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


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 the planet shifted.

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 choosing.

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 humdrum.

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 ... that ...

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.



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