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

New Model

St Supéry Estate, Rutherford, California, USA

May 30, 2018

"You know, people will give up anything - their jobs, their money, their families, their health - to get it, anything except the one and only thing you have to give up in order to get it: the conviction that you haven't got it."
"You don't change the system. You create a new model that makes the old model obsolete."
... Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller
This essay, New Model, was written at the same time as

I've created a new model within which I live my life - or (spoken more rigorously) I've created a new model for living my life. And even as I say that, I realize it's not entirely true - the "created" aspect of it, that is. What's closer to the truth is this: the model within which I live my life has shifted. It's in allowing  the model to shift and in embracing its shift, that I've tantamount to created a new one.

Either way, the model in which I live my life now ie my model for living my life, is new. In the old model in which I lived, I did whatever I did in order to be fulfilled  - in other words, an important criterion for choosing whether to do something / anything or not, was it had to be fulfilling. Without doing fulfilling things, I wouldn't be fulfilled. That's what I knew about Life. That was the smart  thing to know about Life. And if whatever I did wasn't fulfilling, I changed it, or did more  of it (hoping doing more of it would make it fulfilling), or dropped it entirely and went on to something new / different. And I knew that's the way it was, and that was the way it had to be. I had Life pretty much sussed  out. Quelle naïveté!

In this new model, I'm fulfilled because I say so, with nothing needing to be done and nothing needing to be added and nothing needing to be changed. Look: that doesn't mean I'm now fulfilled because I've accumulated / amassed enough fulfillment from all the fulfilling things I've done in the past so now there's a backlog of fulfillment I can draw on like a nest-egg. No, it means I stand in the possibility of being fulfilled at the get-go  ie at the start of it all (or if you prefer, prior  to it all). This is new, wide open territory for me. I'd caught a glimpse of it before. But that glimpse was like an intellectually based understanding, and never like a possibility, this possibility of being fulfilled with nothing needing to be done and nothing needing to be added and nothing needing to be changed. The way I'd figured Life out was, you had to do something  in order to be fulfilled. The idea of being fulfilled to start with?  ie the idea of being already fulfilled even before  doing anything? It simply wasn't yet in sight. And look: there's an even better way to say it "wasn't yet in sight" because saying it that way implies it existed but I couldn't see it. No, the better way of saying it is the idea of being fulfilled to start with, was not yet within the realm of what's possible.

There's a view (an ungrounded view, in my opinion) that some artists subscribe to - I myself have subscribed to it in the past, but I no longer do. It's that being unfulfilled inspires creativity - as if to say we're driven to create in order to fill the void, "the void" being a metaphor for being unfulfilled. A corollary of this error (and I assert it is an error) is concluding that being fulfilled leaves one with nothing to aspire to. This leads to fulfillment being paradoxically eschewed  even though in theory at least, we prize it greatly. I've divested my stake in both that view as well as in its corollary. The two aren't joined at the hip. You can be unfulfilled or not  and yet still be creative (or not). Linking them together creates a false causality  which is not only erroneous: it also drastically restricts what's possible.

In my old model of being unfulfilled, then aspiring to fulfillment by choosing fulfilling things, my choices were colored by that model. In my new model of first being fulfilled, my choices are also colored by the model. The take-away is: being fulfilled does not  herald the end of choice. Choice is ever-present. What shifts is the scope and quality  of choices made when being fulfilled is already fait accompli. It brings an entirely new, wide open raft  of possibilities which weren't available before. It's an entirely new way of living life which in many ways, is waaay  less complicated. It's simplistically minimalistic. It's very beautiful. And it's very Zen. With the new model, we choose coming from fulfillment  instead of in order to be fulfilled. Though the new model makes the old one obsolete, with both we still get to choose.

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