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


The Life You Have

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

February 10, 2010



"It's not having what you want - it's wanting what you've got." ... Sheryl Crow

This essay, The Life You Have, was written at the same time as A Matter Of Trust.




The life you have. You learned a lot in high school, but you didn't learn this  in high school.

Taking exception with Paul Simon's "When I think back on all the crap  I learned in high school ...", what I learned in high school wasn't crap. What I learned in high school is what I learned in high school.

What I learned in high school prepared me for Life. At the same time paradoxically what I didn't  learn in high school is I'm already  prepared for Life. What I learned in high school (the three Rs:  reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic) prepared me for getting along  in Life. What I didn't learn in high school is what prepares a person for being  in Life. The distinction is both subtle and profound.

We're not taught being in life in high school. We're not even raised this way ie we're not even raised as if there's a distinction  between getting along in life, and being in life. Our entire culture is built in ignorance of and possibly even around violating the premise of this distinction.

As it turns out, the life you have is by itself ie is by its Self  enough for being. As it turns out, the life you have is awesome, complete, full, joyous, satisfied, and whole. Stop lying about it. Nothing needs to be added to the life you have. Nor does anything need to be taken away from the life you have. Nothing about the life you have needs to be fixed or changed either. There's no secret formula. There's no secret recipe. There's ... no ... secret. Period.

Getting that is the hard part, given what you didn't learn in high school.

The easy part is you already have the life you have, so there's nothing to do to get it

The life you have: it's the only life you've ever had; it's the only life you'll ever have. You'll never have another life other than the life you have. And if you don't like the life you have and you're hoping for reincarnation so you can come back in another better life, then when you come back in another life, you won't like that one either.

It's mind-numbing, stoopifying  in fact, when you pause to consider how much you know to be true  about Life, completely avoids the simplicity and the profundity of this plain fact. Everything you know, all your tactics, all your strategies, all your schemes, all your strong suits, all your defenses, all your survival mechanisms are at some level or other fundamentally at odds with the fact that this is the life you have, and there's nothing you need to do. for it to be awesome, complete, full, joyous, satisfied, and whole other than be here (which you are anyway) and live it.
Werner Erhard points out Life, after all, is a game in which what is not  is more important than what is. What you learned in high school is completely in alignment with this. In fact it prepares you for this. In a nutshell, what you learned in high school is appropriately how to be what you're not. What you learned in high school is about the life you don't yet have. What you didn't learn in high school is about the life you have.

Aligning yourself with the life you don't yet have is called getting along. Getting along isn't awesome, complete, full, joyous, satisfied, and whole when it's rooted in tactics, strategies, schemes, strong suits, defenses, and survival mechanisms. It is when it's grounded in being. Also, be awake to you don't yet have the life you don't yet have. Ask a hamster on a wheel what that's like.

Aligning yourself completely with the life you have ie buying up all the stock in your own company  (as Paul McCartney may have said) is an authentic, powerful possibility. You didn't learn this in high school.

This is it! This is the life you have. It's already  turned out, and this is exactly  what the life you have should experience like, feel like, look like, smell like, sound like, and taste like when it's turned out.

The train is in the station. You've arrived.



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