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


Essence Hidden In Plain Sight:

Free To Be And Free To Act III

Hillside Drive, East Napa, California, USA

February 20, 2022

This essay, Essence Hidden In Plain Sight: Free To Be And Free To Act III, is the sequel to

When I was younger (to put that in perspective, I'm talking about sometime / anytime  before the last weekend of August 1978) I went looking for transformation, and I didn't find it anywhere - that is, I didn't find it anywhere at first. And a large basis of the disappointment of not being able to find it, was I was looking not for transformation per se, but rather looking for what I had conceptualized transformation to be / to look like, without realizing that's what I'd done and was looking for.

I was looking to find a fix, a cure, a practice, something I could take on which would make Life flow less obstructed while making my own life easier, a satori, a level of "cosmic consciousness"  if you will. To be sure, there were even some times I thought / I believed I'd found it. But those times were fleeting, temporary by nature: they came ... and they went ... their realizations dawned on me ... and they abated. Rafts  of that sort of thing happened before it struck me there's nothing to get  ... and there's nothing to find. When my life was swamped with the conviction that there's something to get and / or something to find or some secret  to be in on, it was damned near impossible to entertain the idea that there's nothing to get, nothing to find, no secret, no nothing. I'm sorry, but: enlightenment isn't discovering what the secret is. Enlightenment is discovering there ain't no damned secret. This is it! And you already got it. Now you may not like  it. But you do already got it.

It's a conundrum. It's kinda like a Zen riddle ie a koan  to ask: "If there's nothing to get / nothing to find, then what does it mean  to discover transformation ie what does it mean to be transformed in the first place?". I sat with that one for a while, like a hot brick in my lap ... and this is what I got:

One way to open some room, some space  around any question, is to stay away from the significance of meaning  (as in "... what does it mean?  ...") which traps us asking the question in a realm of conjecture, of intellect, of intelligence, and instead just look at how transformation manifests as experience  even if not understood: what is the essence  of transformation? and: how does this magical nothing  come on? and: what does it look like (to be specific: what do people look like) when transformation is present? and: do they follow certain beliefs? and: do they engage in esoteric rituals and practices? and: do they adhere to any defining philosophies?

The answer to the latter three as we've already established, is no - because being transformed requires none of the above. Instead what could show up which would be patently, tangibly visible, is a certain freedom to be, a palpable freedom to act, unencumbered (if you will) by the epistemological constraints and locks of the past. When transformation shows up in our lives (and remember that the conundrum that when transformation shows up in our lives, nothing  shows up in our lives ... is perfect Zen), we're observably newly free to be and free to act. That's it. And that's all. Just look. It's so clear: the essence of transformation is hidden in plain sight.

People who've discovered their own access to transformation, haven't taken on a new raft of beliefs to believe or practices to practice or philosophies to philosophize. Rather, they're simply free to be and free to act. Free? From what?  you may ask. Free from epistemological constraints and locks of the past is one immediate answer. Yet as we've said, there's a clear and present danger that that answer will trap us (imposing a meaning we'll try to understand) in the realm of conjecture, of intellect, of intelligence. Rather the essence of transformation, being free to be and free to act, is clear to see. It's hidden in plain sight in the lives of people who've discovered their own access to transformation. If you're such a person it's very obvious, especially given your experience of your before  (not free to be and / or not free to act) and your experience of your after  (free to be and free to act). It's its own Self-evident proof (conjecture, intellect, intelligence, and understanding are not required).

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