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


Committed Existence

Partrick Ridge, Mount Veeder Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

April 3, 2021

"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." ... Horace Mann

This essay, Committed Existence, is the nineteenth in the open second group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the complete first group of thirty five Experiences Of A Friend):
  1. Friend, Partner, And Ally
  2. Go To The Beach
  3. Proof Of Life
  4. Going Out Like A Supernova
  5. Relationships: They Start, They End
  6. Evidence Of Source
  7. On Knowing When To Be Ordinary
  8. Letting Be
  9. Transforming The Untransformable
  10. There's Always The Next Piece
  11. Plastic Chandelier II
  12. Yes You Really Are That Big
  13. A Way With Words
  14. The Quietest Mind
  15. Approaching Integrity
  16. Dancing With Life II
  17. Staying In Integrity
  18. Ordinary People Star, Extraordinary People Recreate Themselves
  19. Committed Existence
in that order.

It is also the eighth in a octology on Commitment:

The "A-Ha!"  breakthrough I had when with beginner's mind, I listened you speaking transformation for the first time almost forty three years ago today, thrilled and electrified me. To be sure, I'd already accumulated my own plethora of distinctions (truth be told, I wasn't calling them "distinctions" then), not to mention my own preferred way of articulating things, and my own arrogant opinions and cherished interpretations. But it was in listening you speak transformation that I found myself standing up for transformation. In that moment, I discovered who I really am is not my mind. Prior to that, I had it that my mind (loosely: my thoughts, my emotions, my feelings etc) was  who I really am (I hadn't gotten that who I really am, is the space  ie the context in which my mind ie all that automatic machinery, shows up).


The "A-Ha!"  experience could just as fittingly be named the "Of-Course!"  experience, given what it evokes, and given the realization it packs.

That's why with hindsight, calling the "A-Ha!"  experience the "Of-Course!"  experience, is good enough for jazz (and look: hindsight is always 20/20 vision).


With the realization that I'm not my mind, the true Self ie who I really am / who we really are, began presencing itself in my day-to-day, hum-drum existence. Life and living were forever altered ie forever transformed  from that moment on even though nothing of substance had changed  ie even though everything stayed the same.

When we in adulthood get present to who we really are, it's not the first time we became present to it. The first time was in childhood. As children, we played as who we really are, not as our minds, after which living itself and our own protective survival machinery, progressively hid it from view. So when transformation occurs and who we really are becomes presenced in adulthood, it's our second  experience of it (transformation in adulthood is actually the re-presencing of who we really are).

Then the question is: what's the difference between who we really are as presenced in childhood, and who we really are as presenced in adulthood like a possibility?

While it was in listening you speaking transformation that I grokked  (as Robert Heinlein may have said) the difference between my mind and who I really am, it was in being around you  that I got the difference between my childhood existence as who I really am, and my adult's possibility of committed  existence as who I could become. Being around you committed this way, was a revelation. Until you came into my world, no one in my history or day-to-day, humdrum life, had demonstrated committed existence sharably  as a possibility for human beings day in, day out, month after month, year after year, always and forever without respite, as our natural Self-expression. Being around your committed existence inspires me / throws me into the inquiry into being that way like a possibility, like diving from the high-board.

So: what exactly is "committed existence" as opposed to mere "existence" for human beings? Colloquially, it's living your life as if your life (and indeed as if Life itself)  depends on it, and / or presencing Self fully, always - as opposed to just doing what it takes to get by. It includes demonstrating committed existence sharably as a possibility for all human beings - that is to say sharably demonstrating being transformed as a possibility (indeed, as natural) for all human beings. That's the ballpark, the specifics of which are you demonstrate committed existence (not just mere existence) by leading with who you really are, in all situations under all circumstances.

It's in being around your committed existence that I'm astonished, delighted, and rocked. And just when I assume it's run its course, come to an end, and played out, I realize you've not stopped or even slowed down. You've just completed your current set of projects and have invented / moved on to new ones. It's so beyond what I ordinarily consider to be possible for human beings, that I'm astonished, delighted, and rocked over and over again, radiating like ever-expanding concentric ripples.

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© Laurence Platt - 2021 Permission