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


Integrity For Integrity's Sake

Lawrence, Kansas, USA

October 16, 2011



"Without integrity nothing works."  ... 
"You can justify doing absolutely anything in Life ... anything at all - as long as you toss integrity out the window." ... Laurence Platt

"Integrity is actually very simple. Integrity is nothing more and nothing less than honoring my word and keeping an empowering context (conversation for possibility) present for myself and my life." ... Landmark Worldwide
This essay, Integrity For Integrity's Sake, is the companion piece to Clear Choice.

It is also is the fifth in a group of sixteen on Integrity: It was written at the same time as Using Laurence Platt.




About the world of transformation it's often said "Don't believe  it - rather, try it on for size. If it fits, then keep it - it's yours.".

That's sage counsel - for two reasons. One, believing  transformation or believing in  transformation is the surest, fastest, deadliest  way to drain all its value and power. Two, the way to master transformation is to try it on for size to see if it fits, and to test it. Believing in an automobile won't make you a skillful driver. Taking it for a spin, trying it out on the track and testing it will teach you a thing or two worth knowing if you're to master driving.

Like my favorite pair of Levis  denim jeans which I first tried on for size then made mine and have grown into over time, I've grown into transformation. Along with growing into transformation, I'm growing into the possibilities of living Life transformed as they steadily reveal themselves, as they're called into being - in a word, as I invent  them.

One of the possibilities of living Life transformed is the possibility of being in integrity. Almost everyone has a sense of what the possibility of being in integrity is. The possibility of being in integrity is a possibility all good people know intuitively  even if we can't come up with dictionary perfect  words to define it. We may, in fact, best know integrity by what Life becomes when we don't  have it. We may best know it by what happens in Life when integrity isn't present. We may already know integrity as the quality without  which nothing works (as Werner Erhard may have said).

Against a background of transformation or, said another more pertinent way, in a context  of transformation, integrity and the possibility of being in integrity, are chosen, invented  ways of being. I can choose to be in integrity or not. Actually integrity isn't only a choice of a way of being, in a transformed life. Integrity is a choice of a way of being in any  life - untransformed or transformed.

There are times in my life, in any life actually, when integrity isn't present. Then there are times in my life, in any life actually, when integrity is present like an invented possibility. So it would seem, then, that in Life there a moments with no integrity, and there are moments with integrity. Viewed this way, integrity starts looking like an option for my life, like a choice of possibility I can invent for my life, like a choice of what I can do in  my life. Viewed this way, integrity even starts looking like a way of being which is on a menu of many ways I can be  in my life or not.

Sometime after I tried on transformation for size for the first time, sometime after I discovered transformation is a fit  for my life, sometime after integrity started looking like a way of being which is on a menu of many ways I can be in my life or not, sometime after I took it for a spin, tried it out on the track and tested it, something dawned on me which turned my life around. It also, in a word, completed  my transformation.

What dawned on me is integrity isn't a way of being which is on a menu of many ways I can be in my life. What dawned on me is integrity is  my life. There's no reason  to invent integrity like a possibility for being other than for its own sake. There's no life I live other than the life I live. I'm not alive for any reason other than for Life's sake. And integrity is my life. When I'm not being in integrity, I'm not alive. Another more getable way of saying this is if I'm alive and I'm not being in integrity, then I'm being inauthentic.

<aside>

There's such a tendency (which is to say I'm so thrown)  to try to get this right. But being in integrity, which is to say inventing the possibility of being in integrity, isn't the right  way to be. For that matter, being out  of integrity isn't the wrong  way to be - although it doesn't work as well as being in integrity.

<un-aside>

There are no points  or gold stars for being in integrity. But the impact of being out of integrity is nothing works. And it's a trapping of being out of integrity that when I'm being out of integrity, it's not even apparent nothing works - such is the nature of the world view which goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) being out of integrity.

The most compelling reason for being in integrity (that is, if any reason at all is required) is Werner Erhard's "Without integrity nothing works.". I can also suggest another reason for being in integrity which honors Life and which honors my life and which honors all people and which honors all living things and which honors everything there is, and by the way in so doing it also honors the essential and the noble and the sublime and the dignified discipline of Zen. It's a reason which has no payoff. It's a reason which has no payout. It's a reason which garners no points. It's a reason which earns neither gold stars nor merit badges. It's a reason which wins no prizes or rewards. Yet it's priceless - and it's this:

Be in integrity for integrity's sake.



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