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

Futile Like A Freedom

Exertec Health and Fitness Center, Napa, California, USA

October 16, 2012

"It's much easier to ride the horse in the direction he's going." ... 
This essay, Futile Like A Freedom, is the fourth in the complete group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the open group Experiences Of A Friend II):
  1. Stepping Back
  2. At Home As Self
  3. Empty Windows
  4. Futile Like A Freedom
  5. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  6. Werner As Intention
  7. Who He Is For Himself
  8. Source Quote
  9. Puzzle Solved, Mind Unraveled
  10. Eye To Eye
  11. Mystical Connection II
  12. Relentless
  13. Being Around Werner
  14. Being Always In Action: A Possibility
  15. Shaken Up And Teary
  16. On Being Sad
  17. The Complete Presentation
  18. Force Of Nature
  19. Everyone's In Love With Everyone
  20. I'm Old School
  21. Werner At The Speed Of Choice
  22. I Get Who You Are From What They Do
  23. The Significance - Not What Happened
  24. You Know I Love You - And I Know You Love Me
  25. Speaking To People's Relationship With Werner
  26. A Master At Being (And Having People Be)
  27. Werner As Source
  28. A Man Who's All There
  29. My Heart And You
  30. Mind Control
  31. Again And Again And Again And Again And Again And Again
  32. Unwavering
  33. The Leadership Course III: Pillar Of The Community
  34. American Genius
  35. Legacy II
so far, in that order.

It is also the companion piece to Toolbox.

"It's futile Laurence" he says to me. Disbelieving, my first words in quick response are "No it's not!".

The way it goes with me from time to time is I'll share transformation with people, with friends, with my family. Sometimes I'll share explicitly in words ie in language, in face to face conversations. Sometimes I'll share simply in my demeanor  ie in the way I'm being. Sometimes I'll share by asking pertinent questions which, if the listener is open to it and amenable to being with the questions, touch the heart of an area where transformation isn't forthcoming. In this regard, "What did you make (what happened) mean?" and "What significance did you add to (what happened)?" are great  questions.

One of the things I've noticed (and keep coming back to) about my experience of transformation is it's just secondarily validated by me, by the simple fact I'm experiencing it, and by what I say about (which is to say what I share  about) my experience of it. Because transformation comes alive  when it's shared (and listen: arguably transformation is only  alive when it's shared - but that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion), my experience of transformation is primarily validated when my sharing it is gotten by others, and / or when my pertinent questions are engaged with and create value for others.
Werner distinguishes three components of an upset. Axiomatically, any one or any two or all three are present in any upset:

Any upset is always  a reminder of an earlier, similar incident - no exceptions. Distinguishing ie telling the truth about  the components of the upset, releases the upset, creating a clearing, a new freedom.

When I intend to share transformation and there's no listening for it (which is to say when I'm not being responsible  for creating listening for it), when I expect  sharing transformation will create value for others and it doesn't (because I don't create value, or because I do and they don't say / acknowledge it creates value for them, or simply because they resist ... as people do, you know ...), when I fail to deliver the essential communication of transformation (in addition to the potency of the experience of transformation itself, the essential communication of transformation is "I love you" ...), then to a greater or a lesser degree, there's potential for an upset for me.

In resolving a situation like this, what I find deadly  is having being upset center around them  not getting my intention, and / or around them  unexpectedly not appreciating what I offer, and / or around them  not getting my communication ... as if they're  to blame for me being upset. Werner's three components dissect the experience  of the upset. As for who's to blame  for the upset, that's merely of passing interest. But it's a passing interest which distracts from releasing the upset. I'm clear I'm upset. But I'm blaming people for it. And that's what he and I are speaking about.

This is when he smiles - fortunately for me I'm not on it  so much that I can't see he's smiling from compassion for me being naïve (kinda stoopid  actually) - and says "It's futile Laurence.". And for sure, my reflex, snap back, rubber band response is "No it's not!".

From the Cambridge International Dictionary:


achieving no result; not effective or successful

Then I see it. I see what he's saying. It is  futile. It gets me nowhere. Like it or not, it doesn't achieve the desired result: releasing the upset. In this regard, it's neither effective nor successful. I'm faced with a choice: would I rather blame someone and be right  about who's to blame? Or would I rather give up blaming and being right, and have the upset be gone? Suddenly it's a no brainer. This technology for dismantling an upset works. But to apply it, I first have to stop blaming. He's bang on the money. Blaming is futile. As they say in the classics, blaming is like peeing in your pants: you know it doesn't do you any good, but it gives you a nice warm feeling.

As we speak, more opens up for me: the freedom which becomes available once I realize it's futile. He's speaking about the freedom to make new choices, the freedom to invent new possibilities. He's not merely saying "It's futile, so drop it" - you know, the business as usual  conversation in this regard. Rather, he's speaking about getting to futile like a freedom.

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