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 Walk In A Minefield

Yountville, California, USA

January 19, 2007

This essay, A Walk In A Minefield, is the two hundredth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series. That doesn't mean anything. It's just what's so.

It is also the companion piece to Breakthrough Heart.

To live from integrity, to honor who you really are as your word in front and center of a world which is out of integrity can be like taking a walk in a minefield. Integrity isn't earmarked only for easy times in the company of like-minded people. Neither is it to be shelved when times are fraught with resistance.

History speaks of great men and women who were cut down in their prime simply for taking a stand for integrity. It's a fine line between taking responsibility for our lives and taking responsibility for our assassinations. Did President Abraham Lincoln cause his own assassination? Did Mrs Indira Gandhi cause her own assassination? Did John Winston Ono Lennon cause his own assassination? These are difficult issues to confront, at least certain to spur spirited debate.

But the idea isn't to live from integrity to the point of being crucified. That's been done before. Rather, I assert the idea is to live from integrity while developing certain Zen smarts  ie to be street wise  in avoiding the mines. And that can't be done coming from survival. If it were it would be self-defeating. It has to be done coming from compassion.

That's because in this sense, if you're in survival about being in integrity, it kills off the possibility of being in integrity. So the Zen smarts I'm alluding to here are not the result of some new learned method of self defense. If they were, they would only get in the way. Rather, they're the result of a way of being in integrity which doesn't give up any of it's completeness to self preservation. In this sense, the best way to defend is simply to be.

When taking a walk in a minefield, you'll be skipping where even the nimblest trudge.

The mines are really personal interpretations which appear  as reality. That's the first sentence in the guide book with the map for walking safely through a minefield. Very little of what blows up out there  is reality, although making it reality is our first mistake. The second mistake is to assume (which we mistake for learn) that if it's happened once in the past, it will surely happen again in the future. In this way, we predetermine our own future by deciding it will be a repeat of the past. The minefield we walk in is thus pre-seeded with mines of our own creation, a fact which we've long forgotten.

A good question, then, to ask is this:

What is it that makes for life being a walk in a minefield for some and a walk in the park for others?

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