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


Essays - Nineteen Years Later:

On Being Used By Something Bigger Than Myself

Napa Valley, California, USA

August 17, 2022

"What I mean by 'being committed to something bigger than oneself'  is being committed in a way that shapes one's being and actions so that those actions are in the service of realizing something beyond one's personal concerns for oneself - beyond a direct personal payoff."
"It thinks you."
"The gates to the temple of truth are guarded by two dragons: paradox  and confusion."
"Miracles are to come. With you I leave a remembrance of miracles:they are by somebody who can love and who shall be continually reborn,a human being;somebody who said to those near him,when his fingers would not hold a brush 'tie it to my hand'--"
... e e cummings, A Poet's Life, read out loud by  
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
... Socrates 
This essay, Essays - Nineteen Years Later: On Being Used By Something Bigger Than Myself, is the companion piece to
  1. Used By The Truth
  2. Using Laurence Platt
  3. Something Bigger Than Oneself
  4. It Thinks You
in that order.

It is also the nineteenth annual State Of The Union  celebration of Conversations For Transformation:
  1. Essays - One Year Later: Critical Mass
  2. Essays - Two Years Later: Glass Walled Studio
  3. Essays - Three Years Later: Internet Presence
  4. Essays - Four Years Later: Side By Side
  5. Essays - Five Years Later: Arm In Arm
  6. Essays - Six Years Later: A Very Good Year
  7. Essays - Seven Years Later: By My Self
  8. Essays - Eight Years Later: Riding The Open Range
  9. Essays - Nine Years Later: Recreation
  10. Essays - Ten Years Later: Decade
  11. Essays - Eleven Years Later: Unimaginable
  12. Essays - Twelve Years Later: A New Beginning
  13. Essays - Thirteen Years Later: A Certain Space
  14. Essays - Fourteen Years Later: Lenses Of Creativity
  15. Essays - Fifteen Years Later: Essence
  16. Essays - Sixteen Years Later: It's All In The Mouth
  17. Essays - Seventeen Years Later
  18. Essays - Eighteen Years Later: The Heart Of The Matter
  19. Essays - Nineteen Years Later: On Being Used By Something Bigger Than Myself
in that order.

          Conversations For Transformation
                    Essays By Laurence Platt
      Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard
                                 And More

                            Click to expand
What I've gotten clear about, having served Conversations For Transformation for nineteen years so far, is twofold. First, it's y'all  who did all the work. You provided the listening  in which they show up. Acrylic paintings show up on canvas or on bristol paper, and would actually not show up at all without them or something similar. Similarly conversations (indeed any  conversations, and Conversations For Transformation in particular) show up in our speaking and listening, and would actually not show up at all without them. Thank you for having generously provided the listening (about one million six hundred and fifty thousand views so far) for about one thousand seven hundred essays over these nineteen years. I couldn't have served what I've served without you.

Second, I say "I couldn't have served what I've served ..." because it's actually not totally experientially  accurate to say "I couldn't have written  what I've written ..." (it's arguably not even totally factually  accurate either). OK, what does that even mean  Laurence: to say "... it's actually not totally experientially accurate to say 'I couldn't have written what I've written ...'"? What it means is that in my experience, it's hardly me who writes these essays. It's actually that these essays write themselves, or that they use me  to write them, or even that they  write me  - none of which are colloquial postures.

Now here's the trouble with each of those three postures: they come perilously close to insidiously insinuating these essays a) come through  me, turning me into some kind of b) medium, both notions of which I eschew, and neither of which I want to ignore or step over because if I do, they'll distract from what's really going on. It's easy to differentiate between them. Being used by something bigger than myself without being committed to  being used by something bigger than myself, would yes in all likelihood turn me into a medium. Instead, being committed as I am to the possibility of all people being transformed, a possibility bigger than myself, a possibility beyond a direct personal payoff, allows that commitment to use me. And my commitment is a function of Life itself. It would then appear as if that which uses me ie Life itself, is the "something that's bigger than myself", and separate from me.

But am I not my commitment?  My commitment is who I really am ... and  ... that is Life itself. So there's no medium. There's just me. It's mine, all mine! 


That seems to be a paradox: it uses me ... and ... yet ... it is  me?

Sit with it in your lap like a hot brick. You'll get it (it's patently getable).


Allowing myself to be used by (and my life to be run by) this "something that's bigger than myself" (and it's no secret: it's Life itself that's the "something that's bigger than myself"), has my entire drama fall naturally into lockstep behind it, shaping my being and actions so that they're now in service to making something available that's beyond my personal concerns for myself, something that Werner describes as being beyond a "direct personal payoff". The particular conversation that is transformation, along with its related distinctions (both Werner's classic bedrock, plus the ones I'm discovering for myself in observing the way Life works) brings to my life a bigger way of being than my business-as-usual  drama ever could. And it's this bigger way of being that includes and makes my business-as-usual drama worthwhile (without it, my business-as-usual drama wouldn't be worth living - as Socrates may have said).

Thank you for your Relationship with Werner. Look: you and I could have been born at any  time. Speaking for myself, I'm glad I was born at this  time in the history of the cosmos with Werner alive on our planet. And I'm really  glad I was born at this time in the history of the cosmos with y'all alive on our planet as well. Really.

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