Foreword to Speaking Being

Professor Michael Zimmerman’s Afterword to the book Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and the Possibility of Being Human is his first-person account of discovering parallels between Erhard and Heidegger, and then learning of Hyde and Kopp’s remarkable, in-depth exploration of this unexpected relationship.

Erhard and Heidegger, two seemingly disparate thinkers, arrived at a similar understanding of human being, and they arrived at such understanding independently. Does such deep agreement give credibility to the shared understanding?

Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human

“I regard Speaking Being as an enormously important contribution to understanding Heidegger and Erhard. The latter has received far too little serious academic attention, and this book begins to make up for that lack. Moreover, the book’s analysis of Heidegger’s thought is among the best that I have ever read. I commend this book to all readers without reservation.”

 

Michael E. Zimmerman, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder

Power is a function of velocity

Your power is a function of velocity, that is to say, your power is a function of the rate at which you translate intention into reality.  Most of us disempower ourselves by finding a way to slow, impede, or make more complex than necessary the process of translating intention into reality.

There are two factors worth examining in our impairing velocity, in our disempowering ourselves.

The first is the domain of reasonableness. When we deal with our intentions or act to realize our intentions from reasonableness, we are in the realm of slow, impede and complicate. When we are oriented around the story or the narrative, the explanations, the justifications, we are oriented around that in which there is no velocity, no power.

Results are black and white. In life, one either has results (one’s intentions realized) or one has the reason, story, explanations, and justifications. The person of power does not deal in explanations. This way of being might be termed management by results (not management for results but management by results). The person of power manages him or herself by results and creates a space or mood of results in which to interact with others.

The other factor to be addressed is time. Now never seems to be the right time to act. The right time is always in the future. Usually this appears in the guise of “after I (or we) do so and so, then it will be the right time to act”; or “after so and so occurs, then it will be the right time to act”; or “when so and so occurs, then it will be the right time to act.” The guise includes “gathering all the facts,”  “getting the plan down,” “figuring out ‘X’,” “getting ready,” etc.

Since now is the only time you have in reality and now will never seem to be the right time to act, one may as well act now. Even though “it isn’t the right time,” given that the “right time” will never come, acting now is, at the least, powerful (even if you don’t get to be right). Most people wait for the decisive moment, whereas people of power are decisive in the moment. – Werner Erhard

The est Training

“The real purpose of est was to create space for people to participate in life – to experience true space and freedom in life.”
Werner Erhard

The est Training

“The way est happened was very simple.  I had this transformational experience.  I had a transformation.  Whoever I had been up until that point, I no longer was.  And it was on my way to work, and I happened to be – not anything significant about being on the Golden Gate Bridge – but I happened to be there, and that’s when I had the realization that what my life was about was really meaningless.  It was empty.  And this realization that the things that I thought were so significant, like looking good and winning – just the normal things that I guess most people think are important – that they really had no importance, that it was all empty and meaningless.  When I broke through the sadness, broke through the sense of despair at having wasted my life, I all of a sudden realized, “My God, I’m free.”  What – free – what does that mean to be free?   Free to choose, free to create a life that was worth living.  So I took a day with my staff – shared with them the best I could something that would allow them to create for themselves the kind of transformational experience that I had had.  And we all decided, okay, we’ll do this.  Instead of selling books, we’ll do this.” –Werner Erhard, 2005, from Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard

Being of Service

 

perfect

 

My notion about service is that service is actually that kind of relationship in which you have a commitment to the person.

Service is about knowing who the other person is, and being able to tolerate giving space to their garbage.

What most people do is to give space to people’s quality and deal with their garbage.

Actually, you should do it the other way around.

Deal with who they are and give space to their garbage.

Keep interacting with them as if they were perfect.

And every time you get garbage from them, give space to the garbage and go back and interact with them as if they were perfect.

~Werner Erhard

A World That Works

“We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family.  We can choose to make our love for the world what our lives are really about. Each of us has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us.  It will require courage, audacity and heart.  It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet.  What we create together is a relationship in which our work can show up as making a difference in people’s lives. I welcome the unprecedented opportunity for us to work globally on that which concerns us all as human beings.

If not you, who?
If not now, when?
If not here, where?”

Werner Erhard, 1977

The Werner Erhard Foundation

The Werner Erhard Foundation website was developed on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were touched by the Werner Erhard Foundation – those who organized not for recognition, but for the love of humanity. From theoretical physics to tackling world hunger, over two decades of work, beginning in 1973, fostered breakthroughs in human thinking, growth and development that are still present in the world today.

Why share this with you now? Because there is no better time to illustrate, no matter what the decade, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, we all have the ability to foster great thinking, expand our own and other’s level of achievement and make a lasting difference. The world is waiting.

“We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family. We can choose to make our love for the world what our lives are really about. Each of us has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us. It will require courage, audacity and heart. It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet. What we create together is a relationship in which our work can show up as making a difference in people’s lives. I welcome the unprecedented opportunity for us to work globally on that which concerns us all as human beings.

If not you, who?
If not now, when?
If not here, where?”
Werner Erhard

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