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


Big Enrollment

Vallejo Ferry Dock, Vallejo, California, USA

April 2, 2004



This essay, Big Enrollment, is the first in an octology on Enrollment: I am indebted to Anna Taglieri who inspired this conversation.



While it seems new, I notice that transformation has been the context for my life since I was born. I notice, too, that I will live from that context for the rest of my life. And around about now, I seem to be somewhere in the middle of it.

At some point I noticed that I was called to take responsibility for my own transformation, and I took that on, not because taking responsibility for my own transformation is another choice or another option I have among the plethora of choices and options we all have in life, but rather because when I am not being responsible for my own transformation ie when I am not assuming ownership of my transformation, it appears to be impossible to live a transformed life.

Part of that responsibility dictates that I master the delivery to the world of who I really am rather than settling with the world to deliver to it what it expects of me. Who I really am and what the world expects of me are not always separate. When they are separate (and given how we are thrown to be as human beings, they most often are), that is when I notice I may find it attractive to settle for the ease and the unchallenged comfort of giving the world what it expects of me rather than giving it who I really am.

As far as I can tell, life is left wholly or in part unlived when I settle for that. If I relegate who I really am to waiting for the world to expect that of me before bringing it forth, that is (by any stretch of the definition) what it is to waste a life.

It makes the world interimly happier if I give it what it expects of me rather than giving it who I really am.

But living that way sustains a conspiracy of being human which grinds into all of us that it is (as Alan Watts may have said) taboo to give who we really are.

Big Enrollment is giving to the world who I really am in the face of the world expecting of me what it expects of me, and having that call forth a breakthrough in what's possible for being for human beings.

Ultimately when examined, our core commitment is that we be who we really are. By core commitment I am not referring to what we stand for, and I am not referring to what we believe, nor to what we opine about, nor even to the things we hold as dear and self-evident. Rather, I am referring to the state of affairs which allows you and I to be alive and to relate in the first place.

Recognizing my core commitment (rather than what the world expects of me) as my drive seems to be a requirement when contemplating the nature of transformation and what it takes to live life transformed.

It's not easy. But we all know that. If transformation were easy, the world would be transformed by now. And there is no shortage of voices on the planet reminding us that we have a long way to go in that department.

In spite of all the ways we are urged (like an ill-fitting set of clothes) to be, in spite of all that we are taught to achieve, in spite of all that we are taught to win at to get somewhere, to "make it", to "be someone", ultimately being who we really are is all that is required. When I start to confront that, I notice that living from who I really am (in other words, totally fulfilled just by being alive) creates the possibility of anything I do producing fulfillment, both for myself as well as for the people in my life. That's Big Enrollment right there.

Out of noticing who I really am, and out of taking responsibility for it and not settling for anything less comes a breakthrough in what's possible for being for human beings: not out of survival, not out of winning, not out of success, not out of being right, not even out of knowing ... and yet it may include some or all of the above.

Taking responsibility for who I really am and not settling for anything less causes this breakthrough: Being is enough. Simply being. That's sufficient. On that foundation, invent a life worth living. Invent ways to play worth playing in a life worth living.

There is one final point to be clear about. The Self, being what it is, is enrolled by who we really are rather than by the expedient delivery of what is expected. So you don't give who you really are in order to meet expectations. You give who you really are in order to give who you really are. Settling for giving what is expected is a viable strategy for getting along in life. Giving who you really are is not merely a strategy for getting along in life: rather, it is living.

The Self of human beings seeks itSelf out in human beings. Who we really are seeks out who we really are. That is the Self's true nature. In other words, Big Enrollment occurs all by itSelf automatically simply out of giving who we really are.

To make that happen, there's nothing for us to do. And here, "nothing" is the operative word.



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