Quantum Linguistics & Cartesian Logic | Part 1 of 2 | Understanding Boundary Conditions

Posted by: admin, In Category: Cognitive Psychology, Communication Strategy, Effective Communication, Fallacies / Logic, Neurology / Neurolinguistics, NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)

Becoming a Communication Expert with Cartesian Linguistics Part 1.

The term Quantum Linguistics, although sounding rather menacing simply is referring to the multidimensional aspect of our thought processes and how that multidimensionality is represented to the outside world through our language. Well, maybe I shouldn’t have used the term “simply” as this can be a rather complicated topic.

The concept of quantum linguistics has its roots in the therapeutic realm of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). Per the Oxford English Dictionary NLP is defined as “a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behavior and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them” and “a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behavior”.

The therapeutic side is fodder for another day. As a Communication Expert however, the communication component that we will refer to often on my site is without a doubt the most thorough and effect formalized systematic classification of interpersonal communication available today. And at the heart of NLP’s communication model sits “Quantum Linguistics”.

At the core of the concept of multidimensional language and Quantum Linguistics sits the hard reality that for something to “exist” or be present, everything that surrounds “it” must be “NOT-it”. OK, I know that is a mouthful so let me give you an example… and bear with me as you’ll see the usefulness of this shortly…

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Look around your room for a second and find a lamp, or a TV or a chair. Now ponder for a minute that for this “object” to be a “TV” or a “lamp” or a “chair”, everything else around it must NOT be the “TV” or “lamp” or “chair”. Now, I know what you’re thinking… “What if there is another TV in the room?” Well, that is then TV2, it cannot be TV1… Surrounding TV1 is air, light, moisture, walls, a floor, etc… but nothing else that is considered “TV1″.

Or how about this, let’s say you have a glass of water that you place into a half-full sink of water. The surrounding perimeter/parameter that is provided by the glass separates and defines the water inside of it AND  outside of it.

Let’s look at this closer. As this scenario stands, you have the water in the glass (water 1) and the water in the sink (water 2) and the boundary that separates them and thereby DEFINES them is indeed the glass. Think about it, imagine what would happen if you removed the glass. You would then have water 3 (water 1 + water 2 = water 3) Water 1 and water 2 would no longer exist. By taking away the boundaries that “created” and “defined” water 1 and water 2, a new water is created by the combination of 1 and 2 to make 3.

cartesian logic and boundary conditions 300x189 Quantum Linguistics & Cartesian Logic | Part 1 of 2 | Understanding Boundary ConditionsSo, where the glass separates the water and where the plastic and electronics that surrounds the TV meet… well, air or water… these are called “BOUNDARY CONDITIONS’ and these boundary conditions DEFINE what the object is. From a linguistic stand point an object can be an object, an event, an experience, a thought, an emotion, etc… And in the brain, the linguistically represented boundary conditions are indeed physical entities in that they are created by the actual shape/size/volume/ease of access of the neural-net that they arise from. We will address neural-nets more thoroughly at another time. For today, suffice it to say that they are the specific physical connection of specific neurons in a brain that create a specific thought.

As a Communication Expert, the utility of this for coaching purposes is quite simple. Much like with the glass of water, By defining the boundaries of a problem or issue you will have defined the exact micro-specific area to begin working on/with. This is exactly where you can begin to start your own coaching to overcome any limitations or overcome resistance in communication.

For example, in order for a circumstance to be depressing, the circumstances that surround it (or are “NOT it”) must NOT be depressing… So while your divorce (problem) may depressing:

  • Spending time with your children (NOT the divorce) is NOT depressing.
  • Working out or exercising  (NOT the divorce) is NOT depressing.
  • Spending time with friends and other family members (NOT the divorce) is NOT depressing.
  • Driving at success in your career  (NOT the divorce) is NOT depressing.

So these may be places to begin working with during the process of overcoming depression.These boundaries that we are talking about here are amazingly important… actually vital to determining where to begin with the coaching/therapy AND they are vital to understanding how to effectively communication with someone.

Now let’s extrapolate this out into every day life. Imagine you’re a sales person and you have a “problem”… Your client is NOT buying your product. So what are some boundary conditions that are defining this problem? For the purposes of displaying the example, let’s look at some obvious ones.

  • The client walking away is NOT buying your product.
  • The client  “thinking about it” is NOT buying your product.
  • The client  taking other phone calls is NOT buying your product.
  • The client  buying a competitors product is NOT buying your product.

As you can see, these are boundary conditions that begin to define the “problem” which is “NOT buying your product”. However, in the example above, although those are in the technical sense of the phrase “boundary conditions” they are so obtuse that they are all but worthless in their utility. In order to be effective you would need to find the micro thin, laser specific boundary conditions that will allow you to actually start to attack and solve your problem or effectively communicate in a complex situation.

These types of problems rise up out of the sea of interactions we have every single day. Your wife is angry with you… Why? Your boss wants to fire you… Why? Your parents never showed up to the birthday party… Why?

9 times out of 10, when you simply ask the question “Why?”, although you will get an answer it is NOT an accurate one… In fact, most people don’t readily know the real, subconscious reasons for their actions. The answers you get are usually an extremely surface oriented, cognitively accessible rationalization created to make sense out of their actions. In other words, that answer is usually worthless to you in effective communication.


So HOW do you find the boundary conditions that accurately define these issues? That is the $1,000,000 question and we are going to cover the specifics of this in the proceeding post. Tomorrow as we dig into the actual MATHEMATICS of Cartesian Logic you will see how as a linguistic questioning model, this takes care of boundary definition quite nicely.  Stay tuned…

To learn more about Quantum Linguistics, Cartesian Logic and other information that can help you refine your own effective communication, please explore the rest of my blog The Communication Expert, or if I am online, please feel free to connect with me via Skype.

The Communication Expert | David J. Parnell

The Communication Expert Blog

4 Responses to Quantum Linguistics & Cartesian Logic | Part 1 of 2 | Understanding Boundary Conditions

  1. Interesting blog post. What would you say was the most common problem?

  2. admin says:

    Hi Isobel,

    Thanks for the question, however, I need more information if I am to answer it effectively. Common problem that I encounter with a client? Common problem I encounter in using the methods? Please give me a bit more information, I am delighted to help.

    David Parnell

  3. Pingback: Cartesian Logic for Decision Making | Kent Hoie

  4. Sarah Naylor says:

    Hi David,

    I really enjoyed reading this.

    Im a trainer of NLP and having not touched it since becoming qualified and now doing a bit of revision! Really enjoyed reading your article. Where are you based?

    I would love to email you as i have something id like to chat about,

    Sarah Naylor

    Ps Website not yet live

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