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


State Of Play

Marin Headlands, California, USA

November 8, 2009

"For all the beauty there may be I'll never throw away my soul; only for something I don't know that one may come on randomly."  ... Saint John Of The Cross read by  
"Life deals you cards randomly. You have nothing to do with the cards you're dealt. How you play  the cards you're dealt, with that you have everything  to do." ... Laurence Platt


This essay, State Of Play, was conceived at the same time as It is the companion piece to Source.

It is also the fifth in a sextology titled Koans And So On:
  1. Not Writing: Koans In The Key Of B-Major
  2. The Last Place You Look: Koans Of Conduct
  3. I've Got Nothing To Say: Twenty Boxes Of Nearly Haiku
  4. Haiku
  5. State Of Play
  6. I've Got Nothing More To Say: Twenty Boxes Of Nearly Haiku II
in that order.




This suite of fifty two sound bites  I suppose you could call them, started arriving by themselves one day, and have been accumulating over a while since, to the point where I've noticed there are enough of them now to share them with you as a collection.

Originally they seemed to be like leaves, blown into my garden in the fall by the wind. Later they morphed  ie they seemed to become more like playing cards shuffled in a full deck, a context I soon became more enamored with, realizing it works better. So I ran with it. This State Of Play is the result.

These aren't Zen koans per se, although some of them may challenge experientially. Neither are they written to conform to the rules and discipline of haiku.

Nonetheless, given the brevity, poignancy, and minimalism of each composition, it could be accurately stated they occur in a similar genre. That's why they belong here in the group of Conversations For Transformation titled Koans And So On, side by side with my modest attempts at koans and haiku.




Bicycle Rider Back Playing Cards courtesy bicyclecards.com
Bicycle Rider Back Playing Cards

Click deck or a card to shuffle
This card game works best with Internet Explorer
Click to shuffle Realized or not, understood or not, you're the source of your own experience. Create satisfaction - right now. Being dissatisfied is evidence you've abdicated your responsibility for your own experience.
Click to shuffle Whatever emotions you're having, both lows and highs, notice them, let them be. Don't interfere. At most, just say what emotions you're having. Don't dramatize. Keep your fingers out of the machinery.
Click to shuffle Although we don't ordinarily refer to it this way, consider who you really are  isn't that thing you call "I". Distinguishing between who you really are  and that thing you call "I"  is a potent magic wand. Wave it magnanimously.
Click to shuffle The past runs you if it's incomplete. Rather than complain about the past, say something powerful to complete it.
Click to shuffle Be generous to someone you're stuck with. If that doesn't free you, be generous some more until it does.
Click to shuffle It's time to clean out your attic, your closet, your garage, and your basement. It's an illusion all that junk stays stored there. You're really dragging it around with you everywhere you go.
Click to shuffle Take an inventory of everything you do to fill your time in order to distract yourself, in order to avoid being here. Commit to giving all that up.
Click to shuffle Wealth is a function of what you bring to Life, not what you amass from it. Stop pretending it's otherwise.
Click to shuffle As soon as you awake in the morning, get up immediately and start your day. There's no better time. There's no other  time either. This is it.
Click to shuffle Ante up  at the table where they're playing the only game in town. The cost of one chip is your act. That's high stakes  for most. When you reach the place where it's chump change  for you, you know you're playing from win.
Click to shuffle If you get life is empty and meaningless, and you use it to justify not taking action, you ain't got it. In fact empty and meaningless  is a source of great power and dynamism.
Click to shuffle Start by expanding basic, good, common, decent self respect into Self awe. If you're hearing this as selfishness, egotism, and narcissism, go back and start over. If you're already  in awe of Self, it's no big deal.
Click to shuffle Occasionally as a commitment to staying clear, turn off the television and watch the night sky instead. Allow yourself a wide array of interpretations of reality. Choose from it freely. Don't take your chosen interpretation too seriously.
Click to shuffle A player  catches the ball and runs with it. A mensch  acknowledges whom he got it from.
Click to shuffle Don't tell me you can't live without me. I say that's not true. The truth you're not telling me is you can't live with yourself.
Click to shuffle Consider it possible the personal issues you have and don't want which won't disappear, are the ones you keep on chattering about. Consider it possible the only reason they won't disappear is you keep on chattering about them.
Click to shuffle Who you're being  is what you leave people with. Your intelligence, your rationality, your street-smart-ness, your education, your erudition, your good will, your caring are irrelevant  next to who you're being.
Click to shuffle Show me the condition of your cupboards, your drawers, and your shelves, and I'll tell you how you make love.
Click to shuffle Notice how simple things don't attract your interest. You've sussed  life as complicated. Perhaps it's your sophistication which is getting in the way of your life working.
Click to shuffle Having a plan to, understanding, devising a strategy for, engaging in a conversation about living life fully is the minor leagues. Actually living life fully without recognition, approval, or appreciation is the majors.
Click to shuffle Steal this from me. I've already stolen it from someone else. By stealing it from me, you return it to me in spades.
Click to shuffle Things are perfect the way they are, and the way they aren't. Disappointment is a function of not accepting things are perfect the way they are, and the way they aren't.
Click to shuffle This isn't about getting better. You're already fine. This isn't about fixing anything. It's already OK. This is about what's possible.
Click to shuffle If I could hold you until your tears stop, I would. But that won't enable you to transform your own tears by yourself when I'm not around.
Click to shuffle You're not a Chinese philosopher dreaming he's a butterfly. Neither are you a butterfly dreaming he's a Chinese philosopher. You're the one listening this.
Click to shuffle Here's the difference between your life's work, and everything else you do: if you're still alive, your life's work ain't done yet.
Click to shuffle You don't need a crucible in which to manufacture Life. Life shows up in your ears. The first step toward killing Life off is stopping listening.
Click to shuffle A) Imagine these are the final ten minutes of your time on Earth. Who will you call to thank for making the biggest difference in your life? B) Why haven't you already done so?
Click to shuffle The inside scoop on achieving ecstasy is you already got it. The most in synch  you can be with another human being is to bear witness to their already ecstasy.
Click to shuffle It's all yours now.
Click to shuffle If you think I'm lying, you're not listening to anything I'm saying. If you think I'm speaking the truth, you're not listening to anything I'm saying.
Click to shuffle You wash bugs off your car's windshield so you can see clearly through it when you drive. Why treat your integrity any differently?
Click to shuffle Seriously though, is there anything you're familiar with besides Life itself  which fills you up by emptying you out? What else is there? What else have you got?
Click to shuffle Would you rather have a tiger by the tail, or a bull by the horns? Personally I'd rather ride a horse in the direction he's going.
Click to shuffle I'm not a disciple. Nor am I a follower. I'm not a student either. If you must label me with anything at all, then please call me friend.
Click to shuffle As a policy of telling the no nonsense  truth, make a point of acknowledging yourself with no added bravado. If you don't, who will? And if not you, then who?
Click to shuffle "Who am I going to be today?" is a far more powerful question to wake up into than "What am I going to do today?". The latter dictates your activities. The former declares the context for your life.
Click to shuffle Stand in the possibility that anything you think or assume is going on with another person, is nothing more than an assessment in your own mind, your own private movie which has no correlation whatsoever with reality.
Click to shuffle What's the point? You're the point! That's the point.
Click to shuffle I left my heart in San Francisco. Then I left it in Fiji. Then I left it in the Amazon jungle. Then I left it in the Napa Valley. Then I left it in Hawai'i. Then I left it in London. Then I left it in Tokyo. I left my heart everywhere.
Click to shuffle You'll never get it all done. Anticipate you'll die with tasks still incomplete on your to do  list. That's a playing field for a very big game.
Click to shuffle Who are you? Who are you really? Who are you? Who are you really?  Who are you? Who are you really? Who are you? Who are you REALLY? Who are you? ... I mean really? 
Click to shuffle Just when you're feeling smug that you got it, you discover you haven't got it. Then just when think you've lost it forever, you realize you got it again. It's elusive. Dance with it.
Click to shuffle People form opinions about you based on the answers you give. They know you based on the questions you ask. They love you based on the vulnerability you are.
Click to shuffle I'm not ignoring you. Rather I invite you to try on the possibility that me simply and completely listening your request may actually be more useful to you than me agreeing to do what you're asking.
Click to shuffle It's enough for me to just watch you work. I'm awed. But when I watch you do nothing ie really  do nothing, I'm absolutely mesmerized, moved to tears, totally blown away.
Click to shuffle If someone comes to the door looking for me saying they know me, send them away. If they come back looking for me again saying nothing, let 'em in.
Click to shuffle Both sadness and happiness without me as cause in the matter, are like two mutts straying by occasionally. The one who'll stay is the one I leave bones out for.
Click to shuffle Promise yourself you won't buy into your own pettiness ever again. Declare it's over. Notice the next time you're being petty, and keep your word.
Click to shuffle There's really nothing to get. Really. You may think that if you could get there's really nothing to get, then you'll have gotten something. But there really is nothing to get. Really. Nothing. No kidding!
Click to shuffle It takes a certain bigness to admit you're not upset with the person you're upset with. You're really upset with whom the person you're upset with reminds you of.
Click to shuffle For me it's sufficient just to be alive. I don't have to add a single thing to the experience for it to be worthwhile. The most enjoyable quality for me about Life is the mere fact that it shows up at all.



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© Laurence Platt - 2009 through 2014 Permission