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 Am A Human Being

Domaine Carneros, Los Carneros Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

March 1, 2017



"For me this is a practical matter. Instead of having the answer about God like some guy or some thing or some explanation or some anything, I have a space of possibility like an openness, like a place for God to show up in my life."
 ... 
 speaking with Reverend Terry Cole-Whittaker about God
This essay, I Am A Human Being, is the companion piece to Laurence Platt Intersections.




I am a human being. And that's enough for me. If I have a religion, I'm not my religion. Neither am I given  by any religion. If I have any politics, I'm not my politics. Neither am I given by any politics. If I have sentiments, I'm not my sentiments. Neither am I given by any sentiments. I'm wary of any and all identifications. I'm not a human being identifying with being a Muslim or a Christian or a Jew. I'm not a human being identifying with being a Republican or a Democrat. I'm not even a human being identifying with being sad or being happy or whatever. I identify (perhaps redundantly) only with being a human being.

Taking the redundancy out of it, I'm a human being who's being a human being. That's it. That's all. I don't require identifying with any religion or with any politics or with any sentiments in order to fully experience being a human being. The truth is doing so, only gets in the way. More to the point, I don't require a context of religion or politics or sentiments in order to fully experience being alright  as a human being. While I may have  a religion and / or a political persuasion and / or sentiments, I'm none of them. Neither am I my opinions or my interpretations - all codified points of view, such as they are. I eschew and am skeptical of all  codifications: yours, others', as well as my own ie especially  my own.

Being a human being, it's who I am which is the context in which Life itself shows up. Being a human being, who I am is the space in which the events of my life occur. I have a space for religion to show up in my life - indeed, I have a space for God to show up in my life. I have a space for politics to show up in my life. I have a space for sentiments to show up in my life. And when I say that, I would be amiss if I left it sounding like I was touting "having a space" as just another belief system about how to live (which is to say about how to make being alive be alright), or about a better way to engage with religion, politics, and sentiments. Listen: what earthly good does it do us, if we merely trade in one tired old belief system, and replace it with another soon-to-become tired old belief system?

No good at all. So when I say it, I say it instead like it's a perspective to try on for size. In other words, when I say "having a space", it's not a belief: it's a place to stand, from which to look and see what's now newly possible, without changing one iota of the current situation or circumstances - not one scintilla.

Somehow we became convinced there was something we had to do, to make being alive be alright. In effect we concluded God only did a half-assed job creating us, so it was up to us to complete the job and make it right (ie we concluded we had to improve on God's work, if you will). With transformation comes a shift ie with transformation comes a contextual  shift of such epic proportions that people say it's left them incredulously recognizing the person they've become, given the weight of the person they once were ie the person they once considered themselves to be. The person we once were ie the person we once considered ourselves to be, is at last seen ie is at last outed  for what he is (ie is at last outed for what he was):  a clever impostor, a ham actor who memorized then rote-recited a plagiarized B-grade  script, an inauthentic fake. What's equally epic is what's now newly possible for the person we've become. It's the erstwhile unimaginable stuff dreams are made of.

I am a human being. And that's enough for me. In at least one very real sense, all that transformation is, is re-creating that. Given the thrown-ness of our unexamined past, it's the miraculous onset of transformation which gives us what's arguably our first ever opportunity to directly experience what it's really like to be a human being - which is to say what it's like to really be  a human being.



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© Laurence Platt - 2017 Permission