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




Within The Experiential Space We Are

Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, California, USA

June 23, 2018



"For me this is a practical matter. Instead of having the answer about God like some guy or some thing or some explanation or some anything, I have a space of possibility like an openness, like a place for God to show up in my life."
...   speaking with Reverend Terry Cole-Whittaker about God 
"God's greatest work wasn't creating the universe: it was disappearing into it afterwards."
... 
"The truth believed is a lie."
... 
This essay, Within The Experiential Space We Are, is the companion piece to The Space In Which God Shows Up.

It is also the sixteenth in a group of sixteen reflections of God: I am indebted to Gordon Martin who inspired this conversation.




Foreword:

A distinction which was one of the earliest bastions of transformation, is "Who I am is the space in which the events of my life occur" - which is a derivative of the iconic "Transformation is the space in which the event  'transformation' occurs", both of which are classic Werner. Both worked - extremely effectively. Both provided laser-scalpels with which the experience of transformation could be easily (not to mention getably)  distilled, communicated, and shared.

Then at some point further down the road, Werner as he's wont to do from time to time, called out the emperor for not wearing any clothes. He shared that he's been revisiting ie looking again towards that "space" ie the space in which the events of his life supposedly occur, and he can't see it anywhere. Instead what he can  see, is that the events of his life occur (show up)  - period. And it's this phenomenon that the events of his life show up, which he now distinguishes as (and includes in) "the showing".

This essay therefore deploys what you may call archaic technology  in referring to "the experiential space we are". That's alright. While contemporary music is where it's at, it's OK to listen golden oldies  from time to time as well.



Consider this: if I experience something, my experiencing of it is within my realm of experience. That's no-brainer  obvious, yes? Continuing: if I experience that I know something, my knowing it is within my realm of experience. Even if I experience that I don't experience something, that experience is within my realm of experience also. Even if I experience that I don't know something, that experience is within my realm of experience too. And I have no natural access to experiencing that which I don't experience, and I have no natural access to knowing that which I don't know ... until that which I don't experience enters the realm of my experience, and until that which I don't know enters the realm of what I know. Then, even that which I don't experience, and even that which I don't know, are all within the realm of my experience. My experience, in other words, is the context for everything there is and everything I experience and everything I know.

Now at first glance, that may seem both like such a dumb, obvious "Well duh!?"  as well as a "So what?!"  that it runs the real risk of being trivialized and dismissed out of hand. Thus cautioned, I invite you to stop for a moment and consider how profound it really is. What does it say about our realm of experience? It says everything there is, is within our realm of experience; everything we experience, is within our realm of experience; everything we know, is within our realm of experience; everything we experience we don't experience, is within our realm of experience; even everything we know we don't  know, is within our realm of experience. And as soon as we experience there's something outside of our realm of experience (ie that which we don't experience that we don't experience), and as soon as we know there's something outside of what we know (ie that which we don't know that we don't know), then they're also within our realm of experience.

What this says for us as human being, is our realm of experience is the context for all of it - not like some kind of intellectual laboratory in which all of it can be poked, prodded, scrutinized, examined, even what we colloquially refer to as "thought about", but rather like its home  ie its milieu  in which it resides, in which it lives, in which it exists, in which it occurs, in which it shows up  (henceforth manifesting Werner's latter day distinction "the showing"). Now that's  profound.

<aside>

By the way no, that's not a typo: I do mean "human being" not "human beings".

"Human being" is what we really are collectively, together as one. So in this context, saying "human beings" instead, would create unnecessary division, a distraction actually.

"There is only one!" (as the Highlander may have bellowed).

<un-aside>

In this group of essays of reflections of God, this model allows for at least two possible views of God. Be careful: I say "possible  views of God" and not "the truth  about God" because transformationally  (now that's  a great word: I'll buy it for a dollar), making something / anything  into "The Truth" not only vanquishes all its power, but even worse, it vanquishes all our  power. That doesn't mean I'm suggesting you dispense entirely with upholding what's true and what's false. That would be instigating some kind of moral, ethical, integral, and spiritual anarchy and chaos. What it does mean is I'm suggesting looking newly, taking into account our realm of experience is the context for all of it, then experimenting with this newly-looked-at realm of experience as the context for all of it, and seeing what shows up newly.

The first possible view of God which may show up newly, is given I'm the author of my experience, I could be God in my universe (having forgotten I could be, and now having remembered). The second possible view of God which may show up newly, is given I'm the author of my experience, I could be the space in which God shows up in my life (having forgotten I could be, and now having remembered). And if you examine both of these possible views closely, the difference between them starts to blur and fade until there's hardly any difference between them at all. So within the experiential space we are, we could either be God in our universe, or we could be the space in which God shows up in our lives, or we could be both.

I'll buy both for a dollar.

Artwork by The United States Mint

Collage by Laurence Platt

Napa Valley, California, USA
"One Dollar"


Postscript:

In any conversation about Werner's work and its component ideas and experiences (ie particularly  about it's component experiences), it's almost inevitable (at least some of the time) that the conversation will devolve into a philosophical argument or debate in which the most powerful possibilities which come from Werner's work will be diminished by comparing them to something which sounds both similar and familiar.

Philosophical argument and debate aren't the best Petri dishes  in which Werner's work, transformation, possibility, and personal experience can be crafted and brought forth. While there's certainly nothing wrong with noticing similarities between the abstracts of Werner's work and classic philosophy, any belaboring of similarities (and differences, for that matter) will just get in the way of bringing forth authentic, genuine, real, thrilling  transformation.

In this regard it should be noted that what this essay brings forth in distinguishing the experiential space we are, is not solipsism. If you're going to be sharing this aspect of Werner's work, you should at least be prepared for it to be heard  as solipsism, and for you to be heard as a solipsist.

It isn't. And you aren't. Yet solipsism is worth knowing something about so you can be diligent in your response to arguments or debates that "the experiential space we are" sounds like solipsism. The reality is Werner's work recontextualizes  (I love that word) solipsism.

From the Cambridge International Dictionary:

<quote>

Definition
solipsism


noun
the belief that only your own experiences and existence can be known

<unquote>

For a fuller discussion of what solipsism is (and of what it isn't), and of what the various degrees of solipsistic philosophy encompass, Wikipedia has good coverage - at least as a starting point. For Wikipedia's coverage, click here.


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