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

Wherever I Went, There I Was

ButterCream Bakery & Diner, Napa, California, USA

April 25, 2017

"Wherever you go, there you are." ... Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, circa 1441

This essay, Wherever I Went, There I Was, is the sequel to The Laurence Platt Story:
  1. Laurence Platt Autobiography
  2. Laurence Platt Autobiography II
  3. Laurence Platt Intersections
  4. Laurence Platt Photo Album
  5. Laurence Platt And Associates
in that order.

I am indebted to Laurel Scheaf who inspired this conversation.

Transformation doesn't change a thing. Without transformation I had my life and whatever was going on with it. With transformation I still have the same life and the same whatever's going on with it (like I said, it doesn't change a thing). What goeswith  transformation (as Alan Watts may have said) newly however, is a dramatic shift in the context  in which I experience my life ie a dramatic shift in the context in which I experience my future, my present, and my past ie especially  my past.

While transformation doesn't change the past (and clearly, nothing does: what happened, happened), transformation has the extraordinary power to reach back into the past, and to recontextualize  (I love  that word) the past. Said another way, looking back from a future of my own creation (which is to say putting myself into a future of my own creation) then looking back at my past, recontextualizes my past.

Question: isn't the present in the past, when I'm looking back from the future? I mean, isn't all of it  in the past, when I'm looking back from the future? That's an idea I've pondered late in the midnight hours of those blustery nights we've all had when you can't fall asleep so you just lay there alone with your thoughts.

Answer ie inference (after many such nights): no - it's always the present  ie it's always now.

So when I'm (quote unquote) "looking back from the future", it's the presentfuture  I'm looking back from. And given it's always the present, when I'm "looking back at the past" it's the presentpast  I'm looking back at.

One day, with regard to my untransformed presentpast, it became obvious to me (that is to say now  it's obvious to me) that wherever I went, there I was. That's an extraordinary observation coming from the transformed presentfuture in recognition of something so simple, something so stark, something so profound, something so blindingly obvious  that it stands in sharp contrast to the way I experienced the untransformed presentpast in the moment it was happening. Life always was unfolding just the way it unfolds. There always was nowhere to go, and there always was nothing to get. Things always were alright, and I  always was alright.

Yet while it was happening, the truth is I considered myself to be anything but  that. What I didn't get ie what was missing at the time, was transformation ie I didn't get the context in which I could experience it that way. At the time, the event "transformation" was in the unhappened presentfuture. The presentpast hadn't yet been recontextualized. Today Laurence (presentfuture) notices Laurence (presentpast) not getting it, and loves him, befriends him, and supports him without protecting him from any of the consequences of his life, waiting patiently with compassion for him to inevitably, inexorably  realize he is and always was  source and perfect all along.

That said, this conversation wouldn't have integrity without a close look at what it means to have been "perfect all along". Being perfect doesn't mean everything I did was good. That makes being perfect a value judgement. Being perfect means I did what I did, and I was what I was, and that's what I did, and that's what I was. That's what it is to be perfect. That makes being perfect a space  ie a context to come from. Laurence (presentpast) didn't get that. I, Laurence (presentfuture), get it about me, Laurence (presentpast): wherever I went, there I was. Look: that's transformation recontextualizing the past, yet notice it doesn't change a thing about it.

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