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


Still Standing:

Musings On The Permanent Impermanence Of Transformation

Coombsville Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

St Valentine's Day, February 14, 2016



"You and I possess within ourselves, at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances, the power to transform the quality of our lives."
 ... 
"Transformation is the space in which the event  'transformation' occurs."
 ... 
"If you don't take it out into the world, you didn't get it in the first place."
 ... 
This essay, Still Standing: Musings On The Permanent Impermanence Of Transformation, is the companion piece to Standing In The River.

It is also the seventh in a group of seven written on St Valentine's Day: It is also the sequel to
  1. A Man In The Crowd
  2. The Friends Of The Landmark Forum In South Africa
in that order.




There are those things which garner a lot of our attention (everyone's talking about them, and everything's focused on them) for what seems like it'll be forever. Then, looking back at them from some point in the future, you ask yourself "Whatever happened to (fill in the blank)?". Those once epitomes of ubiquity, have disappeared. And when they disappeared, they disappeared so quickly and so thoroughly you didn't even notice they were gone, and neither did you notice exactly when they went. They were there. Then they weren't. Fashion fads, for example. The paisley shirts and the bell-bottomed jeans were relegated to a box in the attic, then ended up in a garage sale. White Zinfandel. Politicians' promises. Tastes in popular music. 35¢ a gallon gasoline. Segregationist regimes (ask Nelson Mandela). They come - they go.

Does transformation qualify for that category? Really. Does it? Does it come and go? Is it a fad? Forty five years later (that's both forty five continuous calendar years later, as well as forty five continuous experiential  years later) it's OK to say it's not a fad - not unless you're also going to call breathing a fad. Yet built into the nature of transformation, and in particular, built in to the very nature of the experience  of transformation, is its coming-then-going-ness  (if you will). It's even really natural (ie quite typical) for the experience of transformation to come, and then for it to go away again. Allow me to qualify this assertion so we're clear about what it implies.

Transformation comes and goes continuously  - ongoingly, daily, if not hourly, if not every minute. That's what it does. When you get it, you get it. Then it goes away, perhaps imperceptibly, so imperceptibly that you may not even notice it's gone ie that you may not even notice you haven't got it anymore. But then, as soon as you notice (ie as soon as you get) you don't have it any more, you can choose to generate it again. When you generate it again, it's back - as if it was always there ie as if it never went away. People ie us / we are ongoingly transformed - not to the degree that transformation has somehow become permanently imbued in our lives and so it never goes away, but rather we're ongoingly transformed to the degree that we're willing to re-generate transformation again quickly as soon as we notice it's gone.

By its very nature (it would seem), transformation comes and goes ... and comes and goes ... and comes  ... and goes. And also by its very nature (so it would seem), transformation's permanence is always here. Wait! How can this be? How can it come and go and yet  be permanent? Here's how: once you've experienced it, it's clear transformation always had, has, and always will have permanence like a possibility  - that is to say its permanence lives in our always ongoing possibility of generating and re-generating transformation, and you and I have that possibility ie that power  at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances (as Werner may have said).

To those who say "Yeah but  ... I got transformation for a while - and then it went away" (like those paisley shirts and bell-bottomed jeans), I say "No, it didn't. What happened was you stopped generating it. When you got it for the first time, I assert you also got you can generate it any time you like, didn't you? And then you just stopped generating it. That's what happened. That's all. And you always have the possibility of generating it again - any time you like. You always  have that power.".

Transformation began for me when I met Werner nearly thirty eight years ago. Something became possible for me in that meeting which life had only hinted at before, the outcome of which was I began standing for my own life, for peoples' lives, and for Life itself - not like a new fad nor like another popular new belief  nor even like another good idea  but as an access to, and an expression of who I really am ie of who we  really are. Since that meeting nearly thirty eight years ago, transformation has come and gone, and come and gone, and come and gone again many, many times every day, every hour, indeed every minute of my life ... and I'm still standing.



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