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


Werner's Work Is Coming Back To Hawai'i

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

October 14, 2009



"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only that there be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
 ... Rainer Maria Rilke transcribed by  
This essay, Werner's Work Is Coming Back To Hawai'i, is the third in an open group World Transformed:
  1. The Friends Of The Landmark Forum In South Africa
  2. The Transformation Of The World
  3. Werner's Work Is Coming Back To Hawai'i
  4. Werner Erhard Slide Experience
  5. Werner's Work Is Coming Back To Hawai'i Again
  6. Werner's Work Is Coming To Fiji
  7. Werner's Work Is Coming To The Dominican Republic
  8. The Breakthrough That Unlocks Futures
  9. Werner's Work Is Back In Hawai'i
  10. Werner Is Coming To Stanford!
in that order.

It is also the prequel to Werner's Work Is Coming Back To Hawai'i Again.

I am indebted to Carol Gallagher and to Elizabeth Russell and to Walter Peters and to Jade Young and to Rachel La Field and to Kihā Pimental and to Virginia Beck who inspired this conversation, and to Josh Dimand and to Carol Gallagher and to Jade Young and to Rachel La Field who contributed material.




It takes conversations to generate the possibility of transformation - Conversations For Transformation. That's what it takes. That's the right stuff. If you got transformation in your life, that is to say if you transformed your life, it's because you were in conversations for the possibility of transformation. And if you're ongoingly transforming your life, it's because you're ongoingly in conversations for the possibility of transformation.

Transformation ie Werner's work started on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in March 1971 - ineffably, out of time, and beyond language. It's now offered in over twenty countries on six continents, and presented in eight languages. Literally millions and millions and millions  of people today so far  have participated in and reaped benefits from Werner's work in all its creations, forms, generations, and ongoingly new iterations.

I'm privileged to have had the opportunity of participating in conversations which have indirectly and directly led to Werner's work becoming available in Hong Kong, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and Thailand.

Conversations For Transformation have been translated into the Thai language for readers in Thailand. They've been read on Bangkok Radio in Thailand during the morning commute hour. A project has begun to translate them into the Persian language for readers in Iran. In South Africa, over the course of a year in 1979 I presented the first ten guest events there, enrolling the first one thousand people there. The truth is I don't consider I did anything special. Sooner or later someone would have done exactly what I did. I was just fortunate enough to have been the first. Thirty years later in 2009 I sourced the South Africa premiere of Robyn Symon's documentary Transformation: The Life And Legacy Of Werner Erhard, the second occasion I sourced Werner's work in South Africa, the second coming  of Werner's work in South Africa.

Transformation is intensely personal, and it isn't personal at all. You can stand for it but you can't claim it as your own. It's a distinctly human possibility, the possibility of Being for all human beings, and I knew once I heard it call me I would do something with it. I like it that I was the first (and the second) on the ground in South Africa with Werner's work. I own that expression. But if it hadn't taken that specific form it would have taken another one. And if it wasn't me it would have surely been someone else.



The Idea Whose Time Has Come



Photography by Victoria Hamilton-Rivers - Applebee's, Napa, California, USA - 7:12pm Sunday June 28, 2009
Laurence Platt
Originally Werner's work in the form of the est  Training was offered in Hawai'i through the est  center in Honolulu. There are thousands of est  graduates in Hawai'i. Then a hiatus of almost a decade and a half flew by during which Werner's work wasn't offered in Hawai'i, before Elizabeth Russell and I and others started a conversation for the possibility of Werner's work coming back to Hawai'i. Elizabeth managed est in education  for Werner, and also participated on the source team which brought Werner's work to India for the first time. Can you get that? Bringing enlightenment to India?  That takes balls.

Our initial conversations caused a team of people willing to assist to show up. We had access to lists of mailing addresses of as many of the est  graduate body living in Hawai'i as we could possibly locate. Excitement and enthusiasm weren't in short supply.

Nothing happened. Our intention led nowhere. We were enthused and inspired  by the possibility of Werner's work coming back to Hawai'i. Yet we didn't succeed in enrolling the people who could make it happen: the executives with the power to allocate the necessary business resources.

We were disappointed. With hindsight I see we weren't listening. I see it now - it's the truth. But then again, hindsight is always 20/20 vision. Being emphatic  about what inspires me, being forceful about what I want  doesn't guarantee I'll get what I want. When we were emphatic about the possibility of Werner's work coming back to Hawai'i, as great an idea as it is, we were disappointed. We weren't listening that transformation, like any other business, didn't have the resources to allocate to the venture at that time. Our enthusiasm deafened our listening of what's so.

If I say to the California Department of Transportation ie Caltrans  "You should build a bridge over this ravine - it will shorten the journey, make the drive safer, and will pay back  in the long term", I may indeed have a great idea. If Caltrans responds saying "You've got a great idea, but we're maxed out - we just don't have the resources to allocate to this right now", I could get it. Caltrans is first and foremost a business - among its other manifestations. If there are no resources right now, then there are no resources right now. I'd keep the idea in existence, and raise it again from time to time. And eventually it will materialize, Caltrans having already acknowledged it's a great idea.

That's how I transformed my listening for the business  of transformation not having the resources to allocate to bringing Werner's work back to Hawai'i at that time. Instead of being stopped, I generated anticipation. Instead of disappointment, there was possibility. Instead of enthusiasm deafening my listening of what's so, there was open listening for what could become.

Another five years flew by.

Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo said that. Resources were allocated to bring Werner's work back to Hawai'i.



The Invitation



On Thursday May 7, 2009 I made the following worldwide announcement to two thousand people plus by e-mail, intending to enroll them in participating in the possibility of Werner's work coming back to Hawai'i. Please notice at the time, the announcement was expressed as a work in progress.



Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More



Werner's Work Is Coming Back To Hawai'i

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

May 7, 2009


Work in progress.
* * *

I'm thrilled, delighted, and very, very happy to announce the work Werner Erhard started is coming back to Hawai'i after a hiatus of almost two decades.

Originally Werner's work, in the form of the est  Training, was offered in Hawai'i through the est  center in Honolulu. There are thousands of est  graduates in Hawai'i. Now, as the Landmark Forum for Reviewers, Werner's work is coming back to Hawai'i, and a grass roots movement is newly afoot with the intention of re-establishing a center, a Landmark Worldwide  center, in Honolulu.

If you're an est  graduate, this is a golden opportunity to find out how Werner's work has evolved, to re-acquaint yourself with the core distinctions of transformation, and to experience the new possibilities of the Landmark Forum.

If you're a graduate of the Forum, this is a golden opportunity to find out how Werner's work has evolved, to re-acquaint yourself with the core distinctions of transformation and the methodology of inventing possibility for yourself and your life, and to experience the new possibilities of the Landmark Forum.

If you're a graduate of the Landmark Forum, this is a golden opportunity to re-acquaint yourself with the core distinctions of transformation and the methodology of inventing possibility for yourself and your life, and to deepen your experience of the Landmark Forum.

There will be a Landmark Forum for Reviewers starting at 9:00am at the Waikīkī Sheraton Hotel in Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawai'i on Saturday and Sunday October 10 and 11, 2009 with the evening session on Tuesday 13.

This event will be led by a Landmark Forum Leader. It's open only to graduates of the est  Training, the Forum, and the Landmark Forum.

Tuition is US$250.00.
Werner's intention is transformation is a gift to the native Hawai'ian community, the Hawai'ian nation. In fulfillment of his intention, tuition scholarships are available.

To register yourself choose from the following: Werner's work is coming back to Hawai'i because of Carol and Elizabeth and Walter among others, three of the many tireless sources calling for it.

Aloha!

* * *
  Coming soon.   



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© Laurence Platt - 2009 through 2017 Permission
Werner Erhard says "If you keep saying it the way it really is, eventually your word is law in the universe.".

Sure enough, that's how the conversation for Werner's work coming back to Hawai'i turned out. It became law in the universe. It happened. It's now real. It's fait accompli.

If you want to prevent a person from knowing who they really are, convince them they can't make something happen simply by being in a conversation for the possibility of it happening. The conversation for the possibility of Werner's work coming back to Hawai'i resounded through the universe like a choir of angels. It's no surprise to me after a hiatus of almost two decades, Werner's work in the form of the Landmark Forum for Reviewers, restarted in Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawai'i at the Waikīkī Sheraton Hotel at 9:00am on Saturday October 10, 2009, led by Landmark Forum Leader Linda Zraik.



All Things Come ...



Carol Gallagher is a member of Team Hawai'i, the group who took on the responsibility for launching, coordinating, and producing this Landmark Forum for Reviewers in Hawai'i.

This is Carol Gallagher:


<quote>

Aloha!

The weekend was great, filled with transformation and possibility! There were ninety one people attending the course.

<Laurence's aside>

On Saturday October 3, 2009, exactly one week before the Landmark Forum for Reviewers was scheduled to begin in Hawai'i on Saturday October 10, 2009, Carol Gallagher said

<quote>

We currently have seventy three people registered and promise to be at eighty before the course.

<unquote>

Carol's team fulfilled their promise, then surpassed it by twelve people, registering a total of ninety two people of which ninety one participated, a ninety nine percent registration effectiveness.

<un-aside>

Linda Zraik lead the course. She was fabulous. The average age of the participants was fifty nine with many people having done the est  Training in the early 1970s. What a transformed group of people who have been living these distinctions for thirty to forty years! It was truly a privilege and an honor to be in their presence and participate in their ongoing transformation.

Each of us had breakdowns, got present to their impact, had lots of breakthroughs, and created new possibilities for our lives. It was phenomenal to be a part of such wisdom, transformation, and creation. Hawai'i and the world are not the same. Perhaps Sunday or Tuesday evening you felt the flap of the butterfly wings?

Thank you for all you've done to make this possible for so many people and to further Werner's work on the Hawai'ian islands.



Carol Gallagher, PhD

<unquote>



... To You Who Invent Possibility ...



Jade Young is also a member of Team Hawai'i. Jade is a former est  staff member, a Hunger Project fundraiser, and an extraordinary human being.

This is Jade Young:


<quote>

Aloha Everyone!

I just completed the Landmark Forum for Reviewers in Hawai'i, along with ninety other est  graduates, graduate, of the Forum, and graduate, of the Landmark Forum.

It was stunning, and humbling. As someone who had been on staff for five years in the early 1970s, who did most of the graduate seminars including all the Communication Courses and the Consulting Courses, and who fundraised for several years with the Hunger Project, it was humbling because I got to see how un-transformed I had become in many areas of my life, how I had developed amnesia about the distinctions, and how resignation had snuck into crevices of my soul. Me inauthentic? No way. I forgot: I am a human being hooked on looking good.

At the same time, it amazed me how rapidly our muscles fired up once we powerfully engaged with the conversation and told the truth about the enormous price we pay for running our favorite rackets: the loss of trust, intimacy and aliveness, and not surprisingly, our creativity and productivity. I got to be present, once again, to that transformation only works when we're living and breathing the distinctions, getting off it and getting on with it, when we're willing to file the past in the past, to be bold, take risks, and declare new possibilities for our lives out of nothing. Otherwise, transformation is nothing but a dry concept full of sound and fury signifying nothing. I felt like I shed a hundred pounds of old memories and constraints that had been weighing me down. By the end of our second day, we were left standing in a wide open space of freedom with the tools to generate possibilities and gorgeous new futures for our lives.

This is the new education in action. Stunning, exhilarating! Several graduates who had pioneered the est  Training in Hawai'i in the early 1970s sat side by side with a new generation of graduates who had completed the Landmark Forum within the last five to ten years, plus graduates had flown in from the Big Island of Hawai'i and Kaua'i. Linda Zraik, our beautiful and brilliant Landmark Forum Leader, did the most masterful job navigating all the different levels of listening in the room. We had taken a stand to bring Werner's work back to the Hawai'ian islands, to our ohana  / community in Hawai'i. And we have just begun.

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

With deep love and respect for all,



Jade Young, former est  Staff Member

Hunger Project Fundraiser and Community Activist
Facilitator for Awakening the Dreamer
Extraordinary Human Being

<unquote>



... And Enroll Others ...



Rachel La Field is also a member of Team Hawai'i.

This is Rachel La Field:


<quote>

The soil has been cultivated, the seeds of transformation continue to sprout, and new shoots are taking off! ... and we thought we were planting a seed?!

Reviewers of the Landmark Forum and est  graduates gathered from across the Hawai'ian islands and from the mainland to meet on the sacred sands of Waikīkī Beach. Participants were fired up and ready to roll when Linda Zraik, Landmark Forum Leader, arrived. By Tuesday night, having completed their Landmark Forum for Reviewers, graduates were lit up and enlivened by their experience. They are re-creating their lives with restored integrity and renewed passion. Many lives have been touched, many relationships renewed, and there is a new inspiration to live and love full out.

Transformation and possibility took an island hopper to the Big Island with a young local graduate. Sharing his experience and what was possible for his family, resolved conflicts that had begun generations ago. Doubt and resignation drifted out of sight as tears were wiped away. Being uplifted brought laughter and love igniting dreams and possibilities that had once been forgotten. A new realm of possibility is present along with unity for All!

Three of the many amazing things Team Hawai'i learned while paddling this race were

 1)  Honolulu Hawai'i was the second location in the world  where Werner's work was offered, San Francisco California being the first;
 2)  A world record of one percent  of Hawai'i's entire population has participated in Werner's programs;
 3)  Hawai'i's people pioneered Werner's work, lived, loved, and seasoned its distinctions, then blew the conch shell for its return.

Team Hawai'i, the group which launched the Landmark Forum for Reviewers in Hawai'i, celebrated the completion of this event by expanding and welcoming in fifteen new team members who are devoted to the continuation of Landmark's programs being offered in Hawai'i. Seven of our Team Hawai'i members completed their participation on the team, and took their seats as participants when the Landmark Forum for Reviewers started on Saturday October 10, 2009. A new team of assistants arrived to source the event, most of whom traveled from California. Their grace and contribution empowered everyone. Each person on the team left with new blessings of their own, grateful for their participation, and thrilled about what's next for themselves and their lives.

We all have a new experience of ohana.

An online seminar is in the works, and there are plans for continued seminars, a Landmark Forum, and even dreams of a Landmark center in Honolulu. Now united, Team Hawai'i has taken a stand to bring Landmark back home to the Hawai'ian islands. With the partnership of the Landmark San Francisco Center, the Spirit of Aloha, and the beauty and magic of Hawai'i, anything is possible!

Mahalo nui loa.

Forever grateful,



Rachel La Field

<unquote>



... In The Possibility You Invent



Team Hawai'i
Landmark Forum for Reviewers
Waikīkī Sheraton Hotel - Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawai'i - October 10, 11, and 12, 2009
Left to right:
Melissa Fort, Thomas Gallagher, Jade Young, Walter Peters, Richard Collins,
Rachel La Field, Carol Gallagher, Geoff Heise, Hamilton Niwa, Richard Del Monte
Photography by Judd Keka - October 11, 2009


It was Margaret Mead who said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.".

Thank You Team Hawai'i for being Margaret Mead's small group of thoughtful, committed citizens who have changed our world through your generosity, your rigor, and your vision of what's possible.

Thank You for never settling for business as usual.

Thank You for pioneering Werner's work. Thank You for living, loving, and seasoning its distinctions, then blowing the conch shell so loudly, so exuberantly, so endearingly and so successfully for its return to Hawai'i, for its second coming  in Hawai'i.

Thank You for unrelentingly, unfailingly, and unflinchingly  coming from your love and commitment bringing Werner's work back to Hawai'i in the form of the Landmark Forum for Reviewers.

Thank You for Your Relationship with Werner.

Now What?



In the normal course of events, soon after we succeed at something, there's a kicking back, a resting on laurels  which creeps in. That's because in the normal course of events, we're driven  by success. And once we attain it, it's game over. Or at least it's game over temporarily  until we hunger for success again.

Transformation, however, isn't the normal course of events. In bringing forth transformation, we play a game in order to play a game. Failure or success, to be sure, are two possible outcomes. But neither failure nor success are authentic contexts  within which to bring forth transformation. Transformation requires neither failure nor success as a context.

"Now what?" is the question to ask - continuously, repeatedly, and ongoingly. "Now what - for Werner's work in Hawai'i?". "Now that we've brought it back, what's next? Now what?".

I don't have the answer. I can't wait to find out. As Rachel says, anything is possible.



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© Laurence Platt - 2009 through 2016 Permission