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
What Comes Up Must Come Up
Freemark Abbey, St Helena, California, USA
October 7, 2007
I am indebted to Victoria Hamilton-Rivers who inspired this conversation.
Integrity* isn't your
birthright. You're not born with it. It's something you make up.
You create it out of nothing. To do that, you first need to be willing
to be a stand for integrity. Until then, the actions (consciously
chosen or not) which comprise a life lay the foundation for future
skewing - a wobbly foundation makes a tall building wobbly.
How do foundations get wobbly? Without or prior to a context of
integrity, we get away with things, we let the truth slide
just a teensy bit (we know that's the same as brazenly
lying but we do it anyway). Until we've distinguished "integrity"
there's no yardstick against which to measure what's true
and what's not true - only later do we learn ignorance of the law is
no excuse. Then when the effects of life before
integrity are in play, we bury them by forgetting they're
But they're always there. Even though hidden, even though forgotten,
they're always shaping, always bending, always molding, always skewing
our lives. Forgetting they're there is what Werner Erhard distinguishes
not what we think but rather what shapes
what we think. It's as unique as our fingerprint. Yet we just can't
see it. We've forgotten it's there.
Perhaps we just get tired at some point of the weight of
being out of integrity. Perhaps we get bored with our own
rackets. It could even be true in the random course of things
grace comes on us which
new life altering intentions and directions. Regardless of how the
moment of revelation is triggered, once integrity is
instated all that old, buried stuff has nowhere to go but
up. So it comes up - because it must.
What comes up must come up. When the
context for living is shifted to intentional integrity,
what's buried suddenly comes into full focus not because it's in view
(that comes later): it comes into full focus because until it's
handled, living in integrity is about as easy as walking along with one
shoe nailed to the floor.
At least one of the pillars of the skews we learn is "Stay away from
integrity. Then nothing will come up which needs to be handled.".
I heard a woman justify staying away from integrity. She said
"Integrity isn't worth it. Look what President Abraham Lincoln got for
standing for integrity: a bullet in the brain.".
That's as extreme as it gets of being unclear on the concept.
The world, for the most part, doesn't tolerate big people. I suspect as
we shed our old skins ie as we split out of the skins of our older,
smaller lives, lives when integrity either wasn't in place or was
avoided, stuff will come up to be handled requiring bigger adjustments
we didn't have to make when we were playing smaller.
But the coming on of integrity is like the coming on of
That's the first thing an X Games skateboard champion
learns, the foregone conclusion: in any contest between people and
wins. When that already bias is violated, people get hurt.
Yet that hurt heals with commitment. There's not one X Games skateboard
champion who doesn't bear telltale marks of hurt, the signs of
perseverance, having healed.
Consider them to be the noble battle scars of a warrior, badges of
honor. People who play small don't get them.