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




Walking Barefoot On The Blade Of A Razor

Sonoma, California, USA

September 1, 2018



This essay, Walking Barefoot On The Blade Of A Razor, was conceived at the same time as

Almost everyone who truly appreciates the miracle the work of transformation makes available, is effusive in sharing it. Many of us, especially its early graduates, also appreciate that the source of the work of transformation, is Werner Erhard's experience on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1971. There's an appropriate time for sharing the work of transformation. There's also an appropriate time for expressing a relationship with Werner. Sometimes those times are congruent. Sometimes they're not.

There are other times when expressing a relationship with Werner, as seminal as it is to the work of transformation, and as real as it is, may inadvertently distract from sharing the work of transformation with people who are hearing about it for the first time, or with people who've recently discovered it but don't yet know its origin.

Wait a moment: how could that possibly be a distraction, Laurence? Isn't there a seamless continuum between the origin / source of the work of transformation, and the work of transformation itself? Wouldn't expressing a relationship with Werner be an enhancement not a distraction? It could be a distraction because Werner's work is primarily about who you  are. It's really not intended to be about who Werner is. Sure, there's an overlap. There would be. But that's not where the focus is.

Careless sharing making the work about who Werner is, distracts from it being about who people are. That's subtle. Both who we are, and who Werner is, are building materials in the work of transformation. The call of transformation is to share the possibility of transformation as clearly as possible as widely as possible with as many people as possible. So the prudent sharers focus on making it about who people are, without distraction - or are at least mindful of the potential for distraction in making it about who Werner is. Blurring the lines between the two, runs the risk of invoking those "cult of personality"  interpretations of the work, a slippery slope down which it's damn near impossible to speak and / or listen transformation powerfully, if at all.

I honor my relationship with Werner. I honor our relationship with Werner. I honor who he is. I honor who he is as the source of the work of transformation. I honor who he is as my friend. I honor the gift of our relationship for me personally, and I honor the gift of transformation for humanity at large. And so that we're clear about this, when I refer to honoring "the gift of our relationship", it not only applies to my relationship with Werner: it applies to my relationships with everyone I know. It actually also applies to everyone I don't  (yet) know too. But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

So the question is: why acknowledge ie why stand  for a relationship with Werner at all? Does enjoying listening The Blue Danube Waltz  require standing for a relationship with Johann Strauss? Why not just listen the gift of transformation, and let it go at that? For me, this is a matter of integrity and authenticity. For me, it lacks integrity and is completely inauthentic to not  acknowledge source ie to not acknowledge our pioneers ie our trail-blazers, our inspirers, and our friends, our partners, and our allies. So there's a fine line between expressing a relationship with Werner when it's appropriate to, and withholding expressing that relationship when it's appropriate to express it. It's also smart to not put that relationship front and center  when doing so could distract from sharing the work of transformation.

Given I'm intent on making both sides of that line available, I've trained myself to tread it carefully, very carefully - like I'm walking barefoot on the blade of a razor. "Walking barefoot on the blade of a razor" is a euphemism for a very sharp distinction, a distinction I'm always mindful of whenever I'm living it, which is all the time.



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