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

Transformation Is Timeless

O'Brien Estate, Napa Valley, California, USA

February 22, 2014

This essay, Transformation Is Timeless, is the eighth 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. What It Also Comes Down To
  14. Transforming The Untransformable
  15. Who You Might Be Really
so far, in that order.

I am indebted to Gordon Murray who inspired this conversation.

What occurs for me from time to time as I sit down to write or to prepare to write these Conversations For Transformation is despite all my best intentions, how far behind the eight ball  I seem to be when it comes to being current with the leading edge of Werner's work ie with the leading edge of the work of transformation. Listen: being congruent  with the leading edge of Werner's work is even harder  than being current. And the truth is I don't know  how to keep up and stay current, let alone stay congruent.

This is why "Can I (is it possible to) stay current with the work of transformation?" is an inquiry I've engaged in for a few months now. This essay re‑creates and shares what's emerged for me. Here's the punch line (*** SPOILER ALERT!  ***): the idea of staying current with the work of transformation is almost impossible in at least one critical sense, and it's also really moot, an absolute non sequitur  in another.

Here's the first question: in what sense is it almost impossible to stay current with the work of transformation?

The work of transformation travels at the speed of sound ie at the speed of language, at the speed of the spoken word. The more it's listened, the more it can be spoken, and the more it's spoken, the more accurate  it becomes. The more accurate it becomes, the more likely it is to expand into new areas. Indeed the more likely it is to expand into new areas, the more likely it is to make a difference  in new areas. At the speed of the spoken word, what's current today with the work of transformation, becomes old very quickly as it ongoingly breaks through into new areas, making the idea of staying current with the work of transformation almost impossible.

That, and the very language which generates the work of transformation is constantly evolving. In Werner's work's originating years, the language of transformation (which is to say the language with which transformation is generated and shared) was blunter, more abrupt, more confrontational. In spite of various opinions to the contrary, this wasn't due to some boorish lack of skill, finesse, or social grace. It was that way simply because given it's newness, unfamiliarity, and striking maverick  originality at the time, it was hard to listen. Consequently it required a certain commitment, a certain unwavering strength, a certain unstopping power  to communicate it effectively.

Today, given its familiarity in the world, it's easier to listen. It can be gotten faster and without effort, and so it naturally needn't be as blunt. This natural evolution as an ongoing process, has also called for crucial definitions to be re-written or at least to be re-worded more appropriately to the zeitgeist. Transformation, for example, once defined self-referentially as "The space  in which the event  'transformation' occurs" is now the lighter, less cerebrally challenging  (if you will), more direct (albeit less interesting, in my opinion) "The Genesis of a New Realm of Possibility.".

This isn't a difficult transition to make. It's quite smooth actually. The new definition is the outcome, the result of what came before. The new definition comes from  what came before. It stands on  what came before. However, if you aren't actively engaged in the conversation for transformation, it's almost impossible to segue  from the earlier to the newer, to keep up, to stay current.

And then there's the whole advent of the notion of possibility. Ah, possibility! When the work of transformation began ie when the conversation for transformation began, it was primarily concerned with setting the foundation for, distinguishing, then delivering transformation. Thereafter it was clear something new  had become available. It became apparent something new had become possible which wasn't possible before. When that fish walked up on the land for the first time, it brought with it elephants and eagles like a possibility. What had become possible and reachable  which wasn't possible before, was the possibility of possibility itself.

Still, on the balance of things, transformation explicitly received 95% of the focus in this conversation, with possibility receiving the remaining 5% of the focus. In its formative years, a presentation of the work of transformation led up  to transformation, then hinted at possibility near the end. The spread was around 95% / 5% then. Today, given the quantum shift in the listening in the world, a presentation of the work of transformation starts  with transformation, then fleshes out possibility - more like 5% / 95%.

Remember, that wasn't just because someone simply forgot to divide the time evenly. It was because the listening in the world wasn't yet fully conditioned for possibility (it was, after all, only just becoming conditioned for transformation). You'd have to stay active in the conversation to step from Self‑expression as transformation to Self-expression as possibility, and to hold the latter as a logical consequence of the former. Without staying active in the conversation, it would be almost impossible to keep up, to stay current with this aspect of the work of transformation, with this leading edge of Werner's work.

Those are but a couple of examples of how staying current with the work of transformation is almost impossible - almost impossible, that is, without participating in it ongoingly. And this anomaly isn't likely to change any time soon in the foreseeable future. The work of transformation, by its very nature, always opens up newer and newer possibilities. There'll always  be something newer and newer to get, on and on, forever and ever.

All that said, here's the second question: in what sense is the idea of staying current with the work of transformation, on the other hand, really moot, an absolute non sequitur? In this sense:

Consider there's an arbitrary line I could draw. On the one side of this arbitrary line is becoming  transformed: the searching, the seeking, the path, the struggle. On the other side of this arbitrary line is being  transformed. The arbitrary line is drawn between not  transformed (past and present) and soon to be  transformed (future). After I miraculously cross this line and look back, I could say the line stood between am  transformed (present and future) and wasn't  transformed (past).

Except that's not what happens. That's not how it goes. And why we're surprised when it doesn't go that way, is because looking at it like that, assumes transformation is linear  ie sequential, that transformation happens in a moment in time.

In fact transformation doesn't happen in a moment in time: it happens out of  time. Look into this for yourself (don't simply believe me): when you're transformed, you are  and always will be  transformed ... and  ... (even more remarkable) when you're transformed, you always were  transformed, yes? Transformation obviously recontextualizes  (I love  that word) the present and the future. Perhaps not so obviously, it also reaches back into and recontextualizes the past. So transformation is timeless.

It's in this sense of timelessness that the idea of staying current with the work of transformation is really moot, an absolute non sequitur. Because transformation's timeless, you being transformed are always  current with it. You being transformed are always current with the work of transformation. And you're always congruent with it too, by the way. How could you ever not  be?

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