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

A Man Who's All There

Exertec Health and Fitness Center, Napa, California, USA

November 28, 2015

"I finally figured out  why this is so riveting:  it's Larry King interviewing a man who's all there." ... Laurence Platt watching Larry King interviewing Werner Erhard

This essay, A Man Who's All There, is the one thousand one hundredth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series. That doesn't mean anything. It's just what's so.

It is also is the twenty eighth in the complete group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the open group Experiences Of A Friend II):
  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
  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
  33. The Leadership Course III: Pillar Of The Community
  34. American Genius
  35. Legacy II
so far, in that order.

Perhaps the best way for me to begin describing what's it's like to be totally and completely listened (an experience which is actually quite rare) is to share first what it's like to be not  listened (a much more common experience).


The grammatically syntactically correct  way to refer to listening ie the way my school marms  taught me, is to say something like "I listen to  you" and "You listen to me" - the preposition "to" is deployed.

The trouble with saying it that way is when I listen to  you, you're over there, and I'm over here. "I listen to you" has directionality across distance. That's not listening. It may be hearing  ... but it's not listening.

When I listen  you, on the other hand, you're over there, and in my listening I'm over there too  with you. "I listen you", unlike "I listen to you", has congruence.

Hearing is automatic. Listening requires intentionality.


As an example of what it's like to be not  listened, I'm speaking and sharing, both of which require being vulnerable and open if I'm going to really communicate ... and the person with whom I'm speaking is disruptive, changes the subject randomly, fidgets, and often interjects non sequiturs. It's more than she's simply distracted: it's if I were to just stop speaking altogether mid-sentence, I'm clear she wouldn't even notice. There's no chance to get into communication - and even less chance to experience it. Everything's reduced to making noise at each other, and chit-chat.

It's almost impossible for me to stay fully present in conversations like those. The person currently talking is simply whoever won the conch  (or the speaker's stick), having forced out the other(s) by talking over them or shouting them down. That's what it is to be not  listened.

When he  listens, on the other hand, it's something truly awesome to behold and marvelous to experience and to be in the presence of. It's inspiring to be in its orbit. It's truly a gift. And the thing is he always  listens / he's always listening such that whenever I'm around him, his listening is congruent with who I really am. I don't know anyone else quite like him, a man who's all there. And while his is the kind of listening everyone knows is possible, being around it (at least for the first time) is strangely disconcerting (perhaps because it's a function of being both new and  rare).

It's not that he simply doesn't talk over me: it's that who he really is always  listens me. It's a truly rare quality, one which ongoingly impacts and empowers everything I do and am capable of doing and could do in the future. If he did nothing but listen ie if listening was the only  thing he ever did, the way he listens would rock people's worlds. When he listens me, there's space for my conversations to create and soar, for me to share authentically without battling to be heard, and for me to be open and vulnerable (which happen to be the perfect conditions in which real communication can occur and thrive) ... so I learn what it takes to be this way, to re-create it, and to become practiced at it.

He doesn't change the subject on a capricious whim ever. He doesn't fidget, interject non sequiturs, or get distracted. And if he does interrupt me (as he will do, every once in a while), it's actually to make a laser-precise contribution which links back to something valuable I said earlier which I glossed over, yet which ought to be further expanded instead because it's worth being further expanded. In other words, when he listens me, I can be fully, totally, completely myself - 100% present.

It's this quality of what I'm calling his listening (which is a function of his being ie which is a function of who he is really) that occurs for me as his full, total, complete, 100% presence. So it's only natural that anyone who's around him will inherit (by osmosis) the access to being fully, totally, completely 100% present. It's a natural consequence of ie it's a correlation  of being around a man who's all there, that everyone  gains access to being all there also. What's interesting to me is although being all there is an experience which is actually quite rare, it's immediately recognizable  around him.

So where does this immediate recognition come from (since it's rareness implies it can't be commonly explained in terms of being already familiar with it)? I assert it comes from our natural knowing  ie it comes from being already aware of who we really are (even subliminally), and so we're also naturally aware of who we are in another  - even subliminally.

It calls for a certain bravery ie it demands a certain courage, a certain verve  to stay around a man who's all there, simply because (if you tell the truth about it) the areas of your life where you're not  being all there yourself (ie the areas of your life in which you're not  being fully present and authentic), will get shown up around him for what they are, leaving you with the undeniable choice to drop them ... or to drag their tiredness around with you for a little while longer. You're OK either way in my book ie you're OK whichever you choose ... and  ... we all know choosing to drop them takes guts, and is the bigger choice.

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