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 Of Time And Space:

A New Connection

Castello Di Amorosa, Calistoga, California, USA

March 11, 2017

Part of any authentic claim to success in raising children is there has to be no so-called "failure to launch". What this means is what should inevitably happen with your children is they'll leave the home you created for them, the home they grew up in, and set out on their own successfully in life. On the face of it, it's oddly difficult to confront: what you're setting yourself up for in raising your children in the best way you know how ie in the best way you possibly can, is having them leave you and go their own way without you. It's a paradox: you're teaching the people you most want to be around, to leave you. And that's success???  Yes. Actually it is. Really.

When I began confronting this in my own life (if you're a parent, it's not a matter of if  you'll confront this, but rather when), what I also noticed is there's no avoiding it, and neither is there anything unnatural or unusual about it. It's not something that happens to any two or four or more parents uniquely. Rather it's something that happens across the board for all of us. There's nothing personal  about it - although to be sure, it may show up as personal for you from time to time. This is the way it is for us human beings and our offspring. This is the way it has been and will be throughout the millennia.

By the time my children were all of the age when they became, for all intents and purposes, independent of me, it was the culmination of at least a twenty five year period in which everything I did, thought, and planned was directed towards providing whatever they needed to have the best life they could possibly have. So it wasn't just that when they became independent of me, our time together was reduced to a fraction of what it formerly was. It was my entire way of being with them and relating to them had to undergo a sea-change too. Whatever I'd done and whichever way I'd been being with them until then, was suddenly (for the most part) no longer applicable. And a lot of whatever worked until then, no longer worked from then on too.

At first, it wasn't comfortable. It was disconcerting - to say the least. Eventually I realized in order to reconcile it with my own life, I would need a new way of being with my grown children, a new way that didn't require our relationship to be defined by us being in close proximity to each other, or by me arranging my life to fulfill / provide something on which they depended. If our relationship was still defined by being in close proximity to each other, that would be a totally untenable situation.

Initially it wasn't clear to me what I had to do. But slowly I realized I needed to create a new context  for relationship, a context that allowed for (ie a context which acknowledged the possibility of) being in relationship out of time and space  - in other words, a context which made possible and recognized a new kind of connection between us, a context which connected who we really are, and yet didn't require close proximity to each other or being inter-dependent for our relationship to work.

Months passed before I realized the full extent of what I'd gotten myself into, some of it so unexpected as to be deemed accidental, even collateral. While applicable to my new relationship with my children, it also has ramifications with anyone I want to be around, and yet (for whatever reason) can't be. Even if it's impossible to be in close proximity to someone, it's possible to be with them, as long as I'm willing to create the context for being with them out of time and space. Having a relationship with someone out of time and space, is a relationship which acknowledges and grants being  to them, regardless of where they are, regardless of how far away they are, and even (most unexpectedly) regardless of whether they're dead or alive (it's true!). It literally rewrites the game plan for being with people. Healthy relationships become possible where in situations limited by time and space, they once weren't. Being very closely connected becomes possible, even with people who are far away.

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