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 Never Over

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

April 13, 2021

"You can take your word back, and what you get then is your old life back."
...   answering Laurence Platt's question "Is it authentic for me, once I give my word, to ever take it back?" in We Are The Word 
I am indebted to Vik Maraj who inspired this conversation.

It's never over. It may be complete. But it's never over, this conversation for transformation.

Human beings being what we are and the way we're thrown, this business of transforming our Selves and living a transformed life, is never over. And we're thrown  that it'll be over. Soon. Eventually. We'll just keep doing it until it ends, until it's over, until it reaches its conclusion. That's our thrown-ness. And look: our thrown-ness has a wider reach than just this conversation for transformation: we're thrown that once we start anything, there'll come a time when it'll be over. And we equate things being over  with them being complete. But they're not the same (we collapse these two distinctions). So "It's complete" has come to mean "It's over.".

Living life transformed may be one of the great exceptions to this rule. It lays waste to this notion. When we tell the truth about it, the business of living transformed has no end. It's never over. There's always the next thing, there's always the next inquiry, there's always the next discovery - and with them, there's the next degree of authenticity and truth to bring forth - which in turn provokes further inquiry and further discovery ... which actually accelerates  its never-ending-ness (if you will).

So what's the point of engaging in the conversation for transformation if it's never-ending, if it's never over (and "it's never over" sounds like it'll never resolve)? I mean why bother? We bother, because it's the access to who we really are, and because we're thrown to bother. To be interested in who we really are, indeed to be  who we really are, requires engaging in the conversation for transformation because this is what works. And we are  that what works, is pragmatic. It's that simple.

We're structured so that rigorous inquiry, discovery, and Self-expression are the accesses to who we really are. To not  be engaged with them, is to not be alive. And to not be alive ie to merely exist, to merely get by, is to never experience the inordinate part of our lives, if not to never experience our lives in their entirety at all.

As the old adage says, we can only move forward. There's no stopping. To stop is to move backward, to give up all gains. "It's much easier to ride the horse in the direction he's going" (quoting Werner). Yes you can stop riding the horse. Yes you can opt out of the conversation for transformation altogether, "... and what you get then, is your old life back" (also Werner) - because that's the way you are. It's the way you're structured. Check it out. Tell the truth about what you observe (don't believe it just because I'm saying so): opting out of the conversation for transformation altogether, is to be resigned to a mere smidgen of what's available in life.

So (the question is) if it's never over, then how can you say it's complete, Laurence? - or (asked the other way) how can it be complete if it's never over? When we're on the horns of a dilemma  (so to speak), we look to making the right  choice. We're convinced there's only one  choice (ie only one of the two horns) which would be the right one. Try this on for size: I've asserted we collapse "complete" with "over". The resolution then is to take the road less traveled: include both  horns - like this: I'm complete with that it's never over  ie I notice the nature of the conversation for transformation, is that it's never over. And I'm complete with that it's that way.

Another example, this one from the macro view, works well: I can be complete with Life itself. And clearly, Life itself is never over  (it's not, is it?). That's the nature of the beast. When I'm complete with something, I hold it exactly the way it is, and exactly the way it isn't. And whether it's over or not  ... is actually entirely incidental.

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