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


It's All Over For Laurence Platt

Silverado Community, Napa Valley, California, USA

January 9, 2010



"It was all over for Werner Erhard."
... 
sharing his experience with Professor William Warren Bartley III, Werner's official biographer, in the account titled "Once Upon A Freeway" in chapter nine called "True Identity" in part III, "Transformation", of "Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man - The Founding of est"
This essay, It's All Over For Laurence Platt, is the companion piece to
  1. Ménage À Trois: A Declaration
  2. Used By The Truth
  3. Throwaway
  4. Using Laurence Platt
  5. Scottie Dog
in that order.

It is the prequel to It's All Over For Laurence Platt II.




Life is enough for me. It's OK the way it is.

That's my premise. That's the gist of my thesis right there.

One way of living Life is coming at it from it's not enough. Coming at Life from it's not enough, oddly enough, is neither a decision nor a choice. Coming at Life from it's not enough  is tantamount to a reflex. It's built in  to the epistemology  ... which is to say it's not enough  isn't something you naturally know, even though it may really seem like something you naturally know. Neither is it something you're naturally sure about, even though it may really seem like something you're naturally sure about. Rather, it's not enough  is woven into the fabric of how you hold what you know. It's embedded in the machinery of how you're sure about what you're sure about. In a word, it's not enough  is what "runs" you.

My thesis also proposes Life lived when it's not enough  runs you, presents a certain limited, distorted vista  of opportunities, of possibilities which is totally different than Life lived when it's not enough  doesn't run you.

Another way of living Life is coming at it from something's wrong. Coming at Life from something's wrong is also neither a decision nor a choice. It's also tantamount to a reflex built in to the epistemology. It isn't something you naturally know, and neither is it something you're naturally sure about, although it shows up occasionally disguised as something you naturally know, or disguised as something you're naturally sure about, or both. Rather, something's wrong is woven into the fabric of how you hold  what you know. It's embedded in the machinery of how you're sure about what you're sure about. It's another automatic assessment  which runs you.

My thesis further proposes Life lived when something's wrong runs you, presents a certain limited, distorted vista of opportunities, of possibilities which is totally different than Life lived when something's wrong doesn't run you.

Life looks and feels a certain way when it's lived coming from it's not enough:  neither satisfying nor fulfilling. It also looks and feels a certain way when it's lived coming from something's wrong: neither satisfying nor fulfilling. When Life is neither satisfying nor fulfilling, it's a constant struggle to be right  and to survive.

When Life is lived coming from it's not enough  and something's wrong, the mindset is there's no other way possible  to live. When the mindset is there's no other way possible to live, the mindset adds "everyone knows" this is the way it is. The mindset adds "everyone knows" it's not enough. The mindset adds "everyone knows" something's wrong, and if you  don't know it, you're the fool who should wake up and smell the sulphur dioxide. When the mindset is there's no other way possible  to live, it becomes self-agreeing, it becomes self-referential, it becomes self-reinforcing.

That's what it looks like when you know it's not enough. That's what it looks like when you know something's wrong. That's what it looks like when it's not enough  and something's wrong is the way it is.

I assert it takes, for want of a better word, a certain grace, a certain good fortune, a certain presence of mind, a certain not settling for the status quo, a certain not settling for business as usual  to get behind the premise it's not enough  and something's wrong "is the way it is", and to tell the truth unflinchingly:  that this "is the way it is" is merely an epistemological lock, a defense mechanism you yourself made up  and put in place at an early age, then forgot and / or denied it was you who made it up and put it there in the first place ... and then it became "the truth"  for you. The distinction between it's not enough  and something's wrong as "the truth", and as a defense mechanism you made up and put in place at an early age, then forgot and / or denied you made it up and put it there in the first place, has long since been obfuscated ie it's become buried, it's become blurred.

Life is enough for me. It's OK the way it is. I'm whole and complete and satisfied. All my erstwhile naïve  aspirations which were supposed to supplement Life to make it enough  only got in the way of Life being OK the way it is. All my attempts to become whole, all my striving to get complete, all my trying to attain satisfaction only got in the way of me being whole and complete and satisfied. There's nothing to do to be whole and complete and satisfied. Life is enough. It's OK the way it is. I'm whole and complete and satisfied. It's all over for Laurence Platt.

Question: what is there to do, living Life coming from Life is enough  and it's OK the way it is, as distinct from living Life coming from it's not enough  and something's wrong? The most useful answer I can share is at risk of sounding famously Zen-evasive. It's this:

What there is to do living Life coming from Life is enough  and it's OK the way it is is whatever there is to do  living Life coming from Life is enough  and it's OK the way it is - just as what there is to do living Life coming from it's not enough  and something's wrong is whatever there is to do  living Life coming from it's not enough  and something's wrong.

You always do what you do. You never do, you never have done, and you never will do anything other than  what you do. You never do, you never have done, and you never will do what you don't do. You only ever do what you do. The only difference  between what there is to do living Life coming from it's not enough  and something's wrong, as opposed to what there is to do living Life coming from Life is enough  and it's OK the way it is, is the self‑generated context, unrealized or realized, in which you do whatever you do.

The twin epistemological locks of it's not enough  and something's wrong ensure Life is lived as nothing more than surviving like a reflex. But Life is enough  and it's OK the way it is. Stop lying about it! Living Life coming from Life is enough  and it's OK the way it is allows for living Life as an invention like a possibility.
Werner Erhard calls this "playing from win". It's already turned out. THIS IS IT!  and worry is not a strategy.

* * *

The man in the gym locker room at 6:15am doesn't get it. I'm changing into black running shorts and a clean white T-shirt. He sounds sincere when he greets me with "How's it going?". I reply "It's going great, and thank you for asking.". Suddenly skeptical (was he assuming I'd complain about something?), he asks "What's so great about it?". Smiling, on my way to run five miles on an elliptical, I say "We're here, You and I. We're alive.". His blank stare tells me he thinks I'm joking or being sarcastic. He thinks I mean "We're 'getting by'.". He thinks I mean "We're 'surviving'.".

He doesn't get it. I'm not joking. It's going great.

Really!



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