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 Waiving The Right To Be Dissatisfied

Schramsberg Estate, Calistoga, California, USA

April 23, 2017



"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ... Professor Albert Einstein



There are various ways we deal with being dissatisfied - which is to say there are various things we try when we're dissatisfied. If we tell the truth about them, we already know  from experience that almost none of them produce satisfaction. Yet we plug away at them, ever hopeful they'll eventually work. How strange is that?!  It's a noteworthy if not curious quirk of us human beings that we do the same things over and over and over again, each time expecting them to turn out differently.

One way we deal with being dissatisfied, is by distracting ourselves. We drink. We self-medicate. We smoke. We overeat. We go away. Then we do all of the above all over again (plus we try more and better and different versions of all of the above) because we're still dissatisfied. Another way we deal with being dissatisfied is we take it out on people. We yell at the children. We're truculent with strangers. We honk and give the finger to other motorists on the freeway. And none of it makes any difference: we're still dissatisfied. Yet another way we deal with being dissatisfied, is we embark on pursuits we believe will satisfy us. We take up hobbies. We volunteer for what we deem to be worthy causes. We paganistically discard all mores, and do absolutely anything we get the urge to do (and when I say "anything" I do  mean anything  ...). There's more: we pout, we sulk, we complain, we grumble. But it's all to no avail: at the end of the day we're still dissatisfied.

If you've ever inquired into the conversations which comprise being dissatisfied, you would've noticed we're sure there's something lacking ie you would've noticed we're sure there's something we have to do  which we're not doing, in order to be satisfied. And I'll bet if you've looked, you've also noticed there's an unadmitted, undistinguished belief that we're 'sposed  to do something about being dissatisfied. We have it that we're 'sposed to find that as yet missing activity which, when we're engaged in it, will satisfy us ... and it's just a matter of us figuring out what the heck the god-damned thing could be!

In the meantime until we figure it out, we indulge  being dissatisfied. Said another way, we are  that we have the right  to be dissatisfied.

Stop! Look back very carefully at that last sentence "Said another way, we are  that we have the right  to be dissatisfied.". It sure sounds like there's a mistake in it, doesn't it? Didn't you intend to say "Said another way, we are that we have the right to be satisfied"  rather than "... the right to be dis-satisfied", Laurence?

No. I did intend to say "Said another way, we are that we have the right to be dissatisfied.". The subtle distinction and the powerful leverage it affords, is the gist of this conversation. We are that we have the right to be dissatisfied. And no one wants to waive their rights, yes? (sit with it for a moment in your lap, like a hot brick).

My intention is to tease out the possibility of waiving the right to be dissatisfied. Whatever it is that has us indulge being dissatisfied, followed by whatever we do in order to be satisfied, I suggest we simply consider the possibility of paying it no heed ie giving it up ie dropping it ie ceasing trying to be satisfied. This is more than merely ignoring being dissatisfied in our spectrum of experience, as an option. That ain't it. It's waiving the right to be dissatisfied. Period. That's really fundamental.

When we do that, what's present is the experience of who we really are  - with nothing added, with nothing taken away. How ironic is it that trying different ways to be satisfied, takes us away from being who we really are, when I say being who we really are as a platform from which to live our lives, is to be completely satisfied.



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