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

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On Being Out Of Control:

Be It, Create It, Or Re-Create It

Napa, California, USA

June 11, 2022



"When you're out of control, be  out of control, or you can create  being out of control, or you can re-create  being out of control."
...   answering the question "How do I handle being out of control?" 
This essay, On Being Out Of Control: Be It, Create It, Or Re-Create It, is the companion piece to


When I first listened him distinguishing this trifecta  of distinctions in response to the question "How do I handle being out of control?", it was as if I was in one of his master classes. His response was, as always, so simple, so elegant, so "Why didn't I think of that myself before?" so ... well ... obvious  (at least in hindsight). And it wasn't over yet. What began as his response to "How do I handle being out of control?" quickly morphed into a brilliant blueprint for managing any  onerous situation in which the circumstances are getting the better of us - or at least in which the circumstances occur  for us as getting the better of us (the difference between which is as subtle as it's profound).

What he said in response to "How do I handle being out of control?" was pure genius, stunning in fact, not just another bon mot. It was this:


<quote>

WHEN YOU'RE OUT OF CONTROL, BE  OUT OF CONTROL, OR YOU CAN CREATE  BEING OUT OF CONTROL, OR YOU CAN RE-CREATE  BEING OUT OF CONTROL.

<unquote>


Ordinary people (even highly intelligent ordinary people) may offer just one  possibility in response to such a question. He, on the other hand, offers not one but rather a trifecta of three  distinct possibilities for handling being out of control which, as you'll see, are equally applicable for handling any onerous situation.

His trifecta of three distinct possibilities for handling being out of control, are:



1)  BE OUT OF CONTROL

For starters, look: we're always  out of control. Really! The notion that we are or even ever could be 100% in control, is merely a convenient if not naïve illusion. And if you take exception with what I just said, consider that we're all hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. Seriously now: exactly how much control do you have over that? Insisting that you have control over it, poses a credibility problem in and of itself. Stop pretending you're 100% in control ie stop pretending you're in control period. Being out of control when you're out of control  ie surrendering to being out of control when you're out of control, is to be real, is to choose what is, is to choose what's so, is to be appropriate, is to be authentic.

So (one): when you BE  out of control when you're out of control, you're in control (that's one delicious Zen paradox).
2)  CREATE BEING OUT OF CONTROL

There's his second option too, one which may land as an oxymoron  at first: when you're out of control, and while you're out of control you create  being out of control, you restore ownership of the experience of being out of control. You're now its source  ie you're the creator of the experience of being out of control, therefore you're in control. Sit with this in your lap like a hot brick: to create being out of control when you're out of control  is to restore being in control.

So (two): when you CREATE  being out of control when you're out of control, you become the creator of the experience of being out of control. When you're the creator of your experience of being out of control, you're in control (which in and of itself has another profound Zen poignancy).
3)  RE-CREATE BEING OUT OF CONTROL

Then there's also his third option, which is: when you're out of control, and while you're out of control, you re-create the experience of being out of control, the experience of being out of control disappears, leaving you in control again. Look: please don't blindly accept that just because I said it. First try it on for size. The underlying principle here is: no two identical things can occupy the same space at the same time. And if you make  them occupy the same space at the same time, they disappear  (notice this anomaly is only available in the domain of experience, not as a concept).

So (three): when you RE-CREATE  being out of control when you're out of control, the experience of being out of control disappears. That's as classic "Werner" as it'll ever get for us: re-created experience ie experienced experience  disappears (in Transformation 101  that's almost axiomatic, yes?). When you re-create your experience of being out of control, it disappears and you're in control again. It's more than that actually: it's also that the act of re-creating your experience of being out of control is, in and of itself, an act of being in control  / restoring control again.




Any Onerous Situation



At the outset of this conversation I asserted his trifecta of distinctions work in any onerous situation (not just being out of control) which occurs for us as getting the better of us. How so?

Take his trifecta of distinctions for handling being out of control. Then for [out of control], substitute whatever that onerous situation is. For example, "When you're [out of control], be [out of control], or you can create being [out of control], or you can re-create [being out of control]" could become

1)  "When you're treated unfairly, be  treated unfairly, or you can create  being treated unfairly, or you can re-create  being treated unfairly", or
2)  "When you're disappointed, be  disappointed, or you can create  being disappointed, or you can re-create  being disappointed", or
3)  "When you're insulted, be  insulted, or you can create  being insulted, or you can re-create  being insulted" etc etc.

That's how in any onerous situation, each of his trifecta of distinctions work in handling being out of control, restoring control, and also restore being in charge and being at cause, and reclaiming authorship, dignity and ownership.


Postscript:

The presentation, delivery, and style of On Being Out Of Control: Be It, Create It, Or Re-Create It are all my own work.

The ideas recreated in On Being Out Of Control: Be It, Create It, Or Re-Create It were first originated, distinguished, and articulated by Werner Erhard.




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