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


Napa, California, USA

April 5, 2007

This essay, Throwaway, is the companion piece to
  1. Used By The Truth
  2. It's All Over For Laurence Platt
  3. Using Laurence Platt
  4. Scottie Dog
in that order.

I am indebted to Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller who inspired this conversation.

In this game called Life  it doesn't matter where you start. I myself seem to have started somewhere in the middle. The only thing that matters is you give away more transformation than you receive.

Some time around now (it may have been closer to August 1978 but nonetheless some time around NOW)  I began noticing my entire life is driven by patterned behavior and no-choice responses. Well, perhaps it's only some  or maybe even most  but arguably not all  of my life which is on automatic  that way? I certainly hoped  it isn't all  of it ...

Yet even then I already suspected whatever aspects of my life which don't appear to be on automatic are indeed also on automatic. I just hadn't invested the time to get clear about it yet.

When I saw that, I didn't like what I saw. It's implication is I'm a machine and my whole god-damned  life is totally  on automatic - not just some  of it, not most  of it, but all  of it. For the next few years I tried pretending I didn't see what I'd seen.

Yet no matter how much pretense, no matter how much avoidance, no matter how much denial I brought to it, I did  see what I'd seen. The genie's out of the lamp. My life, such as it was up till then, had ended. Specifically, my entire way of being alive  ie how I regarded what it means to be alive, was finished. It's a throwaway.

I saw it was all over  for Laurence Platt.

Perhaps it's incorrigible that anything could render me both aghast as well as profoundly happy at the same time. But that event did. I celebrated it - privately, quietly, and appropriately. And then, bearing down through my awareness, quiet as a whisper at first and then later loud and completely unavoidable, like a meteor from the edge of deep space racing into and through Earth's atmosphere, came the question:

What now? What's next?

I'm excited, touched, moved, privileged, altered, and expanded by this open question, by this possibility of possibility itself. What's an appropriate response to it? I'm still the same ordinary guy I always was, just an ordinary guy who's taken on living the challenges of a transformed life, one of which is the challenge of giving up investment in meaning.

It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a meaning driven man to be transformed (as Matthew the apostle quotes Jesus Christ as saying). The challenge of liquidating all stocks in the meaning driven life is a requirement  for getting through the eye of the needle. It doesn't imply, as it's often mistakenly assumed, things don't mean anything. Rather, it implies I own I'm the author of the meaning I assign to things.

That leads me to this insight: in the face of realizing my life is a throwaway, I may as well let it be used by something great.

Who I am is the possibility of communication, transformation, and freedom. I'm committed to my children and to being presence for them. When they turn eighteen, an arbitrary indicator in the timeline of their lives, I'll think of something else to do, I'll relook at what's possible. Until then my life is given as their father.

As far as sourcing these Conversations For Transformation goes, the pen's bonded to my fingers, the brush is tied to my hand. I'll be doing this until I can't do anything anymore.

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