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


Unerringly Transformative

Napa, California, USA

February 18, 2020

"There's a story about the man who listened to everybody and wound up defeating himself instead of listening to his own experience." ... 
"For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" ... Jesus Christ, quoted by both apostles Matthew and Mark

"Transformational: pertaining to  transformation; transformative: causing  transformation." ... Laurence Platt citing wikidiff
I am indebted to John Denver who contributed material for this conversation.

Discovering never ends. That's something I'm discovering  for myself. The thing is I'm discovering it as an experience, not as some rattled-off smart-alecky  concept.

I'm discovering for myself that discovering what's possible for me and for life (and certainly that discovering what's at least next  for me and for life) is never-ending. It's always ongoing. It's perpetual. Life itself is always expanding, it's always evolving, it's always in a fluid state of possibility in which I'm discovering there's always something else  possible, there's always something else next. Why? Is it because I / we somehow fail to "get it all done"? No, it's just that it's just that way. It's not that I / we somehow fail to get it all done. It's that it's its nature that there's always something else possible, always something else next. Always. And ever. Forever.

Once I got that, my life could never be lived the same way again. Largely (and if not largely, then almost exclusively) I got it in the ongoing inquiry which is Werner's work. To be open-minded and fair, there may be other avenues pointing to discovering the same thing. And of them all, Werner's is the leader, unerringly effective as a powerful implement of discovery. In it (or with  it, if you prefer) I get the possibility of possibility itself. In Werner's work, I get whatever is next for me and for life.

And as I get that again and again and again ongoingly, there's always a question in the background for me which goes something like this: if who I really am (aka if who we really are) isn't distinguished, discovered, and known (in other words, if who we really are hasn't yet entered the play, front-and-center-stage, during the discovery / inquiry process), then who is it exactly  that's doing all the discovering in the first place? Indeed, then who's looking at (and for) what's next in the first place? I'm discovering that anything I construe as possible (even if remotely) stands precariously on thin ice whenever I'm not first grounded in (and on) my own experience ie whenever I'm not listening to my own experience ie to the experience of who we really are (which suggests transformation precedes possibility).

Without being grounded in and on the experience of who we really are, discovering what's possible ie discovering what's next, comes perilously close to devolving into simple survival ie into fervent, furtive ways of merely getting by, mired all the while in and with the same tired old conceptual frameworks in which we've been stuck for millennia. Transformation less the discovered experience of who we really are, is at worst little more than a kind of change, and a fleeting kind of change at best.

It may even be a slightly elevated kind of change. It may even be a surprisingly refreshingly pleasantly discontiguous kind of change. But it's still just and only a kind of change. And no matter what kind of change it is, authentic transformation does not equate to change. Listen: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose  - the more things change, the more they stay the same, yes? Collapsing change with transformation / making change synonymous with transformation, not only disempowers change, but it also defeats the possibility of being transformed. Now be careful: don't go saying "That's just semantics, Laurence!" because listen: it's all  semantics.

When I listen that change is synonymous with transformation (which is to say when I'm listening for change without differentiating it from transformation), it doesn't transform me, and it doesn't transform life. Instead it defeats who I am, and it also diminishes life. In contradistinction, it's listening to (and for) my own experience of who I really am ie it's listening to (and for) who we really are, that's unerringly transformative.

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