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


Intending What's Called For

Denny's, East Napa, California, USA

May 31, 2011



"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.".
 ... Albert Schweitzer quoted by  
This essay, Intending What's Called For, was conceived at the same time as Enough To Last Forever.

I am indebted to Michael Richardson who inspired this conversation.




For the purpose of this conversation I'd like to distinguish three possible ways I can choose to live Life.

Now ... as soon as I say something like that, there's trouble. There's never only three of anything. So distinguishing three possible ways I can choose to live Life isn't saying there are only  three possible ways I can choose to life Live. Rather it's saying there are three I'm distinguishing for the purpose of this conversation. Not only that, but none of these three are iron clad  distinct. Their edges may blur from one into the other. There may also be some overlap between them.

That said, the three are:

 1)  I can choose to live Life by taking it as it comes, by going with the flow. Taking Life as it comes and going with the flow is the essence of some of the world's great religions and practical philosophies. I'm not speaking of them here. Here I'm speaking of choosing to live Life by taking it as it comes, by going with the flow without being responsible for any of it.

 2)  I can choose to live Life with intention. I can choose to live Life intentionally, to take responsibility for my life, and to make something of my life. Whatever I accumulate, build, make happen, and plan for, I do so because it's what I intend to do. Lived this way, my life is an expression of what I accomplish, and the value I get out of Life.

 3)  I can choose to live Life used by the truth. I can choose to live Life in service  to something greater than myself. I can choose to live Life as I'm called  to live Life.

This conversation is about the possibility of merging the latter two. It's about the possibility of intending what's called for.

The latter two aren't at odds. There's no conflict between them. They just seem to exist in different milieus, in separate domains ... ie at first. There's the life I intend  to live. And there's the life I'm called  to live. Sit with each of them alternating in your lap like a hot brick. They're not the same. Neither one is better  than the other (nor worse, for that matter). They're distinct. Simply different.

Sometime after I started listening Werner Erhard and engaging in Conversations For Transformation I realized something profound, given the way I'd lived my life until then. I realized I have the power to intend the life I live. I realized I'm not simply a passenger on the train of my own life. I realized I have complete say over how my life turns out.

<aside>

It was more than that actually. It was I realized I also have say over how Life turns out for everyone.

But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

<un-aside>

Where the game gets interesting for me is when the life I intend to live is the same life as  the life I'm called to live. I'm not simply suggesting a realm, a way of being where they overlap somewhat. I'm suggesting more than that - much  more. I'm suggesting a realm, a possibility of a way of being where they're congruent. To live Life this way, I gladly choose to align my intention with that which calls me to serve.

I assert it's the human condition to inquire into the possible congruency between these two powers: my  power to intend my own life, ... and the power of the universe  (if you will) to call me to live Life in a way which serves it. If you're intending to live what you're called for, then you too are in this inquiry.



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