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



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 gracious 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 somehow I've got the low down  on it, somehow I've got the inside scoop on it 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 there's no explanation imbued with any worthwhile power  enough to transform your life. Transformation isn't a function of understanding, and it certainly isn't 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 you really  want (even though you may not be aware it's what you really want): you want who you really are. You want to be  who you really are. I assert you may not be aware it's what you really want, yet to be who you really are is what you really want.

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

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. 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.

You'll love who I am. But be careful! Loving who I am will transfer  your affection from who you are (which 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 to fulfill you, to complete you. What you really  want is for you  to be who you really are  in the same way as you experience me  being who I realy am.

When you get that, you'll notice "having"  me 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 you having who you really are, not you having who you think I am.

The entire interpersonal landscape  shifts when you have who you really are. Everything you ever thought about or knew about or wanted in relationships simply no longer applies. Relationships are an entirely new ballgame  when you come from who you really are. You'll start to notice when you're not coming from who you really are, you want and need relationships. You'll start to notice when you're coming from who you really are, you neither want nor need relationships. And yet you'll create miraculous  relationships effortlessly. All the struggle, effort, and entanglement is gone.

What you want from me is for 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. 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 what you really  want when you say you want something else, that's my job as catalyzer.



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