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 Gonna Get Any Better Than This

Muir Beach, California, USA

November 6, 2009



This essay, It's Never Gonna Get Any Better Than This, was conceived at the same time as

It's never gonna get any better than this.

Wait! Say whut?  Isn't this the Conversations For Transformation website?

Yes it is. And on this website you get to listen to your listening. This is a website where you have a safe space to entertain the possibility to yourself, quietly, privately, intimately, that the way you listen  determines how the world shows up for you. This is a website where you have a safe space to entertain the possibility that there's no "is world"  out there with fixed qualities, traits, and characteristics. There's only a world you listen. And "the"  world ie the world you listen, only has whatever qualities, traits, and characteristics your listening assigns it.

You could listen "It's never gonna get any better than this" as absolute pessimism, as a critical defeat, as abject failure  in the experiment called Life. You could also listen as if it implies the world and all of us in it are headed to a bad  place.

That's one way to listen. It's a valid listening, actually. Even consider "It's never gonna get any better than this", instead of being pessimistic, may rather be the height of optimism, given the pundits' outlook for the future. Its unspoken truth may be closer to "It's gonna get a lot worse"  than to "It's never gonna get any better than this.".

To accurately follow this theme, to stay true to this line of thinking, bear in mind it's not "It's gonna get a lot worse before it get's better!". I didn't say that. "... before it get's better"  is just some tacked on wishful thinking, some hope  which was neither there nor intended (indeed, arguably it's not even warranted). No, the implication of the unspoken truth along this particular line of thinking is "It's gonna get a lot worse.". Period, no end in sight, an obvious codicil to "It's never gonna get any better than this.".

So where's the place for, where's the appropriateness  of, what's the value  to be derived from "It's never gonna get any better than this" in Conversations For Transformation when one way of listening it's implicit suggestion is we're all going to hell in a handbucket? Indeed, could there be any other ways of listening? If so, what are they, and what are their possible ramifications?

I'm not an atheist, nor am I an agnostic, and nor am I cynical about God. In my opinion, however, the God conversation, such as people have it, is so fraught with positionality, righteousness, interpretation, unexamined belief, and in the absence of direct experience. faith (indeed, to say "blind"  faith is more apt), as to render it not transformational. I prefer to offer my view of what creation  is via an experience  - in conversation. Creation, as Werner Erhard suggests, is a matter of distinction. That's a stand of enormous  power which honors Life to the fullest.

But is it "the truth"?  Please, please don't make it be, or try  to make it be "the truth"  unless you want to totally obliterate all the value it has. Rather, consider it to be a place to stand and look. That's how you retain its power.

While I respect and admire and am compassionate toward and sympathetic to people who praise God for, say, delivering them from the hurricane or from the forest fire or from the flood, my personal idea of God ie my opinion  (and that's all this is) of God is she's more all-encompassing than that. In my quietness I speculate "It's really awesome God delivered you from the hurricane or the forest fire or the flood, but tell me exactly who you think created the hurricane or the forest fire or the flood and wrought it on you in the first place?".

So when I assert "It's never gonna get any better than this", I'm standing on a line in the sand, on one side of which is the world as it is and as it isn't. It's as good as it gets, and it's as good as it will ever be. It's also as bad as it gets, and it's as bad as it will ever be. If you look to that side of the line, it's never gonna get any better than this. This is as good as God made it. It's also as bad as God God made it - and when I say "as bad  as God made it", there's no value judgement  in my assertion. The hurricane and the forest fire and the flood are all pretty bad  ... until you entertain the possibility they're God's creations also. That's when you realize neither God's creations nor life necessarily guarantee hospitality. And the fact they don't guarantee hospitality doesn't make them bad  ... they just are the way they are  and they aren't the way they aren't.

That's what's on that  side of the line. On the other  of the line in the sand is nothing, absolutely nothing. And when I stand on the other side of the line and come from  nothing and look at the world as it is and as it isn't, here's what I see:

I don't need a reason  to give up complaining about the world. But if I did need a reason, coming to grips with it's never gonna get any better than this  is a great reason to give up complaining about the world. I don't need a reason to stop expecting life to make me happy, and instead create happiness out of nothing. But if I did need a reason, coming to grips with it's never gonna get any better than this  is a great reason to stop expecting life to make me happy, and instead create happiness out of nothing. I don't need a reason to give up judging and evaluating and making people wrong. But if I did need a reason, coming to grips with it's never gonna get any better than this  is a great reason to give up judging and evaluating and making people wrong.

All that may be great, but it's really only of secondary interest to me. What's primarily of interest to me, is this:

Coming to grips with it's never gonna get any better than this  is really a platform, a place to stand  from where I can generate the experience I choose, from where I can declare who I am and who I will be and who you can count on me to be, and out of which I can invent a future worth living into. God has done the best she can for me. Life has done the best it can for me. This is the way it turned out, and it's never gonna get any better than this.

Now it's my turn.



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