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
My Life In Front Of Me
Exertec Health and Fitness Center,
December 24, 2011
When I was a child, the world was a playground.
It was exciting to go anywhere. Everything was new. My favorite
things to do were the simplest. Going for a drive with
in his car was a treat. It didn't matter where we
drove. Just looking out the window at the ever changing scenery
captivated me. Playing in my tree house with my neighborhood friends
pretending it was a pirate ship would occupy us for an entire
afternoon. And as for sitting astride the armrests of our big, puffy
couch pretending they were race horses, my sister and I could
pass hours ... galloping, galloping, racing, racing home
Every evening ended a year of playing. Every night lasted
forever. And every morning was the start of something
fantastic. What I loved most about the morning was whatever was
going to happen was always unplanned, surprisingly deliciously
unpredictable. The morning and what it brought, was always
something magical and new to look forward to. Clearly living was (and
was intended to be) a matter of creative play.
And Then ... "Something Happened" ...
And then something happened.
to me changed everything. But if I digress and describe
what happened to me
personally, while it would arguably be a powerful share,
it would also detract from the point I'm making - which is: when I say
"something happened ...", I'm actually asserting something happened to
me and to you and to every one of us.
Yes that is a pretty bold generalization. So just try it
on for size. Try it on that living, once simply a matter of creative
play, was interrupted when something happened. And
happened to every one of us. No it didn't happen to every one of us
at the same time. Neither did it happen to every one of us in
the same way. But something did happen to every one of us which
interrupted living as creative play.
Someone said something which was unexpected (it was probably
shockingly unexpected). Or something happened which
threatened your survival - perhaps literally. It may have involved
bodily harm. It may have involved an impact and a threat to your life
itself. It may have been you were very disappointed - something didn't
turn out the way it always turned out (at least, until then). Whatever
it was, the entire equilibrium of your life was thrown into question,
uncertainty, doubt, and disarray.
If you tell the truth about it, there was at least one
such incident in your life - probably more than one (possibly
many more than one). But the
of the incident, while relevant, aren't as important as what you did
with it next. Or, speaking with
the details of the incident aren't as important as what you did with
what you concluded about it next (bear in mind, what you
concluded about it may not have been accurate).
What you did with it next is you concluded something about
the way living
and about how people are, based on the incident(s). What you
concluded became your modus operandi. It became the way you
operate. It became the way you are. It became the way you
survive. It became more than that actually. It became set in
stone. And it became set in stone forever. In fact, when you
set it in stone forever, you considered it to be a good move, a
clever move, an intelligent thing to do. At that point you had
learned about living. At that point you had made up
your mind. At that point you had determined living wasn't ever
going to get you again, and you had learned how to
ensure living doesn't get you again.
Yes you got smarter from it. Yes you became a
survivor because of it. But in the middle of the night
when you lay in bed, unable to sleep, in those moments when you can
tell the truth to yourself, you noticed living was no
longer creative play. Living had become a struggle. And it mattered not
whether you were losing the struggle or winning it (although you
preferred to win it). What really mattered was something
happened ... after which you no longer lived your life as
creative play. And you missed living your life as creative play. You
missed it very much. And you would have gotten it back - if only you
knew how to get it back. But you didn't know how. You even
became resigned to not being able to live your life as
creative play anymore. You told yourself it had something to do with
growing up - which you used to justify dismissing it. Then
(which finally sealed its fate) you stopped questioning it.
If you give a moment of critical thought to what I just said, you'll
notice I'm speaking about nothing less than real freedom.
Real freedom. What is that?
Freedom from what?
Freedom to be what?
Freedom to create a life worth living. Freedom to live - drawing on the
past, but no longer enslaved by the past, no longer
in the past, no longer enslaved by what you concluded about
in the past. Freedom to be. In fact freedom to live your life as
creative play - once again ... at long last.
Given the past, given
in the past, given what you concluded about
in the past, the occurrence called
is simplynotpossible. And yet, given the
all things are possible, including the erstwhile
impossible, including the erstwhile impossible being free of the past,
including the erstwhile impossible being free of
in the past, including the erstwhile impossible being free of what you
in the past, including the erstwhile impossible being free of whatever
interrupted you living your life as creative play.
Living From The Future
What does it look like when I live a life which, before
was impossible? What does it look like when I live a life free of the
past? What does it look like when I live a life free of
in the past? What does it look like when I live a life free of what I
in the past? What does it look like when I live a life free of whatever
interrupted me living my life as creative play?
I call this "living my life in front of me", rather than living
my life behind me, rather than living my life from the past. I call
this living my life in front of me, rather than living my life from
in the past. I call this living my life in front of me, rather than
living my life from what I concluded about
in the past.
Rather than living my life from the past, rather than living my life
behind me, living my life in front of me is living from the
Wait! If you heard me say "living into the future", I
didn't say that. That ain't it.
In the first place, living into the future is really living from the
past into the future, yes? So living into the future is
the same old same
yes? It's just more
business as usual.
In the second place, living into the future is really living into a
"come what may" future. Living into the future is really
living into a "que sera, sera" future (as Doris Day may
Living from the future, on the other hand, is living from
a created future. It's living from an intended future. It's living from
a chosen future. It's living from a future you love. Living from the
future, from a created future, from an intended future, is (almost by
definition) living a life you love. Rather than being stuck
living into a future lived from the past, a future lived
a future worth living
It's real freedom.
This is my life in front of me:
a future worth living
real freedom. The possibility of my life in front of me keeps me up
late at night, and drives me out of bed early in the morning. Once
momentarily interrupted, it's all creative play again now.