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


It Never Ends

Heritage Eats, Bel Aire Plaza, Napa, California, USA

May 24, 2017



"Transformation is the space in which the event  'transformation' occurs."  ... 
"It's my life. Don't you forget. It's my life. It never ends." ... No Doubt, It's My Life

I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt who contributed material for this conversation.




Transformation is an event - which means with transformation, something happens. When the something happens, life as we know it, transforms. Yes that may be a self-referential definition. But listen: that goes with the territory. The world of transformation is filled with self-referential definitions. You could also say transformation is a space, which means it's an experiential context. It's the space in which we experience the event "transformation". And yes that's also a self-referential definition.

So wait just a moment Laurence: which is it? Is transformation an event? or is it a space? The truth is it's both: it's an event and  it's a space: it's an eventspace. Transformation (to be clear) is the space in which the event  "transformation" occurs. That's not my distinction by the way: it's vintage Erhard.

When I first heard Werner say that, it was hard for me to wrap my head around it (to deploy a colloquial expression). Try it out for yourself: I'll bet it's hard for you too. Later I came to realize that's precisely the point: we have many profound experiences of awesome depth and great beauty and pristine clarity which are cheapened by our futile attempts to wrap our heads around them. And we human beings (left to our own devices) are thrown  to try to wrap our heads around our experiences instead of simply experiencing them. Transformation is one such experience. It (and Werner's definition of it) are best just gotten. And they can  be gotten. You can get  transformation. But any attempt to wrap your head around it, diminishes its power. No, it's actually worse than that: it kills it off entirely.

There's another characteristic of transformation worth noting: after a while, even its compelling "This is IT!"  becomes passé  (what that means is it becomes overly conceptualized)  and has to be re-created again. That's a statement both about human nature, as well as about the nature of transformation. At your college graduation ceremony, you receive your master's degree once, after which you're forever considered to be a master of your discipline. It's conferred on you for life. However you're only considered to be a master of transformation on the other hand, if you re-create it over and over and over again. That's its ongoing requirement.

This is perhaps its most enigmatic  aspect: it goes away, and it comes back again, and it goes away again, and it comes back again. It lasts as long as I'm creating it lasting. I'm thrown  to have experiences (love, accomplishment, realization etc) I expect  to last. In that vein, I expect the experience of transformation itself to last. That's an ordinary human expectation to have. But it doesn't seem to work that way. Look: people whom we consider to be permanently transformed are simply those who, once they've realized it's gone away, re-create it again faster than the rest of us. Many ongoing and continuous re-creations give the appearance of permanence.

When life transforms, I'm left with the astonishing realization "This (after all) is, was, and always will be  IT!" - astonishing, because until then, I was certain  there was someplace else to get to, some other way to be, indeed some other way of holding the whole of whatever it is to be alive. But no: this  place, this  way, with nothing changed, exactly the way it is (and exactly the way it isn't), is IT. That's where my experience stays. For a while. My realization that "This is IT!" stays too. For a while. For a long  while. At least, that's the idea ie that's our expectation. But we're human beings, remember?

When anything becomes IT, there's a real likelihood that sooner or later, it will be taken for granted. That's human nature. Without paying close attention, there's no immunity from that for any of us, nor for any of our experiences. The essence of the experience of transformation is it's created - or, if you allow the first time to be spontaneous (ie if you allow the first time to simply happen freely by itself), then from then on, you re-create it. Over and over. And over again. And again.

It never ends.



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