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


Full Tilt

Napa Valley, California, USA

July 31, 2016



"The more I train, the more I realize I have more speed in me." ... Leroy Burrell, world record Olympic sprinter

This essay, Full Tilt, is the companion piece to 24 / 7 / 365.

I am indebted to Carl Monroe Cheney who inspired this conversation.




"I promise: you won't recognize yourself. When you get  transformation, you ... won't ... recognize  ... yourself.".

That's what he told me when he first shared Werner's work with me. He was a recent graduate, very excited, and yet calmly enthusiastic. I had a sense of what he was talking about (which is to say I had as much of a sense of it as I could possibly get, given I was screening everything he was saying though my "I already know this" / "I already know it all"  filter). What perplexed me was even if it were true I wouldn't recognize myself, how would I know?  (it was something I'd thank him for later).

I was around him on an almost daily basis. Hardly a day would go by when he didn't say something about it, to which I would always respond essentially the same way: that I already understood it (at least in my own mind). Then one day he innocently said something which interrupted my erstwhile know it all  knee-jerk way of responding to him, and changed all that. He shared that since he became a graduate of Werner's work, patterned behavior  in his life began to break up ie disappear.

Patterned  behavior? Say whut?  I didn't have a clue  what he was talking about ie what he meant by "patterned behavior". What I did know was at that time, I was in a relationship which was ending. And I noticed it was ending in a way which was similar to the way many of my other relationships had ended (in other words, there were what I can 'fess up to as repetitive circumstances  playing out again, OK?). What's worse is I got I was powerless to shift the direction in which those repetitive circumstances were careening. Were my repetitive circumstances the result of so-called patterned behavior to which he was referring? Was I, in some way, responsible for them?  I didn't know. What I did know was suddenly, whatever it was he was talking about, I wanted it. Within the hour I had registered myself to participate.

My patterned behavior as I began finding out (often to my own chagrin) consists of predictable, automatic responses which appear to embody choice but which really have no inherent choice at all, and in which there's no inherent possibility  either. My patterned behavior impels me to do the same old same old  things over and over and over with little likelihood of producing anything that's new. It's more than that actually. It's it actively restricts and inhibits the possibility of doing anything new - which means almost everything I ever come up with is actually little more than no-choice  stimulus / response reactions masquerading  as choice. Confronting this is arduous at best, withering  at worst. Interimly, dealing with it as a mature adult is an unavoidable process. Ultimately there's nothing more fulfilling in Life. Nothing.

There's a certain freedom to living, a certain room to move  that becomes possible with transformation, which is simply not possible prior to its onset (ie which in fact is simply not even conceivable  prior to its onset). And the more I avail myself of it and get used up by it, the more it reveals itself to me, and so the more it becomes available. It's the freedom inherent in possibility itself. It's never in short supply. It's the freedom of real  choice (ie not merely selection). It's the freedom of aliveness not compromised by survival. It's the freedom which goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) the victory over the past. It's the freedom which will move you to tears.

To say transformation brings the freedom from all  self-made barriers? is arguably naïve wishful thinking at best, and at worst simply not true. What it does  bring is the swift recognition of the source  of self-made barriers, and the possibility of quickly (very  quickly) completing them and getting over them. It's the freedom of not being held back, of not holding back. Imagine the freedom of not being held back? of not holding back? You won't recognize yourself. It's the freedom to live full tilt.



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