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

September 11, 2001 - One Year After

Naples, Florida, USA

December 25, 2002

This essay, September 11, 2001 - One Year After, is the second in the quadrilogy September 11, 2001:
  1. September 11, 2001
  2. September 11, 2001 - One Year After
  3. September 11, 2001 - Five Years After
  4. September 11, 2001 - Ten Years After
in that order.

It is the companion piece to
  1. What Happened As Distinct From The Story About What Happened
  2. Road Warrior
in that order.

At the end of September 2001, how many of us looked at the future, and ventured we would be no worse off or no better off a year from then than we were then? There are still causes for alarm. There are still times to celebrate. Collectively and qualitatively, did anything really change?

Yes and no. Changes and challenges face our planet right now. Each change and each challenge is an opportunity. Every awareness of our fragility reminds us that none of our circumstances are under any obligation to provide us with fulfillment, satisfaction, or value.

The opportunity, then, is to be in a way for ourselves and for others that in and of itself is fulfilling, satisfying, and valuable, regardless of our circumstances.

There's the pertinent Zen tale about a monastery raided by bandits who broke a hole in the roof to get in. Upon discovering what happened, the students said, "Let's pick up clubs and go and look for the perpetrators of this terrible crime, and punish them for what they've done to us.". On learning their intentions, the abbot said "Let's go and look for the people who did this for us and thank them for their beautiful remodeling. I love how I can now see the moon and the stars through my new skylight.".

Possibility rather than predicament is in focus. If we tell the truth about it, our natural tendency as human beings is to avoid distinguishing that. Yet if we choose to, we can create possibility out of nothing.

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© Laurence Platt - 2002 through 2016 Permission