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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One Finger:

Context Is Decisive III

Special Evening About The Landmark Forum [Online], Landmark Worldwide

December 15, 2021

"Context is decisive." ... 
This essay, One Finger: Context Is Decisive III, is the companion piece to Seven Fingers.

It is also the tenth in a group of ten on Context: It is also the twenty eighth in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: I am indebted to Manal Maurice who inspired this conversation.




Selfie by Laurence Platt

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

1:34:27pm PST Thursday December 16, 2021
One Finger
Consider this: we don't see the world the way it is. That's right. We don't. Really. We assume  we do. But that's naïve. We really don't. Rather, we see it in a context that colors the way it occurs for us, and constrains what's possible. And because we haven't examined / don't even get the context that colors the way we see the world, we assume the world is the way we see it. So our view of the world, of life and of the possibilities available to us in the world and in life, are constrained by a context which for the most part, we're not aware of or being responsible for.

Transformation, Werner says, is the "genesis of a new  realm of possibility", the onset of which pivots wholly and in part on our willingness to discover and examine the context(s) which constrain our view of life and what's possible for our lives. Discovering the unexamined contexts which constrain our view of life and what's possible for our lives, gives the freedom to totally discard those tired, old constraining contexts, and to choose and / or invent new ones.

Wait Laurence! What do you mean by "contexts"? More than that, what do you mean by contexts which we're not aware of or being responsible for, which constrain our lives and what's possible for our lives? OK, humor me for a moment: I'm holding up one finger. What do you see? And you reply "I see a finger.". That's good. Now, do you get the context that's constraining what you see? And you say "Huh? What  context Laurence?". Follow me on this:

Consider that the context that's constraining your view, is "body parts". That's right: body  parts! The unexamined context in which you answer my question "What do you see?" with "I see a finger", is "body parts". It's only in a context of "body parts" that you see a finger. Now lets say the context is "numbers". That's right: numbers. Watch:

I'm holding up one finger. What do you see? And you (realizing something profound has just shifted) reply "One. I see the number one.". Notice it's the same finger ... except now it's the number one ... the same one finger, only the context has shifted  from "body parts" to "numbers". Now let's say the context is "direction". I'm holding up one finger. Now what do you see? And you (getting it quicker now) reply "Up. I see the direction up.". Notice it's the same finger ... except now it's "up" in a context of "direction". And if the context is "color", then you reply "Pink" ... and if the context is "noise", then you reply "Shhh!". We're looking at the same one finger. But it's the context which constrains / determines how that one finger / life and the world occurs for us. It's the context that's decisive, not  what we see.

"I'm unlovable" is an unexamined context that constrains the possibility of being loved, not that there's no love for me. "Life is hard" is an unexamined context that constrains the possibility of ease and facileness, not that life is difficult. "People can't be trusted" is an unexamined context that constrains the possibility of being trusting, not that people are inherently untrustworthy. It's the context that's decisive, not that there's no love for me or that life is difficult or that people are inherently untrustworthy. Transformation / Werner's work is a matter of distinguishing then letting go of the tired, old unexamined contexts which constrain what's possible.



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