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
Silverado Trail, Napa, California, USA
February 4, 2009
Three Sixty: three hundred and sixty degrees, a
maneuver, a complete and total turnaround.
If you can stay open to it and if you can stay present to
it (these are two very big "ifs" in there) then
any experience can be
- which is to say any experience, regardless of its
circumstances, can be a springboard from which to high dive into the
depths of any of life's myriads of possibilities.
The antithesis of this statement is: we're impediments to
transformation showing up in any circumstances to the degree we've
taken a position, either in the form of a fixed
in which we say things are a certain way (and there's no
possibility for them to be any other way), or in the form of a fixed
way of being in which there's no possibility of
possibility itself showing up at all.
the place where something or someone is, often in relation to other
with having an opinion per se. Opining goeswith the
territory of being human (as
may have said). Having an opinion is arguably the
quintessentially human thing to have. Like a nose, everyone's got one.
Opining is harmless. On the other hand, what's deadly
(both to transformation and to possibility) is the
positionality which wants to come with opining.
When I say "In my opinion, music should be played loudly", I'm
There's an opening for conversation and healthy debate. There's no
problem. But when I say "Music must be played loudly" and
I say it from a position like it's "The
Truth", then I'm
Then there's no opening for conversation other than
and argument. Then there's no possibility of it being any other
way. Then there's no possibility of possibility at all,
and Houston: we have a problem.
Notice the problem isn't the opinion. It's never the
opinion itself that's the problem. It's the positionality
which wants to come with opining that's the problem.
If you can stay open to it, if you can stay present to it,
it's an inverse clue to, a kind of reverse pointer to, a
reminder of who you really are, when you're stuck with an opinion, when
you're stuck with a position without which you can't be
who you're being. It's almost axiomatic - in fact it could even be
stated as a definition: that which is stuck when you're stuck with an
opinion, whatever it is which is stuck when you're stuck
with an opinion, whatever it is you're stuck with, none of that
is who you really are ... therefore ... you're better off
without it and, like nicotine and alcohol which have overstayed their
welcome, which have outserved their usefulness, you're better off
refers to this three sixty, this
maneuver, this complete and total turnaround
dropping a firmly held opinion when its positionality has
outserved its usefulness, as "getting off it". Werner's "getting
off it" doesn't invalidate the point of view at the heart
of the opinion. Rather, it gives up the positionality
which wants to come with opining. With positionality gone, there's a
new freedom to be, which may keep the same opinion as before
(but this time, as an
- not as "The Truth"), or change to another opinion ... or even
have no opinion at all.