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


Burlingame, California, USA

March 8, 2006

This essay, Disengagement, is the companion piece to It was conceived at the same time as Commitment To Self.

It's a paradox. To disengage from something, to really let something go, you have to get it so deep, you have to grok  it so hard it becomes part of who you are. Then it disappears.

From the Cambridge International Dictionary:


from the verb disengage
to become separated from something, or to make two things become separate from each other

Recently someone close to me, someone who inspired me, left. That's probably not the best way to say it. Yet conveying she wanted to change the ground rules of our relationship so it would no longer have the form it once had, it's OK to say it that way. Saying it that way is good enough for jazz. I noticed disengagement ie becoming separate, letting something go had begun regardless of whether I had a choice in the matter or not. But there's always a choice and later, waking bolt upright at 4:00am one morning, I saw it: I can choose disengagement coming from transformation  rather than simply over time becoming inured  to having something once precious taken away.


Transformation doesn't change anything. Despite our predilection that something is only valuable if it makes us better, transformation doesn't. Transformation doesn't make anything better - neither, by the way, does it make anything worse!

What transformation does do is recontextualize  (I love  that word!). Transformation doesn't change anything. Transformation recontextualizes - anything and everything.

Simply put, to recontextualize is to enliven or re-enliven the space, the context  in which a thing or an event occurs. Rather than having awareness just on a thing or an event, transformation brings forth the space, the context in which that thing or event occurs.

Nothing happens "out there". There's no one out there. There's nothing out there. There's no "out there" out there. Everything that happens happens in the space or context of the experiencer ie the Self. In an untransformed life the illusion of out there  is pronounced. In a transformed life, out there  is recontextualized as out-here. There is Self. And there is "what happened". That's it, and that's all.

Choice In The Matter

The sense of separating  at the end of a relationship is an illusion which dies hard. That's because separation itself is an illusion. Survival invests in the illusion of separation. It comes to relationship from unfulfillment looking to relationship for fulfillment. That's a recipe for disaster right there. There's nothing  in relationship that's inherently fulfilling aside from fulfillment we bring to it. Not bringing fulfillment to relationship sets up relationship as entanglement. Bringing fulfillment to relationship creates the possibility of relationship as play.

When relationship founded on unfulfilled separateness ends, what's left is unfulfilled separateness. When relationship is founded on fullness brought to it, that's transformed relationship. When relationship like that ends, what's left is fullness and transformation. Even the notion of relationship grounded in transformation ending  is blurry. How can something that's the context for everything, end?

In coming to relationship I choose coming from transformation. In disengaging when relationship ends I choose coming from transformation. I bring transformation to relationship. Transformation's what's left when relationship ends.

With disengagement I get it so deep, I grok  it so hard it becomes part of who I am. Then it disappears.

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