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




Only You

Silverado Trail, Napa Valley, California, USA

June 30, 2018

"Only you can make all this world seem right." ... The Platt-ers, Only You 
This essay, Only You, is the prequel to Off-Ramp,

It is also the twentieth in a group of twenty with titles borrowed from Songs:


At first it sounds sentimental. Upon closer scrutiny, it turns out it's profound.

When you say it to someone for whom you have romantic puppy love  feelings, someone whom you see (poetically) as a ray of hope in an otherwise cloudy world, someone in whose presence your life is worth living (against your misguided background premise that your life isn't worth living if you're by yourself), it's sentimental - not to mention naïve; it also distracts actually, from what it really takes to have your life work. Yet on the occasions I've listened it spoken directly at me, confronting and straight, outside of any and all romantic connotations, it speaks to me ie it reminds me of the inherent power I have to transform my own life, and it's profound.

It's "Only you.".

As the very, very best of Doo-Wop, it's sentimental. And it's also, as a laser-tenet of transformation, profound.

A friend of mine (not a Doo-Wop aficionado) invested five years in therapy: one hour twice a week, $50.00 an hour. And after it was over, I could tell he had certainly gotten something profound: his life worked. "It took me five long years to get this, thanks to a great therapist" he told me when we talked about it. I countered (with compassion) that I wasn't convinced - not with regard to what he had (the new workability in his life was clear) but rather with regard to the catalyst  for him getting what he got. "What if" I asked him "you invested all those five years in getting it with a great therapist, and what that eventually led you to realize was you had to get it by yourself? That's  what took you five years to get. So you ended the therapy and later, in a moment all by yourself, only you, you got  it. Now I'm asking: could it be it didn't take you five years? Could it be it took you but a moment? and that you merely put off / avoided getting what you got in that moment, for five years?".

Listen: is that "the truth"  about how he got what he got? Maybe so. And maybe not. But stating it as if  it's "the truth"? That's arrogant - not to mention insulting to your intelligence. What it does (which I assert is useful) is it poses a "What if ...?" scenario: what if only you can transform your life? In the world of transformation, it's a given ie it's axiomatic  that you're imbued with the power to transform your life - and that it's an inalienable  power. But it's also a well-known paradox:  in order to get that only you can transform your life ie in order to get that you already have the inalienable power to transform your life, you first have to transform your life.

As counter-intuitive as that may sound, it's quite normal for us human beings. In fact it's very ordinary, de rigueur  actually. In the world of transformation, if there's one thing of which there's no lack, it's paradox. A paradox is something that simply won't fit  consistently into our current ways of thinking, appearing (if you will) to be self-contradictory. It's no wonder the world of transformation is strewn with paradox - and the question "How can we ever not  be who we really are?" is the chief case in point: given who we really  are, many of our current ways of being ie many of the ways of being of who we colloquially take ourselves to be, are paradoxical.

In this conversation, when I allude to only you having the inalienable power to transform your life, I'm not alluding to who you colloquially take yourself to be. I'm alluding to who you really are. Differentiating between the two is (you could say) the work of transformation.


Background soundtrack: The Platters: Only You - wait for 2.47M download


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