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" / "Me"

Judd's Hill, Napa Valley, California, USA

January 25, 2019



"Who you mean when you say 'I' / 'me' is not you. It's just something that shows up for you."  ... 
"All through' the day: 'I', 'me', 'mine', 'I', 'me', 'mine', 'I', 'me', 'mine'; all through' the night: 'I', 'me', 'mine', 'I', 'me', 'mine', 'I', 'me', 'mine'." ... George Harrison

"They are forever free who renounce all selfish desires and break away from the ego-cage of 'I', 'me', and 'mine' to be united with the Lord." ... Bhagavad Gita
This essay, "I" / "Me", is the companion piece to I am indebted to Travis Tremayne who inspired this conversation.




For some, it's an age-old "spiritual" quest, a mystical  quest if you like - or at least until now it's been considered to be a mystical quest. But it's just possible it really doesn't have to be either. And it may in fact prove to be more profane than spiritual. It may not even qualify as mystical, and moreover its resolution may not require a quest. I'm referring to our time-honored preoccupation with denying and / or trying to get rid of "I" / "me", as if doing so is a path to enlightenment or something.

Personally I'm wary of it - or, to tell the whole truth about it, I've become  wary of it, having entertained it myself on its face value at an earlier time in my life. By "become wary" I mean I've come to realize after scrutiny, it may not even be useful, not to mention our concept of it may be flawed from the get-go. How so? One of the components of being human, is "I" / "me", in much the same way as limbs are components of being human. We know it would be inane to embark on a quest to deny and try to get rid of perfectly good limbs. Yet we unabashedly deem a quest to deny and try to get rid of a perfectly good "I" / "me", to be useful in some way.

Consider this: what it's really prudent to do with "I" / "me" is twofold: firstly, to get clear about what it really  is (as well as what it really isn't). When we're clear about what something really is and what it really isn't, we can have a workable relationship with it. When we're not clear about what something is and what it isn't, having a workable relationship with it, is complicated. And being unclear about what "I" / "me" really is, is the underlying condition of our unworkable relationship with "I" / "me". Secondly, what it's prudent to do with "I" / "me" is to take responsibility  for it, rather than denying it and trying to get rid of it (it works a lot  better when you take responsibility for your perfectly good limbs, than it does when you deny them and try to get rid of them, yes?).

So what is  this "I" / "me" exactly? Even more pointedly, is "I" / "me" even real?  By that I mean can you describe your "I" / "me" for me, in the same way as you can describe your limbs for me? (and if you can't, that's a red flag alert). Try this on for size: at worst (ie as a misconception) "I" / "me" is the entity you consider yourself to be. And at best (ie as an observation) "I" / me" is merely a transient sensation that shows up  for you from time to time. And maybe that's all it is. Really. How so?

Consider this like a possibility next: "I" / "me" is not who you are. After millennia of human beings unquestioningly regarding "I" / "me" to be who we are, Werner's inquiry into this particular paradigm, has shifted it and called it into question - like maybe "I" / "me" is just something that shows up for you? Specifically, maybe "I" / "me" is just something that shows up for you in the space of who you really are. That means "I" / "me" isn't who you really  are. It's just a sensation that shows up for you from time to time in the space of  who you really are. This powerfully corrects a key mis-identification we the people have made with "I" / "me", for millennia.

When you're clear about "I" / "me", there's (arguably for the first time) the very real possibility of living Life with mastery. Secondarily, when you live Life with mastery, you have the space to have the world show up the way it is and the way it isn't. Primarily, when you live Life with mastery, "I" / "me" shows up as just another piece in the world. Look: sit with this for a moment in your lap, like a hot brick: "When you live Life with mastery, 'I' / 'me' shows up as just another piece in the world.".

"I" / "me", a transient sensation that shows up for you from time to time, is really just another of the myriad of things that show up in the space of (ie in the clearing  of) who you really are. I" / "me" is not who you really are. Who you really are is the space in which "I" / "me" (and all of Life and all of Life's components) shows up.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2019 Permission