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


Seeing Is Not Believing

(Seeing Is Seeing And Believing Is Believing)

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

May 28, 2005



The education to empower people to transform their lives is not offered in schools. I propose that every reputable institute of learning offer a program entitled "Transformation 101" based on Werner's work.

This essay, Seeing Is Not Believing (Seeing Is Seeing And Believing Is Believing), would be required reading in its syllabus. It fleshes out one of the essential rich distinctions of transformation: that you are not your mind, and that contrary to the old adage, seeing is not  believing.

It is also the eleventh in a group of twelve adapted from my thesis BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING:


There is no mystery regarding from where I derive my subject matter for these Conversations For Transformation: I'm inspired to look into my own space and to document whatever I see there.

In this kind of research the essence of experience is both the object and the subject of scrutiny. I draw conclusions from what I see looking into that context as well as coming from it.

Actually it may be preferable to not draw any conclusions at all. I use conclusions to express the value in what I observe. Yet I know this also has the unwanted unavoidable secondary effect of shifting my work out of the domain of direct experience and into the domain of thoughts and beliefs. And the truth believed is a lie.

Seeing - direct experience - occurs in the domain of what's so. Believing - which is not so much interpretation as it is preferred  interpretation - occurs in the domain of the way I would like it to be. There's nothing wrong with either of those worlds per se. Both are the territory of being human. It is simply adult to recognize (and to keep on recognizing ongoingly) that the two are distinct. As a matter of fact, on that recognition the very best of Zen is grounded.

Arguably there is no distinction more valuable, no distinction more sublime, and no distinction worth creating more than the distinction between seeing and believing. I am not saying that like some gospel fact. Nor am I saying it with any righteousness. As an opinion it is not worth much, and whatever you do, do not believe  it, certainly not just because I said it.

Rather, I am saying it as something to try on like a perspective to look from and to experience the power, the clearing, and the opening looking from it. For some this will not be a new perspective. For others it will be revolutionary. Once that distinction is created for the first time, life is never the same again. That distinction in and of itself has the power to open the floodgates of transformation.

But distinctions have a short half life. They need to be created again and again and again. Distinctions only have value as long as they are alive. And because they only live in the domain of language, in time distinctions will fade, lose their potency, and eventually disappear altogether if left unspoken. The way to keep the distinction between seeing and believing alive is to create it again and again and again and then again and then again some more, and to choose to speak it again and again and again and then again and then again some more.

This is the access to the realm of the miraculous.


This essay, Seeing Is Not Believing (Seeing Is Seeing and Believing Is Believing), recreates the Observations chapter of my thesis BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING which is available at

http://www.laurenceplatt.com/breakthrough

The essay BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING introduces the thesis.


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