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


Peaceful

Sonoma Valley, California, USA

July 2, 2014

"Peaceful - like heaven on a Sunday." ... Sir Paul McCartney 
"The seven aspects of being extraordinary are being charismatic, being courageous, being enrolling, being in integrity, being powerful, being racket-free, and being peaceful." ... Landmark Being Extraordinary Seminar Leader
This essay, Peaceful, is the nine hundred and fiftieth in this Conversations For Transformation internet series.

I am indebted to Gopal Rao and to Charlene Afremow who contributed material for this conversation.




I like sitting on the beach. I particularly like sitting on the beach at the end of the day watching the sun go down painting the sky with a palette of dramatic reds, flaming oranges, and vivid, burnished yellows.

It's peaceful sitting on the beach at sunset. We all know that. How-ever, as peaceful as it is, I'd like to suggest it's an ordinary, passive  kind of peaceful, a "Do it to me!"  reactive kind of peaceful.

Now there's nothing wrong with this ordinary, passive, "Do it to me!" reactive kind of peaceful. It's one of life's greatest most profound experiences. It's just not an extraordinary, take charge, pro-active kind of peaceful. Not only that, but it's the kind of peaceful which is actually quite limited. It is, after all, only  available to us sitting on the beach at the end of the day watching the sunset, yes? And sitting on the beach at the end of the day watching the sunset, is but a minute fraction  of the time we spend on Planet Earth. In other words, this particular kind of peaceful is unnecessarily scarce.

Is there an extraordinary, take charge, pro-active kind of peaceful, a "generate it yourself"  kind of peaceful, an anywhere all the time kind of peaceful, a kind of peaceful which is always available in abundance? 

There is. The access to it is giving up the interpretation "Something's wrong.".

Say whut?  That's right: the access to it is giving up the interpretation "Something's wrong.".

One of the most predictable roadblocks I run into when talking with people about the interpretation "Something's wrong" goes something like this: "No Laurence - you got it wrong. It's not an interpretation  'Something's wrong': there really is  something wrong!".

<aside>

Perhaps unwittingly, saying "It's not an interpretation  'Something's wrong': there really is  something wrong!" provides a deeper insight into what this phenomenon really is: "Something's wrong" as an interpretation, is an epistemological lock.

Epistemology is a subject for another conversation on another occasion ... OR  ... in the meantime, review epistemology in the Laurence Platt Dictionary.

Drilling down in this context, epistemology isn't what  we interpret or even how  we interpret, and neither is it the fact that we interpret at all in the first place. Rather it's the way we hold  interpretation itself along with whatever we interpret albeit unknowingly.

<un-aside>

The world, you see, is just the way it is and just the way it isn't. When something is just the way it is and just the way it isn't, then it's perfect. The world is perfect just the way it is and just the way it isn't, and stop lying about it. The world didn't come with "Something's wrong" like your new car came with an owner's manual. "Something's wrong" was added on  by you and me - continuing the new car analogy, "Something's wrong" is an aftermarket part  we installed. The first step towards empowering yourself to be peaceful and enabling yourself to make a difference in life is to inquire into the possibility that "Something's wrong" is an aftermarket part you installed ie it's an interpretation you added on. You may then want to look and see if you're willing to give it up entirely.

What happens ie what we discover  when we give up the interpretation "Something's wrong" is quite startling: the access to being peaceful, is laid bare.

Listen: anyone  can be peaceful sitting on the beach at sunset ... but here's the thing: ask yourself if it's possible for you to be peaceful when you're in the middle of a category five hurricane  even as you witness its terrible destruction of property and human life, even as you contemplate what difference you could ever possibly make assisting with the clean up of the unimaginable mess it wreaks, afterwards. Can you discover the access to being peaceful in horrific circumstances like these? Can you discover the access to being peaceful in any  circumstances? Actually what's more to the point is: are you willing to?

That's the question. A worthy question. A senior question. A graduate  question.



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