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


You

Napa Valley, California, USA

May 29, 2010



This essay, You, is the five hundredth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series. That doesn't mean anything. It's just what's so.

It is also the companion piece to I.




When a gift is truly  awesome it may never be fully recognized for what it is. That's not to say we willfully withhold recognition. Rather it's a statement about truly awesome gifts for which there may simply be very few of us who are awake to their magnanimity.
Sumi-e circle by Yamada Mumon Roshi
Monk On The Way by Yamada Mumon Roshi
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku
Werner Erhard
Image by Wernher Krutein / photovault.com - Franklin House, San Francisco, California, USA - Friday afternoon June 16, 1978
Sumi-e circle by Yamada Mumon Roshi
Monk On The Way by Yamada Mumon Roshi
Patience by Hakuin Ekaku
If a gift isn't recognized it can't be acknowledged and may even be taken for granted. When a gift is in the order of extraordinary  magnitude such as yours, it may also never be fully appreciated for what it is, its sheer enormity too vast to fully let in.

It's said (as you've said) your gift - transformation - is being in Conversations For Transformation. It's also said (as you've said) when you're no longer in Conversations For Transformation then you're no longer transformed. But this internet series of essays notwithstanding, authentic alive  genuine thrilling  transformation is being in face to face  Conversations For Transformation. There has to be speaking  and listening  for it to be the real deal. It's the face to face spoken and listened word which is transformation's genre, its context, its milieu. The written  and read  word, and even the thought  word, are simply close approximations to the spoken and listened word and are therefore not transformation. Even recorded  expressions of transformation like videography and photography may impart close approximations to transformation but they're not transformation.

Having said all that especially with regard to photography, I assert if anyone completely allows this open expression of yours in, they can get it all: source, transformation, enlightenment, truth, true Self, and Friendship.

It's clear to me all this is what's on offer. I've been clear about this since the last weekend of August 1978. It's not merely that I recognize your contributions to all of us, and so I acknowledge you. It's more than that. For me, recognizing and acknowledging your contributions to all of us goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) a certain sense of privilege. I could have been anywhere. I could have been there ... or there  ... or even there  ... but instead I'm here  in this place with you close up, face to face, larger than life, and twice as natural. It's nothing less than a privilege to be in this space in your presence, observing you working.

Yes I'm exuberant in my acknowledgement - I know that. You'd have to be asleep at the wheel to not notice my exuberance. For me, withholding acknowledgement is an integrity issue. That is to say for me, withholding acknowledgement is a violation  of integrity. If that's too much verbiage for one sentence, then let's cut to the chase  and say for me, withholding acknowledgement is just plain not telling the truth.

Now the thing about this class of acknowledgement ie the thing about this order  of acknowledgement for which I'm responsible and for which anyone who also recognizes your contribution and who also acknowledges you this way must also be responsible, is it's fraught with a trap ie with a pitfall. This is the trap, the pitfall: acknowledging you can distract  ie can take attention away from the ongoing work of transformation in the world.

I acknowledge you for the ideas  you share, for the space you make available intimately  for every human being. The ideas you make available comprise the technology which transforms Life. It's your ideas and your unswerving passion and commitment with which you deliver them which allow transformation to come forth - predictably, count‑on‑ably, reliably, again and again and again, time after time after time. Yet acknowledging you for this gift can skew focus away from the ongoing work of transformation in the world which develops the ideas you originate. It's the ideas  which are the source of enormous power, the ideas anyone can try on  and test drive  so to speak, the ideas which comprise the rich body of distinctions which leverage transformation. It's a paradox when acknowledging you, the source of the ideas of transformation, can skew focus away from the ideas of transformation themselves and away from the ongoing work of transformation itself.

Here's how I resolve this paradox for myself: I carry your ideas with me. I take responsibility for using them to leverage transformation in my life. I acknowledge the ideas of transformation working in my life. I acknowledge you as the source of the ideas of transformation working in my life. I take responsibility for sharing the ideas of transformation with the world. I acknowledge you as the source of the ideas of transformation I share with the world. When I acknowledge you this way ie when I tell the truth about the magnanimity of your gift, the ideas of transformation stay in focus. They stand alone, undiminished.

That's how I resolve this paradox for myself. Here's how I see you  resolving it for everyone else: you stay slippery. You disallow us laying significance and attachment  on you. I thank you for being slippery!  I thank you for making  yourself slippery. I thank you for knowing this trap, this pitfall better than anyone else I know in this business. I thank you for being willing to stay unattached even to your own brilliant creation so that we aren't caught in the trap, in the pitfall of becoming attached to you. I thank for being willing to get out of the way  so it's the ideas of transformation which stay in the spotlight and not you. I thank you for being willing to get out of the way leaving us with who we really are rather than with the spiritually naïve  "You got it and we don't  so we need to be around you to get it from you.".

It's even more than that actually and it's way more than me. It's also the millions and millions and millions of us worldwide who've been touched, moved, and inspired over the last four decades by your ideas as you've shared them in all their various shapes, times, forms, and iterations. In response, there's only one universally accepted form of gratitude which is appropriate here since what you've given us like an access  - who we really are and the possibility of inventing a future worth living into - was always ours to begin with anyway, and it's Love.

So for me what it comes down to is it's more than I carry your ideas  with me. For me it's i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart).



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