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


Alive And Well

Bodega Bay, California, USA

September 30, 2007



I am indebted to Dorothy who uttered a quote* I borrowed for this conversation.



Here we are with nothing going on. We've got the entire beach to ourselves, almost deserted except for a few gulls walking along the shore, in and around our bare feet, totally unconcerned with our presence.

It's not simply a day at the beach. It's a triumph of circumstance, a victory over the daily grind. In the midst of the hassle, hustle and bustle of our lives, we've chosen to be here - tranquil, at peace, reveling in everything, wanting nothing. We've got each other. That's twice as much as enough.

It's a perfect day, a day pregnant with Zen satori  being born as marvelous emptiness, the kind of day a Zen master would choose to discourse on the emptiness of half full cups or the fullness of half empty cups (to which, wittily, we'd not  listen raptly), the kind of day when it's OK to leave it all behind, to bask in the moment, to take a deep, slow breath and then start the rest of our lives.

In this moment we're whole and complete. We're going nowhere today. Today we're here. Always here. Alive and well.

There's no arriving  at the experience given by a time like this and there's no departing  from it either. Rather, this time is the foundation of our lives. This time isn't a time when it's merely great to be alive. This time is life. Here we're not starting something and neither are we ending something. At best, here we're in the middle  of something. This is full, rich, pulsating, and heart throbbingly real. Everything else by comparison is simply a sidebar, is almost totally irrelevant  in the current way of things.

I love loving you. I love loving with you. I love being in love with you. I am love with you. It's the sound resonating like melted chocolate in your voice. It's the playful eagerness twinkling in your eyes. Perhaps what I love most about you is your groundedness in your Self. You're complete even before I come into the picture. You don't need me. How I love it you don't need me!  It's a gift, a deep, personal  gift that you love me coming from no need. What freedom! What joy! This is a miracle: right here right now with you on this beach. God is in his heaven and everything's right with the world* (as Robert Browning may have said).

Soon after being born I experienced being alive for the first time. Actually I experienced being alive before  I was born. But my first experience of being alive after I was born was just like the experience of being alive before I was born only more so. It seemed to me, then, that life was all about experiencing being alive - which I did, zealously, until something changed. What changed was new signals incoming from life told me being alive wasn't enough anymore. I had to become  something. "What are you going to be when you grow up, Laurence?" they kept asking me. That's how I learned being alive wasn't enough. I had to be  something and  I had to grow up, whatever that meant ...

On my way to becoming something and growing up I learned that wasn't enough either. I also had to acquire  something. I had to amass  things. If I was to ever be a man, a mensch, I had to somehow turn myself into an accumulation  machine. So I did - to the best of my ability. I became pretty successful at it. Yet in the background what never felt right about it was I'd lost what I knew was the only experience worth having, the only experience given by Life itself: the experience of fullness and joy of simply being alive.

Then one day You came into my life and you reminded me of something. Actually, spoken with rigor, I created  you to come into my life to remind me of something I once knew which I'd long forgotten (it was fast becoming buried). But to say "one day you came into my life and you reminded me of something" is good enough for jazz.

You came into my life and you reminded me I'm alive. That's it. That's all. Game over.

That's why today we're right here right now You and I on this beach alive and well.

There's nothing left to say - so I'll say it: I love You.



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