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
No Maps, No Instructions
Yountville, California, USA
June 7, 2007
They know I can reach you.
When they come to me to ask about you, they ask me how they, too, can
reach you. I tell them to reach you is to traverse the obstacle course
you've set up, designed for every person to start with the possibility
of but not with the guarantee of reaching you. As a matter of telling
the plain, cold truth, I caution them if reaching you were easy, they'd
already be with you by now.
I also, cupping my hands around my mouth, whisper in their
as a hint, it works better if they shed everything, discard all their
stuff, leave all their baggage behind, consider
being nothing but
before attempting to reach you.
That's just my add on, my suggestion, my commentary. Yet it's
based profoundly on my observation that you provide no maps of your
course, and you give no instructions for traversing it. As a
participant myself, I've also noticed there aren't signs on your course
and there aren't rules. Eventually people also confront there's no
path to reach you either, and the path to reach you is
everywhere. Your brilliantly crafted design gives people no way out but
to confront generating for themselves the miracle it requires to reach
I know why people love you. I know what they want from you. I know what
they want you to do for them. Indeed, there's even some validity in
them wanting it from you, in wanting you to do it for them. If they
don't have what they want, they go to someone they think has it who can
give it to them, they go to someone who they think can do it for them.
Since they think you've got what they want, it's certainly an option to
want it from you, and to want to reach you. It's certainly an option to
want to reach you to get it from you.
They'll find out they can't get what they want from you because you
won't give it to them. That's not because you don't want to give it to
them. It's because what they want from you isn't gotten that way.
Eventually they'll find out if they don't generate for themselves what
they want from you, they'll never have it. Then,
when they generate for themselves what they want from you, they'll find
out they always had it, they'd merely forgotten they always had it.
I've noticed one of the ways you give people what they want is by
cutting off their attempts to manipulate you into giving them what they
want. You've known for a long time this ensures they have to generate
for themselves what they want from you. You've known for a long time
it's the only way they'll ever have mastery over what they want, once
they've gotten it. The equation here is almost bizarre: the way you
give people what they want from you is to not give people
what they want from you.
From you, people get how amazing they are. From you, I get how amazing
I am. Yet you provide no maps, no instructions for the simple reason I,
who I am,
who I am.
So there's no place to go to - I'm already here - hence no maps. And
there's no particular way to be - I'm already the way I am - hence no
instructions. If you provided maps and instructions, it would imply
there's a place to go, it would imply there's a way to be. In one
stroke of the brush, in a stroke of genius, you eliminate those
Standing in that enigma I see what I don't necessarily
want to see. I see what I want from you is
who I am.
And you've already shown me
who I am.
In spades. Therefore in order to be with you, in order to reach you, I
have to be with I'm already
who I am.
I have to be with I've already gotten from you what I want from
you, and then confront what to do with this leftover, with this
superfluous, with this free floating, with this extraneous want.
To tell you the truth, it drives me crazy sometimes. But
the truth is also this: since you've already given me what I want, the
way I reach you is by giving up wanting it.