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


Background Soundtrack

Sonoma, California, USA

February 15, 2011



This essay, Background Soundtrack, was conceived at the same time as Selfishness In A You And Me World.



It's so much a part of the landscape, it takes up so much stage front and center  of ordinary day to day experience that it's almost impossible to consider or even imagine  what Life could or would be like if at least it wasn't so all consuming or at most it wasn't there at all.

I'm talking about the noise in your head. ("Noise? What noise?".)  If you listen to it for a while, you'll notice it never stops. It has opinions - which it offers unasked about just about everyone and everything. It explains everything (or it tries to), and then it rationalizes what it can't explain. It's constantly judging (notice how its judgements' bias leaves you with the opinion you're better  and righter). It compares everything to everything else - as if  everything is the same as  everything else. It predicts the outcome of things (no, it knows  the outcome of things) even before they happen. And mostly, except in unusual cases, its assessments tell you a whole lot more about what can't  be done rather than about what can.

That said, what I assert in this essay about the noise in your head isn't intended to be "the truth". Rather, it's intended as a place to stand and look and to see what's possible from there.

It takes a certain kind of courage, a certain boldness, a brassiness, a verve, to press forward without paying much heed to the noise, to the assessments, to the opinions, to the judgements. It takes a certain bravery to distinguish the noise from your intention  or even from what you want  to do. It takes a certain bigness  to separate out what you want to do and love to do in Life, from what the noise tells you is possible  for you to do in Life.

Try this on for size: keep getting the things done you intend to get done, keep doing the things you love to do, regardless of what your thoughts or your preferences or your opinions or your judgements or your feelings or your evaluations or your emotions or your assessments say about what you intend to do or about what you love to do or about how  you're getting them done or about the circumstances  and conditions  in which you're getting them done.

All that noise in your head is just background soundtrack. Having a life with an already background soundtrack is just the way it is  for us human beings. Having a life without  a background soundtrack would be like having a movie without a background soundtrack: they don't make 'em that way anymore. The background soundtrack has been playing forever, long before you were born in fact. The background soundtrack, the noise in your head is simply the sound we human beings mistake for ourselves. Just like cows go "Moo moo!", just like pigs go "Oink oink!", just like chickens go "Cheep cheep!", so human beings go "Blah blah blah!"  (as Old MacDonald may have said).

Old MacDonald is a wise, wise men. He found out "Blah blah blah!" is just what we human beings do. It's our sound and fury. It's the noise in our heads excusing and justifying ourselves. Yet it never transforms one ... god-damned ... thing!  The background soundtrack never makes any difference.

If you stay with your intention, if you press ahead with what you intend to do, if you bring forth what you love to do regardless of what the noise in your head says about it, if you continue making happen what you said you're going to make happen without short changing yourself with your own reasons why it can't be done, with your own opinions about why it shouldn't be done, with your own assessments about why it'll never amount to anything, if you just do it because you intend to and because you said you would and because you love doing it, if you do all that and all the while let the background soundtrack just be the background soundtrack, that's powerful. That's worth something.



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