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


Everything Is The Same As Everything Else ...

Joshua's Home On Wheels, Hillside Drive, East Napa, California, USA

April 18, 2022

"The logic system of the mind is 'Everything is the same as everything else ... except not always.'."
"How can someone who is Dorothy escape from Dorothy? You cannot do that by traveling in space and time."
sharing his experience of his mother Dorothy with Professor William Warren "Bill" Bartley III, Werner's official biographer, in the account titled "Jack Frost Meets June Bryde" in chapter four called "Derailed" in part I, "Shadow Play", of "Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man - The Founding of est"
"We all have relationships, and if you can complete your relationship with your parents, you can have incredible relationships, magical relationships, miraculous relationships."
"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
... St Paul the apostle
"All in all you're just another brick in the wall."
... Pink Floyd, Another Brick In The Wall
This essay, Everything Is The Same As Everything Else ..., is the eighteenth in a group of twenty three on Parents: I am indebted to my parents Andee and Dr Manfred Platt who inspired this conversation.

When I was a child I looked at the world childishly. I'm not alluding to so-called "beginner's mind" nor to the innocence of looking at the world through the oft-touted "eyes of a child" although both were surely present somewhere in the totality. Rather I'm alluding to looking at the world without mature judgement in a way a child does without even realizing it. Most if not all of the assumptions I made about life as a child were like that. Thoughts that I considered to be my own were in fact just automatic by-products of a machine spewing out glib defense-mechanisms which would protect my best interests ie my survival, but were really not my thinking at all.

I thought (or rather it  thought) that my mother couldn't be trusted, and that my father was over-bearing, assumptions which appeared to me as the truth. And really, how could they not  appear to me as the truth? Moi, the child, thunk those thoughts after all, so obviously  they were true for me ... or so it seemed. Not having the maturity to distinguish their lack  of maturity, those thoughts and their assumed-truth became woven into the fabric of my epistemology  about my parents ie the way I would be  about them for years to come. All they did was love me - to which I added "untrustworthy" and "over-bearing", then acted as if it were true about them.

That (in and of itself) caused problems for me. How so? When you relate to something ie to anything  as true when it isn't, then it's going to cause problems. There'll be problems in the making, no matter what the actual issues are. Later more offshoots of problems appeared, resulting from, adding to, and compounding the epistemological foundation of the way I was about my parents which in turn began morphing into much, much bigger issues. I was building my life on shaky ground.

To wit, "My mother can't be trusted" was becoming (so subtly I was barely aware it was happening at all) "Women  (ie all  women) can't be trusted.". "My father is over-bearing" was becoming (so subtly I was barely aware it was happening at all) "Men  (ie all men) are over-bearing.". The epistemological "My mother can't be trusted" was the way I related to all women not just my mother. The epistemological "My father is over-bearing" was the way I related to all men not just my father.

Having said that, this conversation isn't about any of the above. Oh? So why bother to articulate it at all in the first place Laurence? To set up ie to distinguish the logic system  of the mind, its rules of engagement  (if you will), the system which has it that all  women can't be trusted and that all men are over-bearing when originally I only added those "truths" to my mother not to all women, and my father not to all men.

Werner distinguishes it by




OK, so everything is the same as everything else, so if my mother, a woman, can't be trusted, then in my mind all  women can't be trusted. Everything is the same as everything else, so if my father, a man, is over-bearing, then in my mind all men are over-bearing. And look: that's not just the logic system from which an entire epistemological wall  is constructed so that whether it's true or not, it's the way I be'd  about all women and about all men from then on. No, it's more / worse than that. It's the logic system with which we assess / process everything  that happens right now  and ... right now  and ... right now. Everything. No exceptions. Not one.

Look at it closely. Discover it for yourself. Try it on for size. It fits. Now: what then is the "... except not always"  component of this brick in the epistemological wall? "... except not always" is as capricious as it sounds. The logic system of the mind says "I'll treat everything the same as everything else ... except when it doesn't suit me to do so; I'll regard everything the same as everything else ... until it no longer benefits me to do so.". The mind will do anything  in order to be right, including betraying its own logic system, including lying, including re-writing its own rules of engagement to suit itself. Look closely: it always leaves an "out": "Women can't be trusted" (the rule) "... except some can be" (the out); "Men are over-bearing" (the rule) "... except some aren't" (the out). This is the epitome  of capriciousness.

Given the rule, "... except not always" (the out) has no integrity. And it's fait accompli  the logic system of the mind will sacrifice integrity in order to be right. There's nothing to be done about this. It's the way the machine works. Noticing it happening creates an opportunity to reinstate integrity by 'fessing up / taking responsibility.

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