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


Language And Results

Landmark Advanced Course Evening Session, Broadway, San Francisco, California, USA

March 7, 2017



"It is important that you get clear for yourself that your only access to impacting life is action. The world does not care what you intend, how committed you are, how you feel, or what you think, and certainly it has no interest in what you want and don't want. Take a look at life as it is lived and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act."
 ... 
"The source of what people do and what they don't do is that people's actions are in a naturally, necessarily directly connected dance with the way the circumstances on which and in which they are performing occur  (show up) for them."
 ... 
"Action is always a closely connected natural correlate of (mutually arising with) the way in which the circumstances that the performer is dealing with occur for (are experienced by) that performer. This correlation between action and the way in which the circumstances occur for the performer, is the source of performance. Because the way in which the circumstances occur for the performer is at least shaped by language, and is in any case always accessible through language, language provides actionable access to the source of performance. When through the use of language the occurring is altered, the correlated action (and therefore performance) is altered."
 ... 
This essay, Language And Results, is the twenty first in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: It is also the twenty first in an open group on Language:
  1. Last Word
  2. Speaking Of Freedom
  3. The Transformation Of The World
  4. Constituted In Language
  5. Zen Bland
  6. Source Of Zen Bland: Hand Grasps Itself?
  7. Linguistic Acts
  8. Language: The Scalpel Of Experience
  9. Wordsmith
  10. Source Quote
  11. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  12. My Word In The Matter
  13. You Are What You Speak
  14. Residue Of Meaning
  15. The Effortless Breakthrough
  16. The World's Conversation
  17. Read To Us
  18. Everything You Say
  19. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
  20. Leading With My Word
  21. Language And Results
in that order.

This essay is the twenty first in both an open group inspired by Landmark Programs, and an open group on Language. That may be synchronous. Or it may not be.

I am indebted to David Cunningham who inspired this conversation.




While I've never outright doubted it, been skeptical of it, or even distrusted Werner's idea of what impacts the results I realize in my life, I'd certainly never questioned it, at least not in any depth. Yet neither did I take it for granted. I simply hadn't really looked at it or asked about it in a way which would've allowed me to discover it authentically for myself (you see I'm wary of being trapped by simply believing what Werner says: whatever he says has value only after I've discovered it for myself).

Then, even after what were admittedly only very cursory examinations and inquiries, it became abundantly clear to me that the results I realize in my life, are most impacted by the actions I take. Specifically, the results which amount to anything  that I realize in my life, are a function of me taking action - which in hindsight (and hindsight is always  20/20 vision) seems to elicit an almost embarrassingly obvious "Well ... DUH?!"  while at the same time also being exquisitely profound.

St Bernard of Clairvaux (circa 1150) reminded us with his well-known, telling aphorism that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions.". Interimly it may seem my intentions (ie what I intend to accomplish) and my commitments (ie whatever I'm committed to), my feelings, my thoughts (ie whatever I think about), my wants and even my hopes, my wishes, and my dreams all play a role in impacting the results I realize. Ultimately what's true is this: taking action is 99.999% of what impacts the results I realize. And the remaining .001% fraction ascribed to whatever else may impact the results I realize, is actually so infinitesimally small as to be almost totally insignificant and irrelevant. So for all intents and purposes, what impacts the results I realize in my life with the hands down acutest immediacy, is the actions I take.

With that established, the next question I asked is this: if the results I realize in my life are a function of the actions I take, then what's the source of the actions I take?  ie what impacts the actions I take? What, for example, is the source of me walking?  In other words, how (if you will) do I walk?  And it wasn't too long before I noticed this: once I'd started down the physiological  path of explaining the source of the actions I take (which is to say once I'd started down the path of explaining physiologically how I walk), any explanation I came up with quickly filed for bankruptcy  (so to speak). Observe this bankrupt albeit widely touted explanation of how we walk: How do I walk? I walk by raising one leg and setting it down in front of the other. How  do I raise one leg? I raise one leg by contracting my leg muscles. How  do I contract my leg muscles? I contract my leg muscles by firing a circuit in my brain. How  do I fire a circuit in my brain? I fire a circuit in my brain by ...

Nooooo!  Stop! No one  walks by firing a circuit in their brain. Seriously, Dude! You do not  walk by commanding "Brain: left leg circuit, fire!  Brain: right leg circuit: fire!", do you? No one does. That's not how you walk. So if physiology isn't the source of action, then what exactly is the source of action?

Try this on for size: the source of your actions is the way the world occurs for you. That's vintage Erhard. Look, I'm not asking you to believe  it (and if you do believe it, you'll ruin it entirely). I'm suggesting you discover it for yourself. You walk into a dark alley in which there's a group of people who occur as hostile for you. A library of actions kicks in automatically. You walk into a seminar later in which there's another group of people who occur as friendly for you. Another totally different library of actions kicks in automatically. So the source of our actions is the way the world occurs for us. Nothing more, nothing less. Said another way, perhaps more rigorously: our actions are correlated with  the way the world occurs for us ("correlated with" is the phrase Werner uses - I also like the sound of "congruent  with").

Now if taking action impacts the results I realize in my life, and if the way the world occurs for me, is the source of the actions I take, then is it given to me to have any impact at all over the way the world occurs for me? It's a great  question to ask. Why? Because an answer to this question would provide the access to powerful results in my life. How? By impacting the way the world occurs for me, which in turn would impact the actions I take, it would impact the results I realize in my life.

I assert it's language  which impacts and (at least in part) even alters  the way the world occurs for us. And the way the world occurs for us, is the source of the actions we take. And taking action determines the results we realize in our lives. So it's my language which is my inherent ability to powerfully impact the results I realize in my life.

Listen: so much  of what happens in our lives is beyond our control, beyond our dominion, beyond our power (if you have any doubts about this at all, just switch on the morning news). But if there's one thing over which I have total  control in my life, it's my language. And if there's one thing over which I have total dominion in my life, it's my language. And if there's one thing over which I have total power in my life, it's my language. So my language is my given pathway to gaining control, dominion, power, and impact over the results I realize in my life. In other words, my language provides actionable access to the source of performance in my life.



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