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


Coming Around Again

Sears Point, California, USA

January 14, 2009

"I know nothing stays the same. But if you're willing to play the game, it's coming around again." ... Carly Simon, Coming Around Again 
This essay, Coming Around Again, is the third in the trilogy Questions For A Friend:
  1. Prelude
  2. Ask Me Anything
  3. Coming Around Again
in that order.
The second trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Familiar Unfamiliar Territory
  2. Interview
  3. Straight Talk
in that order.
The third trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Dancing With My Mouth
  2. Cave Paintings
  3. Velvet Tsunami
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Creating Creating
  2. Tell Me Something About Nothing
  3. Lucid Disclosures
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Closer And Closer
  2. Tête À Tête
  3. Dancing With Life
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Would I Ask If I Could Ask You Anything?
  2. Wonderings About Nothing In Particular
  3. Tipping Point
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Beyond Breathing Underwater
  2. Bold Faced Truth
  3. What You Create For Yourself About Me
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Once In A Lifetime
  2. Fireside Chat
  3. Whole And Complete
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Questions For A Friend
  2. Nothing Else I'd Rather Be Doing
  3. Free To Be And Free To Act
in that order.
The tenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Attracted To Dance
  2. I Told A Friend I Love You
  3. Terse Transformed Communication
in that order.
The eleventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. A Context Worth Playing In
  2. Tie The Brush To My Hand
  3. Questions For A Friend XI III (working title)
in that order.
This essay, Coming Around Again, is also the fifth in a group of seventeen with titles borrowed from Songs:


I love it when you show up. I love it when you walk in the room. I love the way I'm swept off my feet. I love the way in spite of my skepticism, in spite of my jadedness, in spite of my resignation, in spite of my world weariness, when you show up every cell in my body stands up and salutes, raising me up with them. I love the way it's got nothing to do with me.

I'm doing nothing. I'm going about my daily affairs doing whatever it is I do. And then you show up. That's when it happens. I'm willing to permit the viscerality  of it. I'm willing to be vulnerable and un-defensive in the presence of it. I'm willing to have my tinted spectacles  removed and unceremoniously discarded around it. Now unlensed, I'm willing to face the glare  (and the music) of true beginner's mind.

If I tell the truth about this, if I say what's so  in my experience, I literally haven't got a clue why it happens. I have no idea  why. I've stopped asking why. It happens when I'm around you ie it happens when you show up. It always  happens in the times you show up. It sometimes goes away between times. But it always comes around again  whenever you show up. No exceptions. Always. Every time ... every ... single  ... time ...

I have some questions to ask you. I notice, with exaggerated diligence, I want to explain  my questions to you. I want to reveal the entire set of thought processes  going on behind each question. I want you to see my rationale  for asking each one. I want you to get why I asked this  particular question phrased this  particular way instead of another way ... you know, blah blah blah ... nananana  ... hana hana hana  ... until I catch myself going off on automatic  and I tell myself to shut the  (bleep) up  just for a moment so I can actually listen  your answers to the questions you answer.



The First Question



"Do you know everything?".

You answer immediately - no hesitation.


<quote>

UNQUESTIONABLY NO.

IN MY TEENS I DECIDED THAT I WOULD USE THE FIRST THIRD OF MY LIFE LEARNING, THE SECOND THIRD EARNING, AND THE LAST THIRD FIGURING OUT WHAT THE FIRST TWO THIRDS WERE ABOUT. I AM NOW 73 AND I STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN THROUGH THE FIRST THIRD SO I BETTER LIVE FOR A LOT LONGER. BY THE SAME TOKEN, I DO NOT USE NOT KNOWING AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR NOT PERFORMING.

WHATEVER COMPETENCE I MAY HAVE COMES FROM MY HAVING TRAINED MYSELF TO BE OUT THERE WITH WHAT I AM DEALING WITH INSTEAD OF BEING IN HERE TRYING TO DEAL WITH WHAT IS OUT THERE. THIS ALLOWS ME


1) TO GET MYSELF OUT OF THE WAY,
2) TO BE WITH VARIOUS DIMENSIONS OF WHAT I AM DEALING WITH (WHAT SOME MIGHT TERM PERCEIVING FROM MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES), AND
3) TO WEAKEN THE DISTORTIONS TO MY PERCEPTION FROM MY IDEAS, BELIEFS, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL EMBEDDED-NESS, AND TAKEN FOR GRANTED ASSUMPTIONS RELATIVE TO WHAT I AM DEALING WITH.


I DO NOT PUT WHAT I THINK I KNOW FROM MY LEARNING AND EXPERIENCE AS A LENS BETWEEN ME AND WHAT I AM DEALING WITH. I KEEP WHAT I KNOW, SO TO SPEAK, ABOVE THE SPACE BETWEEN ME AND WHAT I AM DEALING WITH SO THAT IT SHINES SOME LIGHT ON WHAT I AM DEALING WITH RATHER THAN BEING A FILTER.

<unquote>


It's an extraordinary distinction: "being out there with what I am dealing with"  as distinct from "being in here trying to deal with what is out there".

<aside>

If this Conversations For Transformation internet series of essays were spoken live, face to face  in real time, or conveyed via a spoken medium like audio or video recording, around about NOW  would be a very good time for me to be quiet for ten minutes or so for people to absorb your answer for themselves without my interpretation  getting in their way.

<un-aside>

"Being out there with what I am dealing with"  as distinct from "being in here trying to deal with what is out there"  is the kind of distinction, the kind of plain perspective which, after I get it, after I get the profound simplicity  of it and am rocked  by it and am empowered by it, makes me wonder "Why didn't I  think of that?".

"To weaken the distortions to my perception from my ideas, beliefs, social and cultural embedded-ness, and taken for granted assumptions relative to what I am dealing with"  conveys, in a sentence, the complete memorandum  for living life transformed.

As for putting "what I think I know"  as a "light on what I am dealing with"  rather than putting "what I think I know"  as a "lens between me and what I am dealing with", this is arguably your pièce de résistance. This is the magic of language  ie this is the magic of your languaging. This distinction isn't found in the dictionary or in a textbook. It can't be located by dissecting the human brain. This powerful distinction comes forth  ie the fish walks up on the land bringing with it elephants and eagles like a possibility, simply because you speak it.



The Last Question



"Do you love me? Do you really love me?".

You answer - slowly, emphatically, gently yet firmly breaking through my preconceptions.


<quote>

YES - YOU ARE OK WITH ME EXACTLY THE WAY YOU ARE AND THE WAY YOU ARE NOT.

AND I RESPECT YOUR COMMITMENT TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR OTHERS, AND THAT MAKES IT EASY FOR ME TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU, AND HAVING RESPECT FOR YOU AND BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU RAISES MY AFFINITY (LOVE) FOR YOU.

<unquote>


I want to get out of the way  so your answer lands  for people as if they're asking you this question themselves, and you're answering them directly, privately, intimately, and personally.

<aside>

Another NOW  for me to be quiet for ten minutes or so ...

<un-aside>

Whatever human beings consider is the answer to the question "Do you love me?"  shapes their Self  expression for life. No, it's more than that, actually. It's whatever human beings consider is the answer to the question "Do you love me?"  shapes their freedom to be  for life. It shapes their entire  life.

Thank you for answering this question for me. Thank you for answering this question for everyone.



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