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




Transforming Disciplines

San Francisco International Airport, California, USA

August 24, 2018



"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." ... Pablo Picasso

This essay, Transforming Disciplines, is the companion piece to Transforming Meditation.

It is also the twelfth in an open group on Transformation:
  1. Transformation
  2. Nelson Mandela And Transformation
  3. The Way Of Transformation
  4. Transformation: The Life And Legacy Of Werner Erhard
  5. Moment Of Truth
  6. Transformation II
  7. No Line
  8. Transformation Is Timeless
  9. Transforming Life Itself: A Completely Started Inquiry
  10. Transformation Is Accountability Plus Committed Speaking
  11. Not One Size Fits All
  12. Transforming Disciplines
  13. Maybe This Says It Best (working title)
so far, in that order.

I am indebted to Valerie Hawes who inspired this conversation.




The title of this essay is Transforming Disciplines. If you articulated it emphasizing its first word "Transforming" (try it: "Transforming  Disciplines"), it could refer to disciplines which transform ie it could refer to disciplines which bring forth and impart transformation. In this case, "Transforming" is an adjective in the form of a present participle, qualifying the plural noun "Disciplines".

My intention however, is to articulate it emphasizing its second word "Disciplines" (try it: "Transforming Disciplines"). Now the title refers to transforming all disciplines. In this case, "Transforming" is a verb in the present perfect progressive  tense, acting on its object plural noun "Disciplines".
Werner's work unleashes the very real possibility of transforming disciplines. So a Rabbi practicing Judaism, would be a transformed Jewish Rabbi, and a priest practicing Catholicism, would be a transformed Catholic Priest, and an Imam practicing Islam, would be a transformed Islamic Imam, and a Yogi practicing Hatha Yoga, would be a transformed Hatha Yogi, and an Analyst practicing Jungian Psychotherapy, would be a transformed Jungian Analyst, and a Buddhist practicing Zen, would be a transformed Zen Buddhist etc etc etc.

Like that.

The question then (ie the obvious  question then) is this: what exactly is the difference between a transformed  Jewish Rabbi and a Jewish Rabbi, and between a transformed Catholic Priest and a Catholic Priest, and between a transformed Islamic Imam and an Islamic Imam, and between a transformed Hatha Yogi and a Hatha Yogi, and between a transformed Jungian Analyst and a Jungian Analyst, and between a transformed Zen Buddhist and a Zen Buddhist? In a word, the difference is the "context"  - that is to say, the difference is they each get the context in which they practice their respective disciplines, as who they really are. Furthermore, they each get that the context in which they practice their respective disciplines, is distinct from their discipline itself. And more than that, they each get that the context in which they practice their respective disciplines, is already whole and complete, even if the idea of their respective disciplines, is to impart wholeness and completion.

Arguably the point ie the purpose, the end-point  of all disciplines is transformation. Now I know there are different ways of articulating this end-point (God-realization, salvation, haq-ul-yaqeen, Self-realization, individuation, satori, etc etc etc). There are also legitimate and subtle differences in the way their experiences are described, depending on the lexicon deployed by, and the tradition of each discipline, not to mention the conversation  each discipline is (look: if a discipline is anything at all, it's a conversation). It's a good bet that purists would be able to identify those subtle differences in each of them way better than I ever could. But with that said, I'll also bet good money that all of them, being essentially very human pursuits, point in one form or another to, and aspire to, what Werner distinguishes as transformation.

So being transformed, a proponent of any discipline, would practice their discipline exactly  as they've always practiced it, except they would practice it on a platform of being already  transformed. That's worlds apart from practicing it in order to get  transformed. And that's really the only difference between a proponent of a discipline, and a transformed proponent of a discipline ie a proponent of a transformed discipline. Indeed, Werner's work unleashes the possibility of transforming all disciplines.



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