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

Resting On Your Laurels Is Deadly

Stags' Leap Winery, Yountville, California, USA

August 21, 2015

"Transformation shows up in my mouth."  ... 
"Transformation is being in a conversation for transformation. When you are no longer in a conversation for transformation, you are no longer transformed."  ... 
This essay, Resting On Your Laurels, is the companion piece to
  1. Deadly Distractions
  2. Learn To Love The Climb
in that order.

It is also the prequel to The Un-Con.

I am indebted to Eric Edberg who contributed material for this conversation.

Laurel Wreath
Once you get there's nothing to get, once you get it's OK the way it is (and it's also OK the way it isn't), once you get this is the way it's turned out (and it'll keep on turning out), once you get this is it, that's the space  of transformation.

Life has no meaning (in spite of our fervently, hopelessly, futilely  pursuing the meaning of life). There's no meaning to any of this. None. It's all empty and meaningless, and it's empty and meaningless that it's empty and meaningless. When we get that, rather than being stopped, disempowered, or angst-ridden because it's empty and meaningless, it's an opportunity for creating, for choosing, and (possibly for the first time) for freely being who we really are. When we get that, and we live our lives coming from this space, that's the process  of transformation.

What I notice about living my life as a creation, is I'm either living my life as a creation ... or I'm not. The gold pad switch is either on ... or it's off. There's no in-between. No gray. The good news about those times when I realize I'm not living my life as a creation, is they're reminders to start living my life as a creation again. Living my life as a creation (which is what the process of transformation is) is ongoing, neverending. Yet there's no accumulation. It doesn't build up. If I live the process of transformation for ten years and then stop creating it, there's no carry over. When I stop living my life as a creation (even under the guise of taking a break, even under the guise of resting on my laurels), I can no longer live my life transformed. When I stop living my life as a creation, transformation goes away.

It's deadly. Transformation ceases to exist when I no longer create it. There's no permanence to living the process of transformation. It isn't like accumulating a fine wine collection. If I accumulate a fine wine collection and then I decide to stop accumulating fine wine, I still have the collection I accumulated. The process of transformation doesn't work that way. When I stop living my life as a creation, I'm no longer living my life transformed, transformation goes away, and there's nothing accumulated remaining.

It's truly deadly. In the world of transformation, there's no resting on laurels.

Unclear On The Concept

I have a friend who's a graduate of Werner's work. I hadn't seen her for many years. Then one day our paths crossed again, and we met. One of the topics of our conversation was how many years have passed since we first got our fingers and toes on the levers and dials and pedals of transformation, and how things have been going since then. She told me it all worked well in the early years. But later on, she said, it's effect faded, "transformation went away", and she moved on to what she called "other things". She told me she was seeing a guru for advice. I told her there's nothing wrong with gurus (they hear a higher calling, they serve people).

I asked her to consider what it was she originally got from Werner's work. I asked her to consider if what she got was being source of her own life. If what she got was being source of her own life, then she did get transformation. You're either source in the matter of your own life, or you aren't, I said. I asked her to consider that what she got had faded simply because she stopped sourcing it. Believing there's some place to get to, and believing that once you get there, you got it for life without having to source it ongoingly, is deadly. If you're not sourcing it ongoingly, it goes away. If what you got, brings good things ie "goodies" into your life, and then you stop sourcing it, it goes away and the goodies cease coming.


By the way, you didn't need me to tell you that. You already knew it.

Yet it's worth repeating. The deadly part about what happens when we stop sourcing our own transformation, or rest on our transformation laurels, is what we're most likely to go unclear about. It's pernicious.


From the Cambridge International Dictionary:

resting on your laurels

being satisfied with your achievements and not making an effort to do anything else

The Cambridge International Dictionary defines resting on your laurels in terms of your achievements. Transformation isn't and shouldn't be designated as a (quote unquote) achievement. However using this idiom in the context of transformation, is good enough for jazz, my point being that if you stop sourcing your own transformation, or if you rest on your transformation laurels, it's deadly effective in ensuring transformation goes away.

It's Not The Programs: It's You

I'm totally OK with my friend (or anyone actually) getting advice from a guru - if that's what she wants. That said, Werner's work reliably and count-on-ably over and over and over again, delivers transformation. We're not debating that anymore. The programs aren't lacking anything, without which transformation will never go away. What's a more plausible scenario regarding "transformation went away" is if you don't continuously create it, it will fade - for sure. But listen: that's exactly the way of transformation. This is its nature. If you don't ongoingly create transformation, it disappears. It's not the programs: it's you!  Sorry, but that's the way it works compadre.

That's what my friend's guru will tell her (or something very similar to it) if she's worthy of the term of endearment "guru".

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