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


Wet Water

Chicago, Illinois, USA

March 11, 2006



This essay, Wet Water, is the second in the second trilogy Visits With A Friend:
  1. Black Brick
  2. Wet Water
  3. On Saying Nothing
in that order.
The first trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Second First Impression
  2. Do Artists Retire?
  3. Presence Of Love
in that order.
The third trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Master Of Life
  2. Face To Face
  3. Love And Kindness
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Personal Piece
  2. Magnum Opus
  3. Walk A Way With Me
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Natural Expression
  2. Essential Question
  3. There Is No "The Answers"
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Sophisticated Palate
  2. Open To Everyone
  3. Portal
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Meetings With A Remarkable Man
  2. Being Directed By The Unanswered Question
  3. Out Here
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Visits With A Friend VIII (working title) : Coming
  2. Visits With A Friend VIII II (working title) : Coming
  3. Visits With A Friend VIII III (working title) : Coming
in that order.
The second trilogy Visits With A Friend is the sequel to Eye Of The Needle.



He's so good in the future that whatever hasn't happened yet, around him you look forward to it carte blanche, whatever it may be. It's not mere speculation  on what will happen that he brings to the table. He actually starts things, things which without his conversation simply wouldn't happen. His every sentence is a vine with buds from which, even as you watch and listen, something new sprouts.

In fact he's so good in the future that how he is in the present  is easy to overlook. It's mastery of the future grounded in Zen of the present which sets his education apart. Because he doesn't articulate Zen as much as he lives  it, you won't necessarily get it from his conversation, from his spoken word. But it's there, it's always there, like a background, like a foundation, like a ground of being. You see it in his eyes. It's always on his face. He lives in only one timezone: now.

There's something wonderfully obvious and brash in his Zen: things are the way they are and they aren't the way they aren't. That's what's so. And ... so what?!  If all he ever did was underline that basic simplicity, it would be a valuable contribution to humanity. It would highlight how we make things into what they aren't and how we're addicted to our expectations. Since expectations are the domain of upset and disappointment, if all he did was that, it would pierce to the very heart of why we aren't fulfilled.

What's remarkable, however, is the way he takes Zen to new realms. He rides Zen to new altitudes where, even though at first  it may be hard to get, it's always pragmatic, useful, and (with 20/20 hindsight) slam-dunkingly obvious. When he takes Zen into his relationships, it's an extraordinary approach. He takes Zen into his family. He takes Zen into his attitudes about people. He's willing to come clean and speak openly about his attitudes thereby creating the space for others to do the same. When he brings Zen to bear on his relationships, incredible things happen. Impossible blocks melt. His  impossible blocks about others melt. Others'  impossible blocks about him melt. Others'  impossible blocks about others  melt.

In his Zen he holds people (not just objects and situations) as they are the way they are and they aren't the way they aren't. When he does that, he frees himself from the people who reactivate him. But it doesn't end there. Being free, he then grants freedom to those very people who once reactivated him. It's that turn on a dime  facet of his Zen for which there's no precedent that's rich and amazing.

He shares his relationship with his mother saying he grew up  when he was 31 because that's when he finally let her be. He describes it as getting lucky. He speaks of how people never grow up  because they don't let their parents be. I've heard him say that many times before. He says it as a koan like "What's the sound of one hand clapping?". It's a koan for relationships and especially for his relationship with his mother which, once completed, created the space for everything that followed ie transformation in the world. His koan is "Water's wet, rocks are hard, and Mother's Mother.".

People and things are the way they are and they aren't the way they aren't. That's his Zen, and particularly that's his Zen as ground of being for relationship, for family. Zen and mother. Like wet water.



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