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 Up To Gold

Meadowood Napa Valley, St Helena, California, USA

June 2, 2018

"If you're going to write a book then write a book. If you're not then don't." ...   lasering Laurence Platt's dilemma of whether to write a book or not 
This essay, Standing Up To Gold, is the tenth in a group of ten on Money:
  1. Money And Us
  2. Give Me Money (That's What I Want?)
  3. Laurence Platt Video Interview III
  4. Exceptionally Rich
  5. Stake To Play
  6. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  7. Profit And Loss
  8. New Financial Order
  9. Really, Really Bad
  10. Standing Up To Gold
in that order.

I am indebted to Eric Edberg who contributed material for this conversation.

King Midas and daughter courtesy Greek mythology

Illustration by Walter Crane
King Midas inadvertently turns his beloved daughter into gold
If I do this right, I'll write - and I'll also be financially viable. And for me, the two may not be related. So my idea is not to collapse  them. I don't intend to write in order to make a living. What I intend to do, is to write in order to write. And I intend to be responsible for making a living in order to make a living. Given the way the world and surviving in it work, taking a stand to keep the two distinct, may sound like crazy talk. It's not. With what I'm up to, it's a requirement - a requirement, that is, if being integrally, purely creative isn't to be collapsed with surviving.

To be sure, there's nothing wrong  with being creative in order to survive. If you're out-going enough to make that work for you, it's a near ideal situation. In the genre of self-help success  writings, Mark Twain said you've made it  "when your vocation becomes your vacation". But listen: the idea of keeping them distinct as a matter of integrity, is a powerful call. I've given consideration to the possibility of blurring the lines between my vocation and my vacation. For me it's clear: whatever this is that I do, it doesn't work well that way. Both have their unique concerns, especially integrity concerns. Keeping them distinct is de rigueur  for Conversations For Transformation. This works.

For it to work, my first task was to establish myself and my life as financially viable. That created the freedom to write. That's the context in which my life works. Look: mostly, it's s'posed  to be the other way around: mostly you're s'posed to write, make money from writing, then you can be free. I turned that whole model bass-ackwards  because it occurred for me I had to. And to be quite honest, that's not my original idea. So where did it come from?

It's often leveled as a criticism  of the way Werner has set people up to participate in the work of transformation, that no one is paid to assist!  Horrors! Quelle exploitation  (and what naïvete it is to allow yourself be led like a lamb to assist without pay!). OK, let's look closely at the wisdom  of the way he's set it up (yes, I did  say the "wisdom").

Assisting isn't a job. It's a contribution. Making a contribution freely isn't something we're well-versed in. The choice to assist without pay, is an opportunity to experience freely coming from a space of generosity and contribution, without justifying it with the lure of being paid (which is our default modus operandi). That's what Werner's set up.

Transformation isn't a commodity you buy. It's not for sale. It can only be self-created then generously given away. You'll notice this fits almost none of Wall Street's financial scenarios. And while it's certainly not the only possible scenario in this genre (the truth is just about every one of Werner's programs have a registration fee), generating transformation then giving it away freely  carries with it the heart of what transformation really is, in a way that most of the books in the self-help success section of  never will. Given how the world is, it's smart (very  smart) to establish financial viability in parallel, if you intend giving transformation away.

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