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


Secret Service:

License To Thrill

Somewhere At 39,000 Feet Over The United States Of America

April 11, 2007



This essay, Secret Service, is the prequel to the third trilogy Visits With A Friend:
  1. Master Of Life
  2. Face To Face
  3. Love And Kindness
in that order.

It is the companion piece to It is also the third in an open group Visits With A Friend Prequels:
  1. Anticipation: Accounting For An American Love Affair
  2. Eye Of The Needle
  3. Secret Service
  4. Everyone Loves You
  5. Close Up, Face To Face, Larger Than Life, And Twice As Natural
  6. View From A Fallow Wheatfield
  7. Flying
  8. Three Stairs At A Time
  9. Something Fierce, Something Wonderful
  10. Serving High
  11. Simple But Not Easy
  12. A Request Asked Harder
in that order.




Photography by Der Spiegel - Monday March 22, 1976
Werner Erhard
I love to serve. When I serve I serve out in the open. But not always.

When I served the homeless I did so publicly. When I participate in a worship service I do so publicly. Yet distinct from service to my community and distinct from a worship service, when I celebrate the source  of my life I do so privately. This, in contrast, is the secret  service.

That's not the way I ordinarily am. That's not the way I'm thrown to be. Ordinarily I'll unabashedly share good news with everyone with everything I got. Ordinarily I'm an open book, a clear pane. Ordinarily I've got no secrets.

This  doesn't work that way. If I'm like that with this particular celebration, something else happens, something not quite wanted occurs, something unintentional comes into play shifting the whole focus.

When I surrender to source, when I surrender to this love, when I get out of its way and allow it to brew, it steeps my entire life in real thrilling relatedness and total empowerment. It's where I come from. Or, spoken with rigor, it's what  I come from. It's the context for my life. It's my raison d'etre. It's the future to live into. It's the source of what's possible. Indeed, it is  what's possible.

In every way it's the  love to live. Yet if I talk about it, it's unavoidably cheap talk. Actually it's worse than that. If I talk about it it's tantamount to gossip. I wish it weren't this way. Its honor, integrity, and romance yearn to be made known. Yet when I talk about it I only seem to set up a kind of spiritual voyeurism  in the world's listening for it. I don't want it to be this way.

If the truth be told, it's ironic and it's perfect it's this way - the way I don't want it to be - given this is the love which matures and cultures my capacity to be  with what I don't want, especially when what I don't want is what's so.

When I watch what happens when I don't keep this service secret, when I look at what happens when I talk about it, I see talking about it interferes with living  it. I don't want that interference either. I wish it would show up some other way. But it doesn't. I wish it would show up like everything else great that's shareable, indeed like everything else great that must be shared  as a condition of manifesting its benefits.

But it just god-damned doesn't  show up the way I want it to. So to have it in my life I go with it the way it is. I no longer try to have it be some other way. I serve it secretly. That's my no choice  choice. If I want to rise to meet it and live it I've got to discard all my stuff  which wants to talk about it because none of that stuff will fit through the eye of the needle I must pass through to go be with it.

The way I share something is by speaking it. The phrase "speaking it" comes perilously close to "talking about it". They're not the same. They're not even close. They exist in two entirely distinct domains. But for now, for the purpose of this conversation, it's OK if the edges between the two blur just a bit. So if I imply the way I ordinarily share something is by talking about it, that's good enough for jazz.

This is the exception. I can't talk about this secret service. I can't talk about this love without putting words on it. If I do, my attempts come up short and possibly even damage it. So I surrender, serving it secretly. Then my life is given by being in service because I'm being in service. I am because I am and I don't know why I am and I'm satisfied this way.

This secret service authorizes me doing what I do. It's the source of my license to thrill.



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