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

Personal Piece

Chicago, Illinois, USA

May 29, 2008

This essay, Personal Piece, is the first in the fourth trilogy Visits With A Friend:
  1. Personal Piece
  2. Magnum Opus
  3. Walk A Way With Me
in that order.
The first trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Second First Impression
  2. Do Artists Retire?
  3. Presence Of Love
in that order.
The second trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Black Brick
  2. Wet Water
  3. On Saying Nothing
in that order.
The third trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Master Of Life
  2. Face To Face
  3. Love And Kindness
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Natural Expression
  2. Essential Question
  3. There Is No "The Answers"
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Sophisticated Palate
  2. Open To Everyone
  3. Portal
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Meetings With A Remarkable Man
  2. Being Directed By The Unanswered Question
  3. Out Here
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Read To Us
  2. Seven Fingers
  3. Smart People
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Intimacy In A Crowded Place
  2. What Goes On Internally
  3. Riding The Horse Revisited
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Visits With A Friend is the sequel to Everyone Loves You.

While I have one, and a very checkered one at that, the story of my life's never been very important to me. If I'm judged, for worse or for better based solely on the story of my life, or at least on what's been heard or been told about the story of my life, or if my checkered story gets in the way, I'd rather be with people who already know I'm not my story. It's less arduous. I'd rather be with those who've already made that distinction for themselves about their own lives: the distinction they're not their story.

Friends who already know who they are as distinct from their story, also already know who I am, distinct from my story. That's not to say my story is invalidated, negated or diluted, or its impact even lessened. Rather it speaks to a shift in awareness away from the right / wrong  game, a shift toward the being itself, a shift away from the case, a shift toward the clear foundation space, the domain of being, the domain of nothing, the source of great power.

That's what's going on as I enter the room. Or, like the radio while I'm driving in my car, that's the background noise as I step, once again, into the open arms of your booming greeting.

I'm overjoyed sitting here in front of you again. Is it really  you? I'm speechless. Laughing a rippling, bubbling laugh I can only laugh with you, not caring what I look like or sound like, I raise my hand motioning for you to wait for my tears to subside. They're the natural expression of whatever goes on when I'm with you. While they get in the way of conversation, I don't suppress them ie I no longer  suppress them. They're an authentic expression of deep love and connectedness. Once they pass, I'll be coherent again, I joke. There's no embarrassment. This is real.

You ask what's going on in my life. OK, I'll I give you the quick, edited version, the synopsis, the Cliffs Notes, terse. The way I have it is the stuff  of my life should be shared only  so we can get it out of the way, only so we can get beyond it to the good material. But even when you're listening me telling my story, you aren't listening to the story. You're listening me speaking human being with things going on, with issues human beings have at any particular moment in time. So when you ask questions about the happenings I'm sharing in my life, eventually I give up on moving on to what I consider to be the good  material.

This interaction with you about this  stuff, this personal nanana  ... hana hana hana  in this  conversation with you, is  the good material because as I speak it, your responsive listening has it come clear, giving access to deeper freedom and peace. It it weren't for that, I'd not have this conversation with you at all. If it weren't for that, it'd be an irresponsible waste of this precious time.

Slowly, relaxing into just being here with you, luxuriating in the sheer privilege of it, I realize there's really no way through to the good material except through the nanana ... hana hana hana. From then on, instead of trying to gloss over it, I share details, agonizing details, glorious details, every bit of it, all of it even as I, cowboy like, keep a tight grip on the reins intently avoiding the slippery slope  of pure gossip.

Dispassionately you point out people are sometimes crazy doing what they're doing. You point out the craziness of people who get  to us intentionally by doing what they're doing. We've just about verged on empathy  when I suddenly realize you're not empathetic at all. There's no taking sides  where you're coming from. As fast as you raise the possibility of people doing crazy things to get to  us, there's your titanium blinding laser spotlight nuking my own craziness for being gotten to.

You say we can stay out of danger, we can stay in nothing. But then there's no game. You use an analogy citing Monopoly, Parker Brothers' best selling board game: to play the game you've got to have a piece. A top hat, for example, or a Scottie dog.

Something happens in my thought processes like a cog slipping out of gear. Suddenly the floor drops away. I'm open to it all at a whole new level. There's no having been done to  anymore. What happened happened. What people do is what people do. And I, not they, am the author of my responses. In other words, if I dislike what others do  to me, that's not them. When I tell the truth about it, what I dislike most about what others do to me, is what I do to myself when they do to me whatever they do to me.

That's good, you say, that's very good, smiling, eyes blazing bright blue light.

It's wild. It's also not new. It's just wild. You say it in a way that makes it imminently clear. You say it in a way which reminds me I say  I already got that but I don't say I've forgotten it. I don't say (spoken with rigor) I'm not living it right now. You don't say it like putting blame or like putting burden on me. Rather, you say it so clearly I get it's a choice, like it's an opening for possibility, and you point your laser at it so accurately I get an entirely new access to it.

Don't like what they do  to you?, you imply. Simple. Stop doing it to yourself ... like a choice. It's hard core wisdom. You know it'll get obfuscated if we discuss  it like a philosophical point of view. So you're hard core about it. I have no response. I get it, like a powerful osmosis.

There's no one else in the room. We're alone. You and I. The peace is deep, velveteen. But it's not the peace of nothing. It's the personal peace of love and relatedness, set on a stage of enormous privilege against a backdrop of awesome power and hyperdrive.

And all this before the hands of your table clock have turned through the first ten minutes.

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