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


Friends Of Being

Folie A Deux, Napa Valley, California, USA

November 28, 2015



When I stop for a moment and look closely, I can't miss noticing and being astonished by how much work we do, how much effort we expend, how many hoops we jump through, how much time we invest, in order to simply be. For many of us, the focus is on learning  to experience just being. By the same token, if I again stop for just a moment and look closely, I can't miss also noticing and being astonished by how much work we do, how much effort we expend, how many hoops we jump through, how much time we invest, in order to not  be ie in order to avoid  experiencing being. For many more of us, the focus is on whatever it takes to avoid being.

Now I'm not about to propose we do anything about this strange state of affairs. And neither am I about to propose we don't  do anything about it - not yet anyway. I prefer instead (for now, at least) to simply look at it for the oddity it is ie for the enigma  it is. And it's not merely a passing enigma either, and nor is it just a local enigma. No, it's widespread. It's rampant. We're human be-ings. Yet we have, for the most part, a relationship with being in which being either seems inaccessible  for us, and so we work, expend effort, jump through hoops, and invest time in order to learn to experience just being ... OR  ... we have a relationship with being in which being seems abhorrent  for us, and so we work, expend effort, jump through hoops, and invest time doing whatever it takes for us to avoid experiencing just being.

As for the time and effort we invest in order to learn to experience just being, that's enigmatic because we already are. The idea of doing something, anything, in order to be, is fraught with absurdity: what could possibly be required of us in order to be that which we already are? And as for the time and effort we'll invest in avoiding experiencing just being ("like dogs trying not to be dogs"), it's just as enigmatic because we already are  (in other words, it's the opposite slant but the same reason). And the idea that it's possible to do something, anything, in order to avoid being, is absurd: how could it be possible for us to avoid being that which we already are?

It's obvious (if we tell the truth about it) what we do in order to avoid being. For example, we engage in activities which numb us to the experience of just being. We over-eat. We use alcohol and nicotine. We self-medicate. We stay on the surface with gossip and with cheapened talk (listen: contrary to the common adage, talk isn't  cheap - it's we  who cheapen talk). Whatever there is to confront (emotions, unresolved conflicts, guilt, regret etc) on the way to experiencing simply being, we choose not to, and we recoil from it. But because it's there anyway, avoiding it requires hard work requiring evasive action. Here's where it gets interesting: what's not  quite so obvious is whatever it is we do in order to learn  to experience just being, will get in the way of being, as effectively if not more so  as what we do to avoid  being.

There's a long, long inventory of what we do in order to learn to experience just being. Rather than attempt to enumerate this long, varied list, I assert the list items would each have one principle in common, and that principle is: "This isn't  what being looks like (nor what it's s'posed  to look like) ... so there must be something to get, something to find out, something to discover, in order to just be.". It's the principle itself  which is erroneously held as self-evident ie as blindingly assured like an epistemology, which gets in the way of just being. And as I said, it gets in the way of us being, just as effectively if not more so as, anything we do to avoid being.

If you're one of those people I call "Friends of Being", you're one of those for whom being is enough. You're one of those who simply don't have the principle "This isn't what being looks like" in the way, neither are you invested in ways of avoiding being. Being is that which we already are. Friends of Being live in this obviousness ie in the obviousness that this (ie all  of this) is what being looks like. There's nothing to learn. There's nothing to do in order to simply be. This is It! This is enough.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2015, 2016 Permission