Laurence Platt over at Conversations For Transformation (Inspired by the Ideas of Werner Erhard) has written a fabulous piece: The Illusion of I. Here I simply wish to share with you the two paragraphs which occur as being particularly enlightening about life:
Try this on for size: the world doesn’t work when run as a “you or me” world. It’s not designed to be run that way. And if we unknowingly try to run it as a “you or me” world when it clearly doesn’t work as a “you or me” world, there’s no use claiming we didn’t know it doesn’t work as a “you or me” world. That doesn’t fix it. That doesn’t make it work any better. For the world to work, a shift is required in what we don’t know about making it work.
At the heart of what we don’t know about making the world work, is an error akin to unknowingly trying to run a diesel powered Mercedes-Benz with gasoline. Running the “you and me” world unknowingly as if it’s a “you or me” world, is this error. This error is based on an illusion. Yes an illusion. It’s the illusion of I. I is an illusion. And it’s the illusion of I which leads to individual territoriality instead of individual co-operation – which leads to political parties’ territoriality instead of political parties’ co-operation, which leads to nations’ territoriality instead of nations’ co-operation.
This is what I make Laurence’s essay mean:
We are given birth, embedded in, and living in a ‘you AND me’ world. A world where relationship-interdependence-unity is built into the very fabric/structure/working of the world. In such a world cooperation and collaboration is the way.
Yet our language, our training, our way of being-doing in the world is to operate from a ‘you OR me’ context. We divide the world into you and me. And spend the rest of our lives competing with each other – ‘you OR me’ – and feeling disconnected from one another, and sometimes life itself.
The major issues that show up in our world – personal life, family, work, community, the world – arise from operating from a ‘you OR me’ context when we live in ‘you AND me’ world.
Shifting from the ‘you OR me’ way of being-in-the-world to a ‘you AND me’ way of being-in-the-world gives us access for transforming the quality of life, for all, on this planet that gives us life. And making this shift personally and inspring-empowering others to do so is the ultimate act of leadership.