BOOKKEEPING AND CRYSTAL CLOCKS
An accounting preamble: context ignorance
When I began working in the purchasing office, still I didn’t know anything about accounting. Only, I gave the suppliers’ invoices to the external accountant, with some days in advance in respect of the VAT deadline. I had no idea about the routes the accounting clerks forwarded the documents to. If one talked about liabilities and equities I could follow the reasoning for a couple of sentences, but then I did not understand anymore the direction of credits and debits. I was aware there was a list of all the accounts and that it’s just called chart of accounts, but I knew a few entries only belonging to the expenses section; more precisely, I knew the entries positioned in the top part of that section, the ones related to the raw materials I was used to manage. Yet the subdivisions among the different kinds of services made me suspicious, and I knew that going more down there was strange things like the non-deductible input tax, amortizations, capital losses, or the cash over and short account.
After a couple of years from my entrance in the company it came the moment for us to bring the accounting inside (before, as I just hinted at, the accounting was managed by an external accountant). This happened together with the purchase of an AS400 server, and it was me managing both these changes, seizing the opportunity for learning how the accounts work.
We were in the half of the nineties, and Google was not there for helping me; I learned the matter from the programmer of the accounting software, and of course asking something to our external accountant. In a few weeks I started understanding the difference between credits and debits happening in the Assets rather than in the Revenues, and within some months I became familiar with bank accounts and year-end tasks. Now I usually record customs bills of entry, purchasing invoices with many different types of VAT, payroll liabilities and expenses. Let’s say I know enough about this stuff to weigh the competencies of an accounting clerk in a job interview.
Context awareness and crystal nature
There was a time when ignorance was prevailing, and to me accounting was a bother only, an address to which I sent requirements and from which I awaited answers. I saw what entered it and what came out of it, but with no understanding about the linkage between the input and the output. The ignorance about the issue sometimes brought me to underestimate its complexity, or, on the contrary, to fear excessively its consequences. Behind that word, there was in my mind an aggregate of external points of view, not a thoughts structure pertinent to the reality that it pointed out.
Subsequently an experience took place by means of which a sound awareness of the context built itself up, and today, before the voucher of the bank, I don’t hang on pondering anymore: soon I proceed recording it in the book of original entry. If checking the bank statement I find something that does not balance I just have in mind where the origin of the matter can be found. Yesterday, bookkeeping was the name of a wood which paths I didn’t know, today it’s a domain I can see through as it was a crystal clock in which I distinguish the moving mechanisms.
As months and years went by, I got skilled in other areas too inside the company, discovering crystal clocks in the sales office and in the production department, in the human resources management and in the most technical issues. Outside business, I found crystal clocks in women’s behaviours, in politicians’ talks and of course in university courses.
Transparency as a life-style
By experience and study, mass becomes transparent. Every work is a cultivation that makes the ground evaporate, leaving visible the knowledge gold seam. Earth is temporary only. The eyes sight teaches us the opaque surfaces, but we prefer looking for the crystal clocks. Transparency becomes a religion, consistent with the production context and capable to lead us to the most coloured countries of the Here and Now.
Sure, knowing the unknown contexts can be learned it’s not enough to make them transparent, but we can make it easier to happen, changing the mind attitude by an expectation for a transparent world. The difference is in becoming aware that every opaque substance is the starting point only for discovering an impalpable relations system. There is a change in the stance towards mass, that stops being a barrier against the unfolding of the thought, which tracks branch off in every direction, like Escher’s staircases. Objects become paths webs and the world turns to be the moves of a bright thought without any shadow.