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


Three Part Harmony

Trefethen Family Vineyards, Oak Knoll Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

April 18, 2017



"Understanding is the booby prize."  ... 
"It is not yet clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value." ... Stephen Hawking
This essay, Three Part Harmony, is the companion piece to Triangle.

It is also the sequel to Ménage À Trois: A Declaration.

Conversations For Transformation receives its one million two hundred thousandth view with the publishing of Three Part Harmony.

I am indebted to Jack Rafferty who inspired this conversation.




Yes it's OK to stand up and play the acoustic guitar, and sing. What's not  OK is to say "I'd like to sing a song I wrote: I call it Yesterday", and then sing what everyone knows  is a cover of Paul McCartney's timeless classic. It's OK to paint. What's not OK is to say "I painted these portraits: I call this  one Blue Nude, and I call that  one Mona Lisa", displaying what everyone can tell are replicas of Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci's priceless masterpieces.

Like that, it's OK to share Werner's work (indeed, sharing it honors it by putting it to its best use). What's not OK is pretending to be its originator - or worse, not acknowledging its source at all. There are well-known people I won't name, who don't make that distinction. Ironically, in not making that distinction, they violate the integrity of their own speaking of transformation (the irony is transformation is a conversation that doesn't work without integrity). I personally am committed to making that distinction. Why? Because without integrity, nothing works (you don't have to be a Mensa  graduate to figure that  out).

Being me (being anyone actually, but given I'm me, it works best for me to speak for myself) requires having lots  of heated irons in the fire and / or keeping many juggled balls in the air (so to speak) at the same time. There's a lot to create. There's a lot to balance at once. There's so much to maintain ie to keep going. There's so much to plan for and make happen. And being I'm a stimulus / response reactivation machine, I'm out of control not just some  of the time but most  of the time. Yet as a human being, I'm expected to maintain at least a modicum of control ("I'm a human being, I'm out of control" is not  a good defense to present to a court).

As a human being, I can bring transformation to bear. And as soon as I stop bringing transformation to bear, there's no transformation. This suggests the odds clearly aren't in my favor. To the contrary, without my say so, they may even be stacked against me. So how do I manage these odds?

I manage them through my relationship with myself. Overall, I have a good relationship with this entity I call Laurence  (and if I don't, then who will?). When I speak of the entity I call Laurence, there's its being, its space, its context  for which I can take very little credit: it's simply there, it always was there, and it always will be there. And then there's Laurence like an identity, like an ego, like an act, like what I'm seen to be doing. It's the latter I've had something to do with, and which I can put to good use: I can choose it to be my top hat  or my Scottie dog  ie my token to move around the Monopoly  board of Life. It's what keeps me in the game.

OK, that accounts for Werner, and me ... and then there's everything else. On the face of it, "everything else" sounds like a vast  category. It is. So let's look at it - but tersely: it all turns out just the way it turns out; it never turns out one scintilla  differently than the way it turns out. That's it. If you get that, there's a great surrender, a great peace  it makes available. That, and given our propensity for making things unduly complicated and significant, it simplifies things beyond belief  (literally) too.

So now we've accounted for Werner, me, and  everything else, with that thumbnail sketch ie with that blueprint  laying bare the three components for all this working.

Now, to be clear about why  the confluence of these components works (and why it makes for workability): it's not because it's a huddle  or a private, closed, elitist group or even a mutual support system (even if, from time to time, it's erroneously accused of being / interpreted to be one or more of the above). No, what works  about it, is this: like the three sides of an equilateral triangle, each component just is. And watch: simply by virtue of its three sides just being, a triangle has integrity.

I assert nothing else is required for integrity and workability, other than for me to be my word in the matter of these three components existing. There's nothing else required to be done in this regard because the three components already  exist ie Werner, me, and everything else already exist together synchronously, like a song sung in perfect three part harmony (so to speak) - even though the last  thing Werner's known for, is singing.

So if it's singing you want, don't pass him the mike. Pass it to me directly instead. And if you don't pass it to me, I'll take it. I'll be responsible for it. Just take note that if it's me who gets to do the singing, I won't lie to you about who wrote the song.



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