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

Presence Of Love

Chicago, Illinois, USA

August 7, 2005

This essay, Presence Of Love, is the third in the first trilogy Visits With A Friend:
  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 fourth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Personal Piece
  2. Magnum Opus
  3. Walk A Way With Me
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 first trilogy Visits With A Friend is the sequel to Anticipation: Accounting For An American Love Affair.

I stood in the presence of love, a radiating power of love, and I looked to see how I could be sure it was the presence of love and not merely my own artistic whimsy.

For starters I noticed that in its presence I could indeed look. There was space which showed up as absolute unswerving trust for me to open myself into. There was no need for walls of defenses which, when I looked for them, I noticed had already melted by themselves so fast it took a moment for me to realize they were gone and I was standing naked and unafraid.

The superficial layers of polite conversation burned off fast. The "How are you? Fine thank you!" was instantly eclipsed by the brightness and sheer joy of being there. And in that moment everything suddenly fell into place, everything was right, everything was OK, everything was perfect.

God is in his heaven and everything is right with the world.

The thing with authenticity is that if you have to look for it to put words on it, that's not it. It's much more immediate than that. It won't help you to describe water when you thirst. But drink a glass of cool water and you know. No words are required.

That kind of knowing, that kind of direct experience is what's there next to that authenticity, that flame, that luminosity, that bright being of playfulness, might, valor, and laser pointed rigor. It's not that not being able to describe it in depth and in detail invalidates it. It's that being able to experience it directly even beyond being able to describe it in depth and in detail is proof of it.

It's the instant recognition of kindred spirit, not because there's anything personal in it or that an encounter like this is special or that we are special because we witness moments like these. It's because in a world of games, graft, coverups, and no regard for the legacy our footprints bequeath to the planet, it's the simple awareness of real human being, real naked presence, what I really am, who I really am, what we all really are, who we all really are. Sharing this is a legacy worth leaving, a game worth playing, a love worth giving, a life worth living.

And when it comes to your house and knocks on your door and you, curious and suspicious, look out at it from behind the protection of gates and chains, when you catch sight of it for the first time, there is no doubt. The last thing on your mind for you to do is to ask for ID. The recognition is instantaneous. You throw open the door as fast as you possibly can. Your flying fingers fumble to open all deadbolts and locks and you cry out elated overjoyed "come in come in please come in please come in oh please please come in ... and don't ever leave ... ever ...".

It's like that. There's no dress rehearsal. There might not have even been an earlier occasion for you to compare with. This is like the very first time. This is the original. There is no test. No dry run. And yet you know. Because you know. And that's how you know.

I looked from that space at what else I wanted to say and it seemed as if there was nothing to say or, more correctly, it seemed as if there was nothing left to say. It seemed as if it had all been said. If that was it, if there were indeed no more words, it would have been complete.

That's when I saw there was one last thing left to say which I had not yet said.

That's when I said "I Love You.".

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