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 Now You

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

November 17, 2015



"Here is where it is. Now is when it is. You are what it is. Celebrate!"  ... 
"Listening is being fully present, creating the space for another to be fully present." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Here Now You, is the sequel to We've Already Arrived.

I am indebted to Donovan Copley who inspired this conversation.




If you don't like the weather, wait a few hours. It'll turn into something else. If you don't like the politics, wait a while. They'll turn into something else. The world is constantly turning out. That's obvious. What's not so obvious is how little control we have over the way it turns out. And when I say it's not so obvious how little control we have over the way it turns out, I'm saying we don't take the time to examine how little control we have over the way it turns out. But if you look at it unflinchingly  (ie if you look at it the way it is, and not at the way you'd like  it to be) you'll to see it turns out the way it turns out anyway, regardless of what we do. We have it that we're in control of the way it turns out. We don't let in that we really aren't. And our disliking or disapproving of or disagreeing with the way it turns out, and our disliking or disapproving of or disagreeing with not being in control of the way it turns out, doesn't make a damn bit of difference.

We're preoccupied with the world and with what's happening out there*, and with trying to make it turn out the way we  want it to turn out (listen: both the bad guys and  the good guys are working on this, yes?). The truth is the world is constantly turning out all by itself. Some of it is turning out rapidly. Some of it is turning out only minutely over millennia. Much of what we all could do with a lot less of, turns out at a snail's frustratingly slow pace. Much of what we all could do with a lot more of, comes and is gone in a flash. It keeps on turning out the way it's always been turning out at whatever pace it turns out. And it'll keep on turning out the way it's always been turning out at whatever pace it turns out for at least a few millennia more.

Whatever we do to alter the way it turns out, only has interim impact. If you examine this assertion unflinchingly, it's clear it turns out the way it turns out anyway, regardless of what we do. It's we who must scramble and adapt and re-invent ourselves just to keep up with the way it turns out, not the other way around. Even given most of our cherished notions to the contrary, it's impossible to make a lasting difference in this scenario. Pretending or hoping it's otherwise, is wishful thinking ie it's as naïve as the conjured up childhood notions of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. Yet that's exactly what we keep doing: pretending, hoping, wishing ... praying.

Wait! It's actually worse  than that. It's not only that we're not in control of the way the world out there* turns out. It's that we're also not in control of what happens within  ourselves.

<aside>

To be clear, normally I find the common designation "within  ourselves" and the like, to be not very powerful. But in this instance it's good enough for jazz.

<un-aside>

We have no control over our thoughts. They come and they go. We have no control over our emotions. They come and they go. We have no control over any of our internal states. They come and they go. We have even less  control over our biological processes like digestion and circulation - and clearly they get along quite well without us. There's almost nothing  in the world out there* or  within ourselves, over which we have any control at all. It seems like there's nothing worth celebrating.

Well ... almost  nothing. There is one thing we do have control over ie there's one thing we have total  control over, and that's what comes out of our mouths. We have control over what we say. We have control over our speaking. We have control over our language. We have control over our word. In a certain sense, who we are as integrity  is our word ie in a certain sense, who we are as integrity shows up in what comes out of our mouths. But in another sense, who we are - period  (not only as integrity) - is our word ie in another sense, who we are - period - is what comes out of our mouths. And what comes out of our mouths ie our speaking, our language, our word, is the only  thing in the world out there* and  within ourselves, over which we have any control at all.

When you are  that you are your speaking, when you are that you are your language, when you are that you are your word, and when you are that another  is their speaking, when you are that another is their language, when you are that another is their word, when you're being fully present with their speaking (simply stated, when you're listening  them), it creates the space for them to be fully present, and that's  the interaction which makes a difference. When human beings are present to one another as human beings  ie as their speaking and listening, and not as their opinions, partisan beliefs, creeds, doctrines, and religions etc, a context  arises in which a lasting difference can be made for everyone - with no one and nothing left out.

There's a difference to be made out there* in the world, there's a difference to be made among ourselves, there's a difference to be made within ourselves, and it all starts with this context - indeed, in all likelihood it's not possible to make any difference which will endure for any length of time, without it in place ongoingly.

As for the access to this context: here is where it is, now is when it is, You are what it is. Now that's  something worth celebrating!

Thank You Werner!


* On five occasions in this essay, the common designation "out there" is deployed as a valid descriptive language tool to make certain points, and is not to be confused with the transformational distinction "out-here"  which is addressed elsewhere in depth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series of essays.


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