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


Who He Is For Himself

Coombsville Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

February 17, 2013



This essay, Who He Is For Himself, is the seventh in an open group of Experiences Of A Friend:
  1. Stepping Back
  2. At Home As Self
  3. Empty Windows
  4. Futile Like A Freedom
  5. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  6. Werner As Intention
  7. Who He Is For Himself
  8. Source Quote
  9. Puzzle Solved, Mind Unraveled
  10. Eye To Eye
  11. Mystical Connection II
  12. Relentless
  13. Being Around Werner
  14. Being Always In Action: A Possibility
  15. Shaken Up And Teary
  16. On Being Sad
  17. The Complete Presentation
  18. Force Of Nature
  19. Everyone's In Love With Everyone
  20. I'm Old School
  21. Werner At The Speed Of Choice
  22. I Get Who You Are From What They Do
  23. The Significance - Not What Happened
  24. You Know I Love You - And I Know You Love Me
  25. Speaking To People's Relationship With Werner
  26. A Master At Being (And Having People Be)
  27. Werner As Source
  28. A Man Who's All There
  29. My Heart And You
  30. Mind Control
  31. Again And Again And Again And Again And Again And Again
  32. Unwavering
so far, in that order.

It is also the sixth in a septology on Self:

Werner Erhard invented transformation. This is the heart of the matter. Really.

I want to be crystal clear what I'm saying here. I'm saying Werner Erhard invented transformation by distinguishing it then speaking it, in the same way as Sir Isaac Newton invented gravity by distinguishing it then speaking it, in the same way as Professor Albert Einstein invented relativity by distinguishing it then speaking it, in the same way as President John Fitzgerald Kennedy invented landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade (then, by 1970) by distinguishing it like a possibility  then speaking it.

There are as many different experiences of Werner as there are people on the planet. For people who haven't heard of Werner, if you told them he invented transformation (of course, you'd then have to distinguish transformation  for them), they'd have an experience of him - one way or another. For people who have heard of him, their experiences run the gamut from the hostile to the indifferent to the amazed to the delighted "What took you so long to get here?". Given transformation is what it is, this range of expressions is entirely appropriate.

You could experience Werner as a rough cut  self-taught philosopher with a dazzling gift for the Socratic  method, having none of the usual formal education and qualifications in these areas, yet held in high esteem by some of the greatest minds on the planet. You could experience him along with the brilliant Mr Alan Watts as one of the most formidable and getable  exponents of Zen the world has ever seen - or heard. You could experience him as just a regular dude  learning to ride a motor bike, or as a family guy taking his mother out on her birthday. You could experience him as an interviewer interviewing, or as an interview-ee  being interviewed, equally at home bringing forth transformation both as a listener (questioning, inquiring) and as a speaker (answering, responding, sharing).

But if you ask people what is it about Werner  which is so enrolling (or un-enrolling as the case may be: Werner is controversial - of that let there be no doubt), their answers would be all over the map. There are many philosophers. There are many great minds. There are many leaders. There are exponents of Zen. There are certainly more than a few dudes who ride motor bikes. And there's no shortage of guys who celebrate their mother on her birthday. So what is it? What is this je ne sais quoi  quality, this enrolling  quality, this quality on which all experiences people have of Werner, converge? Indeed, what is this quality out of which transformation inexorably burst forth on to the world stage on the Golden Gate Bridge on that fateful midweek morning in March 1971?

For me, the essential experience to have of Werner out of all  the experiences it's possible to have of Werner if you're going to get who he really is (which is to say, the essential Werner experience  to have if you're going to get who invented transformation) is the experience of who he is for himself.

Well ... who is  Werner for himself?

So that I don't step on your experience, so that I leave you with this as an open ended, ongoing inquiry rather than provide mere platitudes and pat answers to the question "Who is Werner for himself?", I'm not going to wrap this up in a pretty box with a nice bow and ribbons. Rather I'd like to leave it untied and a bit ragged.

The question to ask, really, isn't "Who is Werner for himself?". The question to ask is "Who are you  for yourself?". The people I've experienced in this work who are most like Werner aren't like Werner at all. Yes, that is  the very definition of paradox. The people I've experienced in this work who are most like Werner are the people who are most like themselves. This is why I assert the question "Who are you for yourself?" is your access to who Werner is for himself.

See, there's nothing unreachable about this. There's nothing unusual or even exceptional about this. When I ask "Who are you for yourself?", this isn't a grandiose question. I ask "Who are you for yourself?" like a dude. I ask "Who are you for yourself?" like a motor bike rider. I ask "Who are you for yourself?" like a guy or a gal who loves their mother. I ask "Who are you for yourself?" not like a cosmic  being, not like an enlightened  soul - both of which are too fraught with meaning and significance to be truly valuable. No, I ask "Who are you for yourself?" like a person, like a human being - because if you're not that, then it's all completely inauthentic from then on out.

So ... who is Werner for himself? My answer to this question, is another question: who are you for yourself? Besides which, my answer to the question "Who is Werner for himself?" only reveals my  experience of who Werner is for himself - whereas your answer to the question "Who are you for yourself?" reveals your  experience of who he is for himself.

This, my Friends, is who invented transformation. This is who the source  of transformation is.



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