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


The Conversation

Landmark Advanced Course, Tehama Street, San Francisco, California, USA

February 1, 2011



This essay, The Conversation, is the sixth in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: I am indebted to Charlene Afremow who inspired this conversation.



There's something distinct, something unique about the sound of many human voices singing, cheering, yelling, or speaking at once in unison.

A choir singing in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. A crowd cheering at a cup final soccer match in Wembley Stadium in London. A throng of protesters yelling in Tahrir Square in Cairo.

Beyond what's actually being sung, cheered, yelled, or spoken (which oftentimes is completely unintelligible in large gatherings of people), the collective expression of many human voices at once, touches a cord deep within us. To be sure, the distinction "within us"  isn't powerful, nor for that matter is it real. Yet to say the collective expression of many human voices at once, touches a cord deep "within us", is good enough for jazz.

It touches a cord deep within us because it is  us. Not the us like "you and me both, the two of us". No, it's the us like thousands and thousands and thousands  of us. It's the us which represents all  of us. It's the us like the soon to be seven billion  of us. Can you speculate how awesome it would be if all seven billion of us human voices sang, cheered, yelled, and spoke at once in unison? Really!  Wouldn't that be awesome?   This is the possibility evoked by a choir singing in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, a crowd cheering at a cup final soccer match in Wembley Stadium in London, a throng of protesters yelling in Tahrir Square in Cairo: the "What if?"  possibiity of all seven billion of us human voices singing, cheering, yelling, or speaking at once in unison.

In an earlier, health conscious time, it was said "You are what you eat.". In a later, wealth conscious time, it was said "You are what you wear.". Today with the dawn of transformation breaking, it's said "You are what you speak.". You are your word. You are what you speak. Who you are is constituted in language. Can you imagine all seven billion of us human voices singing, cheering, yelling, or speaking at once in unison who we really are, declaring the possibilities we invent for ourselves, for our lives, and for all seven billion of us, with no one and nothing left out? Can you imagine?

I recently had the privilege of being invited to be present as a guest at the Landmark Advanced Course to observe and listen the conversation from the back of the room. Just as you could say the conversation which occurs in The Landmark Forum brings forth transformation of the individual, you could also say the conversation which occurs in the Landmark Advanced Course brings forth transformation of the individual in relationships, in families, in communities, in society as a whole ... indeed, in the world. This is the us which represents all  of us. It's the us like the soon to be seven billion  of us. This isn't us merely singing our most beloved hymns. This isn't us merely cheering for our favorite side. This isn't us merely yelling for our political freedom or for our point of view to be heard. The conversation which is the Landmark Advanced Course is the energetic, excited, alacritous, animated, eager, keen, wide-eyed, enthralling conversation about what's really  possible for all of us, for each and every one of the nearly seven billion of us, for what's really  possible for Planet Earth and all its denizens.

There's nothing like it. There's nothing quite like this conversation anywhere. To be in the midst of it, to observe it fully and completely, to take it all in, indeed to participate  in it fully and completely, to be at this point in time in history  when it's what's now available and therefore it's what's now possible for humanity, is nothing short of breathtaking, miraculous, awesome.

It's the conversation for transformation. It's a conversation which makes me profoundly happy. It makes me profoundly happy, and at the same time it moves me to tears. I'm glad we're finally here. I'm really  glad we're finally here. Of all the words the us which represents the nearly seven billion of us human voices, could sing, cheer, yell, or speak at once in unison, the conversation for transformation could prove to be our crowning achievement, our most catalytic accomplishment - so far.



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