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

An Opening In The Universe

The Hess Collection, Mount Veeder, California, USA

June 13, 2014

"The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards." ... Arthur Koestler

This essay, An Opening In The Universe, is the companion piece to Holes In The World.

I am indebted to Sara Carter who contributed material for this conversation.

Transformation is readily available today, so much so that you could include it in a class of experiences we're so comfortable with, we take them for granted. That's deadly. Even more than that, its language is now in such wide use that I'm concerned if we don't stay awake to it, it'll become less effective as a generator of possibility  given our propensity to reduce accurate languaging to jargon.

There was, however, a time not so long ago when transformation wasn't available, a time when it wasn't in the cards, a time when it was never going to happen  - no, it's more than that actually: it's there was a time not so long ago when it couldn't  have happened. We people, being what we are, talked about it (of course, by many other names), we debated it, we imagined  it, conjectured it - in fact we've been doing exactly that for centuries. The thing is before transformation became possible, we didn't have a clear distinction for it which would definitively point to it, let alone call it forth. Rather, we had a sense  of it, and a hodgepodge, an olio  of pursuits which we hoped  would bring it on. Yet if we tell the truth about it, given the way we were headed, there was no guarantee transformation would've ever become available - neither as a possibility for any of us as individuals, nor as a possibility for all of us as the group we call humanity.

Then one day some time around now (it may have been closer to March 1971 but nonetheless some time around NOW)  (to be specific: at the dawn of one day sometime around now, if you will) transformation still wasn't readily available. But by the evening of that day, it was available. Something happened during that day which had never happened on the planet before. What happened was transformation became available like a possibility.

When we talk about this seminal event in human history, many of us will tell the story of Werner Erhard on the Golden Gate Bridge. That's a really good story to tell. No, it's a great  story to tell. When you tell it, you're telling the story of how the possibility of transformation appeared on the planet.

So what did happen to bring on the possibility of transformation? No, I don't mean the story about it - as great a story as it is. I mean the big picture.

I assert what happened was this: an opening in the universe  appeared - and when this opening in the universe appeared, transformation became available on the planet ... just ... like ... that!

The fact that this opening appeared - not sooner, not later, but rather exactly  when it appared - is indisputable. And it's our good fortune it appeared when it did, during our lifetime. It appeared not before we got here, not after we left here, but exactly  during our time here. Not sooner. Not later. But now ie exactly  now - or at least sometime around  now. And Werner, as it turned out, happened to be perfectly positioned right here on the Golden Gate Bridge at exactly the right time to notice this opening which suddenly, fortuitously  appeared in the universe, to articulate it, and to share what he noticed.

Werner's spiritual hejira  (if you will) is legend. What he's done is make this opening available, easily accessible, palatable, tangible, count-on-able. What's interesting to me (which is to say what's endearing  to me) is his method has always been to look into the space ie into the beingsphere, and share what he sees there without adding anything and without taking anything away, rather than claiming credit for himself ie rather than claiming credit as an ego trip. In so doing, he's received justifiable acknowledgement for this work, including the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award.

How long will this fortuitous opening in the universe remain open? That much (it would seem) is up to us, given we're now empowered to keep it open. However our empowerment to keep the opening open comes from the opening. And Werner's empowerment to articulate and share what he notices about the opening, comes from the opening. So it's a veritable chicken and egg  conundrum, yes? And as every schoolkid on the planet knows, we're still trying to figure out which came first.

That's the bad news. The good news is transformation doesn't show up in the realm of figuring things out anyway. Transformation is (you could say) a contextual shift. That's what Werner noticed on the Golden Gate Bridge.

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