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 The Analyzing Stops

Napa, California, USA

April 11, 2020



"Stop analyzing. It's boring." ... The Master responding to Laurence Platt in Breakfast With The Master VIII III: Fearless In The Face Of Life

"Analyzing doesn't transform consciousness." ... Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Do or do not: there is no try!" ... Yoda, Grand Master of the Jedi Order

"The hidden pitfall in analyzing analyzing, is it devolves into analyzing. That's what's known as the 'paralysis of analysis'." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, When The Analyzing Stops, is the sequel to Breakfast With The Master VIII III: Fearless In The Face Of Life.




There's an enduring myth, a pitfall, a slippery  slope associated with an age-old human endeavor. It's a pre-occupation we assume (at least we assume initially, prior to close scrutiny) we all have control / power over. In reality we have very little control over it. It's analyzing ourselves: analyzing our state of mind, analyzing the choices we've made, analyzing our actions etc (such self-analyzing is sometimes referred to as "working on oneself"). The pitfall associated with self-analyzing, is the old pitfall predicated on the myth ie the die-hard  myth that "I think"  (which, for me to work on myself, is closely related to "I analyze."). These days, anyone with even a most rudimentary experience of the work of transformation knows the "I" in "I think" ie the "I" in "I analyze" isn't what it appears to be - not even remotely. The "I" in "I think" ie the "I" in "I analyze" isn't even real. It's a myth. It's just something that shows up for us. If the "I" in "I analyze" is a myth then isn't "I analyze" a myth too?

There are thoughts, yes - even better, there is thinking, there is analyzing ... but I'm not the thinker (the die-hard myth is we're the one thinking our thoughts ie we're the ones analyzing). That's difficult medicine to swallow. So don't just accept it. Test it. If you're certain it's you who are the thinker, then stop  thinking (spoiler alert:  you can't). And if it's not you who's doing the thinking ie if it's not you who's doing the analyzing, then exactly who or what's doing it? Confront this for an opening: if something automatic other than us is doing the analyzing, then assuming "I analyze" (when analyzing is going on) is false - at best misinformed, at worst misguided.

We have it that the purpose of analyzing ie of the myth of analyzing, is it will get us into a pristine space in our relationship with ourselves, with others, with the world - stated tersely, it will get us clear. But if we're not the ones doing the analyzing in the first place, what's called for is a workable way of realizing that clear space in our relationships with the world that deftly avoids being trapped in the paralysis of analysis  - said another way, it calls for recontextualizing  (I love  that word) analyzing.

What then, is the possibility of stopping analyzing? Given "I analyze" is a myth, it appears there's no valid option for stopping  analyzing. Why so? Because stopping analyzing isn't an option if I'm not the one doing it in the first place. Since I'm not the one doing it anyway (it just goes on like fingernails growing), it would appear stopping analyzing (like turning off its switch) isn't an available option. Yet there is one powerful option available for stopping analyzing: it's to stop paying attention  to it, to let the process be, to relinquish that I'm doing it in the first place. Stopping analyzing (in the sense of stopping paying attention to it) is a transformed option. Indeed it turns out to be the only available "stop" option that works. Without attention being paid to it, it effectively goes quiet as it fades away into the background.

That's the really prudent way ie the smart way, the very  smart way to go about it. Then the analyzing stops ie it "stops" in the sense that it no longer occupies front and center stage, in the sense that I'm no longer pre-occupied with it, again the sense it fades into the background like elevator musak. We do what we do and we don't do what we don't do. Reasons (even those gleaned from analyzing) have nothing to do with performance. OK, question: what's left when the analyzing stops?

Acceptance. Peace. Calm. A new opening for possibility based on things simply being the way they are and the way they aren't. A way of being with life that doesn't require (ie get distracted by) understanding or explanation. A place in which I stand and create newly, in which the future isn't predicated on the past. A world in which I'm responsible for my life and all the choices I make. A clear space in which I have the power to jetison ways of being that don't work, and invent new ones that do.



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