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




Catalyzer

Sears Point, California, USA

January 28, 2009
Reposted June 1, 2021



This essay, Catalyzer, was written at the same time as

If you want me to explain something about the way life is going for you, about the way life is showing up  for you, that is to say if you're generous enough to assume there's something I understand which you don't, I'll proceed with care, stepping on the usual rickety stepping stones, carefully negotiating the usual pitfalls of explaining anything to anyone about how life shows up.

The first pitfall is my very act of taking on explaining something to you implies I've somehow got the low down  on it, somehow I've got the inside scoop on it ... like I do and you don't. If you ask me for an explanation and I give it to you, my very act of giving it to you defies your own mastery of your own life.

The second pitfall is my very act of taking on explaining something to you, implies somehow life showing up the way it shows up can be explained. It can't be. Life simply shows up the way it shows up, and it doesn't show up the way it doesn't show up. There's no reason. There's no explanation - that is to say no explanation can be imbued with any power worthwhile enough to transform your life. Transformation isn't a function of understanding. It's not a function of explaining either.

The third pitfall is my very act of taking on explaining something to you, even if I give you an intelligent, erudite, brilliantly plausible explanation, keeps you trapped in the domain of explanation, belief, and concept, effectively and paradoxically locking you out of the domain you hope my explaining will open up for you, the domain you most want to be in: the domain of being who you really are.

That's what we really  want (even though we may not 'fess up that it's what we really want): we want who we really are - that is to say, we want to be  who we really are. I assert to be who we really are is what we want the most.

And we don't even know how to ask for it. So, instead, we ask for what we do know how to ask for: explanations. We ask "How?"  questions. We ask "Why?"  questions. But you don't really want explanations. In fact, you don't really want answers  either. You're too clever, you're too sophisticated, you're too smart to be interested in my answers anyway, even though you may ask for them from time to time.

What you want from me, even if you're not aware you want it, is you want me to be who I really am  so you can riff off  me being who I really am, and be who you really are  too. You want me to be a way you can get by osmosis. That's what you really want. And if I explain  to you how to be it, I'll keep you from being it as surely as if I locked it in Fort Knox  then threw the only key down an abandoned mineshaft.

A word to suitresses: you'll love who I am. But be careful! Loving who I am will transfer your affection from who you are (and who you are, is what you want) to who you think I am. You'll think (erroneously) having who you think I am, will fulfill you, will complete  you. But that's not really what you want. You don't really want to have me fulfill you, complete you. What you really  want is for you to be who you really are. That's what will fulfill you. That's what will complete you.

When you get that, you'll notice having anyone isn't a factor in the quadratic equation of your fulfillment. "Having" me is incidental, almost trivial, in fact it's a distraction. As much as you may say you want me, having me will only get in your way. What will fulfill you, what will complete you, is having who you really are, not having who you think I am.

The entire interpersonal landscape  shifts when we have who we really are. Everything we ever thought about or knew about or wanted in relationships simply no longer applies. Instead, relationships scale powerful new heights  when we come from who we really are. We'll start to notice when we're not coming from who we really are, we want and need relationships. We'll start to notice when we're coming from who we really are, we neither want nor need relationships. And yet we'll create miraculous  relationships effortlessly. All the struggle, effort, and entanglement goes away.

What you want from me, is for me to catalyze  you being who you really are, and then for me to get out of your way. That's what you really want. If I'm presumptuous in assuming to know what you really want when you say you want something else, if I'm arrogant in assuming to know who you really  want when you say you want me or someone else, it's my job as catalyzer.



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