Conversations For Transformation isn't a blog ie it's not a web log. If it comes across as a blog or as a commentary or as a report, then I would have failed in my intention to make it available. To be sure, people do refer to it occasionally as a blog. When they do, I'll say it's an internet series of essays inspired by the ideas of Werner Erhard, not a blog. And if they say "What's the difference?" or "How is this different than a blog?", they give me an opportunity to distinguish between the two, an opportunity to distinguish between reporting on Life / commenting on Life / opining about Life, and creating Life. Interestingly enough, the opportunity to make this distinction, the distinction between reporting on Life / commenting on Life / opining about Life, and creating Life, is an opportunity to bring forth one of the most fundamental distinctions of transformation.
Conversations For Transformation (these Conversations For Transformation in particular, but any conversations for transformation actually) for the most part, embody rigorous distinctions. It's damn near impossible for transformation to come forth in an environment which is devoid of rigorous distinctions ie in an environment in which people are unwilling to make rigorous distinctions. For the most part, our muscle (if you will) which makes rigorous distinguishes, isn't regularly exercised. Just like trying to run a ten kilometer road race doesn't go well until certain muscles are exercised, so don't Conversations For Transformation go well until the muscle which makes rigorous distinctions, is exercised. So if (and when) people call this a blog, it's an opportunity to distinguish rigorously between a blog and a conversation for transformation, which (given what "distinctions" and "distinguishing" are) actually and appropriately starts a conversation For transformation.
What this collection of essays on this website is for me, is my expression of acknowledgement of Werner Erhard who introduced me to transformation. In certain very real respects, creating this website is my relationship with Werner. And it's my intention to share this relationship not because there's anything special about me. There isn't. I don't see myself as any different than anyone else. I'm quite ordinary and probably a bit boring. In many respects, I don't have anything unusual going on in my life. No, I share it just because it's worth sharing.
For those of you who already have a relationship with Werner (in which case, you're in a group whose numbers comprise in the millions) I share this with you as a gift because it's my intention to support, expand, or accelerate your relationship with Werner. And it is simply a gift - which you'll decline or accept. There's no assumption over here that your relationship with Werner requires any support, expansion, and acceleration, because actually it doesn't. And if you don't (yet) have a relationship with Werner (which is to say if you don't yet know you already have a relationship with Werner), it creates the possibility for you of finding out what's available as a new way of being, into which you may never have inquired before.
There are relationships based on mutual need. This is not that. There are relationships based on having similar interests. This is not that either. There are relationships based on obligation. There are also relationships based on simply being stuck in the relationship. There are relationships based on leader / follower models. This is none of the above. The relationship about which I'm speaking here, essentially started with my own recognition of who I really am.
That's not the recognition of who I really am like an identity manipulating Life for my own purposes in order to survive. Rather it's the recognition of who I really am like space, like the context in which all the events of my life occur, indeed the context in which all the events of Life itself occurs. It's from this recognition of myself as space, as the context in which the events of my life occur, indeed in which all the events of Life itself occurs, that I get Werner as that Self-same space.
This means there's the possibility of relationship (profound friendship actually) based on mutual recognition, based on mutual respect, based on (this is critical) mutual independence. It's this relationship of mutual recognition, of mutual respect, and of mutual independence on which this internet series of Conversations For Transformation was founded. Actually that's only a small part of its raison d'etre. Its true raison d'etre is to share the possibility of this relationship with you so you can take it and make it your own, independent of me. What's on offer here is the possibility of relationship, the possibility of profound friendship wherever people are - which is everywhere and anywhere.
I can't hold on to and keep transformation for myself. God knows I've tried. I've tried very hard to do this - really hard. But it doesn't work that way - and I don't know why it doesn't work that way. What I can tell you is it just doesn't work that way. What I can also tell you is (which is to say, what I've also discovered works) is if I want to keep transformation, I have to give it away.
Now, as odd as that sounds (paradoxical isn't it?), it's the truth. I get to be transformed (which is to say I get to keep transformation for myself) by giving it away. Similarly I get to be in a relationship with Werner (which is to say I get to keep my friendship with Werner) by giving this relationship away, by giving this friendship away. Being transformed is sharing transformation. When you're no longer sharing transformation, you're no longer transformed. That's it. Gee! I hope you get that.
Transformation isn't yours or mine per se - it's certainly not mine. Being in a relationship with Werner isn't my relationship with Werner. My relationship with Werner is sharing being in a relationship with Werner. And if the word "relationship" with Werner makes it sound too personal, makes it sound too mine, makes it sound too much like something which isn't generally available to anyone and everyone, try substituting the word "partnership" with Werner for "relationship" with Werner, and then notice how something becomes generally and widely and freely available which wasn't generally and widely and freely available before, for everyone.
So if I want to keep my relationship with Werner, if i want to keep my partnership with Werner, I have to give it away. And I'm not under any obligation to do this. There's no coercion. I'm not paid to do this. Nobody asked me to do this. I've made no agreements to do this. Rather, doing this, making this ongoingly growing collection of essays available free on the internet reveals (not creates) a partnership with Werner - which is what I do. What I do is I reveal the possibility of a partnership with Werner. This is what these Conversations For Transformation are. This is all these Conversations For Transformation are. There's no ulterior motive. Honest!
Unlike any other endeavor which would take the time and the same commitment as it takes to create these Conversations For Transformation, I'm not in this because I'm driven by a hunger for a personal payoff for myself. To be sure, if and when I've said in a conversation with friends (or with not friends) a personal payoff for myself doesn't drive me writing these Conversations For Transformation, it's often challenged. And it's never as mild as "Why would you write Conversations For Transformation if there's no personal payoff for yourself?". It's much more deeply entrenched and broad than that. It's "Why would you ever do anything if there's no personal payoff for yourself?".
So here it is. Here's my answer to "Why would you write Conversations For Transformation if there's no personal payoff for yourself?". It's really marvelous if you get it, and it's really frustrating, even annoying, if you don't. It's "I don't write Conversations For Transformation for a personal payoff. I write Conversations For Transformation because I write Conversations For Transformation.".
If you aren't ready for a Zen answer, that answer can (and often does) engender frustration and annoyance. But it's true: that is the answer. The answer is "I write Conversations For Transformation because I write Conversations For Transformation.".
Listen: there's nothing wrong with living your life in order to get a personal payoff. Really there isn't. What it is, is simply distinct from living your life in order to live your life. It's simply distinct from living your life as if your life depends on it. When you live your life in order to live your life, when you live your life as if your life depends on it, you have, recognized or not, acknowledged or not, a relationship with Werner, a partnership with Werner. And that's a statement about who you are and about who I am and about who we are and about who Werner is.
Such a relationship, such a partnership isn't formed out of need or obligation. Rather it's a relationship, a partnership based on acknowledgement and recognition, a partnership of power and respect. That's one of the tangible results of writing these Conversations For Transformation: they make that quality available by speaking / writing it into existence like a possibility.
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