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




Impostors All

Browns Valley, California, USA

October 29, 2005
Reposted August 14, 2020



In the day to day business of inquiring into what it is to be a human being, don't you wonder why it takes us so long to come up with an answer to that seemingly most innocuous of all questions "Who are you?"? - and why, if we do come up with any answers at all, do they tend to be so endearingly and naïvely trite, like our names, or what we do for a living, or our identities (or that which with we identify) like "I am the mother of / the father of ..."?

We are, after all, human beings. That much is obvious. Yet when we inquire into what being human is - I mean what being human really  is - it may be (at least within the context of some belief systems) many lifetimes  before we come up with any worthwhile answers.

<aside>

(contrast that daunting prospect with Werner's work which delivers that essential experience in mere days ...)

<un-aside>

How perplexing is this situation! We live in the world and operate in it supposedly with sophisticated levels of acquired skills and know-how, and yet we can't readily answer the question "Who are you?". We can vanquish smallpox. We can get to the moon. We can create and use the internet. Yet we can't come to grips with the question "Who are you?". What exactly is  that? What is our lot that with everything we got and with everything we've accomplished, that we can't answer or find answers to the question "Who are you?"? What exactly is that really?

Could it be with respect to who we really are, that we're all just impostors?  By that I mean we're carrying on a pretense of living authentically. We're faking it, getting by, pretending no one sees we aren't who we pretend to be. And with a bravado which comes replete with the smirk of ignorance, we live the lie that it doesn't matter, that no one can tell anyway, that living while only pretending to be who we are, is alright.

No, it's worse than that. It's that prior to the onset of transformation, we have no choice  in the matter of living and being that way. We're on full automatic:  it (the automaticity) lives our lives. That's the inauthenticity: it  fakes us. We've no choice but to pretend we're who we aren't. We don't have a choice but  to be impostors.

Or do we?

If you require a way out of this dilemma, the way out is arguably even more ironic than the dilemma itself. The way to reinstate authenticity when you discover you're an impostor is by being an impostor. Distinguishing being an impostor when you're an impostor  creates the possibility of being authentic. It's pretending not to be an impostor when you're an impostor, that's inauthentic.

It's notable that creating the distinction of yourself as an "inauthentic  impostor" is authentic. To repeat that rigorously and completely: when you create the distinction "impostor", who you are is the distinguisher of "impostor", who you are is a languager of the distinction "impostor". As a languager of the distinction "impostor" you're not an impostor. That's the irony: the languager of distinctions is authentic. That's who we are: languagers of distinctions. Until we discover that, we're impostors all.



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