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

What's Out There And What's Out There

Chappellet Winery, St Helena, California, USA

October 18, 2016

"What is out there for you is not what is out there - that is, what is 'out there for you' is not the so-called 'objective reality'. While we can confidently assume that there is an objective reality out there, that is not the reality that shows up for you. What shows up for you is a 'reality' generated by your brain. Put in another way, while we assume that what we perceive is the reality that is actually out there, in fact every shred of what shows up for you as reality is being wholly generated by your brain."
This essay, What's Out There And What's Out There, is the companion piece to

Werner's assertions - that "what is out there for (me) is not what is out there", also that whatever shows up as "out there for (me)" is wholly generated by my brain - are daunting propositions (to say the least). I'm willing to look at them closely, not because I blindly accept them as "The Truth"  (that never does anyone much good, especially me) but because in his track record with me over the last nearly four decades, he's said so many things at which I've balked at first ie which have challenged me at first (no, which have rocked  me at first), and yet which also proved to be enormously valuable and useful once I committed to discovering them for myself (and "discovering them for myself" is an entirely different way of being with Werner's ideas, than accepting them unquestioningly from him as true - even if they are  true).

Many of his assertions at which I have initially balked, were classically (sometimes maddeningly) Zen ie counter-intuitive. "The truth believed is a lie" is one such prime and famous example. Sitting with it on my lap like a hot brick, I eventually got it. But this  one, this "What is out there for (me) is not what is out there", is a stop for me. I don't dismiss it. Neither am I denying it. But I am (at least for now) stopped by it - or (expressed more rigorously), I'm stopped at  it (think "railroad crossing").

I wrestle with it. Like so many other counter-intuitive challenges from this and earlier iterations of Werner's work, I do not blindly assume it's true. Rather I ask myself "What if  it's true?" (it's a question I ask myself a lot around Werner, another version of which is "If  it's true, what does it allow for ie what does it make possible?"). I notice I have a strange resistance to it. I call it strange because I can tell there is something I've got going on that does not want to know  the "reality" that shows up for me as out there, isn't the so-called "objective reality" but rather a reality my brain wholly generates (the ostrich has its head very deeply in the sand with this one).

Then I realize what it is I'm resisting. It is this: if I have to give over to ie if I have to fully accept  that what shows up for me as out there, is actually a reality that my brain generates, then I have to fully and unflinchingly give over to and be who I really am. That requires I give up who I think  I am, and even give up who I'd like to be. Oh my! Ouch. It hurts. There's that!  Oh yes, of course  there's that. There is no avoiding it. That's what I resist. And it's not that I can avoid it or change the fact that what shows up for me as out there, is actually a reality my brain generates. As startling an assertion as it is (all its ramifications are vast), it dawns on me there is nothing to be gained by not accepting it, nor by not taking responsibility for it. If it's what's so  (and it is), it doesn't matter how long I put it off. Resisting it is futile.

And when I get this, that's  when things start becoming interesting. Suddenly I'm no longer the same kind of creature I always assumed I was. Suddenly I'm no longer inhabiting the same kind of world  I always assumed I was. Transformation comes. Transformation goes. That's its nature. It's back. It's gone. With this, it's back - on steroids. In the near five decades long worldwide conversation for transformation, Werner's relentless, inexorable. So the more I know, the more I know I don't know.

OK there's what's out there  ... and there's what's out there. Explain please Laurence? Yes. There's what's out there, the assumed so-called objective reality, and there's what's out there, a reality wholly generated by my brain. And what is worth exploring (if I dare) is the possibility that of those two, it is only the latter which shows up for me ie it is only the latter to which I have access. Now that's  a gamechanger (and as we all know by now, calling it merely a gamechanger is a woefully inadequate understatement). In the banner title of every single page of this nearly fifteen hundred page Conversations For Transformation website, I aver each of these essays are "inspired by the ideas of Werner Erhard". This is just one of them: an idea in the dead-center of the near five decades long worldwide conversation for transformation.

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