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

Include Everything

Trefethen Family Vineyards, Oak Knoll Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

July 19, 2016

This essay, Include Everything, is the companion piece to Runaway Train.

It was conceived at the same time as A Crucible Of Ideas.

The world's a challenging place, yes? Just notice I didn't qualify that by saying the world's a challenging place today. Doing so would've belittled every prior generation who have had their own set of challenges in their own time. Theirs were challenging to them. Ours are challenging to us. Whichever way I slice it, what I'm left with is the compelling realization that nothing we could ever do to re-arrange the situations in the world, will ever be enough to rid it of every challenge, and afford us all the freedom to live fully, and totally unencumbered. There's no doubt we could go a long way towards making our interpersonal and social and international arrangements work better than they currently do - for sure. But ask the dinosaurs about unexpected meteors and extinction events. There's always something to deal with. Always.

Look: I don't intend to dramatize this and / or bemoan it as some kind of dire straits predicament we're in. I say whatever we're in is actually an opportunity. And the sooner we regard it as the opportunity it is, rather than as a predicament, the sooner those impending tidal waves of global transformation can wash over the planet.

Transformation inexorably recontextualizes (I love  that word) the way we relate to the world situationally  (if you will). This implies eventually we'll have to confront that whichever way we lean (left, right, as inclusivists, as separatists), all of it always shows up within the context we are for it. Here I'm speaking to something more than just the context we're thrown to project onto all of it ie our opinions of it, our judgements of it, our assessments of it, even what we think should be done about it etc. Rather I'm speaking to the context in which we ie you and I, exist in the first place ie the context without which we wouldn't exist at all. That context is who we really are. It is the context in which everything shows up. No matter which way we lean (left, right, as inclusivists, as separatists), all of it shows up and is included in the context of who we really are. In other words, we include everything  - whether it's clear to us, or not ... and ergo  we're enlightened to the degree it's clear to us.


Listen: I don't deploy the notion of enlightenment very often. That's because it's become too fraught with already always  meanings to be useful. In addition, as Werner points out: it brings with it a certain unnecessary eastern  connotation which we don't require.

So if I were  to deploy yet another notion of enlightenment in these Conversations For Transformation in addition to its current sparse references, I'd suggest this:

Enlightenment may be considered to be the onset of the realization that everything which exists, shows up and is included in the context of who we really are.


That's sobering. It's straight up. Until I saw it, and realized the awesome impact it has on the more traditional, colloquial way I regard and interact with what happens in the world and the way it all turns out, it seemed as if the best way to make a difference was to try and change  whatever is going on "for the better". But without acknowledging all of it actually shows up in the context of who I really am, that specific approach is almost always fundamentally at odds with reality - which no doubt accounts for why so much of what we've tried throughout history to change "for the better" (with all good intentions) did not made any god-damned difference at all.

Consider instead we really have no leverage at all  over the way it's going to turn out. Try it on for size. Consider the way it's going to turn out is the way it's going to turn out anyway, the way it's been turning out for millennia, the way it'll be turning out for millennia to come. Occasionally whenever we're briefly and serendipitously  in sync with the way it's turning out, we believe we're impacting the way it's turning out and causing it to turn out differently than it would have turned out anyway. I suggest otherwise. Consider the only power we have in this regard, is the power to distinguish the context  we are, and the power to include everything in this context. You have the power to distinguish the context you are ... and  ... you have the power to include everything in this context. That's a big  stand. That's transformation.

Here's where it gets very  interesting: when I include everything, that is to say when I distinguish the context in which I include everything ie the context in which it all turns out, my life turns out the way it turns out anyway, yet inside a totally new realm of possibility  and satisfaction. Now that's  a game worth exploring and playing.

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© Laurence Platt - 2016 Permission