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 We Decade:

This Revisionist's View Of History

Frog's Leap, Rutherford, California, USA

November 24, 2014



This essay, The We Decade: This Revisionsist's View Of History, is the companion piece to WE Not Me.



It's one of those supposedly cool, hip, throwaway  monikers, one of those in the know  labels. And we're so fond of putting labels on to things and events, which - for better or for worse - stick. Accurate or not, the trite characterization of the 1970s as "The Me  Decade", and of those of us who matured during its tenure, as "The Me Generation", has endured. Many of the questionable, tenuous assumptions which led to these characterizations drew on what was popularly yet erroneously believed to be true about Werner Erhard's work and the est  training of those days, the same est  training which was a precursor to both the Forum and to the Landmark Forum.

The simple truth is those monikers just aren't accurate. Anyone completely experiencing what Werner's work and the est  training offered (if indeed they were looking for really fitting and accurately characterizing monikers) would have coined the phrases "The We  Decade" instead, as much more apropos of this zeitgeist  than "The Me Decade", and therefore "The We  Generation" instead of "The Me Generation". Anyone experiencing what Werner's work and the est  training offered, knows I get it for myself (yes that does mean me)  interimly but only temporarily. Getting it for myself ie getting it for me, while it's profound, really is only temporary. Ultimately however, if I'm going to get it and keep it ongoingly, I'm called to relate to you (that means we)  in a way that we all get it too. This necessitates a contextual shift.

One of the most elementary contextual shifts called for which facilitates taking transformation out into the world (and when you're taking transformation out into the world, it's the sure sign, the litmus test  if you will, that you got it in the first place - as Werner Erhard may have said) is the shifting of the context for the world from "you or  me" (survival) to "you and  me" (co-operation, sustainability). Make no error about this: it takes a really big  individual (a big me), even an already reasonably successful  individual (an already reasonably successful me) to even entertain the possibility that the paradigm we live in is set up for a "you or me" world. The current state of the world (as delivered by the evening news oracles) is eloquent testimony to the terrible consequences of blindly perpetuating our "you or me" context for it.
W'erner's introduction to the world of transformation only begins with the world of me. But it doesn't stop there. If it did, individual "me" transformation wouldn't be complete. Individual "me" transformation is only complete with the advent of a new paradigm in which to live: the paradigm for a "you and  me" world. Thus I suspect whomever coined the monikers "The Me Decade" and "The Me Generation" only listened to half of the presentation, and maybe didn't listen to the presentation at all.

There's no telling why  transformation is this way - suffice to say it just is this way. Indeed that statement is maddeningly Zen. Yet in all maddening Zen can be found a profundity which is elusive at first, then subsequently enlightening. If there were an experiential  explanation (rather than an intellectual  one) for why it is this way, it's who I am ie me  the individual, can't sustain transformation without including who we  are ie we  the human race, humanity. It could be this way because although it may appear  illusorily separate for each and every one of us individual human beings, when it comes to the Self, there's only one (as the Highlander may have said).

Now, is that "the truth"?  Maybe. But I really don't know if it is or if it isn't. I really don't know why it is this way. I'm just making up  this experiential explanation. It does seem to fit. And it does intuitively seem plausible that this is the way it works and that this is the way it's always worked throughout all the millennia, worldwide.

I assert if we are going to coin cool, hip, characterizing, and accurate  monikers at all, that is if we insist on putting labels on things and events at all, then instead of "The Me Decade" and "The Me Generation" designating the 1970s and its denizens, "The We Decade" and "The We Generation" would have behooved us way better.



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