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
End Of An Era
Napa, California, USA
December 1, 2005
Some time around now (it may actually have been closer to 1971 or
perhaps even closer to 2020, but some time around NOW) the rules for
living successfully on
It's the end of an era.
In the ended era we worked like mad to get what we want. Unfortunately
we didn't know (and nobody told us because they didn't
know either) that you can't ever get what you want.
Then the rules shifted. Now it's a new era. Now you can get whatever
you want provided you want whatever you got.
At first we didn't want to hear that.
And because we didn't want to hear it, the dissatisfied present
completely shrouded the possibility of living into a future of our own
In the ended era we hunted, we gathered, we accumulated. I don't mean
the kind of hunting which requires tracking through the Serengeti. I'm
referring to a context, specifically to an
unexamined context, in which we lived which is: "things
are scarce; develop weapons; go out and get; killing is justified if
you do it to survive.". We hunted from primitive consciousness, from
lizard brain. In the new era, if you aren't full, if you aren't already
coming from plenty, hunting and gathering can't provide enough to fill
the gap, to appease the emptiness, to assuage the need to blame
everyone and anything but your own decisions for your life's pedestrian
In the ended era time moved in straight lines. Time seemed (or so we
thought) to originate somewhere in the past, paused briefly in the
present like a wobbly stepping stone in a swiftly moving stream, then
continued on into the future which we regarded as somewhere ahead of
wherever we are. In the ended era, we regarded it as prudent to stay in
the present. Yet the truth be told, we spent most if not all of our
time stuck in the past.
In the new era, the past is in the past and gone and complete, not
because it's no longer accessible but rather because we declared it
complete and put it in the past ... just ... like ...
In the new era the quality of life in the present isn't determined by
the thrown-ness of the past but rather by the love of a future
we invent to live into (better said, by the love of a future we invent
to live from), or not. In the new era time is non-linear, its
pace exponential, and you can get anywhere (and anything I
might add - that's very subtle) from the future.
In the ended era you wanted to be loved. And when I said "I love you"
it was the best I knew. Now I see it wasn't strictly accurate. The
truth was probably closer to "I love loving you". In the new era the
truth is "I love loving", and if you don't generate that for yourself
also, I can't ever love you enough for you to get you are loved.