Learning Mindlines Stepbystep

You know the structure of the magic. You know a great many of the secrets of the magic. You have committed yourself to playfully practice your magic.

So what's left?

Just a quick summary. And a quick demystifying of the magic. Here we pull apart the magic of conversational reframing and formulate it into a step-by-step process. Doing this will specify a strategy for learning the Mind-Lines Model. In simplifying it in this way, you will first walk through the pieces consciously and intentionally. You will become a clinician.

Inasmuch as you have reached this place in this book, you may have found yourself feeling overwhelmed at times or entertaining thoughts of the complexity of this subject.

"This is just too difficult!" "I'll never learn all of this." "How can anyone master this?"

When you have these kinds of thoughts and feelings about the learning—you know that you have moved from unconscious incompetence into conscious incompetence. This means you stand on the threshold of the next domain: conscious competence.

Stay with it. Welcome, even warmly accept the feelings of discomfort that arise at this stage knowing that shortly you will move further and further into conscious competence. This simply describes the learning process. Those who cut off the discomfort, who hate and despise and reject the awareness of ignorance—end up in the pit of stupidity.

After all, we all have areas of ignorance! And we will gloriously always experience ignorance about some things. What? Do you think you can know it all? How attractive, charming, orwarm do you find those who think of themselves as Know-it-alls? For all fallible beings, ignorance only means that we don't know some things. So now, warmly accept this. We may even rejoice in our ignorance— fully knowing that the more we know about our ignorance—the less stupid we become!

Stupidity, unlike ignorance, refers to not using the brains we have. It involves not merely the lack of information (we call that "ignorance"), it refers to failing to use the brains and critical thinking skills that distinguishes our species.

By the way, how you frame "the not-knowing of some information" (ignorance) determines what meta-state you create for yourself. Do you accept-your-not-knowing and become curious about what you don't know and what you can know? Or do you hate and despise the state of not-knowing, and then become stupid by pretending you know, mocking the process of learning-to-know as "being an egg-head," or jeer at those who have spent the time and trouble to know?

Now how many mind-lines did you notice in these paragraphs with regard to the primary experience of not-knowing?


In unpacking the Mind-Lines Model, I think you should first of all thoroughly acquaint yourself with the theoretical understandings about the model. We have incorporated these in Chapters 1 through 4, as well as Chapters 10 and 12. In those chapters you will learn about—

Neuro-Linguistic Magic (Ch. 1 &2)

. Conversational Reframing (Ch. 3)

The Meta-Model & Paradigm Shifting (Ch. 10)

• Additional Simplifications (Ch. 12)

Learning the model essentially boils down to making the distinction between things of the empirical world (i.e., the see, hear, feel things) and the things of the mental world. If a person can't (or doesn't) make this distinction-he or she will forever confuse logical levels. And in making such category errors, that person will become disempowered from engaging in the creativity and flexibility of reframing.

As meaning-makers, we create meaning. We create meaning in ourminds. We create meaning in our minds by connecting things of the world (sights, sounds, smells, sensations, events, etc.) with ideas in our heads. Doing this creates what we have labeled —the magic box.

This, in fact, describes the heart of the frame game that we all : play. Everyday of our lives, whenever we meet an Event on the : road of life, we embrace it with a thought. We then embrace and fuse that Event with a meaning and, lo and behold, suddenly a belief in the form of an Understanding, Model, Decision, Value, etc. arises.

In doing this, we have used our neurology (i.e., brain, nervous system, and all of its conscious and unconscious functions) to create something new in the world. We have created a felt relationship between a stimulus and our response. In otherwords, we connect a thought and feeling to a stimulus—and then, magically, that stimulus "is" or "becomes" that response. At least, it "is" to that particular meaning-maker.


Once you know about the structure of meaninglmagic, don't ; stop with just knowing about the magic formula (EB=IS), go deeper. Go to the material on Deframing (Ch. 5) so that you can then know with precision the specific pieces that make up the magic.

When we first organized the Mind-Lines book, we did not put deframing first as we have in this revision. We decided to do that after conducting several training workshops utilizing this model. From that experience, we found that using the deframing processes first tremendously assists most people in moving effectively into this domain of meaning-making and shifting.

What explains this? Probably the fact that via deframing we tioroughly acquaint ourselves with the structure of the magic. And this gives us the advantage of knowing how the magic works. Practically, this means that if you ever find yourself having difficulties in identifying and clarifying for yourself The Formula that : governs someone's reality, then stop, go back to the Chunking I Down and Reality Strategy frames.

Find out how the magic works. Re-discover afresh the very secrets of the magic. Doing this step first enables you to specify the pieces within the linguistic structure. It empowers you to demystify the magical formula itself. This works because the chunking down process uncovers the very structure of the magic. So by chunking down, or deframing, a person's linguistic and non-linguistic expressions—we thereby pull back the curtains to their subjective "reality." This allows us to see the tricks, the mirrors, and the illusions that support their "black magic. We can then deal more directly with the Wizard of Oz behind the curtains.

We therefore use the Chunking Down process to specify. This shows up in the Meta-Model in the specificity questions which allows us to index a reality:

Specifically who do you speak of? What did they do specifically? In what way did that specifically occur? Specifically when did that happen? And where specifically?

Such specifying enables us to index (the term Korzybski used for this process) the specific referents: who, when, where, how, in what way, to what degree, which, etc. This corresponds to a similar process used in modern scientific thinking and writing. There we describe the process as operatiorializing our terms. In other words, we specify in empirical and behavioral terms (in see, hear, feel, smell, and taste terms) precisely what we mean.

In the Mind-Lines Model such chunking down accomplishes three things.

1) First, it gives us the specific E.B. (External Behavior) of the formula. Doing this enables us to understand what piece of the world—the Plethora (to use Gregory Bateson's term) to which we have reference.

2) Secondly, it gives us the specific I.S. (Internal State or Significance) of the formula. In NLP, we consider the infernal movements (actions or responses) as "behaviors" too (behaviors inside the "black box"). People outside cannot see, hear, or feel these micro-behaviors since they occur at the neurological level of brain and nervous system functioning. Eye accessing cues and sensory-based predicates as well as other signs do provide us some indications of these processes. Chunking down here we may discover that we first made a mental picture in color and close up, then said some words in a sarcastic tonality, and then felt some sensations of tightness in the throat, and then...

3) Thirdly, it sequences the E.B. components so that we also discover the person's "strategy" whereby he or she created their particularformula. This puts it all together: first this EB, then this IS of VAK sequencing, which eventually lead to this response. We use the Miller, et al. TOTE model format to specify the strategy of the experience.

"Up" and "Down" Simultaneously!

In the fall of 1997, I (MH) did some training in this Mind-Lines Model in Nottingham, England. While there, British psychotherapist, Sammy Naden insightfully pointed out that when we "go down" from the E.B.=I.S. formula to get more specifications—wesimultaneously "move up" a meta-level.

How does this going up and going down simultaneously work in this way?

And why would we experience a "going up" when we "go down?"

Consider what "going down" into the specific VAK components of an experience presupposes. Does it not presuppose that as we conceptually move down in order to identify the specific pieces that we simultaneously move to a higher place (a meta-cognitive position) so that we can know and track this? In other words, we become aware of the smaller pieces, the submodalities, the distinctions and features within the VAK from a meta-position. We do so from a meta-position of awareness, interest, and understanding of this process and of what we look for.

(This illustrates the systemic nature of consciousness which means that we do not do this, and then do that, in a linear and sequential way. But rather that as we do one thing, we simultaneously do other things.

This furtherput Bob and I on another path—one that lead to understanding that what we have called submodalities in NLP do not exist at a lower logical level to modalities. They rather exist within the VAK modalities as qualities, distinctions, and features of these modes of awareness.

And to recognize these distinctions, become aware of them, and to shift them ("submodality mapping over"), we do so from a meta-position. In other words, you have to go meta in order to work with, and transform, submodalities. See our work, Distinctions of Genius, planned for 1999.)

Expanding the Magic Box

With the down-ward move—into the "basement" level of the EB=IS Formula, we actually do not get outside of the Magic Box at all. No, we only go down deeper inside it. In this sense, we have only gone deeperwithin and have not moved between logical levels at all.

Accordingly, to adjust and to update our work in the original Mind-Lines model, we offer the following chart that more accurately diagrams the process. The two solid lines indicate the primary level of experience. The dashed-line indicates going down inside the EB and the IS, but still within the box.

Figure 15:1 The Magic Box

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