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

Here Is The Secret

Napa Valley, California, USA

January 17, 2020

"This is it. There are no hidden meanings. All that mystical stuff is just what's so. A master is someone who found out." ... 
"Listen! Do you want to know a secret?" ... George Harrison

"Listen! Do you want to know the  secret?" ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Here Is The Secret, is the companion piece to This Is Not In The Constitution.

In my personal explorations, I've sought out and talked with many highly educated people, with many self-taught people, indeed I've talked with many wise people, some great teachers, a few professors, and one or two gurus. I was intrigued by what they had. To me it seemed as if they had something I didn't, which I coveted. It seemed as if they knew a secret, the secret I didn't know which, if I only knew it, would reveal something that would make my life more liveable, something which would imbue my life with a higher quality, something which would make my life not so complicated and laborious. Whatever secret they had (and I was certain  they had one), I wanted it. So to discover their secret, I listened to them, I imitated what they did, I read what they read, I talked to whomever they talked to, I ate what they ate, I traveled to where they traveled, I practiced what they practiced. And I still didn't discover their secret. In spite of that, I remained convinced they had one.

Then I talked with Werner. And after talking with Werner ie after being around  Werner, something extraordinary, something unbelievable happened: I'd finally figured it out: I'd realized there's no secret!  Oh ... my ... God  (cue that old country song about looking for love in all the wrong places  ...). There's no secret. Oh ... my ... God. This is it! And after all that time investing all that energy in search of the secret ie after all that time wanting to know the secret, it turns out there is none. Wow.

After centuries and more (millennia possibly, depending on your culture and ancestry) of trying to figure it / life / all of it out, and after just as long trying to figure each of ourselves  out, after all the group sessions, after all the therapy sessions, after all the prayers, after all the books, after all the gurus, the trips, the highs (and the lows), after all the time invested in looking for the inside edge (perhaps that's better restated as the homophonic "insight  edge"), after all our visits to the confessional and all our time in synagogues, monasteries, ashrams, convents, seeking, searching, looking for God, the meaning of life, and the secret to finding them, after all that, it turns out a) she's not coming, and b) there's none: there's no meaning, there's no secret, this is it - exactly this way, exactly not  that way, just like this, not  like that. There's nothing to figure out. There's no meaning after all, and it's not significant! This is it. I mean ... who woulda thunk? What  a plot twist.

"But Laurence" you say, "surely  there's a secret ... ?" (and that's a very big, playful "surely"). OK, I'll play: here is the secret: there is none. That's  the secret: there is no secret. No fooling!  When you get that (I mean when you really  get it), it's simply jaw-dropping, staggering  in its simplicity - that is, if you can even begin to let it in, and deal with it. All the meaning and all the significance we heap onto being alive like we heap chocolate sauce and sprinkles on our sundaes, serves no purpose other than to effectively obscure that for which we were hoping in the first place: an epiphany revealing the secret. But this is it, this  experience (not any other one) - exactly the way it is, without changing anything, without fixing anything, without adding anything. This  ... is ... IT! There's nothing missing. There's nothing to get.

The such-ness of it, the thus-ness of it ... it's so deceptively, so blindingly, so stoopidly  obvious. Getting it ie the moment when you finally let it in, is like the time you couldn't find your reading glasses (we've all had a moment like this): you looked here, you looked there, you looked everywhere, upstairs, downstairs, in all the rooms, between the couch cushions, in the car ... only to discover they were perched on your nose the whole time. They were there all the time. There was nothing to get. That's the secret: there's no secret!  This is what it looks like - exactly like this. This is what it feels like. Exactly like this. Here's the mystery: being human, we're sure this cannot be it, that there must be something else, something more, and there must be some secret to get it. But there isn't. This is it. There's no secret. We're free.

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