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


Moved To Tears

Novato, California, USA

October 1, 2006



This essay, Moved To Tears, is the companion piece to Real Men Cry.

I am indebted to Dr Robert Lee "Bob" Culver who inspired this conversation.




At some point in my life it started happening. It never happened before. Now it happens from time to time. When it first happened I didn't know what was happening to me or why.

I'll be doing whatever it is I'm doing: talking with my children, driving along in my car, sitting at my desk, out hiking in the woods - you know, just living my life. My eyes mist over and brim until tears fall. I'm crying for no discernible reason. Normally I've assumed tears imply unhappiness. Or, trying to come up with another more plausible explanation, I've wondered if something not consciously known  sabotages me. But neither of those interpretations jibe with the accompanying sensation I'll have of ... well ... ecstasy.

More than that, whenever I'm with you I cry - at least once. In the midst of the deep fulfillment, richness, and privilege of our friendship, I look at you ... and all taps, spigots, and faucets open, gushing to the max. All levees break.

Why? It doesn't make any sense. I'm embarrassed. Yet when I look at the totality of the experience I see it comes from a place of heart and integrity. Whatever  it is, it's real. Indeed, there's even something courageous  about it.

The last time it happened I had just returned home after going out for dinner with my son Joshua when you contacted me.

He was sitting on the bed watching a movie wondering why his father has tears streaming down his cheeks ...

I told him: "Josh, I'm OK. I'm just very, very happy.".

I don't know why I cry when I'm with you, and I do. I know you know I've got that going on when I'm with you, and I know, finally, I don't have to not be this way around you.

As for what's happening to me when this is going on, as for what this experience really is, it was when I allowed the experience to be, when I allowed myself to experience the experience  and not resist it that I got what it really is.

I got this is being moved to tears. It's something essentially human. It's not something which only happens to adults. Children, too, can be moved to tears although they may not yet have the context for it or the language to articulate it. In fact children have an easier time of it. They've not yet had time to build up barriers to vulnerability and tenderness as adults have.

My friend Bob who has the amazing ability to lay hands on and heal some of the diseases deemed incurable by doctors suggested to me being moved to tears is an experience with two components:

1)  When we experience something that's absolutely true for us;
2)  When we discover just how much we love someone or something.

You've got to give something up to be that  open. You've got to be willing to be big enough and receptive enough to be deeply touched by the truth in someone or something. This isn't found on the agenda of a jock nor of the macho  type (female or male), nor of someone who strives to keep it all together.

When you really get in touch with that which is absolutely true for you, when you really discover how much you love someone or something, it will knock you on your ass. Tears are a natural component of such a revelation. Ecstasy is the baseline sensation of getting in touch with that truth, with that love. Letting be  is the key to allowing it to occur for you. Generosity creates the space in which others are comfortable and safe to experience being moved to tears around you.

So if you see me moved to tears don't add anything and don't take anything away. I'm OK. I'm finally young enough to have childlike aspirations and big enough to love you deeply enough to have tears in public.

Around you  I'm having the time  of my life.



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