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Integrity is a Mountain with No Top - 6 day.jpg

“My experience of est was that it helped the participants to get more in touch with feelings and emotions and helped them let go of those that were negatively affecting their lives.  It led participants to realize experientially our true freedom and responsibility.  Strengthening and vitalizing the humanity of the participant, EST opened the space for a greater penetration of grace and more vigorous faith life”

~ Father Basil Pennington O.C.S.O.,  Monk of Cistercian Order, Roman Catholic Church, world renowned spiritual teacher and author of several books

WERNER ERHARD: “I’ve had the opportunity and the privilege to count some great men and women among my friends. They all have the same problem: they cannot get their students to be masters as they are—even students with all the intellectual equipment you can imagine. I tell them that the reason they can’t turn their students into masters is that they are fibbing to themselves about the source of their own mastery. They attribute their own mastery to everything other than its actual source: creation. Creating and Being exist in the same domain. And there is a discipline to Being, to creation. The domain of Being has its own rigor; Being is approachable, it is masterable; it’s not nebulous.

“Imagine someone who wants to be a great manager. In the normal course of events, such a man or woman would start off by, let’s say, studying management—perhaps in school, in books, or as an apprentice. Eventually, he or she would collect all the things that great managers have—degrees, credentials, diplomas, great track records, and great biographies. Then, at that point, we say, “Well, Mr. or Ms. X is a great manager!” Later, we send our children to the same schools so that they can become great managers too.

“Except, most of the children who go to those schools never do become great managers. And we explain that failure on the basis of genes, environment, intelligence, opportunity, and the like. It never occurs to us that our template for becoming a great manager, or, more accurately, for becoming a great anything, is backwards. Never do we consider that what makes a great manager is NOT the school, books, or education, but simply BEING a great manager.

“Now, I know that statement looks absurd at first, but it’s a very interesting possibility. If you discipline yourself to look for what’s present, for what is occurring in the moment, then you can ask yourself, “When someone is being a great manager, what is present?” What’s present (and all that is present, really) is being a great manager. What produces greatness, at the moment when greatness shows up, is being great, period. All the credentials follow from that, not the reverse.

“Most people to whom I talk think, “Hey, great! That means I don’t have to go to college!” That’s not what it means. All the learning, apprenticing, practicing, and thinking are still necessary. My point is not that those practices aren’t necessary; my point is that when greatness does show up, none of those practices is the source of it. They do provide the conditions for it, but none are the source of the greatness itself. The source is, very simply, Being great. The question we are concerned with in our work is, how does one master this domain of Being?

“So, I apologize for a very long answer to a very short question, but it hit right at the heart of our work—that of exploring, investigating, and making available what it means to be anything.”

An Interview with Werner Erhard, by Norman Bodek; ReVision: The Journal of Consciousness and Change, Vol 7, No. 2, Winter 1984 / Spring 1985

wepe22-by nick dewolf 1980

Since we have been raised and educated in a you or me world, and since very few of us have noticed the shift to you and me, we are going to have to work out the rules for living on our own.  We won’t get much help.  Werner did share his own perceptions of some of the other new rules, or operating principles, for the you and me context.

1. 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.

2. Consider life a privilege – all of it, even the parts that are difficult or seem a waste of time.

3. Give up the islands that reinforce mediocrity, the safe places where we gossip and complain to one another, where we are petty.

4. Take a chance.  Be willing to put your reputation on the line; have something at stake.

5. Work for satisfaction rather than for credit.

6. Keep 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 keeping your word, making what you say count.

 

From the Friends of Werner Erhard Website

We live in interesting times. Each day brings us fresh news of breakthroughs, innovations, and discoveries, along with bold new models and paradigms for their comprehension. Humanity seems intent on articulating a new paradigm of human nature which will at long last render health and well being universally possible.

So earnest is this search for new paradigms of human well being that there are an abundance of them, whose very number have now become problematic. We seek not only new ways to be well, but new ways to seek new ways to be well.

Currently, for example, there is much interest in the paradigms of the East. These, it is hoped, when somehow combined with those of the West, will more deeply heal us. Many hope that a shift away from the Western paradigm, toward the Eastern paradigm, will at last put us on the road to lasting well-being.

There is, in addition, a growing enthusiasm that our current explorations will not merely combine new knowledge with old, but will occasion a paradigm shift in the definition of human health and well being.

The search is on for a profoundly new kind of inquiry, which will enable us this time to see not only where we have been, where we are, and where we are going, but more essentially, will empower us from now on to be who we are while we journey onward.

The authors gladly acknowledge their fraternity with those who seek to articulate a paradigm which no longer locates well being beyond our human reach. Precisely what is wanted is a paradigm which locates well being within our nature. Not only is a shift toward such a paradigm currently underway: what the shift reveals is clearly sound and fundamentally important.

Yet, paradigms have shifted before. In fact, it is their nature to shift, each eventually giving way to its successor as inevitably as the waves of the sea. So the issue in our time is not whether a paradigm shift is underway, but whether we can discover the principles underlying any paradigm shift which will enable us from now on to experience our full humanity during the shift not, as ever before, in the hope that true well being will come after the next shift has been accomplished.

What is wanted and needed during an era of multiple paradigm shifts is not yet another paradigm shift, but the ability to shift paradigms confidently, ably, powerfully, i.e., paradigm mastery. The purpose of this essay is precisely to articulate the principles by which such mastery is occasioned.

We will ourselves neither promote a new paradigm, nor defend those useful in the past, nor justify or rationalize current paradigm shifts. Our aim is to assist, enable, and empower all those participating in the shift of fundamental notions of human well being, so that their work may draw on a mastery of paradigm shifts.

Our purpose then is the articulation of the principles by which paradigms are generated—what might be called the “paradigm of paradigms”: that set of principles, access to which serves as the source of the power and the ability to cause a shift from one paradigm to another.   Read More

– Werner Erhard, Victor Gioscia, and Ken Anbender, Being Well

“Sometime around now – it may have happened five years ago or fifty years ago – but sometime around now, the rules for living successfully on this planet shifted.  We can no longer hope to live meaningful, purposeful lives using the rules of a you or me world.  It’s becoming clearer and clearer to those who will look that in order to live successfully on this planet, we must discover and live by the rules of you and me.” – Werner Erhard