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

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I, Impostor

Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, California, USA

May 25, 2021



This essay, I, Impostor, is the companion piece to Impostors All.

It is also the sequel to Imagination.



Werner Erhard's work (teasing out transformation ongoingly as an accessible, living, contextual experience available to everyone as our natural Self-expression) is best referred to as a "rich body of distinctions". That's because in teasing out transformation, it meticulously transcribes the plethora of distinctions on whose platform transformation stands. The distinctions of transformation have expanded and evolved to include distinctions on whose platform leadership stands, on whose platform mastery stands, on whose platform integrity stands, on whose platform integrity in finance  stands, on whose platform word  (as in "Who I am is my word")  stands.

I assert we could tersely regard all but one of these linguistic implements as simply corollaries to the central thesis at the heart of his magnum opus. And for me, the central thesis at the heart of his magnum opus, is the discovery of ie the getting  of the difference between who we are as all the internal machinery  (if you will) and who we are as the space ie as the context  in which the events of our lives (including all the internal machinery) occur. In my experience, that's the razor's edge of our transformation, the implement without which all the others would be reduced to mere intellectual conjecture. Without it, we'd have no real power to transform our day to day lives. It's a pivotal differentiation, towards which the venerable Alan Watts pointed Werner. It's the one on which Werner's work and being transformed, pivots.

It's also the clarion call to authenticity. How so, Laurence? Like so: if I say I know who I really am, yet my life as it's lived blurs the difference between who I am as all my internal machinery, and who I am as the context in which the events of my life occur, then I'm a fake ie then I'm being inauthentic ie then (in a word) I'm an impostor  and not being who I say I am ie I'm not being who I say I really  am. What compounds matters are the demands and minutiae of day to day living which relentlessly grind me into blurring the difference between the two. So it's not that I'm an impostor from time to time. It's that in simple terms of being authentically who I really am, I'm an impostor - period. You can't be "just a little" pregnant. Like that, I'm an impostor 100% of the time.

Who I really am is the context in which the events of my life occur - like a distinction, like a possibility. Yet I show up  like I'm all my internal machinery. I also often show up like I'm my body. And I sometimes show up like I'm my identity. This is evidenced in those times when I get defensive. I defend who I am. But I don't defend who I am as the context in which the events of my life occur. The context in which the events of my life occur is what is. As such, it requires no defending. No, when I get defensive, I defend my position. And my position isn't who I am. My position is a function of all my internal machinery. That's what makes me an impostor: who I really am is the context in which the events of my life occur, yet I defend my position which is a mere autonomic function of my internal machinery.

As I explore this essentially human trap further, I notice I even talk  as an impostor. I talk about myself (that's my ... Self  ie who I really am) as "I / me". But "I / me" isn't who I really am  (ie it's not my ... Self). "I / me" is just something that shows up for me (it's just something that shows up for all of us  actually). I notice all the tired old opinions from which I've cast myself ie all the interpretations I grew up with (which everyone grew up with, I suppose) are those of an impostor. The truth (another key distinction) is I've lived most if not all my life as my body / all my internal machinery / my identity, not as who I really am. That makes me an impostor.

Look: this is a trap of being human. And there's no way out. So it's futile looking for a way out. I'm an impostor. We're all  impostors. The access for us impostors to being real, is simply telling the truth about being impostors (the way Werner says this, is "The path to authenticity is being authentic about your inauthenticities.").



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