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



Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

May 21, 2021

This essay, Imagination, is the companion piece to Mystical Connection.

It is also the sequel to Being A Being Coach II.

It is also the prequel to I, Impostor.

He's the kind of coach with whom I can share anything. And I don't mean with whom I can share "just about"  anything - you know, almost  all of it but with critical items held back for privacy or simple politeness and prudent discretion or just because I'm embarrassed to share something. No, it's with him I can share anything. With him I can share totally openly without any filters or brakes ... about anything and everything - that is to say about absolutely  anything and everything.

It's extraordinarily useful being with someone like him with whom it's possible to share this way. I don't mean it's useful because of the feedback he gives in response to what I say (though that does play a part). I mean speaking totally openly with him is its own utility. It allows me to experience being authentic. It also allows me to notice how I ever-so-subtly embellish the truth. It's the exact opposite  of hiding out. It's a standard, a yardstick by which the authenticity of all conversations can be measured. And if I don't measure up to this standard, he calls me on it. When he calls me on something I say, it's almost never because I violated a rule of grammar or syntax. It's because I cavalierly held something out to be true when it wasn't true, and I wasn't aware (ie I wasn't being rigorous enough to catch) I was doing it.

That's how it was when he called me on something I said about a mutual friend of ours, someone we both love and who inspires us both. In sharing my experience of him, I said "He's so present for me that even when I'm not with him, he's right here beside me.". Without missing a beat, he said "No he's not. You're imagining  he's right there beside you.". At first it seemed as if he didn't get my experience. So I repeated "No, he is  right here beside me.". In retrospect, I wanted to share there's a certain mystical connection  in our relationship, something esoteric. "No, you're imagining he's right there beside you" he said again - slowly, and emphatically. And it slowly dawned on me (when I stopped being defensive) he did  get my experience - so much so that he was indicating an even more powerful way for me to own it.

Imagination. It's so elusive to define. It's almost impossible to describe. Yet we all know what it is. Doing it is simpler than making a sandwich. But I can't explain to you how  we imagine. It's one of those ubiquitous powers we human beings have which we can only define tautologically  ie in terms of itself - for example, like this: the way you and I imagine is by imagining  (say whut?). The critical thing about imagination (and about a powerful  imagination in particular) is it shouldn't supersede what could be true. There should be no blurred edges between them (look: to be authentic is to know the difference). We all know it's disparaging to say to someone "You're just imagining  it.". That implies they're making up something which isn't true ("imagining" often carries the disparaging connotation of "not matching reality").

That's not what he unerringly drew my attention to. What he got me to see, was the power of my applied imagination. If I was only being enamored with that mystical connection with our friend, I wasn't being responsible for creating it in the first place. So I began considering that this mystical connection is actually something I have the power to call up for myself at will, using my imagination. Owning that, rehabilitates my power to create by leveraging imagination to its max, lifting it out of the realm of an ability with dubious truth, and into the realm of total (and reality-grounded) pure creativity. Wow! Imagination as ... pure  ... creativity!  I liked that. A lot.

What he distinguished stunned me, pointing at it (as he did) with so few words. This  is what imagination is. This  is what it is to create something (or even someone). This  is not the imagination of wishful fabrication ie it's not the imagination which can blur the line between fact and fantasy. This  is the imagination that powerfully sourced that mystical connection in the first place, the imagination for which I have become (and am henceforth being) responsible. It's my inherent power to create.

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© Laurence Platt - 2021 Permission