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


Raw Power

San Francisco, California, USA

April 10, 2015



"Here I stand. I can do no other." ... Martin Luther
This essay, Raw Power, is the first in the third trilogy Breakfast With The Master:
  1. Raw Power
  2. It Works Better As A Possibility
  3. Magic At Heart
in that order.
The first trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Conversation With A Laser
  2. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  3. Secret Agent
in that order.
The second trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Health
  2. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  3. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Open
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master IV: Parental Care
  2. Breakfast With The Master IV: Taking The Guilt Out Of It
  3. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Whatever Works
  2. Yesterday's Transformation
  3. Billions And Billions Of Stars
in that order.


If I asked you to give a few examples of things which are really powerful, it wouldn't surprise me if you included one or more of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and the like in your list, or if you considered them for it.

Stop for a moment. Let's differentiate between what's powerful and what's forceful. Let's say the domain of what's powerful is people acting at choice ie people being and acting at cause. In other words, let's say true power only occurs in the domain of being human. To describe hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and the like as powerful is good enough for jazz. But spoken with rigor they're really examples of great force not of great power.

Consider force isn't necessarily a human activity. True power on the other hand, is essentially human, and it's currently mesmerizing me as I observe him sitting on the opposite side of the breakfast table from me and my huevos rancheros  and my green tea. At first I'm stuck coming up with what's powerful about him rather than what's forceful about him. Then I get it. The August 18, 2014 6.1 earthquake in Napa Valley, California where I live, rocked my house. That's force. The human being sitting opposite me right now at breakfast on the other hand, rocks my world. That's power.

Although we see, we're not known as human seeings, right? Although we speak, we're not known as human speakings. Neither, for that matter, are we known as human listenings. We be, and that's why we're known as human beings. Yet to catch a glimpse of ie to see and experience the real  being we are, is inexplicably rare. Most often there's something going on which gets in the way, something inauthentic  which gets in the way. The human being sitting opposite me right now is, to be sure, seeing and speaking and listening. But mostly he's just being. And it's in his being with me that I get the power, the brute power, the oftentimes scary  power, the raw power  of what it is to be a human being fully expressed, with nothing added on, with nothing held back, with nothing in the way.

My conversation with him makes me feel as if I'm being towed waterskiing behind an F15 Strike Eagle  fighter jet. I'm hanging on for dear life ... until I give up all resistance (what other choice do I have?), surrendering to the power (the raw human  power) of it, being trained by it, learning from it, exploring it, playing with it, and eventually discovering how to re-create it and match it.

In the face of this vast, wide open experience his full on  power sweeps me into, much of the actual conversation is really very pragmatic: how, for example, we reconcile the democratic principle of equal time for opposite opinions  in the news when the overwhelming hard scientific evidence for global warming and its catastrophic effects, are countered and discredited by just another guy in a diner's  pipe dream head-in-the-sand  denials. It raises the broader issue of where personal transformation fits in with our endangered habitat, without which we can't sustain life. He doesn't speak it like he's right  about his opinion. Rather, he speaks it as an open question  which, when interacted with, doesn't arrive at merely one righteous conclusion but rather continues generating more and more possible and plausible solutions.

What slowly dawns on me about this very human display of raw, pragmatic power is its applicability. In this regard, he's out of lockstep with the mystics of the east who've shed all worldly goods, possessions, and responsibilities in their quest for enlightenment. He, on the other hand, has taken on the world. And I suspect he's taken it on not merely as the antithesis of shedding it as the mystics of the east have done, but rather he's taken it on simply in the congruency of taking on all of what it is to be fully alive. In this regard, he's totally ruthless. His ruthlessness forces me to confront, for example, what will become of me in old age, and to plan for it now. It's not easy to confront. Yet it's an inevitability. I stay in the conversation gamely, completely out of my depth, paddling for all I'm worth to stay afloat, yet all the while learning, learning, learning, absorbing like a sponge. I notice he's smiling. He's not being disrespectful. It's his compassion.

I share how it's going for me creating these Conversations For Transformation. I say "I was born to do this.". "No you weren't" he counters without even the briefest of pauses. "When you say 'I was born to do this', it's pure story"  (editor's wry interjection: 'pure story'  is just another more palatable way of saying 'pure BS'  ...). He continues: "Conversations For Transformation are not what you were born to do. Conversations For Transformation are your natural Self-expression.". Although I admit being somewhat rattled by his intrusion into the personal way with which I regard what I do, I have to admit his way of looking at it works better than mine. His way allows for presence of Self. My way only allows for justifying an interpretation.

And so it goes until the waitress brings the bill. I pick it up and pay it. It's time for him to leave. We both stand. I lean over to hug him, step slightly off balance, and bump into him. It's like colliding with a brick wall. He's either solid slabs of muscle ... or  ... both that and (more likely) it's the way he carries himself ie it's the way he's being. It's his power. Manifest. Raw.

I plan on staying a while after he's gone to let the Park Presidio  traffic thin out before I take on the drive home. He walks away and outside, not looking at me closely watching his every step through the restaurant's plate glass window.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2015 through 2017 Permission