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


I

Dutch Henry Canyon, Calistoga, California, USA

March 15, 2007



This essay, I, is the companion piece to You.

It is also the first in a trilogy on I - The I Essays: It was written at the same time as I am indebted to Douglas Harding who inspired this conversation, and to Cindy Hauska who contributed material.




Foreword To The I Essays:

Language provides the tools for generating and sharing experience. Tools in my toolbox may be inadequate. A tool may not be as sharp  as it needs to be. I can render inadequate tools adequate in the context of Conversations For Transformation by tightening the definitions of words and including them in The Laurence Platt Dictionary. I can sharpen a tool ie I can sharpen my language  in the context of Conversations For Transformation by adding rigor.

Here's me adding rigor to what I'm indicating by "I" in the titles of The I Essays:

In the title of this essay, I, the first in the trilogy comprising The I Essays, "I" indicates who I really am, context, space, possibility.

In the title of the essay And Then Along Came I: The Genesis Of Identity, the second in the trilogy comprising The I Essays, "I" indicates my identity  and how it came to be.

In the title of the essay The Illusion of I, the third in the trilogy comprising The I Essays, "I" indicates me  which doesn't exist out here.



When I look at this evidence called I, when I look at what I am or am not or could be, I notice some profoundly odd things.

For starters I notice contrary to a worldwide widespread belief, I don't have a face. You, from where you're standing, may find it far fetched when I say I don't have a face. But from where I'm standing, it's very clear, it's suddenly blindingly obvious I don't have a face.





A Matter Of Scale*


It may be a stretch for you to notice my  I doesn't have a face. Actually if you look you may notice your  I doesn't have a face either.

When I say that, I notice the next profoundly odd thing about I. We language I as if I have my own I and you have your own I. Yet on closer inspection it may be there's only one I we all are, from which  we each have a unique point of view. If I don't distinguish that, I couldn't say it's hard for you to notice my  I doesn't have a face.

More than that, from where I'm standing it's very clear my I doesn't have a head either.

The next thing I notice (if I tell the truth about it) is I really don't have a clue  about how I arose. I spend most of my life as an impostor pretending  I know how I arose. Here I'm not speaking about my physical birth. Yes I understand the biology of physical birth up to a point, beyond which even though I don't understand it all the way, I simply accept there's an explanation. What I don't have a clue about is how I, my space, my consciousness, my experientiability  arose. Strange as it may sound, the most comprehensible thing about I is: I is incomprehensible (as Albert Einstein may have said).

That, too, occurs to me as profoundly odd when I inquire into it. I, my space, my consciousness, my experientiability is the single most obvious evidence of my life. Actually it's more than that. I, my space, my consciousness, my experientiability is Life itself. And yet I don't have a clue as to how I arose, as to how I came about. But I live my life  as if I do. That's odd. I find that profoundly odd.

When you inquire into the evidence called I, more sooner than later you have to confront I's matter of scale* and I's size. How big am I? Do I have an edge ie a border? Do I have a limit?

In the everyday way of looking at things I'm about five feet ten inches tall and about six inches thick. However, if I look at I experientially  ie if I look at I in my experience  I can discern no edge to I, no border to I, no limit to I at all. Really.

In the ordinary way of looking at things I seem to be much, much  smaller than Earth. I'm dwarfed by Earth. Earth is dwarfed by Jupiter. Jupiter is dwarfed by the Sun. The Sun is dwarfed by Arcturus. Arcturus is dwarfed by Antares. And W Cephei is more than three times the size of Antares. How many zeros are there after the decimal point to say how much smaller I am than W Cephei?

But in Zen we ask "If a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?". So I ask this: is there a W Cephei, more than three times the size size of Antares which dwarfs Arcturus which dwarfs the Sun which dwarfs Jupiter which dwarfs Earth which I'm much, much  smaller than, if I, my space, my consciousness, my experientiability isn't there to be the context  for it, to provide the epistemology  for it? How big am I, then, if viewed this Zen way? Do I have an edge ie a border, then, if viewed this Zen way? Do I have a limit, then, if viewed this Zen way?

This presents an obvious paradox. I seem to be both microscopically small and at the same time  infinitely big. Again that's odd. I find that profoundly odd. It's stays profoundly odd until I recall something Werner Erhard asked me to consider soon after I first listened him speaking, which is this:

I am Everything. I am Nothing. I am ... everythingnothing  ...

It's so rich. When I look at I this way, I see I'm the source of all possibilities. Actually I'm more than that. Spoken with rigor, I'm the possibility of possibility itself.

What I find profoundly odd about that  is the source of all possibilities ie the possibility of possibility itself has a social security number, a zipcode, and occasionally forgets to floss.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2007 through 2016 Permission