Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Taking Responsibility

One of the greatest things I discovered in my work in Erhard-designed programs, and in listening to Werner Erhard recordings (tapes which were widely available in the early 80s), is the capacity we have to take full responsibility.

For example, I'm playing a concert this evening, the first in two months after a summer off from performing. Taking responsibility for it being a good concert, one that allows me to be my artistic self, and that is also an enriching and enlivening experience for the audience, is an empowering stance.

It's quite different than the experience of "hoping" the concert will go well, of fearing it won't, of fighting the fear, of trying to play well, of trying to impress the audience, etc. And it is also powerful to know that it will be what it will be, and that my worth as a person is not dependent on how "well" it goes. It was the est training which gave me access in an experiential way to a kind of Zen-like detachment from the results, and to be able to notice all the extra-musical meanings I attached to my music making.

What I realized recently is that performing, and my skill on my instrument, has long been a way I tried to dominate and impress other people, to keep the from dominating me. It was a way of compensating for what I had decided was an inadequate self.

Therapists have helped me work much of this out. Dialogue is invaluable. And I know that non-attachment, awareness, etc., have been recognized and taught for centuries. I may have read about them before I did the est training. It was in the group experience, listening to others share, interacting with the trainer and others, that I actually discovered this capacity in an exestential way.


Amy J + Energy = Bliss! said...

Hi Matthew,
It's a pleasure to meet you and a joy to have the opportunity to Be with you.

I love Werner's work and am joyous to discover transformation being languaged in so many places and so many forms today!

I sincerely hope you have discovered the Essays of Laurence Platt, which are inspired by his friendship with and the teachings of Werner. His essays are written to create the space of transformation in our listening.

In Love and Gratitude,


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