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

Come Back To Being

Old Soscol Avenue, Napa, California, USA

Fourth of July, 2019

"God's greatest work wasn't creating the universe: it was disappearing into it afterwards."
"Meditation is valuable until it's used like aspirin."
"This is it. There are no hidden meanings. All that mystical stuff is just what's so. A master is someone who found out."
"Happy 4th of July. Reminder: don't make the mistake of expecting America to give you Independence and Freedom. Rather invent for yourself the possibility of being independent and free regardless of the circumstances, and you'll really be onto something."
... Laurence Platt tweeting, Fourth of July, 2019
This essay, Come Back To Being, is the companion piece to Nothing But Being.

It is also the fourteenth in a group of sixteen written on the Fourth Of July:
  1. Anticipation: Accounting For An American Love Affair
  2. Independence Day
  3. I'd Rather Be With Me
  4. Do It For Nothing
  5. The Only Way Out Is Through
  6. Under All Circumstances
  7. Word Power
  8. When There's Nothing To Say
  9. The Possibility Of Being Independent And Free
  10. Intimacy In A Crowded Place
  11. What Goes On
  12. Imprints Of Love
  13. Bookends: A Reflection On Mortality
  14. Come Back To Being
  15. Nobody Is Responsible Except You
  16. Like A Monk In A Cave
in that order.

The offer extended in this essay's title "Come Back To Being" is a heartfelt invitation from me, the form of which is analogous to the ancient meditation technique of coming back to the mantra - that is to say it's like coming back to OM  (as Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha  may have said). But that's where the analogy ends.

Standing in transformation, this is it. There's nothing to get. There's nowhere to go. There's nothing to do except be. So if there's anything to (be invited to) come back to at all, it's being. With that said, coming back to OM as an access to being, may (however well-intentioned) actually put something in the way of just being.

Said another way, coming back to OM may effectively get in the way of just being with all of this, exactly the way it is and exactly the way it isn't, with nothing added (OM is added, yes?) and with nothing taken away (this is it, all  of it - perfect, full, whole and complete, exactly the way it is and exactly the way it isn't). So this essay's invitation then, is to try out doing away with the middle-man  - or at least to invent being without the middle-man like a possibility. That's  an access to being.

Let's inquire into this further. Let's consider there's actually nothing substantive to come back to - and there's no need  to come back to anything substantive either. This is it, and you're already here  (actually, more than you're already here:  you're already it  also - but that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion). So if you must come back to anything at all (ie if you absolutely have to come back to something) then come back to being. Just being. In other words, just be.

Now watch: there's a crucial difference between "Come back to being" and "Just be", and it's very subtle. When you come back to being, that's an access to being ie that's when you can just be. Wait! Don't gloss that over too fast or dismiss it skeptically like it's trite, a truism, a flippant bon mot:  it's actually really profound. When you come back to being, you can just be. When you just be, you can come from  being. When you come from being, you've transformed your life. Literally. Really.

Coming back to being calls for a transformational shift, a contextual shift, an ontological  shift which happens in an instant out of time. And watch: transformation as an ontological shift gives a context to ongoingly be, not something to do, nor something to have. So beware the tendency to turn this invitation into a suggestion to take on yet another discipline or a practice or a belief system or a religion, all of which will risk ruining any authentic experience of the ontological shift by driving the idea of it deeper and ever deeper into the background as an unexamined concept of "there's something to get, and some other way to be, and some other place to get it, and some other time in which to get it" other than now, and other than this, and other than who we are, and other than here, and under these very circumstances.

For many of us, all of the foregone conversation is little more than a review, a validation, a confirmation, a verification of our own already always experience. But if it's a stretch for you, then listen: you're in good company. It's always  been a stretch for many more of us human beings with our predilections and concepts, disciplines and practices and belief systems and religions, especially for us who for centuries (literally) have been convinced there's something else  to get other than exactly this.

"With all this manure, there must be a pony  in here somewhere" (as James Kirkwood may have said). I'm sorry, but there's no pony, and there ain't no pony coming either. There's just this. And it's WYSIWYG  (what you see is what you get). Perhaps even more astutely than that, it's WYBIWYG  (what you be  is what you get).

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