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 The Created Future

Napa, California, USA

February 6, 2019

"Then he waited, marshaling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next.
But he would think of something."
... Arthur C Clarke embodying Star-Child, in the closing words of the grand finale of "2001: A Space Odyssey"
This essay, On The Created Future, with Life, Love, And The Whole Damn Thing, Crowning Jewel, and Experience An Ontological Shift, is the sequel to the trilogy The Leadership Course:
  1. The Leadership Course: As Your Natural Self-Expression II
  2. The Leadership Course II: Leadership Is A Barefooted Girl
  3. The Leadership Course III: Pillar Of The Community
in that order (in a very real sense, any and all Conversations For Transformation essays written following the trilogy The Leadership Course are all its sequels).

The very notion that there's the  future ie that there's one singular future that's located ahead of us ie that's coming soon ie that's in front of us in time  (so to speak), a time-will-tell  future, a que-sera-sera  future, is a concept that's at best not completely examined (which means it's not rigorous) and at worst is both trite and naïve. What's worth noting / emphasizing is we have it that we live toward  (an "in the stands" notion) the future, whereas upon closer inspection it can be seen it's just possible we also (and actually mostly) live from  (an "on the court" idea) the future.

Whether realized or not, it's you and I who wield the power to define the qualities of the future. If we decline to wield this power (simply, if we don't exercise it fully), the qualities of the future are defined inexorably by default by the circumstances. They may be favorable qualities, or not. They may support us. They may not. Either way, it's we who, realized or not, wield the power to create them. Examining the qualities we've inadvertently created for the future goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) examining the power we wield to create them. Equally, it goeswith confronting how not exercising this power, cedes our voting on the future, to circumstance.

Counter-intuitively, also realized or not, it's the qualities we create for the future which impact and shape the way we live in the present - which flies in the face of the colloquial notion that it's how we live in the present which determines what the future will look like. Hence the notion of living "from" the future (created), rather than "toward" some inexorable, inevitable future (conceptualized). The former is the realm of transformation as it's lived on the court. The latter is just getting by, in the same-old-same-old business as usual  way we're thrown to merely exist / veg when we're uncommitted in the stands.

Then there's this: a future with one created set of qualities, is a different future  than another with a separate created set of qualities. That said, when we colloquially refer to the  future, we belie the idea that there's not only one future. There's actually a lot more than one future. In fact there are many  possible futures  - plural.

Here for starters, are eleven futures to consider. Feel free to distinguish more for yourself, then add them to this list (there are limitless futures to be discovered):

 Eleven Futures*

•  probable almost certain future

Without any intervention on my part, the future that's most likely to turn out by itself, given the circumstances.

Example: tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow is creeping in this petty pace (as William Shakespeare may have said).

•  realized future

The future ("a"  future actually) that's already turned out. It either turned out by itself (ie given the circumstances) or I intentionally directed / created it to turn out this way. Either way, it's now happened / turned out / complete. Therefore it's now in the past. A new opening is now available for the next future to be realized, whatever it may be.

Example: one day I'll be a father (a future) - fast forward to: my children are Alexandra, Christian, and Joshua (that future realized).

•  hoped-for future

A desired future, yet with no real plan in place for making it happen (and no real knowing that it's even possible to plan to make it happen) other than to wish and pray for it to happen. It's a "Gee! Wouldn't it would be nice if this happened?" future, a "Wow! I sure would love it if that happened!" future.

Example: I've won the Powerball lottery (and mine was the only winning ticket).

•  dreamt-of future

Similar to a hoped-for future, except with more passion and desire and interest invested in it than a hoped-for future. Yet still without any ongoing plan and implementation for actually ensuring it will happen.

Example: I own a beachfront bungalow free and clear, on a tropical island, with the perfect surfable wave at my front door; there are no sharks, tsunamis, wildfires, volcanos, or earthquakes; oh, and there's strong WiFi access to post Conversations For Transformation.

•  resigned-to future

A known future, an anticipated future, an already expected future, one which doesn't completely square with a wanted future or a desirable future, yet which certainly looks like it'll be happening anyway regardless. There's a sense of powerlessness to stop it or to interfere with it happening. It's a future whose imminence, for better or for worse, is accepted. Accepting it, is the best of a set of bad options.

Example: human beings are acting mostly out of self-interest than for the greater good.

•  worried-about future

Similar to a resigned-to future, except it isn't (yet) fully accepted. Indeed, the thought of it's imminence evokes ongoing concern. Furthermore, worrying about it occurs as a means to keep it at bay (clearly a losing proposition).

Example: my money hasn't outlasted me.

•  feared future

Similar to a worried-about future, except the contemplation of it evokes more than mere worry. What's evoked is dread, and the experience of being powerless to prevent or sway its outcome which, it seems, is likely to be harmful to the quality of life. Survival in this future, is threatened (or is likely to be).

Example: the nuclear threat has come true.

•  future been given by authority

Beyond our personal lives, beyond our families, beyond our neighborhood groups, even beyond the state in which we live, the future been given by government. Indeed, a future been given by government / authority is also set in all of our families, neighborhood groups, the state in which we live etc. It's simply more getable and global when distinguished at the governmental level.


The sixth definition of word as distinguished by Werner, includes "moral", "ethical" and "legal standards".

Colloquially, honoring your word been given by authority ie "legal standards", is often overlooked for inclusion in the integrity conversation.

This omission is something in which you may wish to invest time to (re)visit and (re)consider.


Example: residents of the United Kingdom no longer have unrestricted visa-free travel to the European Union countries.

•  we-will-work-hard-for-it future

Similar to a hoped-for future, but with an ongoing plan and implementation for actually ensuring it will happen.

Example: the rate of species extinctions has dramatically slowed; the volume of carbon emissions in the atmosphere has significantly dropped.

•  discontinuous future

A future which turns out unpredictably, given that the track toward it and the intention of what it would produce, had a different outcome in mind.

Example: "Post-it" notes have resulted from a failed experiment to develop a super-strong adhesive.

And then  ... there's a

•  created  future

A created future is an invented future, a future ie a possibility  that I literally make up, a future which if I didn't make it up, wasn't going to happen by itself anyway. This is a future imbued with choice and creativity and power, a future in which I actually have say in how my life turns out, and what it will be about.

Example: (make up your own).

So ... What Are You Waiting For?

It could be argued that the only real value in distinguishing all of the above ie all the other  ten futures, some of which aren't inherently created futures, is to arrive at the possibility of a created future - or, spoken with rigor, to arrive at the possibility of the possibility  of a created future. When you get clear about what the future's likely to look like if you don't  make it up, there's an opening to act to make what wasn't going to happen anyway, happen. This is the created future.

It's in the possibility of the possibility of the created future, that transformation is called to come out to play in the present.


The presentation, delivery, and style of On The Created Future are all my own work.

The eleven futures* recreated in On The Created Future were first originated, distinguished, and articulated by Werner Erhard in the Leadership Course.

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