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

Breakthrough In Power

Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, California, USA

December 23, 2014

"Your power is a function of velocity - that is to say, your power is a function of the rate at which you translate intention into reality. Most of us disempower ourselves by finding a way to slow, impede, or make more complex than necessary the process of translating intention into reality."
This essay, Breakthrough In Power, is the eighth in a group of eight Breakthroughs:

Werner's work of transformation it could be said is a rich body of distinctions. You know, that's a really great way to articulate exactly what it is. Yet sometimes when I articulate it that way, I'm told designating the work of transformation as a rich body of distinctions, is too ... well ... abstract. Sometimes I'm also told articulating it that way doesn't provide concrete examples  of what transformation looks like and / or how it occurs ie how it shows up  in peoples' lives and in the world. It's true. People like to hear concrete examples of what transformation is. Indeed, sharing concrete examples of what transformation looks like, is very powerful - for example "This work transformed my life, and now (fill in the blank) is commonplace - it would have been impossible ie unthinkable ie unimaginable  before.".

I agree. Sharing concrete examples is a very powerful way of sharing transformation. However, I'm also in favor of (to the point of being comfortable with) designating transformation as a rich body of distinctions because it reminds us secondarily that while transformation manifests in actions, primarily and essentially it's brought forth by language. So I favor the "rich body of distinctions" designation perhaps even more than (yet not excluding) shared concrete examples. History is strewn with great transformational leaders whose followers emulate what they do in the futile hope that duplicating their actions is the path to becoming transformed like them.

Of this rich body of distinctions which is transformation, is there a distinction which could be recreated as a #1 transforming distinction ie as a bedrock  of transformation? Listen: I realize asking this question is like asking you to choose your favorite person from a group comprising your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your spouse, and your children. It's a tough call. In any case, why recreate distinctions at all? To that, I say simply because distinctions have a short half life, and need to be recreated from time to time (to quote Werner Erhard).

All that said, here's my choice for a #1 transforming distinction:

"It's empty and meaningless. And it's empty and meaningless that it's empty and meaningless"  (making it mean something that it's empty and meaningless is just more arrogance).

Now, considering what that may sound  like (it may sound like the cause of a malaise called existential angst), it's a most remarkable and unexpected source of inspiration, freedom, and empowerment for doing whatever there is to do in life.


Notice I said "... whatever there is to do ..." not "... whatever you have  to do ...": the only thing you have  to do is die.

Be careful: if you hear "the only thing you have to do is die" as morbid  or as any other similarly gratuitous descriptor, that's just an overlay, a filter which will get in your way of listening this in a way which has value.


Once I got (which is to say, once I was willing to try on  the possibility) it's empty and meaningless and it's empty and meaningless that it's empty and meaningless, the first thing I experienced was sadness for all my wasted effort and for all my misdirected good intentions up till then, all of which I saw were founded on the shaky premises of meaning, meaningfulness, and survival. Once I broke through the sadness, I realized I was more than willing to have "empty and meaningless" be a new context for living my life from then on: I looked forward to it.

The next thing I experienced was a vast  clearing in which I could choose to create something worthwhile, an enormous opening for action into which I (which is to say "I" like who I really  am) could step up, arguably for the first time. That something  eventually took the form of this Conversations For Transformation internet series of essays and the accompanying altered lifestyle which is required to sustain them.

What I've discovered in this so far eleven year endeavor, is that at the heart of this process with which I'm ongoingly translating my intention into reality, is what I've come to distinguish as my power. Whenever I perceive there's a stop, a block (in this particular genre  it's referred to as writer's block), the truth is there's really no such absolute  block, other than that which I consider a block to be. power is a function of the velocity ie of the rate  with which I get off it  and translate my intention into reality. This is the process which breaks through all perceived stops and blocks - not only writer's block but all stops and blocks across the board in life.

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