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


Pristine Lake

Harvest Inn, St Helena, California, USA

April 18, 2011



"Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth." ... Alan Watts in Life Magazine - Friday April 21, 1961

"OK Alan, try this: who I am is the possibility of communication, transformation, and freedom." ... Laurence Platt in the Landmark Advanced Course - Sunday November 21, 2004
This essay, Pristine Lake, is the companion piece to Blue Screen And The Prism: A Composition In Two Movements.

It was written at the same time as Conversations For Transformation receives its half millionth view with the publishing of Pristine Lake.




Who we really  are is mercurial.

By this statement I'm not implying who we really are changes often. Rather, I'm implying there are many valid changing expressions  of who we really are, some of which capture the essence of who we really are more effectively than others when taking into account who's speaking, when taking into account who's speaking to whom, when taking into account the subject of the conversation at the time, and especially when taking into account the point of view  of who's speaking in the conversation at the time.

Question: is it possible  (not to mention authentic  and available)  for me to say who we  really are? Or can I only say who I  really am? Do I as an individual human being only have access to who I  really am and not to who we  really are? If so, it's not only unlikely I'll successfully generalize and say anything accurate about who we  really are: it's outright impossible  for me to do so.

To be sure, any expression by any human being of who they really are is going to be individualized, personal, and unique. That's the nature of a human being. That's also the nature of a human being's point of view. And that's my core premise. But my core premise includes  the possibility of any individual human being expressing who we all  really are. My core premise is there's a common experience of being human which is actually the same  experience (not "same" as in "similar" but "same" as in "identical") for every human being. You could call it a shared feature.

This way of looking at who we all really are implies, at a profound level  (if you will), we're the same. There's only one being human  expressed as many individual human beings  ie as many individual people.

Think of it this way: as the tree leaves, as the ocean waves, so the physical universe peoples  (as Alan Watts may have said) - "leaves", "waves", and "peoples"  are creative, third person singular verbs  here.

Now, given the possibility of one common aspect of being human, being the same for every human being ie given the possibility of one shared feature of being human, being the same for every human being, and given the possibility of who we really are at a profound level being the same one being human  expressed as many individual human beings, I propose we observe who we really are as the space ie as the context  in which Life occurs ie shows up - that is to say I propose we observe who we really are as the space ie as the context in which Life itself  and all our individual lives  and the entire physical universe and everything in it occurs ie shows up.

Photograph courtesy wallcoo.net
Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
In other words, I propose when we distinguish this particular mercurial aspect of who we really are, we then observe who we really are like a vast (boundless  actually) pristine lake  in which anything and everything which exists everywhere at all times, occurs ie shows up.

<aside>

We could also then observe who we really are like a vast pristine lake in which anything and everything which doesn't  exist everywhere at all times, occurs ie shows up.

But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

<un-aside>

The way it goes for us human beings is from time to time, we lose sight of who we really are like a space, like a context, like a boundless pristine lake. Our experience of it comes. It goes. It comes again. But our access  to the pristine lake is always here like a possibility. There's no need to hold on to our experience of it. It's here ... until it's not ... and then it's here again.

There's always a next opportunity to experience it again. The next opportunity comes as soon as you realize you're no longer aware of it. For some, losing their sense of who they really are from time to time is an indication something's wrong. They have it that something's wrong if their experience of who they really are like a pristine lake, isn't always on.

It's exactly the opposite. The realization that the experience of who you really are like a pristine lake comes and goes and comes, is proof positive the machinery is working perfectly. In fact, realizing the experience of who you really are like a pristine lake comes and goes and comes proves the machinery is working perfectly, is one of the hallmarks of enlightenment. Intentionally becoming aware of it again and again is simply the responsibility which goeswith  being enlightened (as Alan Watts may have also said).

There are many features of this pristine lake which make it extraordinary. Of all it's extraordinary features, the one which stands out most for me is this one: the pristine lake has the inherent ineffable  ability to language*  its intentions of how it will express itself next. Literally. It has the inherent ineffable ability to express what it will become. In other words it has the inherent ineffable ability to express the possibility  it will invent for being its next expression of itself. And what's utterly  remarkable about its ability to invent its next expression of itself through language is its language is so powerful that whatever it speaks becomes real  in the physical universe (as Werner Erhard may have said).

Furthermore, the pristine lake's inherent ineffable ability to language its intentions of how it will express itself next (and thereby make its intentions real) is a power common to / shared by  the pristine lake and each of us. It's a feature common to who each of us really is. It's a power available to each of us like a possibility.


*   By "language" in this usage I mean "logos"  ie "the word"  ... as in "In the Beginning was The Word ...".


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