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


On Not Taking It Personally:

A New Freedom

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

May 28, 2017



This essay, On Not Taking It Personally: A New Freedom, is the companion piece to You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II.

It is also the sequel to It Shows Up Personal But It Ain't Personal.




The cultural climate  (if you will) that's prevalent worldwide today, has prompted me to take a new, closer look at the way it's all turning out. Now by that I don't mean the quality  of what's turning out. Neither do I mean whether I like (or don't like) the way it's turning out. In this inquiry I'm solely focused on observing that it's turning out all by itself. More than that, I'm focused on observing that it's turning out today, in the same way as it's been turning out for millennia, which is: ... all ... by ... itself. It's been turning out this way since the dawn of time. And the way it's turning out now ie in May 2017 ie in the present (and will continue to for the next few millennia or three), is no exception. It's an ongoing continuation of the millennia-long turning out, turning out, turning out, turning out, turning out.

I'm not about to sally forth into a conversation about whether you and I can or even should  do something about the way it's turning out. Maybe we can - or not. Perhaps we should. But before plotting that path, the thing is this: any conversation which entertains the possibility of us human beings doing something about the way it's turning out ie any conversation which entertains the possibility of us human beings impacting  the way it's turning out, would do well to take into account it's been turning out this way for millennia. That's our context. It's also the high board  from which to dive into the possibility of impacting the way it's turning out.

That, in and of itself, would be an interesting enough conversation to have. However, where it gets really challenging is I'm also taking a new, closer look at the way it's turning out not just for the world at large (ie for the universe, actually) but for me, a human being, personally, and by extrapolation, for all of us human beings. What about the way it's turning out for our so called internal states, the way it's turning out for our way(s) of being, for our thoughts, our moods, emotions, feelings?

Life as we know it, has been turning out all by itself since the dawn of time. Is it just possible that this turning out all by itself, also applies to the way I am?  ie to my internal states, to my ways of being, to my thoughts, my moods, emotions, feelings? that they just ... turn out?  by themselves? just like yours? just like the world?

Look: there's nothing personal about the way the weather turns out. You don't ask "Why me?"  when it's raining (that's not an original homily of mine, by the way: Werner leveled it directly ie point blank  at me when we were driving in a car somewhere; I was rooted to my seat - no place to hide). Yet we take our internal states, our ways of being, our thoughts, our moods, our emotions, and our feelings personally. We know that with the weather (ie with the not personal  weather), rain will eventually become no rain after a while, and it's not personal. No sunshine will eventually become sunshine after a while, and it's not personal. Yet we take our internal states personally. We don't grant credence to them also turning out the way they turn out  ie by themselves, whether we attempt to do anything about them, or not.

I'm inspired (not to mention transformed)  by the possibility of a grand new freedom here. Just as there's an opportunity to not take the weather personally, there's also a much more compelling, powerful opportunity to not take our internal states personally. Taking this opportunity, is to choose transformation.

Be careful. This is not some kind of new belief system  I'm proposing here (and if you take it as such, it will only get in the way of being transformed). Rather what it is, is a new place to stand. In particular, it's a new place to stand for our own internal states, a powerful place to stand which heralds a great new freedom imbued with the possibility of making a real  difference in the world, grounded as it is on the way Life really  works.



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