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


Dynamite Next To A Naked Flame

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

September 3, 2005



I am indebted to Victor Simas and to Charlene Afremow who inspired this conversation.


Werner says "Distinctions have a short half life, and need to be recreated from time to time.".

Transformation ie being in a conversation about transformation, is a distinction.

Your first moment of transformation, that moment out of time when you stopped being your act and became yourSelf for the first time, happened as the result of an act of creation. To say that more rigorously, when you first experienced who you really are as not your act, it happened because you created who you really are as distinct from your act.

When you became truly alive and stepped away from merely existing, from only being about making it, from getting by, from surviving, you created that. So if transformation fades or goes away, guess what? You stopped creating it. That's all.

Transformation isn't your birthright. You are not born with it. Yes, you are born with the possibility  of it. But you are not born with it. If you get it and you don't ongoingly create it, it goes away. Really it does. That's its nature. In fact it only lives in you creating it. There is no other place it occurs.

If you listen to enough people describing their personal experiences of transformation, you start to notice that while each of them may share their experience in slightly different terms, there's a common thread running through all of them which sounds like the end of identifying with self, and becoming Self.

What's the difference?

"self" is who you mistake yourself to be and believe, your act, your ego, your strong suit etc and all that makes up the way you have constructed yourself in order to survive your life.

"Self" is really all there is, space, total consciousness, who you really are and who I really am and who Werner really is (we are one as Self), context, and if I could whisper this, I would also add the word "God" but I suspect that could get us all into trouble because it's not that Self is God but rather that God is Self. That's a loaded conversation which you should treat as carefully as if you were carrying a stick of dynamite next to a naked flame.

The trouble it could get us into is twofold.

One is whenever the G-word comes up, the speaking of it as well as the listening of it is fraught with belief and goeswith  being right about it and having a point of view about it (as Alan Watts may have said). Or, to couch it in more classical terms, there is a tendency toward righteousness whenever God occurs in a conversation, both spoken and listened. We've all seen the movie so many times before. We love offering our critiques and our opinions of all its scenes and images. But when was the last time you watched the movie and distinguished the screen on which all its scenes and images dance?

Two is who you are simply is who you are and has no cause for quarrel with who you mistake yourself to be and believe. Righteousness comes from who you mistake yourself to be and believe in order to reassert who you mistake yourself to be and believe. And the trouble with that is being right about God effectively kills off any real experience of God.

During a recent conversation with Werner I heard him develop two powerful distinctions: the world to word fit, and the terministic screen. Not de-terministic screen. It sounds like that but it isn't. A terministic screen comprises the terms, words, phrases, and sentences which keep people in  a conversation or out  of it.

In one of those bibles (I can't remember which one) it says "In the beginning was the Word.". God has a world to word fit. "Let there be light!" ... and there was light. Adam, a guy without a past, got to name the animals. He had a world to word fit.

Naming is not cheap. The way you name something determines the world in which it shows up for people. The way you speak something determines the world in which it shows up for people. Consider the possibility that who you really are is constituted in language, that who you are is really a set of conversations albeit not a limited set of conversations nor a fixed set of conversations. The world to word fit in your speaking is where God as Self shows up. The way you speak God as Self is a terministic screen which keeps people in the conversation God as Self, or not.

The conversation God as Self is God as Self.



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