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


Conversation With A Laser

San Francisco, California, USA

November 16, 2012



This essay, Conversation With A Laser, is the first in the first trilogy Breakfast With The Master:
  1. Conversation With A Laser
  2. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  3. Secret Agent
in that order.
The second trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Health
  2. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  3. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Open
in that order.
The third trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Raw Power
  2. It Works Better As A Possibility
  3. Magic At Heart
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master IV: Parental Care
  2. Breakfast With The Master IV: Taking The Guilt Out Of It
  3. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master V: Not Yet Titled (working title)
  2. Breakfast With The Master V II: Not Yet Titled (working title)
  3. Breakfast With The Master V III: Not Yet Titled (working title)
in that order.


There are dinner conversations. And then there are dinner conversations. This is a dinner conversation. This is no "How are you and the children?" dinner conversation - and I love  "How are you and the children?" dinner conversations with good friends. No, this  is a dinner conversation with a laser.

Language is the implement of transformation. If transformation is to come forth, it requires a different order of conversation ie a new realm  of conversation to cause a breakthrough in our self-imposed comfortable familiarity  which renders us sociable  while not allowing anything new  by way of being  to presence itself. It's more than that actually. It's typically our self-imposed comfortable familiarity is defensive  in nature (arguably unknowingly), designed to guard against  anything new by way of being, presencing itself.

I stay in shape. I either run five miles a day on an elliptical  at my gym, or I swim three quarters of an hour a day in the gym pool. I have physical checkups annually. The eye checkups are the most interesting. The optometrist puts yellow drops in my eyes causing their pupils to dilate. Then he can look into my eyes. I mean that quite literally. I mean then he can look right into  my eyes and see everything inside them as if they were hollow transparent spheres.

This is what my dinner conversation with a laser, is like. Sitting opposite me, relaxed and almost expressionless, he's looking into my eyes - no yellow drops needed. He sees right into  my eyes. No, it's more than that. It's waaay  more than that. He's looking at my face and right into my eyes and seeing right through them, not stopping until he sees the back of my brain and everything between.

I'm rendered naked - fully clothed yet naked. There's no point trying to cover my nakedness, no point trying to shield myself from the laser. Trying to do so would be futile - like trying to keep my insides hidden from an X-ray. There's a gritty uncertainty to this. I get an "Uh  oh ..." feeling - as if I've ventured too far  out onto the frozen lake (and could that be the sound of cracking ice I hear?).

But there's no point  resisting a laser. Being completely uncovered like this is slightly uncomfortable. The thing is I'm the source  of the discomfort. It's not he who's making me  uncomfortable. They're very different experiences. It's a critical distinction, critical enough to allow me to proceed with the conversation with him, critical enough for me to allow him to stay in the conversation with me, with permission and integrity.

Suddenly in a moment out of time, my discomfort gives way to privilege. It's nothing I did which changes things. Rather, given I chose to be here, I surrender to the moment. And that's when an amazing thing happens: I start to see, with increasing ease, that which the laser is focused on. I start to see, with clarity, that which is ordinarily out of my own view: my inauthenticity, my attachment, my fear driven by survival. It's a supreme challenge to stay present  and not act on everything my mind throws out telling me not to be here. But it always  tells me not to be here in situations like this. In a moment of inspired resignation  I wonder "If not here, then where?" ... and "If not now, then when?" ... and (most obviously) "If not with him, then with whom?".

When I get that, I let go. I feel my shoulders go slack as I give over entirely to the conversation - actually a no credit, no brainer move since the laser sees it all anyway. For the first time I speak freely and in depth about where I'm attached, about how it gets in my way, about how it stops me being with whom I want to be with and doing what I want to do and having what I want to have. It's a cold, objective, non-judgemental non-preferential  observation. I see it's how I'm being. At least I see it's a way  I'm being.

He can tell I see it, and as soon as I see it, he says "Good. Then there's nothing else we need to talk about.". I look at his face and see it looking back at me in a whole new way. His eyes twinkle. His face radiates love. The laser bright light, for all intents and purposes, has melted and is now less intense, merging with the background restaurant lighting as our conversation turns to recent movies we've seen in the last few days: he Lincoln, me Skyfall.

The thing is after this dinner conversation with this laser, I'm not the same person I was when I saw Skyfall.



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