitaoka-4b736244.


This new site “A Psychonaut’s Monolog” has been created to introduce Guhen Kitaoka’s recent activities as an executive life coach.

Please refer to the “Definition” page to know why such “controversial” words as “Psychonautics” and “Psychonaut” were chosen for this site.

Guhen intends to start to publish his online newsletter through this site in the near future.

PS: By the way, my writing on this Web site will not be made subject to proofreading for the moment, mainly because of its sheer volume. Nonetheless, I believe that my English sentences will hopefully prove to be sufficiently legible and intelligible style-wise and syntax-wise, though they would inevitably contain a certain number of typos and errors.

I would be most grateful, if the readers of these site pages would be able to let me know possible corrections via the “Contact” page, for which I thank you in advance.

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