Years ago, at my early year of study in university, I was very interested with one of postmodernist thinker, Michel Foucault. His various work on relationship of power and knowledge has made lot of influence on my writing, which later on also has impacted my thought, believe and identity. At first, understanding Foucault's “will of power” was not easy. For instance, I have tried hardly to understand one of his books for months (Tittled: The history of sex, translated to Indonesian as Seks dan Kekuasaan). Though Foucault's thought could be very exotic, reading directly his writing could be very confusing.
Having read other books that refer to Foucault has given me broader understanding about the relation of power and knowledge. He said the more knowledge acquired the more power will come to you. The more you know about something, the more control of it you can get. In another words, if you want to achieve some level of power and conquering a territory (physically or even mentally), you have to know everything about it. Let say, if you want to be able to manage an office, so make it happen by learning how to be a good manager. Dutch colonialism in Indonesia was a good example on how to rule a nation through mental conquest, which it simply a better approach (effective and cheap!) than weapon threat.
I am not discussing about relation of power and knowledge, but more to explore on how Foucault and NLP is connecting. The connection between those two different of subject, has brought me to a new level of excitement. First, the subject of power and knowledge is a philosophical rather than NLP which more to psychological matter. It will open a discussion on how to bring NLP to a more philosophic area, and elaborated it to post-modernism. Second, if Foucault has introduced a method to analysis the relation of power and knowledge on every level of lives, could NLP be brought to the same area. As a method to analysis and change not only human behavior but also community or mass behavior.One of NLP substance is about motivation direction. People is doing something always based on a reason. The driving force of our action is motivation. There are two kind of motivation, achieving pleasure or avoiding pain. This is an example which I think Foucault subject on knowledge and power is relating with NLP motivation direction. The power, is always connected with motivation direction. the more we assumed that power could bring happiness would lead us to have more motivation to gain it. This is an example of power is equal with happiness and pleasure.
Knowledge is quite different. For some people, gaining knowledge is a suffering time. It probably will bring more pain to us. Just imagine, that we should read books to know something. We should always exercising our self to embody the knowledge. Not include so many exam to be passed. In Indonesia, I knew that most of it people motivation orientation is to avoid pain. That's might be the reason why Indonesia is still on a very poor level on education rather than other countries.
So, if NLP could show us on how to change our motivation direction. It will open an opportunity also to direct our self to gain more power. By changing our motivation that gaining knowledge as a pleasure!