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

Fight, Flee, Or Face Up

(The Train Is In The Station)

Napa Union High School Auditorium, Napa, California, USA

March 31, 2005

This essay, Fight, Flee, Or Face Up (The Train Is In The Station), is the companion piece to It is also the sequel to In The Face Of Commitment.

There are three possible responses to real or imaginary challenges:

 1)  fight,
 2)  flee, or
 3)  face up.

It's the third possible response which interests me. What facing up really is, is becoming present to the situation. The first two, fight or flight, are for the most part automatic responses. There's nothing wrong with either of them. We're constructed to respond this way from time to time. It's what ensures our safety and our survival - literally. It's what comes with the package. But what facing up brings which is new, which doesn't come with the package, is accountability, responsibility, and possibility. This is who I am. This is what's happening. I'm responsible for this. Now  what?

These realizations are the very stuff of transformed living. They don't create themselves. Neither do you have a right to them, and neither are they easy to wrestle with. If transformation were easy, wouldn't the entire world be transformed by now?

Ask yourself: what's my choice here? What possibility can I invent here? Whatever the answers to these questions are, asking them allows something new to emerge, something more than simply a hormonal endrocrinal keyed response for which no one except your own clockwork-ness can take any credit.

Notice you can't answer these questions authentically and neither will anything new show up until you get present to the situation and face up to the challenge - fight and flight are not options. It's not just that you can't have a worthwhile inquiry when no one is at home. It's that the problem state, whatever the problem is, is always axiomatically congruent with the über-conversation  "This isn't  it". Simply by facing up to it, the problem state is vanquished. Nothing changes out there, yet the missing link - presence  (or listening, if you will) - returns. Someone is at home. The train is in the station. It's OK the way it is, and there's choice in the matter of the future again.

What stops you living a life you love isn't the past you had but the future you don't  have. What makes for living a life you love is inventing a future worth living into.
Werner says "You can have what you want, or you can have the reasons you don't have what you want.". Werner also says "What you got is what you chose. To move on, choose it.".

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