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


Never Mind The Fairy Tale

Napa Valley, California, USA

August 9, 2016



"The being of human beings is a mechanism, the end of which, the purpose, the design function of which is survival. You see now, you can't hear it  because you know  it's going to work out. You're just sure  it's going to work out. It isn't going to work out. Really! It is not  going to work out. This is all there is. This, this what you got, is what there is - never mind the fairy tale. This is it!  It is not going to work out because it has already worked out!  This is the way it worked out. You don't like  that? Too bad  ..."
 ... 
 speaking the A Shot Heard 'Round The World event

"Thank You Werner."
 ... Laurence Platt
 totally getting him saying "Never mind the fairy tale."
This essay, Never Mind The Fairy Tale, is the companion piece to The Stories We Write (working title).

Conversations For Transformation receives its one million one hundred thousandth view with the publishing of Never Mind The Fairy Tale.

I am indebted to Jan McHenry who inspired this conversation.




The age-old riddle "Which came first: the chicken, or the egg?" provides a wonderful, thought provoking enigma which has engaged and entertained millions and millions of people around the world. It could be the one ... or  ... it could be the other. The chicken must have come first to lay the egg ... but the egg must have come first to hatch the chicken ...  And who we  are in the matter, is the context  in which our inquiry into the riddle's answer, goes on.

That's one kind of riddle. Here's a different kind of riddle: "Which came first: real life, or our hopes, expectations, and dreams about real life?". What makes this kind of riddle different is who we are in the matter, is our hopes, expectations, and dreams about real life. In other words who we are in the matter, isn't the context in which our inquiry into the riddle's answer, goes on. Rather, who we are in the matter is inside the riddle itself. And until there's an interruption to this process (which we could call the advent of transformation), it's our hopes, expectations, and dreams about real life, which comprise our context for real life without us realizing they do.

One possible direction in which the inquiry posed by the second riddle could go, would be to try to determine analytically how  and why  we inherited hopes, expectations, and dreams in the first place, and who put them there. I submit a more useful direction would be to simply notice how living in a context comprised of our hopes, expectations, and dreams, is not only unsatisfying: it also blinds us to the true nature of real life.

We're die-hard romantics. We're convinced  it's going to work out the way we hope, expect, and dream it will. It's more than that actually. It's we know  it's going to work out the way we hope, expect, and dream it will. No, it's even more  than that. It's we know hoping, expecting, and dreaming is the way to make it work out the way we want it to work out.

Here's a better bet: count on it working out the way it works out. And it's already  worked out, hasn't it? It keeps on working out. What's more, it never works out any way other than  the way it works out, ever. Hoping, expecting, and dreaming never once impacted the way it worked out. It only ever works out the way it works out.

"Wait a minute  Laurence!" you say, "What about the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King? He had a dream. And didn't his dream impact the way it worked out? Didn't his dream bring forth a new era of civil rights which wouldn't have happened by itself otherwise?". No, the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King's dream didn't  impact the way it worked out at all. Listen: what impacted the way it worked out was the action  the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King took, action including speaking ie linguistic action. The more powerfully he followed his hopes, expectations, and his "I Have A Dream"  dream with action, the more powerfully he impacted the way it worked out.

There's the way it worked out - which is this. And then there's the actions we take, now that it's worked out. Imagining it'll work out different than the way it works out because we hope, expect, and dream it will work out differently, is a fairy tale we inherited, having a credibility rating matching reported sightings of Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and Yeti, the abominable snowman.

At some point in the course of a mature adult life, it becomes abundantly clear there's simply no more use for it. Then, like nicotine and alcohol, we're wise to drop it.



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