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


When Simple Is Difficult

Soscol Avenue, Napa, California, USA

January 20, 2011



This essay, When Simple Is Difficult, was written at the same time as I am indebted to Rob Levy who inspired this conversation.



There's only one problem in Life.

Wait! I didn't say there's only one problem with  Life. That would be my personal opinion, my evaluation, my point of view which, while worthy (maybe) of some discussion, argument, or debate  doesn't interest me much in and of itself. There's no problem with  Life.

I said there's only one problem in  Life. Implicit in this, is there's nothing wrong with Life itself. But there is one thing, not like an opinion but rather like the start of a chain of events  which can and does set off domino effects  of problems. It's the most pernicious thing I know.

I assert it's the single pivotal  problem to which every other problem which we regard as a problem  devolves, to which all other problems extrapolate back. This core problem (if you will) pivots on the presence or the absence of a self-generated context, with  which things and events have the possibility of being simple, and without  which the same things and events have little possibility of being anything other than difficult.

The only problem there is, I assert, starts  with being unwilling to consider the possibility that things are the way they are, and they aren't the way they aren't. Furthermore, the only problem there is, starts with being unwilling to consider the possibility that things are OK  the way they are, and the way they aren't. Everything else is just commentary. Every disagreement with this basic Zen-like tenet is just cheap opinion. Every argument against it evidences a futile hopeless  resistance to its domination.

Simple things show up as difficult when I'm not standing in the possibility that things are OK the way they are, and aren't the way they aren't. Simple things show up as difficult when I'm more interested in my own version of the way things are, when I disagree  with the way things are (as if that  ever makes any difference), when I have a contrary opinion  about the way things are, especially when I hold my contrary opinion as more sacred  than what's so. This doesn't relegate the value of holding opinions or of respecting others' opinions. Holding opinions and respecting others' opinions is the basic building brick of all great civilizations. So, for that matter, are all our noble and heroic attempts to fix, change, and make better  everything which we regard as difficult, everything which we regard as a problem, if not for ourselves then for others. It's this which defines the compassion  of all great civilizations.

I'm talking about something much more fundamental  than that. When things aren't  OK the way they are and the way they aren't, when I don't look from, when I don't generate the context that things are OK the way they are and the way they aren't, then I've established a ground of being  from which all  problems start. That's when simple is difficult. When things are  OK the way they are and the way they aren't, when I look from, when I generate the context that things are OK the way they are and the way they aren't, then Life works. Then Life is simple. What's more, when I look from, when I generate the context that things are OK the way they are and the way they aren't, I notice Life has always worked  and always will  work ie I stop lying about it.

When Life works, when Life already  works, there are no problems. There are no problems by definition. There are only opportunities.

Gee! I hope you get this ...



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