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




Groundhog Weeks

Napa Valley, California, USA

April 19, 2019

"The only thing you are going to do today, is what you do today." ... 
"Life imitates art far more than art imitates life." ... Oscar Wilde
This essay, Groundhog Weeks, is the companion piece to It is also the twelfth in a group of twelve embodying ideas from Movies:


Directed by Harold Ramis

© Columbia Pictures - 1993
Groundhog Day - The Movie
In the movie Groundhog Day, the protagonist Phil Connors played by Bill Murray, wakes up into the same day, day after day after day, every day. It's a simple concept, one which is actually and deceptively quite brilliant. This essay is my reflection on it.

Its premise is life is the same over and over and over again and again and again and again and again and again. But wait: isn't that what life does  seem like? And when you consider it, isn't that aspect of life disconcerting and bizarre, not to mention futile? So is God a prankster? No. But even if she were, there's a possible access here, a powerful opening maybe yet to be discovered.

It's never really sat right with me that real life would be disconcerting  and bizarre  and futile. But even when it did seem that way, blaming it never worked either. Rather, I assumed there was something I was missing. What that was, I didn't yet know. All I knew was that the notion of Life itself as disconcerting and bizarre and futile, just didn't sit right with me. So I stopped being its judge, and instead looked to see if I could come up with what I was missing. In conversations with Werner, I gradually began entertaining the possibility of natural knowing  ie a way of knowing the material in an entirely new way, rather than the way I'd known anything until then. Until then, I only knew something in order to succeed, in order to be (and do) better than ... in other words: in order to survive. That wasn't knowing: it was simply using the material to my advantage  (I only got that much later).

Transformation gives an access to ie is a portal  to natural knowing. What transformation brings to the table is the context  in which life occurs as the same play over and over and over again and again and again and again and again and again. It's the context of who I am  to whom it all shows up. Without it, life is indeed disconcerting and bizarre and futile. With it, the exact same material and occurrences suddenly become dramatically, vividly, and magically open, brilliant, opportune, and awesome (by "it"  - as in "without it" and "with it" - I'm penning a double entendre  which pivots both on transformation and on Life itself).

Sometime after I got that, I watched Groundhog Day again. It was just as enjoyable the second time - but with a difference: to the second viewing I brought two new overviews. The first was: it's not merely the day which repeats itself over and over and over again and again and again and again and again and again. Life is bigger than that. It's waaay  bigger than that. It's the week, the month, the year, and even Life itself which repeats itself over and over and over again and again and again and again and again and again. More than Groundhog Day, it could be Groundhog Weeks  or even Months  or Years. The second new overview was: without a context in which Life itself can show up over and over and over again and again and again and again and again and again, all of it is  truly disconcerting and bizarre and futile.

So here's what I got: life's disconcertedness, bizarreness, and futility is really a pointer  to something awesome ie to something profound. If like me, it's never sat right with you that life is disconcerting, bizarre, and futile, allow it to kick-start an inquiry which can eventually lead to discovering true context, the context of who we are to whom it all shows up. Then life no longer merits pegging as disconcerting, bizarre, and futile. Then it's just what's so. And when life is just what's so, then you're free.



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