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

"Which One Is Maharishi?"

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

February 22, 2016

"I'm really glad I created you to remind me I created you."  ... Laurence Platt speaking with  
This essay, "Which One Is Maharishi?", is the companion piece to Short List.

It is also the sequel to
  1. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  2. Laurence Platt Intersections
in that order.

It was written at the same time as My Constituency.

Photography by Digne Mellor-Menkowicz

Transcendental Meditation Leadership Course

Kössen, Austria

August 1971
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

There are so many wildly differing things we human beings are willing to do and try on, in order to get in touch with ie to find out who we really are. Now that  right there, my friends, when you come to think about it, is a very odd state of affairs indeed, isn't it? The question shouldn't be "How can we find out who we really are?" but rather "How is it ever possible to not  be who we really are?". How can a dog ever not be a dog?  And yet we have (ie all of us - I know because I have) invested a not insignificant amount of time trying to find out who we really are. Yet if there's one thing people's experiences have in common when we discover who Werner is, it's we realize (astonished .. and then ever more astonished that we're astonished)  we've always been who we really are all along. There's nothing to get. This is it!

Professor William Warren "Bill" Bartley III, Werner's official biographer and author of "Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man - The Founding of est", coins the phrase "intersections"  to connote these side bars  (if you will), these ventures down interesting paths, into various philosophies, with different gurus  and teachers, even through the cherished domains and hallowed halls of both eastern and western religions etc etc in search of who we really are. They're intersections in our lives on the way to discovering (and then being) who we really are, which in and of themselves are both useful and enlightening, yet which eventually (and wisely, I might add) must always be discarded - like a used up, exhausted external tank of a rocket booster, once the spacecraft has reached its intended orbital height and velocity.

In the interests of openness and full disclosure, I've documented all if not most of my own intersections in the three hundred and fiftieth essay in this Conversations For Transformation internet series of essays, titled Laurence Platt Intersections. In this account I share my experiences of people, disciplines, lifestyles, and religions etc etc who and which shaped many of the experiences I went through which later culminated in me instantly recognizing who Werner is, the moment I met him face to face for the first time with no prior knowledge of him at all. One of these intersections in particular, shares the extraordinarily beautiful, valuable years I spent with a Hindu master from Shankaracharya Nagar, Rishikesh (in the Himālayan foothills), India: Mahesh Prasad Varma - better known by the name Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Now all of the preceding commentary, description, and raconteuring is the gist of a conversation I was having with an old friend of mine - who also just so happens to be my personal coach. I showed him the above photograph of me with Maharishi which was captured in 1971. He took it, looked at it, then looked back at me, then looked back down at the photograph again, then back at me again. He seemed puzzled. With a quizzical tone in his voice, he asked me "Which one is Maharishi?".

It stopped me. Excuse  me? At first, all that came up for me was my own perplexity  (he doesn't know?  he can't tell?)  associated with which I had two thoughts, the first of which jarringly comprised two words "Say whut?", and the second of which was "Are you kidding me?". It was only then that I realized while his voice had a quizzical tone in it, his face had a beatific smile on it: he was joking (in a very specific way) ... and suddenly I got  it ... and I was beaming too. What a marvelous thing to say! What a brilliant  thing to say. You can tell it's no accident he's my personal coach ie you can tell I don't allow him to be my personal coach for nothing.

Each of us are source in the matter of our own experience. Interimly you could temper that by saying each of us are source of the quality  of our own experience. But ultimately we're the source of our own experience - period. The final step in (and the greatest possible acknowledgement of) any relationship with a great master, is to disappear the gap between the two of you, and to get it's you  who's the source of the great master (and of your relationship with him or her) in the first place.

In this regard particularly, I've long always asserted there's a difference between between being around Werner and being around other great men and women, which essentially comes down to this: when I'm around other great men and women, I get how great they are (I do); when I'm around Werner, I get my own greatness.

But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

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