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Topic: Re:Positive intention: A useful myth?
Posted by: John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St. Clair
Date/Time: 30/11/2002 16:56:18


Nice posting - it contrasts most favorably with a significant amount of babble on the website by people who apparently have little concrete application experience to use as the basis for formulating comments and questions - well done!

The title of your posting - Posititve intention: A useful myth is perfect. Let us agree from the beginning that all patterns of NLP, if they effective in securing the outcomes they were coded to secure, are useful myths. This conclusion follows as night does the day, from the epistemology we developed in the initial section of Whispering.

You write that you have found yourself asking

"...whether or not this (positive intent) was actually the way the unconscious worked to preserve the contextual ecology."

Crudely put, the conscious mind has great organizational ability and no power or sense of ecology over the long term; the unconscious mind has great power (to change things within the patient), no ability to organize (outside of the relatively primitive logic of f1) and an ability -WHEN WELL ORGANIZED - to make computations about the wisdom or ecology over the long term. Thus, our insistance on an alliance through procedures such as the involuntary signal systems. The capitalized WHEN WELL ORGANIZED points to the issue you raise.

Suppose that the presuppositions and other elements in the process of applying the positive intention procedure are precisely what organizes the unconcsious and the positive intent is actually created by the procedure. In other words, there is little evidence around to our knowledge that creatures as complex as positive intentions reside in f1. Then the positive intention process creates what we are seeking through an mapping in FA as linguistic categores are imposed.

We note that in either case, for application purposes, it doesn't really make any difference in the quality or effectiveness of the procedure whether the positive intention was already extant or the procedure creates it. This is the good news. We suspect that some researcher at some time in the future will work out how to resolve this ambiguity and will find an exchange such as the one we are in at present highly amusing.

We find the remainder of your posting an excellent statement perfectly congruent with our understanding with three exceptions:

1. you write,

"In the alcohol/relaxation example you use in Whispering we could chunk up to a higher set which is the set of states which "Maintain health" of which relaxation is only one."

We think it hardly likely that excessive drinking could be understood as a subset of "Maintain Health" although clearly relaxation is. Thus, if the patient's unconscious were well-organzed (see the comments above), they would never have selected excessive drinking as a method for achieving relaxation, and in turn health.  

2. You write,

"As I see it the most useful function of positive intention is to act as a "state changer"."

We have noted in applications of the positive intent procedure that for many patients as soon as the affirmative involuntary signal to the question,

Is there a positive intention behind the behavior I want to change?

emerges, there is a state change - not always but frequently. We propose that the change work is actually completed with this state change as the conscious and unconscious are well coordinated at precisely this point, although we urge practitioners to complete the steps specified in the patterning. We want to point out to you, however, that this class of states changers is radically different from the class one achieves through the application of a New Code game.

3. You write.

"...this way we could actually merely choose at random some positive resource states and apply them to the problem context calibrating to the result.

No, it is precisely the generation of a containing frame (all the ways to satisfy the positive intention) that acts as a frame/filter to ensure that the secondary benefits of the original behavior (excessive drinking that leads to the benefit of relaxation) are preserved under the change. First order changes under the classic code formats involve a random element (the choices exercised by the patient's inept conscious mind). The precision of an second order change is based exactly in the generation of a set of positive intentions and the substitution of new behaviors all of which are equal to and better than the original behavior in satisfying the set of original intentions behind the behavior (excessive drinking) that we are changing.

All the best,

John and Carmen

Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Positive intention: A useful myth?30/11/2002 11:30:06Lewis Walker
     Re:Positive intention: A useful myth?30/11/2002 16:56:18John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St. Clair

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