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


Carmel By The Sea, California, USA

October 25, 2007

"Experience* is simply evidence that I am here."  ... 
This essay, Clearing, is the companion piece to

Whenever I end, in those marvelous moments when it's all over  for Laurence Platt, that's when I'm who I really am. By "end" and "all over" I'm not speaking about death. There's an ongoing conversation about what happens after death - the jury's still out on that one. This  conversation, however, isn't about life after death. This conversation's about what's here, what's left when who I've always considered myself to be  ends, is over, is recontextualized while I'm alive.

In those moments when it's all over for the identity  I call Laurence Platt, that's when I'm most  alive. It's what happens when I discover characteristics of myself I was once certain  were the real  me are actually built on liquefying ground, on one inauthenticity on top of another, on one false start  on top of another. At worst, I abandon those characteristics. At best, I clean up any mess they've made with people, complete them, then discard them. In this way I let go of that which keeps me in the way of my own life.

Once I've let go of that which keeps me in the way of my own life, once I get out of the way  of my own life, something shows up bright, open, awake, and simply lovely. The questions "What is  it?" / "Who are  you?" are interchangeably directed at this new presencing  - whatever it is.

I'm truly here, just as I was before, but now only more so. I'm looking to distinguish what this  is that's come, now that I've gotten out of the way of my own life. How do I language it? Indeed, can it be languaged at all?  Or could it be simply pure context:  ineffable, beyond  language? What is this that's here when I'm alive and  when I'm not in the way? What's present  when who I've always erroneously considered myself to be gets out of the way? I'm experiencing*  therefore I'm alive. But the individual I call I who shows up in my experience of me, isn't the presencing I'm referring to.

There's suddenly shock and delight both at the same time. This new presencing that's come is just me, who I really am, who we all really are: space, source, possibility.
Werner Erhard says "'I' is not me. It's simply something that shows up for me. Be open to the possibility of being with this thing called 'I' so you're moved to tears by it. You can't master life until you master 'I'.".

It's worth taking the time to sit with and get clear on the apparent convolutedness of this way of languaging I. It shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone not if but when  the language of transformation appears convoluted from time to time. We've mis-identified who we really  are for so long that by now all the languaging we've developed to bring forth who we are is based on an error of identification. It's no wonder when we add rigor to fluid sounding language to correct this error, that its correctly articulated accurate form may sound convoluted in a not yet fully transformed listening.

Personally I've got a great deal of respect for the classic rules of the King's English  parsing, grammar, and syntax. I also recognize that being transformed, we've gone beyond the boundaries of the context in which they were originally written. A new language may need to be invented, or at least our current language's classic rules of parsing, grammar, and syntax may need to be reworked to meet the challenges inherent in inventing and speaking Conversations For Transformation.

I don't know why  it's this way. This simply seems to be the way it works.

With these provisos  in place, my inquiry into who I really am can continue, no longer interrupted by the shrill school marm  voice in my own head slapping my wrist for violating the classic rules of parsing, grammar, and syntax.

So: if I isn't me and simply shows up for me, then what's the aspect of me in which I shows up?

More than as a mere answer to the question "Who am I?", who I am for myself is an experience, an experience prior to all questions, prior to all answers. Indeed, who I am for myself is an experience without which neither questioning nor answering are possible.

I notice what's calling me to ask after the question "Who am I?" is the question "What's my experience  of me who I am?". When I stop and look, my experience of me who I am is I'm an empty clearing  in nothing in which the events of my life show up, indeed in which Life itself  shows up. What's interesting to me about this experience is when I tell the stone cold unflinching  truth about it, this experience is not only whole, complete, and stand alone: it's also blissful.

I asked Werner about this, how it's possible experiencing being an empty clearing in nothing  could have a component of ... well ... pleasure. He said "As stupid as it sounds, it's true there's a sense of joy with simply being with what's there.".
Werner validates experience. When he says "It's true there's a sense of joy with simply being with what's there", it's what makes Werner a human being. When he says "As stupid as it sounds, ...", it's what makes Werner Werner.

It's also what makes me stand up and listen.

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