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 With Masters

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

October 8, 2018



This essay, Standing With Masters, is the third in the thirteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend:
  1. Worthy Of The Company
  2. Creating Them For Myself
  3. Standing With Masters
in that order.
The first trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Prelude
  2. Ask Me Anything
  3. Coming Around Again
in that order.
The second trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Familiar Unfamiliar Territory
  2. Interview
  3. Straight Talk
in that order.
The third trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Dancing With My Mouth
  2. Cave Paintings
  3. Velvet Tsunami
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Creating Creating
  2. Tell Me Something About Nothing
  3. Lucid Disclosures
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Closer And Closer
  2. Tête À Tête
  3. Dancing With Life
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Would I Ask You If I Could Ask You Anything?
  2. Wonderings About Nothing In Particular
  3. Tipping Point
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Beyond Breathing Underwater
  2. Bold Faced Truth
  3. What You Create For Yourself About Me
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Once In A Lifetime
  2. Fireside Chat
  3. Whole And Complete
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Questions For A Friend
  2. Nothing Else I'd Rather Be Doing
  3. Free To Be And Free To Act
in that order.
The tenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Attracted To Dance
  2. I Told A Friend I Love You
  3. Terse Transformed Communication
in that order.
The eleventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. A Context Worth Playing In
  2. Tie The Brush To My Hand
  3. Unimaginably Terse
in that order.
The twelfth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Will I Do When You Die?
  2. Access
  3. The Newest Piece Of Work
in that order.



The sharing in these Questions For A Friend exchanges, is intentionally brief even though there's so much to share. These exchanges are terse, high-voltage alternating current  linguistic dances (if you will). In many other essays in this internet series, the verbiage is generative. But in this particular collection, I'd risk a generative style occurring as unnecessary padding, and therefore inappropriate in this collection of tightly knit "he said, he said"  exposés (better: "he asked, he answered" exposés).

Enough said. Here's what he asked. Here's what he answered.



The First Question



"You got what you got on the Golden Gate Bridge by yourself. There was no guarantee sharing it would work. Now there's overwhelming evidence of the brilliance of your move. But at the time, how did you know you were right?"

Contrary to Monday morning quarterbacking  and locker room bantering  critics, the work of transformation came from quiet certainty, from natural knowing. I wonder how you got that quiet certainty, that natural knowing by yourself the first time? Critics say the work of transformation is a sales pitch. If it were, you'd have to sell it. It requires no selling. The moment you know  you know, you know  (as David Bowie may have said). Critics say it's a con. It's too late: they've already  been conned (into not being who they really are). I wonder how you knew when you got what you got by yourself the first time, that it was it? How did you know you were right?


<quote>

BY LOOKING INTO LIFE, LIVING, AND SELF TO SEE IF WHAT I GOT WAS CONSISTENT WITH, ALLOWED BY, OR REQUIRED BY LIFE, LIVING, AND SELF JUST AS EACH OF THEM EXISTED WITH NO INTERPRETATION ADDED.

<unquote>


I listened you speak this at least three times, then three times more - and then some. Every time, I didn't get it. What you spoke wasn't clear to me. I wondered why it wasn't clear to me. Then I wondered if it was you  who was being uncharacteristically unclear (yes, I admit I did ponder that possibility). Soon it dawned on me: you  were being perfectly clear. It was I who wasn't listening clearly. It was I who was listening this pivotal history-redirecting  moment, in a waaay  too ordinary way. And you simply can't listen an extraordinary moment in an ordinary way. If you do, you won't get it. To get it, you have to listen it in a matching extraordinary way.

So I listened again, this time in a matching extraordinary way. And this time I got it. "How interesting!" I mused: "the extraordinary is light-years  from the ordinary, yet I can narrow the gap to next to nothing  simply by altering my listening? Hmmm ...".

I'll stop speaking now. If I speak more, I'll risk cloudying the space for others listening what you just spoke, in their own matching extraordinary way, and getting it.



The Third Question



"You're on record saying that of all the disciplines you engaged with before creating the magnum opus of transformation, Zen was the essential one. What's your relationship with Zen and the classic disciplines today?"

When I first listened you distinguish this, I got (at once, with no doubt at all) what you offer (it was this, and your relationship with your family and your extended family, that inexorably enrolled me). It's a dichotomy: there's practicing a discipline (like Zen for example), and there's who you really are ie the one who's practicing the discipline. But the discipline's intention is to bring forth who you really are. And that's what you do, through direct access. You simply eliminated the middle man.


<quote>

RESPECT, AND CHECKING IN WITH VARIOUS MASTERS FROM TIME TO TIME TO SEE IF I CAN STILL STAND WITH THEM (OR AS BUCKY SAID WHEN WE FIRST MET, "MY TOES DIDN'T CURL SO I THOUGHT HE (MEANING ME) MIGHT BE O.K.").

<unquote>


There's something for me about Jack Rosenberg seeing if he can ("still") stand with masters, that is all of lovely, riveting, inspiring, and touching, and more. That's its authenticity. That's its audacity. It's Jack's relationship / friendship with himself that I totally get, and am moved to tears by, all within the context of Werner Erhard.

I just love how you can bring that, your (and therefore our) essential human-ness, so unerringly forth, time after time after time. Man! You are one awesome dude ...

Thank You for the privilege of permitting me to share it, in my own way, with the world.



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