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



Free To Be And Free To Act II

Forum for Graduates - Free to Be and Free to Act [Online], Landmark Worldwide

January 25, 2021

This essay, Online!: Free To Be And Free To Act II, is the companion piece to Online! II: Untethered.

It is also the twenty sixth in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: It is also the sequel to Free To Be And Free To Act.

It is also the prequel to Essence Hidden In Plain Sight: Free To Be And Free To Act III.

I am indebted to Mark Spirtos and to Larry Pearson who inspired this conversation.


The announcement that Werner's flagship programs, particularly The Landmark Forum and Forum for Graduates - Free to Be and Free to Act are now being offered online, got me wondering about two things.

The first is: is it possible to deliver the results Werner's work delivers in-person, online? I share my experience of this in this essay, Online!: Free to Be and Free to Act II.

The second is: is it possible to deliver not merely the results Werner's work delivers in-person online, but specifically is it possible to deliver transformation  online, particularly for non-Graduates? I share my experience of this in the essay titled Online! II: Untethered.

In many of these one thousand six hundred Conversations For Transformation, I've asserted the  milieu for delivering Werner's work, is in-person  conversation. I've also asserted there's no book to read after which your life would be authentically  transformed, no audio  to listen after which it would be authentically transformed, no video to watch after which it would be authentically transformed. Look: some or all of the above may be untrue. But there's no evidence it is. Totals can't happen without the abstraction of addition. Grammar can't happen without syntax and rules. And transformation can't happen without in-person conversation. Or ... can  ... it?

As we all know, our world recently went into lockdown. And for all intents and purposes, the delivery of Werner's work, like many other in-person endeavors and enterprises, came to an abrupt halt. In the instant the in-person milieu became unavailable, the very disbursement of transformation on our planet became imperiled.

Fast-forward about a year (maybe a little less in actuality) to when word began coming out that Werner's work would soon make its appearance online  - courtesy the software doyen of the socially-distant: Zoom. I was (to put it mildly) thrilled, but only partially because Werner's work would emerge online (I actually doubted it could be effectively delivered that way). It's mainly because I was struck by the sheer heroism  of pivoting its delivery from in-person to online on such short notice - nimble, fancy footwork for such a large, worldwide, well-entrenched organization. But would it actually work?  That would be the rub (as William Shakespeare embodying Hamlet may have said). And there was only one way to find out: participate. So I registered myself to be in Forum for Graduates - Free to Be and Free to Act online.

Cut to the chase. What I discovered, touched me, inspired me, moved me to tears. On a scale of one to a hundred, participating in Werner's work in-person, given it's the  milieu, rates a hundred. But participating in Werner's work online, doesn't drop way down that scale. Rather it rates pretty close to a ninety nine. True, it's not the hundred of participating in-person. It couldn't be. Yet it's astonishingly impressive nonetheless. And given the persistence of the ongoing worldwide lockdown, if online is now indeed the only milieu in which to participate in Werner's work, then how could I not  be delighted with a mere ninety nine on a scale of one to a hundred?

Then I saw two things I wasn't expecting, neither of which could ever  appear in the in-person delivery, which garnered the online offering a hundred and ten  on a scale of one to a hundred. I couldn't believe it! Yet there they were, so obvious  in hindsight (and hindsight is always  20/20 vision). These are they:

What you do with Werner's work when you participate in-person, is you take it home, you share it with your family and friends (no, you be  it with your family and friends); you take it out into the world (if you don't take it out into the world, you didn't get it in the first place). In Werner's work online, you're already  at home; the floors and walls of your domicile steep in it. This is even more immediate  than participating in-person! And what falls out of  its availability online is those living where Werner's work isn't offered in-person, can participate online not having to go where it's offered in-person ... meaning Werner's work is now available EVERYWHERE!

This is a big deal - the latter in particular, a very  big deal. The impact of what will fall out of this breakthrough, coming as it did congruent with the current worldwide lockdown, is stunning. Its legacy will be both sublime and profound. It will have powerful and lasting personal, societal, and national and international ramifications. By participating online myself, I got clear that Werner's work can and does work online - indeed, it's brought forth with it many entirely new  realms of possibility. Again.

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