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


Success, Transformation, And Completion

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

November 26, 2016



"By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day." ... Robert Frost

I am indebted to Don "Coach Don" Sullivan who inspired this conversation.




Games are played the way we construe they're played. To this end, some games come with clearly written rules: Monopoly, Clue (or "Cluedo" if you play the British version), Scrabble, Chess, Soccer, and Cricket for example. They also come with a clearly written purpose. If you're going to play these games, then the way you construe they're played, better match their written rules and purpose - otherwise it's "Game over!" before you've even begun. Then there are other games we play (and play often) which come with hardly any written rules and no purpose at all. We kind of have to figure out the purpose of these games as we go along.

Chief among these games which come with hardly any written rules and no purpose, is the game of Life itself  - of course I'm talking about the real deal  game of Life, not the Hasbro board game version. Yes there are a smattering of written rules for the game of Life: stop at red lights / go on green ones, travel with a valid passport, don't overdraw your checking account, put enough stamps on the envelope - you know, that sort of thing. But as for its overall purpose, you have to construe your own, given the game of Life doesn't come with a written purpose (as Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller may have said).

Consider this: one way of construing the purpose of the game of Life, is it's to win. Winning the game of Life, is a purpose which is derived (so to speak) from our instinct ie from our innate drive to survive. Implicit in this winning / surviving derived purpose, is when we win, someone or something else has to lose. So by construing the purpose of the game of Life this way, we've sown the seeds for the unworkable "you or  me world" paradigm (as Werner Erhard may have said).

Another way of saying this is: the construed purpose of the game of Life is to succeed. And for the most part, we each define our own yardstick for our own success. The thing is this construing is likely to entrap all of us. How so? (and well may you ask): when we define what success will  be for ourselves, we're also subtly defining ourselves as not yet  successful. Gee! I hope you get that. It's very Zen ie it's very subtle. It's pernicious.

So I assert what's more profound than construing the purpose of the game of Life to be winning / success, is construing it to be completion  ie being complete, living life in the state of being complete - which is to say living life coming from already being  complete. To live life coming from already being complete, you have to bring your own already completion  to everything you do.

Now at this juncture, some friendly smart rats are likely to say "No Laurence, the purpose of the game of Life is to be transformed"  ie to become  transformed ie that the purpose of the game of Life is transformation. I'll buy that for a dollar. Bringing transformation to bear on the purpose of Life can only lead to good things. However, if I were to articulate these ideas more rigorously as a cohesive, seamless whole, then rather than success being the purpose of the game of Life, and rather than transformation being the purpose of the game of Life, I would still bet you good money the intelligent purpose of the game of Life is completion. When we construe the purpose of the game of Life as being complete, we sow the seeds for the revolutionary breakthrough "you and  me world" paradigm (also from Werner).

OK, if that's so (notice I didn't say "if that's the truth";  I said "if that's so")  then what role does transformation play in the purpose of the game of Life? Try this on for size: what if transformation is a shift which allows the construed purpose of the game of Life to morph  from success to completion? Now that's  a great question.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2016 Permission