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

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That Doesn't Fit Into Our Categories

Tres Sabores, St Helena, California, USA

June 25, 2021



"I don't believe in what I'm doing at all. I have absolutely no belief in what I'm doing. I already know how it's going to turn out. The way it turns out is fait accompli. I mean there's nothing I can do about the way it turns out. I know exactly how it's going to turn out. You know, it's going to turn out exactly like it turns out. It's been doing that for eons. So you say 'But then Werner: what's your motive? What are you working all those hours for?'. I'm not motivated. There isn't any motive. There's no damn vision  motivating me. You know, if I stopped doing it tomorrow, it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference. And if I keep doing it right to the end, it won't make any difference. The only thing that's going to happen is what happens. But that doesn't fit into our structure. That doesn't fit into our categories."
...   responding to a seminar participant asserting he (Werner) believes in what he's doing because he's motivated by a vision 
This essay, That Doesn't Fit Into Our Categories, was written at the same time as


Arguably the most important aspect of the work of transformation (which is to say: arguably the most important aspect of the work required to bring about a transformation in our experience of who we really are) calls for the courage to look unflinchingly at all the systems, beliefs, concepts, structure, and categories we've already put in place. In this work, we challenge our structure, our categories, scrutinize them, put them to the test of rigor, then look at them newly, and then ask: did we assemble them in the first place so that they're an accurate match for / congruent with what's real and what's true (don't lie about it) or do they discredit what's real and what's true? Or did we assemble them simply in defense of our image of who we think we are, in order to protect our anxious egos and already-worldviews?

Without taking this work on like a commitment to speak / generate transformation, there's no transformation. If we approach it as a merely interesting conversation about  transformation, we're likely to discredit any transformed distinction it brings forth, if it doesn't fit into our categories. And look: we'll do that automatically (it's a mechanism) without realizing that's what keeps us stuck in the conditions we're already in. Speaking about  transformation from our already-categories, disallows transformation like a possibility. And we human beings are thrown to speak about. A lot. The trouble is authentic transformation doesn't come forth from that realm.

What happens, happens. What doesn't happen, doesn't happen. We do what we do, and that's all  we do, and we don't do what we don't do. Yet our structures / categories don't allow that to fit - as patently obvious as it is. Without a transformed context enlivened, the power and simplicity of doing what we do simply because it's what we do  (that's really the Zen of it all - if you will) is overlooked. It's not that the idea itself is incomprehensible. It's that it doesn't fit into what we've already decided is real and true. It's an idea that doesn't fit into our already-categories. And because it doesn't fit, we give it no credibility. Indeed, we discredit it outright.

As another example, we have (for the most part) already decided that who we are, is in here  (I'm pointing at my head), that who we are, is somehow inside  our bodies. Yet a generated, transformed context reveals something else, something remarkable, something astonishing: that all there is in here is machinery embedded in hamburger, and who we really  are (on the other hand) is out-here  (I'm spreading my arms open wide to embrace all this). The idea itself isn't incomprehensible. Wise men of all persuasions have known about it for centuries. But that doesn't fit into our categories - therefore we overlook it, if not reject it out of hand and discredit it.

We are (for the most part) convinced that there's a secret to life, something which when discovered / gotten, will explain all this, justify it, give it meaning - indeed, we are (for the most part) convinced that there's a meaning to it all which we've yet to discover. What doesn't fit into our categories is that there's no secret, that there's nothing to get, and that there's no meaning (it's all empty and meaningless). If you're telling the truth unflinchingly, it becomes apparent that without examining the categories themselves in which we (both knowingly and unknowingly) keep everything we hold as real and true, we've sentenced ourselves to only knowing what we already know / understand, and to being the ways we've always been, in a manner that only allows for the perpetuation of the same quality of life we've always had.

The work of transformation examines the categories in which we knowingly and unknowingly keep everything we hold as real and true. Without rigor, no breakthrough in transformation is possible. One critical aspect of the work of transformation focuses on ways of sharing transformation. But the main thrust of this work focuses on examining the very categories from which  we share, without which authentic transformation (speaking transformation, not speaking about  it) always remains elusive.



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