Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Calling A Spade Something Else

Napa Valley, California, USA

April 23, 2013

Werner predicts his work will eventually "disappear into the fabric of society". This process has already begun. The very specific, pointed, unambiguous language of transformation has already found its way into everyday global conversations. Werner's ideas have found their way into relationships, into international politics and government, into now accepted business management practices, and are embraced and presented by respected academic and business institutions. As anticipated as this always was, as satisfying as it is to watch it inexorably occur, it's also inevitable that as the language of transformation becomes more and more widely used, there's a real likelihood it will also be deployed rotely in inappropriate situations in which authentic transformation isn't present, thus rendering it into jargon.

If (no, when  ...) this eventually happens, the power of at least some of the words in the rich lexicography  which is the language of transformation, will be blunted, muted - especially for those who are unaware they were sourced by Werner's work in which they carve out very specific distinctions.

Take for example two words pivotal in the context of Werner's work: the word "transformation"  itself, and the word "possibility".

Transformation isn't to be confused with change  or with any of the various colors, flavors, and varieties change comes in. Transformation is a particular experience, a particular experience to which you could assign any descriptor, any name you like. But without the contextual shift which goeswith  authentic transformation (as Alan Watts may have said), it's not transformation - whatever name it goes by. Conversely if anything labeled "transformation" is unaccompanied by a contextual shift, then it isn't transformation ie it's inaccurately named.

Due almost entirely to the acceptance of Werner's work around the world, the word "transformation" is now widely known and used where, when the truth is told, it was neither known nor used before. And because of the sheer unbridled power  and enthusiasm  of the millions and millions of graduates of Werner's work around the world speaking transformation, the word "transformation" itself is becoming absorbed into and is being taken on by the rest of the fabric of society, in the process of which it's almost unavoidably becoming glamorized and jargonized.

Here, for example, are ten examples of the word "transformation" becoming jargonized to convey a hip  glamorized sense of change  in which real, thrilling, authentic  transformation isn't present at all (I've provided ten examples - there are hundreds  more):

Transformation

Also due almost entirely to the acceptance of Werner's work around the world, the word "possibility" is now widely used in conversations in which it wasn't widely used before. And because of the sheer unbridled power and enthusiasm of the millions and millions of graduates of Werner's work around the world speaking possibility, the word "possibility" itself is becoming absorbed into and is being taken on by the rest of the fabric of society, in the process of which it's almost unavoidably becoming glamorized and jargonized too.

Just as the word "transformation", when jargonized, is used to erroneously convey change, the word "possibility", when jargonized, also loses it's authentic essence as it's used to convey someday-colored wishful thinking.

In the first place, authentic possibility is invented  as an intentional act of creation. Jargonized possibility, on the other hand, is almost always completely devoid of being invented as an intentional act of creation. In the second place, inventing a new possibility is inventing a new way of being. For example, the possibility of being forgiving is an authentic possibility - whereas the possibility of having a lot of money  isn't a possibility at all. It's really little more than using a jargonized word "possibility" to couch ambition ie as a euphemism for "Give me money!" - in other words, to glamorize financial wishful thinking.

Now there's really nothing wrong with any of that. Really there isn't (who doesn't  want a lot of money?). However, is it an authentic intentionally invented possibility of a new way of being?  No it's not.

Here are ten examples of the word "possibility" becoming jargonized (I've provided ten examples - there are hundreds more):

Possibility Calling transformation change and / or calling possibility wishful thinking, is as off the mark ie is as out of whack  as calling a spade something else ie as calling a spade not  a spade. Calling a spade a spade, while being the epitome  of straight talk, is arguably not as glamorous as calling a spade a diamond, for example, because a diamond is perceived  to have wider reaching social status and a greater marketable value than a spade.

The only trouble with that logic is it's not true  ie it isn't what a spade is. A spade isn't a diamond. Transformation isn't change. Possibility isn't wishful thinking.

There's one final point I'd like to make which is this: as the language of transformation is absorbed into and is taken on by the fabric of society, when these jargonized, glamorized misuses of the language of transformation occur, they evidence with regards to Werner, the age old adage that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, flattery doesn't trump this wholly un-innocent  sincerity which, in lacking any tangibly accurate world to word  fit, will prove to be more of a distraction to the conversation for transformation than it's worth.



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