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
If That's What You Got
Sailing On San Francisco Bay, California, USA
May 18, 2004
I am indebted to Stewart Emery who inspired this conversation.
You can experience it. You'll get your life from it. But without
speaking it, you can't share it. And without sharing it, you can't keep
Yet what's interesting about speaking it is what I say about it isn't
it. In fact, what I say about it isn't worth much. While I may share my
experience of it with my words, I'm clear my words aren't the
experience of it that I'm sharing. The experience of it my words convey
is worth something. My words themselves aren't worth much. This is
something that sooner or later has to be confronted.
If I share transformation by speaking it, and if in speaking it my
words aren't it, then I'm lying about it. Indeed, all I can do is lie
about it. In that sense, I'd rather lie about the truth than lie about
If I say "I lie" and in so doing I speak the truth, then I lie. If I
say "I lie" and in so doing I lie, then I speak the truth.
Whatever I get from the experience of transformation is whatever I say
I get from it based on whatever I'm willing to stand for getting from
it. And the closer I get to saying what I get from it without being
positional about what I get or about what it is, seems to create
openings for others to get it from my speaking it. In the face of
positionality, it seems fewer openings for others to get it from my
speaking it are likely to appear.
I can almost submit to chagrin and frustration when I notice while
transformation creates a new possibility for
my mind and my own right / wrong
almost in spite of myself I will - from time to time - share
transformation not simply in order to share transformation but rather
in order to be right. It's very pernicious. (Isn't
a marvelous word? I'm even hesitant to ruin it by explaining what I
mean by it.)
But it's not the mind that's the problem, Werner said to me. Rather,
the problem is its positionality.
There really is nothing to get. Really. Nothing. This is it. And
whatever you say you got from transformation, your words ain't it. At
best, your words share an experience which, arguably, is it. That
requires you get off being positional about it. Literally, you have to
get out of the way in order for it to be shared. In the mastering of
of all states of affairs, transformation occurs non-linearly and out of
time. You don't want to leave people experiencing you're great because
you're able to verbalize your own experience. You want to leave people
experiencing their own greatness out of what your words evoke. That's
the distinction between talking about transformation, and sourcing,
generating, and sharing transformation by speaking it.
Stewart Emery was the first person Werner designated an est trainer. In
the final stages of an
the scrappy Australian answered a woman who said "I don't get it" with
There's nothing to get
so you got it.".
The woman was perplexed at first, and then she lit up and said "I get
it. So getting it is whatever you get.".