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




Yes You Really Are That Big

Cakebread Cellars, Rutherford, and Goosecross Cellars, Yountville
California, USA

October 13, 2019



This essay, Yes You Really Are That Big Big, is the twelfth in the open second group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the closed first group of thirty five Experiences Of A Friend):
  1. Friend, Partner, And Ally
  2. Go To The Beach
  3. Proof Of Life
  4. Going Out Like A Supernova
  5. Relationships: They Start, They End
  6. Evidence Of Source
  7. On Knowing When To Be Ordinary
  8. Letting Be
  9. Transforming The Untransformable
  10. There's Always The Next Piece
  11. Plastic Chandelier II
  12. Yes You Really Are That Big
in that order.



Werner has said a lot - that's the colloquial way to say it - since March 1971 when this work burst forth magnificent, from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the world stage front and center, making its dramatic presence known on the planet for the first time. The rigorous  way to say that, is he's spoken  a lot - my distinction being that saying is just talking, but speaking generates something. There's nothing wrong with just talking - but as a distinction, a generating  component isn't present in it.
Werner's work, like Zen, one of the essential disciplines from whence it sprang (at least from which the earliest  iterations of it sprang) is chock-full of seeming paradoxes and apparently flagrant contradictions. For example, if it's all empty and meaningless, then why bother with it at all? (indeed, why bother with anything  at all?). Oh, and if there's nothing to get?  then why are there so many processes, inquiries, spirited conversations and courses from which we get something?

If we examine what's transpired since 1971, the work has undergone metamorphosis after metamorphosis. Werner's ongoing creativity (and re-creativity) has proved to be incessant, unflagging, non-stopping. It's endless. Yet just when I think I've gotten everything there is on offer ie just when I think I've gotten everything there is to get, there's more!  Just when I think all the critical distinctions of transformation have been laid bare and revealed, there's more  ... and more ... and still ever more.

What is this telling us? In the midst of all the paradoxes and contradictions, what does this say about the work? Not to mention, what does it say about us, about who we really are? Almost everyone who embarks on this exploration with Werner starts by thinking the work will make them better ie will fix  something. To be sure, there is (at least in the beginning) some truth in that. But then once you're better, and once whatever there was to be fixed, is fixed, then  what? Well ... then  there are graduate  explorations. Explorations? Into what exactly? Into integrity itself, into leadership, into mastery of life - it's, you know, really heady stuff for Joe Sixpack me.

But wait! If there's always more, if there's always something else, then what exactly is  Werner saying? That earlier explorations are outdated and jaded? No longer valid? That I haven't got it all (at least not yet)? That's there's more I must do before I can say "I'm complete"?  (Wait! If this is it, then why is there always more?).

I've been looking at this recently, and what I've been seeing, is so awesome, so fundamentally rocking-my-world, so straight to the heart of what transformation really makes available, that it's left me moved to tears on more than one occasion, the most recent of which was while selecting groceries in the supermarket aisle (while other shoppers looked on, at first askance, then politely turned away from tearful me, leaving me to swim undisturbed in whatever it was I was swimming in).

What I got to get down with, is Werner's essential  communication (that is, my interpretation  of his essential communication) prior to all subsequent communications of his: his baseline, his foundation, the bedrock. It's this: "Yes you really are that big"  - yes you really are  that big ... like a support, like a validation, like a ... like a ... a demonstration. The repetition, the re-invention, the re-creation, the presenting the old, then the new, and then the newer, from this angle, from that angle, in these terms, in those terms, keep telling me just one thing: yes I really am that big - over and over and over again and again and again and again and again and again.

I'll ante Werner's work doesn't reveal who you are. Really. Rather it reveals who you aren't. When you drop who you aren't, who you are will burst forth magnificent.



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© Laurence Platt - 2019 Permission