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


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Leaving Me With The Distinctions, Not His Person

Special Evening About The Landmark Forum [Online], Landmark Worldwide

February 17, 2022



"I used to be different; now I am the same."
...   speaking the Six Day Course 
"I've met some truly great  people - great women, great men. What's always been there in every such meeting is what I get when I'm in the presence of their greatness: it's "You  ... are a truly great  human being.". I met one of the world's great film directors. And what I got being around him was "You ... are truly great human being.". I met one of the world's great Zen masters. And what I got being around him was "You ... are a truly great human being.". I met one of the world's great yoga  masters. And what I got being around him was "You ... are a truly great human being.". Then I met Werner. And what I got being around him was "I ... am a truly great human being."
... Laurence Platt, Ordinary People Star, Extraordinary People Recreate Themselves

"People rarely have an experience of their own experience, given there's so much else undistinguished going on."
... Laurence Platt
This essay, Leaving Me With The Distinctions, Not His Person, is the companion piece to Killing Me Softly.

It is also the twelfth in a group of twelve on Enrollment: It is also the twenty ninth in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: I am indebted to Larry Pearson who inspired this conversation.




"Transformation" it's long been said, "is a rich body of distinctions.". It's important you know that that's not an original Laurence Platt quote. So I really don't have any right to modify it, add to it, change it in any way etc, and then reclaim it as my own. But if I were  to add something to it, it would be the gerund "speaking", as in "Transformation is speaking  a rich body of distinctions" - or to put it more succinctly, "To be transformed  ... is to speak a rich body of distinctions.".

Now I don't mean speaking the distinctions in the sense of enumerating them, citing them as if from a dictionary, or quoting them, even if quoting them may play a critical role in enrollment / being enrolling. Rather, I mean speaking the distinctions in the sense of coming from / being used  by them - in other words, having first mastered the distinctions of transformation, speaking them as my natural Self-expression  (and transformation, to be sure, is only spoken  - it's not spoken about).

And that's  the possibility of being transformed, of sharing transformation, and enrolling others in the possibility of being transformed. Speaking the distinctions of transformation as my natural Self-expression, works. Yet explaining how  and why  it works, demonstrably ruins it. Transformation isn't gotten that way. Explaining the hows and the whys may be intellectually interesting for people. But it's not enrolling  for people. The way you get enrolled in the possibility of being transformed is by sitting with the idea of it in your lap like a hot brick ie by simply being with it. It's not gotten by understanding it. It's only gotten by being with it. More than that, it's not enrolling when it's being understood. It's only enrolling when it's being being (no, that's not a typo: I do  mean "being being"  - another a hot brick for your lap).

That said, there's an inevitable, inexorable  corollary to this thesis which took me a while to get clear about: while my Self-expression is uniquely my own, the rich body of distinctions which is transformation, is universal ie it's neither unique to me nor is it unique to you. Rather, it's the same for everyone. So enrolling people in the possibility of being transformed, is a matter of speaking / coming from the universal distinctions of transformation as my natural Self-expression without obfuscating those universal distinctions with my own unique person.

All the masters of enrollment I know, are trained / have trained themselves to leave people with the distinctions of transformation, not with their person. Being a master of enrollment doesn't require being a central figure in a cult of personality. Being a master of enrollment is largely a matter of speaking the distinctions of transformation in a way that allows them  to be front-and-center-stage, without the person who's delivering them adding his / her own significance. That's enrolling.

Right now, I'm listening spellbound, mesmerized / I'm in the presence of one such master of enrollment - no, right now I'm listening spellbound, mesmerized / I'm in the presence of one such legendary  master of enrollment. And what I'm getting from him is the rich body of distinctions he's speaking / being. His speaking is pure, transformed enrollment. Yes, who he is as his own person  is also present. But it's only secondary - as if invisible / in the background. It's like a ... demonstration.

I don't know how he does it. What I do know is his person just doesn't get in his way. He's just not coming from person. He's coming from the distinctions / used by them. So all I'm left with are the distinctions. And that's what transforms. It's what's enrolling. It's an extraordinary performance, a privilege to be in the presence of.



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