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

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 simplest of all questions "Who are you?". And if we do come up with any answers at all they tend to be endearingly and naïvely trite, like our names and what we do for a living.

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

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, we can't answer or find answers to the question "Who are you?"? - I mean really.

Could it be with respect to who we really are, we are impostors all carrying on the pretense of living authentically, faking it, getting by, pretending no one sees we aren't who we pretend to be? With bravado which comes only from the smirk of ignorance, we live the lie that it doesn't matter, that no one can tell anyway, that it doesn't make any difference.

Actually it's worse than that. It's that you literally have no choice in the matter of living and being that way. It  lives your life inauthentically. It  fakes you. You have no choice but to pretend you're someone you aren't.

Or do you?

If you require a way out of that dilemma, the way out is more ironic than the dilemma itself. The way to reinstate authenticity when you discover you're an impostor is to be an impostor. Choosing to be an impostor when you're an impostor  creates the possibility of being authentic. It's pretending to be authentic when you're an impostor that's inauthentic.

Since real impostors can't create distinctions, it's also worth noting that creating the distinction 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 the languager of the distinction impostor. As the languager of the distinction impostor  you aren't an impostor. The languager of distinctions is authentic. That's who you are.

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