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


Don't Try So Hard!

Muir Beach, California, USA

May 16, 2010



This essay, Don't Try So Hard!, is the companion piece to Don't Do That!.



One of our most enduring and identifiable characteristics of being human is our striving to be more than we are and to be better at what we do.

Be careful. I'm not saying that's great  about us, and neither am I saying that's not  great about us. I'm not saying you're a better  person if you strive to be more than you are and to be better at what you do, and neither am I saying you're not  a better person if you don't  strive to be more than you are and to be better at what you do. You may be, and you may not be.

No, for the purposes of this  conversation, I'm suggesting striving to be more than we are and to be better at what we do is one of the most enduring and identifiable characteristics of being human because we do it automatically. It may look like  we strive to be more than we are and to be better at what we do as a choice. But I'm suggesting we do it automatically ie it comes with the machinery  of being human. And furthermore, if we can't be more than we are and / or be better at what we do, then we aspire to do it different.

Bear in mind, being more and doing it better and different may produce bad  results and / or it may produce good  results. But neither am I speaking about the results  of being more and doing it better and different. Here I'm focusing only on the possibility that we be more and do it better and different because it's what our human machinery does automatically.

Even though that may be an unorthordox  point of view, why not  be more? Why not  do it better? What's wrong  with doing it different? Nothing. Really. Nothing's wrong with any of that. Nothing at all. You could even argue the whole point of being alive is to be more and to do things better and different.

Now, is it true?  Is it really  the case? How about this as another way of looking at it; not a better  way - just another  way:

Could it be our instatiable appetite for being more and doing it better and different is really a front  ie a cover up for our aversion to getting it the way it is?  Could it be that being more and doing it better and different is simply the societally sanctioned way to distract  ourselves from letting in ie from opening to  the experience of who we really are?

"OK" you may say, "what about being more and doing it better and different like aspiring to sustainably and permanently feed the hungry or to sustainably and permanently house the homeless - things wanted and needed which haven't really been fully accomplished before?". One answer might be "There's nothing wrong with either of those; there's nothing wrong with any of that.".

But again, that's not what this is about. What I'm alluding to here is much more intimate, much more immediate  than all that. What I'm addressing here is simply our own resistance, if you will, to being with our own experience of who we really are. If you can't be with your own experience of who you really are, then all  Life ie anything you do  becomes just another way to avoid experiencing who you really are.

It's pernicious.

And where it gets really involved and entangled is when our insatiable desire to be more and to do it better and different collides with the quest, if you will, to find  who we really are. When these two dynamics come into play, aren't we then just trying more and trying better and different to find who we really are to avoid experiencing who we really are?

It's a paradox. Obviously you can't find who you really are to avoid experiencing who you really are. You can't be  who you really are by avoiding being who you really are.

Don't try so hard to be who you really are. Don't try so hard to be transformed. Don't try so hard to be enlightened. You're already who you really are. You've never not  been anything other than  who you really are - ever. There's nothing to do to be who you really are.

Don't try so hard Man!



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