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

Tell Me Something About Nothing

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

September 25, 2010

This essay, Tell Me Something About Nothing, is the second in the fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend:
  1. Creating Creating
  2. Tell Me Something About Nothing
  3. Lucid Disclosures
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 second trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Familiar Unfamiliar Territory
  2. Interview
  3. Straight Talk
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 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.
The twelfth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Will I Do When You Die?
  2. Access
  3. The Newest Piece Of Work
in that order.
The thirteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Worthy Of The Company
  2. Creating Them For Myself
  3. Standing With Masters
in that order.
The fourteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. This Context Of Privilege
  2. I'm Not Going To Let It Go
  3. Questions For A Friend XIV III: Not Yet Titled (working title)
in that order.

Thank you for this audience. Thank you for the privilege of granting me this occasion to present these questions to you.

Thank you for this context of friendship and play, asking you these questions generates.

When it's time to sit down and come up with questions to ask you, when it's time to scrutinize which ones are appropriate to bring to your office and are a good use of your time, what I'm confronted by when I rigorously strip all the trivia  and gossip off my conversation, is the hard work  it is coming up with worthwhile questions for you out of nothing.

Of the many potentially candidated questions I've come up with, I've discarded all but these ten which I consider appropriate to who you are and to who we are. Please feel free to answer one, some, or all of them. Please know you don't have to answer any  of them. I'll stand here with you in this inquiry forever for nothing no matter what. I'm complete just standing here in this inquiry with you. So if you do answer, it's an added bonus.

Ten Questions From A Beginner's Mind

 1)  My overriding concern speaking these Conversations For Transformation publicly and internationally via the internet is this: they must work for you. To be sure, they must work for you and  they must work for me, and clearly they already work for me - I wouldn't be doing this if they didn't work for me. But working for me isn't an adequate yardstick to apply here. They must work for you too.

First question:

"I'm writing inspired by you, sharing you, and I love writing inspired by you, sharing you - giving everything, putting it all at stake, expecting nothing. Does this serve you?"

 2)  From that fateful moment out of time on the Golden Gate Bridge thirty nine years ago (I don't want to add significance to it, but in the truest sense of the word, it was  a "fateful" moment) until now, the expansion of transformation in the world has been unstoppable. I've seen some barriers, interruptions, and distractions come and go during this time. But each of those barriers, interruptions, and distractions have only served to provoke a prolonged inquiry into the value of your work from which has emerged a deeper appreciation than I had before.

I owe a debt of gratitude  to those barriers, interruptions, and distractions because without them, I wouldn't have as deep an appreciation of your work as I have today.

Second question:

"Today around the world your work thrives, expands, and is more widely acknowledged now than it's ever been. Thirty nine years ago, did you know it would be like this?"

 3)  I'm open minded. I've got space  for people. Really I do. There's one way people just being people, disappoint me. It runs counter to my intention to create space for people to be the way they are and the way they aren't so they can change if they want to and they don't have to. When it happens it's borderline not  alright with me. When it happens I make  it alright ... but I'm disappointed.

Third question:

"I'm disappointed when people don't get transformation shared ie when they don't register in the possibility of your work. What's the best way to listen 'No'?"

 4)  Going back for a moment to that fateful moment out of time on the Golden Gate Bridge thirty nine years ago: we know something happened  which for all intents and purposes was the emergence of the first really useful access to transformation on the planet. And I get from speaking with you about it that it just happened  - there wasn't much of you  in it doing  anything. By the same token, there you were on the Golden Gate Bridge at the exact  moment when "IT"  showed up ie when "IT" happened  to you. And many things, in one way or another, led you to being there on the Golden Gate Bridge in exactly that space at exactly that time.

Fourth question:

"If you narrowed it down to one thing, to what do you attribute your own transformation?"

 5)  I don't carry others' greetings to you. That's not because I don't want to. I wish I could. If I did, there'd be so many we wouldn't get anything done for a week just going over them one by one giving each the dignity it merits.

I make it work by communicating "Everyone loves you!", an all inclusive statement which carries everyone's  greetings as one so you can get everyone's greetings all at once. Continuing with this theme of one communication all inclusive of everyone, we could have an event, one event, one big  event for you to be with  everyone again all at once all inclusively.

Fifth question:

"It would make a heartfelt difference for millions of people who love you, to be with you again especially in the United States at a big arena event. How realistic is this expectation?"

 6)  When you started, you said "Transformation is the space  in which the event  'transformation' occurs.". That's exactly ten words. It speaks to me. Man!  It really  speaks to me. It's terse and brilliant. But then again, I'm listening from having participated in your work for nearly forty years. So that makes me the choir  this quote preaches to - so to speak. It may not be a useful quote for people who don't yet know your work.

Sixth question:

"How would you answer people who don't yet know your work who ask what living Life transformed is in ten words or less?"

 7)  There's a dilemma I find myself in from time to time. You could call it a Zen dilemma because sometimes I'm in it and sometimes I'm not. I never fully resolve it by myself. It comes. It goes. By itself. It's this: if everything is OK the way it is and OK the way it isn't, then "making a difference"  is an oxymoron.

Seventh question:

I say things are OK the way they are. I also say given what's wanted and needed (and possible) in the world, I can't register enough people fast enough. What's your view of this apparent anomaly"

 8)  There's no lead-in or introduction to this one. It is what it is.

Eighth question:

"You've said sadness doesn't work because it's supposed to cure being sad but it doesn't. How do I disappear sadness?"

 9)  There's an implicit love I share with my immediate family, the people I'm biologically  related to. It doesn't matter what they do or say. They can do anything. They can say anything. The love is always there. So it's natural for me to want to share transformation with them. Yet as strong as their love for me is, their resistance to me is stronger. There's a barrier I've only occasionally overcome. Some of them have asked me not  to share with them. They want the old, implicit family relationship, and that's all  they want. For me it's a breach of integrity to continue with them like that. And yet they're my family.

Ninth question:

"I'm very successful sharing transformation publicly but only moderately successful sharing it with my family. Why is sharing transformation with my family harder than sharing it publicly?"

 10)  Imitation, it's said, is the sincerest form of flattery.

When the language of transformation and possibility is jargonized, when it's absorbed into the popular vernacular, it indicates it's been taken on by the culture. In this way, there's evidence of a powerful conversation conducted by a committed few reaching in waves all around the world. Yet looking at Mastercard  and Infiniti  marketing and advertising for evidence of the language of transformation and possibility directly impacting the way we speak, isn't a powerful example of the presence of transformation on the planet.

Tenth question:

"Where do you look for evidence transformation is alive and working in the world?"

Never Stop Answering And I'll Never Stop Asking

I'm the asker. That's who I really am. I love being the asker.

You're the answerer. I love you being the answerer.

In this exchange with you I'm most present to who I really am. Asking questions, coming up  with questions to ask, coming up with suitable  questions to ask is a game I play in which I have to be my Self  if the game is going to last.

We could turn it around. You could be the asker and I could be the answerer. But I have no answers. So I'd make up  answers. I wouldn't trivialize the game either. I'd answer your questions by looking into the space  and speaking whatever shows up there. That's how we'd play.

For now, I'll be the asker and you'll be the answerer. It's a beautiful game. The Self is asking the Self questions. The Self is answering the Self's questions. Then vice versa. On and on. Over and over. Again and again. Forever and ever.

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