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


Staying In Integrity

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

Christmas Day, December 25, 2020

"What it's about for me is what happened in the lives of the people who participated in the programs. And what it's about even today not in est  anymore and not even in Landmark's programs, but it's about the difference that real integrity actually makes."
discussing Robyn Symon's film "Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard" with Jonathan Moreno, after a showing at the University of Pennsylvania's Bioethics Film Festival
"Integrity is actually very simple. Integrity is nothing more and nothing less than honoring my word and keeping an empowering context (conversation for possibility) present for myself and my life."
... Landmark Worldwide
This essay, Staying In Integrity, is the seventeenth in the open second group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the complete first group of thirty five Experiences Of A Friend):
  1. Friend, Partner, And Ally
  2. Go To The Beach
  3. Proof Of Life
  4. Going Out Like A Supernova
  5. Relationships: They Start, They End
  6. Evidence Of Source
  7. On Knowing When To Be Ordinary
  8. Letting Be
  9. Transforming The Untransformable
  10. There's Always The Next Piece
  11. Plastic Chandelier II
  12. Yes You Really Are That Big
  13. A Way With Words
  14. The Quietest Mind
  15. Approaching Integrity
  16. Dancing With Life II
  17. Staying In Integrity
  18. Ordinary People Star, Extraordinary People Recreate Themselves
  19. Committed Existence
  20. When You're Being Like Werner, You're Not Being Like Werner
  21. "There's Life Happening Where You Are"
  22. At The Level Of Self-Expression
  23. Intergalactic Dude
  24. Wonderful With People
  25. The Piercing Essay
in that order.

It is also the twenty first in a group of twenty four on Integrity: It is also the eleventh in a group of eleven written on Christmas Day:
  1. High Class Zen
  2. Holiday Service
  3. Out Of My Head
  4. How To Enroll The World
  5. Holiday Service II
  6. A Game Worth Playing
  7. Peace On Earth And Good Will To All People: A Possibility
  8. Five Star Restaurant
  9. Direct Experience
  10. Thirteen Hawks A-Soaring
  11. Staying In Integrity
in that order.

I am indebted to Lawrence Gerald who inspired this conversation.

Werner Erhard
We all know the idiom "That's a tough act to follow.". It's when you do something or create something that's so awesome, so excellent that it's going to be hard to improve, that it's unlikely to be done better, that it'll be really difficult to surpass. It's this sense in which I say his discovering transformation, is a tough act to follow - and when I say "discovering transformation" I say it in the sense of Newton discovering gravity, of Euclid discovering geometry, of Einstein discovering relativity, or of Copernicus discovering the heliocentric theory of the universe.

It's well known he didn't end there. But what's not well known is he didn't start  there either. Prior to discovering transformation, he had established many successful business entities, all held in high esteem by customers and staff alike, producing the kind of success that's often emulated yet rarely duplicated. And his self-taught mastery of and delivery of wildly popular and well-attended lectures, seminars, and heretofore esoteric programs which allowed people to take control of, and improve their lives, all of which and more, led to that fateful day out of time on the Golden Gate Bridge when he also just happened to discover transformation, humanity's Holy Grail.

Hence began his intention to share transformation, appropriately in paid-for programs (they don't come free) - and people do gladly pay for them, evidencing the value of the work, and proof of transformation's demand.

This story could have ended there. At that point he could have simply cashed in his chips, up-anchored his yacht, and gone sailing for the rest of his life. But he didn't, choosing instead to follow those tough acts by committing his life to yet even tougher acts, acts like bringing forth distinctions that could end world hunger, that make possible integrity, leadership, and mastery inter alia, each of which could be deemed difficult  endeavors for teams  of people to accomplish, never mind that one man accomplishing all of them, and accomplishing all of them immaculately and impeccably, was commonly held as beyond reach, outright impossible, a total non-starter.

As long as there are human beings on the planet, we'll yearn for transformation, unknowingly or knowingly. It's the song of Life itself singing out to and for itself. As a first-time experience, being transformed always occurs as enough. And as he became facile with (read: as he mastered) the ways of being transformed, as his sharing of his incredible gift accelerated worldwide, something else developed spontaneously as his raison d'etre, one which served his transformed being and evolved into the  future to live from. What it is, is as simple as it's profound. It's our staying in integrity:  it's being transformed ... and staying in integrity, being a leader ... and staying in integrity, being a master ... and staying in integrity. His magnum opus, transformation, imparts elegant testimony to the difference that real integrity actually makes.
Werner's sharing of transformation has become exquisitely more accurate as his mastery of the material and processes grows. If transformation is getting to see as a possibility who you might be really, then integrity is a structure which allows that possibility to endure, to last, indeed which allows it to expand exponentially. Without integrity nothing works, including transformation. Staying in integrity, we now know, is the bedrock on which transformation, leadership, and mastery work and thrive.

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