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




Something In The Air

Santa Barbara, California, USA

September 21, 2016



"I used to be different; now I am the same."  ... 
"Call out the instigators because there's something in the air." ... Thunderclap Newton, Something In The Air 
This essay, Something In The Air, is the fourteenth in a group of eighteen with titles borrowed from Songs: It is also the fourteenth in a group of sixteen written in Santa Barbara:
  1. Santa Barbara
  2. Unbelievable
  3. Give Me Money (That's What I Want?)
  4. True Gold
  5. Getting Into Your World
  6. You Say Stop: About Resisting Transformation
  7. The Cavalry's Not Coming
  8. On This Team Everyone's The Leader
  9. Fireside Chat
  10. The Next Best Thing
  11. Full Circle, Full Spiral
  12. Truth, And What's True
  13. Snowflakes In A Furnace
  14. Something In The Air
  15. Vocal Prowess
  16. Flames In My Rearview Mirror
in that order.

Conversations For Transformation receives its one million one hundred and fifty thousandth view with the publishing of Something In The Air.




"Spring Storm"

Oil painting by Sally Blevins
Something In The Air
In a transformed world (which is to say in a world in which you and I are being transformed), we're never better (or worse) than: we're always the same as; we're never different than: we're always the same as. It's an abstract which is both profound and (if you will) Zen-koanesque. It's profound because it underlies everything. Then it's Zen-koanesque because it works in the realm of who we really are. It's this abstract which I've taken on, against which to fine-tune my life ie against which to true*  my life. What I've taken on is being with people as who they really are, not letting whether or not they're interested in the same things in which I'm interested, get in the way.

There's a new insight I've gotten recently regarding any abstract like this which I take on from time to time ie any abstract against which I true my life. It's this: if I've taken it on, it's probably a given there's something in the air  rendering it timely to take it on. And because none of us are really different (at least in the realm of who we really are), it's likely you may have also taken it on at about the same time as I did. If so, that would be ordinary. What would be extra-ordinary is: what if it isn't us  who've taken it  on at all? What if it's it  that's taken us  on instead?

These moments when there's something in the air which takes us all on at the same time ie which uses  all of us, illustrate an aspect of life which in the ordinary course of events, simply isn't possible. Yet it, in the extra-ordinary course of events, can be deemed to be a miracle (a miracle, in the way Werner distinguishes it, is "something that validates who you are rather than diminishes who you are"). And when there's something in the air which takes us all on at the same time ie which uses us, there's arguably only one thing we all have in common which can take us all on ie which can use us at the same time, and it's the context  of who we really are, the being of human being.

We make decisions about life ("They won't let me do what I want", "I can't be free here", "This sucks" etc), then we build our lives on these decisions. Werner's work creates a chance to re-examine the basis on which we make these decisions, then let them up if they're no longer applicable, and build on new possibilities instead. If I make such decisions, I assume they're private, individual anomalies. They're not. While their details and circumstances are unique, making such decisions is common to each one of us. Such private, individual anomalies get new malleability when viewed from the maturer view of "all humans make them", rendering them easy to let up.

What interests me is what this something in the air is (or could be) which takes us all on at the same time ie which uses us ie which calls us to let them up. What also interests me is that some of us hear its call clearer than others. What we all have in common is the context of who we really are, the being of human being. The being of human being is, from time to time, taken on by, used by, called by this something in the air, this je ne sais quoi, this I don't know what, this best left as an enigma. I prefer to leave this enigma as a possibility, as a context, as a question, and then live from within this question as the space which calls me powerfully into being and into action (as Landmark Forum Leader may have said) (be careful: if you think I should have said "as a  Landmark Forum Leader may have said"? ... no that's not it).


*   Merriam-Webster's dictionary allows true  as a transitive verb: to make level, square, balanced, or concentric; bring or restore to a desired mechanical accuracy or form.

Background soundtrack: Thunderclap Newton: Something In The Air - wait for 3.57M download


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