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




Friend, Partner, And Ally

Vallejo, California, USA

July 15, 2018



"Oh how lonely man has been, without a trace of the traceless friend." ... Seals and Crofts, The Euphrates

This essay, Friend, Partner, And Ally, is the first in the open second group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the closed first group of thirty five Experiences Of A Friend):
  1. Friend, Partner, And Ally
  2. Go To The Beach
  3. Proof Of Life
in that order.

It was conceived and written at the same time as


Seriously though, to be transformed (which is to say to accept and to commit to the grand, elegant challenges of generating and living a transformed life) is not for the milquetoast-ed. The calling to generate a transformed life over and over and over again and again and again and again and again and again without let-up, is an ongoing, all-consuming affair. It's not simply that transformation itself is new territory with which, in many ways, we human beings aren't yet fully facile. It's that in taking on transformation, we step up to a new way of being for which, prior to its onset, there were few mentors and coaches from whom to reliably draw inspiration.

That said, what works to have once transformation has begun, isn't what in the prior world was prized as a mentor and coach. Rather it's a friend, partner, and ally.
Werner Erhard at first glance, clearly fits the more traditional role of mentor and coach. Not so obviously is he's also arguably the first truly authentic friend, partner, and ally in the new, graduate world of transformation. I'd like to expand on this assertion a bit, so that you can check it out thoroughly for yourself, and see if its words are grounded in truth for you, and listen if they ring true for you, and ensure they don't come off simply as paeans.

To take on transformation, is to take on an entirely new paradigm for living. It's more than that actually. It's to take on transformation, is to take on an entirely new paradigm for who we are as human beings. And clearly, if we take on an entirely new paradigm for who we are as human beings, then that would necessitate we also take on entirely new ways of being with each other and of relating to each other. By definition, these would be new ways with which we've had scant prior experience.

If (and when) the truth is told, mastering the distinctions of transformation has no better go-to  reference than Werner Erhard. You want relativity? Go to Professor Albert Einstein. You want quantum physics? Go to Niels Bohr. You want astro-physics? Go to Neil deGrasse Tyson. You want a brief history of time? Go to Stephen Hawking. You want transformation? Go to Werner. But why master the distinctions  of transformation at all, if transformation is an experience?  To call transformation an experience is like calling orange  an experience. You have to be more precise than that ie you have to be more specific. "Orange" is a visual  experience ... but it's also a gustatory  experience, yes? Like that, transformation is a linguistic  experience. And mastering a linguistic experience requires mastering its body of distinctions.

All that said (and now set aside), merely being the creator  of transformation's distinctions, is not primarily how Werner occurs for me when I distinguish him as a friend, partner, and ally. Transformation is new. It's (at first) unfamiliar. It's (also at first) a bit unusual ie it's strange  (strange, given what we're thrown to expect as the commonplace). Because of that, it calls for sharing, discussion, comparing notes, mutual support, all of which show up in the domain of open friendship, of close partnership, of seamless alignment with others who also hoe the same row by ... them ... Selves, raw, untutored ie other mavericks  also wondering how to navigate it, and even wondering (privately, in moments of honest self-doubt) if it can be navigated at all. That's  the domain, the habitat, the realm of a friend, partner, and ally.

There's a big difference between being a mentor and coach, and being a friend, partner, and ally. A mentor and coach says what you should do. A friend, partner, and ally stands with you, shoulder to shoulder in the trenches, working through it with you. Interimly, to enter the world of transformation, what works is having a mentor and coach. But ultimately to play  in the game, what works is having a count-on-able friend, partner, and ally. This is who Werner is for me. This is who I am for you.



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© Laurence Platt - 2018 Permission