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 Transformation Of The World

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

March 20, 2005



This essay, The Transformation Of The World, is the one hundredth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series. That doesn't mean anything. It's just what's so.

It is also the second in an open group World Transformed: It is also the third in an open group on Language:
  1. Last Word
  2. Speaking Of Freedom
  3. The Transformation Of The World
  4. Constituted In Language
  5. Zen Bland
  6. Source Of Zen Bland: Hand Grasps Itself?
  7. Linguistic Acts
  8. Language: The Scalpel Of Experience
  9. Wordsmith
  10. Source Quote
  11. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  12. My Word In The Matter
  13. You Are What You Speak
  14. Residue Of Meaning
  15. The Effortless Breakthrough
  16. The World's Conversation
  17. Read To Us
  18. Everything You Say
  19. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
  20. Leading With My Word
  21. Language And Results
in that order.

It is also the first in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: I am indebted to Evan Hough and to Josh LeGassick and to Jerome Downes and to Randy Loftin who inspired this conversation, and to Victoria Hamilton-Rivers and to Jerome Downes who contributed material.




Many things about who human being really is are contentious. That's actually a lot closer to the truth than it sounds.

When I set aside the conceptual machinery and look at the context of my experience, what I see is my Self. When I am alone, when I am by my Self, I get that when each human being sets aside the conceptual machinery and looks at the context of their experience, what they see is their Self. One of the most contentious things about human beings, regardless of philosophical, political, or religious affiliation (particularly regardless of religious affiliation), is when we each see our Self, the Self we each see is the same Self, which is the same Self as my Self. Indeed, Self is all there is.

I'm not saying that in order to be contentious. Neither am I saying it as a matter of positionality nor to be righteous nor to have something to believe in - I, for one, don't believe in belief. I say it as a place to stand. I say it as a space in which to create, an opening in which the truth can show up and go to work (as Werner Erhard may have said).

When Werner first introduced me to transformation, years of my so-called searching came to an abrupt end. What Werner showed me was so blindingly simple, so completely obvious that I wondered how come I had not seen it before on my own. What I got was my Self ie the  Self ... and the possibilty of generating life rather than being run by it.

Some years later I revised how I was holding another of Werner's distinctions. I saw I was mistaking what  I am for who  I am. I assert that mastering this distinction (what we are, distinct from who we are) designates when a human being has truly grown up ie when all so-called searching is over, when the train has arrived in the station, when "This Is It!"  is the platform for living.

The distinction "what I am" as opposed to "who I am" is this:

What I am is the context for my life, the opening in which the events of my life occur, the Self I am, the Self you are, the Self we all are, the Self which is all there is. Who I am, on the other hand, is constituted in language. We are human  beings - who-man beings (if you will) - because of who  we are (and who we are is constituted in language) not because of what  we are. All other sentient beings and everything else that doesn't speak, shares with us what  we are but not who  we are.

In an earlier health conscious time it was said who I am is what I eat. In a later wealth conscious time it was said who I am is what I wear. Instead I would like to consider a new possibility, whether understood or not, that who I am is what I speak.

The source of all possibilities is at the confluence of what  we are and who  we are. What  we are, the Self, is whole and complete. There is nothing to do and there is nothing to fix. Who  we are is we speak (not even what  we speak: just who we are is we speak  - like that). That being the case, let it be that whatever we speak is worthy of Life. Let it be that whatever we speak generates  life. Bearing in mind that given everything is already whole and complete, mastery is generating possibilities worthy of Life simply by speaking them into being rather than speaking in terms of fixing things.

I propose we start a new game like a possibility: let's transform the world. Just for the sake of transforming the world. There's no ulterior motive. I want nothing less than the transformation of the world - there's  megalomania for you!

Tell the truth: wouldn't it be great to observe transformation everywhere in the world? That's not a political platform for votes (and if it were, I suspect it could inhibit transformation). Rather, what it says is it's always inspiring to observe transformation emerge anywhere in the world where at one time it wasn't.

How do you transform the world? The same way you transform anything: you start a conversation for the transformation of the world. What will transform the world is being in a conversation for the transformation of the world And when you are no longer being in a conversation for the transformation of the world, the world will no longer be being transformed.



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