“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

looks like a book

“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

“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

“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

“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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“I am a sort of revolutionary.  I have a strange ambition, though.  I don’t want any statues. What I want is for the world to work.  I want to create a context in which government, education, and families are nurturing.  I want to enable, to empower, the institutions of man.  Social transformation doesn’t argue against social change.  Radicalism and resistance produce obvious values.  But after a while, social change chases its own tail.  Social change just produces social change.  After most ordinary revolutions, after most social change, the world still doesn’t work. For the world to work you must have social transformation, which creates the space for effective social change.”

Werner Erhard, from Werner Erhard, The Transformation of a Man, a biography by W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D.,

“Happiness is almost not worth talking about because the instant you turn happiness into a goal it isn’t attainable any more. In other words, happiness isn’t something you can work towards. It isn’t something you can put someplace and overcome barriers to get to and so it makes a kind of difficult subject to talk about.

The thing which I think needs to be talked about is at the other end of the spectrum, the barriers to realizing happiness. The barriers to realizing happiness are a lot of very unhappy things. And they are the things which almost nobody talks about because very few of us are willing to confront those things…

People get the idea that enlightened beings never have bad days. If you’ve got that idea, you’ve got a false standard against which to measure the quality of your life. One of the things that can keep you from happiness, very assuredly, is false standards. If you’ve built up a set of notions about someplace that you ought to be, that it isn’t possible to be, simply because it isn’t real, then you can only be there by concept. That’s a way of making sure that you’re unhappy.” ~ Werner Erhard

In Speaking Being the reader discovers two original thinkers – Werner Erhard and Martin Heidegger – two intellects who independently reached similar linguistic, ontological, and phenomenological philosophies that illuminate each other.  Authors Hyde and Kopp accomplish this formidable task by 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

Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human, Wiley 2019

“The profound impact that Werner Erhard has had, and continues to have, on culture and society is a manifestation of an incredible insight that Erhard has been making available to the public for decades: the experience of being. This book (Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human) presents that experience for the first time–both through a transcript of an actual course led by Erhard, along with a study of his methodology for delivering that experience. On display are spectacular moments where Erhard exercises what he has sometimes described as ruthless compassion, and like all forms of compassion, at work is a fundamental motivating desire to alleviate the suffering of others.”   James R. Doty, M.D.Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University:

An innovative exploration of Heidegger’s language intersecting with Erhard’s ontological thought

looks like a book

Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a Technology of Transformation is a fascinating investigation of ontological questions of spoken communication. This unique work integrates two distinct features into one volume: a complete transcript of Werner Erhard’s 1989 Landmark Forum course lectures on Martin Heidegger’s concepts of the speech of Being and an extended discussion of Heideggerian points of intersection with the transcribed dialogue. Offering a comprehensive approach to the subject matter, this text presents a series of “Sidebar” discussions that occur alongside conversations between Forum participants and Erhard to provide clarity and context. Lengthier “Intervals” include in-depth examination of the central theme of the manuscript while providing wider perspective to surrounding regions of philosophical thought.

Martin Heidegger is widely considered to be one of the most original and influential figures of 20th century philosophy. His thoughts on the question of Being continue to elicit contemporary investigation. Through Werner Erhard’s discussions, this insightful text seeks to reveal what it means to speak the unsayable and evoke Being. This intriguing and highly engaging work allows readers to:

  • Read the complete transcript to Werner Erhard’s four-day course
  • Gain unique insight on Heideggerian concepts through in-depth discussion and analysis
  • Understand key discussion points with sidebar commentary
  • Explore central themes presented by leading scholars and educators in the fields of rhetorical pedagogy and ontology

Speaking Being offers a fascinating glimpse into Werner Erhard’s professional and personal development program, demonstrating its ontological and phenomenological approach to Heidegger’s concepts of Being. This innovative book will appeal to followers of philosophical thought and encourage further investigation of this stimulating field.

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

Werner Erhard and Gonneke Spits

You and me world

“I am a sort of revolutionary.  I have a strange ambition, though.  I don’t want any statues. What I want is for the world to work.  I want to create a context in which government, education, and families are nurturing.  I want to enable, to empower, the institutions of man.  Social transformation doesn’t argue against social change.  Radicalism and resistance produce obvious values.  But after a while, social change chases its own tail.  Social change just produces social change.  After most ordinary revolutions, after most social change, the world still doesn’t work. For the world to work you must have social transformation, which creates the space for effective social change.”

Werner Erhard, from Werner Erhard, The Transformation of a Man, a biography by W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D., Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1973

“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

“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. (For right now, – not that it should stay that way.) A thing is perfect when it is the way it is – when it is itself. To take away or add to that would produce a flaw. Therefore it is all perfect because, in terms of experiencing, that is to say, living, what is so right now is what is so right now. Truly, that is the whole realization. There is nothing startling about that. What is, is and what isn’t, isn’t. So what! – That’s precisely what people say when they find out. Enthusiastically – So What! There’s an enormous freedom in experiencing that. When you can really observe and experience that, it transforms your ability to experience living.”

~Werner Erhard: 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.

Actually, it is possible to open up the space for people to transcend life, to transcend these things that get in the way of being here now, so that they can experience being here now for themselves.

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