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

Stepping Back

Frog's Leap, Rutherford, California, USA

May 15, 2012

This essay, Stepping Back, is the first in the complete group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the open group Experiences Of A Friend II):
  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
  33. The Leadership Course III: Pillar Of The Community
  34. American Genius
  35. Legacy II
so far, in that order.

I am indebted to Josh Cohen who contributed material for this conversation.

While surfing the internet  recently, I came across a simple (simple, as in non-flashy)  website proclaiming an event I didn't know about, an event at which you'll (allegedly) be speaking. The website's proclamation in and of itself, wasn't evidence either the website or the event were bona fide. And if they weren't bona fide, they weren't cast iron proof  you'll be attending or speaking. As they say in the classics: "On the internet, even a dog  can have a website.". But as it turns out as I learned later, the website, the event, and your presence at it and your speaking at it, were all for real  after all.

That said, neither the authenticity of the event nor you attending and speaking at it, are central to what I'm sharing here. What's central to what I'm sharing here is this: in considering such an event, and in considering you attending and speaking at it, I noticed how much I miss you, how much I miss being around you. I noticed how much I'd love to be at that event to be with you, listening you speaking.

So that's the first part: I miss you, and I saw it as a missing (more like a loss, actually) that I wouldn't be at the event with you.

And then suddenly, out of the blue, I saw it one hundred and eighty degrees  differently. It was amazing, because I wasn't looking for a new perspective. It just came to me (maybe it's better to say it just came on  me, or even that it came at  me) spontaneously. It was an unannounced, uninvited, unexpected total breakthrough  - a discontiguous  breakthrough.

Instead of missing you and missing being with you at the event listening you speaking, I completely got how fortunate  the people are who will  be at the event with you. In a flash, I saw all the times I've been with you mano a mano, face to face, tête à tête, and how awesome they've been (privileges, actually), and now all those people at the event with you will have this same opportunity to be with you and to enjoy you and to be inspired by you.

So rather than being "not being with you", rather than being "missing you", I invented the possibility of standing down and stepping back, getting out of the way  so other people can enjoy you. And as I stood down and stepped back, as I got out of the way so other people can enjoy you, I got who you are all over again, I got who I am all over again, I got who you are for me  all over again, I got who I am for you  all over again. That's the second part.

I've gained a whole new context, an entirely new dimension  in being with you, from this. In the past, I've seen our relationship a lot (mostly, in fact) in terms of me myself personally  being with you (I doubt that will ever end - hopefully it won't). But suddenly I'm seeing how inspired (and inspiring) I can be by creating the space for others  to be with you. You know, I've actually been doing this all along ... it's just that now I'm getting it at a whole new level. Now I'm seeing it as a whole new bigness.

Pretty soon (as synchronicity  would have it) someone else, having come across the same simple website proclaiming the event and you speaking at it, contacted me to ask about the authenticity of the event - which I confirmed. He told me how he would love to be there with you but was unable to due to circumstances (in other words, the stars won't line up for him  ...). He said he would miss you and would miss being there with you (sounds familiar).

This is my response to him - it's coming from  this new space I've gotten myself into:

"Tell me about it. I know what you mean. But rather than have it be about you not there being with him, have it be about the people who are there being with him. Have it be about how fortunate they are to be there with him. Have it be about how generous you are to give up your space around him for them to have the opportunity to experience him."

He got it, I could tell - the whole tone of his conversation lit up.

This is new for me. It's an expansion of where I was at before. Actually it's more than simply an expansion of where I was at before. It's an expansion of what I was capable of  before. Yet in the end, it's not new. This thing about transformation, this thing that's always been so  about transformation is if you want it, if you want to get it, if you want to have it, if you want to keep  it, you have to  give it away.

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