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




Above The Line

Lincoln Avenue Bridge, Napa, California, USA

March 2, 2018

"Distinctions have a short half-life, and need to be recreated from time to time." ... 
"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, Above The Line, is the companion piece to
  1. Half-Life
  2. Walking The Talk
  3. Heaven On Earth
in that order.




I'd like to share what I've been pondering lately ie inquiring into. It's this: if I'm in Africa (or anywhere else for that matter: for this inquiry, being in Africa is good enough for jazz), and I'm not generating "I'm in Africa"  ongoingly, then am I in Africa?  (watch: it's an ontological  question, not a geophysical / geographical one).

It seems to me there are at least two possibilities for where I am in Africa, when I'm not generating "I'm in Africa": 1) for myself, I am wherever I am, with no specific awareness of being in Africa, and 2) for someone else in Africa who's generating "I'm in Africa" for themself and who sees me, I'm in Africa, and 3) ... (and more) ...

Whichever's the answer (and I'm not as much interested in the right  answer as I am in lots and lots of useful  answers), what's clear to me is there's a difference in the specificity of my experience  associated with each one. And that's my segue  into this essay whose sequitur  is "If I'm transformed, and I'm not generating the distinctions of transformation ongoingly (or if, being human, I forget to generate them ongoingly), then am I transformed?".

I don't know what the right answer is. I don't even know what it's s'posed to be. But one of the lots and lots of useful answers I'm attracted to invest in, is "No, being transformed without generating the distinctions of transformation ongoingly, isn't being transformed.". It's just like being in Africa without generating "I'm in Africa" ongoingly: when I'm not generating the distinctions of transformation ongoingly, I'm being whomever (and however) I am for myself, but I'm not being transformed.

Generating the distinctions of transformation, isn't like etching them once in stained Steuben  glass where they'll remain alive and present, visible and tangible forever. Generating the distinctions of transformation is more like etching them in dry white beach sand: gradually the wind, wave, and tidal action will ensure they disappear. Wait: what if generating the distinctions of transformation is actually more like etching them in water:  they disappear at almost the same time as they're etched, yes? So now I invite you to try this one on for size: what if generating the distinctions of transformation is, after all, really like etching them in air?  (... you get the idea ...).
Werner Erhard's work has been described as a rich body of distinctions, a body of distinctions rich enough and numerous enough and comprehensive enough to call for a well-lived life of generating and re-generating them ongoingly. In this rich body, there is one distinction which in my opinion, is the crucial one to generate and re-generate ongoingly: it's the one that teases out being transformed as nothing more (and nothing less) than recontextualizing  (I love that word) who we really are.

When we chide someone for not "getting out of the house" occasionally, or for not getting out of the house "more", we're usually suggesting that getting out of the house will do some good. But the suggestion that getting out of the house will do some good, is on top of  the insinuation that being in  the house can't be enough.

I assert that if being in the house isn't enough, then no amount of getting out of the house will ever  be enough. The miracle of transformation ie the miracle of being out-here, isn't that it's a place to go to, when being by myself isn't enough. No, the miracle of transformation ie the miracle of being out-here, is it's where I naturally find myself being ie it's what you'll hear as my natural Self-expression, when being by ... my ... Self ... is enough. That's called living above the line. And living "above the line" is one of Werner's rich body of distinctions worth generating. Even more pertinent than that, it's one of Werner's rich body of distinctions worth living. Really.



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