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 Simple Presence Of It

Coombsville Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

February 21, 2017

Photography by Michael Shaun Conaway
courtesy Storyworks
Werner Erhard speaking the Leadership Course

It's just possible that the most hardened barrier preventing transformation from becoming an ongoing thrilling, living everyday experience for everyone ie for you and I and we all, with no one and nothing left out, is that its access is so simple  that we miss it entirely. This ensures it's always elusive. We're raised (ie we've learned) to be smart, to eschew simple things. We equate simplicity with naïvete. And there's something really quite lovely about being naïve. The trouble is in order to survive, everyone knows  (and haven't we all heard that expression before?) being naïve is a luxury we can ill afford.

Listen: what if transformation really were  simple? What if this great possibility we human beings have been approaching, reaching out for, backing away from, then approaching again through the millennia, really were simple? But if I said it's simple, don't we all know that would be too good to be true? Now everyone knows  (and there's that expression again) that if something's too good to be true, then it's probably neither. So now consider this: it's what we know  that gets in our way of being transformed.

To develop this idea ie to follow it through, assume the access to transformation were indeed simple. The question to ask then is: what's the simplest aspect of our lives? Whatever (or where-ever) that is, there's a good chance transformation would be discovered there. Well ... the simplest aspect of our lives I say, is our being, yes? We be. We are. Period. And that's  where transformation shows up: in our being - beyond knowing, beyond language. More trouble: for the most part, what's too simple  for us smart rats to even begin considering, is there's something of great value to be discovered in being.

Anyone participating ongoingly in the work of transformation will attest to having to give their complete attention, and get down to work. Transformation, as has been said many times, is simple. But nobody has ever said it was easy. While unlike anything else you've ever experienced which has a powerfully innate, natural attraction, it's no walk in the park. This is not entertainment. Participating in the work of transformation requires a certain commitment, a bringing yourself to bear. The processes themselves can be arduous. The conversations aren't your run of the mill office water cooler  banter. It's all  in the languaging. But here's the thing: the languaging of transformation is only secondary. Primarily as languaging, it calls for the speaker to step up ie it calls for the language-er  (that's you) to come forth ... and be present.

The first time I witnessed Werner speaking this work ie languaging this work, I knew I wanted it ie whatever  it was. And I didn't know exactly what it was I wanted (I couldn't articulate it back then). But whatever it was ie whatever it represented, I knew I wanted it. Now by "whatever it represented"  I'm not referring to "whatever it meant". When people speak (and transformation shows up in peoples' speaking) there's always the inherent danger of getting stuck in what they mean  - which is to say of getting stuck in what you make  them mean. Rather what I wanted (as I distinguished later) was the being  of it, the wholeness of it, the simple presence of it.

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© Laurence Platt - 2017 Permission