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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 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.

Read more about the Werner Erhard Foundation Projects

Prison Possibilities

Prison Possibilities, Inc. was an independent non-profit organization that enabled men and women in prisons to alter their predictable futures. This organization’s programs demonstrated concrete results in significantly lowering the rate of re arrest and imprisonment among those inmates who have participated. A number of the inmates who participated in the programs continue to this day to make the program available to others.

As was stated in a letter dated August 21, 1990, by Robert J. Watson Commissioner of Correction in Delaware: “I see no other resource as powerful or as effective as The Forum in what it creates for inmates who participate…It is effective. It is a lasting contribution.”

A letter dated September 11, 1990 from W.L. Kautazky, former Commissioner of Correction for the State of Colorado and Senior Commissioner of the Corrections Department in the State of Hawaii states: “The Prison Possibilities program was presented originally at the Buena Vista Correctional Facility under the extraordinary scrutiny of a highly skeptical staff. In virtually every instance, the skepticism of the staff was transformed to a surprising level of support for the values of accountability and responsibility generated by the program…I remain convinced that the unique balance of accountability training during confinement and volunteer support upon release provides an important community linkage that will be critical to the success of correctional programs thoughout the nation.”

See more at the Werner Erhard Foundation Website

The Holiday Project

The Holiday Project began through the work of graduates of the est training. The first Holiday Project visit occurred on Christmas Day, 1973 in San Francisco, California. Since its incorporation as a non-profit public benefit organization in 1980, more than 180,000 volunteers from every social, and economic background visited more than 1,500,000 people around the United States.

The real story of the Holiday Project lives in the lives of the experiences of each individual who participated. It lives in the face of an old man, beaming as a small child hugs him. It lives in the misty eyes of a woman recalling her youth. And it lives in the way the volunteers speak about their lives. “We gave gifts and sang, but the songs and gifts were just an excuse for us to be close” … “Now every year I visit with The Holiday Project. It makes my holidays how I always want them to be.”

Visit the national Holiday Project organization’s website where you can find inspiring stories and participate in current Holiday Project activities.

The est Training

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

Power is a Function of Velocity: “Your

Power is a Function of Velocity: “Your power is a function of velocity, that is to say, your power is a… http://wp.me/pbw9H-du

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.”

-Werner Erhard

The Context for Creating a Transformed World: A World that Works for Everyone

“Sometime around now – it may have happened five years ago or fifty years ago – but sometime around now, the rules for living successfully on this planet shifted.  We can no longer hope to live meaningful, purposeful lives using the rules of a you or me world.  It’s becoming clearer and clearer to those who will look that in order to live successfully on this planet, we must discover and live by the rules of you and me.” – Werner Erhard

Youth at Risk

“I got an opportunity to work with Youth at Risk, which program continues to today, to see what happened with young gang kids when they got the possibility of making a difference in other people’s lives. I saw what that did with them and how committed they became to that possibility…When you can leave behind the way you wound up being, when you are free to choose beyond the way you wound up being, that is a very powerful experience.”

Werner Erhard at University of Pennsylvania, 2016

wernererhard-jonathanmorenoWerner Erhard and Professor Jonathan D. Moreno

Werner Erhard

He also has 11 grandchildren, and one of his current preoccupations is the numbing effects of digital technology on millennials. Warming to the subject, he read aloud another passage, this one from a dense Heidegger essay calling for a “comportment toward technology which expresses yes and at the same time no.”

”The cost to this generation is enormous,” Mr. Erhard said. “They are losing access to their humanity.”

Maintaining access to his own humanity may be Mr. Erhard’s biggest project. Floating around the screen of another computer was the word “impeccability,” a reminder, he said, “to deal with whatever I touch with care.” If he learned his lesson the hard way, maybe there is no easy way.

“Here’s how it is for me,” Mr. Erhard said, leaning in, giving his vocal cords a break. “When my integrity is lacking, I am clear that I just got to be a bit smaller as a person. And the thing you have to remember about integrity is it’s a mountain with no top.”