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 Life You Love

Alston Park, Napa Valley, California, USA

July 7, 2009



"Live a life you love." ... Landmark Worldwide


Staff Meeting - Franklin House - San Francisco, California, USA - 1977
Werner Erhard
Werner's work goes beyond the basic tenet of existentialism  which says life is empty and meaningless. Concluding life is empty and meaningless, it's as if existentialism doesn't get its own point. If life is empty and meaningless, then it's empty and meaningless that life is empty and meaningless.

We're not just mincing words here. This isn't simply playing with semantics. It's not merely clever language  either. Speak both these assertions, one then the other, and notice where each leaves you.

"Life is empty and meaningless".

You're left with no power, no possibility, and arguably trapped in puzzlement bereft of expected meaning.

"It's empty and meaningless that life is empty and meaningless".

You're left with "A-Ha!", with power, with possibility, and (in the absence of any inherent  meaning) with enormous freedom to create any meaning you like of your own design, or not.

If you offer ordinary and extraordinary people the possibility of "A-Ha!", the possibility of power, the possibility of possibility itself, and the possibility of enormous freedom, what that makes available in real terms ie what that translates to in street value  ie how that shows up where the rubber meets the road  is patently obvious. Anyone, ordinary and extraordinary people both, will view this as the possibility of living a life they love.

Yet on the other hand it's just as patently obvious if you ask people whether or not they're already  living a life they love, the answer won't be 100% affirmative. In all likelihood it may even be less than 50%. It may even be lower than that - much  lower.

What stops you living a life you love ie what stops you not getting the "A-Ha!", the power, the possibility, and the enormous freedom to make up any meaning you like of your own design out of "It's empty and meaningless that life is empty and meaningless"  is a function of a past you say you didn't have. Once you get the power, the possibility, and the enormous freedom to make up any meaning you like of your own design out of "It's empty and meaningless that life is empty and meaningless", in other words once you've recontextualized  your past, only then are you enabled to vanquish the other barrier to living a life you love, which is a function of a future worth living into which you haven't yet invented  like a possibility.

Listen up:  "... a past you say you didn't have, and a future worth living into which you haven't yet invented like a possibility  ..."

Standing in the present encumbered by a past you say you didn't have, stops you living a life you love. Standing in the present without inventing a future worth living into like a possibility  stops you living a life you love. There are two essential tasks to accomplish before it's possible to live a life you love: firstly, freeing up the past you say you didn't have - in other words, completing your past;  and secondly, inventing a future worth living into like a possibility. Actually they go hand in hand. You can't invent a future worth living into like a possibility  in the present as long as your present is still weighed down ie contaminated  by an incomplete past.

I don't know why it's this way. I don't know why these are the two essential tasks to accomplish before it's possible to live a life you love. In fact, I don't even know why there should be any essential tasks to accomplish before it's possible to live a life you love at all. Yet there are. This is the way it turns out to be. This is what works.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2009 through 2016 Permission