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


One Day

Inn At The Vines, Napa, California, USA

May 25, 2014



"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time." ... President Abraham Lincoln

"Yeah but what if there's only one day?" ... Laurence Platt
This essay, One Day, is the companion piece to
  1. Endless Day
  2. One Day One Life: A Reflection On Time
in that order.

I am indebted to Dr Robert Lee "Bob" Culver and to Laurel Scheaf who inspired this conversation.




Hindsight, as Billy Wilder noted, is always 20/20 vision.

I don't regret not knowing what I know now, sooner. "If I only knew then what I know now" isn't an enduring refrain for me. Spoken more rigorously, I don't regret not knowing the way  I know now, sooner. Yet there are things with which I struggled earlier in life, with which I no longer struggle. Not that I won  those struggles (in retrospect, the struggles I did win were arguably not worth the effort). Instead I no longer struggle with them, given the onset of insights which brought forth entirely new possibilities for ending struggling.

To regret not having those insights sooner, diminishes them. They come when they come. When they do it's a breakthrough. And if they don't come, they're never known so they're never missed. Struggles end not with the kinds of possibilities which win struggles. Rather, struggles end with the kinds of possibilities which render struggling irrelevant.

I lived my life as a sequence of days - up till then, it was a sequence of twenty thousand days or so. "Of course your life was a sequence of days Laurence" you may say, "what else could it have been?" - just wait: I'll get to that in a moment. Soon after dawn on each of the latter of those days, I woke. Did my morning prep. Went swimming or running for about an hour. Worked, wrote, and did whatever it is people do during their day. At the end of the day I went to bed and slept. A night's sleep and the night itself were the definitive cut-off between one day ending and the next day starting. Then the next day (and the day after that etc) I'd repeat the same sequence all over again - or at least something pretty similar to it.

I was living my life, as many adages suggest, one day at a time. Not like a strategy. Not like a coping mechanism. The way I was living my life one day at a time, was completely unexamined ie it was de rigueur. It was a way of living which everyone knows  is the way to live a life, a way which no one ever questions. Even more than that, I had no choice but  to live my life one day at a time, given there was no other option, no other possibility, no other context for it.

Sometime around now (it may have been last week or it may have been five years ago or it may have been earlier, but nonetheless sometime around NOW)  all that shifted. It may have shifted as a result of my own inquiries into who I really am and into the nature of Life. It may have shifted as a result of being around Werner. Most likely it was the latter. But it could have been the former. Or a combination of both. What happened was one day I went to bed and slept at the end of the day ie at the end of the twenty thousandth day or so in the sequence. When I woke, I was no longer living the life I was living the day before ie I was living a completely new life. In this new life it was blindingly obvious my life has only one day  - a very long day, yes, but nonetheless only one day, an endless  day which living my life one day at a time, obfuscated.

One day. Not many days. Rather one endless day in which I do everything  I'll ever do. Instead of there being an end to this day every twenty four hours, there's no end to it. Instead of sleeping at the end of every twenty four hour day, I sleep at various times during  this one endless day. Instead of night being the definitive cut-off between one day ending and the next day starting, darkness occurs over and over again during this one endless day - and so, of course, does daylight. And as for one day ending and the next day starting, that's a non sequitur  for an endless day, yes?

You could say the way we take it for granted to live life as a sequence of days (in my case, as a sequence of twenty thousand days or so), is living life in agreement  - in personal agreement, in international agreement. You could say living life as one endless day is living life as context  ie as possibility. You could hold it that darkness and daylight herald the end and the start of each day in a neverending sequence of days by agreement. Or you could hold it that darkness and daylight occur over and over again within  one day, within one very long day, within one endless day as context.

Transforming the former / living the latter, happens through a contextual shift, a contextual shift which requires part grace, part intention.

Now there's only one day. In this one day, all you'll ever do is what you do, and you'll never do what you don't do (that's another marvelous distinction I got from Werner). It's an access to having it all be full, whole, and complete.



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