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


Brilliant Is In Your Ears

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

November 5, 2009



"Transformation shows up in my mouth."  ... 
"Brilliant is in your ears." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Brilliant Is In Your Ears, is the companion piece to Projector.

I am indebted to John Hunter and to Palmer Kelly who inspired this conversation.




"Brilliant!" he said to me after listening intently to something I wrote.

"Thank You" I said. "I got your acknowledgement, and I'd like you to consider brilliant, good Sir, is really in your ears.".

A half minute, during which nothing was said, went by. Then, eyes narrowing, puzzlement seeping into his tone of voice, he asked "What  the heck  are you talking  about?".

Let me explain ...

I do know that to which he's referring. For someone who doesn't think it's worth much talking about  transformation, I've written a lot - not about  transformation per se  but rather coming from the context  for transformation. And while that's not quite the truth either, to say I write coming from the context for transformation is good enough for jazz.

What I seem to be doing ie what I accept responsibility for  in the matter, is flapping my fingers at a computer keyboard, then uploading the resulting collection of characters to the internet which, in turn, renders wiggly marks on your computer screen. That's  what I do, and that's all I do. I don't put value, I don't put brilliant per se  on the internet. It's the generous listening you bring to this process in which any value, in which any brilliant shows up. Any value, any brilliant in what I say (or write, as the case may be) shows up wholly, completely, totally, and entirely  in your listening.

No kidding! It really does. This isn't some kind of false modesty  on my part. Nor is it being unwilling to accept acknowledgement. If you say Conversations For Transformation or something you read in them are (quote unquote) brilliant, I say "brilliant" is in your ears.

If you say brilliant is somewhere out there  in the world, it would be an assessment on your part. In other words, you'd look out there, see something, assess it as brilliant, then declare it's brilliant. That's if brilliant is somewhere out there  in the world. The trouble is: it's not.

There's nothing intrinsically brilliant in the world. There's nothing intrinsically brilliant in what I do. Rendering a collection of wiggly marks on your computer screen is about as brilliant as the wiggly marks earthworms render as they ess  over a muddy patch in your vegetable garden. Your assessment brilliant  doesn't make it brilliant. It's only an assessment it's brilliant.

But here's the thing: in order for you to make the assessment brilliant, you have to already have  an idea of brilliant against which you can make the assessment  brilliant. And this already  idea of brilliant which you already have, is where brilliant is. If there is brilliant, it's not out there. It's prior to  out there. It's even prior to your assessment brilliant  of what's out there.

It's in your already idea  of brilliant. It's in your listening. Simply put, brilliant is in your ears.



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