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


When You've Got Nothing, Give It Away

Muir Beach, California, USA

August 11, 2011



This essay, When You've Got Nothing, Give It Away, is the twelfth in a group of fifteen on Nothing: It was conceived at the same time as The Magnificent Seven.



It's wonderful having the luxury of doing nothing. It's wonderful having the luxury of doing absolutely nothing at all.

Who do you know who's fortunate enough to afford the luxury of doing nothing? Who do you know who's fortunate enough to afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing at all? What's your answer?

Here's mine: You ... and I ... and anyone  ... and everyone  ... are fortunate enough to afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing at all.

Wait! What do you mean  Laurence by "you and I and anyone and everyone" are fortunate enough to afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing at all? What do you mean by "doing nothing"?

By doing nothing I don't mean sleeping late. By doing nothing I don't mean lying on the couch watching the soaps on TV, flipping through the channels with the remote control, shoveling popcorn into your mouth. By doing nothing I don't mean being idle. By doing nothing I don't mean being unproductive. By doing nothing I don't mean being on vacation. By doing nothing I don't even mean sitting on the beach watching the sunset.

When you're sleeping late, that's doing something. It's not doing nothing. When you're lying on the couch watching the soaps on TV, flipping through the channels with the remote control, shoveling popcorn into your mouth, that's doing something. It's not doing nothing. When you're being idle, that's doing something. It's not doing nothing. When you're being unproductive, that's doing something. It's not doing nothing. When you're on vacation, that's doing something. It's not doing nothing. When you're sitting on the beach watching the sunset, that's doing something. It's not doing nothing.

Doing nothing is doing what you're doing while you're doing it. That's what doing nothing is. That's all  doing nothing is.

When you're doing what you're doing while you're doing it, you're doing nothing. It's whole, complete, fulfilling, and satisfying. Anyone and everyone is fortunate enough to afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing at all. I don't need the wherewithal  to do nothing. I don't need to retire or to have amassed enough wealth  to do nothing. Doing nothing isn't a reflection of material success in Life - like something attained. I assert anyone and everyone can afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing at all.

Doing nothing is an act of will. It's an act of intention. It's not the absence of will. It's not the absence of intention. Anything  and absolutely everything I do is an access to doing nothing. All I have to do is do it while I'm doing it.

The thing about doing anything while I'm doing it (which is to say the thing about doing nothing) is it's not a rational  analysis which concludes I'm doing nothing when I'm doing what I'm doing while I'm doing it. I can't get it that way. It's not an intellectual  debate which determines I'm doing nothing when I'm doing what I'm doing while I'm doing it. I can't get it that way either. The way I get it is as an experience. When I'm doing what I'm doing while I'm doing it, I experience doing nothing - absolutely nothing at all.

When I experience doing nothing, I'm whole, I'm complete, I'm fulfilled, and I'm satisfied - regardless of what I'm doing. That's profound. In addition to the profundity, doing nothing this way (as it turns out) makes for high velocity productivity. It's anything but  idle and unproductive. If you think doing nothing is idle and unproductive, think again. That's not doing nothing.



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