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


Vast

San Francisco, California, USA

January 20, 2004



This essay, Vast, is the companion piece to
  1. Nepenthe
  2. Big Land Big Sky
in that order.



I am the context in which the events of my life show up.

How big is that?

Vast ...

Standing where I stand when I look at you, I can see your face.

Standing where I stand when I look at me, I can not see my face. From my experience, as I stand - by my Self - I don't have a face. From my experience, as I stand - by my Self - I don't have a head.

You can't get what I just said as a concept, nor as an intellectual theory. Yet if you stand where you stand - by your Self - and then look from your experience at your own face and at your own head, it is clearly obvious they aren't there.

Interesting, isn't it?

What's really there when I look from my experience (and so, I assert, what's also really there when you look from your experience) is vast and enormous and limitless, bounded only where or if you say it has bounds. Who you really are (I mean who you REALLY are) is vast.

When I first noticed that about who I really am, it set me on a perpetual high state for weeks and weeks and months and months on end. When I first noticed that about who I really am, it was as if I had discovered a secret about Life which no one else could possibly know. I was giddy with delight, and every time I recreated that experience when I got out of my mind (literally) about who I really am for mySelf, I could almost not believe that it was still there, that it is permanent, that it really is who I am, and that it is not going to go away - ever. It is the quintessential traceless Friend.

Then I got that it is who we all really are. There's nothing "I" or "Me" or "Mine" about that experience. I'm reminded of the ancient Hindi greeting "Namaste! I honor the Light within You.". And while I don't find the distinction "within you" really useful, the greeting is apt.

Later, during a second, deeper inquiry into vast, I got the other side of it.

As I get more and more comfortable and more and more practiced at standing on my experience of who I really am for mySelf (as opposed to, say, standing in my concepts about who I really am for mySelf, or standing in my intellectual theories about who I really am for mySelf), I notice that while I can locate, distinguish, and experience vast, who I am in the world is not locatable in vast at all! I notice that who I really am is completely out of this world.

What a shock! I am aghast. I am fully and totally experiencing mySelf, clearly and obviously alive, and yet I can't locate mySelf in vast. I am not here! I am nothing.

I am Vast. I am Everything. I am Nothing. I am ... everythingnothing ...

* * *

If there's anything about my relationship with Werner that's worth something, it's this:

When I look at who Werner really is epistemologically, who I really am for mySelf - vast - is laid bare as an essential platform on which to stand and invent an authentic, thrilling life to live which really works.



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