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


Love Notes To Werner And You

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

December 29, 2014



This essay, Love Notes To Werner And You, is the sequel to Direct Experience.

I am indebted to Peter Fiekowsky and to MichelJoy DelRe who inspired this conversation.




I'm often asked "How did this start?" (Conversations For Transformation, that is), "What was your entry point?".

The way this started was with a scattered collection of written pieces, some jotted down on scraps of paper, some inked on cards, some printed on greetings  cards, some saved to floppy disks  (remember them?) from the early days of e-mail. They all came together in an epiphany while riding my bicycle twenty miles up the Napa Valley and back. I posted everything I had at the time to the internet on a newly created website titled "The Werner Erhard Essays" subtitled "Conversations For Transformation". If you know where to look on the internet for archives of older websites, you can still find the home page titled "The Werner Erhard Essays".

My idea for giving the website a title like that, was it would imply all the pieces posted to it were inspired by Werner's work - and that much has never deviated one iota. Some time later when we met for a drink (don't get ahead of me: it was iced water for both of us), he made what in retrospect was a most obvious point: what the title "The Werner Erhard Essays" ambiguously conveys (at least to those not in the know) was that it's he not I who is the author of the pieces on the website, rather than their inspiration. I got it. After a brief brainstorm, the title of the website became "Conversations For Transformation" (its erstwhile subtitle) (his idea), and "The Werner Erhard Essays" (its current title) disappeared entirely (my idea).

He also gave form to the context for Conversations For Transformation when he observed they would generate what he called an internet presence  of his work. Today there are more than quite a few internet presences of his work. Back then however, this was the start of something new. Yet even now, with the plethora of online accesses to Werner's work exponentially expanding his internet presence, Conversations For Transformation holds its own as a leader in the genre.

One of the unavoidable things about putting something like this out into the world is you have no control over who's reading it. Both graduates of Werner's work and non-graduates alike, both friends and enemies, both the supportive and the hostile, have equal unfettered access. It takes a certain gall, a particular verve, a consistent courage to continually stand for Werner and transformation not simply in a closed, reserved room with an invited, friendly audience, but rather completely exposed and naked before you out-here  on the wild west frontier of the internet. All that said, during the course of the nearly so far twelve year life of these Conversations For Transformation, I've received hundreds and hundreds, possibly thousands, of e-mails from readers like you who are graduates of Werner's work, and non-graduates alike. And in that time I've received one  negative, hostile e-mail. Just one. No kidding. Only one. That's not a bad statistic.

There's something else in addition to consistent courage which doing this requires, and I'm just beginning to distinguish it, so I'm not yet completely clear about how to say what it is.

So far, this is the way it sounds: "It's something I can't not  do.".

When this started, my entire underlying expression in each of these Conversations For Transformation was saying to Werner "Keep on doing what you're doing. It's working. Don't stop.". Soon however, I realized with or without  my encouragement, he'll continue doing what he's doing anyway. This is who he is. And when I got that, that's when these Conversations For Transformation morphed. That's when they became expressions of appreciation, expressions of admiration, expressions of love. And if you ask me for a reason  why I post them to the internet, there isn't one. There's no gratuitous "in order to". On the other hand, you could say the reason why I post them to the internet is: I post them to the internet in order to to post them to the internet. There's no other reason. Honest!

From "Keep on doing what you're doing etc" they've become "I love what you're doing". From faux  encouragement, they've become love notes  (if you will). They first became love notes to him. Then I realized if the truth be told, they're love notes to you as well.

Actually they've always been love notes to you as well. Always. Right from the beginning. I just didn't realize this aspect of it until later. But after I realized they're love notes to him, I realized then that by definition, they're love notes to you as well. Once you get what transformation really is, then they can't be any other way, yes?



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