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

This Is Not Self-Help

Geyserville, Sonoma County, California, USA

March 4, 2017

Transformation is a shift, a shift whose nature can be described in many different ways. One way of describing the nature of this shift ie the from  and the to  of it, if you will, is to distinguish between its before, being powerless over the circumstances in life (and having reasons, explanations, and justifications for being powerless over the circumstances in life), and its after, having power and mastery over them (and having a choice and a say over them). There are arguably other more esoteric descriptions of transformation, and even other more intelligent  descriptions. But the bottom line is if whatever's described as transformation doesn't make power and mastery available, that probably ain't it, and not worth much anyway.

Transformation isn't a discipline requiring working towards  or building up to. It's not a gradual process. It's very sudden, and it's very now  - and when I say "now", I say it in the sense that it's always  "now", yes? The access to transformation and to the transformational shift is language. What that says is this: to transform your life, what works is to be in a conversation for transformation. And everyone has language. So everyone is qualified to be in a conversation for transformation. There's nothing separatist, nothing elitist about transformation or about conversations for transformation. They're very everyman. They're very grounded. They're very down.

Being in conversations for transformation is not for the fainthearted. It's not so-called self-help. It won't help you. And it's not designed to. Look: the Self doesn't need any help. It's OK the way it is. So are you. You're  OK the way you are - although sometimes you may say it doesn't look like it. You don't have to do anything to be OK. You're OK the way you are (you're also, by the way, OK the way you aren't  - which is a deeper cut at this assertion). So when you're in a conversation for transformation, the ideas which become available ie the ideas which come forth, don't (and shouldn't) pertain to helping you or to making you OK. Rather they pertain to what's possible, to what's important, to what matters to people. Furthermore they inspire the commitment to taking action on what's important ie on what matters.

If you say describing transformation in this way, isn't necessary ie if you say it's a given ie it's an obvious, then be careful: you may just be preaching to the choir. In the world out there (if you will), there's a prevalent way of regarding the work of transformation as lumped into the self-help body of knowledge. Now look: there's nothing wrong with the self-help body of knowledge. If anything, it's one of the most enduring and expansive bodies of knowledge in the history of humanity. Almost instinctively, we know there's something else possible. The mis-interpretation around this, is: help is needed to get it. The self-help body of knowledge thrives on this.

It's useful, however, to rigorously differentiate between the work of transformation, and self-help (across the board, distinctions are useful). My assertion is: the most useful distinction to make in this regard, may simply be a matter of sequencing. Try this on for size: where self-help ends, is where the work of transformation begins. It's suggested you take a stand  for your Self (in other words, you take a stand for your Self being already OK) before embarking on the work of transformation. Then, having conversations for what's possible which reliably and predictably bear fruit, is what the work of transformation entails. And these conversations for possibility, reliably and predictably bear fruit because they're conversations which are in alignment with Life itself the way it's really lived, and not with the way it ought to be or even with the way we'd like  it to be. They couldn't work any other way. So the reason millions of people worldwide say they work so well, is really no mystery at all.

The work of transformation is for people who are already  alright. That's what locates it in a realm distinct from self-help. Transformation recontextualizes self-help.

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© Laurence Platt - 2017 Permission