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


Resistance

Diamond Oaks, Oakville, California, USA

February 11, 2007



"What you resist persists."  ... 
This essay, Resistance, is the companion piece to
Werner's view of life as a rollercoaster really rings true with me. You can get in the front and center seat and really enjoy the ride. Or you can resist being on the ride, in which case you're dragged along behind the car kicking and screaming. Getting off is not an option.

Lately as a discipline I've imposed on myself, I've been noticing what happens when I resist life. I've been noticing what happens when I resist being on the ride. I've noticed I resist in one of three situations:

 1)  I resist when I'm losing rather than when I'm winning.

 2)  I resist when I'm dominated. Interestingly enough, I don't  resist when I'm dominating.

 3)  I resist when I'm made wrong. Interestingly enough, I don't  resist when I'm made right. Nor do I resist when I am  right. What's also interesting is if I'm wrong and I get  I'm wrong, I don't resist that either.

When I ask myself why  I resist all of the above, the answer is simple. I resist the all of above because I don't like  all of the above. That's easy to get. It's also a very naïve way to deal with what I don't like because much to my own chagrin when I tell the truth about it, resisting what I don't like doesn't make it go away. If anything, resisting what I don't like entrenches it deeper. And I ... don't  ... like  ... that  ... either.

But it's true. Whether I like it or not, "what you resist persists"  - to quote Werner Erhard. In other words, resistance causes persistence.

I've also been noticing what happens when I notice  what I resist. If I simply notice  what I resist rather than resisting  what I resist, I get calm and accepting. Then there's nothing to resist. Then there's only what's so. To be sure, appropriate responses to the things I resist are called for. But instead of setting up those responses begrudgingly from a place I don't like, I'm setting them up inside a possibility of being calm and accepting. Now they're just another item on my to do list rather than the entire catastrophe.

There's something else I've been noticing and it's this: from time to time when I notice what I resist, I notice what I resist as a cure, as a fix. The voice  is saying "I don't like this. So I'll notice I don't like it. And that'll fix it (or make it go away) ...".

It's very pernicious. I see the automaticity of "I don't like losing, I don't like being dominated, I don't like being made wrong.". There's no creativity, there's no choice in "I don't like". It's all machinery. Whether I like it or not (and I don't), resisting it is completely inauthentic, not to mention futile. When I resist it, it persists.

There's a fine line, a fine distinction between simply noticing what I resist, and noticing what I resist in order to.

When I simply notice what I resist, I'm at cause, I'm source. When I simply notice what I resist, it occurs  as resistance and I, the observer, am free. When I notice what I resist in order to, I'm at the effect of it. I'm tied to it in a deadly embrace, in a fatal attraction. It's a Chinese finger trap. The more I struggle to be free of it, the tighter I'm entangled in it.

When I let what I don't like be what's so, when I let what I resist  be what's so, I'm free.



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