“NLP epistemology” follows Alfred Korzybski (1933) and Gregory Bateson‘s (1972, 1979) postulations that there is no such thing as “objective experience.” The subjective nature of our experience never fully captures the objective world. In the view of NLP, whether or not there is an objective absolute “reality”, individual people in fact do not in general have access to absolute knowledge of reality, but in fact only have access to a set of beliefs they have built up over time, about reality.
Significance – It is considered crucially important when working with people to focus on the understanding that their beliefs about reality and their awareness of things (the “map”) are not reality itself or everything they could be aware of (the “territory”). Put another way, NLP does not claim that one is working with reality, ie the “territory”, but only ever with peoples subjective perceptions and beliefs about reality, ie some or other “map”. (Main article: Map-territory relation)