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

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It Is Where You Come From

Partrick Ridge, Mount Veeder Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

November 4, 2021



"You don't have to go looking for love when it is where you come from."
... 
"Lots of people have talked about taking that step into the unknown. Taking that step into the unknown is actually a lot less courageous than taking a step from  the unknown."
... 
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."
... George Harrison
"If you don't know where you come from, no road will take you there."
... Laurence Platt
This essay, It Is Where You Come From, is the nineteenth in a group of twenty on Love:


I've not scheduled time to rewrite "The Book of Love". It's been rewritten too many times already - the hows, the whys, the wherefores, all the romantic conjectures. Given that we bring no rigor to the way we hold love, the subject matter's become alternatively vague or overly complicated. It's become both illusive and ellusive. And it's complex. While this may spin-off interesting talking points, the state of the art  of the subject of love is such that very little of it has made any lasting difference.

For the most part, we're stuck in the illusion that being loved by another / loving another, is the access to fulfillment / completion (as in "You fulfill  me ...", "You complete  me ..."). In essence, we've ceded the possibility of fulfillment / completion, to what we give to / get from another. And the jury's still out on what (if anything) is possible for fulfillment / completion and love when there's no another.

Look: there's nothing wrong with giving love to / getting love from another. Really there isn't. That should never be in question. Human beings thrive  on giving love to / getting love from another. What is  in question is whether without giving it to / getting it from another, we have any direct access to fulfillment / completion, and hence direct access to love. Posed another way, it's "Does who we are  have any direct access to love other than  via giving it to / getting it from another?", a question which for the most part, our untransformed culture still answers mostly in the negative, and (to a lesser extent) dubiously.

There are two areas to which I'm drawn whenever I inquire into what real love might be, what it is to love, and how to get my beliefs and preconceptions about love far enough out of my own way so that real love has a chance of presencing itself. The first of these two areas opens up when I ask a question which occurs in two forms, the first of which is most poignant. It's "How can I love another when I don't know who I am?". The second form is a corollary of the first. It's "Who (or even what)  is the 'I' I am when I'm loving another, when I don't know who I am?". That's actually quite galling. It showcases less-than-zero  odds of real love presencing itself when we don't know who we are - which hints at that without transformation, it's likely there's an almost less-than-zero chance of real love presencing itself ...

... which teases out the second area, one that rivets my attention even more, one that also comes in answer to a question, and that question is "What (if anything) is possible for love when I don't know who I am?" which is a mere click past "What (if anything) is possible for fulfillment / completion when I don't know who I am?".

The prognosis doesn't look good. My answers are (in order) "I can't - at least not really", "I don't know" (which doesn't bode well for love), and "Not much" (at best, so-called love is then merely a palliative for no love), none of which are great options.

We've gotten to the bottom line. All the above could be deemed to be bad news. Here's good news: "You don't have to go looking for love when it is where you come from.". When Werner says that, he isn't saying it like he's making up some new bon mot  for a fortune cookie. He's sharing what he's seeing, looking at what's already in the space  we live in: love as a "where you come from". "The Book of Love" on the other hand, only has strategies for where to find love as a "where you go to".

Fully grasping this, calls for a certain maturity, an un-learning of where we've always believed we'll find love, and a newly transformed willingness to let that go.



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