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


Source Quote

Landmark Forum Evening Session, Broadway, San Francisco, California, USA

March 26, 2013



"Transformation shows up in my mouth."  ... 
"Transformation is being in a conversation for transformation. When you are no longer in a conversation for transformation, you are no longer transformed."  ... 
"Nothing happens until someone says something."  ... 
This essay, Source Quote, is the eighth in an open group of Experiences Of A Friend:
  1. Stepping Back
  2. At Home As Self
  3. Empty Windows
  4. Futile Like A Freedom
  5. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  6. Werner As Intention
  7. Who He Is For Himself
  8. Source Quote
  9. Puzzle Solved, Mind Unraveled
  10. Eye To Eye
  11. Mystical Connection II
  12. Relentless
  13. Being Around Werner
  14. Being Always In Action: A Possibility
  15. Shaken Up And Teary
  16. On Being Sad
  17. The Complete Presentation
  18. Force Of Nature
  19. Everyone's In Love With Everyone
  20. I'm Old School
  21. Werner At The Speed Of Choice
  22. I Get Who You Are From What They Do
  23. The Significance - Not What Happened
  24. You Know I Love You - And I Know You Love Me
  25. Speaking To People's Relationship With Werner
  26. A Master At Being (And Having People Be)
  27. Werner As Source
  28. A Man Who's All There
  29. My Heart And You
  30. Mind Control
  31. Again And Again And Again And Again And Again And Again
  32. Unwavering
so far, in that order.

It is also the tenth in an open group on Language:
  1. Last Word
  2. Speaking Of Freedom
  3. The Transformation Of The World
  4. Constituted In Language
  5. Zen Bland
  6. Source Of Zen Bland: Hand Grasps Itself?
  7. Linguistic Acts
  8. Language: The Scalpel Of Experience
  9. Wordsmith
  10. Source Quote
  11. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  12. My Word In The Matter
  13. You Are What You Speak
  14. Residue Of Meaning
  15. The Effortless Breakthrough
  16. The World's Conversation
  17. Read To Us
  18. Everything You Say
  19. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
  20. Leading With My Word
  21. Language And Results
in that order.

It is also the eleventh in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: I am indebted to Jerome Pekas and to Charlene Afremow who inspired this conversation.




Consider language.

To us human beings, language is like air to a bird, like water to a fish. It's the milieu  in which we live and breathe. Yet the such-ness of it, the thus-ness of it, is so already always present, is so already always obvious  that we take it for granted. It's never fully examined. It's hardly even noticed. Yet it's the context  for our every moment. Language is the fabric  of our lives. It's the very substance of our being. Who we really are  is constituted in language (as Werner Erhard may have said).
Werner alerted us, the group of people who happened to be visiting with him at the time, to the relationship between language and transformation by, in the course of the conversation we were having, asking us "Where  does transformation show up?".

Where. Not how. Not even why. No, where. That's provocative. But that's Werner.

There were all the usual answers, all the expected answers and a few unexpected answers. There were even some novel answers. Transformation shows up in Life. Transformation shows up in my brain. Transformation shows up in the world. Transformation shows up in a glass (... O  ... K  ...). Transformation shows up in enlightenment. Transformation shows up in my actions. Transformation shows up in generosity  (I like that one). On and on it went for about an hour ... until Werner suggested "How about: transformation shows up in my mouth?".

* * *

That was the start of my appreciation of language as the possibility of transformation. It was the start of my appreciation of the spoken word  as the possibility of transformation. It also enabled me to own my  role in Werner speaking transformation: I'm a listening  for Werner speaking transformation ... a listening, that is, until I'm listened in the conversation, which is when I become a speaking  for transformation.

There it incontrovertibly was, close up, face to face, larger than life, and twice as natural: language (speaking and listening) as the possibility of ie as the primary domain  of transformation. What occurred for me along with this primary domain was the possibility of language as writing and reading  ie as a secondary  domain of (which is to say as an honorable approximation to)  transformation - and I became a writer ... just ... like ... that  ... a writer with an already proven track record of years and years  speaking transformation.

Soon afterwards I had the privilege of visiting with Werner again, this time privately. By then I'd been writing prolifically for a while. One of the items on our crowded agenda was the title of a website I created on which I posted my written work, various essays, koans  etc all inspired by his ideas. I had titled this website "The Werner Erhard Essays", a title which came from the inspiration his ideas are for my essays and all my collected writings.
Werner pointed out although he got the inspiration implication  of the title, there was also a real danger it would create confusion for people by implying he - not I - was the author of the writings on my website.

Yes, a website titled "The Werner Erhard Essays", regardless of why I gave it that title, could indeed imply he was the author - not I. I got it. And so our focus turned to coming up with a more appropriate title for my website.

During a previous visit with Werner, I listened intently as one of his guests asked him to define transformation. Werner's response, although I didn't realize it at the time, would later become the source quote  for my website. This is what he said:


<quote>

TRANSFORMATION IS BEING IN A CONVERSATION FOR TRANSFORMATION. WHEN YOU ARE NO LONGER IN A CONVERSATION FOR TRANSFORMATION, YOU ARE NO LONGER TRANSFORMED.

<unquote>


And here I am, trying to come up with a more appropriate title for my website. It was perfect.

So I said to him excitedly "Werner it's 'Conversations For Transformation'!  That's it! That's the new title: 'Conversations For Transformation, essays inspired by the ideas of Werner Erhard, by Laurence Platt'.".

After a moment of quiet contemplation, he said: "No. 'Conversations For Transformation, essays by Laurence Platt, inspired by the ideas of Werner Erhard'.". He had interchanged the second and the third clause of my proposed title, the generosity of which blew me away. And then, after another quiet moment, he said (very subtly, so at first I didn't realize he was actually extending  the title) "... and more".

"That leaves it open" he said, leaning back in his chair smiling, his hands behind his head.

It does. It's vintage Erhard:  Conversations For Transformation, essays by Laurence Platt, inspired by the ideas of Werner Erhard ... and more.



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