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


Breakfast With The Master IV:

Taking The Guilt Out Of It

San Francisco, California, USA

May 13, 2016



This essay, Breakfast With The Master IV: Taking The Guilt Out Of It, is the companion piece to Woulda Coulda Shoulda.

It is also the second in the fourth trilogy Breakfast With The Master:
  1. Breakfast With The Master IV: Parental Care
  2. Breakfast With The Master IV: Taking The Guilt Out Of It
  3. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
in that order.
The first trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Conversation With A Laser
  2. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  3. Secret Agent
in that order.
The second trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Health
  2. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  3. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Open
in that order.
The third trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Raw Power
  2. It Works Better As A Possibility
  3. Magic At Heart
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Whatever Works
  2. Yesterday's Transformation
  3. Billions And Billions Of Stars
in that order.



Most (if not all) of what transpires between us in these Breakfast With The Master conversations, focuses on topics which matter. It would be a complete and absolute waste of these opportunities (not to mention simply naïve  and immature) to use these precious times to indulge in gossip and to wage small talk. In opportunities like these, you don't just sit down and chat. No, these are the times to bring the issues which matter to the table, and to commit to applying all heavy lifting  they require.

There are also things which transpire between us in these Breakfast With The Master conversations which are equally valuable and yet which are never spoken directly  - and if they are  ever spoken at all, they are spoken in passing ie they're spoken as adjuncts to whatever else important is being discussed by us at that time. In other words, there are those things which, while maybe not front and center like the focal points of our conversations, show up as essential recurring sub-texts  (if you will).

One of these recurring sub-texts brings forth a certain way of being with whatever the issue on the table currently is ie a way of being which (as he describes it) takes the guilt  out of it ("it" being whatever the current issue is). When I say it (quote unquote) "takes the guilt out of it", be careful: I am not referring to acting amorally, and nor am I referring to acting without conscience or to acting without consideration or to acting without kindness, and nor am I referring to acting without integrity.

Rather, taking the guilt out if it  is the end result of taking an empowering stand. It is a way of being with the material  which takes into account the truth  and what's so  (which is to say which comes from  the truth and what's so) and isn't disempowered by creeping guilt. Coming from the truth and what's so allows for dealing with the material at hand in the most efficient, practical, pragmatic way without being disempowered by emotional hankering after what "woulda"  or "coulda"  or "shoulda"  been, or by staying stuck in (which is to say by being disempowered by) guilt associated with the perceived failure to produce what woulda or coulda or shoulda been.

It's in response to taking action that the universe moves for us (as Werner Erhard may have said). I can only take action based on what's so. I can't take action based on what woulda or coulda or shoulda been. Guilt can only live in the domain of what woulda or coulda or shoulda been. There is never guilt in a domain of what's so.

Like a laser, he illuminates acknowledging  guilt (ie distinguishing guilt) as the actionable path to letting guilt go - then to being free of it. Handling  guilt, on the other hand, is the antithesis of letting guilt go. The very act of handling guilt keeps it in the foreground, not allowing for letting it go. I notice I'll have to give up some very old preconceived ideas to completely hear him say this, and to get it fully. Seriously. I've never simply acknowledged  guilt. I always handle  it (or at least, I try to). In some sense, this sub-text is maddening. It's so not  what I've always been taught. It's so counter-intuitive to the way I (mostly) operate. And yet ... it works  - really.

What's awesome about this (as I discover and re-discover every time I'm around him) is the way to take the guilt out of anything, is actually not  by trying to take the guilt out of it, and neither by dealing with guilt at the level of guilt. Rather, the way you take the guilt out of anything, is by not coming from guilt, and by not coming from the woulda or the coulda or the shoulda, and instead by coming from the plain truth and the simple matters of what's so. That's  how you take the guilt out of it. When you come from the plain truth and the simple matters of what's so, the space which results miraculously has no guilt (there's no guilt in what's so - what's so is just what's so, yes?). That's  the space to act from. That's a powerful  space to come from. And that's one sub-text of these Breakfast With The Master conversations.



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