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

We're Here

San Francisco, California, USA

March 26, 2019

 "Do artists retire?" ... 
This essay, We're Here, is the first in the seventh trilogy Breakfast With The Master:
  1. We're Here
  2. Being A Being Coach
  3. You Already Got It
in that order.
The first trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Conversation With A Laser
  2. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  3. Secret Agent
in that order.
The second trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Health
  2. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  3. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Open
in that order.
The third trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Raw Power
  2. It Works Better As A Possibility
  3. Magic At Heart
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master IV: Parental Care
  2. Breakfast With The Master IV: Taking The Guilt Out Of It
  3. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Whatever Works
  2. Yesterday's Transformation
  3. Billions And Billions Of Stars
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master VI: Doo-Wop, Coffee, And Intention
  2. Breakfast With The Master VI II: Cherish These Days
  3. Breakfast With The Master VI III: Forwarding The Fulfillment
in that order.

Yesterday came with white-out driving conditions. Not snow: rain. I'm up early at 4:00am, planning on driving a long detour around possible flooded areas. But many other drivers it seems, also have the same idea, and this pre-dawn commute line of red tail-lights, stands still off into the foreseeable distance. Frustrated, I envision the possibility of being late in spite of my best attempts. Then I catch myself actually creating being late. So I exchange it for "This is the seventh annual Breakfast With The Master. I'll be there on time because I said I'll be there on time.". With that, the traffic picks up speed (yes it does) and I arrive an hour early. Go figure.

I choose exactly the same table at which we sat a year ago. I've got a few sheets of plain A4  white paper on which to take notes, and an item of his which he left on the table last time when he departed, which I took home with me. It's now in a marked ziplock bag at exactly the same spot on the table where he left it exactly a year ago. And he's here! We embrace, then sit down in the same seats in the same position as last year. Did a year just fly by? Or was it a minute? It's hard to tell.

I know he's shifted the way he contributes in the world these days. I ask him about his transition from leading workshops, seminars, and events for many thousands of people, to coaching a powerful few, one on one. "Are you retired now? I ask, referring to his original occupation, "and if so, can we still talk?". "We're here, aren't we?" he responds demurely, his hand waving away the past to emphasize the now. And I get from what he offers ie from who he is, that clearly there's no retirement.

We order. He chooses the same egg dish he ordered last year. Exactly the same. I choose the same omelet I ordered last year. Exactly the same. We start on the first of a few bottomless cups of coffee - his caf, mine decaf. Exactly the same. I start to espouse that decaf is "better for you" than caf. And then I stop myself and discard the idea. It's patently clear his life works pretty darn well (isn't that the understatement of the century?) even given a lifetime of drinking caf. So: so what?!

As we await our orders, I acknowledge him for being a being coach for me (yes, for "being a being  coach" for me). By that I mean there are things people share with me that give me insight and understanding ("understanding" is not exactly a great word in the context of transformation, but here it's good enough for jazz). Yet it's the way he be's  that I'm trained by. It's the way he be's  that catalyzes me (and any human being) to be the way he be's. That's what a "being coach" is. He recalls I've acknowledged him for being this for me before. And I have. That's OK. You can never acknowledge anyone too much for such a precious gift (priceless actually).

The waiter returns, and soon our table is a mess of plates, mugs, bowls, toast, butter, jams, ketchup ... you know, all the breakfast paraphernalia two guys in a diner  would ever want. There's a brief pause in our conversation as we re-arrange things so they serve the space of communication rather than getting in its way. Then we continue. He's met the mother of my children - but he hasn't (yet) met my children. I've met his family. They are without doubt some of my favorite people of all time. That's not because of who he is. It's just that they are. I share a bit about what each of my children are up to, and how I would love for him to meet them. He listens, then segues into taking an incoming call on his cell, recognizing the caller from its caller-ID. If anyone else did that, it would be inconsiderate and out of place. With him, strangely enough it isn't. He includes it all: us, our conversation, the incoming call, it's all one seamless whole. The context is decisive with him. It all works.

And I'm sipping my decaf, and he's coaching his caller, and I'm thinking to myself "We're here, we're talking, it doesn't get any better than this, what a privilege!".

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© Laurence Platt - 2019 Permission