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 There

Grass Valley, Sierra Foothills, California, USA

July 17, 2005



Being there. It means many things to many people. Presence and the ability to maintain it at all times. Enlightenment and the completion of or the solution to the ongoing inner inquiry. Living the fruition of our most cherished dreams of how we see ourselves and our lives eventually turning out.

For many, being there implies waiting until some obscure secret has been learned. For others, being there implies having undone all the wrong mental twists and turns carried forward from the past. For me personally, being there would be living a life which always worked automatically and would not require much effort on my part (I had not yet distinguished responsibility then).

But like Gertrude Stein said referring to her razed childhood home in Oakland California "There's no there  there" (erroneously assumed to refer to Oakland itself), there's no there  being there either.

There are no secrets. The emperor has no clothes. A master is someone who found out. There's nothing to get. This is it!  And that's hard to get. We're addicted to "this isn't it". Or at least we're addicted to "this isn't it - yet!".

We turn to science, to religion, to beer, to stream of consciousness blabbering gossip for solace to fill the space when the stars and the moon offer none. This couldn't  be it, we say. This isn't the way it's supposed  to be, we say. There's gotta be more than this, we say ... in the lilting intonation of a question even though it's spoken as an exclamation.

I assert the source of this state of affairs when we live in a world to which we don't ascribe this-is-it-ness has more to do with how we're naturally constructed and less to do with something being wrong with us or with the world in which we're living or with any situation or set of circumstances in it.

Consider this: there's a guard - your mind - to look after your Being. The guard adheres to this formula: to protect your Being it can't be your Being. Although your mind and your Being are one in the creature you are, oneness isn't a useful distinction for a guard to make. A guard needs to keep an eye on its charge. To do that it has to separate itself from its charge.

This is how the illusion of duality and separation is born and becomes entrenched in the beingsphere.

I propose regarding "this isn't it" not as a statement originating from your Being nor as a statement about Life. If it were either, it would be patently absurd. How can this not be it, when plainly we're here? Rather it's a statement originating from your mind about your Being. When your mind says "this isn't it", it's not speaking about Life. It's speaking about your Being as it distinguishes itself from your Being in order to guard it. Your mind must  say this because it's built into its function to say it. If it wasn't, it couldn't guard your Being.

The lifeguard with a wary eye stays out of the pool ...

It's the lot of we human beings coming from "this isn't it" to muddy our pool by making the distinction "being there" in the first place - like a goal to attain or a better way to be. Inevitably the implication in distinguishing being there, is that we aren't there, or that we aren't there yet, both of which foster ennui.

This is it. There's no there  being there.



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