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

Essays - Twelve Years Later:

A New Beginning

Vallejo Ferry Dock, Vallejo, California, USA

August 17, 2015

This essay, Essays - Twelve Years Later: A New Beginning, is the twelfth annual State Of The Union  celebration of Conversations For Transformation:
  1. Essays - One Year Later: Critical Mass
  2. Essays - Two Years Later: Glass Walled Studio
  3. Essays - Three Years Later: Internet Presence
  4. Essays - Four Years Later: Side By Side
  5. Essays - Five Years Later: Arm In Arm
  6. Essays - Six Years Later: A Very Good Year
  7. Essays - Seven Years Later: By My Self
  8. Essays - Eight Years Later: Riding The Open Range
  9. Essays - Nine Years Later: Recreation
  10. Essays - Ten Years Later: Decade
  11. Essays - Eleven Years Later: Unimaginable
  12. Essays - Twelve Years Later: A New Beginning
  13. Essays - Thirteen Years Later: A Certain Space
  14. Essays - Fourteen Years Later: Lenses Of Creativity
  15. Essays - Fifteen Years Later: Essence
  16. Essays - Sixteen Years Later: It's All In The Mouth
  17. Essays - Seventeen Years Later
  18. Essays - Eighteen Years Later: The Heart Of The Matter
  19. Essays - Nineteen Years Later: On Being Used By Something Bigger Than Myself
  20. Essays - Twenty Years Later: Connected With Werner
in that order.

It is also the prequel to
  1. Speaking To People's Relationship With Werner
  2. Thanks A Million!
  3. A New Beginning: Momentum
in that order.

I am indebted to Charlene Afremow and to Gordon Starr who contributed material for this conversation.

I've been fully engaged ie I've been totally committed to writing this Conversations For Transformation internet series of essays non-stop since the epiphany  which started it all exactly twelve years ago today in the Napa Valley, the wine country  in California I call home. I made three promises to myself once the project gained momentum and traction. I promised to keep writing two new essays a week until I'd written one thousand essays. I promised I'd enroll one thousand people to subscribe to my e-mail announcement distribution list. I promised the Conversations For Transformation website would receive one million views. Those promises were so enormous for me at that time, that for all intents and purposes, they were impossible to keep.

This twice a week twelve year process has been akin to running a marathon - no, it's been waaay  more than that: it's been akin to running an ultra-marathon. I've been running continuously night and day for twelve years down valleys and up hills, through deserts and forests and towns, across country and over train tracks. Everything I've done during these twelve years ie the way I managed my life, the way I sustained my health, the way I planned my fitness regimen and my diet and my finances, indeed the way I conducted my social life  and allocated my time with my children, has been in service to writing these essays.

I've never lost touch with my purpose. Not once. Ever. My purpose in writing these essays is to make Werner available worldwide, in partnership with The Friends of Werner Erhard, and to afford Werner a certain internet presence  if you will, where you can experience who he is for yourself, and discover the profound value his work makes present for people. And now that my three promises have (almost) all been met, the end of this ultra-marathon is in sight. For the first time in twelve years I see the finish line ahead in the distance coming up to meet me.

When you get to the end of a marathon, you stop running. You may run another marathon later, or not. But at the end of the marathon you're running, you stop when you get to the finish line. Soon, in this two new Conversations For Transformation essays a week twelve year marathon I've been running, I'll get to the finish line. Then I'll stop running.

I don't know what I'll do next.

Conversations For Transformation - click to expand
Conversations For Transformation
Essays By Laurence Platt
Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
And More

The Finish Line

The Conversations For Transformation project in the form I envisioned it twelve years ago, will be complete once all three of my original intentions are fulfilled. This is the current status of those three original intentions:

 1)  One thousand Conversations For Transformation essays written:

This intention is fulfilled.

In fact by the time all three intentions are fulfilled, I'll have written and published approximately one thousand one hundred Conversations For Transformation essays ie one hundred more essays than I originally intended.

2)  One thousand people enrolled in the Conversations For Transformation e-mail announcement distribution list:

This intention is fulfilled.

I enroll new people in the Conversations For Transformation e-mail announcement distribution list whenever and only if they request it. It's my promise to immediately  unenroll people from this list if they ask to be unenrolled - no questions asked. So the total number of people enrolled in this list is always fluid and fluctuating as people ask to be unenrolled, and new people request to be enrolled.

Over the last five years, from a low of approximately one thousand people to a high of approximately two thousand people worldwide receiving my e-mail announcements twice a week, this list has now stabilized at approximately one thousand five hundred people. I expect this to be the final total when all three intentions are fulfilled.

3)  One million views received by the Conversations For Transformation website:

This intention is not yet fulfilled.

At the time of writing, the Conversations For Transformation website has received nine hundred and seventy four thousand, seven hundred and thirteen views. I envision twenty five thousand, two hundred and eighty seven more views will fulfill this intention which I project will be realized sometime in December of 2015. When the one millionth view has been received, the Conversations For Transformation project, having fulfilled its three stated intentions, will be complete.

When it's complete, I'll no longer be keeping my promise to write two new essays a week.

What's Next?

What's next? The truth is I don't know. It's a pure, clean "I don't know". One thing's for sure, though (and this you can bet on ie you can put it in the bank):  I'll find out soon enough. And as soon as I do, I'll let you know. Until then, here's what I do  know:

When the Conversations For Transformation website receives its one millionth view and I'm no longer keeping my promise to write two new Conversations For Transformation essays every week, I may yet write new essays whenever I get the urge or whenever inspiration calls. And if and when I do, I'll let you know they're posted via e-mail announcement as usual. It's only my promise to write "two new essays every week" which I'll no longer be keeping.

What I'll continue doing is alerting you immediately via e-mail as soon as new videos of Werner become available. I'll also alert you immediately as soon as new papers authored by Werner become available. In addition, if we get any really great photographs of Werner as well as quotes of his which simply rock my world (and they all do), I'll continue sharing them with you as I've been doing until now. These are ongoing promises to continue making Werner personally available.

The twelve years of writing two new Conversations For Transformation a week, not to mention setting my entire life up to support me writing two new Conversations For Transformation a week, week after week after month after month after year after year after year, have stretched me and purified me and focused me. This experience has been intense. It's been a cleansing, an ordeal by fire  if you will. What I mean by "ordeal by fire" is during this process, almost all of me which wasn't authentic, was burned off like a snowflake in a furnace. I say "almost  all" because there's always more inauthenticity, yes?

It's an almost 1,000% certainty that this experience of having undergone the ordeal by fire, will shape whatever's next.

Ongoing Commitment And Integrity

Although crossing this finish line ie receiving the one millionth website view, will mark a change in how often you hear from me by e-mail and how often I post new essays to the internet, my underlying commitment won't change. My commitment to make Werner's work available worldwide is ongoing and unending (I can't imagine doing anything else more worthwhile than this as my life's work - it's the only game in town).

This means the imminent completion of the two essays every week form of the Conversations For Transformation project, is simply the completion of one particular expression of one particular manifestation of this commitment.

Each marathon has its finish line. Each painting has its finish point. When a thing is finished, it's finished. The integrity of the finished two essays a week form of the Conversations For Transformation project, will be evidenced by the fact that when it finishes, it will be be finished based on what I originally said would measure its completion. That's when it will end. And its ending will allow something new ie something not now known, to happen.

I for one am really jazzed and excited to learn exactly what the "something new" ie the "something not now known" will be.

Content Comes And Content Goes But Context Is Forever

As this particular form of this particular iteration of making Werner available in the world comes to its inexorable conclusion, what's becoming apparent to me is the new beginning which is about to reveal itself. Make no error: the fulfillment of my third intention ie the one millionth website view, will be a big event. But here's the thing: the ending of my promise to write two new essays a week won't be an ending "because"  of anything. Rather it will be an ending as the fulfillment of a stated intention ie it will be an ending as the completion of an envisioned design.

Perhaps for the first time in my life, I've gotten to see and fully appreciate and be clear about the difference between an ending "because of" some circumstance or "because of" some condition or "because of" some reason or "because of" some excuse or "because of" some mistake or "because of" some scarcity or shortage ... and fulfillment / completion. It'll soon be time to wrap up the current form of the Conversations For Transformation project - but not because of  anything. No, it'll soon be time to wrap it up when it's complete.

Listen: when a person, entity, or thing is complete, it makes an even bigger context available. The ending of this current form makes a new opening available, a new beginning available, a new never before possible  beginning available.

This completing something, this generating a bigger context, this making possible something which was never possible before, this new beginning, is entirely consistent with who Werner is. It's a context which is forever.


As an expression of our friendship and as an expression of our partnership, I want to acknowledge each and every one of you who listens these essays and responds to them as they're posted - sometimes immediately, sometimes days later, sometimes months later, by telephone, by text message, by e-mail, and in person, sharing your thoughts and impressions and suggestions.

It's worth noting that after one thousand one hundred essays have been posted twice every week for twelve years, there've been literally thousands  of responses ... and only one  hostile response. Just one  token hostile response. To one thousand one hundred essays. Over twelve years. Among thousands of responses. That's remarkable. People get Werner.

Also as an expression of our friendship and as an expression of our partnership, I want to acknowledge that it was directly because of your responses, feedback, and constructive criticism that I discovered for myself how to listen for Conversations For Transformation through your  fresh listening rather than only through my own already always  listening. Through you I've become empowered to access and discover the way to recreate something whose nature can only be fully appreciated in the context of a generous conversation among committed friends.

I also want you to know that I know most  of you listen these essays without responding at all. I know this because the website's view counter increments waaay  more than the total number of responses I receive (each announcement of each new essay typically elicits anywhere from seven hundred to one thousand two hundred new website views). To you I'm especially grateful. I call you the silent  group. You listen ... and you listen ... and you don't say anything.

Even though this means there isn't an opportunity for you and I to interact personally and directly beyond our connection as reader / listener and writer / speaker, I always know you're there, I always know you're listening, and I always get your support, and I appreciate you so much.

What I Want To Leave You With

There've never been any encoded covert agendas behind these Conversations For Transformation. So there are no shocking secrets to tell or Earth-shattering surprises to reveal or admissions to make or withholds to 'fess up to or titillating titbits to dish, as I close in on this marathon's finish line. Conversations For Transformation have always been WYSIWYG  ie What You See Is What You Get. There are no hidden meanings.

Rather, I designed this body of work to provide a hospitable online space for you which you can visit any time you like 24 / 7 / 365, a space in which you can stay as long as you like and leave any time you like, a space from which you can take anything you like  (no, you won't be stealing: I'm giving it all away), and there are no expectations on you as to whether you'll visit at all or how long you'll stay if you do.

In this space I intend you'll find the access to who you really are as a human being. In this space I intend you'll find the world working like a possibility  for everyone with no one and nothing left out, as people discover who they really are. In this space I intend you'll discover the possibility of being in love for no reason. In this space I intend you'll discover the possibility of being in love with no other motive other than  being in love. In this space I intend you'll discover the distinction "love is where you come from". In this space I intend you'll discover the possibility of being a leader as your natural Self-expression.

Watch this space!

The body of work on this website will continue being available long after the Conversations For Transformation project is complete ie long after the website receives its one millionth view. It's not going anywhere. I intend for it to have a lifelong impact, longer even than my own lifespan. In my absence my daughter Alexandra will keep it available online. For my full permission agreement regarding reproducing these essays, please click "Permission" in the lower right of this page. There's no charge. I write these essays for You.

Thank You for Your Listening. Thank You for Our Friendship. Thank You for Our Partnership. In fact Thank You for Everything. Thanks ... a ... Million!

In particular and mostly, Thank You for Your Relationship with Werner.

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© Laurence Platt - 2015 through 2023 Permission