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 - Sixteen Years Later:

It's All In The Mouth

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

August 17, 2019

"It's all in the mind."
... George Harrison
"It's all in the mouth."
... Joseph "Joe" Kempin inspired by 
This essay, Essays - Sixteen Years Later: It's All In The Mouth, is the sixteenth 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.

I am indebted to Joseph "Joe" Kempin and to John Taylor who contributed material for this conversation.


I'm Laurence.

This is my sixteenth year writing these Conversations For Transformation and publishing them bi-weekly, and more. It's honed my writing skills (it had to have that effect, particularly in this genre). After sixteen years, I've got an incontrovertible take-away  from all this. It's a take-away that's not new. Rather it's a take-away that's redistinguished, re-experienced, and then ultimately recontextualized  (I love  that word). It's regardless of how much I write, the written word is never the domain of transformation. That's not an easy get, absenting making a rigorous distinction: the authentic domain of being transformed is only brought forth by the spoken  word.

Transformation doesn't show up on paper (what's on paper is but a close approximation  to transformation, but never the real deal). Transformation shows up in my mouth. Transformation on paper (ie these essays) is useful inasmuch as it points to the spoken word and provides material for the spoken word. But the way it works is you don't get transformed from reading. I'm sorry but it's not located in the self-help  section of your village bookstore or your local public library. In spite of reams and reams of our best efforts (including my own) it just doesn't happen that way. One proven way of getting transformation is by participating in Werner's programs with their lavish, exquisitely choreographed opportunities to experience bringing forth transformation as a linguistic  act, as an act of speech ie as the spoken word. So their emphasis is on experiencing  transformation - personally and directly. Formats which focus on understanding  may just compound the issues and get in the way.

          Conversations For Transformation
                    Essays By Laurence Platt
      Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
                                 And More

                            Click to expand
Apropos resolving our own conditions and where necessary explaining them, we often fall back on "It's all in the mind.". There's something all-knowing and all-encompassing about that. But rather than invest our time fleshing out what that may or may not mean, or arguing if it's valid or not (or is in fact little more than dismissing out of hand that over which we have no power?), consider the possibility of "It's all in the mouth"  - which is to say it's all a function of what we speak  (or don't  speak, as the case may be). The domain of transformation is the spoken word ie "It's all in the mouth.". Examine it. Tell the truth about it unflinchingly. You don't always have power over what's in your mind. You always have a lot  of power over what comes out of your mouth.

If that's what I write (or stated more colloquially, if that's what I write about)  I'm mindful of the risk of seeming to take transformation out of the realm of what's spoken, and entrapping it in the realm of what's written. That's just what goeswith  the territory of writing Conversations For Transformation. But it only remains a concern for as long as it's unidentified, undistinguished, and unclearly stated. Context is decisive, and language is the scalpel of experience.

This essay is the one thousand four hundred and seventy ninth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series of bi-weekly essays. I expect it to attract a thousand views or more to this website in the next four days or less. The website will soon showcase one thousand five hundred essays, which will soon attract their one million five hundred thousandth view. As for what inspires me: if I was uninspired, my naïvely enthusiastic energy would have run out a long, long time ago. Transformation is always inspired by conversations with those closest to us. Sharing transformation begets sharing transformation.

In this regard I want to thank each of you for being the bedrock of my inspiration. In a work like this, what you bring is the essential medium. I mean that like the cardstock for my acrylics, you bring the listening for my words. The words I write merely represent my already always intention to make Werner available worldwide. It's the listening you bring which completes this work. And I'm inspired by your listening. It calls me to be my best, to leave it all on the court. The privilege of your listening calls me to task to never be anything less. Frankly, it's daunting. But then again, isn't living Life itself daunting?

Look: transformation is  daunting. More than that, being responsible  for being transformed is daunting. Yet transformation, while daunting, is simple. And although it's simple, it's not always easy  (if it were easy, the world would be transformed by now). Transformation brings forth the possibility of massive, discontiguous  breakthroughs across the board in Life - often unexpectedly. Gaping portals magically appear in the beingsphere  through which miracles pour. Be careful: the impact of a negative, changes the way things go, just as surely as the impact of a positive, changes the way things go. But whether it's a negative change in the way things go or whether it's a positive change in the way things go, it's still a change within the same old same old context.

Now, with that as your background, try this on for size: negativity is opening the refrigerator and seeing nothing to eat; positivity is opening the refrigerator and seeing something to eat; transformation on the other hand, is opening the refrigerator ... and seeing the Grand Canyon in there  ... (Oh, that's classic Werner). In particular, the sudden, shocking, Life-altering  moments of getting it's all in the mouth epitomize  opening the refrigerator and seeing the Grand Canyon in there. After forty years being around Werner, and after sixteen years writing these Conversations For Transformation, I keep getting it - over and over and over again and again and again. And after all this time it still keeps knocking me on my you-know-what  - each and ... every ... single  ... time.

Thank You for your ongoing generosity, reading what I've been writing - over and over and over again and again and again for all these sixteen years. Thank You for your ongoing generosity, intimately sharing with me what it's like for you to get it - over and over and over again and again and again. Thank You for your ongoing generosity, sharing the way transformation keeps knocking you on your you-know-what, each and every single time. Thank You for being inspiring by staying vigilant, awake, and alert, and never allowing the miracle of who we really are, to slip into the realm of the mundane, the everyday, the blah, the meh, the same old same old.

Thank You for Playing (really).

Thank You for Your Listening.

Thank You for Your Relationship with Werner.
Laurence Platt

Self Portrait

Alston Park, Napa Valley, California, USA

11:11:11am Friday August 9, 2019

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