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


No, It's What You Say  About It

San Rafael, California, USA

September 4, 2017



"You and I possess within ourselves, at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances, the power to transform the quality of our lives."  ... 
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ..." ... George Lucas, Star Wars
This essay, No, It's What You Say  About It, is the companion piece to Our Say So: An Open Secret.

It is also the twenty second in an open group on Language:
  1. Last Word
  2. Speaking Of Freedom
  3. The Transformation Of The World
  4. Constituted In Language
  5. Zen Bland
  6. Source Of Zen Bland: Hand Grasps Itself?
  7. Linguistic Acts
  8. Language: The Scalpel Of Experience
  9. Wordsmith
  10. Source Quote
  11. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  12. My Word In The Matter
  13. You Are What You Speak
  14. Residue Of Meaning
  15. The Effortless Breakthrough
  16. The World's Conversation
  17. Read To Us
  18. Everything You Say
  19. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
  20. Leading With My Word
  21. Language And Results
  22. No, It's What You Say  About It
It is also the prequel to To A Fault.

It is also, with An Experience That Begins Before It Begins and Thinking On My Feet, the prequel to the trilogy The Leadership Course:
  1. The Leadership Course: Not Yet Titled (working title)
  2. The Leadership Course II: Not Yet Titled (working title)
  3. The Leadership Course III: Not Yet Titled (working title)
in that order.




A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I had a bit of control over the quality of my life. Yet almost all of what determined the quality of my life, was circumstantial. That means the quality of my life was determined by whatever was going on at any moment in time. The circumstances determining the quality of my life, occurred in one of two areas: external circumstances (what was going on out there  in the world) and internal circumstances (what was going on internally  with me).

This conversation looks at how, without any intervention on our part, the quality of our lives is determined by circumstances - which is to say it looks at how we allow  the quality of our lives to be determined by circumstances. Specifically, it looks at how we allow the quality of our lives to be determined by internal circumstances ie by what goes on with our bodies (what physical sensations we have), by our feelings (our emotional state), and by our thoughts (what we're thinking ie our state of mind). If my body aches (due to sickness or injury), I don't have a good day. If I feel sad, frustrated, or angry etc, the quality of my life and my ability to have a great time, is seriously impaired. If my thoughts are cloudy or if they dwell in areas which don't serve me and yet are stuck there, it isn't easy for me to enjoy my life.

That's how it was for me: circumstances (internal circumstances in particular) determined the quality of my life. I had it that what goes on with my body determines the quality of my life, that my feelings determine the quality of my life, that my state of mind determines the quality of my life. Given how little control I have over what goes on with my body, my feelings, and my state of mind, I had little control over the quality of my life - a situation I accepted as the way it is  for us humans.

During my travels I began questioning my own assumption that what goes on with us internally determines the quality of our lives. I wondered how some people I met languishing in the most extreme physical conditions (abject poverty and impoverishment in the Fiji islands and the Brazil barrios  and the South African locations  for example) have a better quality of life (they smile brighter and are more alive) than many of the wealthiest people I know. I also wondered how some people I met who have dire illnesses (cancer and HIV for example) have a better quality of life (they smile brighter and are more alive) than many of the healthiest people I know.

What I noticed about them eventually offered a profound clue as to why their quality of life was so good, even given their abject poverty, even given their dire illnesses ie I listened how they spoke  their internal circumstances. Here's what I noticed: if they were poor, they were simply poor; they didn't berate, complain about, or resent their poverty; being poor, they just got on with living their lives. If they were ill, they were simply ill; they didn't berate, complain about, or resent their illnesses; being ill, they just got on with living their lives. In spite of poverty, their quality of life was good. In spite of illnesses, their quality of life was good. Listen: I'm committed to poverty being relegated to the ash heap of history. I'm also committed to the discovery (soon) of cures for cancer and HIV. That said, that peoples' quality of life is a correlate of how they speak  their internal circumstances (and not of their internal circumstances themselves) is now unavoidable. It's Self-evident.

Consider this (try it on for size): it's not what goes on with your body that determines the quality of your life: it's what you say  about what goes on with your body that determines the quality of your life; it's not your feelings that determine the quality of your life: it's what you say  about your feelings that determines the quality of your life; it's not your state of mind that determines the quality of your life: it's what you say  about your state of mind that determines the quality of your life.

That's this thesis right here: it's not what goes on with you internally that determines the quality of your life. No, it's what you say  about it that's the determining factor. We have little control over what's going on with our bodies. We have little control over what's going on with our feelings. We have little control over what's going on with our state of mind. We have little control over what's going on with us internally. In other words, entrusting the quality of our lives to what's going on with us internally, is not  the smart option. On the other hand, we have total  control over what we say about what's going on with us internally, over what we say about what's going on with our bodies, over what we say about our feelings, over what we say about our state of mind.

It's a graduate  distinction. And therein lies the access to, at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances, the power to transform the quality of our lives.


Postscript:
The presentation, delivery, and style of No, It's What You Say  About It are all my own work.
The ideas recreated in No, It's What You Say  About It were first originated, distinguished, and articulated by  .


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