Apply To All People Situations

If you feel ready for another meta-move, then let's go all out and do it all over the place! Let's make a meta-move, and so shift the frame size of the magic inside the formula in such away that we totally and absolutely exaggerate it. How? Oh, just by sticking in some well-placed Universal Quantifiers.

Universal Quantifiers? Oh, excuse me, I slipped into talking the linguistic distinctions of the Meta-Model again. Just use allness kinds of words: "all, always, everybody, nobody, all the time," etc. You know—the words that parents use! (In the field of Transactional Analysis, we call these words "parent words.") Technically, a Universal Quantifier refers to the set of words that make a universal generalization with no referential index. These terms imply and/or state an absolute condition.

This move shifts consciousness to create a frame-of-reference that applies the formula to everybody on the planet. Will the belief cohere when we do that? This involves a large conceptual level and aims to get the person to temporarily step outside his or her frame altogether to check it out. This involves, as do so many of the other patterns, a referential index switch. What seems so real and reasonable when / apply it in my life or to you, suddenly seems ridiculous when we apply it to everybody else on the planet. This mind-line pattern essentially asks,

"How would you like it if we applied this to all others at all other times?"

By this outframing move, we simply bring allness to bear on the belief. And why would we do such a thing? Because if the belief represents a good, ecological, and balanced generalization, it should apply across the board at all times and places. If not, then we need to qualify, contextualize, and index it.

So as we move to a meta-level and frame the belief with allness, we exaggerate it, we push it to its limit. In other words, we take it to its threshold to see if it will still work, if it will still cohere as a reasonable belief. Or, will we discover that it begins to fall apart? If it doesn't cohere—then the shift will deframe the belief. It will fall apart as an inadequate generalization that doesn't hold universally.

These allness words do not make room for any exceptions. So by definition they express a limited mindset. (By the way, in Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy [REBT], All or Nothing

Thinking exists as a cognitive distortion.)

(A) "Saying mean things makes you a bad person."

"Since everyone has at sometime said something mean, the only kind of people that we have on the planet are bad people!" "How enhancing do you think this idea about 'mean words creating bad people' serves the human race? Would this encourage honesty, authenticity, genuineness, and the like?"

(B) "Cancer causes death."

"If all of the doctors and researchers working on cancer believed that, we'd never have any hope of finding a cure for cancer." "Would you recommend that everybody who gets any form of cancer immediately think that it will cause them to die?" "Would you recommend that everybody who gets any form of cancer immediately think that it will cause them to die?"

Again, when you put this larger frame over and around the belief, do pay attention to the effect of the sensory-based representations within the magical formula that defines the belief. As it embeds the belief, what happens to the belief's coding in terms of modalities and submodalities?

Typically, because a larger frame adds information in the same picture at the lower logical level, the modalities and their qualities at the larger level will dominate and temper the lower level representations. Moving up and altering the frame size reality tests for how well-formedwe had our belief formatted.

(C) 'Your being late means you don't care about me."

"So I show up late once, and that means I don't care at all about you?"

"Since everybody arrives late at some time or another in their life, then the only kind of people on the planet are those who don't care about anybody?"

In this response, we have changed the frame... we have moved it from focusing on a specific behavior that occurred (showing up late) to a larger level meaning. We have essentially asked, "Once means forever!?"

Interesting enough, when a person doesn't take into account the larger levels of awareness (i.e., that the person did show up!), then the person lives in a state of discounting, complaining, griping, fussing, badmouthing, feeling bad, feeling unloved, etc. How unproductive! And yet, when considered from the larger level frame—the person did indeed care enough to show up. Will the person focus on the message of care or on the message of "lack of care?"

In all context reframing, we leave the content the same (the belief in the box), and only alter the frame around it. And yet, as the frame changes, so do the specific meanings embedded within it. "Do all people who show up late not care?" "Would you consider everybody who shows up late as suffering from a lack of care regardless of circumstances?"

Going meta to higher level awarenesses, values, understandings, etc. to establish larger frames, we need to think in terms of meta-levels. To facilitate this we can ask ourselves questions like, "What has this person not yet noticed?" "What results if we chunk up to a universal quantifier on the Formula?"

When we chunk up to apply it to the entire human race, the exaggeration frequently elicits humor. Humor arises in such cases because the belief doesn't cohere at that level.

A mental picture comes to my mind (BB) regarding these outframing patterns. I visualize a large umbrella covering the entire magic box of meaning. With the umbrella overshadowing everything under it, this gives me the sense of how the higher level magic effects the lower level magic underneath.

(D) "Stress causes me to eat chocolate."

"If everyone believed that, wouldn't the government make chocolate a controlled substance?" "Well, of course. It always makes everybody all over the planet eat chocolate—this explains why, in the more stressful places on the planet, the chocolate companies really grow and expand. This explains why the chocolate companies want wars, famines, earthquakes, traffic jams, etc.—it increases sales!"

(E) "I can't really make a difference because management doesn't walk their talk."

"And yes, obviously, making a difference describes what life is all about, nothing else at all counts. Might as well end it all!"

"And this explains why the Roman Empire never collapsed. As a terrible management system -a pure bureaucracy which really didn't care, it continues to maintain its power and authority over the entire civilized world and so, no wonder, we're all doomed!"

(F) "I can't buy your product because it costs too much." "My God, if everyone held on to that belief, the entire economy around this product would entirely collapse."

"Well of course you can't. Nor could anybody else anywhere on the planet. Nobody ever buys anything that costs too much. Life just doesn't work that way."

To elicit this pattern for conversationalreframing, use the elicitation questions:

"What has this person not noticed?"

"Whatuniversal quantifiercan I chunk up to in order to push this belief to its limit?"

"Suppose we apply it universally as a meta-frame over all humans, what would then happen?"

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