Groundbreaking ideas are introduced to a new generation of thinkers via the bestselling book, Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human. Erhard’s transformational ontological work and Heidegger’s philosophical work are brought together for the first time.

Through a comparative side-by-side display and analysis of a transcript of Erhard’s Forum, with his ideas and methodology, combined with Heidegger’s philosophical ideas, the authors make the power of Erhard’s ontological rhetoric and Heidegger’s often difficult-for-the-layman ideas available to a wide range of audiences. It brings to life complex yet important new ideas for scholars at work within a variety of academic disciplines, and provides an entry to anyone interested in the possibility of and the access to being for human beings.

In the nearly 20 years of its operation, the Werner Erhard Foundation granted approximately $4 million for research, scholarly endeavors, and voluntary action. It was the foundation’s privilege to support more than 300 outstanding individuals and organizations from a variety of disciplines. Working in many diverse fields and surroundings, these recipients made a profound contribution to human thinking, growth, and achievement.

Follow the ideas of Werner Erhard through time in this compilation of his work and ideas.  The timeline illustrates the development of Werner Erhard’s work, for personal, business and academic communities, including notable expressions and acknowledgements, from the inception of Erhard‘s models for transformation made widely available in 1971 through to the present.

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

“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?”

“Heroes are ordinary people who call on themselves to reach beyond themselves, ordinary men and women who dare to be related to possibilities bigger than themselves” – Werner Erhard

“Every human being’s deepest, most natural expression is the desire to make a difference in life, of wanting to matter. We can choose to make the success of all humanity our personal business. We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family, to make our love for each other and for the world what our lives are really about.” ~Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard

“Let’s take a look at the nature of now. What I’ve noticed with the people I’ve interacted with is that everyone who truly experiences right here, right now, actually sees that it’s all perfect exactly the way it is. When I am being myself, nothing more and nothing less – when I am doing exactly what I am doing – when I am allowing what is so around me to be exactly like it is – when I am being right here instead of where I am going – when I am observing it all just as it is without adding any judgments or evaluations or comparing it, then I observe that it is perfect.” Werner Erhard

WernerErhard “Breakthroughs are created by heroes, by people who will take a stand for the result while it is still only a possibility, people willing to create the path to the result in action. They are willing to see and act on a possibility beyond what is predictable, beyond what the circumstances and rationalizations would allow. Heroes are ordinary people who call on themselves to reach beyond themselves, ordinary men and women who dare to be related to possibilities bigger than themselves” – Werner Erhard

After more than 40 years many of Werner Erhard’s ideas, as well as the many people who have built something from Werner Erhard’s notion of transformation, have become a part of society’s thinking and culture across the globe. Explore the evolution of Werner Erhard’s ideas and the development of his body of work.

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Here’s one of the things that helps me lot – it’s all made up anyhow. It’s interpretation all the way down. So, I’ve got to own what’s there, as belonging to me, and then I don’t have to be at the effect of it, because it belongs to me, I’m the guy that made it up. I created that conversation for me to live, if I own it, make it my own, I can let it be. Now here’s the big secret; anything you can let be, let’s you be. So if I can let my own stupidity, and ignorance and smallness – if I can let it be, it let’s be me, and leaves me free to be and free to act.

~ Werner Erhard, Conversations on Compassion

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Follow the ideas of Werner Erhard through time in this compilation of his work and ideas.  The timeline illustrates the development of Werner Erhard’s work, for personal, business and academic communities, including notable expressions and acknowledgements, from the inception of Erhard‘s models for transformation made widely available in 1971 through to the present.

 

“Educational research confirms that without a significant intervention, students who become teachers are likely to replicate the pedagogical approaches their teachers used with them. Practicing Erhard’s approach to ontological inquiry provides such an intervention. It equips students, teachers, academics of any field to critically examine their dispositions and access more effective ways of being and acting.”

-Carolyne J. White, Professor of Social Foundations, Department of Urban Education, Rutgers University Newark

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“Think of the circle I have drawn here as containing all knowledge. The circle is divided into three sections. The first section of all knowledge is called, “What I know that I know.” We all know what to do with what we know that we know – we put it to use. The next section of all knowledge is called, “What I know that I don’t know.” Again, we all know what to do with what we know that we don’t know – we learn. Finally, there is this vast remaining section of all knowledge called, “What I don’t know that I don’t know.” What to do about what we don’t know that we don’t know is something of a dilemma. And, what we don’t know that we don’t know about human beings is an important question when it comes to individual and social transformation…  Werner Erhard on Breakthroughs in Individual and Social Transformation

“In Speaking Being the reader discovers two original thinkers—Werner Erhard and Martin Heidegger—two intellects who independently reached linguistic, ontological, and phenomenological philosophies that illuminate each other. Authors Hyde and Kopp accomplish the formidable task of masterfully presenting Erhard and Heidegger side by side in a readable, lively, and illuminating text. There is nothing quite like it!”

~Jeronima (Jeri) Echeverria, Professor of History and Provost Emerita, California State University at Fresno, former Executive Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the California State University System

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?

About the new book, Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human, professor James R. Doty writes: “The profound impact of Werner Erhard’s work on culture and society is a manifestation of an incredible insight, the experience of being, presented in this book through a comparative analysis of a transcript of a 1989 Forum led by Erhard alongside Heidegger’s reflections on the meaning of “being there.” The authors have drawn amazing parallels between these two extraordinary thinkers and have demonstrated the intersections of Heidegger’s language with Erhard’s ontological rhetoric of transformation. Erhard has at times described aspects of his method as ruthless compassion, and like all forms of compassion, evident here is a fundamental motivating desire to alleviate the suffering of others.”

James R. Doty, MD is the Founder & Director of The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine.  He is also the Senior Editor of the Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science

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…

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

“Erhard’s influence extends far beyond the couple of million people
who have done his courses: there is hardly a self-help book or a management training programme that does not borrow
some of his principles.”
Financial Times

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