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


It's Not A Ball Game If You Hold On To The Ball

Caymus Vineyards, Rutherford, California, USA

December 17, 2013



There's nothing quite like it. It defies the laws of giving and receiving.

Ordinarily if I give you some or all of anything I own, I'm left with less. If I have ten shirts and I give you some, obviously I'll have less. It's like that with everything: when I give some or all of it away, there's always less left over for me. The remainder is less than the whole.

There is however an exception to this rule, and this exception is "... but not when we're speaking transformation.". When I speak transformation, which is to say when I give transformation away, when I give you some or all of what I have, I get more  and you get more. It's more than that actually: it's the surefire  way when it comes to transformation to have more, is to give it away. When it comes to my shirts, if I keep ten shirts I still have ten shirts. But when I keep transformation I have less. Like I said, there's nothing quite like it. It defies the laws of giving and receiving.

It's not a ball game if you hold on to the ball. It can't  be a ball game if you hold on to the ball. There's so much more available in the game when you pass the ball. There's so much more possible  in the game when you pass the ball. We humans each start out in Life being playful. Just watch the children in any schoolyard during recess if you require proof. Just listen  to the children in any schoolyard during recess if you require proof. It's quite obvious. They play.

Some time between then and now, something happened. For each of us, it's probably true to say something totally different and unique happened. Yet it's not necessary to study each of our cases in depth and detail. What's generally true is at some point we renounced (which is to say we gave up)  our sense of play (passing the ball), and acquired the sense of survival  (holding the ball) instead. We left behind the experience of "we" and "us" and "our" and overwhelmingly took on the illusion of "I" and "me and "mine" (as George Harrison may have said) instead. When the ball came our way in the game, we held on to it rather than passed it. It was a life altering decision, one which reigned unchallenged from then on for years if not decades.

But listen! The truth is it worked  ... at least it worked to a degree  and it worked well. We started to amass. We started to accumulate. We started to keep things for ourselves. We started holding on to the ball when it came our way. It worked. Yes it worked. But if we tell the truth about it, once it started working, once we took it on, deep down inside Life also stopped being fun any more.

You could say interimly  holding on to the ball works. And it looks like (at least at first)  holding on to the ball works everywhere. Yet ultimately  there's one place holding on to the ball ie keeping it to yourself doesn't  work: in the middle of a ball game. And here's the thing about Life: Life itself is one big ball game  - and the more you pass the ball, the better the game works. Once you know that, you can't see holding on to the ball, in the same way ever again.

There are no secrets to Life. A master is simply someone who found out (as Werner Erhard may have said). But if I pretend there is  a secret tp Life, then it's an open  secret which is this: there's nothing to get, and you already got it, so give it away. Share it. Share the flame. Pass the torch. Pass the ball.



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