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

Take A Hold Of That II

Milliken Creek Bridge, Napa, California, USA

June 29, 2019

"Now if you'll just take a hold of that, it will make you free."
to his upset brother Nathan Rosenberg, quoted by Nathan to Professor William Warren "Bill" Bartley III, Werner's official biographer, in the account titled "The Prodigal Son Returns" in the chapter called "One Big Family" in part IV, "Completion", of "Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man - The Founding of est"
"Experienced experience disappears."
"She took responsibility for being there. It's that god-damned  simple."
responding to a group's incredulity after a woman completed her experience of being held in a Nazi concentration camp
This essay, Take A Hold Of That II, is the companion piece to Take A Hold Of That.

It was written at the same time as "I Want Her To Be Happy".

I am indebted to Mike McConnell who contributed material for this conversation.

Werner's work constantly evolves and expands (observably so). The basis for this is twofold. Firstly, it's the true nature of transformation itself to expand (as anyone who's ever invented the possibility of being transformed can attest). Secondly, with each expansion of transformation comes newer and newer vantage points, newer and newer vistas, and consequently newer and newer perspectives which allow the work of transformation to be rediscovered ever newly and to expand continuously.

Historians will note the various iterations Werner's work has evolved through - indeed, the various iterations it continues  to evolve through. Newer and newer ideas emerge. Newer and newer abstracts come forth. Newer and newer possibilities are invented. Newer and newer intelligent thinking occurs, each and all of which pave the way for (are the shoulders on which stand) whatever new expressions of the work, come next. And in the process, the languaging with which transformation is expressed and communicated (transformation comes forth as a linguistic act ie as a speech  act) becomes increasingly accurate and clear as its use is ever finer tuned.

These ongoingly newer ideas, abstracts, possibilities, and intelligent thinking are riveting, attractive, not to mention pragmatic (which means they're useful and they work). And we all want to have life work, which we each express in subtly different ways, some of which are ego-centric, some of which are altruistic (it's arguably the rarest of things which all we human beings would freely admit we have in common). Yet while ideas, abstracts, possibilities, and intelligent thinking form a great deal of how Werner's work ongoingly expresses itself in the world, at the heart of it all (and at the start of it all), Werner's work is experiential  (meaning what, Laurence?).

The way the work manifests  in an individual's life after the onset of transformation, is through the aforementioned newer ideas, abstracts, possibilities, and intelligent thinking in conversations. But it's the access  to (and therefore the onset of and the sustaining of) transformation itself which is almost entirely experiential - in four words, to transform your life is to naturally maintain and sustain the experience of "who you really  are" under all conditions and all circumstances like a possibility.

Listen: maintaining the experience of who you really are under all conditions and all circumstances, isn't an inherently difficult proposition. Really it isn't. After all (try this on for size), how can you ever not  be who you really are? (which is of course the great Zen conundrum ...). Rather, what the work of transformation reveals and lays bare (at least in its flagship, entry-level programs) is that which gets in our way of experiencing who we really are, and thereby gets in our way of being  who we really are, and thereby gets in our way of being transformed under all conditions and all circumstances. Be responsible for that  (or as Werner astutely says it, "Take a hold  of that") and as a natural consequence, you'll have easily, effortlessly, and powerfully  invented the possibility of being transformed.

A note about an experienced  experience, and about taking responsibility  for an experience: when Werner asserts "experienced experience disappears"  and "taking responsibility for an experience completes it", don't debate it, rationalize it, intellectualize it, or argue about it. Now there's nothing wrong with debating, rationalizing, intellectualizing, or arguing. Their trouble is you won't get the value of experiencing an experience to disappear it, or taking responsibility for an experience to complete it, through any of those modalities. The way you get their value is by (like Nike)  just doing it ie by trying them on for size. Consider this: what exacerbates (makes worse) and belabors any and all upsetting experiences, is being unwilling to experience them fully. We're thrown to try to back out of (and create blame for) upsetting experiences, when the way to complete them fast and move on, is to experience them fully and take responsibility for them (the only way out, it seems, is through).

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