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

The Only Game In Town

Alpine Lake, Fairfax, California, USA

January 16, 2007

"An untransformed life is not worth living." ... 
This essay, The Only Game In Town, is the companion piece to
  1. The Only Thing You Have To Do Is Be II
  2. If You Aspire To Fame, Be Famous For Being Who You Are
in that order.

You can have more, you can do better, you can be different ... if you must.

There's nothing wrong with any of that. We all do it. We all want to.

The question is: is it satisfying? And if so, when do we get satisfaction? After we get more? After we've done better? After we're different?

Or is it prior to all that?

Is satisfaction the result  of getting more? Is it the result of doing better? Is it the result of being different?

Or could it be it goeswith  all that? (as Alan Watts may have said).

Examining and discovering what allows for us being satisfied prior to (and thus carried into) any and all of life's avenues, is the only game in town. It's a game in sharp contrast to any of the other games people play. In other games, when the game ends it ends. This game never ends. In other games, there are winners and there are losers. In this game there are only winners. In other games there are players and there are spectators. In this game there are only players. Oh, and in this game, everyone's on the same team.

In contrast, the unexamined drive for more  / better  / different  arguably runs a bigger percentage of the population. It requires less original thought. And eventually, much to the chagrin of its adherents, it's also more disappointing and more frustrating. That's not to say it doesn't have any rewards. Rather, it's that when we get its rewards, instead of a sense of victory, we're left with the nagging question "Is this all there is?".

The evidence of its futility is in this simple observation: if more / better / different were enough, when you and I are beyond a certain level of achievement, we would be satisfied, and when you and I are below a certain level of achievement, we wouldn't stand a chance of ever being satisfied in life. Look around. Tell the truth about what you see. Tell the truth about your experience. Tell the truth about the stock you've put in this attraction. You can tell it doesn't pay out in lasting satisfaction. In this sense, we're all gambling addicts inexorably losing at slot machines of life.

Since we're all autonomically thrown to gamble this way anyway, the question then arises "What's the possibility of the more / better / different drive if we bring satisfaction to it rather than seeking satisfaction from it?". It's this inquiry which is the only game in town.

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