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




What It Also Comes Down To

Stony Hill, Calistoga, California, USA

November 9, 2018

"Transformation is the space in which the event  'transformation' occurs." ... 
"Transformation is the genesis  of a new realm of possibility." ... Landmark Worldwide

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." ... Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43
This essay, What It Also Comes Down To, is the thirteenth in an open group on Transformation:
  1. Transformation
  2. Nelson Mandela And Transformation
  3. The Way Of Transformation
  4. Transformation: The Life And Legacy Of Werner Erhard
  5. Moment Of Truth
  6. Transformation II
  7. No Line
  8. Transformation Is Timeless
  9. Transforming Life Itself: A Completely Started Inquiry
  10. Transformation Is Accountability Plus Committed Speaking
  11. Not One Size Fits All
  12. Transforming Disciplines
  13. What It Also Comes Down To
so far, in that order.

It is also the sequel to It All Comes Down To This.




Transformation: the longer I swim in it (that's a veiled reference to the classic air to a bird, water to a fish  koan), the easier it is for me to forget that a) not everyone swims in it, and moreover b) the context in which I swim is most likely invisible to those not swimming in it. It's easier to speak transformation with those already swimming in its waters (an endeavor sometimes referred to as "preaching to the choir"). Speaking transformation with those who aren't, is another order of business entirely. Not a worse order. Not a better order. Not a wronger order. Not a righter order. Just a distinct order. And if transformation is anything at all, it's a distinction.

It's sharing myself with those in the latter group (the non-swimmers, if you will) which interests me. What is transformation for them exactly? What's the best way to speak with those not already in the know? It's an intriguing question, providing answers to which challenges me. I could venture answers my way, the way I see them ie the way they occur for me. The truth is I know of no better way of enunciating transformation than the way Werner articulates it. Honest. I suspect that's true too for anyone who has a relationship with Werner. I don't mean no one else can  speak transformation. I mean no one speaks it clearer. That's not without precedent, by the way. If you ask me about relativity, my answers would pale next to Professor Albert Einstein's. I'll gladly forgo being original in favor of being effective and clear.

Where the question "What exactly is transformation?" becomes most interesting to me ie where it takes on an entirely new dimensionality, is when it's asked by a) people who don't yet have any relationship with Werner, who b) are genuinely interested in discovering what transformation is. In their case, what are the best ways to respond which are easily heard? To be specific, what are the best ways to respond if hearing it directly from Werner isn't an option (at least if it isn't an option yet)?

I've considered many ways to respond. For starters, any astute response should first drive a wedge between "transformation" and "change", thereby restoring the rigor ie the scalpel  of language to the conversation. But what then? Then what could I say next? In contemplating what to say next, I've considered the following:

I could say transformation (ie being transformed) is to know (ie is to directly experience) who you really are. But then again, without providing the full, rich body of distinctions, background ideas, and abstracts on and from which this experience is built (all of which require time and committed listening), it can be glossed over and naïvely dismissed with "I don't need that: I already know who I am: I'm Joe Sixpack!"  (or whomever), missing a most valuable point entirely. Yet if it weren't ripe for dismissal, I could indeed say it comes down to that. I could say transformation is the genesis  of a new realm of possibility, which can also be glossed over and naïvely dismissed with "A-ha! Positive thinking. I'm a big fan of Norman Vincent Peale.". Yet if it weren't ripe for dismissal, I could indeed say it comes down to that. I could say transformation is the space in which the event  "transformation" occurs. But look: that's vintage Erhard. And these hypothetical people don't have access to Werner yet, remember? So it can also be glossed over and naïvely dismissed with "Whaaat  ...?!". Yet if it weren't ripe for dismissal, I could indeed say it comes down to that.

In the end, what it also comes down to  (maybe) is transformation is taking responsibility / being responsible for my life. And that only gets me closer - but no cigar. Transformation isn't really taking responsibility / being responsible for my life. Transformation is more the space in which taking responsibility / being responsible for my life happens  (and participating with Werner is an access to that space). Even if that isn't the experience of "getting it" ie the Big "IT", saying it that way is good enough for jazz. It leaves the door wide open for people to get it for themselves, and then to consider participating in Werner's work, or not. That's my whole idea.



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