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


Reason To Create

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

February 19, 2011



This essay, Reason To Create, is the eighth in a group of fourteen on Creating:

Lately I've realized (simply through the preponderance of experience) there's a certain way these Conversations For Transformation show up for me which is distinct from anything else I create or have created, and which has called me to reassess what it is for me to truly create  anything.

I notice there are various reasons I create things. I create income for my children and for myself, I create conversations when I'm with people, I paint, I write essays, I write software as and when needed to streamline my time using a laptop computer, and from time to time I play the guitar, all of which are expressions of creativity. These are each discontiguous areas of my life. They each occur  in the broader context of my life, and they each have creativity in common, yet they come from  a slightly different reason to create each time.

Sometimes when we discriminate, sometimes when we distinguish that something is different than  something else, an element of "something's worse than  something else" (or "something's better than  something else") creeps in. I don't know why this is. It just seems to be this way for us human beings. Nonetheless, by isolating this anomaly, I'd like to avoid it. That is, I'd like to distinguish the reasons I've noticed I create, without implying one way's worse than (or better than) another, if indeed given the innuendo  of language that's possible at all. I'd like to distinguish simply what's so about my observation of my reasons to create.

One reason I create is because I have to, because I need to. This component of creating is closely bound to survival. I create a job for example because I have to / need to pay my electricity bill. Actually "I create a job" includes all of the following: "I look for work", "I make inquiries", "I speak with prospective clients and / or employers" etc ... and the net result is a job. But saying "I create a job" is good enough for jazz  in exactly the same way as saying "I turn on the light" includes all of "I raise my hand", "I reach for the light switch", "I grasp the light switch", "I flip it up"  etc. I create a conversation with my travel agent because I have to / need to procure an airplane ticket so I can visit my daughter. I paint because I have to / need to acquire more postcards (something I like to deploy for mailing as a fading art in these days of electronic communications). I write software because I have to / need to reduce the time I spend on mundane computer tasks.

There's nothing wrong  with any of the above. Vast  areas of my life (from which I infer vast  areas of anyone's  life) call for creating as a have to / need to  phenomenon. If I don't respond with creating when I have to / need to, I couldn't survive (I mean that quite literally). However, there's a place to stand  with regards to creating, a way of being with to regards to creating, indeed a way I can create  creating so that no matter what  I'm creating, I'm creating for no reason.

Creating for no reason at all is high class Zen. The moments of creating for no reason at all are extraordinarily powerful. Given the weight of significance  which overburdens almost everything I do, the moments of creating for no reason are moments of pure luxury  - and I'm saying "luxury" in a very pointed sense of the word. The luxurious moments of creating for no reason, have the power to transform the mundane into the awesome, the humdrum into the outrageous, the pedestrian into the "Wow!", the everyday into the incredulous "How did you do  that?".

There are reasons to create. There are as many reasons to create as you can come up with. Life being what it is, there are infinite  reasons to create. And those infinite reasons to create are all collectively in contradistinction to just one other way of being with regards to creating, and that's creating for no reason at all.

The more I look at this distinction, the more I'm inclined towards the idea that there's creating ... and then there's creating. And creating for no reason at all, in other words literally making something up out of nothing  - for no reason, not because I need to, not because I have to - is what creating really  is.



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