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


Andretti Winery, Oak Knoll Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

August 27, 2012

"Know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ... Jesus Christ

"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." ... Gloria Steinem

"The truth will set you free, but first you'll be unsettled by it." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Unsettled, was conceived at the same time as Little Boy.

Being engaged in Werner's work means a lot of things, a lot of different  things to a lot people, each of whom arguably has a unique way of expressing what their participation is for them, and what it isn't. For me, it's certainly a lot of things, the most basic of which is the opportunity to inquire into, examine, and then choose to let go of deadening patterns of behavior, no longer workable ways of being  which keep me stuck. What I call a breakthrough in being  happens when I distinguish (sometimes for the first time), isolate, then give up these tired old ways of being.

When I give up a way of being, particularly a way of being with which I've been stuck for years  (perhaps since my early childhood), there's a palpable new found sense of freedom and joy, to be sure. Yet before  that, which is to say immediately following the breakthrough but before the onset of the sense of freedom and joy, there's something else: there's an emerging presence of something unknown, something uncertain, something unsettled.

Some of these unsettled moments are predictably unpredictable. They happen immediately following a breakthrough. That's the predictable part. But when do breakthroughs happen? When they do. That's the unpredictable part.

Then there are those unsettled moments which are predictably predictable. Predictably these happen after publishing new Conversations For Transformation. There's an anticipation, a coming up with something  which is unlike anything I know. Once I click to distribute each essay's announcement, there's an instantaneous onset of being unsettled. All the balls are now independently in the air. All the irons are now independently in the fire. Now, what will come up will come up. Now, what will happen will happen. It's too late to turn back. I've committed  myself. And I notice I'm unsettled.

In particular, after publishing new Conversations For Transformation in which Werner shares or grants permission for me to share what he shares (videos, photos, quotes, papers, slides, interviewing), the sense of being unsettled after clicking is even more acute. It's not unpleasantly  more acute. It's just ... unsettled.

When I've been being a particular way for a long time, for years maybe, for most of my life  in some cases, and then I'm no longer that way because I've seen through  it as unworkable and therefore not what I'm committed to, it results in joy, freedom, and this sense of being unsettled, a sense of occupying an unfamiliar space  (unfamiliar because it's new), and a sense of not quite knowing how to proceed in and into this new space. Again, it's not unpleasant. It's just unsettled.

So on those occasions when I know  I'm going to be up to something which will result in a breakthrough, I'll make sure to set time to be with this new emerging space soon afterwards. I'll schedule time off in advance - or simply set aside the day (or at least the morning) to be by ... my ... Self  with whatever's going on, with whatever comes up, with whatever happens. These are rich opportunities to look at what's next given the new freedom at hand, given the dropping off, given the sloughing  off (if you will) of an old way of being, indeed of an old, inauthentic  way of being which until then has served no purpose except its own self-interest and the impediment of my full Self expression.

And even if the time I take to be by my Self isn't applied to looking at what's next, then it's time to simply enjoy, to celebrate  this new freedom, the first indication of which is the unlikely experience of being unsettled, of being startled by newness, or even of being startled into  newness, if you will.

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