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

Two Of Me II:

Confirmation Not Correction

Dutch Henry Canyon, Calistoga, California, USA

August 10, 2010

"Who you mean when you say 'I' is not you. It's just something that shows up for you."  ... 
This essay, Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction, is the sixteenth in an open group Encounters With A Friend:
  1. Showing Up
  2. Poet Laureate
  3. A Man In The Crowd
  4. Real Men Cry
  5. A Different Set Of Rules
  6. Nametag: A True Story
  7. Half-Life
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Erotica On Schedule
  10. A House On Franklin Street
  11. NeXT
  12. Reflection On A Window
  13. Here And There
  14. How To Enroll The World
  15. Demonstration
  16. Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction
  17. Holiday Spectacular
  18. Hello! How Are Things Going For You?
  19. Regular Guy
  20. A Scholar And A Gentleman
  21. Images Of You
  22. With Nothing Going On
  23. Where No One Has Gone Before
  24. Attachment: Causeway Between Islands
  25. If You're Not Then Don't
  26. Images Of You II
  27. Living Where Life Is
  28. Create Me The Way I Am
  29. How Do You Spell The Sound A Ratchet Makes?
  30. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II
  31. The Stink Of Zen
  32. Sitting Quietly In A Room Alone
  33. Footsteps On Metal Stairs
so far, in that order.

It is the sequel to Two Of Me.

"Enlightenment is languaged.".

I said that. I made it up. Not "Enlightenment is language.". It's "Enlightenment is languaged.". I'm not invested in it as "the truth"  mind you. It may not be. It may be. You  say. Whichever you say it is, it's a useful point of view, a catalytic perspective from which to stand and look.

When I first saw two  of me, it seemed to fly in the face of everything I've ever learned and heard. Everything I've ever learned and heard tells me "There's only one.". That said, it's two of me I see - in spite of there should  be "... only one.". So either I'm mistaken or the concept  "... only one ..." is.

I make a note to ask you about this, to run it by you at an appropriate moment. Now the opportunity has come. You're leaning against a tree. I can almost sense its trunk relishing its moment to support you. It's silent briefly, a perfect moment. I share what I've seen. I language  it. I wait while you look. Then silence follows silence as we notice the moon breaching the horizon.

I can language with you. I can say anything  with you. If I don't know how  to say it ie if I've never said it before, I can try it out  with you. I can share my unfiltered, raw thoughts with you. With you I can speak naked truth, unrefined realization, virgin consideration  and not be concerned with how it'll resonate when it comes out of my mouth. But the thing is this: without ever speaking it, I'll never know  how it'll resonate when it comes out of my mouth.

I'm not talking about stream of consciousness  riffing or rapping here. I'm not talking about venting whatever's on my mind. I'm talking about standing upright, flat footed and stone cold sober  speaking the first light of truth, the first dawn  of realization, the first appearance of what's so before they get bent, mangled, and trampled into what sounds  good, into what sounds  profound, into what sounds  intelligent, into what makes me right.

I need no costume with you. With you I require no veil nor mask. pretense vaporizes like a snowflake in a furnace around you. Around you I can be!  I can language. I can really language!  Around you is the perfect  proving ground for testing new thoughts, for trying on new ideas. Here I have neither righteousness nor arrogance in what I'm saying. These thoughts and ideas I speak may have been expressed before in the world. But they're thoughts and ideas which I  have never expressed before. They're rough - like unpolished diamonds. They're naïve  - at least, to a certain degree. But such is the purity found only in genesis. Such is the innocence experienced only in the beginning.

Not insignificant are the yogic and mystical  traditions I immersed myself in before I met you which emphasized the one I am, the one we are. It's not that I've discounted that way of looking at things because I haven't. Rather, I've realized that particular way of looking at things lacks rigor  Lacking rigor renders looking at the one I am and the one we are conceptual  rather than as the living experience I'm having right now.

Looking at this closer, I'm able to dispense with the concept of only one, asking myself rather "What's so in my experience right now?". And the truth is it's really more accurate to say there's not  one of me - there's two.

When I ask you about this, I'm saying two like something I've glimpsed yet am not sure of. I'm not at all sure of two  of me - at first. My already always listening, clever as it is (ie as god‑damned  clever as it always is ...), emphasizes "There's only one.". And yet  ... I see two.

I'm expecting a clarification or even a correction from you: one, not two.

Instead you confirm: two, not one.

This whole thing rides on two "experiential distinctions" which is to say if I look into my experience, I can locate the "I"  I say I am - which you acknowledge, and add "You're not that.". I can also locate the space in which the "I"  I say I am shows up - which you acknowledge as "who I really am".

That's the two I'm speaking about - two of me, one unreal, one real (if you will) but both present in my experience. To get  this, I have to set aside (at least temporarily) the concept of only one, as spiritually de rigueur  as it is, and instead simply look into my experience and say whatever's there ie say exactly what's so right now coming from direct observation  rather than from the conceptual way I think it ought to be ie without going for the kudos by trying to get it right.

Again, the silence ... as I savor the simplicity of this erstwhile doubted view of two of me. This space, the space languaging with you opens up, is so very Zen I'm prompted to ask you if you're considering delivering Zen discourses anew. The ones I've heard you deliver were utterly masterful, laying bare what's so in a clear, simple, palatable way which renders Zen totally accessible to everyone. You say you're not. I know you're committed instead to making transformation available through the business community and by working with respectable academic institutions.

That's consistent about you for me. It's OK with me ie it's OK with the two of me. Good Zen, while both, is always more pragmatic than spiritual.

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