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 Transformed Way Of Living

Napa, California, USA

October 2, 2022

"I used to be different; now I am the same." ...   speaking the Six Day Course 
This essay, A Transformed Way Of Living, is the companion piece to

What differentiates between a changed way of living, and a transformed way of living? What is  a transformed way of living? It's problematic attempting to answer this question or its close relative "What is a transformed human being?" before we address mankind's already always listening  which now colloquially hears "transformed" as "changed". Whether or not human beings change, there's no necessary correlation between a changed way of living, and a transformed way of living. None. Really.

Fifty one years after the term first burst exuberantly onto our planet and into our languaging and the depths of our most intimate lives from the Golden Gate Bridge in March 1971, "transformed" is trending, having entered our broader vernacular unrigorously morphed to mean "changed" - as in "transformed wardrobe", "transformed politics", "transformed house (interior design)", "transformed yard (exterior design)", "transformed (that)", "transformed (this)", "transformed (whatever)" etc etc.

There's nothing to do about that (deploying language without rigor is one of the penchants of being human) except notice our propensity to do it, then re-instate the rigor. A "changed human being" isn't a synonym for a "transformed human being". There's no necessary correlation between the two. And "transformed" (in the plain, correct, accurate way I deploy it here) occurs in the realm of humans' being, not in the realm of wardrobes or politics or houses or yards or that or this or whatever.

So a "transformed way of living", regardless of its colloquial deployment, isn't a "changed way of living". Moreover, if changed human beings aspire to transform their lives, they first have to un-change them - as fifty one years of meticulously observing how this works, have discovered. Another colloquial use of "transformed human being" is "changed and better and different human being". And changing and being better and different yet still untransformed, is a trap we keep falling into, a pitfall.

Look: only changed human beings can wind up being different. Transformed human beings aren't different. Transformed human beings are the same. The milieu  of being transformed occurs prior to being changed and / or being better or different. The first thing for me to do as a transformed way of living, is to stop changing who I am. The more I try to change who I am, the harder it is to live transformed. The more I change who I am, the further I drift away from a transformed way of living.

A transformed way of living first and foremost is a recontextualized  (I love  that word) way of living. Who I become as a transformed way of living, is the context in which the events of my life occur (or in which they show up  - if you will). In a transformed way of living, the occurring world  is a function of the context I am for it. There's no "the world" out there in which I move and live, except for the world which occurs for me in the context I am for it, which colors the ways it occurs for me.

In a transformed way of living, the automaticity  of thoughts and feelings is Self-evident. Recognizing the inexorable automaticity of thoughts and feelings is massively empowering and freeing. So much of what we struggle with is what's on full automatic. So allowing it to be  on full automatic creates the space to be with the material in a whole new way, to observe it. There's a certain poignancy that goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) discovering that much of the hardscrabble life with which we struggle is only hard because we've never taken time to observe and verify its automaticity for ourselves (it'll do whatever it does all by itself without you anyway).

The bottom line of a transformed way of living, is being who I am. And: I am "I am". So when I aspire to change who I am, that's incompatible with being who I am.

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