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 II

Hagafen Cellars, Napa Valley, California, USA

July 15, 2016

"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"
"The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves."
... Alan Watts
This essay, It's All Over For Laurence Platt II, is the sequel to It's All Over For Laurence Platt.

This conversation for transformation is clearly part philosophical, part pragmatic. But listen: if it isn't mostly almost always  pragmatic, then it is not worth much at all. Really. Fully appreciated, transformation's pragmatism covers the entire spectrum of time. A transformed life is lived in the possibility of having completed the past. A transformed life is lived in the possibility of living 100%, fully, powerfully, in the present. A transformed life is lived in the possibility of having invented a future worth living into, and not living by default into the probable almost certain  future. And during this entire three colored spectrum of time, transformation is always lived now.

A long, long time ago I (just like many people, I suppose) pondered the question "Is there life after death?" - in particular "What's the quality of life after death?". I've come to realize that whatever those questions reveal, is a function of the context in which they're asked. The onset of transformation has reshaped all my worn out old concepts and beliefs about death. The question "Is there life after death?" may actually not be a very powerful one unless it differentiates between asking "Is there life after death?" standing in the context of transformation, and asking "Is there life after death?" not  standing in the context of transformation (the context is decisive).

When I tell the stone-cold unflinching truth about the latter, my old concepts of life after death and my concern about it / preparation for it, were little more than ploys to avoid confronting the meaninglessness of life in the present (look: until the onset of transformation, the whole topic of meaning in life stands at best on thin ice). It also gave an out, an escape from the impelling immediacy of living life now, fully ie point blank. So rather than "Is there life after death?", a question I prefer to ask is "Is there life after transformation?"  - in particular "What's the quality of life after transformation?". The answer to the former is yes (and the proof is we're here, aren't we?). It's what the latter teases out that gets to the heart of the matter of what it is to be a human being - in particular of a human being standing in transformation.

To a life always lived in survival, transformation is the end (that's partly why we resist it). "Survival" is a pretty broad brush stroke. So to be clear, what I'm referring to is survival of the ego, survival of playing personality / mind games (dominate / avoid being dominated), survival of justifications and excuses, survival of compromising integrity in favor of gratification. When all that ends, life is transformed ... or  ... when life is transformed, all that ends. I'm left being a full human being. I'm no longer simply doing "the best I can" in order to survive. The impressions I wanted to make and the esteem that I wanted people to afford me, are no longer important to me. My wanting approval from others in retrospect seems naïvely quaint. I am no longer figuring life out: I'm just alive and living. I'm no longer in danger: I'm dangerous.

It's with wry chagrin that I look back on my erstwhile obsession with finding "the answer"  (and believe me: I looked everywhere). Now, as I look back on my once big conviction that if I found the answer, I would find out who I really am, it makes me smile. I never did find the answer. But being around Werner, I got transformation. And in transformation, I discover who I really am is the questioner: whole, complete, and satisfied - all answers optional. The "seeker" act is over. The "student of life" identity is gone. More than that, the hopeless confusing of me with the features of my machinery, is fini  - and in it's place is a new, profound respect for the ongoing inexorable unfolding of Life itself and our true nature as the context in which it all shows up. There's nothing to avoid. There's nothing to escape from. There's nothing to survive. This is it. It'll turn out the way it turns out. And I get to determine the space in which I'll live my life, the possibility for my life, ie the context of our  lives.

It's all over for Laurence Platt, that milquetoast  well-intentioned yet oh so naïve  impostor who assumed he was expected to make sense of it all ie to figure it all out.

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