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Love's a Game You Play to Lose

a talk by David Truman 5/06/2005

Spiritually, most of you have gone just about as far as you can with the amount of surrender you've had to this point. You really need to be less self-centered. If you try to go any farther holding onto your present level of resistance, you're going to hit the wall and hurt your head. And you know that, too.

Heaven is for the pure. You have to give it up. You have to be straight up. The fogs and smoke screens you've used, habitually, to protect yourself -- those are incompatible with your present goals.

And love? Love is a game you play to lose with all you've got. You don't play it to win. You don't play it to look good. You play it to lose your heart, to lose your place, to lose your pride, lose your center, lose your mind -- everything. That's how the love game is played. It's not like any other game.

When you love, you sure don't play it to protect yourself. You play to make sure the other person wins with every hand. That's the difference between love and everything else.

I know what your real goal is; I know what you want: You want to give yourself. You want to be truly confessed. You want to lose face. You want to let go of every shred of decorum, politics, pride, and dignity, so as to be a lover for real.

But for that, you have to philosophically regroup. You have to realign your objectives. And you have to get up a little earlier in the morning to see the things you're putting in your own way or holding onto. You have to see where you're fighting yourself -- in those places where some of your objectives are opposed to others. Otherwise you'll continue in a battle with yourself, which is terrible and inefficient. You're stuck with intention/counter-intention. Without a doubt, a real lover doesn't have that battle going on.

Don't kid yourself

Don't kid yourself, and try to proceed with conflicting objectives. It's no use. All it does is create unnecessary problems. If you want what you really want, figure out how to align yourself behind a single purpose. About those intentions you're clinging to that are opposed to higher spiritual-emotional goals: you have to get rid of 'em. That's the only way to go. Anything less is to stay stuck.

What you want to achieve is a complete integration of self toward a single purpose: to lose. To lose face. That's the Way of Truth. God's Way.

God's Way is for the broken hearted. It isn't for the winners. God's collecting all the losers. Everyone else is fighting for survival. Trying to save face. Trying to cut a corner. You see. If you look at it very carefully you will see that I am telling you the absolute truth.

The "winners" and would-be winners are completely lost. They want to look good. They want to come out on top. They fight to survive, and for wealth, to be rich. They live for self, and when it comes to morality, they cut corners. That is exactly the course most people are following, religiously. They are doing what ego has in mind. Trying to win in that way. What's up with that? Down is up with that. Ego's agenda is in direct opposition to the Way of Truth, the Way of Undoing, the Way of Love. Absolute opposition. The followers of ego's little way will do hard time, and die imprisoned in smallness.

God collects the losers. Blessed are the poor in spirit -- [those who aren't living for ego] -- for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Well, that should be it. That's all you really need to know in life. If it has anything to do with love and truth. Anything worthwhile.

God's Way is the Way in which weakness makes you strong. It is the Way in which only service and emotional interdependence are dignified. It is the Way in which the last should be first. In God's Way, nothing but love and surrender make sense.

God's Way is the Way in which the last shall be first, he who loses himself shall find himself, and he who dies to himself is born again in the Spirit.

(these are metaphors; meant to be understood in spirit, not literally)

Only by humbling yourself can you be exalted.

Only by being the lowliest servant can you be great.

Only by losing your mind can you possibly have peace of mind.

Nothing but love makes sense.

Virtually every ordinary goal of human existence, if you pursue it vigorously, will ruin you.

Nothing but love makes sense.

The first are always last.

Nothing but love makes sense.

The love you take is equal to the love you make.

Nothing but love makes sense.

Heartbreak makes you whole.

Nothing but love makes sense.

The moment of losing face is the most dignified moment in a human life.

Nothing but love makes sense.

Self-denial produces spiritual wealth.

Only love makes sense.

The only way to win is to lose.

Nothing but love makes sense.

You look at your hand. Play your worst card.

Nothing but love makes sense.

Look at your feet. Put your worst foot forward.

Nothing but love makes sense.

The only way to be Godly is to be a slave.

Nothing but love makes sense.

Humility dignifies. Tears strengthen.

Nothing but love makes sense.

God's Way is that in which you could never possibly remember yourself except insofar as you forget yourself.

Nothing but love makes sense.

Spiritual maturity is in keeping with: unless you be as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Nothing but love makes sense.

And of course, you mustn't make anything grandiose out of this, because if you do that, you've lost the Way entirely. Instead, you must find infinite little ways to apply it. The left hand should not know what the right hand does. Almost never has spiritual life had anything to do with obvious heroism. Heroism is for earthly winners; the Kingdom of Heaven is for earthly losers.

And don't let the ego get a piece of even the littlest action, because it will dig its heels in where nobody thinks it matters. Ego takes over the kingdom because nobody expected it to come in that door, you see. So be smart. Stay awake. Be well-advised that spiritual peril or spiritual victory lies in attending to the smallest detail.

Confucius says, "The wise man, if given the opportunity to take one step forward, takes two steps backward." So:

Give yourself to anything your ego hates, and be undone.

The only happy ending is the ending of your ego and pride. There is no other happy ending. "It's a good day to die!" as the American Indian warrior, Crazy Horse, used to say.

That's it. I've said it. Truer words were never spoken. I wasn't willing to bullshit anybody this time.

You've got to celebrate your undoing. You've got to be very, very happy with your surrender. Absolutely, 100% sure about it. No ifs, ands, or buts. That's the ticket. Okay, that's impossible, but that's the challenge: to embrace that absolutely.

If someone says, "You're a liar and a cheat," tell them, "That's true, and that's not all."

If it looks like you might fall, ask, "Can you kindly move that mattress out of the way?"

If it looks like almost everything's going wrong, ask, "What's left?"

Now those are good questions. Infinitely better than the kind of questions people generally ask.

An enlightenable mind says,

"I could win on this move -- what's the alternative?"

"I could live through this -- give me another choice."

"I could look good here -- is there anything I can do about that?"

"I can keep it together -- can that be fixed?"

Such a mind shows consistent appreciation of the value of losing, an unerring homing instinct. True appreciation. The crest jewel of existence. To lose!

You can appreciate the real value of these statements the moment you understand that ego-driven life is only for a complete death-bound fool.


by David Truman

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