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




Real Life:

The Ecstasy Of The Mundane

Mill Valley and Valley Of The Moon
California, USA

April 7, 2019



"The most enjoyable aspect of the world for me is the mere fact that it shows up at all."
...  Laurence Platt recreating  
"Being is enough. That things are  is exquisite for me."
...  Laurence Platt recreating  
"We cannot put off living until we are ready. The most salient characteristic of Life is its coerciveness: it is always urgent, here and now  without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point blank."
... Jose Ortega y Gasset read out loud by  
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens is."
... Marianne Williamson
This essay, Real Life: The Ecstasy Of The Mundane, is the companion piece to My Village, My Home.




We say "That's a beautiful sunset" or "That's an awesome palette of wildflowers blooming" or "That's a magnificent redwood.". And when we say that, we're mostly referring to the visual spectacle  of the sunset, of the wildflower bloom, of the redwood. Beauty is (for the most part) a sight  thing with us. And it's just possible that casting beauty that way, with all the loveliness it allows for, as moving as it is, precludes realizing something even far more exquisite, far more awesome, far more miraculous. What it precludes realizing is things show up at all  ie that they exist at all  in the first place. That they exist at all is a miracle, exquisite, literally beyond belief. "The sunset is;  the wildflower bloom is;  the redwood is.". That's  the marvel. That's the wonder. That's the beauty of it all. It's the beauty prior to the beauty.

Consider this: it's not that its beauty is a balm for your predicament ie what's important is not that its beauty brings brightness to your otherwise unfulfilled life. It's that its being is a match for yours. The former is a business as usual, pedestrian, not to mention unchallenged  way of casting things. "Isn't that sunset beautiful?", "What a wonderful moonrise ...", "Awww ... look at that pretty wildflower bloom ...". Now don't get ahead of me. I appreciate beautiful things as much as anyone else and along with everyone else. The line I'm drawing distinguishes the misperception that it  (ie whatever beauty it is you're looking at) is what makes living worthwhile, obfuscating (and further burying) the possibility that who you are is enough, full, whole, complete, and even (if you like) beautiful beyond measure. That's profound.

It's the latter that's arguably closest to the truth. And it's actually even more than its being is a match for yours. It's the mere fact that it shows up at all in the first place  ie the mere fact that it occurs at all ie the mere fact that it's come into existence at all, that's in and of itself breathtakingly beautiful, marvelous, wondrous, even capable of inducing ecstasy beyond belief ... that is if only you'd let it in  ...

And Life being what it is, there's always the half-remarkable question: if the showing  is so breathtakingly beautiful, marvelous, wondrous, and ecstasy inducing, why are these qualities not always apparent?  Why are they not always obvious ie not front-and-center?  Indeed, they're  the questions to ask. Here's my take on them:

They're not always apparent and / or obvious because we've let ourselves become tranquilized  to the up-front, up-close, point-blank, the-way-it-is, in-your-face, mundane nature of real Life. We've resigned ourselves to having become punch-drunk  to Life itself. Whatever shows up, does so without us marveling  anymore at its mere showing. Whatever shows up in our tranquilized state, we've deemed obvious. We've taken it for granted without a second glance. This curtain, this cocoon  of tranquilized obviousness in which we've clad ourselves (and then forgotten or denied having any responsibility for) has effectively shielded us from experiencing first hand directly the miracle of real Life ie the miracle of being alive, and consequently from experiencing in the first person directly, the miracle of who we really are.
Consider this extraordinary recognition "Oh ... my ... God!  A TREE!!!  And there's ANOTHER tree. W*o*w!!!!!  ... Oh WOW ...", instead of the ordinarily drab "(mumble mumble) there's a tree and there's another one and another one (mumble mumble).". A tree viewed through the veil of tranquilized obviousness, is just another tree, taken for granted, so it has no magical and / or majestic qualities to it. Yet the mundane existence of just another tree, is also a portal to grokking  the miracle of Life, and thereby the miracle of who we really are ie the miracle of real  Life. But it isn't always obvious. So unless you bring your being present intentionally to bear on real Life rather than merely passing through without ever being present to it, you'll easily overlook it, and it may never show up for you that way at all.



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