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

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Honoring Word

In-Shape Health Club Swimming Pool, Napa, California, USA

March 24, 2021



"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ... John the apostle

This essay, Honoring Word, is the sequel to Honoring Your Word.




The title of this essay is "Honoring Word".

It's not a typo. I don't mean "Honoring Your  Word". That's another valuable conversation. This one is "Honoring Word".

Honoring your word essentially includes  (makes whole) what's missing from keeping  your word as the bastion of integrity. This illustration will demonstrate what I mean: I give you my word that I'll meet you at 3:00pm, but an earthquake destroys the bridge between us, so I can't keep my word to meet you. If keeping my word is the bastion of integrity, then I'm out of integrity, having not kept my word, yes? It looks like a circumstance  has effectively determined my integrity ... or has it?

What's at issue here isn't that my promises should be kept (and not regarded lightly), nor that integrity may be the  highest quality for human beings, and nor that circumstances occasionally supersede our promises. The issue is that keeping my word, in and of itself, is an insufficient  bastion of integrity. Honoring  my word on the other hand, includes keeping my word, and it also includes cleaning up any mess I cause when I don't keep my word, and it also includes re-promising to complete what I originally said I would do. Like that, honoring my word allows for being in integrity even on those occasions when I don't keep my word. Honoring my word allows me to be responsible for / to take charge of my own integrity, regardless of the circumstances - a responsibility for which keeping my word is insufficient.

"Honoring your word" obviously refers to your  word (and so by inclusion, to my  word) and is therefore somewhat personal, occuring in the space of each of our individual worlds (if you will). But when we both (and when we all) honor our word and hold each other to honor our word, the possibility of a new  world opens up: it's "the world of word", a universal world in which each of us honors word as a purely positive proposition. It's not merely as your  word, and neither merely as my  word: rather, in this new world, it's word that's verifiably out-here, word like a universal distinction, word like a global occurence, word like a tangible phenomenon.

Here's what the difference between "honoring your word" and "honoring word" is: "honoring word" doesn't occur in the domain of the personal ownership of word. It has no possession of word in the way "honoring your word" and "honoring my word" have. "Honoring word" is like "honoring rain". Look: it's not your  rain, and it's not my  rain, it's just rain - verifiably out-here, universally distinct, globally occuring rain. Like that, "honoring word" refers to and respects the world of word ie the verifiably out-here, universally distinct, globally occuring word - which is the verifiably out-here, universally distinct, globally occuring impersonal possibility of integrity.

My intention with this essay is to flesh out word as in the world of word, as distinct from your word and as distinct from my word (it isn't personal), and to honor that  word. You keep and honor your word as an expression of your integrity. I keep and honor my word as an expression of my integrity. And both of us doing so, creates a universally impersonal, contextual, all-inclusive world which I call "the world of word", a world that comes into being like a possibility  with us all honoring our word.

With the global onset of transformation, the world of word has become manifest. It's the world against which all other worlds show up as arguably inadequate and / or insufficient - as evidenced by the way their rampant out-integrity has become opportunistically normalized and accepted, with all too familiar and tragic consequences.



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