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

Living From The Edge

Exertec Health and Fitness Center, Napa, California, USA

August 26, 2006

I am indebted to Jack Rosenberg who inspired this conversation.

I'm a human being.


Who I am ie my essence  is divine everything/nothing-ness which is both Lord Of The Universe, ruler of everything I see, substance of all creation ... AND ... slave to humdrum day to day basic dogshit realities* like paying the electricity bill and washing the dishes.

Living and being cognizant of only divine everything/nothing-ness dishonors the essential predicament of all human beings.

Living and being cognizant of only basic dogshit realities doesn't live life in all its splendor, in all its possibility, and - as far as I can tell - isn't worth living at all.

My life is given by living from the edge  ie coming from where divine everything/nothing-ness starts becoming and expressing itSelf as basic dogshit realities, thereby honoring them. That, for me, creates a possibility of living authentically, of having life work, and of making a profound difference which leaves a lasting legacy of transformation for the world.

Now that you're here, what greater calling is there than leaving a lasting legacy of transformation for the world? Indeed, what else is the point of being born? Now that you're here, you can't reneg  on your promise to be born. Take a look: did you, indeed, promise  to be born? Consider this: if who you are is your word then you promised to be born. And now you're here. So listen for the calling.

That's not easy to get. But it ain't easy being human. This thing called life  is risky business. Being human doesn't come with an instruction manual nor does it come without an element of risk. It could be said we start off lucky. We're born blonde or tall or with 20/20 vision ... or not. We're born into privilege and wealth ... or not. We're born into peace ... or not. A child born on O'ahu in Hawai'i faces a radically different almost certain dogshit reality future than a child born in Beirut Lebanon.

There's one thing luck can't be counted on to provide, indeed can't  provide, and that's transformation. Being transformed (in other words, living from the edge) can't start until you choose what you're born into. There's no coercion to do that. In fact, there's more games out there and a bigger audience with a listening for people who don't choose what they're born into and how it doesn't work for them than there is with a listening for people who choose what they're born into. That's God's ironic sense of wry humor. You can say what doesn't work for you in the absence of choosing what you're born into. And yet until you choose what you're born into, nothing really works anyway.

Being human  and choosing what you're born into shows up distinct from being smart protoplasm on the edge where divine everything/nothing-ness starts becoming all we see, hear, complain about, laud, resist, embrace, avoid, strive for etc you know, love, pain, and the whole dang thing. If I don't live there, I'm not much more than a rat in a maze going down tunnels looking for cheese. As a rat in a maze I strive to survive, and certainly there's a great deal of merit in surviving richly ie in what we call doing well. But it's also prone to disillusionment, disappointment, and eventually pondering the inevitable question "Is this all there is?".

The answer is, of course, inexorably "Yes this is all there is". Spoken from survival, that's not good news. But spoken from the edge, "This is all there is" has entirely new possibilities.

*   Dogshit Reality: classically characterized by the robed, beaded, self-realized master, the Saint  walking with his clamoring, adoring disciples, ministering to them, accidentally stepping in dogshit.

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