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



Partrick Ridge, Mount Veeder Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

December 29, 2020

This essay, Emeriti, is the companion piece to It is also the twenty seventh in an open group on People:

Photograph courtesy Emeriti
If you lay claim to the gift of transformation (that is, if you lay claim to the miracle  of transformation) then when you tell the truth about it, you've got lots of people to thank (if not, whatever you got isn't transformation). Transformation, occurring as it does almost entirely as a conversation, is a function of people speaking with and listening each other. It's to those people who've gifted me with their speaking and listening in Conversations For Transformation, thereby transforming my life, that I'm most indebted. Some of them have been in my life for forty years and more. They were fixtures, bastions, people who would be around forever. I couldn't imagine a world without them.

But people do move on. They retire. They complete. They redirect their energies. And in the annals of Werner's work, some of them take the title "Emeritus" (adjective, singular) when they move on. It's this body of emeriti  (noun, plural) for whom I have profound gratitude.

From the Cambridge International Dictionary:


noun, plural
from the adjective (singular) emeritus

no longer having a position, especially in a college or university, but keeping the title of the position

To borrow from that song, you don't always know who you've got till they're gone. And to be sure, there are also those who've gone before, upon whom the title "Emeritus" has not been bestowed (not all forerunners take it on). That said, although in the combined body of titled and non-titled emeriti there are literally too many to name, I'm acutely aware that all of them, some in massively massive ways, and others in minutely massive ways, paved the way for so many of us to experience Werner's work in conversations that made it available, natural, and certain. To me, those who came before, are heroes, standing as the base-structure of a human pyramid on whose shoulders we now all get to stand, indeed without whom there'd be nothing for us to stand on.

In retrospect, I'm particularly grateful that they saw my own petulance ie my own smallness, at a time when I had not yet distinguished it, called me on it (which I hated) thus showing me an entirely new possibility for being human (which I loved). You know who you are. I'll be forever indebted to you. Thank you! I love you.

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