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

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Litmus Test:

Possibility Begets Possibility

Grgich Hills, Rutherford, California, USA

August 13, 2015



This essay, Litmust Test: Possibility Begets Possibility, is the twelfth in an open group on Possibility: I am indebted to John Taylor who inspired this conversation.



Litmus test courtesy indiamart.com - Collage by Laurence Platt
Litmus Test    
Possibility begets possibility. That's the litmus test  for whether or not what you got is real possibility. There are actually two degrees of this test for real possibility: the one is with regard to what you got for yourself, and the other is with regard to what others  get from what you got for yourself (that's actually articulated correctly, even though it may not sound like it ie at first).

The first of these two tests is this: whether or not the possibility you got, continues expanding as if all by itself  in your own life. Possibility has a way, once gotten, of teasing us to discover it everywhere. Once the distinction possibility  is fully gotten, it can easily be discovered in places where nothing  was possible before. The question is: is it you discovering  possibility in places where nothing was possible before? ... or  ... is it that possibility is showing up  in places where nothing was possible before?

You could say it's either or both. In fact each are accurate, and each demonstrates the hallmark of bringing forth possibility ie its yardstick  if you will: when possibility is gotten then deployed ie when possibility is used up, what results is more possibility not less. Possibility defies the laws of physics. You can't deplete it. It doesn't come in finite quantities. It's endless, vast, unbounded.

The second test for whether or not what you got is real possibility, is this: if it continues expanding as if all by itself in others'  lives. Be careful: I don't mean whether or not, when others get possibility independently, it continues expanding as if all by itself in their lives, because that's bound to happen just as it did in yours. No, I'm referring to whether or not, when possibility shows up in your  life as a result of you having gotten it, it then shows up in others'  lives as a result of you speaking it. That's not as far-fetched as it may seem: if you look at your own experience, you'll notice possibility showed up in your life as a result of someone else speaking it. In this regard, a Lao Tzu  dictum "Those who know don't say, and those who say don't know" at best isn't apropos inventing possibility, and at worse may be missing it.

Arguably it's the second of these tests which is the definitive litmus test for real possibility. The second test is apropos Werner's "If you don't take it out into the world, you didn't get it in the first place": it's one thing when what I call possibility shows up in my life as a result of my having gotten it, but it's another order of business entirely when possibility shows up in others' lives as a result of my speaking it. This is what's remarkable about it: real possibility travels  (if you will) via language. It's extraordinary  in this way. And it's this which is the definitive litmus test for whether or not what you got is real possibility. In fact this active language component  (if you will) is more than just the litmus test for real possibility: it's what differentiates inventing real possibility from positive thinking and "believing in"  in the first place.

So: how can you tell whether or not what I got is real possibility? By that I mean how can you tell if real possibility is manifesting in my life? Here's a very good start: secondarily  listen how I'm doing, how I'm getting along, how I'm conducting myself. But primarily  listen how my children and my friends  are doing, how they're getting along, how they're conducting themselves as a result of my speaking possibility. In other words, look and see if my possibility travels with my language. And if I want to know whether or not what you got is real possibility, secondarily I'll listen how you're doing. But primarily my litmus test for whether or not what you got is real possibility, is I'll listen how your children and your friends are doing. That  is the litmus test: is your  possibility begetting their  possibility? I say it's real if it does.



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