We've just had
We're standing alone afterwards outside the restaurant. It could be any
restaurant. In any city. In any country. What
outside this restaurant in this city in this country in the
of our friendship could
anywhere. It just happens to
outside this restaurant in this city in
this country. But the exact geographical location doesn't
What does matter is what's
You're answering a question I've just posed. I asked whether all of
whether all the courses you've developed, whether all the seminars
and led, whether
all your work with
academia and business,
whether all of it isn't simply
unfolding, expanding, expressing itself, playing in the world - in
other words, whether the collection of all your separate yet related
endeavors secondarily represent hugely successful
business, academic, and educational ventures which
primarily are simply
... unfolding, expanding, expressing itself, playing.
I'm riveted by this conversation - which is to say, I'm
riveted by being in this particular conversation with
Gradually I realize as much as I'm taken with what we're speaking
about, what's really got me, what's really grabbed my
attention and is making me look in awe is the way you're
being, the way you are while you're speaking what you're
My attention has shifted from you the speaker, and from
listening what the speaker is speaking ... to you the
being the speaker is being, while he's speaking what he's
You're being wholly and perfectly
It's palpable. Ordinarily I don't see this as
with many other people. I'm not in its
often. So I have scant other experience of this way you're being, to
compare to. In fact, given I have scant other experience of it, I don't
really know how I know what it is I'm seeing. But I
get it anyway - I recognize it. I recognize
you live completely, fully, and wholly within the
who you really are.
You speak. I respond. You listen me. I'm fully gotten. And no matter
how I'm being, I don't detract from who you're being. You
allow me to be - which is to say you include me in this
to which you're totally
In other words, through you being
too. It's this conversation with you which is an access
for me (as well for whomever else listens you) to also be
I have the thought "How do you do this? How do you
be this way?". I notice I want to be whatever
you're being ie whatever it is. I see this translates to
"I want to be like you" or "I want to be like you be.".
Yes. It's true. It does. I can own it.
It's eight months later - almost to the day. I'm having a conversation
with a friend in which I'm taking a stand for her being great. I'm
not fixing or making
This isn't a Band Aid consolation.
I'm not allowing her to get me to say she's great (which
she is) because I want her to get it for herself. If she gets it for
herself, she'll get it in spades - way more than I could
ever say she's great. I'm simply standing for
her being great.
When she asks me "How?" questions ("How" to
be great, "How" to not be not great
(yes, that is very
...), etc), I don't answer - and I say I'm not answering. If I
answered, I'd inhibit her being great for herself. I invite her to
stand in the possibility of being great. I don't explain what
standing in the possibility of being great means. I just ask her to
stand in that place. She does. Then she gets how great she is.
While I'm being this way with her ie unswervingly standing for her
greatness in such a way that she gets her own greatness, I realize in a
flashback I'm being the way you were being outside the
restaurant. In other words, I realize I'm spontaneously being like you
be. I'm not consciously trying to be like you be, even
though I want to be like you be. Yet here it is: it just happened.
I realize I'm not being like you be after all. I
realize the way you be is such that I can't be like
you be by being like you be. Literally. I realize I can never be
like you enough to be like you. I can only be like you (here's
the thing) by being like Laurence. By that I mean I can only be
like you by being
who Laurence really
In fact no one can ever be like you be. But I
can be like you be if I be like Laurence be's ie I can be
like you be, by being
Indeed, anyone can be like you be, by being
with themselves. Really.
That's the key to the Kingdom right there.
Said more pertinently, being like you be isn't an access to being
like you be. Rather, when Laurence is being
who Laurence really is
and being like Laurence be's, that's my access to being
like you be.
Oh yes, I almost forgot - the scholar and the
gentleman in the title of this essay: do they refer to
one of the protagonists in this piece? Or to the other? Or to both
separately? Or to both together?
Well ... I'm not saying. I'm going to leave you to figure that out ie
I'm going to allow you to make it up for yourself.