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


Straight Talk

The Plaza, Sonoma, California, USA

September 9, 2009



This essay, Straight Talk, is the third in the second trilogy Questions For A Friend:
  1. Familiar Unfamiliar Territory
  2. Interview
  3. Straight Talk
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 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.
This essay, Straight Talk, is also the companion piece to Straight Shooter.

It is also the prequel to Let The Healing Begin.




Werner Erhard
www.wernererhard.net
It's not necessary to speak many words when bringing forth, when languaging  transformation. It doesn't necessarily follow that few  words bring forth less  transformation and more  words bring forth more  transformation. In fact it's the long, convoluted, intelligent  responses to Conversations For Transformation which leave me cold, especially when there's no request for intelligence  to be showcased. Besides which, as you say "Understanding is the booby prize.".

Intelligent answers may or may not  evoke transformation. More often than not they don't, especially when being intelligent is an intimacy avoiding racket, when being intelligent is simply leading with a strong suit, with ego. That's because when it comes to Conversations For Transformation, questioning isn't so much a drilling down  for information (which, appropriately, does require an intelligent response) as much as it's a request for, a calling on  the experience of transformation to come forth. When questioning calls on the experience of transformation to come forth, powerful responses don't require many words. Very few words, if and when they evoke transformation, may speak volumes. This is the domain of straight talk. In this domain you're a master.

Ostensibly when I ask anyone a question, what I'm asking is what I'm asking. In addition, at the same time  as I ask anyone a question, I get  that what I'm asking is what I'm asking. In other words, I know I'm doing what I'm doing when I'm doing it.

It's not quite like that with you for me. When I ask you a question, after the fact  ie after you've responded I get what I really  asked you. With you, I get what I really  ask you has a context comprised of the set of concerns  I have going on in my life at the time I'm with you. When I'm with you, what I really  ask you has less to do with what I'm asking, and a whole lot more to do with what my background  of concerns is at the time I'm with you asking you questions.

In the exchange following, the three subtitles "The First Question", "The Second Question", and "The Fourth Question" in that order are accurate. They correlate with questions I originally asked you in Interview. Interview is the prequel to Straight Talk and is also the second essay in this second Questions For A Friend trilogy, of which Straight Talk is the third.



The First Question



"Aside from what your friends know about you, aside from your legacy of transformation, for what would you most like to be remembered?".

In retrospect ie after the fact, I notice the context for this question, the set of concerns  which comprise the background for this question is that I love you, I love being around you, I love being with you, and I've not fully confronted the fact that someday  you won't be here.

Clearly in your response, you have - pointedly. Thank you for bringing me to this.


<quote>

I SEE NO VALUE IN BEING REMEMBERED, SO WHAT I'D LIKE LEFT AFTER I DIE IS THE WORK REMEMBERED.

<unquote>


I get this. I'm clear what you're saying. Crystal. And in my opinion it's a given  your work will be more than merely passively remembered. It will actively live on, thrive, and robustly grow, absorbed as you once predicted it would be "into the fabric of society".

Having said that, it's also a given you'll be remembered - by millions. And I'll gauge the power of your legacy when the millions who'll remember you have the tools to distinguish  there's no value remembering you (Man!  That's such beautiful Zen, my friend ...), yet they'll remember you anyway, even as your work lives on in perpetuity in their lives.



The Second Question



"On what do you draw to forgive people who are hardest to forgive?".

In retrospect ie after the fact, I notice the context for this question, the set of concerns  which comprise the background for this question is my judgemental attitude about people who (in my opinion ie in my story)  sided against me during my divorce, and the resulting crimp on freedom to be  it puts on some areas of my life.


<quote>

THE COST TO ME OF NOT DOING SO. I'M UNWILLING TO PAY THE COST OF CARRYING A RESENTMENT (OR WHATEVER) AROUND, SO I DRAW ON THE INTELLIGENCE OF FORGIVING.

<unquote>


You're basically saying pragmatically "it works to forgive". Not only that, but you're also pointing to - using language with unerring bang on the money  accuracy - where to go to  to empower and to embolden granting forgiveness. Your words are way more then bon mots, and they're more intrusively real  than those my mother, with the best of intentions, love and kindness, always told me.

I don't necessarily like it but I get it and I know you're right.



The Fourth Question



"How may I best serve you?".

In retrospect ie after the fact, I notice the context for this question, the set of concerns  which comprise the background for this question is fine tuning  whatever it takes to keep on constantly inventing a future worth living into, living life powerfully, and living a life I love.


<quote>

JUST BY DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND BY CONTRIBUTING TO MAKE YOUR LIFE WORK.

<unquote>


I didn't get this the first time. I was expecting something totally different. But after sitting with it for a while in my lap like a hot brick, it dawned on me how extraordinary  it is, and it moved me to tears.

Ordinarily in my  view of service, when I serve  you, I do what I do for you. In your  view of service, when I serve you, I do what I do for my Self. I'm rocked  by your generosity, not to mention by the extraordinary power of your response to re-put my money where my mouth is - both figuratively and literally speaking.

Yours is a maverick's  view of service - definitely not business as usual.

And thank you! I'm clear I'll always be doing what I'm doing, so you can count on me for that.



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