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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Conversations For Transformation on YouTube

The Muse

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

September 6, 2020

Conversations For Transformation on YouTube Listen me read The Muse at Conversations For Transformation on YouTube.

This essay is the companion piece to Being A Being Coach.

It is also the twenty sixth in an open group on People: I am indebted to JeanneLauree Olsen who inspired this conversation.




Directed by Albert Brooks

© October Films - 1999
The Muse - The Movie
It began occurring for me gradually (while this conversation was calling me to consider writing it down) that there may be or is both a subtle difference between and an overlap with what it is to be a coach, and what it is to be the muse. And while the muse is typically personified inter alia  as a goddess and therefore feminine (which those who've contributed to my life, all happen to be), I'm willing to entertain the possibility of anyone of any gender being the muse for me, especially looking at areas where "coach" and "muse" overlap. In this  conversation however, the assumption is: muse is goddess / feminine.

So: what is "coach"? It could be said my coach watches me, listens me, then intervenes in my already always ways of being, commenting on / suggesting new ways of being and acting that I, being coachable, take on, try out, and include in my repertoire. A coach, it could be said, steps out of his world into mine where I entrust him with the right of veto  over any of my actions / ways of being that aren't working well (or at all) ie those which could work better than they do.

And "the muse"? The muse on the other hand, may actually refrain from coaching me. The muse delights in allowing me to swim in my own waters (so to speak), not adding anything new, not disparaging what's already there, not even suggesting anything be changed. The muse inspires not by adding or suggesting new directions, but rather by demonstrating being satisfied in her own life, neither wanting nor needing to change anything in her being or  in mine. The muse, fully accepting of her own life, is totally OK the way she is no matter what she's doing, grounded in the deliciousness of her own being.

Said another way, what gets my attention from a coach (ie what mostly  gets my attention from a coach) are the new directions he proposes, whereas what gets my attention from the muse is her demonstration of the possibility of living a life of fullness. To get those, I have to listen a coach ... whereas I have to grok  the muse (as Robert Heinlein may have said).

What this says is for me, it's a fine line between a coach and the muse - indeed, there's more overlap than difference. Both inspire, that's for sure. That's the overlap. So here's my take on the difference between a coach and the muse: whatever inspiration the muse provides, doesn't come through coaching (and given the overlap, the muse may indeed coach). Rather it comes from making my own fullness of being, be attractive to me. And she does that by living fully herself. Coaches can do that too (hence the overlap). So an inspiring coach who doesn't  coach, could still inspire the way the muse inspires - indeed, coaches may have muse-like qualities.

In this work I do, given the abstracts I reach for and distinguish, I'll unabashedly request coaching if I need it. And from time to time, the truth is I do need it. Really. And it's nothing less than a privilege to be coached by the people who make themselves available to coach me. Yet such coaching is rarely ie only occasionally offered unrequested. And when it's requested, it's inspiring when I get it. The muse (which includes the muse-like qualities coaches may have) on the other hand, always inspires by demonstrating the fullness and the deliciousness and the joy of being - whether I've requested to be coached explicitly by her in this area, or not.



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