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


Taking Responsibility For It All

Partrick Ridge, Mount Veeder Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

March 3, 2021

"Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool, or you go out in the ocean." ... Christopher Reeve aka Superman

This essay, Taking Responsibility For It All, is the companion piece to Cause In The Matter II: Congruent With Life.

During this epic inquiry I've been in and am still in as I ongoingly discover for myself what it is to be a human being transformed, and what gets in my way of living my life transformed, I'm trying on Werner's idea of taking responsibility for it all. It's a daunting one, and a mighty one - and mightily misconstrued (indeed, I myself am an ex-misconstrue-er). Where there's responsibility in my life, I have power and leverage. Yet the idea of taking responsibility for it all?  Like taking responsibility for the rain, the tides, the Earth spinning on its axis? That never occurred as within reach. That just seemed beyond the scope  of what's possible for human beings.

Whether I take responsibility for the rain, the tides, or the Earth spinning on its axis, or not, it still rains, the tides still ebb and flow, and the Earth still spins ie it all happens anyway. So what is it exactly for me to take responsibility for it all in a way that gives leverage? Here's what I got: if there's leverage in taking responsibility for it all, it begins with me taking responsibility for my experience  of it all. I got that being around Werner. That's the access to real power! That's the gamechanger.

When we're being responsible for our experience of it all, we're being cause in the matter of our experience of what happens, whether or not it's true  that we cause what happens. Look: it may not be true  that what happens, happens because we cause what happens ("because  ..." is after all, a superstition). So other than being able to bring our observations to bear, we may have less power over what happens than our folk lore and superstitions account for or agree to (I did say "may"  be).

As a matter of a responsibility of a higher order, I do seem to have power in the matter of my own experience of what's happening. What first shows up simply as my default view of what's happening, is transformed when I bring my language to bear on my experience of what's happening, recognizing that "is" (as in "This is  what's happening ...") is also a superstition. If that lands for you as far-fetched, unhinged, or flat-out wrong, join the club (hint: don't listen it as a fact  - it's a possibility).

Slowly it dawned on me that what happens, is what I say  happens. That's powerful. What happens, beginning with my experience of what happens, is a function of what I say happens ie of my languaging of it. There is no "is", so there's no "is happens"  outside of my experience of and what I say happens. And in my language as a matter of my integrity, I have zero tolerance  for lying about what I experience happens (that's a conversation for another occasion). Consider this: if what happens is "what I say  happens", then what happens is not  "what happens". That's a confusing paradox if ever there was one. Whether or not it's true that I do cause what happens, I'll stake / ante (ie I'm willing look at my life) from the vantage point that I at least cause my experience of what happens ie from the vantage point that I'm responsible for my own experience of what happens. And that gives me access to having leverage in the matter of taking responsibility for it all, as the alternative to being bounced around on the game tables of life like the puck in a Carroms  game or the ball in Bagatelle  and / or Pinball  ie like just another victim of circumstance.

When I look at my life from the vantage point of causing / being responsible for my own experience, it's clearly incongruent with blaming others for my experience. So I infer it's a requirement  I forfeit my right to blame others for my experience if I intend to honor my ownership of my experience, and the leverage doing so brings.

When I forfeit my right to blame others for my experience, I regain ownership of my experience, I regain the power to transform my life ie I regain stewardship of my own transformation. That's the wealth that comes from taking responsibility for it all, access to which begins with us taking responsibility for our experience of it all.

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© Laurence Platt - 2021 Permission