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


Applause Of Angels

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA

May 17, 2017



This essay, Applause Of Angels, is the companion piece to This Is Inspiration!.



When you get off it  (which is to say when you stop making people and things wrong), the angels applaud.

Now I'm clear by saying it that way, I'm seriously at risk of making what it is to "get off it" overly significant. But I'll accept that risk, rather than downplay the sheer guts and heroism it can take. And what exactly does  it take, Laurence? Speaking for myself, I personally don't equate getting off it wholly with either forgiving  or with letting go. However: examining those two linguistic acts  (if you will), are important interim steps in the process of eliminating what getting off it isn't.

Our drive ie our instinct  to be right and to make others wrong, is powerful and all-consuming. Unchecked (which is to say unexamined)  it totally runs us. There's nothing wrong with that. It's meant  to run us. It's designed  to run us. It ensures the survival of the ego. It's self-preserving, automatic, lizard brain  behavior at its very best. Try this on for size for yourself: when you're being right (making someone or something wrong), look to see if the furthest idea from your awareness, isn't that you're being right and making someone or something wrong. Even though it's what you're doing, that idea never enters the equation. Instead the operating principle at times like these is: they are  wrong. There's no distinction present for you that you're making  them wrong. No, they just ... are ... wrong, yes?

Getting off it ie ceasing making someone or something wrong, may sound like it's forgiving someone or letting go of something. To be sure, there are elements of both forgiving as well as letting go, in getting off it. For that matter, ceasing making someone or something wrong, can also have elements of switching feet  (that's a surfing  term ...) and making them right  again instead. But if there's going to be the possibility of authentic transformation, then it will come from none of the above. So from what will it come? Transformation becomes possible when I can own their  being wrong, as something I  create. Really. That's it.

People are rarely measurably and provably and indisputably wrong. When you make someone or something wrong, it may appear as if their wrongness  (if you will) is a set-in-stone  quality of theirs. It's not. It's actually your projection. It's distinct from people's physical, measurable attributes - like people are so many feet tall, like they weigh so many pounds, like they're so many years old. It's true from time to time, people occur  for me as wrong. But (and here's the thing) it's I who have the power (of language)  over how people occur for me (that's "Transformation 101") which implies I'm the source of them occurring as wrong. So it's also within my power of language, to not  have them occur as wrong. They're wrong if I speak  them wrong. They're not if I don't. And that's  what getting off it, is.

Listen: this isn't for the faint-hearted. Making this leap ie taking responsibility for creating the wrongness of others  then not doing it anymore (which is to say getting off it) takes guts and heroism.

<aside>

If you've stayed with me with this thus far, the angels just lifted their hands to the ready-to-clap  position.

<un-aside>

Allowing people to be whatever way they are, owning any of their wrongness as something I (not they) create, is what it is to get off it. It's transformational. It takes guts. It takes heroism. To get off it requires confronting all my rational, reasonable machinery which says "But I am  right!" and "They are  wrong!". It takes verve. It takes bigness. It's not something I have  to do. To the contrary, all my defense mechanisms and justifications suggest exactly the opposite. Nonetheless if I do, even when there's no one else in the room except me, even when there's no one else to notice what I did except me, that clapping sound I hear is the applause of angels.



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