Werner Erhard, the founder of the est Training, is the source of the concept (he would call it a “context”) of “a world that works for everyone” and of many other abstractions that have worked their way into our language.
One of these is “making a difference” and there isn’t a greater difference we can make than creating the world Werner envisioned.
I’d like to examine that context briefly here because the Reval is nearing and, after it occurs, we’ll be collectively starting the work that Werner envisioned more than thirty years ago, building Nova Earth, a world that works for everyone.
Werner held that our deepest urge was to make a difference in our world. His words have stayed with me since he spoke them back in the 70s.
“You and I want our lives to matter. We want our lives to make a real difference – to be of genuine consequence in the world. We know that there is no satisfaction in merely going through the motions, even if those motions make us successful or even if we have arranged to make those motions pleasant.
“We want to know we have had some impact on the world. In fact, you and I want to contribute to the quality of life. We want to make the world work.” (1)
I watched by a satellite hook-up the event called “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” and was bitten so badly with the desire to participate in the creation of such a world that it remains a driving force in my life today, even without the events that we’re all following.
A world that works is what Werner would have called “an idea whose time has come.” Nothing is so powerful, he said, quoting Victor Hugo, as an idea whose time has come. And has Nova Earth not come? He was decades ahead of his time.
Werner’s workshops turned on the notion of making a difference. One workshop leader once went so far as to say “all of est comes out of the abstraction ‘making a difference.’” (2) Werner expanded:
“The context of est is impact, or making a difference. … It is possible to do things in life that are pleasurable and gratifying, that feel good, and that when you’re done with them – although you’re very excited about what you did – don’t really make a difference in your life. …
“What has allowed people to support est is that it has actually made an impact on their lives.” (3)
He identifies what holds us back:
“Every human being’s deepest, most natural expression is the desire to make a difference in life, yet our lives give us little indication that we matter.
“We want to live meaningful, purposeful lives, yet all our attempts to do so fail because we live in a condition that says we don’t make any difference.” (4)
His workshop leaders returned to the theme on many occasions.
“Notice that you deal with your participation in the [est] Training as you deal with it around everything else – as if your participation doesn’t matter.” (5)
“Everything about your system is there to keep you thinking that you don’t make a difference, to defend you from getting your magnificence.” (6)
“As I look into people’s lives, I see that they are living their lives out of ‘I don’t count’.” (7)
Sound familiar to those who listen to the Company of Heaven today? Nowadays we call it a lack of self-worth and our sources say it’s probably the deepest problem on the planet. Here is Jesus on the subject: “It always comes back to this situation of self-loathing or self-worth, the lack of self-worth.” (8)
Holding that we can make a difference was unthinkable in the world as it was in Werner’s early days.
“That you make a difference, that the rules for living successfully are now based on you and me, that we can live in a context of the world working for everyone, is literally unthinkable.
“It is beyond our present paradigm, outside the scope and limits of the condition in which we have lived. You have to dare to think the unthinkable, dare to do more than dream, dare to be the architect of your own world.” (9)
So what can we do? His advice is especially pertinent to us who will soon benefit from the Reval:
“What can you do? Decide on a project for which you are willing to take complete responsibility. Complete the project successfully. Relate this achievement to others as an inspiration to them. … You can make the difference.” (10)
Werner had such presence and courage. I’d never heard anyone suggest that we could take responsibility for the whole human population. I cried when he spoke these words. I still cry today when I read them.
“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 be what our lives are really about. Each of us now 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. You have the power to fire the shot heard ‘round the world.” (11)
At the same time that he was raising our sights to take in the whole world, he was also implanting in us the idea that we could do it, that we could make a difference.
“Thank you for having the courage, audacity, and heart to create as the context for your life that people – you – make a difference.” (12)
So when the bell rings and the Global Currency Reset is announced, after you go on that vacation, come back. Regroup. It’ll be time to apply ourselves to the unworkability in the world and turn this planet into Heaven on Earth, the Garden of Eden, a world that works for everyone.
The research for this article comes from the “est Dictionary,” which can be found here: http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/the-path-of-awareness/est-dictionary/. Given that Werner’s views are so relevant to the work we’re doing today, I’ll be writing more about them.
(1) Werner Erhard, The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time has Come. San Francisco: The Hunger Project, n.d., 3.
(2) Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.
(3) Werner Erhard in Judy Oringer, “Transforming the Beingsphere,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1978, 4.
(4) Werner Erhard in poster for A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone, Spring 1980.
(5) Randy McNamara, est Trainer, Jan. 11, 1981.
(6) Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.
(7) Joan Bordow, “Voting,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980.
(8) Jesus on An Hour with an Angel, January 9, 2012, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/01/transcript-of-an-hour-with-an-angel-with-jesus-jan-9-2012/.
(9) Werner Erhard in poster for A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone, Spring 1980.
(10) Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, February 1979, 7.
(11) Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, February 1980.
(12) Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, April 1980