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


I Get Who You Are From What They Do

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

December 5, 2014



"The purpose is life and that it be, completely. The commitment is: aliveness. So what! Tuum est  (it's up to you)."  ... 
This essay, I Get Who You Are From What They Do, is the twenty second in an open group of Experiences Of A Friend:
  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
  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
so far, in that order.

I am indebted to Robyn Symon who contributed material for this conversation.




Interimly, the way I get who you are is from my experience  of who you are. Ultimately, I get it directly  from who you are. That is not a trivial difference, to be sure: rather, it's a critical distinction. There are many other interim ways of getting who you are - for example: from my assessments of who you are, from my judgements of who you are, from my opinions of who you are etc. The thing is I'm both suspicious and skeptical of all assessments, judgements, and opinions especially my own.

That said, differentiating between direct experience, and assessments, judgements, and opinions, as well as being able to own  this difference and accept responsibility for it, is another distinction worth making. Yet perhaps even more telling than getting who you are directly from who you are (which for me is much more immediate  than getting who you are from my experience of who you are) is getting who you are from what other people do  when they also get who you are - in other words, I get who you are, noticing how who you are occurs in other peoples' lives like a possibility. I get who you are from what they do when they get to know who you are.
Photography and collage by Screen Media Films
Section from poster for
A Film by Robyn Symon: Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard
Film review - Film preview - Purchase DVD - Instant watch
People who've ignored estranged family members, people who haven't spoken with old friends for the stoopidest, ungodliest of reasons, people who've ostracized exes for years, suddenly pick up the phone and call or simply show up at their door unannounced. It takes a lot  to do that. It takes a big  person to do that. Look: there's no guarantee their new overtures will be reciprocated. In fact there's a very good ego-bruising  likelihood they'll be met with disdain. But they do it anyway. They do it because even if their overtures aren't reciprocated, there's an even bigger reward than reciprocity for their audacious acts of at risk bravery: their reward is completion.

Getting who you are (which is easy, being around you), they've come to know completion. Man! Have they ever  come to know completion ...  So it's no longer about being right. It's no longer about withdrawing who they are as a passive-aggressive punishment to get even, or as a way of making a point. It's now just simply about being complete. And in particular, being complete isn't a selfish act: it's a "we" act not a "me" act. It's not about you or me or them being complete. It's now about all of us  being complete. That's awesome. That requires real strength. And if they weren't in touch with their own strength before they got who you are, there is always the quality ie there's something catalytic in the air being around you which turns them on to their own strength naturally, just in the process of life itself. It's uncanny.

People who work with you and around you, display a characteristic which, for want of a single word, could best be articulated as alacrity or enthusiasm or exuberance. They're no longer subject to some arbitrary difference between "work" and "play". To them, it's all  play - which also means it's all work  (clearly, yes?). But it's not the same kind of work as in "Where are you going?" / "I'm going to work" ie work which is differentiated from  play, or as in work is what I do at the office - whereas play is what I do when I get home at the end of the day and / or on the weekends at the golf course. Rather this is a kind of seamless work / play which is our life's work  and which therefore by definition is always fulfilling and is always satisfying, something "going to work" may not guarantee - and in fact more often than not, doesn't.

What is so very interesting to me is observing the people who really do "go to work". They're keeping one eye on the clock. They just can't wait for that time to come at the end of the day when they can go home and play at last (and I, for one, have certainly included myself in this group on more than a few occasions). But when those people who know who you are, are working with you and around you and at the end of the day the clock is saying it's time to go home, no one wants to leave.

That's what they do when they get who you are. They're complete. They get complete. They live their lives fully, playfully. And I get who you are from what they do.



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