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 Virtue Of Indifference

Sonoma, California, USA

January 10, 2008



This essay, The Virtue Of Indifference, was written at the same time as Perspective.

I am indebted to Karen Donovan and to Larry Pearson who inspired this conversation.




The difficulty I anticipate when I speak the virtue of indifference  is people will instead hear me say I don't care.

When I wake up early in the morning, I'm at a fork in the road with two distinctions: The day I wake up into doesn't guarantee I'll create anything. The day I wake up into doesn't necessarily come with productivity, with alacrity, with velocity, with feeling good (nor, for that matter, does it come with feeling bad) ... AND  ... it may randomly come with one or more of those qualities. It simply comes with whatever it comes with.

The day I could create like a possibility isn't assured just because I wake up. When I don't create the day, the day I could create like a possibility merely defaults  to the day I wake up into.

If I tell the truth about it, when I wake up I don't always want  to create the day. When I wake up, creating the day often sounds like and feels like too much hard work. Often the first thing the day I wake up into tells me is staying in bed a little longer  is what's wanted and needed. Unconsciousness calls. Often the first thing the day I wake up into tells me is I did more than my quota yesterday  so I can afford a break today. Slothfulness reasons. And that's only for starters  in productivity for the day I wake up into.

I'm indifferent to the day I wake up into.

Transformation doesn't show up in the day I wake up into. Transformation only shows up in the day I create like a possibility. Just because I created a day like a possibility yesterday and transformation showed up, that doesn't promise transformation will show up in the day I wake up into today. There's no transformation you get once, then keep forever. Transformation shows up when I create the day like a possibility newly - every day, day after day, after day after day after day. If I don't create the day like a possibility newly, there's no transformation  ie I'm not transformed.

I've come not to place stock in solving  problems. Rather, transform the context  in which problems show up as problems. To do that, I've become indifferent  to problems per se. They're always there. They always will be. They go with the territory of being human. They come with the day I wake up into. But they're transformed, they're recontextualized  by the day I create like a possibility.

Indifference is a virtue when it's dispassionate. It's really a stand  for what's possible as opposed to what's already always there.



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