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

From Nefariousness To Possibility

Cakebread Cellars, Rutherford Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

February 9, 2019

"The moment you're drawn in to meet the attack, you're in trouble." ...  Laurence Platt recreating    recreating martial arts tenet #1 
"Don't be where the blow lands." ...  Laurence Platt recreating    recreating martial arts tenet #2 

What does it mean to be truly free? The freedom I'm inquiring about is the freedom to be and the freedom to act uninhibited  like dancing un-self-consciously, the freedom that's always available like a possibility  no matter what the circumstances (and there are those circumstances in which such freedom doesn't seem possible).

Consider this: language may be a path to true freedom in any  circumstance - that is to say, consider making the connection between language and freedom. It could be more than language is a path to true freedom ie more than language is the access to true freedom. It could be that language is the domain  of true freedom ie it could be that language is the realm in which true freedom shows up. I won't stake that language is the only  path to true freedom. It may be. It may not be. What I'll stake is it's arguably the most powerful, the most practical, the most pragmatically ownable  access there is, with which to map and navigate a path to true freedom.

There's an old adage that says there's no problem so big that language can't solve it - at least ease it or create an opening for it so that it starts to diminish, break up, and disappear as if all by itself. And in the event that a problem does prove too big to solve (or at least seems to be), there's the power of forgiving (to forgive is in and of itself, an act of language). To not forgive, is to resent - and resenting is like "taking poison, hoping the other  guy will die" (as a great leader Nelson Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Madiba Tata (uBawom)Khulu Mandela may have said). Look: as an extra dimension, as a bonus possibility, to forgive includes forgiving the circumstances.

So in this quiver (if you will) of implements of true freedom, there are (so far) two arrows: language, and forgiveness, to which we can add yet another arrow, one more implement crucial in its own right: acceptance. When I allude to acceptance, I have it as more than, for example, acceptance of what I don't like, of who or what wrongs me, of who or what slights me. It's also more than acceptance of the circumstances. For me, it's acceptance of all of the above ... and  ... done in a way that inspires even those who intentionally wrong or slight me, so they're enrolled in trying on language, forgiveness, and acceptance for themselves, as a path to freedom.

Someone attacked / criticized my work recently. In all likelihood, it was their personal response to the perceived threat of transformation, rather than an attack on the "Laurence" identity per se. It was the kind of making mischief  attack which comes with a flawed certainty of being right, yet at the same time is misinformed to the point of being devoid of facts. Its sheer voracity more than its content, demanded I reckon with it. Yet even a demand that I reckon with it, can't draw me in. Why?

Here are two martial arts tenets / bastions I got from Werner, both of which are useful in such situations. The first is: the moment you're drawn in to meet the attack, you're in trouble. The second (a corollary of the first) is: don't be where the blow lands. That's don't be  where the blow lands (putting the emphasis where it works).

If transformation is anything, it's a context that shows up when you distinguish between your mind, and who you really are. Transformation may therefore show up as a threat, given its freedom from positionality, to the naturally defensive, positional mind. Empowered by that insight, it's counter-productive arguing and debating with transformation's skeptics ie with people skeptical of what they consider transformation to be. Listen: I speak from experience. I was a skeptic / critic. What enrolled me wasn't a better, more persuasive, winning  argument. What enrolled me was being gotten  - that is to say, what enrolled me was having my criticism heard. When your only response to criticism is getting it, there's no fight. When there's no fight, a new possibility for being connected, for something inspired, becomes available. Really.

Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2019 Permission