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


You Are Always With Me

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

November 14, 2022

"I am always with you." ...   speaking with Laurence Platt
This essay, You Are Always With Me, is the tenth in an open group Conversations With A Friend:
  1. Privilege At Daybreak In The Battle Between Good And Evil
  2. Future Perfect
  3. This Is What It Means To Be!
  4. Empty Cup
  5. Conversation With A Friend: A Symphony Of Notes
  6. The Sound Of Your Voice
  7. Conversations With A Friend VII
  8. Space For Redemption: When "I'm Sorry!" Isn't Enough
  9. What Did You Do To Me?
  10. You Are Always With Me
in that order.

I am indebted to Josh Cohen who contributed material for this conversation.

I was born looking, asking questions, analyzing, inquiring ... with an insatiable appetite for homeostasis (although I had no mastery of it or clear-cut grasp of it at the time, I held it out to be a place to stand where my life would be good and balanced - at best on average, and at worst it would be tolerable / bearable / workable at those times when it wasn't). I'm seventy two years old now. I've known you for forty four years. And in that time, so much of what there is to discover about who we really are (or what  we really are - if you prefer) I've discovered just in being around you and watching you work. I no longer attempt to justify or explain how or why I discovered it that way. I used to. But I stopped doing that (or perhaps it  stopped using me to do that).

Neither do I attempt to second-guess what I see you do / distinguish / come up with, any longer. I used to do that too. But when I did, all it seemed to do was drive me deeper into the maelstroms of my opinions, my interpretations, not to mention that big old bugaboo: being right about my own point of view (which, even without too much ado, I've always been naturally leery of). I did ask myself one question though, over and over and over: why you? why not someone else? or (more pointedly): why not me?  (this is, after all, my  life), am I not the captain of the way my own life goes? or at least: shouldn't  I be?

The truth is I never got satisfactory answers to any of those questions, so I stopped asking them. In any case, their answers would have been reasonable at worst and intellectual  at best when what I got was experiential. Something became possible as I watched you work that just didn't show up when I was on my own. So I opened to it. I started letting it in. I began trusting the process. And what I got was the experience of what you provide, the obviousness of it, the profound stand-alone-ness of it, the self-evident-ness of it, the undeniability-ness of it. Everyone stands like a possibility  on the brink of this trust, this fork in the road, the horns of this dilemma, and asks: can it be so? can you really provide what you say you can? Without reason, without written guarantee, even with my already always  skeptical view, I've made my choice. But look (I want you to get this): in making this choice, I am one of the fortunate ones.

"I am always with you" you tell me. Yet you take from me nothing that I must face up to by myself. You never intervene in my quarrel (if you did, it would rip me off). But that's not the profundity of your "I am always with you" for me. The profundity of it is its total certainty, that any doubt (albeit human) is neither required nor necessary. And once you've supported me that way, you get out of my way so I can have my own authentic experience. Yet even when you've gotten out of my way, you're always with me. And there's no need to justify or explain it. It's what's so - at least, it's what's so for the fortunate ones.

For the most part, we're thrown culturally to make things difficult for people who bring goodness (even greatness) to our world. That's almost biblical, yes? It's too bad, coming as it does at a terrible cost. The cost is as long as we keep doing it, "what is" will always overshadow "what could be". Knowing you are always with me (as an experience, not as a reasonable, intellectual answer to a skeptical question) is what gives basal substance / shape / form to my own expression. That's the gift. Being around you, realizing you have no need, want, or attachment to getting anything back from me in return, is the privilege.

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