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

There Is No "The Answers"

Chicago, Illinois, USA

May 16, 2009

This essay, There Is No "The Answers", is the third in the fifth trilogy Visits With A Friend:
  1. Natural Expression
  2. Essential Question
  3. There Is No "The Answers"
in that order.
The first trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Second First Impression
  2. Do Artists Retire?
  3. Presence Of Love
in that order.
The second trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Black Brick
  2. Wet Water
  3. On Saying Nothing
in that order.
The third trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Master Of Life
  2. Face To Face
  3. Love And Kindness
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Personal Piece
  2. Magnum Opus
  3. Walk A Way With Me
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Sophisticated Palate
  2. Open To Everyone
  3. Portal
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Meetings With A Remarkable Man
  2. Being Directed By The Unanswered Question
  3. Out Here
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Read To Us
  2. Seven Fingers
  3. Smart People
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Intimacy In A Crowded Place
  2. What Goes On Internally
  3. Riding The Horse Revisited
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Visits With A Friend is the sequel to Close Up, Face To Face, Larger Than Life, And Twice As Natural.

It is also the prequel to Mint Condition.

I get the current focus of your intention during a conversation about your public appearances (paradoxically your current focus requires the very antithesis  of public appearances). It comes when I observe how much people want to be with  you. It comes in the answer to the question "Will you be leading a public seminar again soon? In the San Francisco Bay Area? In Sydney? In Bombay?". I already know the answer. That's not because I'm psychic.

I already know the answer because if you were going to lead a public seminar again in the San Francisco Bay Area you'd have already led a public seminar again in the San Francisco Bay Area. The answer isn't you won't. The answer isn't you will. It's indeterminate.

For the time being at least, for the foreseeable future, you've committed yourself to working with academia. You're fulfilling on your possibility of developing new work in association with, of submitting it for the rigorous scrutiny  of, of meticulously hammering  it into shape on anvils in the white hot forges of academic institutions. Academia is the current focus of your intention.

So when people ask "Will you be leading a public seminar again soon?", the answer isn't "Yes.". Neither is it "No.". Rather, it could be "Po!"  (as Edward de Bono may have said). It's OK with me you're not going to be very public for the time being. I'm clear it's not because you wouldn't love to be. It's not because it's not close to your heart. It's not because there's any shortage of audiences in cities around the world. I'm clear you love being with people as much (if not more) as people love being with you. Rather, it's because you've committed to delivering your current, new, breakthrough  work to the world in association with academia.

As I listen you I get, as an aside, it's entirely appropriate for someone now deeply involved in the academic conversation, to be more low profile  than you once were or could be. That's why you make fewer public appearances these days. It's the only  reason you make fewer public appearances these days. It's appropriate to the academic conversation. It's appropriate to your new academic colleagues. It's appropriate you, as you always unswervingly  do, stay true to what calls you. It's appropriate you stay true to the new possibilities for being calling you powerfully into being. It's appropriate you stay true to the new openings for action calling you powerfully into action. For you, not making public appearances paradoxically  isn't a statement about not making public appearances. Rather, what it says is you're being appropriate  to your current new area of concern working with academia. You could be making high profile public appearances. Instead you're choosing to be low profile. It's more appropriate for academia. Clearly you're not attached to public adulation.

What's interesting to me is you've taken on expressing your work powerfully through academia when there's no requirement for you to take the high road to academic respectability. You've always walked, in my estimation at least, the low road  to enlightenment rather than the high road, rather than the high class  road. I respect the high roads, mind you. There's a great deal of dignity and erudition  on the high roads. But it's your approach on the low road  which punched through the deadening ceilings of belief  of the high roads, making them open and available to me in their originally intended pristine  form. If I love the high roads, I love your low road  more for setting them straight.

No matter what you know, no matter what you've studied, your life only transforms when you take a stand for the possibility of transformation. Even if you've studied fastballing, even if you have a master's degree  in fastballing, you're only a fastballer when you pitch a fast ball. I'm amazed listening you engage with the most brilliant minds - thinkers and scientists. I'm amazed by the way you grasp their most intricate concepts without having had the benefit of their training, study, and research. They're the minds which plumb the depths of Life itself. Their scrutiny is of the crucible  of Life. Their intellect seeks to lay bare the formation of the universe. I admire the way you afford them the respect they deserve, the way you give them the listening they deserve. It's perfect the way you bring transformation forth in conversation with the most brilliantly analytical geniuses as they come up with the answers. In these conversations it's awesome the way you keep presence of Self  front and center in a way that's conducive to in depth  thinking on any subject, that honors  in depth thinking on any subject, and in so doing produces discontiguous unpredictable breakthroughs. Breakthroughs are. Breakthroughs don't need to submit to analysis in order to have validity. Often, they're not even understood, a fact which seems to have no bearing on their impact. Simply put, no amount of the answers, analysis, and understanding causes breakthroughs as powerfully as simple presence of Self. That's a fine line you walk brilliantly.

I didn't want to get transformation to learn the answers. Before I met you, I already had (or at least I thought  I already had) all the answers. Gathering the answers  is what I thought my intelligence  was for. Now, knowing you, I see gathering the answers  is just a skew. It's pure automaticity. If I tell the truth about it, when happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, contentment, and completion come, they never come from having the answers. Not once in the last thirty one years have I ever participated in any of your programs to have things explained. If, in hindsight, I envisioned getting anything from your programs at all, I envisioned getting being happy, satisfied, fulfilled, content, and complete with simply being Laurence  - for no other reason, with nothing changed, with nothing fixed, with nothing taken away, with nothing added. And that's exactly what I got. You gave me my money's worth. It was very a good investment.

There's ongoing current new work being completed on Integrity. There's ongoing current new work being completed on Leadership. There's ongoing current new fascinating  work being completed on Being for actors. It's work that's gotta  be done. This is work that's calling  to be done. There's also current new work still in its infancy being scoped out on the component threads  and sub-threads  which comprise e-mail conversations, a topic which has relevance and interest to me personally. It's an obvious area of concern in my life. You bring transformation to bear on the subject at hand so that people get the material in a whole new way, and - in all likelihood - inspired inside of the complex, masterful space you set up as language, they're freed to get to new material in a way they can own. The point isn't, for example, to come out of your courses on integrity knowing about integrity theory  and integrity. The point is to come out of your courses on integrity in integrity. Speaking pragmatically, the point is to come out of your courses on integrity seeing the possibility of integrity in business  as plain smart business savvy. The point isn't to come out of your courses on leadership knowing about leadership, leadership theory, and leaders. The point is to come out of your courses on leadership being a leader.

This current new work is beautifully pertinent to me. You're bringing forth transformation in association with academic institutions, traditionally where people go to get the answers. But that's not where I get transformed. Where I get transformed is inside of your assertion "There is no "the answers".". I'm not an academic.

It's disconcerting ... and totally riveting. I'm wide awake and alive. I notice I'm a listening for your every single word. As each word ends, I notice I'm a clearing for the next one.

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