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

Force Of Nature

Exertec Health and Fitness Center, Napa, California, USA

August 18, 2014

This essay, Force Of Nature, is the eighteenth in the complete group of Experiences Of A Friend (click here for the open group Experiences Of A Friend II):
  1. Stepping Back
  2. At Home As Self
  3. Empty Windows
  4. Futile Like A Freedom
  5. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  6. Werner As Intention
  7. Who He Is For Himself
  8. Source Quote
  9. Puzzle Solved, Mind Unraveled
  10. Eye To Eye
  11. Mystical Connection II
  12. Relentless
  13. Being Around Werner
  14. Being Always In Action
  15. Shaken Up And Teary
  16. On Being Sad
  17. The Complete Presentation
  18. Force Of Nature
  19. Everyone's In Love With Everyone
  20. I'm Old School
  21. Werner At The Speed Of Choice
  22. I Get Who You Are From What They Do
  23. The Significance - Not What Happened
  24. You Know I Love You - And I Know You Love Me
  25. Speaking To People's Relationship With Werner
  26. A Master At Being (And Having People Be)
  27. Werner As Source
  28. A Man Who's All There
  29. My Heart And You
  30. Mind Control
  31. Again And Again And Again And Again And Again And Again
  32. Unwavering
  33. The Leadership Course III: Pillar Of The Community
  34. American Genius
  35. Legacy II
so far, in that order.

It is also the sequel to On Hurricanes And Earthquakes.

I am indebted to Bill Kilburg who inspired this conversation, and to Vyan Naudé Easom who contributed material.

Werner looking

just looking

nothing less

nothing more
Werner Erhard
The thing for us human beings about a force of nature, is that it's one of the many things (after it's all said and done) which are simply what's so  about our world. For the most part, there's nothing much we can do about a force of nature. Whether we resist it or don't like it or whether we agree with it or like it makes no difference to it  at all. It's not swayed by our opinions, no matter how well-articulated they may be. Trying to manipulate it is futile, and failure to manipulate it is naïvely blamed for unhappiness.

Hurricanes and earthquakes don't follow any of our notions of what's fair, what's good for everyone, or what's right. Try tell the dinosaurs all about how fair, good, and right a meteor strike on our planet in their Cretaceous period, was. See if they agree with you (it made them extinct). Tell the meteor how unfair, bad, and wrong its extinction event  causing behavior is - then watch to see if it listens, gets your point, reconsiders, relents, and alters its course next time. See if it cares a hoot about what you think.

Just like forces of nature like hurricanes and earthquakes and meteors, the weather is another example of a force of nature. The weather is what it is  and (also, at any particular moment in time) it isn't what it isn't. While each of us may have weather related preferences (I certainly do: I personally prefer mild weather to blistering hot weather and freezing cold weather), it really doesn't matter (or make any difference) what  our weather preferences are. "I don't like it when it rains" is a preference with no power.

Why doesn't it matter what our weather preferences are? Because the weather is always the way it is, and it isn't the way it isn't.


So  ...

if you say "It's a wet and wintery day - luckily I love the rain", then I say "If you love the weather the way it is (and the way it isn't), you'll always have weather you love.".


Here's the thing: relinquishing all my weather related preferences, and instead creating the space for the weather to always be whichever way the weather's being, and furthermore engaging with making whichever way the weather's being my personal choice and preference for weather, is really the onset of a great, profound wisdom.

I want to be very clear about something: the profound wisdom which comes from allowing a force of nature to be whichever way it's being, doesn't come from the force of nature itself. Rather it comes from my own experiencing what it is to allow a force of nature to be the way it is and the way it isn't. It comes from the genesis of a new realm of possibility  which arises for me as soon as I relinquish accrediting my preferences for the way things ought  to be (or even for the way I want  them to be), and instead allow things to be exactly the way they are and exactly the way they aren't. In this regard, any force of nature is my coach  (so to speak). In this way you could even say a force of nature is a Zen master. Trivial, chickenshit  events aren't powerful, effective coaches for me. It takes a force of nature to coach me.

Listen: when you allow yourself to experience things exactly the way they are and exactly the way they aren't, that's the experience of the source of a great power, freedom, choice, and creativity. However as a concept  or as a belief, things being exactly the way they are and exactly the way they aren't, will most likely (if not assuredly)  leave you with little more than ennui, with apathy, with pathos - in a phrase, with existential angst. Acquiring power, freedom, choice, and creativity from being around and observing either a force of nature or a Zen master (or both), gives the same experience - well ... almost  the same experience. Yes it's true a Zen master is  a force of nature - but there's one critical difference, which is this: unlike just any  old force of nature, a Zen master speaks and listens  ie he has language.

If you have a respectful relationship with a Zen master in the same way as you have a relationship with any other force of nature, that's entirely appropriate. If that Zen master's really worth the title "Zen master", then what you'll get from him is you're a force of nature also  - like a thunderstorm. And if you don't, then he's not.

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