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


Face In The Water

Harvest Inn, St Helena, California, USA

November 5, 2010



Conversations For Transformation receives its three hundred thousandth view with the publishing of Face In The Water.

I am indebted to Jim Manton who inspired this conversation.




There's no secret to these Conversations For Transformation. There's no secret to why they work. But if there were a secret, here it is (Warning! Spoiler alert!):  it's where they look from. With regard to this "where they look from" element, it's possible anyone taking a stand for where they look from  can generate transformation simply by standing up and reading the telephone book or the dictionary out loud for people. Similarly, it's possible anyone who takes a stand for where they look from can generate transformation simply by standing up and reading these Conversations For Transformation out loud for people. Or the telephone book. Or the dictionary. It's the same thing. It's where you look from. There's nothing to it. I mean that literally.

In fact Conversations For Transformation have neither a secret nor a new perspective. They offer nothing new. Honest  they don't! There's nothing noteworthy or innovative  about what they convey, or even about how  they convey what they convey. That said, there's an experience  of transformation possible here. And given the way we usually regard the cause  of experience, given the way we usually regard the origination  of experience, you could say it's totally out of left field  for me to say simply being in Conversations For Transformation brings forth lasting, real, thrilling transformation.

I've looked at this - a lot. How is it that given all our efforts, given all our attempts, in fact given all our struggles  to have life work, to make things "better"  as we say, given all the good will and all the heroic humanitarian efforts and all the best intentions of all the great people, how is it that the surest  vehicle through which transformation reliably comes forth is a simple conversation?

I don't have a great answer for this. I wish I did. But I don't. I could  say it's because this is what's so. That's enough for me. But it may land for others as if I've ducked the question. I really wish I had a great answer because we're so thrown  to reject out of hand that which is simple  - as if an idea must be complicated  and obscure  before we'll believe it can possibly have any value. And that's a hard one to counter - it's so firmly embedded. But it may indeed be as simple as that. Sometimes the truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction. Oftentimes the truth, as I say, is simpler  than fiction.

We're fixers. We're make right-ers. That's what we do. We're problem solving machines. There's nothing wrong with fixing. There's nothing wrong with making things right. There's nothing wrong with being a problem solving machine. Really there isn't. But given we're so good at this, what get's overlooked  as we look at what there is to fix, at what there is to make right, at what there is to solve, is a certain sublime perspective.

I assert we're so habituated by looking at what there is to fix, at what there is to make right, at what there is to solve, that the perspective "there's something  to fix, there's something  to make right, there's something  to solve" becomes entrenched. Coming from that entrenched perspective leaves no chance  of getting the perspective "things are really OK  just the way they are and just the way they aren't - it's OK the way it is". That's what gets overlooked: the perspective that things are really OK just the way they are and just the way they aren't, that it's OK the way it is.

Notice I didn't say it's "the truth"  things are really OK just the way they are and just the way they aren't, that it's OK the way it is. Indeed, it may  be "the truth" and it may not  be. Whether it is or whether it isn't, isn't what I'm speaking about here. What I'm speaking about here is not "the truth" but rather the perspective, the place in which to stand and from which to look, that things are really OK just the way they are and just the way they aren't, that it's OK the way it is. Shift into this perspective, shift where you look from, and the world immediately shows up differently.

<aside>

Actually that's not quite it. It's "Shift where you look from, and the world immediately shows up the same.". But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

<un-aside>

Photograph courtesy kokomosnorkeling.com
Face In The Water
Above the water, I see only open ocean and a few islands. But with my face in the water, I see the richness of marine life. I see coral. I see kelp beds. I see fish, sting rays, turtles etc. What's below the water is always there, was  always there. I didn't put it there. I didn't fix it there. I didn't make it right there. I didn't solve it there. It was already there. What made it available was putting my face in the water. What made it available was simply shifting my perspective.

You can't bring forth transformation by fixing, by making right, or by solving because transformation is always there, was  always there like a possibility. If anything brings forth transformation, it's a shift in perspective. It's another way of looking at the same material. It's the difference between looking at the open ocean from above the water, and looking with your face in  the water. What's there was always there  in spite of any efforts to put it there by fixing, by making right, by solving. So the way I bring forth transformation in these Conversations For Transformation is by generating new conversations about the same old same old, about what's already there, about what's always there, but with my face in the water - so to speak.

It changes nothing. Yet everything shifts. Everything.

It's my intention to give away transformation, which accounts for these Conversations For Transformation coming forth - I own this. But it's your perspective, it's where you look from which you, by being who you are, share with us / with me which brings into view what I see to write.



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