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


Rubicon Estate, Rutherford, California, USA

June 24, 2010

This essay, Slippery, is the companion piece to Unmessable (With).

I am indebted to Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Bangs who inspired this conversation.

The way you get transformation is by word of mouth. I mean that literally. Not idiomatically.

Transformation doesn't travel by word of mouth like rumor or like gossip for example. If it did, you'd get transformation by talking about it. If it did, you'd get transformation by reading about it in a book. Transformation. travels by word of mouth like speaking  and listening, arguably the essential distinctions of transformation.

When I tell the truth about it, I notice I'm thrown to talk about  transformation to the point where I have to stop myself if I'm going to enliven the distinction "speaking  transformation" as opposed to "talking about  transformation". Whereas talking about transformation is essentially nothing more than chit chat  really, speaking  transformation is  transformation. Talking about the match is worlds apart from playing in the game. Talking about transformation has no inherent inventing  transformation. Talking about transformation has nothing at stake. Neither does it showcase presence of Self like a demonstration.

In contradistinction, speaking transformation is inventing transformation in a face to face conversation in which presence of Self is a requirement (call it evidence)  for the conversation to have validity and authenticity. In street parlance, speaking transformation is epitomized by both talking the talk  and walking the walk.

These assertions are the background of this conversation. There's also a corollary coming from them which is this: when I authentically speak transformation, I'm naturally attractive.

This isn't because I win points as in a debate  or gain kudos by sounding intelligent on the subject. It's because we're all naturally and deeply attracted to transformation like a presence - realized or not. Transformation like a presence moves us to tears.

I'm clear you facilitate, you forward the action  when I speak transformation, by listening. I distinguish listening as "hearing with intention". By listening ie by hearing with intention, you create a space in which authentic transformation shows up. Please notice I'm saying "by listening"  and not "by listening to". The difference is subtle yet profound, the fleshing out of which is a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

By keeping the space open ie by listening rather than by listening to, transformation shows up. When transformation shows up, being it's so moving and so attractive, there's an unexamined tendency to attach  to it, to make it special, to make it significant.


Attachment, and in particular, attachment to transformation, impedes transformation.

You can recognize those who've made it their business to source transformation, as follows: in addition to speaking transformation, they're slippery. In other words, the way they are doesn't support you being attached  to them. It could be said not supporting you being attached to them is what differentiates an authentic source of transformation from a guru. That's not because a source of transformation isn't engaging  when they're speaking transformation. On the contrary, if you're really speaking transformation, being engaging goes with the territory. If you're not  being engaging when speaking transformation, then you're not speaking transformation, powerfully. Or, more to the point, if you're not being engaging when speaking transformation, then you're not speaking transformation at all.

Be careful. This being engaging  when speaking transformation doesn't equate with being a good persuader or with being transformation a strong motivator or with being a powerful debater who wins arguments or with being a so-called confident  person who can tell a good joke well or who's a great emcee  or a toastmaster or "the life of the party". Being engaging in the way I'm speaking it, naturally occurs with people who are presencing Self because of the true nature of Self. And here's the thing: with this  being engaging, goes being slippery. It's a paradox, a collusion of seemingly opposite qualities: when speaking transformation, being engaging goeswith  being slippery (as Alan Watts may have said).

Being slippery isn't avoiding intimacy. Neither is it being unreachable. It's not being unavailable. Being slippery actually comes from integrity. Coming from integrity, speaking transformation requires being responsible for any attachment others may lay on you ie on your speaking. As soon as there's attachment, there's an impediment to inventing transformation like a possibility. As natural as it is to become attached to the source of transformation given how attractive and moving transformation is, attachment gets in the way of being transformed.

Attachment or transference  to source is a magnetism to be reckoned with, a barrier to be carefully circumnavigated. It's to be responsible for. It's not to be helped, fixed, or saved from. Yes it may seem like  a good idea to help, fix, or save people from attachment. But it doesn't do any good - really!  If anything, helping, fixing, and saving only prolong and enhance attachment. Helping, fixing, and saving play to  transference. Playing to transference is exactly what keeps transference going. Playing to transference keeps transformation at bay - with deadly efficiency. Helping, fixing, and saving people from attachment, although well-intentioned, keeps people stuck. However not being the target of attachment  (which requires deliberately getting out of the way  of transference) empowers people like a possibility.


This is the art, the dance  of the master: speaking transformation while at the same time getting out of the way of transference - that is to say, transference which is an automatic reaction  to hearing transformation ie an automatic reaction to listening transformation without intention.

The next time you're in Conversations For Transformation with someone who's a source of transformation for you, and you have the interpretation they're hard to hold or elusive to pin down or impossible to manipulate or tough to involve in whatever it is you're attached to  - in a word, they're slippery  - consider by being this way they're actually doing you a great service.

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