The Language of Transformation – Part I

The Language of Transformation – Part I

Dr Joe Dispenza | 05 December 2023

Those of you in the Dr Joe Live community got a real treat when we introduced you to an important member of our scientific research team a couple of months ago. If you missed that conversation, I’m so happy to introduce you to the work of Jeff King, Ed.D. – and an exciting area of research for us.

Jeff came to us through his pioneering research as the Assistant Vice President for Transformative Learning at the University of Central Oklahoma. His background and credentials are extensive; you can read more about him on UCO’s website. Briefly, I’ll say this: Jeff and his team have been working with college students to identify patterns in their language – through stories, narratives, and self-reflective writing – and then connect those patterns to the learning process itself.

As he progressed in his own areas of study, Jeff – who has been following our work for more than a decade – contacted our research team to propose ways we might study “the language of transformation” within our community.

You’ve heard me say many times that we come to this work, ultimately, to change. We might think we’re looking for healing, or unlimited abundance, or a dream job, or a loving relationship. But eventually, we all come to realize that nothing changes in our lives until we change.

And so, it makes sense to study the language of those individuals in our community who have had a personal change – because language is essential to teach transformation. And the model and tools we use are very similar to what Jeff’s team is using with college students – learning, remembering, storytelling, and metaphor.

Thus far in our research, we’ve used the contemporary language of science to build a model of transformation, applying information and findings to understand the “what” and the “why” – so the “how” gets easier. With this new phase of research on language, we’re studying people’s experience of personal change and transformation as allegory – an instructive demonstration of truth. In other words, we use the language of our own transformative experience to teach it to others who also want to change.

When we learn about someone else’s transformation and can connect it to our own understanding and experience, we’re connecting to the possibility of our own personal transformation.

As a follow-up to the rich, hour-long conversation Jeff and I had in October, I want to share some fundamental ideas with you. We’ll be continuing on this theme for the next several weeks. Meanwhile, if you’d like to hear the whole conversation, we’ll provide a link to Dr Joe Live at the end of this post.

The ‘Strength of the Signal’

To best determine how to integrate Jeff’s area of expertise with our own research, we came up with a little test program, if you will. We already have hundreds of testimonials from people who have healed in this work – in the form of our community’s powerful Stories of Transformation. So, working with Dr Hemal Patel, our lead researcher, Jeff began to analyze a small sampling of those stories. He and Hemal chose 27 healing testimonials involving remissions from numerous types of cancer to begin.

We approached the analysis with these questions in mind: Among these testimonials, would we find commonalities of language and context? Could we surface consistencies among people describing transformative, healing experiences – and use them as teaching tools?

And so, using artificial intelligence, Jeff and our team scanned those testimonials for commonalities among their descriptions.

“And sure enough,” Jeff shared with us in our Dr Joe Live conversation. “The AI turned up two things that were of enormous interest. And those two things were around the word, or the verb, ‘feel’ – and the kind of context in which people used that word: ‘feel, feeling, felt,’ and so on.

“And the second thing which came up was verb tense. Were they speaking in the past? Were they speaking in the present tense; in the future tense? – in other words, the temporal aspect of the language that they were using.”

What do we mean by “temporal aspect”? In short, when people change through this work in some way, they no longer identify as that past self who had those past problems. They see their past conditions as if they were looking at a past life. The verb tenses they use, as part of the language of transformation, indicate the person they’ve become in the present and – from that present personality – they see the person yet to come in the future.

Though the sample size was small, our team felt these results were significant. To verify them, they consulted the CEO of Jeff’s primary research partner through his university – a man whose company is founded on deciphering the meaning of studies like ours. And his feedback confirmed our excitement at these early findings.

“What he said to me,” Jeff told us, “Was … ‘Based on what I see in these 27 narratives’ – and in the world of scientific research, of course, 27 is a small research number – ‘If I saw this same thing when you brought me a thousand narratives … I would completely take this to the bank. I’m about ready to do it now, just on the strength of the signal.”

Our team knew, from this small sampling, that there is something, indeed, to “the language of transformation.” As Jeff asked himself, following these initial discussions: What do these commonalities mean? How do we apply them to this work?

In my next post, we’ll explore what it means to “feel it” – or, as the case may be, to have “felt it.” To “heal” or “be healed.” In the meantime, if you’re not already a member, you can subscribe to Dr Joe Live and listen to my conversation with Jeff. We’ll go deeper into what it all means in a couple of weeks.


To learn more about Dr Joe Live – and subscribe to access our full library of past conversations, including Dr Joe’s October 2023 conversation with Jeff King on The Language of Transformation – visit the Dr Joe Live pages on our website.