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


Hands Off Love

Camarillo, California, USA

April 2, 2008



"You don't have to go looking for love when it is where you come from."  ... 
This essay, Hands Off Love, is the fourth in a group of sixteen on Love: I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt and to my son Christian Laurence Platt and to my son Joshua Nelson Platt who inspired this conversation.



I've been a big believer in hands on  love. It's a bit like hands on  management. You're not simply running the show. You're not simply calling the shots from afar yet not down and dirty yourself, not in the thick of things. You're right there in the process itself, experiencing it along with everyone else, hands on. That's an apt description for both hands on management as well as for hands on love.

Hands on love has another component I've always revered, one that's exactly what's implied in the phrase "hands on  love": touching, feeling, which in turn implies being physically close enough to touch and feel.

In some instances, the notion of hands on  management ie micro-management, is eschewed in favor of delegation and hands off  management. This could also be said with regard to hands on  love and hands off  love. But the intention of this essay isn't to vote for one or for the other. It's simply to make the distinction. Besides which, hands off  management and hands off  love aren't really exactly analogous. They're interimly similar. Yet ultimately they're not even really in the same order of things.
Werner revealing who he really is, revealed to me the possibility of hands off  love. It's more than that, actually. In my life, before I got to know who Werner really is, there simply wasn't any possibility  for hands off love at all. I couldn't have imagined hands off love as a real, thrilling, living possibility even if my life had depended on being able to bring it forth like a possibility.

For all intents and purposes, "hands off love", like "smart bomb" and "military intelligence", was an oxymoron, a complete and utter contradiction in terms. When I personally expressed love, I wanted to and assumed it would mean hands on  love quite literally, as soon and as often as possible.

There's nothing wrong with hands on  love. It's a good place to start. It's where we all  start - from a very, very early age. But the broader truth, at least for me, became patently clear only later.
Werner by demonstration  teased out a distinction I now call hands off  love as an experience  which comes from a bigger place than hands on love, even as it nurtures hands on love. It's this bigger place from where I intend to bring forth mastery from now on. It's this bigger place, hands off love, which expands over, which precedes yet which includes hands on love.



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