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
John F Kennedy Park,
July 6, 2018
"The transformation ratio: 'in here' is to 'that', as 'out-here' is to
is the companion piece to
Maybe (just maybe) the start of any and all of our transformations
(which is to say maybe what's required for any and all of our
transformations to begin) is a shift in our relationship with whatever
it is that's in front of us, with whatever it is thet we're dealing
with, with whatever occurs for us out there on which we're
compelled to take action, from relating to it (whatever it is) as
that, to relating to it as this. Maybe that's all it
takes. Maybe. Transformations are after all (as is often noted)
linguistic acts ie they're intentional acts of speech.
"Oh, that's just semantics Laurence" I can already hear
the peanut gallery clamoring. Listen: it's all semantics.
All of it. Well, actually no: there is one thing more than
just semantics. To rephrase (quoting Werner), "There are only two
things in the world: nothing, and semantics.". So it's not all
just semantics: it's all either nothing, or it's semantics.
Transformations, as we said earlier, are speech acts ie they're
linguistic in nature. Shifting our relationship with all of it, from
relating to all of it it as "that", to relating to all of it as "this",
is not only transformational (not to mention profoundly moving): it's
also very good Zen. And in case you're wondering exactly what the
difference between the two linguistic abstacts "that" and "this" is,
here's a sure-fire way of discovering it for yourself: try each of them
on for size. What it takes to (quote unquote) try on a linguistic
abstract for size, is this: speak it, then stand four-square in the
resulting experience, and notice what's there ie notice what comes up.
What I notice when I relate to all of it as "that" is: I'm in
here (so to speak) and all of it is out there where I'm
not. And what I notice when I relate to all of it as "this" is: to
relate to all of it as "this", I first have to get myself out-here,
where all of it is (or we could say I first have to get myself out-here
where I am all of it - but that's another conversation for
Shifting our relationship with all of it to "this" rather than "that"
through an act of speech, secondarily alters where we stand in relation
to all of it. Primarily it transforms our relationship with all of it.
And it's even more than that actually.