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


Being And Acting Out-Here:

Presence Of Self Revisited

Sonoma, California, USA

April 18, 2014



This essay, Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited, is the fifth in an octology written Out-Here:
  1. Out Here
  2. Out Here II: Out-Here
  3. Out-Here III
  4. Transforming Life Itself: A Completely Started Inquiry
  5. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  6. Hiking In A Painting
  7. Out-Here IV: Clearing For Life
  8. Something Bigger Than Oneself II
in that order.

It is also the eleventh in an open group on Language:
  1. Last Word
  2. Speaking Of Freedom
  3. The Transformation Of The World
  4. Constituted In Language
  5. Zen Bland
  6. Source Of Zen Bland: Hand Grasps Itself?
  7. Linguistic Acts
  8. Language: The Scalpel Of Experience
  9. Wordsmith
  10. Source Quote
  11. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  12. My Word In The Matter
  13. You Are What You Speak
  14. Residue Of Meaning
  15. The Effortless Breakthrough
  16. The World's Conversation
  17. Read To Us
  18. Everything You Say
  19. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
  20. Leading With My Word
  21. Language And Results
in that order.

It is also the sequel to Presence Of Self.

I am indebted to The Chief who inspired this conversation.



Foreword To Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited:

To choose is to select freely and after consideration - to quote Werner Erhard.

In other words, I choose because I choose. If there are justifications for my choice, it isn't a choice:  it's a decision. If there are reasons for my choice, it isn't a choice: it's a decision. Justifications and reasons have no freely  in them. Furthermore, justifications and reasons are  considerations. To choose is to select freely and after  consideration.

All that said, this essay, Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited, fleshes out one yardstick which is useful to consider before selecting freely.



Transformation, it could be said, is a matter of speaking transformation  (that's not someone else's quote - it's something I said). Granted, that's a tautology. A tautology is when something is defined in terms of itself - as in "Transformation  is a matter of speaking transformation.". Some purists may extend this definition by saying a tautology is when when something is defined redundantly  and / or unnecessarily  in terms of itself.

In this case, the extended definition doesn't apply. Listen: transformation is marvelously  tautological. Consider Werner's brilliant and seminal "Transformation is the space  in which the event  'transformation' occurs.". Now that's  a tautology for you! And there's nothing remotely redundant or unnecessary about any one of the ten words it comprises.

As for his definition, don't try to understand it. You can't. It doesn't fit into that structure. It doesn't fit into that category. But you can get  it.

This essay ie this conversation, however, isn't about tautologies. It's about what happens over time with language which effectively speaks transformation. In particular, it's about what happens over time with language tools ie with words deployed in effectively speaking transformation. Two things of interest happen, both of which result in such words starting off being sharp, incisive, and effective, then becoming blunted, dulled, and progressively less effective.

The first thing that happens is even in well-intentioned conversations for transformation, the words deployed in speaking transformation in time become shrouded in meaning and significance and so devolve into jargon, thereby blocking transformation's living experience  and availability. The second thing that happens, happens precisely because the words succeed in carving out a new listening for transformation. In this new listening for transformation, transformation can be appreciated at an entirely new level, a level at which the old words which carved out the new listening for transformation are no longer as effective  and have to be re-engineered. For example, the original definition "Transformation is the space in which the event 'transformation' occurs" is re‑engineered as the new, current "Transformation is the genesis of a new realm of possibility.".

There's nothing wrong with the original definition. After all, it succeeded brilliantly in carving out a new listening for transformation for millions of people worldwide, a new listening in which people could tangibly get the possibility of possibility itself, hence calling for the re-engineering of the old definition.

And so it is with these Conversations For Transformation. About five years ago I found it useful to key any choice I was making, from the yardstick "Will this (ie whatever I was choosing) facilitate presence of Self?"  - as documented in the Conversations For Transformation essay titled Presence Of Self, the prequel to this one, Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited. Given the space that yardstick created for me to make choices at an entirely new level, I've re-engineered the old yardstick as the new, current "Will this (ie whatever I'm choosing) facilitate being and acting out-here?".

It's really the same question ie it's really the same yardstick for choosing, but with "presence of Self" appreciated at an entirely new level, now re‑engineered more explicitly, more pointedly, and more tightly as the new, current "being and acting out-here". Indeed, "presence of Self" shows up  as "being and acting out-here". "Being and acting out-here" is how you recognize "presence of Self". It's how you authenticate it.

That's an appreciation of presence of Self at an entirely new level - hence the new, current yardstick for choosing: "Will this (ie whatever I'm choosing) facilitate being and acting out-here?". Or not.



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