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


Napa Union High School Auditorium, Napa, California, USA

March 3, 2007

"Distinctions have a short half-life, and need to be recreated from time to time." ...   speaking with Laurence Platt in Encounters With A Friend #7 
This essay, Half-Life, is the companion piece to It is also the seventh in an open group Encounters With A Friend:
  1. Showing Up
  2. Poet Laureate
  3. A Man In The Crowd
  4. Real Men Cry
  5. A Different Set Of Rules
  6. Nametag: A True Story
  7. Half-Life
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Erotica On Schedule
  10. A House On Franklin Street
  11. NeXT
  12. Reflection On A Window
  13. Here And There
  14. How To Enroll The World
  15. Demonstration
  16. Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction
  17. Holiday Spectacular
  18. Hello! How Are Things Going For You?
  19. Regular Guy
  20. A Scholar And A Gentleman
  21. Images Of You
  22. With Nothing Going On
  23. Where No One Has Gone Before
  24. Attachment: Causeway Between Islands
  25. If You're Not Then Don't
  26. Images Of You II
  27. Living Where Life Is
  28. Create Me The Way I Am
  29. How Do You Spell The Sound A Ratchet Makes?
  30. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II
  31. The Stink Of Zen
  32. Sitting Quietly In A Room Alone
  33. Footsteps On Metal Stairs
so far, in that order.

It is also the prequel to Practicing Being.

I told him I notice how I'm sometimes averse to making distinctions. I notice how I would rather have the story. I notice how when I get distinction, I'm in a space of no problems. I notice how I have to keep on creating and creating and creating distinctions again and again and again if I want them to endure. By themselves they seem to have no longevity. Am I missing something?
Werner's response jolted me back to realizing something I already knew yet didn't want to face full on.

Transformation isn't easy. If it were, the whole world would be transformed by now. What I was looking for was a way for my work transforming my life to end. I wanted to get to a place where transformation was permanently established  after which no more work was required. I wanted to get it written in stone. I wanted to get it and keep it forever.

He said "Distinctions have a short half-life, and need to be recreated from time to time.".

His response more than interested me, more than got my attention. It woke me up. I didn't hear what he said as if he was coaching  me or as if he was advising me. Rather, I heard what he said as if he was confirming what was already true for me in my experience  - to which I was adding on  "Am I missing something?".

I love the way he made his point referencing nuclear physics and radioactive isotopes. The time taken for its radioactivity to drop by half is the half-life  of an isotope. I love the way he related distinctions  to isotopes  saying distinctions also have a half-life ie their power to bring forth creativity and freshness drops off over time, hence their need to be recreated from time to time.

But I've always known that about him: he's not only the transformer - he's also a physicist.

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