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

Standing In The River

St Helena, California, USA

April 14, 2006

This essay, Standing In The River, is the companion piece to Conversations For Transformation receives its fifty thousandth view with the publishing of Standing In The River.

I am indebted to Professor William Warren Bartley III and to Dr Robert Lee "Bob" Culver who inspired this conversation.

Photography by Symon Productions - London Eye, London, England - 2004
Werner Standing Still
He's standing in the river up to his knees in water, serenely looking into the water watching the water go, just standing in the river watching the water ...

Something's happening because everything's moving.

The river flows around rocks. It doesn't flow through  rocks. With a rock in its way it's the river's true nature  to flow around it just as it's rock's true nature  to not move out of the way. Rocks don't stop the river nor do they make it wrong. It's the river's true nature to flow, giving way to and going around anything in its way. Thus the river, flowing around rocks, honors rocks' true nature.

There's no cause  for river. Rain? Or was it clouds before the rain? Or was it wind blowing water saturated air to condensing heights? Wait ... doesn't it require the rotating planet itself to engender the very notion of wind? The river, this  river, this very moment standing in the river  was therefore already present in the seeds of the universe. The chain of events which caused standing in the river  therefore had to have begun at the dawn of time ...


Pick any one of those causes. Pick whichever one your perspective or your fancy happens to alight on. All of them are false  cause. Why? Because if the limited focus is expanded, it's clear there's another prior cause which caused that cause. So who or what really  is the cause of river? Who or what is the real cause, the source  of standing in the river?

That Was Now, This Is Now

That was Werner standing in the Russian River during a company picnic in 1966. Standing in the river is how Werner stands in life. Even then.

Today Werner's still standing. Indeed he's standing still. He's seventy now. I see and I don't see the suave Hollywood good looks. I see the commitment, the unwavering  commitment. Beyond that I see something extraordinary. I see the platform from whence unwavering commitment to commitment  springs. I see the source of access to that platform laid bare for all for the asking.

After all these years sometimes I still wonder and ask myself "How does he do  that?".

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