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 - Five Years Later:

Arm In Arm

Mayacamas Mountains, Northwest California, USA

August 17, 2008



This essay, Essays - Five Years Later: Arm In Arm, is the fifth 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
in that order.




Conversations For Transformation
Conversations For Transformation
Essays By Laurence Platt
Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
And More
This is the fifth annual State Of The Union  celebration of Conversations For Transformation. When I began to prepare for it, I put everything aside and was looking to see what its natural 2008 descriptor is, following I say "looking to see"  because these descriptors aren't so much descriptors I make up  as they are descriptors which, when I look, just show up  by themselves as the appropriate, apt, and (with 20/20 hindsight) even obvious  descriptors for these years of Conversations For Transformation.

"Critical Mass" is the body of work of my written material I'd archived from which Conversations For Transformation spontaneously ignited five years ago. "Glass Walled Studio" showed up as the  appropriate laboratory in which I should work sourcing Conversations For Transformation. "Internet Presence" marked the upping of the ante to fulfill, through Conversations For Transformation, Werner's intention to expand his presence on the world wide web, and (standing) "Side By Side" is the context in which I naturally found myself during the fourth year: affinity, closeness, and intimacy  are the prerequisites for as well as  the evidence of Conversations For Transformation.

It's this ongoing sense of expanding affinity, closeness, and intimacy Conversations For Transformation generates which prompted me to stand in this space and look from there at what the next descriptor would be. It would have to invoke whatever's more  intimate than standing "Side By Side". It would have to plainly be its perfect, unmistakable sequel.

During a recent visit with a friend, we, just the two of us, my friend and I were walking down a busy city street. I had an urge to take his arm as we walked, to walk arm in arm with my friend, but I didn't. I noticed I didn't. There was no judgement in not taking his arm as a perfect expression and gesture of relationship. I simply didn't do it.

But in my heart I did. In my heart my friend and I walked arm in arm. In my heart, the fifth year of Conversations For Transformation was more intimate than the fourth year of standing "Side By Side". In my heart I saw the fifth year of Conversations For Transformation was the year of walking "Arm In Arm".

Walking "Arm In Arm" is an expression of great affection between human beings. Even though there's an already always listening  which may misinterpret walking "Arm In Arm" as an expression of affection when it's between heterosexual men, as I looked at it it became clearer and clearer that not only is "Arm In Arm" a good descriptor for the fifth year of Conversations For Transformation - it's also very  powerful. Conversations For Transformation not only talks  the talk:  it also walks  the walk. And when it walks the walk, it walks the walk "Arm In Arm". That's  how the descriptor for the fifth annual State Of The Union  celebration of Conversations For Transformation showed up and chose itself.

It's been an intention of mine these last thirty years to generate a working expression of Werner's work and of transformation in the world. In particular, five years ago this intention morphed  to include generating such an expression in writing as a presence on the internet. Given the choices for a medium  for generating a working expression of Werner's work and of transformation in the world (for example, a book, an audio-book, tapes, videotapes, even the already carved out stand up seminar delivery), I chose the internet deliberately. It was an easy choice, a fit for both my technical skills as a platform for projecting Conversations For Transformation digitally, as well as a medium which clearly allows a massive exposure to any expression it hosts. There's the possibility for enormous successes. It's also a very big arena to fail in.

Magnified as they are by the sheer expanse of the internet, both the successes and kudos  as well as the failures are great teachers. It's completely misguided to bring forth transformation in order to win kudos. You write an Eleanor Rigby  for kudos. If you write Conversations For Transformation for kudos, the conversation will destroy itself.

By the same token, there's no diploma  which will qualify you to write Conversations For Transformation so if you do, there's not only bound to also be some embarrassing failures in a steep learning curve, but such failures are witheringly magnified by the unforgiving exposure afforded them by the internet. Yet it's this very coming up against it  which not only makes for experience but also tends to smooth off rough edges like rocks tumbled by a swiftly moving stream.

I'm clear about my technical abilities. In this arena I've got the right stuff  - no doubt about it. I'm clear about what I'm saying. I'm clear about what I intend to say. And behind it all as a foundation on solid bedrock, I know who Werner is and I've experienced the possibility of transformation. I don't want for much else by way of support to be willing to step out  unflinchingly beyond the new frontier  into the new wild west  of cyberspace and be the new deputy in town with a badge engraved "Conversations For Transformation".

The brutal  aspect of this work is the aspect you can't plan on, that you can't allow for. It's what it's like when you fail - not if  but when. That's when acknowledging the already present  "Arm In Arm" support network is both crucial and critical. If you're not willing to learn by failing occasionally, and if when you do you're not willing to be supported, to look, to rapidly discard what doesn't work in favor of what works even if what doesn't work is something you're attached to, participating in Conversations For Transformation is a dead end street, a medium without possibility, in other words the very antithesis  of its stated purpose.

I thank you for what you've afforded me these five years by letting me know when I've succeeded as well as being dispassionately tough when I've failed. Being unattached to either, I've had to learn, I've really  had to look and learn. If indeed there's any skill in my speaking, I've learned it all in the generous space your listening affords me.
Werner says "The truth believed is a lie.". Conversations For Transformation aren't the truth. They're just a bunch of words, really. But if you read them not as essays with any value in and of themselves but rather as language spoken inspired by, as language spoken in response to  being in the living presence of a certain experience called transformation, then arguably they do have enduring relevance and validity.

Thank You for Your Listening.


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