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


Unbelievable

Santa Barbara, California, USA

December 12, 2008



This essay, Unbelievable, is the companion piece to Worry Or Not, It Turns Out Anyway.

It is also the second in a group of fourteen written in Santa Barbara:
  1. Santa Barbara
  2. Unbelievable
  3. Give Me Money (That's What I Want?)
  4. True Gold
  5. Getting Into Your World
  6. You Say Stop: About Resisting Transformation
  7. The Cavalry's Not Coming
  8. On This Team Everyone's The Leader
  9. Fireside Chat
  10. The Next Best Thing
  11. Full Circle, Full Spiral
  12. Truth, And What's True
  13. Snowflakes In A Furnace
  14. Something In The Air
in that order.




The idea is unbelievable. It's an unbelievable idea. The idea that who you are is whole and complete replete with joy exactly the way you are and exactly the way you aren't is unbelievable.

That's the point. Really. It is  unbelievable that who you are is whole and complete replete with joy exactly the way you are and exactly the way you aren't. If it were believable  that who you are is whole and complete replete with joy exactly the way you are and exactly the way you aren't, you wouldn't get it. You wouldn't get you're whole and complete replete with joy exactly the way you are and exactly the way you aren't, if it were believable.
Werner Erhard says "As stupid as it sounds, it's true there's a sense of joy with simply being with what's there.".

To me, that's a brilliantly fascinatingly provocative observation. It's good Zen. It confirms my experience of how life shows up for me. But if you take a closer look at it, what Werner's saying is actually unbelievable. He's saying if you do nothing, if you just stand there  noticing what's going on, it's joyful. That's unbelievable. Here's what I mean when I say it's unbelievable.

When I say what Werner's saying is unbelievable, I don't mean what he's saying isn't true. When I say it's unbelievable, I mean "Don't believe  it!". What Werner's saying about the joy of simply being is a matter of experiencing it  only. It won't help if you accept  it. Understanding  what Werner's saying would be a royal distraction from what's really available here. You can't believe  it, and out of believing it, produce the joy of simply being. It is, quite literally, un-believable. It also happens to be what's so. You can only experience it.

The ancients, more than once, have indicated this basic experience. To the ancient Hindus, who you really are is absolute bliss consciousness ie satchitananda:  "sat" absolute, "chit" consciousness, "ananda" bliss - absolute bliss consciousness. And that's from five thousand years ago, if not more. It can hardly be considered a new, novel  observation anymore.
Werner's contribution, however, is  new. It is  novel. It's to strip out all the significance, all the meaning, all the conceptual structure, and all the belief systems surrounding this ancient observation. Speaking along the low road to enlightenment  devoid of proprietary phrases in simple sentences from which holy books and exclusive ideologies are noticeably and notably absent, Werner brings the idea of being whole and complete replete with joy exactly the way you are and exactly the way you aren't, down to the level of dogshit reality* which is arguably the only domain in which it could possibly be true for everyone with no one and nothing left out.

<aside>

Interestingly enough, it's Werner's language, devoid as it is of proprietary phrases, articulated in simple sentences from which holy books and exclusive ideologies are noticeably and notably absent, which creates the space for honoring and embracing all  holy books and all  ideologies ... or not. That, by the way, is how you empower people. You create the space for them to choose ... or not. Empowering people is imparting to them the freedom to choose or not. Empowerment is very, very simple.

<un-aside>

Consider this: when Werner says "rocks are hard, water is wet", he says it as dogshit reality. No one has any doubt it's true for everyone. In fact, you already knew  "rocks are hard, water is wet", yes? even if, at first, the simple breakthrough profundity of it might have escaped you. When Werner says "As stupid as it sounds, it's true there's a sense of joy with simply being with what's there", he's saying you're whole and complete replete with joy exactly the way you are and exactly the way you aren't. That's basic dogshit reality. That's just for starters. That's where it all starts.

That's unbelievable, waaay  too simple for some to accept. For others, it's not even possible. That is to say, as a belief  it's true it's not possible. It's speaking about experiencing who you are as whole and complete replete with joy exactly the way you are and exactly the way you aren't - as simply and as unambiguously as you would say rocks are hard, as simply and as unambiguously as you would say water is wet. It doesn't require you believe it. It's simple. It's unambiguous. In fact, don't  believe it. It's unbelievable.


*   Dogshit Reality: classically characterized by the robed, beaded, self-realized master, the Saint  walking with his clamoring, adoring disciples, ministering to them, accidentally stepping in dogshit.


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