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

A Context Worth Playing In

Cakebread Cellars, Rutherford Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

March 19, 2017

This essay, A Context Worth Playing In, is the first in the eleventh trilogy Questions For A Friend:
  1. A Context Worth Playing In
  2. Tie The Brush To My Hand
  3. Unimaginably Terse
in that order.
The first trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Prelude
  2. Ask Me Anything
  3. Coming Around Again
in that order.
The second trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Familiar Unfamiliar Territory
  2. Interview
  3. Straight Talk
in that order.
The third trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Dancing With My Mouth
  2. Cave Paintings
  3. Velvet Tsunami
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Creating Creating
  2. Tell Me Something About Nothing
  3. Lucid Disclosures
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Closer And Closer
  2. Tête À Tête
  3. Dancing With Life
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Would I Ask You If I Could Ask You Anything?
  2. Wonderings About Nothing In Particular
  3. Tipping Point
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Beyond Breathing Underwater
  2. Bold Faced Truth
  3. What You Create For Yourself About Me
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Once In A Lifetime
  2. Fireside Chat
  3. Whole And Complete
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Questions For A Friend
  2. Nothing Else I'd Rather Be Doing
  3. Free To Be And Free To Act
in that order.
The tenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. Attracted To Dance
  2. I Told A Friend I Love You
  3. Terse Transformed Communication
in that order.
The twelfth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:
  1. What Will I Do When You Die?
  2. Access
  3. Questions For A Friend XII III (working title)
in that order.

This is the first essay in the eleventh trilogy of the ongoing Questions For A Friend collection in this Conversations For Transformation internet series of essays. It's my intention that in recreating the conversations these trilogies embody, they will produce extraordinary value for you. In order to ensure you realize their value, I suggest you also have something at stake: be a stand for listening valuably. Beauty (they say) is in the eye of the beholder. Like that, value (I say) is in the ear of the listener.

Each trilogy in this collection recreates a conversation which is unlike any other conversation I have. To be clear, the point I'm making here isn't that this Questions For A Friend collection of conversations I get to have with Werner, are unlike any other conversations I have with people - although that's undoubtedly true. It's way more than that. It's these conversations I get to have with him, are unlike any other conversations I have with him. That's the right phrase on which to place this emphasis.

Our partnership, and me sharing what comes out of it ie what it makes available, uses me. Similarly, in addition to Questions For A Friend, look for these collections as well: Conversations With A Friend, Encounters With A Friend, Experiences Of A Friend, and Visits With A Friend. They (the conversations these collections embody) are what I've given myself to ie what I correlate with as my natural Self-expression. Why? Because it works. I've no other ulterior motive. In the other conversations I get to have with him, I'm mostly listening, and he is mostly speaking, and what he says mostly directs the manner in which the conversations go. For sure, I get to speak too - freely, bone-numbingly openly. And when I do speak, it's mostly me speaking to what he's saying ie mostly me listening what he's saying, and speaking to that.

But in this Questions For A Friend collection of conversations however, I get to mostly direct where our conversations go. How so? Simply by asking questions. And he generously agrees to listen and answer. So in this context, my primary purpose is really to honor his listening and answering, and thereafter to make my questions and his answers available on my Conversations For Transformation website. And it's only of minor secondary interest to me that I'm the one who's directing it at this time.

Questions For A Friend is a project which I invented one day, out of nothing. I just made it up out of the blue  (so to speak) intending to create newer and worthwhile ways to participate closer with him. When this idea started taking form ie when I started noticing Zen flesh was beginning to adhere to its Zen bones, I started sharing this intention with him, inviting him to participate in it, having already prepared myself to be 1,000% OK  with his either no or  yes reply. His subsequent approving of and agreeing to participate in the project with me, is a privilege, an ongoing privilege actually - no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This is a context worth playing in. Really.

On average, having created eleven of these trilogies (so far) over the past eight years, it takes me about ten days to come up with ten decent questions worthy of this opportunity. That's about one question a day. Why take so long Laurence? Our relationship comes from a space out of time. So whether it's ten days or ten months is just irrelevant. The way I do this is I sit in a quiet space of no distraction (which in a busy life can be fleeting, so I take it whenever and wherever I can get it). And in this space I create for myself an experience of being with him with nothing going on. Then, immersed in this experience, I look at what's there to ask. It's that simple.

Try this on for size for yourself: if you could have his undivided attention, and you could ask him anything you wanted to ask, what would you ask? That would work, yes? Well ... that's my model too. It's pretty basic. But listen: it must  be pretty basic. If it's not, you run the risk of turning it into something significant. That'll ruin it.

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© Laurence Platt - 2017 Permission