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

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You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining III

Alston Park, Napa Valley, California, USA

December 28, 2021

"You don't ask 'Why me?'  when it's raining." ...   speaking with Laurence Platt in You Don't Ask "Why Me?" When It's Raining II (Encounters With A Friend #30) 
"Listen as if you were being told a secret." ... Federico Fellini
This essay, You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining III, is the third in the trilogy You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining:
  1. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining
  2. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II
  3. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining III

Werner's work is transformation ("transformation" is said to be both literally and figuratively all of Werner's work, life and legacy). Transformation, it's also said, comprises a "rich body of distinctions". I think of a distinction as an articulated expression (ie as something spoken / brought forth in language) which upon being listened, imparts / reveals an essential experience / facet of transformation. So in a word, a "distinction" is an axiom  of transformation, if you will.

More often than not, a powerful distinction is grounded in discovered reality  (for example, the discovery upon differentiating that the mind is distinct from the being ie that you are not your mind). Differentiating between the mind and the being (that is to say, having the willingness  and the courage to differentiate between the mind and the being) gives an essential distinction in transformation's rich body: that you are not your mind - that you are the context  in which your mind occurs for you.

On other occasions, a powerful distinction is brought forth as / in an analogy. In an analogy, an experience is pointed at  using common, easily-getable images, rather than distinguished as directly grounded in discovered reality. Both forms of distinction, those directly grounded in discovered reality and those brought forth as analogies (and even those with some overlap between the two) provide essential axioms of transformation.
Werner's brilliant (if not scathing)


<quote>

YOU DON'T ASK "WHY ME?"  WHEN IT'S RAINING.

<unquote>


challenge which he posed to me when we were driving somewhere in a car together talking, is a classic example of a powerful distinction brought forth as an analogy. It distinguishes something often overlooked: life's im-personal nature. Yes life is personal sometimes, to be sure, and that's alright. But it's when it's not  personal yet it's taken personally, that a degree of being free to be and free to act is unnecessarily forfeited - or at least left untapped like a possibility. When life is impersonal, it's simply happening. It's not happening to you  personally or to me  personally per se.

It would be frightfully naïve to ask "Why me?"  when it's raining. Look: it's not doing it to you. Rain isn't personal. So you just let it be.

Make a list of everything you take personally and react to as if it's personal when in fact it isn't. Include in your list what it costs you to take personally that which isn't personal. As an additional challenge, immerse yourself in the inquiry "Exactly how much of my life (ie how much of what happens) is personal, and how much isn't?".



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