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


Carmel By The Sea, California, USA

October 15, 2007

This essay, Free, is the companion piece to I am indebted to Sheila Providenza and to Ingerlil Teute who inspired this conversation.

Arguably the most commonly asked class of questions is "Why?"  questions, questions seeking an explanation. Just as arguably, although "Why?" questions have an impact interimly, they don't have any real power ultimately.

The issue isn't whether things can be explained or not. That there's an explanation for things, that there's a cause  of things is certainly one of our most cherished beliefs. "Why?" questions inquire into that cause within our preferred belief system, within our limited view of an already expected explanation.

The issue is rather one of causality  itself. We ask "Why?" until we discover a cause which seems plausible within our preferred belief system. Then we stop inquiring, seemingly satisfied with what we've discovered. Yet if we expand our limited view, if we expand the box  a bit, if we start thinking outside the box, we hear the next question calling to be asked is "What's the cause  of this cause?". After that  question we hear the next one calling to be asked is "What's the cause  of this cause  of this cause?" etc on and on and on ... and there's no end.

In other words, "Why?" questions are powerful only within a limited domain. And within a limited domain, the trouble with accepting an answer to a "Why?" question as true  is it's based on an arbitrarily accepted  cause. It's based on a false  cause. In matters of Self, in matters pertaining to Conversations For Transformation, "Why?" questions aren't powerful ultimately. Ultimately Self is cause. Self is source. It is because it is because that's what it is - est.

"Why?" questions asked in a limited domain stopping short of this, are inadequate. They don't cut to the heart of the matter. There's no reason ultimately. Things are just what's so. The emperor isn't wearing any clothes ... he hasn't got anything on!  Things are what they are because they are because that's the way they are.

There's no reason for writing these essays. They don't mean  anything. I write them because I write them because that's what I do.

Conversations For Transformation is a uniquely internet expression of my acknowledgement (and, in many cases, my interpretation) of Werner Erhard's work. The possibility of writing a book of Conversations For Transformation comes up often. I look at it. It's a moment to moment  thing with me. Even a successful art form expressed through a different medium than its origins' isn't guaranteed to work. Your favorite book, for example, made into a movie doesn't necessarily carry over from paper to the big screen. The screenwriter's imagined view of things may jar with the view you imagined as a reader. And don't even get me started  on The Beatles reworked as elevator muzak ...

The internet is a malleable  medium. Works on the internet can be ongoingly and always changed and tuned and retuned. A real consideration about switching the medium for Conversations For Transformation from the internet to a book is a book, to one degree or another, is chiseled in stone  and can't be edited or refined once published.

There's a lot to be said for writing a book. There's a lot to be said for not writing a book. I've considered writing a book. I've considered not writing a book, leaving Conversations For Transformation as a purely free expression on the internet.

I asked Werner about it. He said "If you're going to write a book then write a book. If you're not then don't.".

That's so  Werner.

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

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