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

somewhere between east and west

Nickel & Nickel, Oakville, California, USA

August 18, 2019

"somewhere between east and west" ... Steve Shapiro, Cape Argus reporter, headlining Laurence Platt introducing Werner's work to South Africa, 1979

This essay, somewhere between east and west, is the companion piece to The Friends Of The Landmark Forum In South Africa.

Werner Erhard's work is thriving in South Africa today. That fact represents the fulfillment of a promise I made to Werner at 2:00am one morning in 1979 in the kitchen of his San Francisco home, the Franklin House, following which I went to South Africa, and over the course of a year led the first series of ten guest seminars around the country in the major cities, causing the first one thousand enrollments in South Africa which inexorably started his work there.

We were est  back in those days. This was long before WE & A  (Werner Erhard and Associates), long before Landmark Education, long before Landmark Worldwide, long before The Erhard‑Jensen Ontological / Phenomenological Initiative. In a perhaps unorthodox strategy (compared to today's carefully crafted, certified, and proven methods), my colleagues and I contacted the major evening newspaper, the Cape Argus, to make my intention known. Steve Shapiro, a reporter, interviewed us. The result was a full page article in the widely read Saturday weekend edition magazine, titled "somewhere between east and west". The title's font was all lower case with the letters "e", "s", and "t" in both the words "east" and "west" cleverly highlighted in red. It was the astonishingly generous coverage that Steve and others in the media afforded us which virtually guaranteed the acceptance of Werner's work in South Africa and its subsequent transformation.

As a reminder, those were the apartheid  years. Given the repressiveness of the regime, people listened the conversation for transformation intently and acutely, arguably more acutely than anywhere else on the planet at the time. What transpired next is history. And that's not what I want to focus on. What I want to focus on is how Steve listened est  as a discipline, and where he located it ie somewhere between east and west.

Interimly, listening est  as a discipline, is an altogether and totally valid view of it. Ultimately, the notion of est  as a discipline, isn't required. What est  provided was access to the context for all  disciplines.

[... being continued ...]

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