The est Training

Werner Erhard Photo Experience

Werner Erhard and the est training photos

Excerpt from The est Standard Training  in Biosciences Communication, 1977:

The fact is, no one needs the training. It is not medicine. If you are ill, you need medical attention. If you are mentally ill, you need therapy. The training is not medicine or therapy. If you are hungry, you need food. You need air. Actually you need someone to love and someone to love you. You need to feel some self-respect and the esteem of others. Without these, we do not function very well as human beings.

The training is none of these. It does not solve problems. It is true that some problems dissolve in the training, but not because it is the purpose of the training for people to work on their problems in the training. The training is not about people’s problems per se. What the training is about is related to those rare moments in life, which while rare, seem to come into everyone’s life at some time or another. They are moments in which one is absolutely complete, whole, fulfilled – that is to say, satisfied. (I limit the word gratification to mean the filling of a need or desire, or the achievement of a goal. I use the word satisfaction to mean the experience of being complete.)

Each of us has experienced moments in our lives when we are fully alive -when we know – without thinking – that life is exactly as it is in this moment. In such moments, we have no wish for it to be different, or better, or more. We have no disappointment, no comparison with ideals, no sense that it is not what we worked for. We feel no protective or defensive urge – and have no desire to hold on – to store up – or to save. Such moments are perfect in themselves. We experience them as being complete.

We do not need to experience completion. People function successfully without such moments. Like the training, such moments are not something we `should’ have. Like the training, such moments do not make us any better. We are not smarter or sexier or more successful or richer or any more clever. These moments, these experiences of being complete, are sufficient unto themselves. Like the training, such moments are not even ‘good’ for you – like vitamins or exercise or things of that sort.

In the training, one finds there is something beyond that – the opportunity to discover that space within yourself where such moments originate, actually where you and life originate. In the training, one experiences a transformation -a shift from being a character in the story of life to being the space in which the story occurs – the playwright creating the play, as it were, consciously, freely, and completely.

 

Excerpt from The est Training by Werner Erhard and Vic Gioscia

The Holiday Project

Parents

In working out our relationships, what we are actually doing is moving backward toward our relationship with our parents. Until you complete your relationship with your parents you have very little possibility of doing anything in your other relationships but dramatizing your limitations with your parents. When your relationship with your parents is complete, life can be about having complete, nurturing and satisfying relationships, rather than about the process of completing them.

Responsibility

It is not even true that you are the cause of everything in your life. Rather, that you are the cause of everything in your life is a place to stand from which to view and deal with life – a place that exists solely as a matter of your choice.

The stand that one is cause in the matter is a declaration, not an assertion of fact. It simply says, “you can count on me (and, I can count on me) to look at and deal with life from the perspective of my being cause in the matter.”

When you have taken the stand (declared) that you are cause in the matter of your life, it means that you give up the right to assign cause to the circumstances, or to others, or to the waxing and waning of your state of mind – all of which, while undoubtedly soothing, leave you helpless (at the effect of). At the same time, when you see how this works it will be clear that taking this stand does not prevent you from holding others responsible.

Being cause in the matter does not mean that you are taking on the burden of, or that you will be praised for or blamed for anything in the matter. And, it does not mean that you won’t fail.

Being Creative

Being Creative

by Hal Isen

From The Graduate Review, November 1977

Hal Isen was an est trainer who taught art and lectured at the Smithsonian Institution on such diverse subjects as visual perception, film, and creativity. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and the National Collection of Fine Arts.

 

…Creativity is the art of creating each moment being perfect. You have a direct experience of being the one who creates your experience of your life, of being the one who creates satisfaction in your life. You are in fact the space or context out of which your life is generated, and when you can begin to come out of the experience of creating your life moment to moment, of “this is it,” that is really what creativity is.

Read Hal Isen’s full article on Being Creative at the est training website.

Create Your Future

create your future from your future not your past

Werner Erhard Foundation

The Werner Erhard Foundation, was established in a time of transformation and transition. Old values, ideals, and beliefs were being challenged; new ideas and insights, new ways of seeing old problems, and new solutions were coming into view.

Historians will likely view this period as an era of profound change, a time when human beings discarded old limits, explored new visions, and embraced new realities.

We are witnessing the emergence of a new and unexpected paradigm, a new model for humanity, characterized by a demand from individuals and communities for effective action, for translating the new insights into concrete results.  For all of us there is the opportunity to redefine what it means to be a human being.

Being of Service

perfect

Werner Erhard Foundation

“The ultimate purpose of the Foundation is the full realization of the promise of human beings and their institutions. The Foundation’s intention is to create the space for an explosion of knowledge and attainment in the area of human consciousness and human experience similar to the one that occurred 250 years ago in the physical sciences which has dramatically affected humankind’s material well-being.”

-Werner Erhard, October 4, 1973

Gonneke Spits

Gonneke Spits, one of the founding staff members of est discusses the original est Training in this video on the Werner Erhard Video site.

Gonneke Spits