Archive for the ‘Werner Erhardt’ Tag


“We can discover another possibility: living in a way, now, moment to moment, that makes a difference to life. We discover that as human beings we can live in a possibility instead of in what we have inherited, that instead of just being a human being because we were born that way, we can declare the possibility of being for human beings. This is the work of transformation: bringing forth a breakthrough in the possibility of being human.

“We could say that what happens is a shift in what orients your life.  Ordinarily, what orients our lives is the attempt to reach satisfaction. It might be at a very low level an attempt to get food or water.  At a little bit higher level it might be an attempt to be safe.  But, at any rate, we could say that what orients our lives is the attempt to get satisfied, to be satisfied.  What happens in the est training is that that gets turned 180 degrees around and your life is no longer about attempting to gain satisfaction.  It’s no longer about attempting to prove that you’re all right.  It’s no longer an attempt to prove that you’re satisfied.  What happens in the training is that there’s a 180-degree shift to the experience of being satisfied, and now life, instead of being an expression of the struggle to get satisfied, is an expression of satisfaction experienced.  You now begin to have what you do orienting around the expression of satisfaction instead of the attempt to get satisfied.  And we could say that’s what transformation was.” Werner Erhard 1982 

Life, Living and Winning the Game

Living is really pretty simple. Living happens right now; it doesn’t happen back then, and it doesn’t happen out there. Living is not the story of your life. Living is the process of experiencing right now.

Thinking about right now, figuring it out, perceiving it, arguing, reading about or believing anything about right now – none of these produce any certainty about living.

When you get beyond the symbols and beliefs about now, beyond thinking about it, beyond efforting or working at it, when you get even beyond merely feeling it, when you get all the way up to observing it, being with it, and finally up to totally experiencing it, the uncertainty about living goes away, because you know the truth in the only way in which a being ever knows the truth – by direct experience. — Read the entire transcription of this talk given by Werner Erhard in 1973 at

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