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


Exertec Health and Fitness Center, Napa, California, USA

July 12, 2018

"You know, people will give up anything - their jobs, their money, their families, their health - to get it, anything except the one and only thing you have to give up in order to get it: the conviction that you haven't got it."
This essay, Off-Ramp, is the sequel to Only You.

I am indebted to Mark Holden who inspired this conversation.

It's only an analogy, and all analogies are inevitably destined to fail under scrutiny. With that said, the moment of transformation is analogous to the moment you reach your freeway off-ramp: whether you've driven hundreds of miles to get there, or whether you've driven but half a mile, when you reach your off-ramp, you exit.

Collage by Laurence Platt
A friend of mine was sharing his experience with me, having spent about five years, twice a week, in therapy with a well known therapist. That's about five hundred and twenty sessions of one hour each. It was a robust conversation, accelerated by my counter-sharing that Werner's work reliably produces transformation in three, thirteen hour days. "How can that be? Everyone knows"  (we've all heard that idiom before, yes?) "'getting it' takes much, much longer than that!" he argued. But actually, does it?

Look: what if the time it takes to "get it" in therapy is entirely unrelated to the time spent  in therapy? In other words, what if the duration  of the inquiry is totally irrelevant? And so that you know, I'm not voting  here: time could also be incidental for participants in Werner's work. Five years? or three days? Any labeled duration may be incidental. To be clear, comparisons between Werner's work and therapy, are mismatched: Werner's work isn't therapy. With that said, it's just possible the moment of "getting it" is instantaneous, out of time, regardless of what inquiry you're in when you embrace that moment.

A number of essays in this collection flesh out the experience of "getting it", the chief among which is "Moment Of Truth". The point germane to this  essay, is the time spent pursuing it  ie the Big "IT", regardless of the format of the inquiry through which we pursue it, is really a non sequitur. You could "get it" as a result of the inquiry (the high road) or you could "get it" in spite of  the inquiry (the low road). To "get it" is to see that you're the source of it all. It's a possibility you embrace in a flash. Any and all inquiries until that point, no matter how long, no matter how significant, were merely padding.

That off-ramp moment which we all have (or at least which we're all capable of having)? It's really the same for everyone - although its impact will result in authentic, new behaviors unique to each one of us. It's the moment when we be the being we really are, and renounce being the mind pretending to be the being. I'll bet good money that description nails it for transformation, for therapy, for religion, for any path / endeavor seeking the full and free dignity of what it is to be a human being.

To his credit, he admitted he already knew that. Perhaps its the pressure of zeitgeist  that we seek to cure ourselves of what stops us being who we really are, and are willing to invest five hundred and twenty sessions of one hour each, in doing it - yet we eschew the same result when it takes three, thirteen hour days. Who knows?  Either way, when you reach your off-ramp, exit. And if, when you reach your off-ramp you're still skeptical, drive on. Another off-ramp will be coming up soon. Really.

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