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
Napa Bowl, Napa, California, USA
June 8, 2005
When I met Werner Erhard for the first time listening him speaking
transformation, I saw how self-serving (small "s") my own notions of
transformation were. I had it that for transformation to occur,
something about a person had to change. I had it that transformation
was some kind of personal state of so-called higher consciousness
attained only through hard work over a long time ("It
takes time" I always said), by disciplined practice, and / or by
following a rigid system of beliefs.
When Werner spoke transformation ie when he called it forth in his
speaking, when he
it, I saw nothing had to change although it may. I saw transformation
isn't personal. I saw transformation isn't a different state of
consciousness but rather it is simply a chosen, committed, intentioned
way of living based on the
who human beings are
* * *
"That's cool", I thought. "Werner rocks!". But then when he told me I
can choose to make the success of all humanity my personal business,
indeed that every human being can choose to make the success of all
humanity their personal business, my head spun.
I was totally taken aback with his effrontery, with his brashness, with
the outright egomania of his suggestion. "Moi? The success
of all humanity? Excuse me? You have got to be
* * *
But no. In the mirror Werner provides I saw he was actually
not kidding at all. I saw the only person kidding anyone
on that score was me kidding myself. I saw not only is he correct in
the way only a pioneer and a visionary is correct but with relief I
also saw I had suppressed that very aspect of mySelf for way too long.
I saw being that way is
my true nature, with
who I really am,
who we all really am.
As I further engaged in the inquiry with him I saw if I was willing to
take on living that way I would also have to be willing to reshape the
in which I lived. I would have to alter what I consider possible for
one human being to be. Indeed I would have to alter what I consider one
human being really is. I have a name. I have an address. I have people
in my life. Indeed I certainly have a body for which I seem to be
responsible for taking with me wherever I go. But
who or what am I really.
as a human being? I mean really?
* * *
The notion of
and what it is began to come to the forefront of my inquiry. It came
not out of the question
"Who am I?".
Rather it came out of the question "What makes it possible for me to be
able to ask the question
'Who am I?'
in the first place?".
Getting that turned everything I know completely on its
I got making the success of all humanity my personal business is really
not about doing anything at all. Making the success of all
humanity my personal business is a chosen, committed, intentioned,
way of living based on the observation that
who I really am
for my life, for Life itself, indeed for all of it.
* * *
It requires no proof. I am that because I assert I am that. QED.
That's all it takes. I am that the success of all humanity is my
personal business. I am not that out of what I acquire although that
may make an impact. I am not that out of what I do although that may
make an impact too. I am that out of my true nature, out of
who I really am
as a human being, not out of a tired old sense of identity but rather
out of realizing that I am, before all and after all, the
for it all.
* * *
Making the success of all humanity your personal business is a stand
and an invented possibility. It's not a decision. Neither is it
something to enact. Rather it is a chosen, committed, intentioned way
to be. It is - quite literally - the choice to be
who you really
In our world such assertions based on a stand rather than on evidence
of ownership have always been contentious. Yet people who have inquired
into and who have discovered
who they really are
are more likely, just in the process of living their lives, to respect
ethnic diversity, to be considerate of the environment, to realize
entitlement based on ideology comes from a flawed sense of Self as
identity, and to realize war represents bankruptcy of action rather
than the means to action. The success of all humanity and choosing to
make it your personal business is predicated on the choice we human
beings each have to live
who we really are,
or not. And if we are going to succeed (and it's not yet clear if we
will or if we won't: the jury is still out on that one), it's not only
because that choice is where the success of all humanity starts. It's
because that's the access we each have to cause it to go that way.