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
Who Are You As Family?
Is Your Word Your Bond?
San Ramon, California, USA
May 3, 2002
Who Are You As Family? Or: Is Your Word Your Bond?,
is the companion piece to
Lucky Se Voet.
I am indebted to Anita Lynn Erhard who contributed material for this
I've been an
for nearly 25 years. Prior to that, I tried out or was involved in just
about every personal and
discipline that ever was, even though that word
wasn't deployed much back then. All of them were useful. All of them
were good. And, in retrospect, all of them (to one degree or another)
were "ho hum ..." (which means I was interested but not
I visited with all the swamis and all the gurus and all the big name
teachers of the day. I even went to a seminar someone called Werner
Erhard was giving, and I thought he was pretty cool, remarkable in
fact, amazing even, but "no cigar".
However, I was intrigued enough with Werner (whom I had categorized as
master) to accept a second invitation on a later occasion to another
seminar he was giving at the Masonic Auditorium at 1111 California
Street in San Francisco.
Same amazing man. Same crystal steel blue eyes. And (at first) same no
One of the truths about me is that while my life works, I have yet to
enroll my paternal and maternal family completely into the possibility
We all get along OK, to be sure, even while there's always a healthy
room for improvement. And, to be sure, I've enrolled a few of them. But
majority of them remain disinterested, a condition which I'd accepted
as inevitable. I'd made my uneasy peace with it.
So at the end of the seminar, when Werner invited his family to come up
onto the stage with him, I was expecting his wife and one or two
children, maybe, to come up.
How wrong I was ...
Up came both his wife and his ex-wife (and clearly, both of them were
very much at ease with each other), all of his seven children (the
three with his wife and the four with his ex-wife), as well as
and his father and his sister, as well as both his brothers and both
their wives, as well as various cousins and aunts and and uncles. And
every one of that great extended family was a
My world stood still.
It's one thing to be
It's yet another thing to create
conversations. But it's a whole new ballgame to enroll each and every
single member of your entire family and each and every single member of
your entire extended family into the possibility of
That for me was a stunning proof ie evidence of something so basic that
it hands down defies argument.
I did the classic double take - literally, shocked into
In that moment, I knew whatever it was Werner was sharing, I wanted it.