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


Graduation Day!

Memorial Stadium, Napa, California, USA

June 11, 2008

"Graduation Day! Graduation Day! I'm in love for the very first time." ... The Ivy League, Graduation Day 
This essay, Graduation Day!, is the sixth in a group of seventeen with titles borrowed from Songs:

If you've ever participated in Werner's work, if you've ever participated in Conversations For Transformation, if you've ever considered what it takes to live life transformed, you've noticed your life has a natural tendency, an impetus, an already momentum towards being fully presenced  as well as towards being fully expressed in the world. This tendency, this impetus, this momentum isn't something you created. It's nothing you can take credit for. What it is is the "desire" (if you will) of the to be fully expressed in the Self  to be fully presenced, world. It's personal ... and it's not personal. It's simply the way the horse is going. You notice the horse's direction. That's the direction in which it's easier to ride it.
Werner Erhard says "It's much easier to ride the horse in the direction he's going.".

Flushed with the exuberance of riding, galloping hooves loud in your ears, horse and you moving as one, the wind parting your hair, you've also noticed there are days when barriers appear, seemingly out of nowhere, planting themselves firmly in the path along your favorite riding trails.

These are the days when Self  to be less presenced, seems to be less expressed than other days. You've realized there are some situations when, in spite of your best intentions, you're reactivated to a degree where regardless of wishing it were otherwise, regardless of hoping  it will become otherwise, regardless of your best efforts to control  being reactivated, regardless of your best intentions to ignore  being reactivated, powerful Self presence and unwavering Self expression simply aren't options. Them's dark clouds on the sky and the sun simply ain't gonna shine  on days like these.

These are the days when the idea of inventing new possibilities for being isn't a simple straight shot, isn't a slam-dunk, isn't a gimme. You've already figured out, you already know before anything new will come into being, you're going to have to take the time to look at what's grabbing you, what's keeping you stuck. You're going to have to evaluate whether or not you can own it, whether or not you can take responsibility for it. If you can, it's no longer something you're stuck with. Rather, it's something you're being inauthentic  about, that is to say, something you're not telling the truth unflinchingly  about. Knowing it's something you're being inauthentic about, something you're not telling the truth unflinchingly about, won't make it easier. But it will restore choice in the matter.

Being committed to full Self presence and to full Self expression, sooner or later you'll get to this choice in the matter. As a natural consequence of living the examined life, as a natural consequence of riding the horse in the direction he's going, sooner or later along the trail, whether unexpected or whether expected, you'll come across it: choice in the matter. That's not to say sooner or later you'll make  a choice ... AND ... making a choice will indeed come too, I assert, if you're committed to being fully Self presenced, if you're committed to being fully Self expressed. Sooner or later you'll get to what's so  about Self presence and Self expression being a matter of choice and of nothing else.

Alexandra's Graduation from Napa High School - Memorial Stadium, Napa, USA - Wednesday June 11, 2008
Laurence with Alexandra and Joshua
Self presence and Self expression aren't matters of strategy. Neither are they matters of positive thinking  or of knowing how to debate well. Self presence and Self expression aren't matters of reasoning or of figuring it out. Neither are they matters of turning over new leaves, and they aren't matters of making (or keeping) new years' resolutions  either. Self presence and Self expression are matters of being free to choose. Yet when you're mired  in reactivation, the freedom to choose is often only found in the last place you look.

When you get to choice in the matter of being Self presenced, when you get to choice in the matter of being Self expressed, when you get it's no more than your choice to be Self presenced and to be Self expressed (and no less than  your choice either), when you've not only chosen  but you've also committed to making that choice over  and over  and over  and over  and over  again day after day after day for the rest of your life regardless of any and all of the nights and days of reactivation and inauthenticity and their resulting sense of powerlessness, then and only then can you consider yourself this day to truly be a graduate  of that great open enrollment academy of equestrians worldwide who ride the horse in the direction he's going.

This day, today, and every day from now on for the rest of your life, is Graduation Day!



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