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

Get Under It And Catch It

Browns Valley Yogurt and Espresso Bar, California, USA

December 8, 2017

"The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent." ... Stanley Kubrick

"When I find myself in times of trouble mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom 'Let it be.'". ... The Beatles, Let It Be
This essay, Get Under It And Catch It, is the companion piece to I am indebted to my children Alexandra Lindsey Platt and Christian Laurence Platt and Joshua Nelson Platt who inspired this conversation, and to Alan Watts who contributed material.

Not because of who  we are but rather because of how  we are, our circumstances occasionally get the better of us. Fortunately with the advent of transformation, we discover the language scalpel  which is razor-sharp enough to differentiate between our circumstantial reactivation machinery, and the awesome lovely and totally open un-held-back  possibility we are, under any and all circumstances.

For what it's worth, I think it should be legislated as mandatory  to impart this simple distinction like a direct experience, in schools. It's the one distinction we human beings languish without. Yet with  it, any  circumstances are livable. As for why  it's so widely and prevalently undiscovered, Alan Watts postulates it's because there's a taboo  in place against knowing it - such is the lot of human beings without the possibility of transformation.

Here in northern California, I've had tough conversations with my children about our circumstances - to wit, earthquakes and firestorms. I've made it clear that if it were up to me, I would make the planet an earthquake and firestorm free zone. That's what I would do to prepare the world for my babies, and to protect them. And now that they're old enough to know, they realize I don't have that option. What I can  do however, is point them in the direction of who they really  are in the matter of such inhospitable events, and how the magic  and the majesty of life is restored by simply accepting what's so  and taking responsibility for their experience of it.

Cowboy Cottage ICBM view

Photograph courtesy Google Maps

Collage by Laurence Platt
It's a given that all such conversations invariably include my proviso "It's very simple to do. It's very, very  effective too, and the truth is it's not always easy  (if it were easy, the whole world would be transformed by now)". I also include the assertion that although the universe never promised anyone ever  that things would always be easy, loving, kind, gentle, and hospitable, when we accept our circumstances as what's so and take responsibility for our experience of them, something magical happens.

I was sipping a chai tea latte  with a friend in a local coffee shop. During the course of our conversation, I made that very point. She said "It's not so simple, Laurence!" to which I replied "You hamstring  yourself when you say it's not simple. With that constituted in your language, there's no chance  it'll ever  occur as simple for you" (to which she didn't respond directly ... but she did ask about "constituted in language").

That was how this conversation turned out with an adult. And the thing about having this conversation with young people however, is they haven't yet built up massive defensive barriers that deafen them to even that which would benefit them, especially if at first it may seem counter-intuitive. Transformation doesn't  change the world (if anything, it makes the world more of the way the world already is). And we all want the world changed, yes? (it's Alan's taboo which keeps us locked into this predicament).

When I have this conversation with my children, I tell them their job  is to have a great life. And there sometimes will  be extreme circumstances which will surely get the better of them - and when there are, I suggest as soon as possible, they come back to distinguishing the bigness they really are. Then, before trying to change the circumstances, I suggest they invent new ways of accepting them. "But Daaad"  they say (enthusiastically, now that they're really  into this conversation) "what about north Korea?". "Well ... what about  north Korea?" I ask. "Well ... what if north Korea sends an ICBM  (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) with a nuclear warhead on it to Napa Valley, and drops it on Cowboy Cottage?" they ask wide-eyed (I love  their idea in making a point, that north Korea would nuke Cowboy Cottage ...).

"OK, here's what I have to say about that" I tell them: "If north Korea sends an ICBM with a nuclear warhead on it to Napa Valley and drops it on Cowboy Cottage, I'll go outside into the cattle pasture, look up and figure out exactly where it's going to land, and then I'll get under it and catch it.".

And my children get it! And I love  it that they get it. They're my children, after all. So it's in their DNA  (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid) to get it.

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