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

My Life, My World, My Universe

In-Shape Health Club, Napa, California, USA

September 20, 2019

"It's mine, all mine!"   ... 

As most people who have participated in Werner's work will tell you, the onset of transformation completes the before and starts an after (or said another way, it completes the predictability and invents a possibility). The major difference between the before and the after is as startling as it's inevitable: the context has shifted in the way we experience who (and what) we are. The way things occurred before the onset of transformation, was largely (if not entirely) conceptual. The way things occur after the onset of transformation, is largely (if not entirely) experiential. This is not business as usual:  it's profound.

Before the onset of transformation, I would have said I had a life which I lived in the world (and most people, I suppose, would also characterize their lives that way). The thing is back then, I didn't distinguish between "in the world" and "on the planet" so I'll leave the blur  in place for this conversation too (my difference between the two today is: I create  the world in which I live, and I reside on the planet). And the planet on which I resided, inhabited a much broader space called "the universe". Yet of all that, the only ownership I could claim (and claim, not by taking responsibility for it, but simply by default)  was ownership of my own life, not of the world nor of the universe. The world was the environment in which I lived my life. It wasn't mine per se  ie I neither owned it nor claimed it (at least not yet). As for the universe, that was just too big, too vast, too far away, too far out  (literally) for me to have any stake in it at all.

That's the before. Transformation however, shifts all of that (imposing rigor on my speaking, it recontextualizes  - I love that word - all of that). Given this contextual shift, the after is characterized by a new context for who I am, and consequently by a new experience of who I am. Reluctantly (I'll grant you) I discovered I'm not the concepts I'd so carefully assembled into my identity (horrors!). Moreover the scope of who I am, is no longer assumed to be limited to my individual life. Before, I lived in the world which had somehow magically come to exist in the vastness of the universe, the "How?"  of which (any and all of our most cherished concepts and beliefs notwithstanding) is the greatest, most exquisite mystery of all time. Now, as the space in which all of it shows up, I'm not merely the owner of my life: I'm also the owner of my world and of my universe. It's all my experience. Literally. I am the space in which my life, my world, and my universe show up. It's all mine!

Now granted, this is a graduate  conversation, and so this is a graduate idea. That being so, you won't get it (or refute it) by arguing whether it's true or false. Neither will you affirm it (or negate it) by debating whether it's valid or invalid. You can however get it by standing flat-footed in the space of who you really are, then simply looking at what's there, and telling the truth unflinchingly  about your experience. You're the context for all of it ie all of it shows up in the space of who you reallly are. Shockingly, I discover I'm not flesh and blood with a faculty for experience. Instead I'm experience within which flesh and blood show up for which I'm responsible, in a world of my own creation for which I'm also responsible, in a universe for which I'm the context. I'm responsible for my experience of my life, my world, and my universe - ergo  over all of it, I'm responsible for my say-so  of ownership.

So is that "The Truth"?  It may be (and it may not be). But here's the thing to be wary of if it is "The Truth": if it's "The Truth", we're likely to stop digging there. The questions then end, the inquiry ends, the discovery ends. That's why what's even more pragmatic than accepting it as "The Truth" is trying it out like a place to stand, like a springboard from which to dive into Life. Test it to see if it empowers, transforms, enables. If it does, take it: it's yours; if it doesn't: leave it here, and walk on.

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© Laurence Platt - 2019 Permission