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

I'm Old School

Castello Di Amorosa (The Castle), Calistoga, California, USA

September 29, 2014

"The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers." ... Arthur Koestler

This essay, I'm Old School, is the twentieth 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.

There are many aspects of Werner's work which people find attractive and enrolling, sometimes even irresistible, quantifying all of which would require an enormous catalog, given everyone has their own particular interest in, personal listening for, and opinion about what it makes available. There are also aspects of Werner's work which some people don't find attractive - at least, aspects they don't find attractive initially.

For the most part, the first time I heard about Werner and the possibility of transformation, it was ... well ... confronting. Being confronted was neither attractive nor enrolling for me. But after a while I noticed it  wasn't confronting in and of itself. Rather my overall undistinguished (habituated, I should add) resistance to letting go of tired old ways of being (which never worked anyway, which I often bemoaned, and yet which I somehow managed to hang on to anyway) was confronting. I registered as soon as that became obvious - and when I did, I wished I'd done so sooner.

One of the aspects of participating in Werner's work which some people don't find attractive (or so they tell me) is it requires participating in a large group, the format in which most of Werner's work is delivered. They tell me they're not "group"  people. I can relate to that. It was one of my earlier concerns as well ie it was one of my earlier confronts - although later, after telling the truth about it unflinchingly, I began exchanging the word "concern" for "hold out", given that's really what it was: when I shared later about what got  me interested enough in Werner's work to want to register, I stopped saying my "concerns" about participating in Werner's work in a large group, were addressed (and they were), and instead started saying I stopped "holding out". The former expression was covert. The latter is accurate.

Taking a closer look, the stop to participating in Werner's work in a large group, broke up for me in two ways when I began to explore it. The first is that we (that's me along with y'all) are each members of the population of Planet Earth, an undeniably large group, yes? I began to sense a certain inauthenticity in myself (although I wasn't yet facile with the word "inauthenticity" back then) for eschewing participating in large groups just because they're large groups. The second came in an epiphany:  I noticed the only tools I owned for examining my own thoughts, were my own thoughts.

I saw examining my own thoughts with my own thoughts  was a perpetually (and steadily bankrupting) downwardly progressing cycle, a devolution  if you will. If my "spiritual journey" (which is what I called it at the time, adding all due and appropriate heavy significance  to it ie which is the way I conceptualized  it at the time) was ever going to be completed, it would require becoming open to other people's inquiries also, and speaking openly about them with them face to face. It became very clear to me my congested thoughts needed fresh air. They needed to be exposed to more than merely books. They needed to be exposed to other people's input, contribution, coaching, and conversation - reading book knowledge, in other words, started to pale into insignificance, next to being open to sharing in other people's experience. That's when my concern / hold out for participating in Werner's work in a large group, dropped away, opening me to the possibility of registering.

I registered. I participated - still somewhat skeptical, I might add (I was the smart aleck, the "know it all"). But at its inexorable conclusion, there was no doubt whatsoever  Werner had brought home the centuries' elusive, effusive, breathtaking  "who I really am" (indeed, the "who we all really are") ie the big "IT"  as in the phrase "getting it ...", as easily and as effortlessly and as nonchalantly as if he'd just returned from a leisurely stroll to the corner grocery store and brought home a loaf of bread and a quart of milk.

That was nearly thirty seven years ago. From then on, everything I got, I got from being around Werner. I've also participated in many of his programs, to be sure - and for me, they each newly confirmed a facet of who he is, comprising the razor's edge of the distinction "people's experience" (distinct from "book knowledge").

I don't get paid for what I do. I don't get paid for writing these Conversations For Transformation. So I'm not doing this because of the money. I'm doing this because this is what I'm doing. I'm not certified to be a leader in this work. I'm not a Landmark Seminar Leader. I'm definitely  not a Landmark Forum Leader. Neither am I a Landmark Introduction Leader although I did introduce Werner's work to an entire country (South Africa) and enrolled the first thousand people there. In this way I'm old school. I'm from a school which existed prior to today's worldwide organization's programs held in high esteem by staff and customers alike, an old school in which we got what we got by being around Werner, an observation and an osmosis  from one being to another, if you will. That was the way, the tao, back then.

It still is the way for me today. It's a way that works for me. I've tested it, challenged it, tugged at it, surrendered to it, cheated on it, battled it in knock down, drag out yelling fits, tried to disprove it, abandoned it, resisted it, picked it up again ... and it still works - no matter what I throw at it. And here's the thing: it's already  working through all the tomorrows and through all the futures like a thread of possibility  woven into the fabric of time. Already working. Always worked. Always will.

It  ie the big "IT" didn't need to discover that. I did.

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