Archive for the ‘Werner Erhard’ Tag
Social paradigms dictate our behavior and collective values. In the 1950s, the rule was “throw it anywhere, it will go away,” and smokestacks billowing black smoke were a proud symbol of productivity…
While we are in a paradigm, we take its rules and boundaries for granted. It is what we call “reality.” Like eyeglasses with colored lenses, our paradigm colors whatever we perceive. “Most of our notions about the world come from a set of assumptions which we take for granted, and which, for the most part, we don’t examine or question,” says Werner Erhard. “We bring these assumptions to the table with us as a given. They are so much a part of who we are that it is difficult for us to separate ourselves from them enough to be able to talk about them. We do not think these assumptions, we think from them.”
Expressions such as “that’s impossible,” or “that’s not the way we do it around here” speak to the existence of paradigms, or belief systems, that are operating, unseen, in the background. Like water to a fish, they are not recognized by us as our paradigms. Yet, they influence what we think – and even what we see.
Once we recognize that our paradigms are an invisible structure through which we think, the next step is to understand the degree to which they determine what we see and experience. Their influence is far more powerful than we may realize.
Thomas Khun, who in 1962 wrote a seminal book on scientific paradigms called The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, points to an experiment that illustrates the paradigm effect. In the experiment, originally reported in 1949, people were briefly shown a deck of playing cards in which some cards had red spades instead of black. The subjects literally saw the red spades as black, because that’s what they expected. Once the anomaly was pointed out, the subjects had no trouble spotting the red spades. The experiment and others like it led Khun to the conviction that our paradigms act as filters on reality. We never see the world directly; we always see it through these paradigms filters. We never see the world in its entirety; we only see pieces. And our mental frameworks naturally bias us toward only seeing that part of the world that supports our paradigms.
“Our paradigms determine the way the world ‘shows up’ for us,” Says Erhard, “and that allows for only certain possibilities. Our paradigms determine our worldview, the way we perceive things, what we perceive, what we can see as possible, what we can’t see as possible and what we can’t see at all. Ultimately, they limit our strategies and our actions.”
The secret of paradigms is that, with them, we construct our own reality. As Thomas Khun said in 1962: “When paradigms change, the world itself changes with them.”
It’s a revolutionary thought, and it is the most important thing to know about paradigms.
How reality occurs – or “shows up” – for people is not determined by what’s there to be seen, but by how we are seeing it.
Erhard says that instead of waiting for a new paradigm to become apparent, we can create and invent futures that “were not going to happen anyway.” He points out that when a breakthrough is needed, what is often called for is the development of a new paradigm.
“Changing the paradigm does not negate the need for realistic, hard-headed thinking,” he says. “In ‘business as usual,’ we get clear about the situation to determine what we can do and what we can’t. But to produce a breakthrough, you have to stand the usual approach on its head.”
The process begins with inventing a new possibility, without regard to whether you know what to do to realize it. You then look back at the situation from the standpoint of that new possibility.
“That is what gives you the new perspective and what allows you to see the situation in a way you haven’t seen it before,” says Erhard. “That is the beginning of generating a new paradigm. Breakthroughs are a product of seeing something in a new way, which enables you to see new opportunities and new openings for action that you couldn’t see before. Breakthroughs come as a result of shifting your commitment from the predictable future to a possible future.”
In so doing, we will – literally – change the world that there is for us to see.
- excerpted from Breaking Out of the Box -A Crash Course in Paradigm Thinking, by Debra Feinstein.
The Purpose of The Erhard Jensen Ontological / Phenomenological Initiative is to:
Stimulate and support research into the development and application of the ontological / phenomenological laws of human nature and human behavior to the lives of individuals and human entities to reliably and significantly elevate human performance and quality of life. This includes all areas of living across the entire spectrum of human activity, for example:
- Individuals, families and groups
- Public and private organizations such as partnerships, corporations, non-profit and educational entities
- Public agencies and governmental entities
- Bring the ontological / phenomenological model and methodology utilized in this leadership course to education — including research, course development, and teaching.
Stimulate and support research into the study and teaching of the ontological /phenomenological laws of human nature and human behavior, and the impact of these laws on life, living, and self.
For more information see http://www.erhardjensen.org
(Content Curated from the Werner Erhard Biography Website)
Werner Erhard is the originator of unique models of transformational learning that has helped shaped human consciousness in the last quarter of the 20th century. One of the great thinkers of the modern era, he has impacted, for decades, the areas of individual and organizational effectiveness throughout the world. The website “Werner Erhard Information” has gathered extensive links to where Werner Erhard’s work has impacted people’s lives. Ranging from scholarly publications at Harvard University to his contributions in the field of coaching and humanitarian projects created, his work continues to affect the trajectory of human history.
Did you know that there is a website for est graduates to connect and share what they got from the est Training? Here is what it says at http://erhardseminarstraining.com:
“A reunion for you and all the people who dared to create a new possibility for themselves and their lives. It is now the 21st Century and there is much talk of possibility and transformational leadership – but where did this all start? In 1971, in a hotel ballroom in San Francisco over 35 years ago, transformation burst onto the national stage.
Werner Erhard and the est Training brought to the forefront the ideas of transformation, personal responsibility, accountability, and possibility – and over the next decade, over a million people “Got it”. The est Training was as much a sign of the times as bell bottoms, peace rallies and space travel.
Over the years, more than two million people from all walks of life participated in est or the programs that grew out of Erhard Seminars Training. Professionals and leaders from government, business and health industries, as well as people in the fields of arts and entertainment actively participated in the programs of est. Enjoy the essence of what est created and the impact it has made on society through the archives, video and vivid shares on this site. Stand up and acknowledge how you have made a difference in this world out of having participated in the est Training. Celebrate in this tribute to the est Training, Werner Erhard and you.”
What about you? What did you create for your life out of having done the est Training? And what of those lessons learned can we bring forth today that might make a difference to how the world is going?
Werner Erhard and Professor Jonathan D. Moreno discuss Werner’s ideas, the est Training, and more at the University of Pennsylvania in April 2016 where the film Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard was featured in their First Annual Bioethics Film Festival. Watch the full discussion between Werner Erhard and Jonathan D. Moreno:
“For several years before his latest professional reincarnation, Mr. Erhard consulted for businesses and government agencies like the Russian adult-education program the Znaniye Society and a nonprofit organization supporting clergy in Ireland.
Enter the Harvard economist Michael Jensen. Dr. Jensen, who is famous in financial circles for championing the concepts of shareholder value and executive stock options, had taken a Landmark course in Boston at the suggestion of his daughter, who mended a rocky relationship with Dr. Jensen after taking the course herself.
“I became convinced we should work to get this kind of transformational material into the academies,” he said, adding that he considers Mr. Erhard “one of the great intellectuals of the century.”
Interview in The New York Times, November 29, 2015: “He had traveled with his Dutch-born third wife, Gonneke Spits, from Toronto to see friends, do a little business and visit his favorite chiropractor and tailor. He was also in the city to meet with a reporter — virtually the only press he has done in more than two decades.”
“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.”
The est Standard Training, Werner Erhard and Victor Gioscia, San Francisco, Calif.
Published in Biosciences Communication 3:104-122, 1977
“Maybe life is not about the self but about self-transcendence! You got a problem with that?”
No one in the room had a problem with that. The desks were occupied by 27 name-tagged academics from around the world. And in the course of the day, a number of them would take the mike to pose what their instructor referred to as “yeah buts, how ’bouts or what ifs” in response to his pronouncements — but no one had a problem with them.
In some ways, the three-day workshop, “Creating Class Leaders,” recalled an EST training session. As with that cultural touchstone of the 1970s, there was “sharing” and applause. There were confrontations and hugs. Gnomic declarations hovered in the air like mist: “We need to distinguish distinction”; “There’s no seeing, there’s only the seer”; “There isn’t any is.”
But the event was much more civilized than EST. There were bathroom breaks. No one was called an expletive by the teacher.
This is significant because the teacher was none other than the creator of EST, Werner Erhard.
“Fundamentally, the est training is an occasion in which participants have an experience, uniquely their own, in a situation which enables and encourages them to do that fully and responsibly. I am suggesting that the best way to learn about est is to look into yourself, because whatever est is about is in your self. There are some who think that I have discovered something that other people ought to know. That is not so. What I have discovered is that people know things that they do not know that they know, the knowing of which can nurture them and satisfy them and allow them to experience an expanded sense of aliveness in their lives. The training is an occasion for them to have that experience – to get in touch with what they actually already know but are not really aware of.
“The training is about the experience of love, the ability to love and the ability to experience being loved, not the concept or story of it – and it is about the experience of happiness, and the ability to be happy and share happiness, not the concept, story or symbols of it. In short, the training is about who we are, not what we do, or what we have, or what we do not do or do not have. It is about the self as the self, not merely the story or symbols of self.” – From The est Standard Training, by Werner Erhard and Victor Gioscia, 1977
Werner Erhard ha creado modelos y aplicaciones transformacionales para individuos y organizaciones durante más de 40 años. Werner Erhard es considerado un importante pensador en grupos académicos y corporativos y actualmente se ocupa de un examen y presentación rigurosa de sus ideas. Como creador de modelos, provee nuevos paradigmas a pensadores y practicantes en campos tan diversos como la filosofía, la administración, la educación, la psicoterapia, el desarrollo en el tercer mundo, la medicina, la resolución de conflictos y la creación de comunidades. Werner Erhard ha disertado en universidades y escuelas como la Harvard University, La Universidad de Rochester, Erasmus Academie, Universidad del Sur de California, y la Escuela de Administración Sloan de MIT.