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 To It

Connolly Ranch, Browns Valley, California, USA

August 22, 2019

"As stupid as it sounds, it's true there's a sense of joy with simply being with what's there." ... 
This essay, There's Nothing To It, is the companion piece to Showing Up.



There's a way we are about who  we are, which has become so burned into our epistemology  that we now hold it as "The Truth"  (to which we've given away power) rather than simply as a way of being  (over which we have a lot of power). And here, I'm saying "burned" in the way a CD  (Compact Disk) is burned (a process which catalogs information) not in the way we're burned by fire (a process which could permanently disfigure us). We barely notice that the way we express what we hold to be the truth about it, is unexamined. When we express what we hold to be true unexamined, we pretty much unwittingly cement the way it'll be for us from then on.

Here are three examples of that to which I'm referring: I often hear things like "I'm looking for a fulfilling project to take on.". I seldom if ever hear "I'm fulfilled  and looking for a project to take on.". I often hear things like "I want a worthwhile cause to contribute to.". I seldom if ever hear "I'm worthwhile and want a cause to contribute to.". I often hear things like "I'm involved in a relationship that completes me.". I seldom if ever hear "I'm complete and involved in a relationship.".

What I'm pointing to here is more than the unseeming possibility of actually putting the cart before the horse (really). I'm pointing to that ordinarily we don't even consider putting the cart before the horse to be the pragmatic option. Ordinarily we don't consider being fulfilled first, then doing (we have it that the doing will be fulfilling). Ordinarily we don't consider being worthwhile first, then doing (we have it that the doing will be worthwhile). Ordinarily we don't consider being complete first, then being in a relationship (we have it that being in a relationship will complete us). In other words, what's true for us epistemologically is that without doing, there's no real possibility of being fulfilled, worthwhile, and complete. It's pernicious. It's rampant  in our culture and society. And it's a very  expensive, costly error.

Now I'm not about to suggest being already fulfilled, worthwhile, and complete equates to it's OK to migrate over to the couch, take up permanent residency there, open a bag of Cheetos  and flip through channels, and never leave. What I'm suggesting is we examine the ground of being  for utterances like "Being unfulfilled (not worthwhile, incomplete etc) is what drives me / motivates me", and its first cousin "How boring would life be if we were already  fulfilled, worthwhile, and complete.".

The truth behind such misconceptions may just be that a) we have no reality on the possibility of being fulfilled, worthwhile, and complete first, or b) we're bankrupt over the way it doesn't always feel nice to be in our own skins. That's a damning place to be if ever there was one. It suggests we're driven to do what we do to make up for how bad it sometimes feels to be human  ie we're serving time to pay our debt to society for our own internal states - life sentences  in fact. It's truly bizarre.

Enter Werner stage left, and a portal to an entirely new realm of possibility opens (genesis):  the possibility of coming from being fulfilled, worthwhile, and complete first, with no esoteric trickery or manipulation required to be this way because it's who we really are  so it's easy to be (there's nothing to it, really). So now, apropos "Being unfulfilled is what drives me", I request you look and see if you can let that go. Coming from being fulfilled, worthwhile, and complete first, doesn't mean I'll get less done (there's actually a very good chance I'll get more done). But what it does mean is whatever I do, comes from authenticity, creativity, being cause in the matter, and freedom, and not from doing what I do to make up for / distract from / cover up / compensate for  how bad it sometimes feels to be human.

Epistemologically, none of that is readily apparent. And the world's blind, headlong rush obfuscates it even further. The way you get it is by discovering it for yourself.



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© Laurence Platt - 2019 Permission