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




This

John F Kennedy Park, Napa Valley, California, USA

July 6, 2018

"This is it. There are no hidden meanings. All that mystical stuff is just what's so. A master is someone who found out."  ... 
"'In here' is to 'that' as 'out-here' is to 'this'." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, This, is the companion piece to


Maybe (just maybe) the start of any and all of our transformations (which is to say maybe what's required for any and all of our transformations to begin) is a shift in our relationship with whatever it is that's in front of us, and with whatever it is that we're dealing with, and with whatever occurs for us on which we choose to take action. One shift which I assert is worth considering, would be shifting from relating to it (whatever it is) as "that", and beginning relating to it instead as "this". Maybe that's one of the things it takes to start transformation (hey, is it possible that's all  it takes to start transformation?). Maybe. Transformations are arguably nothing more (and nothing less) than linguistic acts  ie all transformations may be started by nothing more (and by nothing less) than simple, intentional acts of speech.

"That's just semantics  Laurence" I already hear the peanut gallery clamoring and braying. Listen: it's all  semantics. All of it. Actually, rephrasing that: there is  another distinction in addition to just semantics. And that distinction is ... nothing. That's right: nothing. So, rephrasing by quoting Werner: "There are only two things in the world: nothing, and semantics.". Thus it's more than "all semantics". It's either all semantics, or it's all nothing, and (consider this as a possibility too) it could be both.

Transformations, we said earlier, are speech acts ie transformations are linguistic by nature. Shifting our relationship with all of it (which we now know means shifting our relationship with all of it from relating to all of it as "that", to relating to all of it as "this") is powerfully transformational (not to mention very good Zen). It's also profoundly moving. I experience myself being moved to tears (literally) when I consider what this implies for who we really are as human beings. We're so lovely  ...

In case you're wondering exactly what the powerfully transformational difference between the two linguistic abstractions "that" and "this" is, here's a sure-fire way to discover it for yourself: try each of them on for size. And what does it take to (quote unquote) "try a linguistic abstraction on for size"? You speak it. Then you stand flat-footed, four-square in the resulting experience, and see what comes up ie you look into the space and notice what's just appeared there ie what's just showed up.

Here's what I notice shows up when I relate to all of it as "that": I'm in here  (so to speak) and everything else is out there. But it's more than that actually: it's that everything else is out there where I'm not. Then what I notice shows up when I relate to all of it as "this", is: before I can relate to all of it as "this", I first have to get myself out-here, where all of it is, or it could be said I first have to get myself out-here where I am all of it  (the latter is another conversation for another occasion).

Shifting our relationship with all of it from "that" to "this" through an act of speech, secondarily alters where we stand in relation to all of it. Primarily it transforms our relationship with all of it - which is to say primarily it transforms our relationship with Life itself. But it's even more than that actually. Take, for example, the simple appropriateness  of all this - which is to say take, for example, the appropriateness of anything and everything that shows up as "this" (which could be all of it, yes?). I ask: isn't the fact that it shows up at all, just the universe providing it for us to take action on, or at least strongly suggesting to us what to choose to take action on?

This occurs for me as the calling from Life itself, as well as a stark reminder of how very simple life and living really is ("how very simple life and living really is" ... very simple, that is, without all our self-made difficulties and unnecessary complexities we both unintentionally and intentionally add to our lives and to living). What the universe is strongly suggesting to me to choose taking action on, is the occurring world, is the showing, is this. That's it, and that's all. There are no hidden meanings.



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