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

Unimaginably Terse

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

May 26, 2017

This essay, Unimaginably Terse, is the third in the eleventh trilogy Questions For A Friend:
  1. A Context Worth Playing In
  2. Tie The Brush To My Hand
  3. Unimaginably Terse
in that order.
The first trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Prelude
  2. Ask Me Anything
  3. Coming Around Again
in that order.
The second trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Familiar Unfamiliar Territory
  2. Interview
  3. Straight Talk
in that order.
The third trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Dancing With My Mouth
  2. Cave Paintings
  3. Velvet Tsunami
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Creating Creating
  2. Tell Me Something About Nothing
  3. Lucid Disclosures
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Closer And Closer
  2. Tête À Tête
  3. Dancing With Life
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Would I Ask You If I Could Ask You Anything?
  2. Wonderings About Nothing In Particular
  3. Tipping Point
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Beyond Breathing Underwater
  2. Bold Faced Truth
  3. What You Create For Yourself About Me
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Once In A Lifetime
  2. Fireside Chat
  3. Whole And Complete
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Questions For A Friend
  2. Nothing Else I'd Rather Be Doing
  3. Free To Be And Free To Act
in that order.
The tenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Attracted To Dance
  2. I Told A Friend I Love You
  3. Terse Transformed Communication
in that order.
The twelfth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Will I Do When You Die?
  2. Access
  3. The Newest Piece Of Work
in that order.
The thirteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Worthy Of The Company
  2. Creating Them For Myself
  3. Standing With Masters
in that order.
The fourteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. This Context Of Privilege
  2. I'm Not Going To Let It Go
  3. Questions For A Friend XIV III: Not Yet Titled (working title)
in that order.

As I reviewed this material (along with studying the notes I'd taken of it, our latest exchange) in the course of determining how best to present it with maximum impact, it became obvious to me (again) how high your speaking sets the terse  bar (if you will). Very little is actually said (by that I mean so few words are actually spoken) by you in this, our eleventh Questions For A Friend collaboration. Yet when I stay present to your speaking's terseness, I get the direct experience of the vast, pristine space you open up.

Notice it's my questions that account for ninety percent of the total number of words spoken here. In contradistinction, your answers in response to my wordiness, are unimaginably terse - yet what they make available is astonishingly far-reaching. So with that said, it would appear to me that the total number  of words spoken in any given conversation, doesn't necessarily correlate with the impact it makes. Rather what does correlate, is the being present  of whomever's speaking and listening.

I am, like everyone else reading this, one of your many listeners, even though I'm also one of the two principle players in the exchange. And frankly? I'm awed by it.

The First Question

"Speaking as a 39 year veteran of your work, it's clear to me that over the years, you've made its presentation simpler (never easier) and more direct as it accesses greater power in less time with fewer words. How do you do that? What's your linguistic plumb line (if you will) for becoming ever terser?"

I've noticed (by watching myself and others) that the momentum  of life lived transformed, steadily and exponentially  increases. Who's to say why  this happens? Yet this is the way it seems to go. Invariably when life is lived with more velocity, there's more conversation. Time however, stays pre-allocated - that is to say there's always and only twenty four hours in every day. Becoming ever terser, is smart (very smart) if we're going to make the maximum difference in our pre-allocated time.




What I surmised was close, in the ballpark. Yet your response not only reveals more: it's also the epitome of being terse. I get it: getting your Self clearer about our work, is your linguistic plumb line for becoming ever terser. Wow! I sat with it in my lap, like a hot brick, for a minute or two. And: Wow! Just: Wow! The Self is terse.

Our work is always expanding. That seems to be its nature. Being what it is, it calls on each of us ie it calls on our Selves to expand along with it - which requires us getting our Selves clearer about our work. That's the linguistic plumb line for becoming ever terser (and it also facilitates our work's ongoing expansion, I might add).

The Second Question

"Your work today continues to demonstrate an ever-increasing momentum and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, if ever. When you first got it on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1971, did you know then it would still be working as powerfully as it is for as long as it has, 46 years later?"

I've considered two possible ways this may have played out for you in 1971. One, it would have been awesome if you knew then that we would still be doing this 46 years later. Two, it would have been even more  awesome if you didn't  know, because if this were the case, then with no guarantee or certainty you would succeed, you stepped up onto the world stage anyway, front and center, bringing transformation with you for us. Both, but the latter especially, take guts and heroism.




I get this totally. The opening that is transformation, never ends. There've been moments in my life when it's looked like I've gotten whatever there is to get - as if the feast has finally come to an end (so to speak). And then, unexpectedly ... I see bigger openings than I ever saw before, and the momentum continues. Am I close?

Whenever people share this observation with me (it seems to be a universal experience), I'll bring it back home to you by saying "You'll talk about him forever ...". That's something one of your closest associates said to me a long, long time ago. I've yet to hear a better way of saying it. So I've taken it on as my own expression.

The Third Question

"The people you train to lead your most senior programs have to meet many rigorous measures over many stages. What is that one particular final measure they must meet, by which they give you the total certainty they're qualified to lead ie to re-create you?"

Whatever this measure may be ie whatever this quality  may be, do they come in to be trained with this quality already in place? Indeed, is having this quality already in place, a prerequisite for being trained by you? Or do they learn  it in the course of being trained by you? Or (said another way) do they teach it to themselves  in the course of being trained by you? And: is it a quality that some people have and others don't - like a specific height or weight or age or hair color? Or is it a quality that's present for everyone? And if it's not already manifest, then is it at least present like a possibility?




"Unquestionable" ... "always" ... "maximum" ... Man! That's powerful. That's the bedrock.

I see elements of all my aboves in your response. Some people will have it already in place when they come in. Others not. Those with it already in place will be prequalified - at least to a degree. Some of it could be learned in the course of being trained by you, and some of it could be self-taught in the course of being trained by you. My sense is that some people simply have it, and others don't. But ultimately, human beings aren't really all that different from one another, so everyone has it (or could have it) as I said, like a possibility.

Then there's one other way this quality may be gotten which, for my money, is the most likely way it's gotten. It's people, being around you, are inspired (arguably for the first time) by you radiating  this quality. They get it. That's when they realize it's possible for them too, and they take it on for themselves as their way of being.

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