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


Familiar Unfamiliar Territory

Hyde Park, London, England

July 29, 2009



This essay, Familiar Unfamiliar Territory, is the first in the second trilogy Questions For A Friend:
  1. Familiar Unfamiliar Territory
  2. Interview
  3. Straight Talk
in that order.
The first trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Prelude
  2. Ask Me Anything
  3. Coming Around Again
in that order.
The third trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Dancing With My Mouth
  2. Cave Paintings
  3. Velvet Tsunami
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Creating Creating
  2. Tell Me Something About Nothing
  3. Lucid Disclosures
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Closer And Closer
  2. Tête À Tête
  3. Dancing With Life
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Would I Ask You If I Could Ask You Anything?
  2. Wonderings About Nothing In Particular
  3. Tipping Point
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Beyond Breathing Underwater
  2. Bold Faced Truth
  3. What You Create For Yourself About Me
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Once In A Lifetime
  2. Fireside Chat
  3. Whole And Complete
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Questions For A Friend
  2. Nothing Else I'd Rather Be Doing
  3. Free To Be And Free To Act
in that order.
The tenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Attracted To Dance
  2. I Told A Friend I Love You
  3. Terse Transformed Communication
in that order.
The eleventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. A Context Worth Playing In
  2. Tie The Brush To My Hand
  3. Unimaginably Terse
in that order.



I'm not one of the boys  anymore.

The boys get together now and then to catch up. In all fairness to them, so do you and I. But that's where the similarity ends.

When you and I speak it's unlike any other conversation I know. Please don't misunderstand this. I'd have the same conversations I have with you with anyone and everyone in a heartbeat. But whereas you head full tilt, unbridled, no holds barred  into these Conversations For Transformation, others hold back. It seems to me they've settled  - settled for something not quite satisfying, not quite fulfilling, but nonetheless the best they've got, so beyond that they're reluctant to budge.

A conversation with you always has me a bit on edge. And it's not because when I'm with you I'm uncomfortable. The truth is I'm more comfortable around you than I am when I'm around anyone else I know. It's because when I'm with you you're always in create  mode. And if I wasn't in create mode before I come in to be with you, I get into create mode fast - there's no easing in  period for adjustment. First I'm not in create mode - then Bam!  I am. There's no in between.

A conversation with you in create mode isn't bandying topics about. It doesn't argue the merits and demerits of opposing political parties. It doesn't vote from a raft of options for getting society back on track - and nor does it suppose why it got off track in the first place. It neither recites news items nor weather forecasts nor sports results. And it doesn't banter opinions back and forth either. Rather, a conversation with you in create mode brings forth entirely new topics altogether. In any conversation with you in create mode, mere talking doesn't suffice. Flapping lips  doesn't work well around you. And as for cocktail party filling the space with noise  which passes for conversation - that for sure  ain't it either. Really!

Instead, in a conversation with you in create mode I have to bring forth new ideas entirely newly  in language. Nothing less suffices. A conversation with you in create mode simply doesn't work at all unless I set aside everything else and bring forth new ideas entirely newly  in language. You and I both already know my past. There's no point in bringing it into the present. As for projecting it into the future, that's plain not going to happen either. All that's projected into the future in a conversation with you in create mode are new ideas projected entirely newly  in language.

Man! I've been here with you before. I've really  been here before. I know this space well. And what I know most of all about it is I don't know it at all.

How profound is that! How profound is it when the rest of my life gravitates towards that which I know, towards that with which I'm familiar, towards that which by repetition I'm good at. Yet when you and I speak, there's only one way it's going to work, and that's when I'm willing to risk not knowing it all - in fact, when I'm willing to risk not knowing anything  at all.

* * *

I declare I'm now ready to be in a conversation with you, and I'd like to ask you a few questions.



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