Personal Reflections on Contemporary Philosophy of Transformation #5

Posted on | November 4, 2009 | Comments Off on Personal Reflections on Contemporary Philosophy of Transformation #5

AT OUR FIRST WERNER ERHARD WORKSHOP

At the workshop Catharine and I came in a little excited, greeting a few new people and some old friends we saw among the 100 or so who were in the hotel conference room.  The trainer was introduced, and, after a few opening remarks, he began by asking, ‘How many of you are willing to abide by the guidelines of the workshop during this weekend?’

Now, what would your first question be?  Right:  ‘What are the guidelines?’  ‘Perhaps you didn’t understand the question,’ repeated the trainer, How many people are willing to abide by the guidelines of the workshop during  the weekend?’  More rumbling in the room and, ‘Well, I could answer your question if you’d just tell me what the guidelines are. How do you expect us to agree to something we don’t know about?’

At this point I started to laugh, I mean really laugh, one of those body-wracking, gut-wrenching kind of laughs.  I found myself in the middle of a moment of enlightenment, when time stands still and life suddenly makes sense and you see things like you have never seen them before.  I laughed until I cried, and all the while the now seemingly insane questioning of the Trainer by participants was continuing.  Catharine leaned over and asked if I was O.K., and I joyfully replied, ‘Oh yes!’

Soon the trainer said, ‘O.K., let’s do it this way. . .  In a moment we will take a break.  After the break, whoever is back in their chairs is saying that they will abide by the guidelines for the workshop (which he had still not revealed).  Your returning to your chair indicates your commitment to do this.  Alright, let’s break.’

We re-entered the room and sat down, looking around to see how many empty chairs there were.  None!  We had all come back.  It was amazing! Every person had committed to abide by the still-unknown guidelines.  The trainer said something like, ‘Great! (all of Erhard’s people said ‘Great’ a lot. . .) So all of you are committing to abide by the guidelines, right?’  The group shouted things like, ‘You bet your sweet______, cowboy!,’  ‘This is Spokane!’ and other equally proud and challenging epithets.

Then the trainer said quietly, ‘Alright folks, is anyone here willing to bet their car that all of you will deep your work for the whole weekend?’  He said it seriously.  I knew he meant it.  It was not some kind of joke or a sarcastic comment.  The guy really wanted to know if anyone in the room was not only willing to commit personally to keep the guidelines, but was also willing to bet their car that every one of the 94 others would as well.  (Next week I’ll tell you what happened next. . .)




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