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


Never Miss An Opportunity To Distinguish Something

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

July 13, 2021

"Transformation is getting to see as a possibility who you might be really." ... 
"Quick! Get on with it! Life is almost over!" ... 
"If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of." ... Bruce Lee, martial artist
I am indebted to James "Jim" Tsutsui who inspired this conversation.

Being transformed, it could be said, is in whole and in part, a matter of distinction. Approaching this from another facet, it could be said the access  to being transformed (ie transformation's active component) (aka being transformed in the world)  is in whole and in part, a matter of making  distinctions.

New language (for example, all the language brought forth by the new lexicography of the now worldwide conversations for transformation) is always at risk: after being powerfully and incisively deployed at its inception, it's at risk of inexorably devolving into jargon when it's usurped by over-zealous popular use in a non-rigorous context (a non-rigorous context is almost always  present with popular use). Witness "transform" (ie the verb "transform"): it already occurs as devolved in popular usage, to mean "change" - as in "transform an airport", "transform our city", "transform the garden", "transform your wardrobe". And even when "transform" is uttered in the ubiquitous phrase "transform your life", it's devolved to mean "change  your life". And I'm sorry, but changing your life does nothing at all  to transform it.

Look: there's nothing wrong  with language devolving. It goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) the territory of being human. It happens peculiarly with human beings. We're thrown  to it. So if we're going to have a useful conversation which of necessity deploys language that's tainted by having devolved, it's useful to first (re-)distinguish the term(s). In this instance, the access to transformation (and thus to being transformed) is making distinctions, not in changing or fixing anything.

It's the being  who distinguishes, not the mind. It's the being who authors distinctions. It's the being who makes distinctions. Making distinctions outside of the slippery slope of devolving language, is the bailiwick of the being, not of the mind. The mind, if it's anything at all in this matter, is the bailiwick of devolving language. So in making authentic distinctions, we cause the being (ie who we really are) to come forth like a possibility, distinct from the mind. And that's transformation: the bringing forth of who we might be really like a possibility.


Question: is  the being who we are really?

Werner recently distinguished the "showing"  (not the being) as who we might be really.

You may want to try that on for size to see if it fits. If it does, keep it: it's all yours now; if it doesn't, walk on. Either way, it's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

For now, equating the being with who we really are, is good enough for jazz.


Never miss an opportunity to distinguish something. When we distinguish something, we bring who we really are, to bear on the situation, indeed to bear on all  situations, which is to say we transform the situation, and we transform any situation - or (if you prefer) we transform ourselves  in any and all situations.

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