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

There's Nothing Wrong With The World

Exertec Health and Fitness Center, Napa, California, USA

June 26, 2017

"Transformation shows up in my mouth." ... 
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea." ... Oscar Wilde

I am indebted to Judy Golden and to David Sonnenberg who inspired this conversation.

If you consider the purpose of the work of transformation is to change the world, then upon switching on the morning news, you'll likely be persuaded we failed. The thing is that was never our purpose. Considering the purpose of the work of transformation is to change the world, is a classic case of being unclear on the concept.

There's nothing wrong with the world. The world is OK the way it is (it's also, by the way, OK the way it isn't). Listen: I know the way the world will turn out: it will turn out the way it turns out. It's been turning out this  way, exactly this way, no other way, for millennia. And we have a deeply entrenched, cherished belief there's something wrong  with the way it's turning out. No, it's more than that. It's we don't distinguish it's our belief  there's something wrong with the way it's turning out: for us, there is  something wrong with the way it's turning out. That there's something wrong, isn't in dispute. My thesis however, is that's our belief - it's not an "is".

"But Laurence"  you say, "there is  something wrong with the world. There's a lot  wrong with the world.". This is really a matter of distinction: whatever's wrong with the world exists entirely in our language. There's no inherent wrongness (or rightness, for that matter) in the world. It's in our languaging of it as wrong  where any and all wrongness shows up. You can distinguish that anytime you want to. To do so is to have a breakthrough in transformation, a breakthrough in being responsible. Look: "The world is wrong" is one order of declaration. "I say  the world is wrong" is a different order of declaration entirely: it's a lot more honest, and it's a lot closer to the truth. The wrongness of the world, whatever it may or may not be, shows up in my mouth. Really.

While we may not have the power to change the way the world turns out (for which there's ample evidence), the power we do  have is the power to transform the quality of life  under any and all circumstances. Human beings are born with this power. As children, we all knew we have it. The bad news is we forgot we have it. The good news is we can recall it again any time we want to. And listen: you'll never make any lasting difference in the world if you don't recall it first. Honest!

That's a subtle shift of focus, a contextual  shift - with two important caveats. The first is transformation doesn't equate to change. The second is transformation isn't individual, "in here", or personal (ie it's not selfish): it's Life itself, it's out-here, and it's everyone with no one and nothing left out (ie it's Self-ish). Transformation is the bringing forth of a context, the presence of which allows for new possibilities which simply weren't available before.

After the last world predicament (whatever it was), the current world predicament replaced it. After the current world predicament, there'll be another one. And until we own our projections, the world will be wrong  - not like a belief for us, but like an "is". After the succession of the current leaders, policies, doctrines, politics, and ways of thinking, others will replace them. Whatever comes next, we'll ongoingly have it that something's wrong - not because of it  or because of them, but because of us  ie because we, without noticing we're doing it, look at the world through beliefs. Furthermore noticing this, doesn't change or fix anything. What it does, is bring forth ie reveal the residence  (if you will) of where what's wrong with the world, shows up: in language. It takes a big  person to get it's us (and only us) who provide that.

That's transformation ie the experience of it - not the jargonized, colloquial way the word has become used. It's arguably the only platform on which to stand which drives and empowers making a lasting difference in the world. And beware of blurring "making a difference" in the world, with "changing" the world: they're unrelated.

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