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


Orion

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

New Year's Day, January 1, 2008



This essay, Orion, is the companion piece to Sirius' Passion Play.

It is also the first in a group of six written on New Year's Day:
  1. Orion
  2. Clean, Well Lit Quarters
  3. External Tank
  4. The Magical Breakfast Burrito Assembly Line II
  5. As Your Natural Self-Expression
  6. Werner's Work In Academia
in that order.




Photograph courtesy oobleck.ifa.hawaii.edu
Orion
Almost every single one of all the estimated one hundred and ten billion  human beings in all of time, prehistoric and modern, who've ever lived on Planet Earth in the northern or in the southern hemispheres have seen the constellation Orion.

Ever since I was a young boy I've been fascinated by the stars. Being fascinated by the stars hasn't called me  to study astronomy. Rather, I've always loved the sense I get when I look up to the heavens at night, that there's something so massive, so huge  about Life that it's too vast for me to comprehend, too infinite  for me to wrap my mind around - it dwarfs me a million billion trillion times over.
Werner Erhard has, from time to time, addressed astronomy per se  in his breakthrough physics conferences, the experience of which makes available to me the possibility that when I look up at the stars and see Orion, the hugeness I experience is nothing more (and nothing less) than who I really am like a context, and that delicious sense of too vast for me to comprehend  is nothing more (and nothing less) than my own true I don't know  nature.

When the Soviet space agency launched Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite on Friday October 4, 1957, my Dad and I went outside to look for it in the night sky. I remember my trembling excitement as it first showed up exactly  where we expected it to: a tiny light moving south across the stars, low on the western horizon. It was just a tiny moving light. But the thing of it was no such light had ever been seen before in the entire history of mankind  until that moment. Even at seven years old, I knew what an airplane flying at night looked like. Its lights flashed red and green. I even knew what a shooting star  looked like. It suddenly showed up moving at tremendous velocity across the sky and then flamed out, almost as soon as it began. But nothing like the smooth steady tiny light of Sputnik had ever  been seen before, moving it seemed quite leisurely across the sky, belying the fact it took Sputnik a mere ninety eight minutes to complete one orbit of Earth.

Even though an object on the ground has been around for a few thousand years like the great pyramid of Giza, relatively few of Earth's inhabitants, past and present, have ever seen it. Even though an object in space is potentially visible to more human beings than anything on the ground, relatively few of Earth's inhabitants, past and present, saw Sputnik I.

Yet almost every single one of the one hundred and ten billion human beings in all of time, prehistoric and modern, who've ever lived on Planet Earth in the northern or in the southern hemispheres have seen Orion. So when I look at Orion, I'm not only seeing something which has been around for a long, long, long  time. I'm seeing something totally remarkable inasmuch as it's been seen by and is unquestionably real  for one hundred and ten billion human beings.

Is there anything else which qualifies in this category? What else is there about which we can say it's been seen by and is unquestionably real for one hundred and ten billion human beings?

It's our sense of Self. It's our sense of "I'm here - now what?".

Even our awareness of God the creator or whatever we consider her to be  is clearly not as unquestionably real for one hundred and ten billion human beings as our sense of Self. I'm not saying our sense of Self is better than  or superior to  our awareness of God the creator. I'm simply saying our sense of Self. unquestionably real for one hundred and ten billion human beings, is our most widely shared experience.

There's one other thing Orion and our sense of Self have in common although it may be more obvious in Orion's case than it is with our sense of Self, and it's this:

When each one of us one hundred and ten billion human beings (past and present) experience Orion, what's obvious is we're each experiencing the same Orion. There's only one Orion for all of us. When each one of us one hundred and ten billion human beings (past and present) experience our sense of Self, what's not so obvious is we're each experiencing the same Self. There's only one Self for all of us.

I'm inspired and empowered by the one Orion, the heavenly hunter, just as I'm inspired and empowered by our one Self, the celestial samurai.



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