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


Consider THIS!

Pelican Inn, Muir Beach, California, USA

February 12, 2009



For the sake of this new conversation, I'd like you to imagine I don't know how to walk. You obviously know how to walk. Please explain to me how you walk so I can learn from you how to walk. I'll do whatever you tell me. How do you walk? How do you do it?

OK. You say "Put one foot in front of the other.".

I don't know how to put one foot in front of the other. You obviously know how to put one foot in front of the other. Please explain to me how you put one foot in front of the other so I can learn from you how to put one foot in front of the other. I'll do whatever you tell me. How do you put one foot in front of the other? How do you do it?

OK. You say "Lift your right leg at the hip and extend your lower right leg forward at the knee.".

I don't know how to lift my right leg at the hip and extend my lower right leg forward at the knee. You obviously know how to lift your right leg at the hip and extend your lower right leg forward at the knee. Please explain to me how you lift your right leg at the hip and extend your lower right leg forward at the knee so I can learn from you how to lift my right leg at the hip and extend my lower right leg forward at the knee. I'll do whatever you tell me. How do you lift your right leg at the hip and extend your lower right leg forward at the knee? How do you do it?

* * *

If you've never experienced a conversation like this fully, you should. Experiencing a conversation like this fully, proves most of the time you don't have the slightest idea how  you do what you do. Yet you do it anyway. You walk. Yet you don't have the slightest idea how you walk. You have beliefs and concepts about how you walk. But none of them can teach me how to walk if I don't know how to walk.

We have cherished theories about our brains sending impulses to the muscles of our legs, causing them to contract (or flex) etc, enabling us to walk. That's our understanding  of how we walk. But you can't explain to me how to make my brain send impulses to the muscles of my legs, causing them to contract or flex, enabling me to walk. You can't even explain to me how you make your own  brain send impulses to the muscles of your legs, let alone explain to me how to make my brain send impulses to the muscles of my legs.

The secondary implication of this conversation is understanding  isn't empowering. Neither is understanding enabling. Understanding, as Werner Erhard says, is the booby  prize.

The primary implication of this conversation is what's empowering, what's enabling is considering it so. How you walk is you consider yourself walking. Look at your experience and you'll see it's so. When you want to walk, you don't tell your brain to start sending impulses to the muscles of your legs to cause them to contract or flex, enabling you to walk. Admit it: that's a load of conceptual codswallop. When you want to walk, you get up, you consider yourself walking and away you go.

Ordinarily we think of consideration  as an act of compassion, as in "being considerate". On an empowerment scale of one to ten, this particular form of consideration  rates about a two. In this new conversation, I'd like you rather to think of consideration  as the causal act. You walk by consideration alone. Your entire universe moves by consideration alone. On an empowerment scale of one to ten, this particular form of consideration  is a twelve.

If you can for just one moment stop conceptualizing  the causal process, if you can for just one moment let go of your beliefs  about the causal process, if you can for just one moment stop making it difficult, you'll see you act (that is to say you launch any action)  simply by consideration and by consideration alone. That's what's so. It's profound. It seems almost too simple  - but only because that which is heavily invested in conceptualizing, doesn't like things to be simple.

It's more than merely the pristine pertinent simplicity of considering, the causal act, which is profound. What's really profound is considering, the causal act, shows up in exactly the same domain as who you are.

Discovering considering  as the causal act is tantamount to discovering who and what you really are. And vice versa.



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