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

Sweet Nothing

Coombsville Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

February 11, 2019

This essay, Sweet Nothing, is the nineteenth in a group of twenty on Nothing:

As the real deal, popular notions of transformation aren't what they're often (mis)taken to be, given our tendency to reduce accurate languaging to jargon. The term "transformation" has come to be used ubiquitously for anything from change to enlightenment. It's actually a term which has a very, very  precise usage, having been originally deployed with great leverage and power by Werner Erhard whose work provides a court on which its most accurate and useful renditionings are played out.

It's in our cultural already always listening  which likens transformation to change and / or enlightenment, that the notions of transformation and enlightenment are made the same. First, the already always listening for transformation, makes it mean "change" (things actually stay the same  with transformation). Then, by making it the same as enlightenment, it assigns a kind of eastern  context to it, which transformation doesn't require. Try this on for size: when real in the world, transformation has only two components: nothing, and action. And by "nothing" I don't mean what we ordinarily mean by "no-thing". And by "action" I don't mean "change".

By "nothing" I mean "nothing" as in "There's nothing to get, there's nothing to figure out, this is IT.". Almost in spite of their best intentions, all disciplines and paths to enlightenment, whether it's deliberate or not, evoke the projection that enlightenment is somewhere to get, some other state to arrive at, some other something ... which is anything but  "this". But it is  "this" (look: if it wasn't, then God deserves an F for Creation 101, yes?). This is IT!  - exactly as it is, and exactly as it isn't.

There's nothing to get, there's nothing to figure out. How curiously human it is to belie the fact that a) this is it, and b) there's nothing to get. All our assumptions that there's some other "it" (other than this), and all our attempts to figure it all out, fly in the face of "This  is it - there's nothing to get.". Often, it's the simplest things that are hardest to accept. We so want there to be something else. But I'm sorry, in this case (ie especially  in this case) the emperor simply isn't wearing any clothes.

Then there's the action component of transformation. Authentic transformation reveals an "anything's possible" opening (that's once I take responsibility for being the only force that's ever held me back). If this is it, and there's nothing to get, then I'm (we're) free to invent being anything like a possibility. That's a call to / an opportunity for action, and there's no place else for action other than here, and there's no time for action other than now. Once I've gotten "nothing" as in "there's nothing to get", I get the space of transformation as a portal to action - hence this (my) view of the two components of transformation as nothing, and action.

Arguably "action" needs no further explanation, expansion, or elaboration. We all know what it is, although it's true to say that acting coming from transformation is (in some respects) a new kid on the block. It's the "nothing" that preceeds transformed action that I'd like to relish and revel in for just a moment, a nothing from which everything occurs as perfect, a nothing from which everything occurs as right, good, and true (that's very  hard to get from the morning headlines), a nothing from which there's the possibility of alright-ness, peace, and serenity, not to mention the cessation of struggle and mental anguish (now that's  a future worth living into).

Sweet nothing: a front row seat to the inexorable, divine, perfect  march of Life. Sweet nothing: an immersion in the experience that it's all alright (how could it ever not be?). Sweet nothing: an opening for living the possibility that we  (you and I) are alright, exactly the way we are, and exactly the way we aren't (you can't get that by evaluating, reasoning, rationalizing, or justifying). Sweet nothing: it makes wholeness, fullness, and completion whole, full, and complete. Sweet, sweet  nothing ...

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