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
The Myth That Life Is ... Er ... Hard
St Helena, California, USA
September 26, 2003
The Myth That Life Is ... Er ... Hard,
is the companion piece to
I am indebted to Dan Miller who inspired this conversation.
It's always a stretch for me to write because whenever I do, I have the
sense I'm reaching into nothing. I'm so bound up in getting a payoff,
in getting something back etc (and both of those I see are pure
manipulation) that I'll not allow myself to write coming from that
space - or, rather, I don't write until I'm sure what I have to say is
none of that, and is instead simply sharing and contribution.
Recently, in one fell swoop, I read a book by Dan Miller entitled "Look
With the Heart" from cover to cover. Dan was the manager of Werner's
Breakthrough Racing Team in the late 1970s.
In "Look With the Heart", Dan refers to Werner on more than one
occasion, and in particular, he recreates Werner's exposition of The
Myth of Sysyphus, and The Bound Man.
I really got - or, rather, was reminded of - an aspect of my
relationship with Werner which has been so much of who he is for me
that I've been blind to it ie it's really so
that I'd stopped seeing it.
I recall quite well when Werner expounded (that's when I heard them for
the first time) The Myth of Sysyphus, and The Bound Man. But when Dan -
in his book - reminded me of them, it was once again a true "Aha!"
moment for me.
I basically got how aspects of my life - at some level I don't want to
tell the truth about or share publicly about - suck. I got how in some
areas of my life, nothing is big enough or good enough for me.
is never enough for me (as
may have said).
But I got it not like a complaint: I got it like a condition in which I
live, and - in fact - like a condition in which we human beings live ie
like water is to the fishes, like air is to the
What shifted for me (and left me with joy and room to move) was it
stopped being "Laurence, aspects of your life are too small, and that's
hard!", and it became "We human beings live in a condition in which
aspects of our lives are too small for who we really are, and that's
hard for everyone.".
Suddenly I wasn't taking it personally anymore, like I'd failed or
something. Suddenly I got (again)
who I am
in the matter of my own life is distinct from, is prior to, and is the
for any experience, feeling, or judgement I have about my own life. I
who I am
prior to anything I do and any job I may have - is enough, sufficient,
joyous, and complete.
... AND ... there's room to stand for, to create, and to grow into a
bigger life, but not like the fulfilling of a need nor like an
emptiness to be filled nor like a dissatisfaction to be gotten and then
to be disappeared, but rather like an artist filling the
just because the
is there to be filled. So you fill the
with everything you got and you fill the
the best you can, and you don't have to!
In this reading of Dan's book and the reminder of Werner's exposition
of The Myth of Sysyphus, and The Bound Man, I again got who Werner has
always been for me on another whole, new level ie a new level for me -
clearly, it's not Werner who shifted. I got not only his support of my
own cosmic nature, if you will, but also his support in the matter of
how I wrestle personally (and quietly and covertly) with the matter of
where my own life isn't good enough for me, and how I then make the
grave error of assuming I'm the only person wrestling
personally and quietly and covertly with the matter of where their life
isn't good enough for them.