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

A Different Set Of Rules

Suisun Harbor, California, USA

December 23, 2005

This essay, A Different Set Of Rules, is the companion piece to Poet Laureate.

It is also the fifth in an open group Encounters With A Friend:
  1. Showing Up
  2. Poet Laureate
  3. A Man In The Crowd
  4. Real Men Cry
  5. A Different Set Of Rules
  6. Nametag: A True Story
  7. Half-Life
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Erotica On Schedule
  10. A House On Franklin Street
  11. NeXT
  12. Reflection On A Window
  13. Here And There
  14. How To Enroll The World
  15. Demonstration
  16. Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction
  17. Holiday Spectacular
  18. Hello! How Are Things Going For You?
  19. Regular Guy
  20. A Scholar And A Gentleman
  21. Images Of You
  22. With Nothing Going On
  23. Where No One Has Gone Before
  24. Attachment: Causeway Between Islands
  25. If You're Not Then Don't
  26. Images Of You II
  27. Living Where Life Is
  28. Create Me The Way I Am
  29. How Do You Spell The Sound A Ratchet Makes?
  30. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II
  31. The Stink Of Zen
  32. Sitting Quietly In A Room Alone
  33. Footsteps On Metal Stairs
so far, in that order.

Werner listened intently as I spoke about a situation in my life which had bewildering  personal, legal, and financial ramifications. I was hesitant to share it with him initially. That's not because I hide anything from him. It's because my time with him is simply too precious to give over to complaining. My complaints serve no one, least of all me. I've noticed every time I speak into the clear listening he gifts me, stating simply what's so without adding spin or complaint, I get clear.

My life correlates with Life as a leaf correlates with tree as a wave correlates with ocean. Because my life correlates with Life, I assert the rules of my life are the rules of Life. If I notice a discrepancy between the rules of my life and the rules of Life, I'm clear I have a choice in that moment to give something up, or not.

Knowing all that is fine and dandy, and it looks good on paper. Yet there I was, completely dictated to by the situation, totally disempowered by it.

He got it. He paused. From what he said next I realized exactly how much I had allowed the situation in my life to eclipse my life. Indeed, I had allowed the situation in my life to eclipse Life. I was acting as if the world of the situation correlated with my world. I'd forgotten it didn't.

Very  carefully, very deliberately  he told me the world of the situation is a world of its own, with its own rules. Those rules have very little correlation with Life.

There it sat. In my lap. Like a hot brick.

* * *

Eventually it hit. Like a sonic boom. Long after the jet passed overhead.

The rules of that world are a different set of rules. He didn't make that world wrong. He didn't make those rules wrong. He didn't even take my side, and nor did he side with the situation. All he did was carve out a distinction I was too buried to see. When he did, I got my life back. Actually I got more than that. I got Life back.

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