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


Good Enough For Jazz

Silverado Vineyards, Silverado Trail, Napa Valley, California, USA

December 6, 2012

"Transformation isn't easy. If transformation were easy, the whole world would be transformed by now."  ... 
I am indebted to Charles Campos who inspired this conversation.




We're thrown  to complicate things (it's the machinery  - it's nothing you or I do consciously or deliberately). For the most part "It's not so simple"  is an already always automatic  response in a conversation for transformation when transformation isn't considered like a possibility. Actually when it comes to transformation, there's no rigor  in "It's not so simple". Transformation is  simple. And sometimes it isn't easy.

Here's something simple to try, something you know you can do: you can talk. That's simple enough, yes? So tell me what's going on with you. It's easy. You can do it, right?

But here's the thing: I don't mean tell me what's going on with you in general. I mean tell me what's going on with you right now. Take a moment. Look at what's going on with you right now. OK now tell me about it.

* * *

You can't. Did you get that? Did you get you can't do it? You can't tell me what's going on with you right now. It's not an option. Why?  Because whatever you say is going on with you right now is no longer going on with you right now. Whatever you say is going on with you right now is already in the past. See for yourself. You can't tell me what's going on with you right now. Even though it's something which sounds simple, you can't do it.

What's simple isn't always easy. And sometimes easy isn't even an option either. Listen: I'm not about to propose a way to correct  this state of affairs. Neither am I about to fix anything - because there's nothing wrong with it. There's nothing to correct and there's nothing to fix. Rather I'm about to draw attention to the fact that vast areas of Life itself, of living, and of our lives are simple ... but not easy. Mastery calls for having it be this way ie having it be exactly  the way it is and exactly the way it isn't ... and  ... having it all work.

Our lives are successive moments of experiencing the present which immediately  devolve into the past (as Werner Erhard may have said). Yet you and I talk without rigor  about living in "the present" ie we talk without rigor about living in "the now"  as if that's where we are ... when in fact (as I just demonstrated) we really don't even have the option of talking about it accurately - and we all know talking is simple.

The anomaly goes with the territory  of what it is to be human. But our language, in both ordinary and transformed conversations, even if it isn't accurate enough or rigorous enough according to the letter of the law, is still good enough for jazz. In all  our conversations, both ordinary and transformed, our words are always only approximations  of the truth ie symbols of the truth. They're pointers to the truth ... but they're not "the  Truth".

Once you start noticing the degree of lack of accuracy and the degree of lack of rigor with which we talk about our lives and about living and about Life itself (and by accuracy I simply mean whether or not your experience  is matched by your language  in a true world to word fit)  you start noticing oceans  of experiences which we language neither accurately nor rigorously - not because we intend to be inaccurate and not because we intend to be non-rigorous but because doing so goes with the territory of being human. It's more than that actually. It's that's all that's available  to us.

Given the way we're constructed as human beings, there's nothing to be done about this - nothing to be done about this, that is, except notice it and distinguish it. It's in the act of noticing it and distinguishing it that we become as congruent as we can possibly be  with who we really are. Said another way, it's in the act of noticing it and distinguishing it that we're most closely being  who we really are.

Being who we really are is simple. And sometimes it isn't easy. Being as close to who we really are as we can be, being as close to who we really are as we can ongoingly muster  is, in the realm of being human and living authentically on the planet, good enough for jazz.


Background soundtrack: Dave Brubeck Quartet: Take Five - wait for 4.98M download


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