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


Clear For Takeoff

William Hill Estate Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA

January 7, 2013



This essay, Clear For Takeoff, is the companion piece to It is also the fourth in a septology on Workability: It is also the prequel to a group of five written in London, January 2013:
  1. Turned Tables
  2. Don't Regulate The Tate
  3. English Tea
  4. Blameless
  5. London "I"
in that order.




The last thing I do before I travel is pack my bags. I mean that's the very  last thing I do - maybe less than an hour before I walk out the door. Traveling comes easily to me. Packing for a journey is like a second nature. When it's time to pack I lay open my rollaboard  on my bed. Then I take out a carefully compiled printed travel items checklist which I place on or near the rollaboard. This way it doesn't take much to gather, fold, and pack everything I need.

I fold shirts and slacks in a way which presses them en route (I have less ironing to do after I arrive than if I were to wear the same clothes before I leave). Anything security personnel may inspect I pack near the top of the rollaboard. Then I secure the rollaboard zip with a plastic twist-tie  in case it's searched.

OK, packing is the last thing. And the first? The first thing I do before I travel is get the space (the physical  space) immaculate, impeccable. Every journey I embark on is a calling to spring clean  - that, and to clear my to do  list of items which will come due while I'm away. I'll start these processes at least three days before it's time to go. Why bother? Here's why I do: in my reckoning, travel just works best coming from  and therefore taking place in  a clear space.

I don't know why this is. It's just works best this way. If there's one thing I can do to assure  a successful journey, it's actually got less to do with planning the itinerary or making the reservations or packing the right clothes or ensuring I have an aisle seat than it would at first seem. No, the most effective thing I can do to assure a successful journey is to depart from an immaculate space  - which also, by the way, assures I'll be returning to  an immaculate space.

In many ways this process is mysterious. I can reason through why it might work. I can try to explain  why it works - which is to say I can take a shot at explaining why it works. Just notice it's a shot which is good enough for jazz  but is by no means "the truth"  about why it works. I can give my bountiful opinion about why it works, about why it's effective. Yet in the end if I'm honest, I have no idea at all  why it works. Anything I say about it is simply my own interpretation of a fundamental process in Life which really doesn't require  my understanding, explanation, opinion, or interpretation to work anyway.

However, being pragmatic I'll bet good money on this quintessential insight from Zen: it simply works best this way because it works best this way. The entire journey goes better when I depart from an immaculate space. There are less glitches and hitches, fewer unexpected hassles, minimal inconveniences.

It's as if once I've fine tuned ie once I've set the physical space clear, then workability's  got somewhere to show up uninhibited  to do what it does best.

See, I'm more than happy (I'm ecstatic)  to let workability show up and do what it does best for all it's worth. And I don't need to know (and I don't need to ask) why  it works best this way. It just does. Workability is like the floor. I don't have a problem with the floor being down there: that's the floor, that's it (as Werner Erhard may have said). And even if you claim you do  understand why it works best this way, your understanding of why  is the booby prize.

Yes, it's OK to understand it (I suppose it is) - if you insist ie if you must. Just notice understanding it isn't a prerequisite in order to have workability work.



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