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

Basic, Routine Work

Trefethen Family Vineyards, Oak Knoll Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

March 16, 2015

This essay, Basic, Routine Work, was written at the same time as

Transformation is a miracle. No kidding! In the ordinary course of events, transformation simply isn't possible. So when the impossible happens, it's appropriate to call it a miracle. And in case you're wondering in what sense I'm using the term "miracle", it's in Werner's "A miracle is something that validates who you are rather than diminishes who you are.". That's transformation: the miracle of bringing forth who we are - which is to say it's the miracle of bringing forth who we really  are.

Here's the thing, here's the dogshit reality  of this work bringing forth transformation: as miraculous as it is, doing it is not particularly glamorous. That ... and as powerful as it is, it doesn't pay very well. Glamor and financial viability don't provide reliable evidence of transformation. Neither of them necessarily goeswith  transformation (as Alan Watts may have said). What goeswith transformation is a springboard, an opportunity to dive into a vast pool of possibility  (let me rephrase that with rigor: I should say "What goeswith transformation is a springboard, an opportunity to dive into life from  a vast pool of possibility ..."), an opportunity to make things happen which, prior to the onset of transformation, would have been considered simply stoopid, impossible, far-fetched, unimaginable.

Although the possibility transformation makes available may eventually result in something glamorous (listen: it could result in just about anything  - glamor, if it's of interest to you, is merely one of thousands of possible outcomes), and although the possibility transformation makes available may result in financial viability, what's required to bring forth transformation in real terms, is most often nothing more than basic, routine work. This work doesn't guarantee rewards  like glamor or financial viability. Yet if you can't engage in the basic, routine work of bringing forth transformation as if engaging in it is its own reward, it's unlikely you'll be any good at it.

If I take on the work of bringing forth transformation in another way, for example in a way which I describe as going for the goodies  ("going for the goodies" means taking it on with the expectation of glamor and / or financial reward), it renders me ineffective in bringing forth transformation. Why is this? The closest I've come to an explanation of it, is via Matthew's "No man can serve two masters.". That may (or may not) be the truth - I just don't know. I don't know why it works this way for me - suffice to say I've noticed it's the way it works for me. And once I've noticed the way something works for me, I don't stay stoopid much longer.

What this work looks like in practice ie what it looks like where the rubber meets the road  when I'm in action with it, is long hours sitting at my desk for long days, working with my Lenovo L440  ex-IBM ThinkPad  laptop, writing, reading and re-reading, checking and re-checking for accuracy, for hours and hours and hours on end ... then writing, reading and re‑reading and checking and re-checking for accuracy over and over and over again. There's nothing particularly glamorous about it.

As for the financial viability of it, so much of my survival  is bound up in my concerns about money, that it simply doesn't work well for me to blur the line between this work and my survival concerns. It seems to work better when I keep both of these endeavors cleanly distinct. It seems to work better for me to manage my financial concerns with integrity, freely independent of my work with Werner bringing forth transformation. In this way, I notice I end up being better with both.

This basic, routine work doesn't require the same kind of qualifications and skills other work requires of me. This work doesn't require me, for example, to do  anything in particular. What it does require of me is that I am committed to being a space where the truth can go to work. That's one of the cues I'll take from Werner.

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