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


Rising In Love

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

July 29, 2015



"There are only two things in the world: nothing, and semantics."
 ... 
"Don't go falling in love with me: I don't want the responsibility. If you're rising  in love on the other hand, I'm interested."
 ... Laurence Platt

"I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."
 ... James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, Ulysses
This essay, Rising In Love, is the thirteenth in a group of sixteen on Love: It is also the fourteenth entry in The Laurence Platt Dictionary: I am indebted to Wynnefred May Townell who inspired this conversation.




I don't know why we started deploying the expression "falling  in love" to connote the recognition that we're starting to love someone. I mean, why "falling"?  From my perspective, the idea of "falling" doesn't work well with "love". What gets in its way for me as a descriptor for real love is there are so many already  connotations of "falling" which are borderline distractions  from if not outright incompatible with love. For example there's "falling down" and then there's "falling behind" and then there's "falling back" and then there's "falling afoul" to mention but four. These already connotations suggest "falling" in love is but one vowel shy of "failing"  in love.

If you dismiss this huffily by saying "'Falling in love' is just semantics Laurence", you're right: it is just semantics. But listen: semantics and language are all we have with which to create and leverage context and distinction in life (this is what Werner's work is). In this regard there's nothing else: it's all  semantics, and the semantics of saying "falling" in love, ensures love is created in a certain restricted context - that's to say it ensures love's relegated to a limited context (to wit, a fallen  context).

Since it's all semantics, what I'm proposing is new semantics which work better with love, and a whole new context and starting point  for love. For me, real love doesn't start with falling in love. No, real love starts with being complete. When I'm not complete, only a certain limited interpersonal experience is possible. When I'm complete, another level of interpersonal experience becomes possible. It's when I'm complete and you're complete, that the interpersonal experience which becomes possible, and the love which goeswith  it (as Alan Watts may have said), is experienced as anything but "falling" in love. Rather it's "rising" in love. It's "soaring" in love. It's even "flying"  in love - real, thrilling, love.

Admit it: that's your experience, yes? And your experience doesn't jive with what you say. You say you're "falling" in love but what you really  mean is you're "rising" in love. The semantics of "rising in love" creates a new, expansive context for love. And you say it's only  semantics? I assert deploying the semantics of "falling in love" rather than the semantics of "rising in love" actually puts a damper on our experience of love ie it sets in play a diminution of what's possible for love with people.

When human beings ie when you and I give each other the freedom to stand before each other, being fully and openly who we really are, celebrating being fully and openly who we really are, allowing each other  the freedom to be fully and openly who we really are, granting each other the permission to change if we want to and not have to, that's love ie that's rising in love - period. If you say "No it's not" then I ask "What else could it be?" (it's an inquiry into the experience not the concept).

And what of "... real love starts with being complete"? Being complete is the genesis  of real love. It's what makes real love possible. It's the stuff of fairy tales  that being complete is the result  of love. It's often said (something like) "When I'm with (the one I love), she / he completes  me. That's  why I love her / him. That's  what love is.". I personally eschew the notion of love as being completed by another. In my view, being completed by another is the epitome of ie is central to the notion of "falling" in love. Here's why the semantics of "being completed by another" don't work: when I say love is given by being completed by you, it implies that by myself  I'm incomplete, yes? The foundation of my love then is living as if I'm incomplete  - which isn't true. When you say to me "You complete me" as proof of love, tell me: when you're not around me, where's your experience of being complete? For that matter when you're not around me, where's your experience of love? 

I don't want the responsibility of you not experiencing being complete when you're not around me. I don't want the responsibility of you not experiencing love when you're not around me. What I want is for you to bring your experience of being already complete, with you. What I want is for you to bring your experience of already love, with you. Don't go falling in love with me. That's not what I want. What I want is you rising in love - that is to say who  I want is you rising in love.



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