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


Even Though It Doesn't Always Look Like It

El Rancho Mexican, Napa, California, USA

April 10, 2010



"I never worry. God is in his heaven and everything is right with the world - even though it doesn't always look like it." ... Dorothy, 99, improving on Robert Browning

This essay, Even Though It Doesn't Always Look Like It, is the companion piece to God Is In His Heaven And Everything Is Right With The World.




I'm reluctant to qualify Werner Erhard's assertion "It's OK the way it is". It doesn't require any further qualification, embellishment, or explanation. "It's OK the way it is" is OK the way it is!

Alright, maybe I'll venture suffixing "and the way it isn't" - so: "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't". That works. I don't think he'd disapprove.

Yet even if it's qualified, you can't powerfully say "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't" as a judgement or as an explanation or as a comforter  or even as a pacifier and especially not  as an opinion. "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't" is only powerful as an observation of all of Life itself coming from experience. When you say "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't" as a judgement or as an explanation or as a comforter or as a pacifier or as an opinion, it's just a bunch of words really, and who cares?  But when it's spoken as an observation of all of Life itself coming from experience, it's very powerful and deeply profound.

When you get "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't" as an observation of all of Life itself coming from experience, it's one of those epiphanous "Eureka!", "A‑Ha!", "That's IT!" occasions which in one moment out of time completely shifts your view of Life, your sense of who you are, and your ideas of what's possible. If you get it's OK the way it is and the way it isn't, then transformation is a short row to hoe. If you don't get it, it takes lifetimes.

Tell an ordinary person in Iraq it's OK the way it is and the way it isn't. If they say "Heck no it's not!"  I wouldn't fault them for it. You can't impose "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't" on anyone. You can invite  people to look from this perspective. You can invite people to look what possibilities show up inside the view "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't". And if you do, be prepared to distinguish for them a point of view coming from experience  rather than a point of view coming from circumstance. "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't" isn't useful coming from circumstance.

In our most essential human-ness, in the best  we consider it is to be human, "it's not  OK the way it is" is the reality for the vast  majority of people on the planet who haven't distinguished who they are like a presence, like an experience, from their circumstances. Conversations For Transformation is the possibility of this distinction for everyone, with no one and nothing left out. It's neither effective nor compassionate to share this distinction as blunt force. It's less likely to be listened and gotten this way. There has to be space  around it when it's shared within which to examine it. There has to be room to try it on for size and see if it fits. Skill in sharing a distinction like this pivots on your ability and willingness to create a compassionate listening in which people are free to get it or not.

So if, given circumstances like Iraq's, for example, "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't" isn't readily getable, then "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't ... even though it doesn't always look like it"  offers the space and a compassionate listening for it to be gotten.

It has to be OK with you for people to try it on for size to see if it fits. If they discard it because it doesn't fit for them, that too has to be totally OK with you. If their discarding it because it doesn't fit for them isn't totally OK with you, you're a hypocrite.

Be careful. "... even though it doesn't always look like it"  doesn't justify, judge, explain, comfort, or pacify. If it did, it would be spoken in the domain of circumstance. Remember, it's only useful and powerful when spoken coming from experience, in the domain of experience, about all of Life itself. Any difference that's going to be made in the domain of circumstance isn't effective if it originates in the domain of circumstance. It's only effective if it originates in the domain of experience.

<aside>

The history of the world is strewn with failed yet well intentioned plans to make a difference which originate in the domain of circumstance, and are designed to make a difference in the domain of circumstance. Such plans resemble shuffling the same deck of cards over and over again: no matter how the cards are dealt, no matter how they fall, they're always the same cards. Any human being who's ever walked the face of the Earth who's ever made a lasting difference (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Madiba Tata (uBawom)Khulu Mandela, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, et al) each spoke coming from experience, while at the same time being compassionate to peoples' trials and tribulations in the domain of circumstance.

These men and women and others like them make a lasting difference in the world because they not only shuffle the usual deck of cards - they also include a new  card of their own creation which until then isn't present in the standard deck. This card is the Ace of Possibility  which trumps all the regular circumstantial cards.

<un-aside>

The "... even though it doesn't always look like it"  qualifier comes from experience ie it comes from the experience of being whole and complete. Arguably, being whole and complete ie coming from experiencing being whole and complete is the essential context from which to make a difference in the domain of circumstance, the essential context from which to bring forth entirely new possibilities rather than merely shuffling the same deck of cards over and over again producing the same results over and over again.

"It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't even though it doesn't always look like it" can come across sounding like making right  ie the equally biased antithesis of making wrong. "It's OK the way it is and the way it isn't even though it doesn't always look like it" isn't spoken to make right or justify or judge or explain or comfort or pacify. If it were any of the above, it would only cheapen it's profundity.

No, it's not that. It's none of the above. It really is  OK the way it is and the way it isn't, even though it doesn't always look like it.

Really.



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