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 Not Blue, Yes?

Jessup Cellars, Yountville, California, USA

May 15, 2012



I am indebted to Bruce Munton who inspired this conversation.



It could be said the world's in the shape it's in because we're not being responsible for creating it in the shape it's in.

Be careful what you hear in what I just said. There are two things I'm not  referring to ie there are two things this is not  about.

The first thing is this: when I refer to us creating the shape the world's in, I'm not referring to us doing  anything, building anything, making anything, developing anything, manufacturing anything, I'm not even referring to us destroying  anything - nothing like that. To be sure, we do things, we build things, we make things, we develop things, we manufacture things, and we destroy things, all of which have changed the look  and feel  of the world as we know it, all of which have impacted (for worse or for better) the shape the world's in. No, when I refer to creating the shape the world's in, I'm referring to the way we consider the world to be. It's that  kind of creating I'm referring to. This essay, this conversation  is about how we create the shape the world's in by considering it to be in whatever shape we say it's in. In other words, we create the shape the world's in by consideration alone.

Listen: the world's in no particular shape other than the shape I consider it to be in. It's not in bad shape. It's not in good shape. It's not in worse shape now than it was in back then  in the good old days. It's not in better  shape now than it was in back then in the good old days. The world's simply in whatever shape it's in now because I consider it to be in whatever shape I consider it to be in now. And in spite of some of our more cherished beliefs  which we hold very dear, the world isn't in the shape it's in now because of punishment  meted out by an all powerful divine entity because we did something wrong or made her angry.

<aside>

Clearly there are rules for living successfully on the planet - the ground rules, if you will. As anyone can see, violating the ground rules for living, produces un-workability, which is to say violating the ground rules for living plain doesn't work.

Assuming I'm being punished by an all powerful divine entity in order to explain what happens when I violate the ground rules for living, is simplistic and naïve. It's more than that actually. It's that assuming I'm being punished by an all powerful divine entity in order to explain what happens when I violate the ground rules for living, is an out  for me to avoid taking responsibilty for the fallout from the un-workability of my own actions when what I do violates the ground rules for living - which is to say, when what I do plain doesn't work.

<un-aside>

When I don't own that it's my consideration (and my consideration alone) which has the world be in the shape it shows up  in for me, when I don't own there's no particular way people are which is independent of and separate from my consideration of the way they are, it's an indication that  world and those  people, such as I regard them, are unreal  - they don't actually exist.

The second thing is this: when I say "the world's in the shape it's in", it may sound as if I'm being critical of how things are. I'm not. It's simply a comment highlighting how things aren't working  for us, and how things are  working for us. Who I am  is fully present in this comment. I own it. It's my  comment. It's my  consideration. Any time I talk about the shape the world's in, any time I talk about how people are, it's never anything but  my own assessment. It's never anything but  my own consideration. Outside of my own assessment, outside of my own consideration, the world's no particular way. Outside of my own assessment, outside of my own consideration, people aren't any particular way either.

It's one of the hardest, it's one of the most difficult points of view to give up (or to even contemplate  giving up) because we're so attached to it - which is to say because it's so built in to our machinery:  that the shape the world is in and the way people are, whatever way both may be, is some fixed way with the world, is some absolute way about people built into their DNA. In this point of view about the world and about people, my own personal consideration coloring  how the world is and how people are doesn't come into the equation at all. That's how it is for most of us ... most of the time. It's a hard sell  distinguishing it's just my consideration of how the world is and how people are which makes them that way, that the world and people are no particular way other than  the way I consider them to be.

It's actually even simpler than that.

However the world is, however people are, whichever way the world is, whichever way people are, whatever shape the world is in, whatever way people are, they're only that way because I consider them to be that way. There's no other way the world is. There's no other way people are. When the world and people are regarded any other way without making this distinction, again they're actually unreal - like phantoms: they don't actually exist in that domain.

Do you like blue? Is it you? ... or is it blue ... which has you dislike blue or like blue?

It's not blue, yes?

Likewise, if you're complaining about the world, it's not the world, yes? If you're complaining about people, it's not people, yes?

This isn't a judgement. It's more profound than that. This is the realization of what or who's the source of the shape the world is in. It's the realization of what or who's the source of the way people are. This conversation is about what or who has me say whatever I say about the shape the world's in. It's about what or who has me say whatever I say about the way people are.

So what or who is it  which has me say whatever I say about the shape the world's in? What or who is it which has me say whatever I say about the way people are?

Hint: it's not blue, yes? It's not the world. It's not the people.



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