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


Flying

San Bruno, California, USA

June 20, 2011

"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only that there be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
 ... Rainer Maria Rilke transcribed by  
This essay, Flying, is the prequel to the seventh trilogy Visits With A Friend:
  1. Meetings With A Remarkable Man
  2. Being Directed By The Unanswered Question
  3. Out Here
in that order.

It is also the companion piece to Sitting.

It is also the seventh in an open group Visits With A Friend Prequels:
  1. Anticipation: Accounting For An American Love Affair
  2. Eye Of The Needle
  3. Secret Service
  4. Everyone Loves You
  5. Close Up, Face To Face, Larger Than Life, And Twice As Natural
  6. View From A Fallow Wheatfield
  7. Flying
  8. Three Stairs At A Time
  9. Something Fierce, Something Wonderful
  10. Serving High
  11. Simple But Not Easy
  12. A Request Asked Harder
in that order.




This is a conversation about flying.

Not the kind of flying the way Orville and Wilbur Wright envisioned airplanes flying. Nor the kind of flying the way Mother Nature has birds flying. Rather the kind of flying the way the spirit wants you and I to fly.

Ever since I was born I've wanted to fly. Not in the Wright-ian way although I sometimes fly that way. Nor in the avian  way although sometimes it's useful to speak about flying the way the spirit wants you and I to fly, analogously  in the avian way. One of the attractions which drew me to you is you fly the way the spirit wants you to fly. I recognized it. I wanted it. I wanted to fly like you. I wanted you to teach me to fly the way you fly. I wanted you to teach me to fly the way the spirit wants me to fly.

You did teach me to fly. Or did you teach me to teach myself to fly? One or other or both  of the above is true. I don't know which. It doesn't matter which. I can fly now. If I described flying the way the spirit wants me to fly, using analogies from the avian way of flying, I'd say sometimes I soar with eagles. Sometimes in spite of my best efforts, all I seem capable of is hopping out of my nest like an inexperienced chick, naïvely trying to fly but crashing instead unceremoniously onto the rocks below. Complaining profusely, I soon notice nobody's listening. So I splutter for a while, then dust myself off, look at what didn't work, and launch myself anew. Sometimes I fly motionlessly and masterfully like a hummingbird. All of it goeswith  flying (as Alan Watts may have said).

When I first asked you to teach me to fly, I wanted flying for myself. Some aspects of my life weren't getting off the ground. Some aspects of my life just plain didn't work. I wanted my life to get off the ground. I wanted my life to work. Yet all I could figure out how to do was settle for whatever came along, with no real choice in the matter of my own life. After you taught me to fly I noticed something which until then I hadn't seen before - ever. It's not that I wasn't looking for it. It's not that I couldn't see it. It's that until you taught me to fly, it simply wasn't available like a possibility.

At first it was all about me wanting to fly ... then flying. Now it's not about me wanting to fly any more. I no longer want flying for myself. What I want is for others to fly. Wanting others to fly is a natural expression of my own flying. And if others don't fly, that's OK with me - even if I want them to. Everyone's OK the way we are and the way we aren't. No one needs to fly. There's nothing wrong with not flying. I share flying as a gift. It's a gift which can be freely refused and freely accepted. What's truly magical  about flying and sharing the gift of flying, is the wonder and satisfaction which goeswith flying and sharing the gift of flying, doesn't come from the gift of flying being accepted. Neither is it diminished if the gift of flying is refused. The wonder and satisfaction which goeswith flying and sharing the gift of flying, comes from flying and sharing the gift of flying. It's that simple.

If this was all you taught me, if this was the only thing you ever  taught me, it would have been enough. No, it wouldn't have been merely enough. It would have been more than enough - waaay  more. You teaching me and others to fly isn't simply "a"  gift. It's "the"  gift. There's no greater love a human being can bestow upon others than sharing the gift of flying with them. None. Any other gift I may bestow upon others, or others may bestow upon me, pales into insignificance next to the gift of flying. It's what the spirit wants. And whether others fly or whether I fly, doesn't matter. It's flying the spirit wants. Evenhandedly. For everyone.

I know you don't want, expect, or need our thanks for flying the way the spirit wants you to fly, and for sharing flying with us. I know you have no preference if others fly or if I fly or even if you fly - as long as there's flying. I recognize this about you. But for the record, thank you anyway.

Really. Thank You.


Background soundtrack: The Beatles: Flying - wait for 488K download


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