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


Not "This Too Shall Pass": "This Too Is It!"

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

January 27, 2017



"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." ... John Lennon, Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)

This essay, Not "This Too Shall Pass": "This Too Is It!", is the companion piece to
  1. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining
  2. The Grand Canyon Is In The Fridge
  3. That's No Hassle, That's Your Life
  4. To Include, Or Not To Include
in that order.




There are ways I relate to the circumstances of my life which, when I tell the truth about them, differ markedly when I'm relating to circumstances in which I'm enjoying myself ie circumstances in which things are (for want of a better way of saying it) "going well", than when I'm relating to circumstances which test me ie when I'm relating to circumstances which try me. Furthermore, I notice I have less inclination and / or tendency to manage or change my circumstances when things are going well, than I have when things try me. It's probably more than that. It's probably closer to the truth to say that in circumstances in which things are going well, I have very little or even no  tendency to manage or change my circumstances at all. There's nothing unusual about that. It's a very human way to be. If things are going well, I leave them alone. More than that, I would assert that's not even uniquely moi. I'll venture ie I'll ante up  ie I'll stake it's probably true for all of us.

As I inquire deeper into this, what I begin noticing is it's all  circumstances. All of it. It's all circumstances, and they're all unfolding, unfolding more, yet unfolding still more, unfolding even more ie unfolding ongoingly. Sometimes I don't like  the way things are unfolding ie sometimes I don't approve of the way things are unfolding. And sometimes I like the way things are unfolding ie sometimes I approve of the way things are unfolding. What's critical to get in this particular way of inquiring into the circumstances of our lives, is who we really are is the backdrop for all unfolding circumstances ie who we really are is the context  for all unfolding circumstances.

We have preferences. You have preferences. I have preferences. Having preferences is a characteristic in chief  of being human. Arguably it's impossible to separate being human from having preferences. Yet I notice it's the arbitrary way in which I designate circumstances as preferable or not ie it's the capricious way in which I prefer some circumstances and don't prefer others which, when I confront it, tells me there's an opportunity for an epic breakthrough in the way the circumstances of my life occur for me ie show up for me, and  in the way I occur ie show up for the circumstances of my life. Here's what I've noticed in this regard (this is my thesis):

In the midst of circumstances I'd prefer were not  happening, what I've got going on (like an intoning, chanting monk in the background) is "This too  shall pass, this too  shall pass ...". Mind you, that's not a bad context in which to hold them. It's actually smart (it's very  smart). It's certainly true: given the inexorable passage of time, anything and everything will  pass. Circumstances are like the weather: if you don't like what's going on at any particular moment, wait a while and it'll change. That said, what I've noticed about "This too shall pass" as a context, is it diminishes who I really am  (plus there's a naïve holding back  embedded in it, I might add).

Circumstances are what's happening in life. And what's happening in life is what's happening in life. Listen: as stupid as that sounds, in Transformation 101  it's simply axiomatic. This is it! In other words, with regard to whatever's happening, this too  is my life. More poignantly with regard to whatever's happening, this too  is it! It's all  of it. When I tell the truth about it unflinchingly, I'm not fully present  in "This too shall pass.". Yet I have the space to include it all and be fully present in "This too is it!", regardless of the quality of the circumstances of my life (which in Transformation 101, is another axiom), and regardless of whether I prefer them or not.

It's a seminal statement. Actually it's waaay  more than that: it's a seminal recontextualization  (I love  that word). What it demonstrates is this: simply languaging  our observations of our circumstances newly, transforms experiences of loss of power and diminished presence of Self. Rather than bewailing "This too shall pass" (I'm its victim) what works is asserting "This too is it!"  (I'm it's cause ie I'm at choice). Tell the truth about it: this too (ie all  of this too) is  it, regardless of our preferences.



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© Laurence Platt - 2017 Permission