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 Valuable:

A Place To Stand

Black Stallion, Napa Valley, California, USA

June 23, 2014



When it occurred for me for the first time, it wasn't particularly dramatic or intense the way some experiences are. I didn't exclaim out loud "Oh Man!  That's amazing!  That's incredible!"  the way I sometimes do. What I said (quietly to myself) was much more pedestrian, much more low-key, much more elemental than that. What I said was "A-Ha!"  ... then a few moments later "OK got that" as if it had always been there, yet until then I'd somehow (sheepishly) missed its obviousness, its such‑ness, its thus-ness.

What I got was it's all an opportunity. I do mean all of it. It's all valuable. And by saying "It's all valuable", I mean (rigorously) I can choose to create value in anything ie I can choose to create value in all of it ... even when there's no agreement there's any value.

Now, so that we're clear, I'm not saying "It's all valuable" like an opinion (or like a vote  for that matter). There's no "I think  ..." in it. I'm not saying "I think  it's all valuable.". Neither am I saying it because I'm the kind of guy who focuses on the positive  side of things. Focusing on the positive side of things without acknowledging their negative side, is an arbitrarily biased point of view. In any case, the so-called positive side of anything and its so-called negative side are at best subjective assessments, yes? ("One man's meat ..." etc). And neither do I intend to urge you to see the good  in everything - this isn't a positive thinking  affirmation (all positive thinking affirmations re-enforce the negative, by the way).

It's none of that. It's when I say "It's all valuable", I'm talking about a place to stand. Or, spoken another way, there's a place to stand in life, from which whatever's in front of me ie whatever comprises my vista  is all valuable. All of it.

It's all mine! As an experience standing here, whatever's in front of me is all mine. It's all mine to create with. That's valuable. It's all mine to play with. That's also valuable. And even if I have reservations and judgements about the way it is or about the way it could be, and even if think I know what's wrong  with the way it is, these reservations and judgements are all mine too. And they're not necessarily "the truth"  either. Realizing that, is valuable too.

<aside>

My reservations and judgements about what's wrong with whatever's going on in the world, are really mirrors. They're mirrors which reflect me and how I'm thrown  to be, more than they reflect whatever's going on in the world.

Realizing this, is valuable.

<un-aside>

Received in an epiphany, this responsibility is staggering - at first. There's nothing and no one to blame. It's mine, all mine. And that's just what's so.

So if what I see doesn't work, there's an opportunity to make it work. Learning to make something unworkable work, is valuable. Because we don't take cognizance of the source from whence workability springs, and because we choose to remain in the realm of familiarity, the world doesn't work. The willingness to regard that as an opportunity rather than as a predicament, is where Self-empowerment begins. That's valuable. If what happens thwarts my intention, there's an opportunity to re-tool, to re-skill so that whatever thwarts my intention, doesn't. Re-tooling and re-skilling are valuable. And even if what happens is like a brick wall and there's zero chance of clearing it, there's an opportunity to invent the possibility of being accepting. That's  valuable.

Listen: it's all  valuable. And in the rare case something's really not valuable, there's a lot to be gained by distinguishing it as not valuable ... which is valuable. So it's all valuable - not like an opinion, not like looking on the positive side of things, not like seeing the good in everything, not like a positive thinking affirmation. Rather, like a (pedestrian, low-key, elemental) place to stand.



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