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

Legacy II

Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, Napa, California, USA

May 23, 2018

"He stood in front of us - this tall, slender, immaculately dressed blue-eyed man - in full view, for sixteen hours each day, two successive days in a row. Not once did he leave the room for food or rest. Not once did his attention or concentration slack. He had virtually total recall of anything said to him by a trainee and would refer back to things said earlier with minute accuracy. He remembered why each of us had enrolled; and he knew what we thought our problems were. At midnight he seemed as clean and well pressed, and as fresh, as he had been at eight o'clock that morning. Like most things he did, this was also a kind of ... demonstration."
... Professor William Warren "Bill" Bartley III, Werner's official biographer, in his introduction to "Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man - The Founding of est"
This essay, Legacy II, is the companion piece to It is also the thirty fifth 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
  33. The Leadership Course III: Pillar Of The Community
  34. American Genius
  35. Legacy II
so far, in that order.

I am indebted to Ron Browning who inspired this conversation.

These are remarkable  times in which we live. No kidding! The world has been remarkably and irrevocably altered by the inexorable onset of transformation. It's started. "Really  Laurence?" you say, skeptically, remote control in hand. Yes, really. We're now nearing the fiftieth year of transformation on the planet. But here's the thing: you may not find evidence of it on the evening news on in the newspapers. Now there's nothing wrong with either the evening news of with the newspapers, and neither is there anything wrong with the events they depict (granted, that last assertion may not be an easy get). You won't find evidence of it in the northern hemisphere, nor in the southern hemishere - no, not in any  hemi-sphere. Transformation doesn't show up there. Where transformation shows up, is in the being-sphere. The beingsphere is the being  of your life and of my life. It's the being  of human  being.

I know how transformation got started on our planet. I know how its evolution began. It humbles me. It blows me away. That fish walked up on land for the first time, and brought with it elephants and eagles like a possibility  - for everyone, with no one and nothing left out. And now, nearly fifty years later, it's not only its onset which blew me away: it's its exponentially expanding legacy  which is blowing me away ongoingly.

From the Cambridge International Dictionary:


something that is a part of your history or that remains from an earlier time, something that is a result of events in the past

Perhaps not surprisingly, its legacy has altered our language. Its legacy has altered the fundamentals of the way we speak and the words we use. Words like "transformation" itself and its derived verb "transform" proliferate. Ideas like possibility  and its derived adjective "possible" have clearly found their way into advertisers vocabulary. Fifty years ago no one  was talking transformation and / or possibility. Occasionally colloquial use of transformational terms miscasts them in an unmatched context. "Transformation" for example is sometimes used synonomously with "change" (worse, with "political  change") - and the two could not be more dissimilar. Yet there's evidence in the way we speak, of the global impact the work of transformation has had and is having in our lives.

The impact of transformation on the business world is just as unmistakable and just as widespread (that's interesting: the cross-over of transformation from the beingsphere into the business world). Dave Logan, Associate Dean and Executive Director of Executive Development, and Associate Professor of Clinical Management at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, says "Werner's thinking - I don't know any nice way of saying it - is just out there  in the world. You can't have a Master's Degree in organizational development or human resources without picking up some of it. And it's usually not credited back to him. His stuff is just out there.". What's even more extraordinary is Dave's words would echo just as resonantly in today's academic  world as well.

OK. You can tell that's the first time I've mentioned Werner in this piece. And for some people, that's one time too many. How so? There's nothing sinister about it. It's that transformation's legacy (they say) doesn't belong to any one person. I concur with that wholeheartedly: of course  it doesn't. You'd have to be an idiot to not recognize that. And yet to not acknowledge Werner for sourcing transformation, is so fundamentally at odds with the reality and the facts as to be totally devoid of any and all integrity.

The idea of transformation as Werner's legacy, includes its impact on language, its impact on the personal realm ie the beingsphere (ourselves, our concerns, our relationships), its impact on the business world and on the academic world, its impact on the world as we know it and on Life itself, and on and on and on from there. It's totally awesome - in fact its (ie his) impact is staggering. As Dave points out, Werner's "... stuff is just out  there" for which he may never be fully acknowledged. Yet for me it doesn't end there. All of that, is merely Werner's interim  legacy. There's more. There's Werner's ultimate  legacy.

[... being tightened up ...]

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