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


Shaken Up And Teary

Sonoma, California, USA

March 7, 2014



"I'm all shook up." ... Elvis Aaron Presley

This essay, Shaken Up And Teary, is the fifteenth in an open group of Experiences Of A Friend:
  1. Stepping Back
  2. At Home As Self
  3. Empty Windows
  4. Futile Like A Freedom
  5. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  6. Werner As Intention
  7. Who He Is For Himself
  8. Source Quote
  9. Puzzle Solved, Mind Unraveled
  10. Eye To Eye
  11. Mystical Connection II
  12. Relentless
  13. Being Around Werner
  14. Being Always In Action
  15. Shaken Up And Teary
  16. On Being Sad
  17. The Complete Presentation
  18. Force Of Nature
  19. Everyone's In Love With Everyone
  20. I'm Old School
  21. Werner At The Speed Of Choice
  22. I Get Who You Are From What They Do
  23. The Significance - Not What Happened
  24. You Know I Love You - And I Know You Love Me
  25. Speaking To People's Relationship With Werner
  26. A Master At Being (And Having People Be)
  27. Werner As Source
  28. A Man Who's All There
  29. My Heart And You
  30. Mind Control
  31. Again And Again And Again And Again And Again And Again
  32. Unwavering
so far, in that order.

It was written at the same time as The Young Person's Guide To The Future.




If I'm not my mind, if I'm not my internal dialogue, if I'm not my thoughts, if I'm not my emotions, if I'm none of my internal states  or bodily sensations, then what's the appropriate way to express my relationship with these components of my experience of what it is to be a human being? The appropriate way to express my relationship with them is as ownership:  I'm not my mind - I have  a mind; I'm not my internal dialogue - I have  an internal dialogue; I'm not my thoughts or my emotions or my internal states or my bodily sensations - I have  thoughts, emotions, internal states, and bodily sensations.

<aside>

Note with regard to ownership and who owns what (or rather what  owns what), it may work better to say (ie it may be more accurate to say) I don't have a mind: the mind has me;  I don't have an internal dialogue: the internal dialogue has me;  I don't have thoughts or emotions or internal states or bodily sensations: the thoughts, emotions, internal states, and bodily sensations have me.

But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

<un-aside>

Here's something pivotal  to get clear about your mind, your internal dialogue, your thoughts, emotions, internal states, and bodily sensations: you have no lasting control over any of them, yes? Look and see for yourself if this is true - don't believe it just because I say so. When I ask "Who are you?", I'm going for who you are like something you have lasting control over. Clearly, something you have lasting control over is more likely to be the best candidate for who you really  are than anything you have no lasting control over.

I propose who you are is your word. The teaser to this is who you are as what you speak, then expands to include who you are as that  you speak in the first place - in other words, who you are is your speaking-ness  (or speak-ability-ness, if you will) and your relationship with it. Look and see for yourself if this is also true (again, don't believe it just because I say so). Look and see for yourself if you have lasting and total  control over what you speak. I propose your word ie what you speak and your relationship with it, is the only  component of your experience of what it is to be a human being, over which you have any lasting control at all. I propose this is who you really are.



Living Proof, A Demonstration



He's standing directly in front of me, speaking. Just standing. And speaking.

Listen: nobody  just stands. When people stand, they're doing anything but  just standing. They're fidgeting. They're shifting their weight. They're moving muscles almost imperceptibly.

He's just standing. And speaking. It's not the kind of speaking I hear in the supermarket checkout line. It's not the kind of speaking I hear in the gym locker room. It's not the kind of speaking I hear on the morning news. It's the kind of speaking a human being speaks when they're fully being who they really are. To say this more rigorously (at the risk of losing the grammatical purists), it's the kind of speaking a human being is  when they're fully being who they really are.

He doesn't miss a thing. No point is too small for his full attention. His laser-like focus on detail ie his accuracy is relentless. I notice his accuracy first (it's impossible not  to notice it and not be astounded by it). It's his relentlessness I notice next - that's the order of things. And it's his relentlessness which makes the real statement. There's no letup with it. While he pauses (liberally, I might add) throughout his conversation, there's no pause in his relentlessness. In fact there's not one moment in this not hours long conversation but rather days  long conversation of his when he's not being relentless. No, it's even more than that actually: it's in the nearly forty years I've known him, he's never not been relentless. Not once. Ever.

His arguments aren't forceful. They don't have to be. They're exquisitely  and elegantly perfect. When it comes to articulating complex, abstract ideas in such a way that people can get them with ease (not merely understand them but rather be empowered to apply their pragmatic value  across the board in their lives), you could say he's a supremely fit intellectual athlete. No, it's even more than that actually: it's he's a supremely fit intellectual pent-athlete. It's he's not merely an intellectual marathoner: it's rather he's an intellectual ultra-marathoner.

His normal speaking voice surges with power. It's loud enough to let you know this is way  more than just a chat. Yet it's gentle enough to engage your enthusiastic participation without intimidating. Hearing it, you want  to join in.

Like in this conversation as in his entire life, he's always in action. There's never any down time  with him. And he's always 100% fully, totally out-here. No, that's not a typo: I don't mean "out there". I mean he's always 100% fully, totally out-here. His is a 24 / 7 / 365  presence of Self as the spoken word tour de force  which I say can only be fully appreciated by experiencing it up close. You do have to be up close to appreciate it fully because if you aren't (for example, if you only hear about it), you're likely, without any evidence, to dismiss it or say it's simply not possible for any one human being to be this way.

But it's not only possible: it's he makes it look easy. And here's the thing I get which, watching him just standing and speaking, causes all the circuits in my brain which furiously try to interpret why  he's doing this, to shut down and go quiet: he's not doing this for ego licks  or to draw attention to himself by looking good. Even if this is the first time you've ever seen this particular quality and agility in a human being, even if you can't immediately lay a finger on what it actually is  he's doing, the one thing that soon becomes gallingly obvious even to a skeptic is it isn't about ego  for him. The particular issue of ego is completely resolved  for him. No, what this is ... is living proof  ... it's a ... demonstration  ... that anyone  can be extraordinary, the quality he radiates, being who they really are as their word.

So if there's ever a "Why?"  about what he does, that's why. It's not about him being great. It's about you  being great. And the fact that he just happens to be the guy who's demonstrating it, although I can't take my eyes and ears off him for even one split second, is really quite incidental.



Discontiguous, Random, And Right Now



I've been around him when he's done this many, many times before. What's inexplicable to me is why none of my past experiences ever leak forward into and cloud the present with him (as most of my past experiences leak forward into and cloud most presents). It's always fresh, it's always so impossibly new around him, always so impossibly like I'm only hearing him speak now for the first time. I'm rapt as he continues his life's work as a conversation, as he continues being with people out-here, always creating by example, a pristine, clear opportunity, a space, a context  for people to also be out-here with him, many of whom are discovering being this way for the first time and are overjoyed by it.

Being here is a privilege. There's no other way for me to say it - and if I said it any other way, I'd be lying. This is an opportunity to be with and to watch a master and friend at work, and to get by osmosis  something quintessential, ineffable, beyond language  worth sharing over and over and over again. I suspect when an opportunity like this becomes available in this particular form on our planet today, it only happens discontiguously, randomly ie hardly ever - if at all. And this, discontiguous, random, and right now, is such an occasion.

I listen as it unfolds inexorably in front of my incredulous wide open eyes. I'm in awe, shaken up and teary.



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