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


Proof Of Life

Browns Valley, California, USA

August 3, 2018

This essay, Proof Of Life, is the third in the open second group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the complete first group of thirty five Experiences Of A Friend):
  1. Friend, Partner, And Ally
  2. Go To The Beach
  3. Proof Of Life
  4. Going Out Like A Supernova
  5. Relationships: They Start, They End
  6. Evidence Of Source
  7. On Knowing When To Be Ordinary
  8. Letting Be
  9. Transforming The Untransformable
  10. There's Always The Next Piece
  11. Plastic Chandelier II
  12. Yes You Really Are That Big
  13. A Way With Words
  14. The Quietest Mind
  15. Approaching Integrity
  16. Dancing With Life II
  17. Staying In Integrity
  18. Ordinary People Star, Extraordinary People Recreate Themselves
  19. Committed Existence
  20. When You're Being Like Werner, You're Not Being Like Werner
  21. "There's Life Happening Where You Are"
  22. At The Level Of Self-Expression
  23. Intergalactic Dude
  24. Wonderful With People
  25. The Piercing Essay
in that order.

It is also the tenth in a hendectet of Breakthroughs:

Photograph courtesy
University of California at Los Angeles
leading the Leadership Course with Steve Zaffron and Friends

I heard it from "them" first. "They" told me he was leaving ie they told me he had  to leave (that's "they" as in the ubiquitous "They say  ..."). I didn't believe them. "He would never  leave!" I thought, not fully grasping the rising forces in motion, and dismissed the ongoing cacophony touting his imminent departure, as ill-informed gossip. Then he  told me he was leaving, that some people wanted to hurt him, that he had to leave. I felt myself blanch. Tears spurted from eyes. It was as if I'd been sucker-punched in the solar plexus, literally below the belt, a totally uncalled-for action only a gang of shits and / or the princes of darkness could sign off on.

I've never been big on "Why?" questions. All "Why?" questions have the same answer. That answer is "Because!". So I don't ask "Why?" much. Yet this time "Why?"  echoed and re-echoed around my brain. It wasn't a "Why?" asking to explain him leaving. It was asking "Why are we (human beings) like this?". It's in our blood ie it's in our DNA  (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid) that if any one of us does enormous good, we want to hurt them. Why? It's incorrigible. But it's so us!  Mohandas Karamchand "Mahatma" Gandhi, Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr, President John Fitzgerald "JFK" Kennedy, "Nelson" Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Madiba Tata (uBawom)Khulu Mandela etc etc etc on and on and on - you know, we're talking about a man in the company of giants. I gained solace from rationalizing our cruelty simply as human nature. But regardless of how I spun it, some people wanted to hurt him and he had to leave. Then he was gone. And when he left, a huge part of my heart left with him.

We stayed in contact after he left. I had the privilege of visiting with him privately on various occasions at various locations ("any place but here") around the planet. On one occasion he strode over to me as I sat in the middle of a crowded room, contemplating the design of a logo for a new business he was sourcing. I stood up to hug him even as he was still twenty feet away and closing fast. As we embraced, I whispered, my mouth near his ear, through tears of joy "Please come back. When  are you coming back?". He paused, then whispered "Soon ...". It was the complete answer. Whichever way I spun it, it was the truth. Now it was just a matter of being patient, and waiting. And I knew I could be in for a long long wait. So I waited. And waited (time I noticed, is like the tide: the years roll in, and they roll away again).

There are still many people who know he left but who don't yet know he's no longer "any place but here". The impossible has happened. His "Soon" has become the "Now.". I declare (and I invite you to also) this is a breakthrough of epic  proportions. This is proof of life* (even more, this is proof of Life itself). Since returning, his slew of presentations have included (these are but a meagre three from a vast catalog): Conversations on Compassion with Dr James Doty at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California on Thursday November 16, 2017; the Mastery Course: Being a Master of Life: What It Takes in New York, New York on Friday through Sunday April 6 through 8, 2018; and the Leadership Course: Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological / Phenomenological Model at UCLA  (University of California at Los Angeles), California on Thursday through Saturday July 26 through 28, and Tuesday through Thursday July 31 through August 2, 2018.

OK here they are one more time for you to savor and absorb (remember, this is major yet it only represents a fraction of what he's delivered here since his return):

 1)  Conversations on Compassion with Dr James Doty - Stanford, November 2017;
 2)  the Mastery Course: Being a Master of Life: What It Takes - New York, April 2018;
 3)  the Leadership Course: Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological / Phenomenological Model - UCLA, July / August 2018.

Stanford? Manhattan? UCLA? It's major. And look: yes, the whole thing is major. But each  of these presentations is major in its own right, so to deem this collection  of three as "major" is a strategic understatement. His "Soon" is now the "Now.". Many people reported his leaving. Yet almost no one (in comparison) has reported his return. And of those who have reported his return, almost no one reported it until long  after he was back. It's a profound honor to celebrate his return with you. As I do so, I have the sense Mahatma, Martin, John, and Nelson are dancing a little jig along with us, clapping their hands in surprise and wonder and delight at the news.

* A Proof Of Life is a document which contains confidential information that can be used to confirm whether a person is still alive following their disappearance.

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