Archive for the ‘Est Training’ Tag

Create Your Future

create your future from your future not your past

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

Assessment of the Philosophical Significance of The est Training

by Hubert Dreyfus

“In the course of the training it became progressively clear to me that the experience underlying the training and the conceptualization of this experience have deep affinities with the phenomena presented and analyzed in Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time.”

“…It is directly manifest in the training that est embodies a powerful and coherent truth which transforms the quality of the lives of those who experience it. Moreover, this truth contains radically new insights into the nature of human beings.”


Top 10 CPL Videos of 2010: Harvard University Kennedy School of Leadership

Top 10 CPL Videos of 2010: Harvard University Kennedy School of Leadership

The Harvard University Center for Public Leadership announced their top ten videos of  2010.  With 21,763 views, Werner Erhard speaks to Kennedy School students was their second most viewed video of the year.  The Center for Public Leadership posts their videos, including archived footage from a decade of leadership events, speeches, and interviews—on their YouTube channel.

The Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership is committed to advancing the frontiers of knowledge about leadership through teaching and research and deepening the pool of leaders for the common good through cocurricular activities that include skill-building workshops, fellowships, and classes in leadership for social change.

Being Creative

In an article in The Graduate Review (July 1976), John Curry, the 1976 men’s Olympic and world figure skating champion, said that in winning those titles there wasn’t any separation between himself, the ice, the skates, the music. It was one thing flowing, a thing he was creating each moment – creating it, creating it, creating it, creating it – as if there was nothing to do. He was skating when he was skating. The skating wasn’t about trying not to fall down, or trying to overcome something, or trying to move something out of the way. Every moment was completely whole and completely satisfying.

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.

From an article by Hal Isen in the November 1977 Graduate Review.  You can read the entire article at Werner Erhard and est

Operating Principles for a You and Me World

From the March 1980 Graduate Review report on ‘A World That Works For Everyone’
Werner shared his own perceptions of some of the new rules, or operating principles, for the you and me context.
  • Respect the other person’s point of view, whether or not you agree with it. Recognize that if you had their history, their circumstances, and the forces that play on them, you would likely have their point of view.
  • Consider life a privilege – all of it, even the parts that are difficult or seem a waste of time.
  • Give up the islands that reinforce mediocrity, the safe places where we gossip and complain to one another, where we are petty.
  • Take a chance. Be willing to put your reputation on the line; have something at stake.
  • Work for satisfaction rather than for credit
  • Honor your word. There will be times when the circumstances of life will make you forget who you are and what you’re about. That is when you need to be committed to honoring your word, making what you say count.

From The est Training website

Peter Gabriel

Coming to adulthood in the ’70s “Me Decade”, Peter Gabriel was on board as various ’60s psychological self-therapies went mainstream, notably EST (Erhard Seminars Training), of which he still remains an enthusiast.

“Anyone with an open mind wanting to explore the world was drawn to that movement. There were fairly scary adventures that could change lives. Last year I met Werner Erhard [born John Paul Rosenberg, the former salesman who created the EST course]; many people feel negatively about him, but I enjoyed him enormously. The whole system he set up felt like a hard-sell American organization but if you didn’t have a year to spend in an ashram yet still wanted to shake up your life a bit, you could go for a couple of weekends and get severely challenged.

“It taught me all sorts of things, of which one was to be responsible for your life and who you are—don’t blame others, don’t be a victim. I’d been doing that. The analogy is of a boat in dangerous water: would you rather be in the hold bitching about the captain or standing at the helm with the power to change direction? you can only get to that position if you’re prepared to take responsibility. It’s very logical but very hard sometimes—I can’t always stay in that place but I know life works better when you’re there.

“The other thing is to be authentic about who you are, how you feel, and what’s going on…It’s about being real. We spend so much of our lives not actually being who we are but who we imagine we ought to be.”

From an Interview with Peter Gabriel in MOJO, April 2010

You Don’t Alter What You Know, You Alter the Way You Know It:

“You Don’t Alter What You Know, You Alter the Way You Know It: A Conversation with Werner Erhard about The est Training, Philosophy, ‘Enlightenment,’ Authoritarianism and Legitimate Authority, Arrogance, Leadership and Vision”, The Network Review, Northeast Edition, Volume 1, Number 4, September 1983.

Werner Erhard and 17 members of the seminar met in April 1981 to discuss some of the distinctions between authoritarianism and legitimate authority. The conversation covered other topics as well, and the seminar leader, Dick Anthony, later commented that it was “one of the important turning points in our meetings.” An edited transcript of the interview is scheduled to appear in a book, Spiritual Standards for New Age Groups and Therapies. While The est Training is not a therapy or a religion, the conversation between Werner Erhard and members of the seminar clearly applies to the issues raised by the book, and to everyday living.   Read the entire interview at Werner Erhard‘s Website

Celebrating Your Relationships (Part 1)

werner-erhard-youngfrom the September 1978 Graduate Review

During a day-long conversation with graduates in 1978, Werner Erhard said: “In Making Relationships Work I, II, and III, people had to really work. The processes, for in­stance, were quite long and required a lot of con­centration and intention.

“There is not much work to be done here,” Werner said. “This is about celebrating the miraculous, the magical, the unreasonable, things about which you can’t do anything anyway.

“This is not about doing. It is about being. This is not about the world in which explanation occurs. It is about the world in which creation occurs.

“This course is not, strictly speaking, what we’ve come to call in est an ‘experience.’ What we’re up to here is contextual rather than experiential. It is about that from which experience comes. It is about lighting the fire, not about warming yourself at it.”

Pleasure as an expression of love

…… Ordinarily I would prefer to keep myself as a persona out of this, to deliver the material and stay out of the way. For this course, I want to shift that. I want to make something available to you out of my experience. So I want this course to be about you and me as much as we can make it that way…. You and I are going to be lovers.

“Being lovers has nothing to do with one’s mas­culinity or femininity. It’s much more fundamental than that. What we’re talking about is not the lover as man or woman, it’s the lover that is the basis of man and woman.”

For this course, Werner said, leave behind what­ever ideas about your relationships you brought with you. You might have some relationships that are not working, or you might have some you con­sider perfect; you might want to fix some up and keep others as they are. Let all of that go. Open yourself to the unknown.

“When you allow yourself to let go completely, as if you’re falling back freely into what I call a great blue void—it could be something else for you—and you surrender into the experience, you might won­der where you’re going to land. It’s frightening to let go, to fall out of this reality and fall back into the mysterious.

“I want to tell you that when you stop holding on, when you allow yourself to be in the experience now, when you stop checking it all out, when you surrender and fall back, where you always land is right here. But suddenly, when you’ve arrived here by letting go into your experience, ‘here’ is a brand-new, sparkling, and brilliant place….

“This is about the realization of ecstasy, of joy, of pleasure—but not pleasure in the way we ordi­narily hold it, in which we find we’re a little reluc­tant and a little bit guilty about the expression of pleasure. We’re talking not about pleasure as a measure of gratification but pleasure as an ex­pression of love, pleasure as ecstasy. An incom­parable pleasure.

“Ecstasy isn’t what we often think it is, either. The ecstasy I’m talking about is a loss of persona, a loss of personality, in which you realize some­thing more profound, more magnificent, than that which you’ve been calling your self.

“One falls back into and realizes one’s true self. That ecstatic experience is the loss of one’s self as a position.”

(excerpt courtesy of

Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard appeared on the cover of the Family Therapy Networker Magazine.

Werner Erhard on the Cover of The Family networker Magazine