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 Most Beautiful Beach In The World

Silver Oak Cellars, Oakville, California, USA

February 3, 2012



This essay, The Most Beautiful Beach In The World, is the companion piece to

I immigrated to these United States from Fiji. There's no shortage of beautiful beaches in Fiji - neither on the main island Viti Levu  nor on any of the other three hundred or so islands and atolls which comprise this South Pacific nation. To say I loved being there is an understatement. It's a heaven, a veritable paradise. And the amazing thing about the plethora of beautiful Fijian beaches is Fiji still doesn't have the monopoly on beautiful beaches (some may argue Thailand has). The truth is there's no shortage of beautiful beaches anywhere on Earth  really, given our oceans cover nearly seventy percent of our planet.

Photography by René Ehrhardt
Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
I've recontextualized  (I love  that word) the way I experience what I experience - not just now, not just my time in Fiji, not just beautiful beaches, but the way all things show up  for me. It's the context  which is enlivened now, rather than their content.

In particular, my experience of beautiful places (including beaches but not limited to them) has undergone this contextual shift. With this shift comes an entirely renewed realization of what ordinarily  happens with me when I'm surrounded by beauty, by splendor. The truth of it is thought provoking: when I'm there, I'm not really there.

When I'm at a beautiful beach for example, and loving being there, and I'm not yet creating my own experience  of being there, I'm not really there. When I'm at a beautiful beach and loving being there, and I'm not yet being responsible for my own experience  of being there, I'm not really there. When I'm at a beautiful beach and loving being there because the beach is a beautiful place to be  (more beautiful, let's say, than downtown at the corner of First  and Main  streets), I'm not really there.

This conversation isn't about whether or not beautiful beaches are beautiful. In other words, it's not to determine when the quality we call "beauty" is beautiful, and when the quality we call "beauty" isn't beautiful. This really isn't a discussion of abstracts.

What this conversation is about is whether it's the beautiful beach  which creates the experience for me I'm on a beautiful beach surrounded by beauty, or whether it's I who creates  the experience for myself I'm on a beautiful beach surrounded by beauty. This isn't simply playing with words. Neither is it a trivial distinction. Nor is it just semantics.

<aside>

Here's the thing about attempting to discredit this assertion with an off-handed "Oh, that's just semantics!":  it's all  just semantics.

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

<un-aside>

The answer to the question "Is it the beautiful beach which creates the experience of beauty for me, or is it I who creates the experience of beauty for myself?" depends on the stand I take. If I take the stand it's the beautiful beach which creates the experience of beauty for me, then the answer is it's the beautiful beach which creates the experience of beauty for me. If I take the stand it's I who creates the experience of beauty for myself, then the answer is it's I who creates the experience of beauty for myself.

I notice if I take the stand it's the beautiful beach which creates the experience of beauty for me, then I'm not creating my own experience, and neither am I being responsible for my own experience. I also notice if I take the stand it's I who creates the experience of beauty for myself, then I'm creating my own experience, and I'm being responsible for my own experience.

It's a worthwhile inquiry to be in: if it's the beautiful beach  which creates the experience for me I'm on a beautiful beach, and if it's the beautiful beach which creates the experience for me of beauty which goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) being on a beautiful beach, then I must go to a beautiful beach to experience beauty - as in going on vacation, as in getting away from it all. Going on vacation and getting away from it all are both noble human pursuits. They're both also business as usual. But if it's I who creates  the experience for myself I'm on a beautiful beach, and if it's also I who creates the experience for myself of beauty which goeswith being on a beautiful beach, then I can create the experience of beauty wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, whatever beauty is. This is truly profound. This is powerful.

This conversation is the possibility of waking up to your entire life  everywhere in all situations under all circumstances as a beautiful beach. It's the possibility your entire life is the most beautiful beach in the world.



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© Laurence Platt - 2012 through 2016 Permission