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

Tyranny Of The Mind

San Francisco, California, USA

November 15, 2003

We were talking about the paradox of the hostility that some have mis-directed at Werner Erhard in recent years. Given the recognition of Werner as The Humanitarian Of The Year for 2003, and given the millions and millions and millions of people from all walks of life, from all countries, from all creeds and religions, and from all paths who have participated in, directly or indirectly gained value from, and who have directly or indirectly contributed value to Werner's programs, we were wondering how such diametrically opposed points of view could exist about the same man.

There are some things of interest here in my assessment.

Many schools of thought, paths, religions, and disciplines are focused on the mind and managing the tyranny of the mind. Victory (or becoming "clear", as some of them call it) really pertains to a state in which the mind is managed, one way or the other. That, in and of itself, is not a bad goal to have. But for me, there is a big problem with that: since the purpose of the mind is to ensure the survival of the being, victory over survival is just more survival, and that's the trap right there.

Where many schools of thought take issue with Werner is that his work renders victory over the mind as far less significant than those schools of thought would have us believe that it is. Werner's work isn't about victory over the mind. Essentially, Werner's work is about completion and living completion and - standing in completion - inventing new possibilities for the future, all the while taking into account the mind which is really little more than organic material for us human beings. And when you play for survival - as many schools of thought seem to do in my opinion - you are threatened by (so in turn, you threaten) those who appear to you to be inconsistent with your purpose.

If, indeed, you really get who Werner is and what his work is and what it makes available, you simply have to entertain the possibility of having space for those who are hostile to him and to his work, and of letting them be as they are. I am not saying that you have to like them or that you have to condone what they have said and done. I am, however, suggesting, that you do not empower them further by falling into their trap of becoming polarized ie they "versus" Werner, or vice versa (which is even worse).

When all is said and done (and this is really the heart of it for me), when I look at what I have gotten in relationship with Werner since he has been away traveling, what I notice is that I am richer, fuller, and more intimate with the possibility that his life is. This is because I have had to question it deeper and generate it independently for mySelf without him.

We humans beings (being what we are) have a tendency to make gurus out of our teachers, and the moment you do that with Werner, you're sunk. Thank God that Werner (and the circumstances of his life) is more slippery than that.

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