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


Covenant

Pismo Beach, California, USA

January 4, 2009



This essay, Covenant, is the sixth in a group of thirteen reflections of God: I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt who inspired this conversation.



In certain circles it's the most volatile, most reactionary topic you can raise in a conversation. In certain circles it's a fundamental societal taboo  ie a conversation we avoid for religious or social reasons.

I'd like to have this conversation* now.

The conversation I'm alluding to is whether or not you and I human beings are at one  with all of Life in the universe, whether we exist within the framework of Life in the universe yet are separate from it, whether we act out our lives on the stage  of Life in the universe yet are apart from it.

There are two possible launching points for this conversation.

1)  I can come at it from my belief systems, concepts, and opinions ie I can come at it from my already-figured-it-out-ness, or
2)  I can come at it freshly from my experience  - I can come at it naked ie from here  and from now  with nothing added and with nothing taken away.

If I come at it from my belief systems, concepts, and opinions ie from my already-figured-it-out-ness, I may equate all of Life in the universe with the creative power behind it - in a word, with "God". In certain circles it's a volatile, reactionary topic to speak in terms of you and I human beings being at one with God. In certain circles it's more than taboo. Given the belief systems and cherished concepts through which it's filtered before it's heard, it'll be heard by certain ears with head shaking tsk-tsk-ing, with eye rolling incredulity. It could be heard as the ramblings of a misguided mind, as blasphemy, even as demonic  ... by certain ears in certain circles, that is.

So in order to talk in terms of our allegiance  to God and God's allegiance to us  when we're unable to entertain the possibility of being truly at one with God, when we're imprisoned, barricaded  by our cherished concepts, forbidden to entertain the possibility of being truly at one with God, when we've so effectively conjured up the belief we're separate from God, we've created the notion of a covenant  with God: our promise to God and God's promise to us, our mutual pledge of allegiance  to be true to each other. And that's the best we believe it's going to get between you and I human beings and God: we'll be true to each other yet split apart.

We've built these promises, we've built this mutual pledge of allegiance on top of our belief systems and cherished concepts, as a panacea  for head shaking tsk-tsk-ing and eye rolling incredulity, on top of sheer disbelief  that it's possible for you and I human beings to be at one with God. Then, biblically and conceptually, we've enshrined these promises, this mutual pledge of allegiance in symbols, icons, traditional representations, and constraints on our view of what's possible.

From the Cambridge International Dictionary:

<quote>
Definition
covenant


noun
a formal agreement between two or more people, a promise
<unquote>

Also from the Cambridge International Dictionary:

<quote>
the Ark of the Covenant
(in the Bible) a wooden box which contained the writings of Jewish law, and which represented to the people of Israel the presence of God leading them
<unquote>

As I walk along this beach with you, looking into your laughing eyes, privileged by the presence  of you, joyed to have this time with you, I notice as an experience  you and I, each and together, are at one with all of it. It's one seamless continuum:  ... you ... I ... all of it  ...  As an experience, you and I created all this. Stop lying about it. We're God in our universe. Now we get to play in it exactly the way it is and exactly the way it isn't.

<aside>

There's no voting  on the way it is now. There's no voting on the way it isn't  now. You and I already voted!

<un-aside>

This isn't getable by belief systems, concepts, or opinions. It's not getable coming from already-figured-it-out-ness. From belief systems, concepts, and opinions ie from already-figured-it-out-ness it's the ramblings of a misguided mind, it's blasphemy, demonic. It's only getable as an experience - not as a "Far out Man! Woo Hoo!"  experience but rather as a dogshit reality  experience. Then it's powerful. The moment I try to explain  it the bear trap  springs shut. Both my experience and my explanation lose power immediately. Both go into unrecoverable, implausibly gibberish  nose dives. There aren't enough words in the dictionary nor time left in eternity for it to be explained  in a way that makes sense, that makes it getable.

So what's the covenant? I mean, what's it really?

The covenant  is evidenced for me by the blindingly simple  fact that I'm alive now, that I'm experiencing now, that I'm alive experiencing here now. Experience, as Werner Erhard points out, is simply the evidence that I am here. The covenant is further evidenced by the fact that you're  alive now, that you're experiencing now, that you're alive experiencing here now.

You have to look very carefully, rigorously  for the covenant or you'll miss it entirely. It's very, very slippery. One of the things which makes it elusive, which makes it hard to see, which makes it even harder to get  is it can't be seen at all when belief systems, concepts, opinions, and already-figured-it-out-ness filter your view. The covenant can only be seen in your experience  - which is to say it can't  be seen: it can only be experienced.

Another thing which makes it elusive, hard to see, and even harder to get is where  the covenant shows up. The covenant shows up exactly at the intersection of two dictatorial domains. The covenant shows up exactly where dogshit reality  intersects with the miraculous. Mostly, we're looking at life as one OR  the other. Mostly, we're looking at life as dogshit reality  ... OR  ... we're looking at life as miraculous. It takes a certain commitment  to be willing to entertain the possibility that dogshit reality is miraculous!  The covenant is experienced inside this commitment.

My covenant isn't added  to my experience to secure it as promises. My covenant isn't appended to a mutual pledge of allegiance to shore up  what's missing for my belief systems, to explain what's misunderstood about my concepts, to fill in what's lacking from my opinions, to correct what's wrong with my already-figured-it-out-ness, to justify what's buried under the mountainous slag heaps of my interpretations. My covenant lives observing you and I  experiencing, alive, speaking and listening, in communication, here now.

The mere fact that this is what's so  is all the evidence I need.


*   The ideas presented in this essay, Covenant, point to an experience. They're not "The Truth". They're not religion. They're not disrespectful of any religious conviction. If they work for you, keep them: they're yours. If they don't work for you, thank you for reading this far.
Werner Erhard says a trap inherent in any experience, religious or otherwise, is this: "The truth believed is a lie.".

You don't believe in a screwdriver. If you need one, you pick one up and you use it. And if it breaks you get another one.


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