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


On Fake Picassos

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

September 7, 2005



This essay, On Fake Picassos, is the companion piece to I am indebted to Scott Grande who inspired this conversation.



There is no sense (as far as I personally am concerned) in pretending that the conversation for transformation started all by itself. Werner Erhard started it. Werner Erhard sources it ongoingly. That's just what's so. Furthermore, I assert recreating the conversation for transformation without acknowledging Werner Erhard as its source is about as underhand as knowingly selling fake Picassos to unsuspecting art collectors.

In case you're concerned that this implies some kind of attachment or possessiveness, bear in mind that when Werner Erhard started the conversation for transformation in March 1971, his stated intention then was that the work would eventually disappear into the fabric of society. He was clear from the get go  the only way to keep  this conversation for transformation would be to give it away

That's how you get to own transformation completely: by giving it away. That's how Werner Erhard saw it and that's what he built into the warp and the weft of the conversation for transformation from the get go: giving it away. So my assertion of Werner Erhard as source isn't a question of possession or ownership. It's a question of origination, authorship, and authenticity.

It's often erroneously postulated that Werner Erhard got what he got from participating in other programs. The implication therein is that Werner Erhard didn't source anything new. It's that he simply rearranged what he already knew ie what he had gotten from participating in other programs, and packaged it more attractively. To be sure, all knowledge even if skewed adds to the overall perspective. However the work Werner Erhard started didn't come from what he knew. It's closer to the truth to say Werner Erhard's work came from what he didn't know. What I would like you to consider like a possibility is the source of Werner Erhard's work is who Werner Erhard is, not what he knows, nor even what he doesn't know (as pivotal as that is), not the programs he's participated in, nor the ones he hasn't participated in. All that stuff is really peripheral to who a human being really is. I'm asking you to consider like a possibility secondarily that the source of Werner Erhard's work is who Werner Erhard really is, then primarily to consider, in that way, that the source of your own life is who you really are.

It's really a matter of accuracy, integrity, and generosity to acknowledge source. Once you've done that, yourSelf ie your-Self  as source. of your own life is available to you. That's the start of living the life you love instead of having the explanation for why the life you have isn't the life you want. That's the tollbooth token into the conversation for transformation. Historically, before Werner Erhard started the conversation for transformation there wasn't a conversation for transformation. Prior to March 1971 when Werner Erhard started the conversation for transformation, the word transformation  hardly appeared in our day to day vocabulary at all, if ever.

By now, Werner Erhard's conversation for transformation is absorbed into and is included in other programs, sometimes by agreement, sometimes without agreement. It appears in business strategies, in advertising (witness the current MasterCard campaign), in our common language and (for better or for worse) in street talk and in jargon. It has brought together in face to face conversations such diverse opposites as self professed Palestinian terrorists and Israeli Mossad  ie secret police in the Middle East, and as Protestant clergy and Catholic clergy in Northern Ireland. It has presented itself in such unlikely partnerships as with the erstwhile Soviet Union, with the democratized Costa Rica, and with South African mining conglomerates. It's had the brassiness and the verve to dare to take enlightenment to India. It's been delivered to and been gotten by deaf people and blind people. Clearly it isn't limited by the senses. It's delivered in many languages, and when it's delivered in a language not understood by its participants, they get it anyway. People as young as eight years old and as old as in their nineties get value from it. It's tipped the axis of the beingsphere  of millions and millions and millions of people on the planet who have participated in it, who have contributed to it, and who have been touched, moved, and inspired by it. It has totally and inexorably altered what's possible for being for human being.

Werner Erhard started the conversation for transformation and thereby created a context, in effect, like his living room in which you are welcome to visit, to stay as long as you like, and to leave whenever you like, taking with you whatever you find valuable there. The conversation for transformation Werner Erhard started is distinct in that the conversation for transformation itself is transformation. Werner Erhard's conversation for transformation isn't a conversation about  transformation. Werner Erhard's conversation for transformation is  transformation.

That's the distinction between fake Picassos and an authentic masterpiece.

Buyer beware.



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