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


Out-Here III

Muir Beach, California, USA

June 27, 2012



This essay, Out-Here III, is the companion piece to Transforming Life Itself: A Completely Started Inquiry.

It is also the third in an octology written Out-Here:
  1. Out Here
  2. Out Here II: Out-Here
  3. Out-Here III
  4. Transforming Life Itself: A Completely Started Inquiry
  5. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  6. Hiking In A Painting
  7. Out-Here IV: Clearing For Life
  8. Something Bigger Than Oneself II
in that order.

I am indebted to Curt Hill who inspired this conversation, and to Charlene Afremow who contributed material.




When I first got Werner Erhard's distinction "out-here"  it altered my reality - that is to say, it altered reality. Period.

Much has been spoken about and much has been written about erroneously misconceiving "out-here" as "out there". Misconceiving "out-here" as "out there" is entirely predictable, given how we're thrown  to be about who we are - restated with rigor, "... given how we're thrown to be about where  we are". I'm talking about how we're thrown to locate  our experience of who we are in space.

The way we're thrown to be about where we are, the way we're thrown to locate our experience of who we are in space, is "I'm in here  ..." (pointing to my head) "... and the world is out there  ..." (pointing away from my head towards the world). That's the thrown misconception.

OK, lets say I accept it's a misconception. Let's say for argument's sake I accept I'm not in here  (pointing to my head). Then where am I? Out there?  (pointing away from my head towards the world).

Try this on for size: the accurate expression isn't "I'm out there"  (pointing away from my head towards the world). Saying it that way ironically only serves to further trap me in here  (pointing to my head). Try on the accurate expression is I'm out-here"  (with a sweeping gesture for presence  rather than pointing in any particular direction).

That's what altered reality for me. It doesn't really do much good explaining  out-here. It does even less  good trying to understand  it. But it's an idea which can be gotten and experienced. Getting out-here is a matter of shifting my experience  from being "in here" to being out-here. In other words, getting out-here is a contextual shift.

That's why once I get out-here, I have a new frame of reference, a new context for my life. But it's more than that actually - it's waaay  more. It's a frame of reference for workability. Given Life as it's lived  is out-here (with a sweeping gesture for presence  rather than pointing in any particular direction) rather than in here  (pointing to my head), it simply works better to live Life out-here where Life is lived.

No mystery here.



A New Facet To The Diamond



Then one day recently I discovered another  piece of this distinction, a new facet to the diamond. Even without this new discovery, the distinction out-here is awesome, life-changing, reality altering. And with  this new discovery, it's outright moving.

I was watching a friend at work leading a seminar. I've watched him lead seminars and participated in a few of them myself for over fifteen years. He's good, very  good at what he does. This time I noticed he was no longer very good at what he does. He had, in the interim since I last watched him working, become off the charts brilliant  at what he does. He was present in a way I'd not experienced him before. Watching him, I could tell he was completely being with the people in his seminar. He was completely being with the material  he was presenting. The way he was completely being with the room ie with the physical space  got me sitting up and paying attention in a way I'd not sat up and paid attention before - and if there's one thing about me you should know, it's I always  sit up and pay attention. It was truly awesome, a veritable tour de force.

Later I shared my experience of him with another friend. I told her how newly and powerfully present he was in the room. And this is what I said verbatim: I said "He was really out there  in the room, really out there in his expression.". And my friend interrupted me, saying "No, he wasn't out there. He was out‑here.".

And I actually thought to myself "She doesn't get it  ...".

I had it that out-here is a way of being for me  ... or for whomever the first person speaker is. What my friend was being in the seminar was out there  in the room. That's how I would say it about him. I had it that I could only say out-here about myself  ... or it could be said by whomever the first person speaker is, about themselves. What my friend was being in the seminar was out there  ... at least in my estimation.

Then this dawned on me: it was I who didn't get out-here completely - not her. This is the other piece to out-here, the new facet to the diamond: out‑here is not only an experience I (or whomever the first person speaker is) express about myself. It's an experience I (or whomever the first person speaker is) also express about another. I had it that when I share my own experience, I say "I'm out-here" (speaking about myself). I had it that when another shares his own experience, he also says "I'm out-here" (speaking about himself). But when I  speak about another  then I would say "He's out there", and when another  speaks about me  then he would say "He's out there.". It's a simple matter of spatial projection - or so I thought  ...



My Out-Here Is Congruent With  Your Out-Here



But no. It's "I'm out-here" (speaking about myself) ... and  ... "He's out-here" (speaking about another). I got it. That's the correct way to distinguish out‑here for all of us. How moving is it that my out-here is congruent with his out-here. How moving is it that his out-here is congruent with my out-here. How moving is it that all our out-heres  (so to speak, if I may take poetic license  and give "out-here" a plural form)  are congruent with one another.

It's very beautiful. It's very Zen. You can only get this experientially. It will drive you crazy if you try to figure it out.



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