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Multiple Embedded Metaphors - Open Loop No.5

Multiple Embedded Metaphors - Open Loop No.5
Now, one of my favourite stories is that one day a very young
Milton Erickson was walking down the street in the town where
he lived, and he heard from over there somewhere a noise. And he
said, “I think there’s something to learn here.” So he looked in the
direction of the noise, and he saw a building and a large sign on
top of the building that said “Boiler Factory.” So he went across the
street, and opened a door. He could feel the tug of the door in his
hand as he stepped over the threshold, and then he went inside.
And when he got inside, the noise was tremendous. And he could
see the workers, and they were all moving purposefully back and
forth inside this boiler factory, but he couldn’t hear them. I don’t
know if you know this, but in those days, they used to make big
boilers. Imagine a boiler the size of this room. Can you? A boiler the
size of this room, with sheets of steel, maybe an inch or two thick,
and rivets along the top, and maybe there would be one rivet every
two feet, or two rivets every 18 inches, or maybe 3 rivets every foot,
along the top, and then rivets along the ends, sealing in the ends.
If you could imagine being in a boiler like that. Those were the
kind of boilers they were making in this boiler factory. And so,
when he got inside, Erickson said, “There’s got to be something to
learn here, because these people are communicating inside, and I
can’t hear them, but they can hear each other.” But Erickson
couldn’t hear them inside. That’s right. And so, he said, “I’ve got to
learn something about this”. So he stopped one of the workers and
said, “Can you get me the Boss? Ask the boss to come outside so I
can speak to him.” The first worker he asked didn’t know what to
do, so he asked another worker, “Can you get me the boss? Can
you ask the Boss to come outside so we can have a discussion?”
The boss came outside and Erickson said, “I’d like to sleep here for
the evening. I’m a student and I’m learning how to communicate
inside a boiler factory”. Now in those days, I guess it was all right,
because the Boss said OK. So Erickson went home and got his
pillow and his blanket and he went back into the boiler factory,
and he went across the steps and pulled the door open and once
again, all of a sudden, there was all this noise inside … from the
workers going back and forth, the sheets of steel moving on the
conveyers, and the riveters riveting. He said, “For the life of me, I
almost can’t hear myself think.” But he managed to find a place out of
the way. So he laid out his pillow and his blanket and got under the
blanket.. .snuggled up.. .but even so the noise was inside his
head.. .loud as ever. But about midnight, he managed to take all the
noise and put it outside his head, and then he fell asleep. Very good.
Erickson was always putting himself in situations like that.
Situations where he could learn. That’s right. About what happens
inside you. Not your Conscious Mind, your Unconscious.. .and really
Unconscious.. .and you don’t mind, do you?

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