Building Nova Earth: Toward A World That Works for Everyone

est Dictionary

Table of Contents

Above the Line between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness
Acceptance/Allowing Things to Be
Accidents
Acknowledgment
Act – See Pretense
Actions – There are things that need to be done
Adult
Agreement – See also Groundrules, Alignment vs. Agreement
Alignment vs. Agreement
Aliveness
Allowing Things to Be – See Acceptance/Allowing Things to Be
At Cause, Source
At Effect
Awareness
Barriers
Be Here Now Series
Be Yourself/Be the Way You Are – See also Acceptance/Allowing Things to Be
Beliefs – See also Concepts, Context
The Body Series
Bombay Centre
Breakdown
Breakthrough
Breakthrough Racing
Case, Your
Certainty – See Above the Line between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty, Levels of Experience
Challenge – See Playing Safe, Goals
Change – See Transformation – Change and transformation
Choice – See At Cause, Source
Causes
Commands
Commitment
Communication
Communication – Completion – See Completion
Communication – Communication at the level of context
Communication – Intention
Communication – What’s invited and what’s not
Communication – Recreation – See also Records – Recreation is the mechanism that makes the record disappear
Communication – Communication Workshop
Communication – Communication for Action
Community
Completion
Completion – Nothing is ever over
Completion – Homework
Conditions – They are our ground of being, our unconscious, unexamined system of beliefs
Conditions – The condition in which we live our lives
Conditions – Our first assumption: Scarcity
Conditions – Our second assumption: Inevitability
Conditions – Our third assumption: No solutions
Conditions – Recognizing them, we can just be with the problem
Concepts – Coming from concepts
Conned, Fear of Being
Context – Definition – See also Beliefs, Concepts
Context – Created from the Self, out of nothing
Context – Context vs. Content
Context – Context vs. Condition
Context – Context vs. Position
Context – Context vs. Belief
Context – We turn Context into Rules
Context – Alignment vs. Agreement
Context – Context and Personal Responsibility
Context – Alignment vs. Agreement
Context – Context is Created by Self from Nothing
Context – The Power of Context
Context – Context Generates Process
Context – The Self Creates Context from Nothing
Context – Recontextualization and Transformation
Context – Context as an Idea Whose Time has Come
Context – The Context of Community
Context – The Context of Workability
Context – The Context of Making a Difference
Context – The Civil Rights Movement as an Example of the Power of Context
Context – Putting a Man on the Moon as an Example of the Power of Context
Context – The Hunger Project as an Example of the Power of Context
Context – The Context of est
Co-opt your critics
Create Space for Others – See Love
Creation
Culture, A.
Data
Decisions
Dehypnotized
Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty – See Above the Line between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty
Discomfort
Doing nothing – No justification for that
Double-Bind
Doubts
Dramatizing errors
Ego
Embarrassment
Empowerment
End to Hunger – See The Hunger Project – An end to hunger
Enlightenment – See also Transformation
est
est Training
est & Life Series
Ethical Behavior
Everything/Nothing
Enthusiasm vs. Excitement
Existence
Expectations
Experience – See also Beliefs, Concepts, Above the Line Between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Knowing or Certainty, Present Time
Experience – Unexperienced experience – See also Beliefs, Concepts
Experience – Experienced experience
Experience – It has no content
Explanations – See also Reasons
Failure
False Cause – See also Victim
Firing people up
Forces – The forces in the world
Game
Gestures
Getting Better
Getting it
Getting Off It
Getting on with it
Global Context
Goals – See also Playing Safe/Small
God
Graduate Programs
Graduate Programs – est & Life Series
Ground of Being with People
Groundrules – See also Integrity, Perpetrations, Word
Growth
Guest Seminars
Guilt
Happiness
Health
Hope
Hunger
Hunger Project
Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: First
Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: Second
Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: Third
Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: Fourth
Hunger – I am not an expert on world hunger
An idea whose time has come
An idea whose time has come – What causes its time to come?
Image Management – See Pretense
Inauthenticity
Integrity – See also Perpetrations, Word
Intention – See Communication – Intention
Intention – Will
Interesting
Issues
Keeping Your Agreements
Knowing – See Above the Line Between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty
Laughter
Laws – The laws that determine persistence of hunger keep the world from working
Laws – Fundamental laws and principles
Letting Go
Levels of Experience
Lies
Life
Liking For
Limitations
Love
Love – What we do with love
Making a Difference
Making Things Wrong and Necessary
Mastery
Mechanisms
Memory
Mind – See Records
Mind – Observing the Mind
Miracles
Misidentification – See Self – Treating your Self as a concept
Money
More, Better, and Different
Movement – There is no hovering
Narcissism
Nature of Reality Course
Necessary – See Making Things Wrong and Necessary
New Paradigms
Nothing/No Thing
Nowhere/Now Here
Observation
Organization
Or-ness
Participation
Past
Peak Experience
Perfection
Perpetrations – See also Integrity, Word
Physical Universe
Places to Come From
Playing Safe/Small – See also Goals
Pleasure
Positions
Positions – Their futility
Positions – They are not self-sufficient, but depend on other positions
Position – They are threatened by other positions
Positions – Positions and oppositions combine to make a pea soup
Predictions
Present time
Pretense
Problems
Problems – Every solution becomes a problem
Problems – Run them
Problems – Dissolve them
Problems – Be at cause with them
Program
Promises – General Program Promises
Promises – General Program Promises
Promises – For the Six-Day Course
Racket
Racket – Calling someone/yourself on a racket
Reasons
Records
Records – Recreation – See Recreation
Records – The mechanism that makes them play
Records – Recreation is the mechanism that makes the record disappear
Relationships
Relationships – Transformation expressing itself into untransformed relationships and institutions – See Transformation – Expressing it into untransformed relationships and institutions, Making a Difference
Resentment
Resistance – What you resist persists
Responsibility
Responsibility – As fault or blame
Responsibility – Responsibility is innate
Responsibility – Reasons – See Reasons
Righteousness
Satisfaction
Self
Self – As space
Self – As context and source of context
Self – Treating your Self as a Concept
Self – Treating Other’s Self as a Concept
Self-Expression
Self-Expression Series
Sex – See also About Sex Series
Sharing
Space
Special Graduate Seminar Series
Staff, Being on
Stand – Undeclared stand
Standards
States of Mind
Starvation – It happens in the space of our lives
Starvation – Its Impact
Starvation – The opportunity it presents
Story
Structure for Fulfillment
Suppression
Survival
Systems
This Isn’t It
Time
Trainers
Transformation
Transformation – Change and transformation
Transformation – Expressing it into untransformed relationships and institutions
Trust Yourself
Truth
Truth – Telling the truth
Truth – Effects of speaking it
Truth – The Truth Process
Trying
Uncertainty
Unconsciousness
Understanding
Unworkability
Upset
Upset – Recurring upset
Upsets – Who did it to whom?
Upset – Accept being reactivated
Vagueness
Victim – See also False Cause
Vote
Watts, Alan
Well-Being
Werner’s Enlightenment Experience
What’s Going On
What’s So Series
Withholds
Withholds – What holds them in place?
Withholds – What you won’t communicate runs you
Withholds – Monitoring
Withholds – Withholds deaden a relationship
Withholds – Withholding pleasure
Withholds – Everyone knows yours
Withholds – How to determine if something is a withhold
Withholds – Communicate them
Word – See also Integrity
Workability
A World that Works for Everyone
Wrong – See Making Things Wrong and Necessary
Bibliography 146

Above the Line between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness

Above the line [is] conscious awareness, experienced experience.

Below the line [is] unconscious awareness, unexperienced experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor discussing a model of awareness, Oct. 1980.)

Above the line one is experiencing the other person’s experience. Below the line one is showing sympathy. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Analogous to space below the line is distance. Above the line there is the harmonious, intentional recreation of the other’s experience. Below the line is the exchange of agreed-upon symbols. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Attention is analogous below the line to intention above the line. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Intention relates to allowing rather than doing. It doesn’t relate to wanting. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Below the line what you call communication is the exchange of agreed-upon symbols. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

If we create stimulus-response, we can bring in from above the line our experience of cause. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The only thing you can ever be free of is what you’re willing to experience. What you are not willing to experience you cannot be free of. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

What is analysis for people in an unconscious state [i.e., below the line] is description for people in a conscious state [i.e., above the line]. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

No one can communicate or get communication at effect. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty

Natural knowing
Observe/Witness
[Above the line: conscious awareness, experienced experience, completion] [The line demarcating conscious from unconscious awareness]
[Below the line: unconscious awareness, unexperienced experience, incompletion] Don’t know
Feelings about
Do something about
Think about
Believe/perceive
In mystery about
Unconscious about
(est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Above-the-line consciousness characterized by aliveness, expression, spontaneity, natural, responsibility, choice, at cause. (Unidentified est source.)

Levels of Experience

Sourcing
Realizing
Participating/Sharing
Accepting/Allowing it to be
The line between conscious and unconscious awareness
Helping
Hoping\Deciding
Reasonableness (Unidentified est source; probably est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Self Experience Content
Creating Sourcing Sharing Observing Creation
Expressing Revealing Emoting Judging Reaction
Conceptualizing Labelling Narrating Informing

(Unidentified est source; probably New Communication Workshop, c1983.)

Rather than knowing more and then more as you go along, you will need instead to be willing to know less and then less – that is to say, to become somewhat more confused as you go along. Finally you will have struggled enough to be clear that you don’t know. In the state of knowing that you don’t know, you get, as a flash of insight, the principle (i.e., the abstraction) out of which the answer comes. (Werner Erhard, The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time has Come. San Francisco: The Hunger Project, n.d., 16.)

Above the line, you get your Self. Ultimately you realize you are the source of your experiences. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Acceptance/Allowing Things to Be

Life is a ripoff when you expect to get what you want.
Life works when you choose what you’ve got.
Happiness is a function of accepting what is. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Actually what you got is what you chose. To move on, choose it. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

If you’re not all right the way you are, it takes a lot of effort to get better.
Realize you’re all right the way you are, and you’ll get better naturally. (Werner Erhard, IGHM.)

If God told you
Exactly what it was you
Were to do,
You would be happy doing it
No matter what it was.

What you’re doing
Is what God wants you to do.
Be happy. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

You don’t get to vote on the way it is.
You already did. (Werner Erhard, IGHM.)

Resistance and the need to dominate and be right destroy your ability to allow things to be. When you have no ability to allow things to be, you have no ability to be responsible for them as they are. When you cannot be responsible for the way things are, you have no space. When you have no space, you have no ability to create. It is in creating that you establish true independence. (Werner Erhard in WE, 24.)

However you are, be so reactivated. Create yourself the way you are. Be the way you are. Experience how you are. Go in the direction you’re going. What you are is what you are. Be what you are. What you get is what you get. Get what you get. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, 1 June 1980.)

The way you should feel right now? The way you feel. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

So what we want you to do when you go out of the training is do nothing. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

What were you doing with your left leg before I mentioned it? Nothing, right? Because you accepted it.

The more you want something to disappear, the less its disappears. The more you let it be, the more it disappears. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

It’s much easier to ride the horse in the direction he’s going. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Ride the horse in the direction it’s going. You know what happens when you ride the horse the wrong way? You’re a horse’s ass. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Create space for people in your lives to be just the way they are. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Accepting is letting something be exactly as it is, without adding or subtracting. (Angelo d’Amelio at Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

A mind hears “submit, succumb, surrender” for “accceptance.” (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

With anything, do you ever get it the way it is or do you always process it? Take a pad. Describe its good points. Bad points. Notice they’re the same. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

When you allow something to be, it allows you to be. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

You can’t participate with something you’re resisting. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Accidents

There are no accidents. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Acknowledgment

When you withhold acknowledgment, people withdraw further and further. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Act – See Pretense

Actions – There are things that need to be done.

Let’s not be stupid. Obviously, something has to be done. Anybody can see that. When people say, “But don’t you see that you can’t end starvation with words?” that’s like saying, “Don’t you see the floor down there?” Of course, but that isn’t the point of the Hunger Project. Everybody sees that something has to be done. The point is to create a climate, an environment – specifically to create a context, a commitment – to the end of starvation, in which what is done is effective. (Werner Erhard in ES, 22.)

It’s not enough, however, to have a vision. You’ve got to know what’s going on in the world. You can’t be naïve.

If you engage in a project that emerges solely from some set of circumstances, no matter how successful your actions are, they will make no difference. If your project comes only out of your vision, then your actions will lack real impact on the circumstances; they will be mere idealistic notions.

The workshop is an opportunity to be responsible for a convergence of vision and circumstances which results in true community action. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 5.)

Adult

Most of the people in this room are aged 13-16. There may only be five who are adult. Being adult is a declared state. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 7 Dec. 1983.)

Agreement – See also Groundrules, Alignment vs. Agreement

The mind functions so as to accumulate agreement about itself. It’s a sympathy-collecting machine. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

Disagreement is just more agreement. You have to agree before you can “dis.” (est Six-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Finding reasons and getting agreement means creating new records. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

If you do things that are out of agreement with your world, you’re gonna get your vote cancelled. (Ron Browning, est Trainer, Nov. 1979.)

The mind will wait until it has sufficient agreement before it puts something out. And when it has widespread agreement, you’ll have people marching in the street with bayonets to end world hunger. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Do we think that once people take the training they’re going to be in agreement with us? That’s not even close to being true. The way it really is, once people are est graduates, is that they’ll say what’s there. If there is one predictable result from the training, it is that graduates are confrontable. You can talk to people who have taken the training and they will say everything. (Stewart Esposito, Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

Alignment vs. Agreement

Alignment is the spontaneous cooperation of wholes coming from a context or common purpose. Agreement, on the other hand, is a banding together of parts in support of a position or a point of view. You don’t need anyone’s agreement to create a context. You don’t need anything from anybody. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

Aliveness

The living dead. The upright dead. People are upright and dead. (Werner Erhard on Creation tape.)

You’re not living your life as if your life depended on it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, n.d.)

You’re either dead or you’ve got your head so far up your ass that you can’t see the condition of things around you. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Ethical behavior is behavior that produces the greatest amount of aliveness. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

A lot of you are so opened up and alive that you don’t see that you were once in an environment that was poisonous to aliveness. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership Program presentation, Sept. 1977.)

The Seminar Program challenges us to live each moment as a once-in-a-lifetime proposition. It calls [on] us not merely to think or imagine how living could be, but to put ourselves on the line, in action, day-by-day, to design an environment that forwards our goals, announces our commitment, reveals and expresses what we intend to achieve.

Seminars are for those who make unreasonable demands of themselves – who are unsatisfied with offering less than their personal best. In the Seminar Program we do more than give voice to the stand that we are – we embrace the challenge of taking bold, practical, decisive action that gives it the hard edge of making something happen, in reality, in life, in the world.

The Seminar Program: a forum for addressing the issues that make life powerful and satisfying – an environment in which to take on the real work, the adventure, and the dignity of being truly alive.

“If I don’t manage to fly, someone else will.
The spirit wants only that there be flying.
As for who happens to do it, in that
He has only a passing interest.” – Rainer Maria Rilke. (The Seminar Program. A Place to Stand.)

In truth, vitality is a function of accomplishment. Commitment, creativity – a meeting head-on with the challenges and opportunities of life. (The Seminar Program. A Place to Stand.)

Every position or point of view we have can be said to have a “cost” (reckoned in terms of aliveness) and a “payoff.” “Getting it means being able to discover when you have been maintaining (or are stuck with) a position which costs you more in aliveness than it is worth, realizing that you are the source of that position, and being able to choose to give up that position or hold it in a way that expands the quality of your life. Living becomes a continuing and expanding discovery of positions or barriers to your and others’ aliveness, with the attendant opportunity to handle those positions and barriers. The result of this continuing process of choosing or “getting it” is an expanded experience of happiness, love, health, and full self-expression. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Allowing Things to Be – See Acceptance/Allowing Things to Be

At Cause, Source

You’re god in your universe.

You caused it.
You pretend not to cause it
So that you could play in it,
And you remember you caused it
Any time you want to. (Unknown est source.)

Transformation occurs as a recontextualization – from a context where you are at the effect of “things” to a context where you are the source (“at cause”) of things. The heart of transformation is going from being at effect to being at cause. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Knowing that you can choose, that you have the power to transform the quality of your life – at every moment, and in all circumstances – is what the est training is about. And that transformation can happen in an instant. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

If we create stimulus-response, we can bring in from above the line our experience of cause. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, October 1980.)

When I cause myself to be at effect, I have choice; I allow it to be; I’ve contextualized it; I’ve accepted it. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Most people avoid choosing because to choose is to lose that which you didn’t choose. The way to avoid losing is to avoid choosing. That’s a mind circuit. Except it’s not true. By not choosing, you are choosing. You’re choosing not to choose. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

You cannot get out of stimulus-response by doing something. You can only get out of it by doing nothing, by letting it be, by creating it as it is, by sourcing it, by being “at cause” with it. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, October 1980.)

When you experience things and let them be, you come to realize that you’re the source of your experience. If this isn’t your universe, whose is it? (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

The instant you allow something to be, it allows you to be. The stuff you have trouble with is the stuff you don’t allow to be. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Run your problems; don’t let your problems run you. Run your life; don’t let your life run you. Run your body; don’t let your body run you. Be at cause with your life, rather than at effect. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

I used to serve time. Now time serves me. (Convict named Froggie, in an est movie, 14 Jan. 1980.)

At Effect

We mistake our thrown rationalizations as choice. Our voiceover is just part of the thrown response. (Communication Workshop, 1986.)

You are absolutely at effect. If you want to leave here today, use the door. You can’t be any more at effect than that. If you have choice, fly. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You guys look at the clock in the morning to see how many hours sleep you got to see how you’re going to feel that day. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Your problem is that it hasn’t clicked yet. Your solution to that is to wait for the big click. Has it clicked for you yet? No. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

Awareness

You have to be able to see what you’re doing to see that you don’t see it. You have to be able to know something before you know that you don’t know it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Barriers

One goes to a seminar not to have barriers, but to create the space to notice whatever barriers are there. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977, 4.)

Be Here Now Series

This series affords you the opportunity to begin experiencing life totally in present time, with nothing added and without the constant “chatter-chatter-chatter” of your mind. (“It’s What’s Up ‘Now’ That Counts,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Be Yourself/Be the Way You Are – See also Acceptance/Allowing Things to Be

The willingness to be yourself is an enormous contribution to everything around you. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, n.d.)

Beliefs – See also Concepts, Context

Look, if we put a rat in a maze with four tunnels and always put cheese in the fourth tunnel, after a while that rate will learn always to go to the fourth tunnel to get cheese. A human will learn to do that too. You want cheese? Zip, zip, zip, zip, down the fourth tunnel and there’s the cheese. Next day, you want choose – Zip, zip, zip, zip, down the fourth tunnel and there’s the cheese.

So, after a while, the Great God in the white suit moves cheese to another tunnel – Zip, zip, zip, goes the rat to the fourth tunnel. The rat comes out the tunnel again – no cheese – Zip, zip, zip, down the tunnel once more – no cheese, Eventually, a rat will stop going down the fourth tunnel and look elsewhere.

Now the difference between rats and human beings is simple:

THE HUMAN BEINGS WILL GO DOWN THE FOURTH TUNNEL FOREVER! FOREVER!

HUMAN BEINGS COME TO BELIEVE IN THE FOURTH TUNNEL.

Rats don’t believe in anything: they’re interested in cheese but the human being develops a BELIEF in the fourth tunnel and he comes to MAKE IT RIGHT TO GO DOWN THE FOURTH TUNNEL WHETHER THERE IS CHEESE IN IT OR NOT. The human being would rather be RIGHT THAN GET HIS CHEESE. (Werner Erhard quoted in undated handout.)

Our beliefs come from decisions we made about surviving. These decisions come from and generate emotions which are suppressed. Out of the beliefs and suppressed emotions come our thoughts, evaluations, judgements, criticisms, resentments, regrets, and more decisions and beliefs. We take these things as reality, “the way things really are,” as if we found them rather than made them up.

Right here, some definite opposition to what I have just said will likely come up. You may be thinking something like: “Wait a minute! This guy is nuts. My thoughts and beliefs and judgements and evaluations come from what I observe around me, what other people say and do, how people and things behave around me. They come from what I’ve been taught and learned and noticed and figured out and….” And on and on.

Too bad, but that is backward. Your environment is a reflection of your beliefs. Your beliefs come first, then they are materialized in the illusion-reality. You are the source of your beliefs, your environment is not. The only place you can effectively take responsibility for your reality is in looking at, and taking responsibility for, your beliefs. How do you do that? By doing it. Responsibility is a generating context. There is no technique for it. It is a choice you make. (Bob Larzalere, The Harmony of Love. Context Publications, 1982, 71.)

The Body Series

The purpose of the Body Series is to accelerate the pace at which you clear up the barriers between you and your body to the critical level where you experience your body being in the space of supporting your purposes in life. (est brochure for the Body Series, n.d.)

Unconsciousness in the mind manifests itself as unconsciousness in the body. The Body Series affords you the opportunity to locate and dissolve those unconscious areas of your body. It is designed to enable you to move in the direction of experiencing your body as a radiant and alive reflection of who you are. (“It’s What’s Up ‘Now” That Counts,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Bombay Centre

The centre in Bombay is like taking est home to its grandparents. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, Dec. 16, 1980.)

Breakdown

Ontology of a Breakdown

1. Breakdown shows up.
2. You validate and assess it
3. You look at what effective action you can take
4. You look at what tools are available.
5. You create a network of people to help you.
6. You create the possibility of a breakthrough.
7. You make requests.

Breakthrough

When things aren’t working out, that’s an opportunity for a breakthrough. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

Breakthrough Racing

We are not researching how to win something…. We are using the discipline of winning to research how to be so that things actually work. (Werner Erhard in “Today is for the Championship,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980, 3.)

Case, Your

The only thing that stops you from getting your job done is your case. Most people feel they must handle their case before getting the job done. But when you get your job done, you find that you also handle your case. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Certainty – See Above the Line between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty, Levels of Experience

Challenge – See Playing Safe, Goals

Change – See Transformation – Change and transformation

Choice – See At Cause, Source

Causes

You want to notice that you become attached to a cause and then you make it right. Your cause is not right because it’s right, but because you’re attached to it. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 18 Jan. 1981.)

Commands

Nonsensical, self-contradictory, and destructive commands are found in the control mechanisms of virtually everyone. Behavior is at the mercy of unconscious commands like: “I have to be bad in order to be good,” “I have to get people to hate me in order to get people to love me,” and “I have to be unhappy in order to be happy.”

Such internal commands are so illogical that we can hardly get close to them, to confront them, when they begin to show. Since they do not fit into any system, and are therefore unthinkable, they are unavailable for examination.

Yet just such commands shape the selection of our environments and our behavior within them. Not only does the past influence the present; it does so in a contradictory dichotomous way. At best this produces ambivalence; at worst, schizophrenia.

One can manipulate, change, try to fix one’s life without dealing with such commands. But no mastery, no wholeness, or satisfaction, is possible that way. To attain mastery, you must penetrate to the source of the trouble – to the commands themselves. You must observe them and transcend them. (Werner Erhard in WE, 22-3.)

Commitment

Commitment is a place to come from. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

That which you’re calling a commitment is not a commitment. If that which you’re calling a commitment is contacted with the doubts, etc., you put in contrast to it, it isn’t a commitment because it needs its opposite to exist.

A true commitment is a contextual event, not a position. A context has no opposition. All things exist within it. Everything exists within it. Nothing exists outside your commitment. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

All of people’s behavior can be seen in the context of your commitment to making the world work. Even a murder can be seen in the context of making the world work. If you really got inside the murderer, you’d see that his act comes from frustration at not being able to make a difference in having the world work. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

These people [Dennis Percy and Kris] have a commitment to being human that is much more important than the mistakes they make. So what you’ve gotta keep doing is to keep correcting their mistakes and love them forever. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 19 Jan. 1981.)

Commitment has nothing to do with eagerness. Enthusiasm has nothing to do with eagerness. Eagerness is in the realm of want. When we’re talking about commitment, we’re not talking about want. If you operate in the realm of your wants, you will never, ever make a difference. Your wants are tied to your comfort.

To the extent that you’re tied in to your wants, you’re powerless. When you start to orient yourself to your wants, you very quickly find out that you can only handle two or three people. They become mechanisms to deliver your wants. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

You are at the effect of this notion that you are afraid of commitment. And you use that notion to justify the fact that you have no commitments in your life. And if you have to travel all the distance through your notions and justifications, you can’t make a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

You are at the effect of this notion that you are afraid of commitment. And you use that notion to justify the fact that you have no commitments in your life. And if you have to travel all the distance through your notions and justifications, you can’t make a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Communication

Where there is true communication, there is the experience of certainty, satisfaction, well-being and relationship. (The est Communication Workshop brochure, © 1976 Werner Erhard.)

True communication is spontaneous and intentional. When there is true communication, people experience more harmony and enjoyment in their relationships, and an expansion of satisfaction and interest in their work. (The est Communication Workshop brochure, © 1976 Werner Erhard.)

All people want to do is to communicate. (est Vancouver manager Bix Bickson, Oct. 1980.)

Love is a function of communication. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Get present or communicate about it. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, Nov. 1980.)

How do you know what you know about communication? You can never tell us what you’re experiencing right now, and right now, and right now. All you can do is report on right then.

Experience just is. Experience is here and it’s gone; now and it’s then. Put a bunch of “nows” together and you get process. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Your ground of being communicationally is that you hold people as things. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

You didn’t communicate it like it was bullshit. You communicated it like it had some kind of legitimacy. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, Nov. 1980.)

Humans actually have no alternatives. You communicate out of stimulus-response. Your communication is “at effect,” explained. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, October 1980.)

Dirty communication is irresponsible. It puts the source of your experience outside yourself. Clean communication is responsible. It places you in the picture as the source of your experience. Alive communication is just that – it’s alive. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

What you call communication doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work consistently, it doesn’t work. And what you do, when it’s not working, is go for “more, better and different.”

But, if what you call communication isn’t, then no matter how much more you do of it, you’re still not communicating.

If a result of communication is aliveness, then what you call communication isn’t. What the results of your communication are are self-righteousness, resentment, incompletion, etc. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

If a result of communication is an expanded experience of affinity, love, harmony, aliveness, then we haven’t been communicating. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Communication … will allow people to realize within themselves the qualities which they need in order to fulfill the opportunities to make the world work for everyone. (Dan Miller, General Manager, Breakthrough Racing, probably quoting Werner Erhard, in the Graduate Review, Nov. 1979, 14.)

Few of us see communication as a precise and effective tool that lies fully within our grasp. Often we use language merely to represent – we use our speaking as a tool to describe our world, and our listening as something passive, without impact.

However, there is a way of communicating that takes us beyond the ordinary, beyond the commonplace, a way of communicating that is itself a potent and direct form of action. This way of communicating has power and heart, and provides a special edge in living and in fulfilling what we intend to achieve. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

In the hands of those who are able, language is a precise and effective resource for creating opportunities, initiating actions, resolving breakdowns, and causing outcomes that shape and direct what’s possible in the world we share. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

Potent, effective communication … calls forth people’s cooperation, clarity and committed action.

This kind of communication produces a relationship with others beyond mere roles; it opens the possibility of being related in a direct, satisfying and profound way which gives us that sense of partnership and workability we consider “special.” (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

Once we’ve had a common experience, the thing will resolve itself, even though it may look as if our common experiences are different.

Communication resolves problems. (Stewart Esposito, Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

Words do not label things already there. Words are like the chisel of the carver: they free the idea, the thing, from the general formlessness of the outside. As a man speaks, not only is his language in a state of birth, but also the very thing about which he is talking. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

Communication – Completion – See Completion

Communication – Communication at the level of context

Communication is not merely a matter of exchanging symbols or words. While we are often fairly successful at saying what we want to say, we don’t notice that the space in which we say it – that is, the context for what is being said – often determines the actual efficacy and the potency of what is being said. In other words, while people are often conscious of the facts or content they want to communicate, they rarely intend the context of the communication. Therefore, true communication happens infrequently and accidentally rather than responsibly. (Werner Erhard, “A Report on the Project to Create est Anew,” Graduate Review, Nov./Dec. 1980.)

True communication moves things without causing them to persist. With true communication one can create. When one communicates truly about that which is persisting, it ceases to persist. So, while change has the power of persistence, communication has the power of creation and disappearance. …

Real communication is an unusual phenomenon in life. Communication at this level supersedes the conventionally agreed on laws of reality and empowers us to produce phenomena that do not ordinarily occur. It is in the space of communication that transformation of organizations takes place. (Werner Erhard, “A Report on the Project to Create est Anew,” Graduate Review, Nov./Dec. 1980.)

Communication as Creation

1. Creating creating.2. Creating two beings creating creating.
3. Having two beings.
4. Aligned intentions.
5. Distinguishing the physical universe.
6. Having real people.
7. Created/recreated distinctions.
8. Delivery/acknowledgment
9. Symbolf of created/recreated distinctions.
10. Completion.

Self Experience Content
Creating Sourcing Sharing Observing Creation
Expressing Revealing Emoting Judging Reaction
Conceptualizing Labelling Narrating Informing Reaction

Communication – Intention

The essence of communication is intention. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Werner does not listen to people’s words. He listens to their intentions. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Intention is what gets the experience through space. Intention is the space-transcending quality of experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Intention relates to allowing, rather than doing. It doesn’t relate to wanting. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

There are no examples of intention. Examples are things. Intention is not a thing. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Intention is the force of drawing the distinction, the force without forcing, the allowing of something to be. Intention is the flipside of experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

There can’t be the front of my hand without there being the back.

You want to know what your intention is? Look at your experience. You want to know what your experience is? Look at your intention. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Create from nothing. For no reason. From nothing, everything/nothing creates for no reason.

Creating is distinguishing from everything what is, for no reason. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

You will get what intend in this workshop. What is it that you’ve intended in life. Look around you. That’s what you intended. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Octo. 1980.)

Communication – What’s invited and what’s not

Clean communication is responsible. It places you in the picture as the source of your experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

To have communication, you have to have the experience of being. So the success of communication depends on the degree of thereness of the person. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

We’ve become very proficient at propelling symbols through distance, at exchanging information, but not very good at communicating. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Words point to things, but they aren’t “it.” They point to it, but you think they are it.

Most people talk to have other people get their words. You don’t communicate. It’s not that you’re bad communicators either; you don’t communicate at all.

You hold communication as a thing so that when, by accident, you communicate, you explain it away or look for some thing to explain it. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

True communication is not storage; it’s not your memory, your concepts and beliefs. It’s what’s left after you’ve completed your experience of your storage. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Communicate your perceptions in here. Communicate your experience. Speak for yourself. Don’t talk for others. Share some experience that gives an insight into your experience. Tell what happened, not what you think happened. Don’t philosophize, lecture, or preach. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Notice how quickly, when it becomes a discussion, communication breaks down. There’s no recreation. It becomes “Soap,” and each of you has “the guiding light.” (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Cut the discussion and communicate. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Alive communication is just that – it’s alive. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Two things keep you from sharing: fear of being rejected and fear of being conned. Look at what comes up for you next time you resolve to share, and it’ll be one or the other. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 3 Nov. 1980.)

Reaction is pretty well our address in the area of communication. (Communication Workshop, 1986.)

Action —> Story —> Action. We’ve collapsed the two domains and loves our lives out of the vicious circle.  (Communication Workshop, 1986.)

Communication – Recreation – See Records – Recreation is the mechanism that makes the record disappear

What communication really is the harmonious recreation of a what a person is experiencing. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The first step to mastery or recreation is imitation. If you can’t imitate, you can’t recreate. (Jed Naylor, Communication Workshop, October 1980.)

I can experience your experience exactly, but I can never see it from your point of view. I can only think my thoughts about your thinking. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

“Recreate” means to make it yours, to experience [another’s] experience, to source your experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Recreation is me creating what you create. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

“Recreate” means to put what is exactly where it is. See that blackboard. Put it exactly where it is. That’s recreating. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Recreation is me creating what you create. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Once we’ve had a common experience, the thing will resolve itself, even though it may look as if our common experiences are different.

Communication resolves problems. (Stewart Esposito, Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

They are not laughing at you. They are recognizing themselves. They are saying, “Oh, shit. Him too?” (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

“Recreate” means to make it yours, to experience [another's] experience, to source your experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

With stimulus/response communication, there’s no recreation. So you can’t create space. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Communication is intentional and harmonious recreation of experience. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Communication – Communication for Action

The problem of productivity at the level of results has something to do with your listening. Th way you are is how you listen. In regard to the way you are, listening is a more senior phenomenon than speaking.  (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

An utterance is a complete linguistic event that makes sense to the listener in the realm of commitment. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

We start in this course with an utterance that brings forth a commitment which we call a “request.”

Anatomy of a Complete Request

Speaker
Hearer
Time (T present, T future)
Future action
Something missing (not obvious that it’s going to happen)
Condition of satisfaction
Presupposition of ability
Background of obviousness
Sincerity  (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

Canonical form of a request: I request that you [X] by [Y] tonight.  (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.) Request = action = performative verb.

When I make a request, you have the space to decline.

Canonical form of a promise: I promise that I will do [X] by time [Y].  (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

Use the canonical forms to repair your relationship to language. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

Canonical form of a declaration: I declare that.   (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

The only question about a declaration is: “Is it valid or not?” A declaration can only exist in an already-existing social agreement. At the moment of making the declaration, the world shifts.
(Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

You are judge, prime minister, pope, and king in your universe when you make the kind of declaration that depends on your “say so.” (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

When you see that you can’t fulfil your promise, what’s to do is to revoke your promise and take responsibility for it. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

When your request becomes irrelevant, cancel your request and take responsibility for it. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

All there is is commitment, completion, commitment, completion. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

Communication is commitment, completion, commitment, completion. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

Don’t forget to declare yourself complete on promises you’ve fulfilled. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 6, 1982.)

Creativity if listening to new possibilities and bringing forth some new distinctions, beginning with where you are in your tradition.

Begin to listen to what you’re bringing forth. Use these tools to listen to your listening. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

It becomes obvious that their listening is a function of your speaking and your listening a function of their speaking.

All you have to do is to be responsible for your background of obviousness.

But when you approach another person, chances are that you’ve already characterized them. Your domain of possibilities has shrunk to a very small opening.

So you want to keep yourself open by handling your background of obviousness and y7our characterizations. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

Enrolment is a communication for action. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

Emotions are language-bound. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

When we accuse someone of being a certain way, we’re usually afraid of being that way, looking that way, or being seen that way ourselves. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

Empowerment is commitment speaking to commitment. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

Work is bringing forth and fulfilling commitments. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

A memo contains a conversation for action. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

People linked up in a network of commitments constitute organizations. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

Families exist as networks of commitment. Families dissolve when commitments dissolve,. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

Commitments break down when you conceal, cover up, justify, excuse and journalize. (Morley Lipsett, Communication for Action Workshop, Nov. 7, 1982.)

Communication – Communication Workshop

The purpose of the Communication Workshop is to experience and master true communication. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The workshop is achieved in two phases.

(1) Becoming clear about fundamental errors at the root of one’s attempts at and understanding of communication and locating the source of the effort, misunderstandings, upsets and frustrations that often accompany attempts to communicate.

(2) Becoming clear about and having the opportunity to experience true communication by completing one’s experience of the barriers to communication. (est brochure for the Communication Workshop, © 1976 Werner Erhard.)

What this workshop is is a powerful discovery process. We’re going to cover ground that you’ve covered before, but in a new way.

You will experience your space to experience expand. Space is experience.

You’ll see miracles happen in here. A miracle is getting from point A to point B without covering the space in between. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, October 1980.)

You’ll find out two things in this workshop:

(1) You never have communicated and you never will.

(2) You always have communicated and you always will communicate and you can never not communicate. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Tonight we’re going to develop a matrix of doing nothing. We’re not going to change your system; we’re not going to change where you come from in relation to it. Things look like opposites when you come from them from a different place. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Coming from concepts, you tell yourself to do something. Coming from abstractions, you do nothing. But you have an idea that “doing nothing” is “doing something called nothing.” Have it be the way it is; that’s doing nothing. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Create what is. Do what you’re doing. If you’re uncomfortable, be uncomfortable. If you’re drowsy, be drowsy.

The truth is that it’s impossible not to do what you’re doing when you’re doing it. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

After the Communication Workshop, as the barriers to communication re-arise, the person is able to be aware of them in such a way that the person completes his or her experience of them and breaks through to communication. The workshop experience is a beginning, the unfoldment of which continues just in the process of life itself. (est brochure for the Communication Workshop, © 1976 Werner Erhard.)

Community

Perhaps the real outcome of the work of this [Community] workshop, the real purpose or true result, is a context of community being brought into being so that people can literally recognize themselves personally as community. Without that recognition, you and I remain incomplete. It’s not just that because we’re successful as individuals we turn to community to have a new game to play. Community is really who we are. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 3-4.)

The problems of our times are so massive, so pressing, that they cannot be handled by individuals alone. The time for solitary heroes is over. We can no longer rely on old ways of thinking, old patterns of leadership and followership. If we are going to create a world that works for everyone, we must learn to function in communities; to be effective and produce results in participation with others.

While most of us have some private vision of community – what it is, or what it could mean for our lives – few of us have worked it through or had an opportunity to actually test it, to make it visible or tangible. While we may feel some personal power and efficacy in our work and in our families and relationships, we have little sense of our ability to make a difference in our communities. It’s not that we don’t make a difference, but there seems to be a gap or gulf between our desire to contribute and our ability to do so.

The Community Workshop is about closing that gap. It is about learning to create a vision – your own personal vision – for community, and then getting down to work on a practical, day-to-day level to make that vision real. In the process, we discover the principles by which a community can be workable, effective, and produce real, measurable results. We learn the skills of working together that can empower everyone, everywhere. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 4.)

Who you are is expressed by your visioning. You and I need to make a commitment to discover, or create, our vision for community. And from that state of envisioning, our projects and our actions will flow. It’s not enough, however, to have a vision. You’ve got to know what’s going on in the world. You can’t be naïve.

If you engage in a project that emerges solely from some set of circumstances, no matter how successful your actions are, they will make no difference. If your project comes only out of your vision, then your actions will lack real impact on the circumstances; they will be mere idealistic notions.

The workshop is an opportunity to be responsible for a convergence of vision and circumstances which results in true community action. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 5.)

We are finding out what we need to know right here. We are creating this together. I want to work with people who are willing to participate at a very high level of responsibility and integrity. We need to be willing to work through the difficulties and frustrations that accompany a creative process. We need to transcend our personal interests, our own agendas, and search for what is wanted and needed to create community. We will have to give up that last-ditch reaction to our frustration of not being able to get it done: ‘All right, I’ll do it myself.’ That won’t work any more. We need to learn to produce results by empowering each other. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 5 and 7.)

As a context, … the community now exists totally. Throughout the workshop we will grind and polish all that is in this room: the ideas, the notions, the personalities, the individuality, the weaknesses, the strengths, the beauties, and the uglinesses. Who we are, in essence, is community – and the workshop will keep grinding away at everything else until we manifest ourselves as community. The stone which grinds us is shaped by the context we create for ourselves. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 8-9.)

No matter how successful we are as individuals, we remain incomplete unless we are able to recognize and express ourselves in community. We pay dearly for that incompletion by having to live in a world that does not work, by living in a condition of unworkability. A fundamental purpose of the workshop is a context of community being brought into being where people can recognize and know themselves as community. The stone which grinds us is shaped by the context we create for ourselves. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 9.)

Completion

Commitment to being complete in your communications consists in the willingness to persist through the unwillingness to being complete and any other barriers to being complete. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Without completion, there is no communication. Completion requires that you let be anything that’s there with you and be willing to recreate another’s experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

You are the space in which it exists. When you have space, you can do what you can’t do with the records there – you can create. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You know what it takes to be complete? You being complete. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

You can’t live in the now because you avoid bringing up the past. You can’t live in the now unless you are responsible for the past. Avoiding the past is living in the past. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

A memory is a symbol of something. When you completely experience the symbol of something, it disappears and you’re left with the thing. That’s the paradox. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Kan. 1980.)

Look at the mass and mess of the relationship for the one specific statement which will complete your relationship. Complete the relationship and you can communicate. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Being complete is not merely a matter of finishing activities or getting things done. Rather, completion lends quality, certainty and accomplishment to our work and all our concerns.

Completion will transform action into accomplishment, increasing the rate at which you launch new projects and the velocity with which you realize your goals.

Completion allows you to invest your time and energy effectively – minimizing worrisome and useless distractions, and maintaining well-being and serenity even in taxing situations. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

From whom have I withheld communication? What statement of experience, if communicated, would release me from this withhold? What is my fear about communicating it? What are my pictures? Will I survive if I complete and communicate the withhold? (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Completion and communication are isomorphic. They have the same form. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

This is your chance to reach back through all your history and through all your pictures and get clear on that. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, Nov. 1980.)

That about which you are complete, you are not necessarily credited with. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Completion – Nothing is ever over

Now, there’s a very ugly fact in life: It is, perhaps, one of the ugliest facts I know of: Nothing is ever over. Nothing is ever handled – and it’s also true that there are no ultimate solutions. So there’s never a point when you don’t have to allow people to go through their barriers to participation. (Werner Erhard in Graduate Review, February 1980, February 1980.)

Completion – Homework

1. Things I want to complete and am not completing.
2. Things I have wanted to experience and have not experienced.
3. Things I have wanted to have and don’t have.
4. Things I want to stop and am continuing.
5. Things I want to be and am not.
6. Things I want to do and haven’t done.
7. Things I want to accumulate and haven’t.
8. Something that I am that I haven’t been acknowledged for being.
9. Something I have done that I haven’t been acknowledged for doing.
10. Something that I have that I haven’t been acknowledge for having.
11. Something that I want to prove that I haven’t proven.
12. Things that I wanted someone to get that they haven’t gotten.
13. Things that I wanted to start and am not starting.
14. Things that I wanted to change and am not changing.
15. Things that recur and won’t stop.
16. Things I can’t get started.
17. Things about which I am dissatisfed.
18. Things which are incomplete for me.
19. Things that I wanted to say that I ‘m afraid to say.
20. Things that I wanted to say that I am embarrassed to say.
21. Things that I wanted to say that I don’t know how to say.
22. Things that I wanted to say that I don’t want to say.
23. Something that I am protecting.
24. Something that I am holding onto.
25. Anything in life which is incomplete that was not covered in this list. (Homework for unnamed est graduate seminar.)

Conditions – They are our ground of being, our unconscious, unexamined system of beliefs

The first step in examining any problem is to examine the system with which you are going to examine the problem. For example, there are equations in physics that would be incom­plete if they didn’t take into consideration the nature and con­sequent effect of the observer.

So, before you and I begin to examine the problem of hunger and starvation, we are going to examine our own nature and the effect of that nature on our perceptions and understand­ing of the problem. Until we understand ourselves, we won’t know the quality of our findings, or how those findings are influenced by the entity making the examination.

I am not an expert on hunger and starvation. The little bit of knowledge I’ve acquired in four years of study is small compared to the knowledge of the true experts in the field. But as a result of my interaction with tens of thousands of people, I do have some insight into Self – my Self, your Self, the Self – and a certain expertise about what a “me” is. I want to take a look with you at what a “me” is with respect to hunger.

Look inside yourself – not at what you think or what feel, not at your opinions or your point of view – but at the ground of being that gives rise to your actions, thoughts, and feelings. Look specifically at the unconscious, unexamined assumptions and beliefs which limit and shape our response to hunger and starvation. This is the territory we are going to cross. (Werner Erhard in ES, 5-6.)

A condition is a position, a point of view or belief, that functions as a fundamental ground of being. Forces are the processes that arise out of conditions. (Werner Erhard in ES, 12.)

Each person’s life is shaped by a principle which thereafter shapes the scope and size of their lives. It is not what they think but it determines the limits of what they think. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Many people live their lives out of the box “be careful.” Others out of the box “you must be liked.” (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Here’s a common base principle: “Don’t let anyone think you’ve been conned.” They don’t mind being conned as long as nobody knows. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

It’s hard to believe that my life isn’t my own, that it all derives from some decision. All that stuff about making my mind up? Yah, you can make your own mind up as long as it fits in the box. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

If you have all your organs removed, are fed intravenously and suspended in tepid water, you don’t need any basic principles. You’re also not playing the game. The price of playing the game is having a basic principle. I know some people whose basic principle is that they don’t have any basic principles. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Strongly-held opinions come up when we approach the limits of our box, our basic principles. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

If you can’t make a difference, then you can try being different. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Thinking differently than other people is not thinking for yourself. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

If you think a thought outside the box, the thought police are going to call you stupid, naive. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The truth does not exist in that box. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

There’s a great Chinese proverb: If we don’t change our direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re headed. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

In using “he/him,” it’s not a question of whether those who consider it generic have no intention of excluding the female. In fact the image created does exclude the female. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

One of the objects of today is to alert you to the possibility of being the author of your own basic principles, that you can create them, consciously, purposefully, and with awareness. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Conditions – The condition in which we live our lives

What you discover is that hunger and starvation on this planet are a function of the condition in which each of us lives his or her life. It isn’t what you are doing, or what I am doing, or what they are doing. It isn’t what you are not doing, or what I am not doing, or what they are not doing that is causing the persis­tence of hunger and starvation on the planet. The source of the problem is that you and I and they live in a condition.

Here is an analogy that will explain what I mean by a condition: Our bodies as physical entities exist in an atmosphere, and no matter how healthy a body may be, if we pollute the atmosphere, that body will be damaged in direct proportion to the pollution.

The environment for living organisms is called the biosphere. You as a living organism may be very functional, but if I put you into an unhealthy and unworkable biosphere, you will cease to function.

The environment for you as a human being – the being­sphere, if you will – is a system of concepts and forces. It is the condition in which your humanity exists. It is the condition which surrounds us as human beings. And it is in that condition that starvation persists. (PS, 11-2.)

Conditions – Our first assumption: Scarcity

The very first component you see in the structure of beliefs through which we perceive the world is the component of scarcity. Human beings don’t necessarily think that things are scarce. They always think from a condition of scarcity.

For instance, while you and I might never have had the thought, “Love is scarce,” it is obvious if we examine our behavior that we are “coming from” scarcity with respect to love. We often act as if we must dole it out carefully and only to those people who deserve it. Also, because we assume that everything of value in life is scarce, we act to protect things – regardless of how much we actually have – because they are “scarce.”

Time is also an example. It is something else that people consider to be desperately scarce. No one ever has enough time. Watch yourself when you do have enough time and you will notice that you act as if you don’t have enough.

I am not saying that you think 15 million of us die each year as a consequence of hunger because food is scarce. I am saying that scarcity is one component of the structure of beliefs through which we perceive the world.

It is worthless to know that your ground of being contains the belief that things are scarce if you know it merely because you have been told it or because it makes sense. You need to know it as a result of looking inside yourself and actually seeing how the belief in scarcity shapes your thoughts and actions. Pierce into your own system of beliefs and observe that you do believe in scarcity. While confronting this belief, get that it is not true that hunger and starvation persist on this planet because food is scarce.

Just as an example – not as a suggested solution to the problem of hunger – we could feed all the hungry people in the world every year with the grain fit for human consumption that is fed to cattle in the United States. I’m not suggesting that if we stopped feeding grain to our cattle we would eliminate hunger. I’m just saying that the notion that 15 million of us die each year because of a scarcity of food is not accurate. (Werner Erhard in ES, 6-7.)

Conditions – Our second assumption: Inevitability

The second component you will find when you begin to look into the condition through which you are perceiving the problem of hunger and starvation is that of inevitability.

As an analogy, suppose I told you that you could go through the rest of your life without ever having another argu­ment. Try to put that into your structure of beliefs. Everyone knows that you can’t not argue. Arguments are inevitable.

It is not true that things are inevitable. What is true is that we perceive the world through a condition – through an uncon­scious, unexamined structure of beliefs – which has a compo­nent called inevitability. You just know that, “If hunger could have ended, wouldn’t we have ended it by now?” It must be that when you have human beings, you have hunger. Like death and taxes, it has to be tolerated.

It is not enough to hear about scarcity and inevitability. You have to first see for yourself that you have been looking through these two filters. It is impossible to ever get clear about anything until you first truly clear yourself. You need to see that 15 million of us do not die as a consequence of hunger each year because hunger and starvation are inevitable. These deaths are not inevitable, any more than slavery was inevitable, any more than smallpox or polio was inevitable. (Werner Erhard in ES, 7-8.)

Conditions – Our third assumption: No solutions

The last and perhaps the most pernicious and insidious aspect of the unconscious, unexamined structure of beliefs through which we perceive hunger and starvation is that com­ponent called “no solutions.”

There’s not a person on earth who would tolerate 21 children dying every minute as a result of hunger if we thought we had a solution that would prevent their dying. There is not one person who would be reading this now if he or she thought that it were possible to get up and do something that would actually stop those deaths. You and I know that the only reason that we would allow those deaths to occur is that there is no solution. If there were a solution, we would have to apply it.

The truth is that people do not die of starvation because there are no solutions. The failure to grasp that is what makes people ask: “Well, what are you going to do about it?” As if what we did or didn’t do were what caused the problem to persist in the first place. What they want to know is, what more are we going to do about it? What better solution have we come up with? What are we going to do that is different from what the experts have already done?

Look into your own structure of beliefs, inside the condi­tion from which you think about the persistence of hunger, and observe that you do believe there are no solutions. While con­fronting this belief, get that there are solutions. And they are not merely good ideas. There are, for example, at least four general areas of solutions which have been applied to ending starvation in more than 30 nations since the end of World War II.

Fifteen million of us do not die as a consequence of starvation each year because there are no solutions. (Werner Erhard in ES, 8-9.)

Conditions – Recognizing them, we can just be with the problem

In examining our unconscious system of beliefs, we discover the origin of gestures, that is, behavior arising out of hopelessness and frustration. If you have now recognized and accepted the existence of your own personal and individual filter – that ground of being, that condition, that unconscious, unexamined structure of beliefs through which we perceive the facts of starvation and our attempts to eliminate starvation on the planet – you have to move out of the sense of frustration and hopelessness into no sense at all. You are beginning to be able to just be with and actually observe the problem clearly. After transcending your system of beliefs, you can just be with the problem. This is an opportunity afforded, not by information, expertise or learning, but by taking responsibility for your system of beliefs. (Werner Erhard in ES, 9.)

Concepts – Coming from concepts

If you experience it,
It’s the truth.
The same thing believed
Is a lie. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

The Self creates context; belief destroys context. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

Almost any belief, whether an idea uncritically accepted from another or an idea that one has, through repetition, convinced oneself is true, will have a hypnotic effect on one. Many people lead their lives in servitude to such beliefs and suggestions – and live as if entranced. A young woman, for example, may in a moment of stress say “I’ll never love anyone again” or a child may say “I’ll hate so-and-so forever.” Such a declaration can gain as much unconscious command value as any posthypnotic suggestion made by a professional hypnotist. It can run, and ruin, the life of the person who has made it. (Werner Erhard in WE, 81.)

It’s never what happens that gets you made. It’s what you tell yourself. Everything that frustrates you is not in what is but in what you tell yourself. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You’d rather have your pictures of what is than experience what is. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

The concept begins to determine the experience. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

All those images get in the way of the experience. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Dec. 1980.)

You can’t get down to your experience if you’re functioning in your belief system. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Dec. 1980.)

You have never walked into the room. Every room you’ve walked into is the one you figured out. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

You’re not frustrated by “what is.” You’re frustrated by what “what is” might mean. It’s your voice-over, your belief system. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

What you call your life is your concepts organized in a particular way, the way you organize them determining the way you see your life turning out. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

You don’t live in your experience. You don’t even live in what you call your experience. You live in your concepts, your story, your explanations, your labyrinth. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

There’s nothing wrong with concepts, as long as you have them and they don’t have you. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

You look through a filter of concepts and if experience doesn’t fit your conceptual or belief system you say the world is not real. Your lenses don’t tell what’s real. Your lenses, like all lenses, distort reality. That’s their function.

You think the map is the territory, and the menu is the meal. You’ve been eating the menu for years, instead of the meal.

Now don’t get me wrong. You need your concepts. There just is not the experience of aliveness in them. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, October 1980.

Concept (“I’m tired” reinforces and determines experience (body sensation). (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Discover what your concepts are – that’s what will “enlighten” you. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

You can’t get down to your experience if you’re functioning in your belief system. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Dec. 1980.)

All those images get in the way of the experience. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Seeing is believing? In the Training you discovered that it’s just the reverse. What you believe is what you see. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 3 Nov. 1980.)

Concepts are comfortable; experience can be uncomfortable. Labels, stereotypes help us to write off huge numbers of people, to handle date and produce the results that we want – comfortably. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

There’s experience. And then there’s the organizing principles by which we turn experience into concepts. Sometimes we move from concepts through organizing principles to experience. For example, we all have a picture of what enlightenment is. If what we experience doesn’t fit our picture, then we say “That’s not enlightenment.”

But the menu is not the meal. The concept is not the experience. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

Coming from concepts you tell yourself to do something. Coming from abstractions, you do nothing. But you have an idea that “doing nothing” is doing something called “doing something called nothing.”

Have it be the way it is – that’s doing nothing. Have it be the way it is – that’s doing nothing.

The truth is that it’s impossible not to do what you’re doing when you’re doing what you’re doing. Create what is. Do what you’re doing.

Do what you’re doing. If you’re uncomfortable, be uncomfortable. If you’re sleepy, be sleepy.

Tonight we’re going to develop a matrix of doing nothing. We’re not going to change the system; we’re going to change where we come from in relation to it. Things look like opposites when you come at them from a different place. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Conned, Fear of Being

There are only two kinds of people in the world: There are gullible people, and there are people who are defending themselves against their own gullibility. And that’s really it. If you will take a look at it, an enormous amount of your life is spent defending yourself against the fear of getting conned. You know, we’re afraid to tell each other that we love each other because we’re afraid the other person won’t respond, and we will have been taken in. We’re afraid to make commitments to each other for fear that the other person won’t keep their part of the bargain. We have an enormous body of laws that barely work – that really don’t keep us from getting conned.

The truth of the matter is that you haven’t got any choice but to get conned. Life is a con. Life’s a trap. … Really, it is. Now, in the beginning, that’s too horrible for anybody to confront. See, people get married and think that their marriage is going to work out.

Never. Or that education is the answer. Are people who are educated any more loving? Do they experience any more love in their lives than people who aren’t educated? Do they experience more vitality? I suggest that the answer is no. … It’s precisely that fear of being conned that keeps people stuck in their gullibility.

… It takes a very big person to hold [the] fear of embarrassment in his or her space and to just let it be.

Now you see that the con is to be afraid of being conned p as if it were possible for anything else to happen. When weren’t you conned? Who do you think you’re fooling? ….

Look at your fear of embarrassment. … Take a look at the person you are afraid you are. You see, winning and losing go together. It’s possible to get beyond winning and losing. Your real self doesn’t really give a damn about winning and losing. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977, 4.)

Context – Definition of Context – See also Beliefs, Concepts

A context [is] a particular space or paradigm, a way of being. (Poster for A Shot Heard Round the World: A World that Works for Everyone, Spring 1980.)

All of people’s behavior can be seen in the context of your commitment to making the world work. Even a murder can be seen in the context of making the world work. If you really got inside the murderer, you’d see that his act comes from frustration at not being able to make a difference in having the world work. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

It doesn’t make much difference where you get to in life as where you come from with who you are. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

The point is to create a climate, an environment – specifically to create a context, a commitment – to the end of starvation, in which what is done is effective. (Werner Erhard in ES, 22.)

Responsibility is a generating context. There is no technique for it. It is a choice you make. (Bob Larzalere, The Harmony of Love. Context Publications, 1982, 71.)

Context – Context vs. Content

Contexts are created by the Self, out of nothing. When you stop identifying yourself as a thing, as a position, and start experiencing your Self as the context, as the space, for your life – when you start experiencing that you are the context in which the content of your life occurs – you will automatically and necessarily experience responsibility for all the content in your space. You will experience that you are whole and complete and that you are aligned with other Selves, with the Self.

When you experience your Self as space, you create con­texts from which you can come into the world. One such context is the end of hunger and starvation on our planet within two decades. (Werner Erhard in ES, 18.)

If you simply tell the truth about the content, it will disappear back into everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.

Since there is no content at the level of experience, we have no examples. As you get towards true experience, it disappears and we get back to everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

What actually happens in the Training is that there is a shift so that, instead of being the content of your life, you are the context, the space in which the content goes on. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Context – Context vs. Concept

You’re stuck with yourself as a conclusion, an assumption, a thing. The truth is, who you are is everything/nothing, the context for it all. You know what happens when you misidentify yourself with a concept? You resist. And it gets heavier. The story of life. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

The source of the problem is misidentifying yourself as a thing or a point of view. You identify yourself as your body sensations, your point of view, your story, your considerations. Get the price you pay for that in terms of your aliveness, of your ability to enjoy life. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

This radiant being is caught a transient worry and now she has reduced herself to that worry. She has identified herself with that worry. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 15 Nov. 1980.)

What systems are are concepts ordered in a particular way. Abstractions are not concepts. Abstractions are context. They’re creations. Your system of knowing is reductionism: you break things down. You reduce them, and what lies at the base of things in your theories is the physical universe. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Context – Context vs. Position

A true commitment is a contextual event, not a position. A context has no opposition. All things exist within it. Everything exists within it. Nothing exists outside your commitment. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

A content or position is threatened by any opposite posi­tion. Given two opposing positions, only one can survive. On the other hand, a context gives space to, it literally allows, it even encourages, positions that are apparently opposite. In fact, the most important position in a newly-created context is the posi­tion which appears to oppose the context. (Werner Erhard in ES, 19.)

It is important to get that opposing positions actually contribute to establishing a context. In the case of the civil rights movement during the 1960s, for example, all those people who opposed civil rights for blacks actually contributed to creating a national dialogue that demonstrated to the country that the issue could no longer be ignored. Every government official in the South who stood in the doorway of a school and prevented black children from entering had been a cause, a part of the persistence, of the problem, of the oppression. After the cre­ation of a context – “equal rights and dignity for blacks” – the very same action that had been a part of the problem’s persistence became an action contributing to the end of legal discrimination against minority races. Then, every such action contributed to an increased awareness of the issue, to the passage of civil rights legislation and to the gradual change in attitude that ultimately evidenced itself in the recognition that civil rights was an idea whose time had come.

In a newly-created context the most important position is the position, “It can’t be done.” That is the first and most important content to be processed, to be realigned. (Werner Erhard in ES, 19-20.)

Relationships and institutions are contextual, and thus either create space or restrict it. When untransformed, families and institutions manifest Mind: they generate survival orientation and positionality. They restrict. Such environments are not ones where the truth can be told. They are spaces which are inimical to transformation, having been created by individuals in the Mind state to foster the Mind state.

Werner himself has spoken bluntly about this environment. “The world as it is,” he says, “in an untransformed state, is evil. What I mean by ‘evil’ is selling or trading aliveness for survival. Virtually every existing institution is like this.

Government and education, for instance, fail to do their jobs; but they are very good at justifying and perpetuating themselves, and dominating others. Like the individuals who created and who sustain them, they come from the Mind state, from survival. Instead of being an activity to generate a healthy community life, politics becomes an end in itself. Nationalism, which increases positionality, is an epistemological disaster.”

“People who have the experience of transformation consequently have little room in which to express it. They are validated almost not at all. The world is not friendly to the experience that your life works, that you are capable of having relationships which are meaningful and nurturing. There is, on the other hand, plenty of room to be slick and clever and successful. The world is truly friend to that.

“Such a world is an unhealthy space for transformation. Transformation must appear ultimately threatening to the Mind state. Thus to express transformation into an untransformed relationship or institution is automatically to generate survival behavior from the affected relationship or institution. Yet the transformed state, the state of the Self, is a naturally expressive and expansive state. A transformed individual demands transformed relationships because only in such a context can he or she naturally express a transformed individuality. Similarly, transformed relationships or families demand transformed institutions and organizations in which to manifest and express that transformation.

“You cannot foster transformation,” Werner continued, “by retreating from life to some twentieth-century version of a cave. In fact, the historic retreat of the enlightened to the cave is simply a manifestation of the hostility of the environment to transformation. When the untransformed environment provides an inadequate or restrictive space for the transformed individual be or she will not be able readily to expand into it. Or the individual may rapidly reach the limit of the space. When that happens, there is the danger of evolving back against yourself in weird variations. This is essentially what is involve din the retreat to the cave, and in most monastic and world-denying endeavors. Some of these variations are beautiful to watch; but they represent a terrible waste.” William Bartley III and Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, May 1978, 2.)

Werner does not see social reform as potentially effective. It is not his goal to get a particular group out of power and another group into power. Replacing one group of leaders with another is in his view futile if neither of the groups, not the institutions in which they operate, are able to function on purpose.

As Werner put it to me, “I am a sort of revolutionary with a strange ambition. I don’t want any statues. I don’t want any ordinary monuments. I want the world to work. That’s the monument I want. There’s egomania for you! The organizing principle of est is: “Whatever the world is doing, get it to do that.” I want to create a context in which government, education, families are nurturing. I want to enable, to empower, the institutions of humankind.

“This is not a revolution in the ordinary sense of the word. Ordinary revolution is concerned with social change. It involves resistance. One revolts against something. Whereas a true revolution transcends what one was previously either resisting or submitting to. In this sense I am a revolutionary.

“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.

“Thus I have no political or social ideology. I have no idea about where you ought to be going, what your goal should be. The information that can transform where you are going is to know where you are coming from – from survival and positionality. You transform where your life goes by experiencing where it is coming from, rather than by having an attachment to how it’s going to turn out.” (William Bartley III in Graduate Review, May 1978, 4-5.)

Context – Context vs. Belief

The Self creates context; belief destroys context. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

If you experience it,
It’s the truth.
The same thing believed
Is a lie. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

We turn Context into Rules

We turn today’s context into tomorrow’s rules. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

Context – Alignment vs. Agreement

Alignment is the spontaneous cooperation of wholes coming from a context or common purpose. Agreement, on the other hand, is a banding together of parts in support of a position or a point of view. You don’t need anyone’s agreement to create a context. You don’t need anything from anybody. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

All you need to create a context is your Self. The Hunger Project is an alignment of Selves taking responsibility for creating a context. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

We can predict what hundreds of thousands of people banded together in a movement, each doing his or her part, could do about hunger and starvation – but no one has ever seen hundreds of thousands of aligned people. No one can pre­dict what hundreds of thousands of aligned people can do who are aligned out of themselves, out of their individual sense of responsibility, out of being willing to create new contexts within themselves – within themselves as individuals, within them­selves as relationship, within themselves as a group, within themselves as organization or institution, within themselves as society, within themselves as humankind. We have no idea what a group of hundreds of thousands of aligned people can do. And I say that any attempt to predict it limits it.

So I only predict miracles. (Werner Erhard in ES, 29-30.)

Context – Context and Personal Responsibility

It’s my planet. I’m not satisfied with the way it is. So I give me the franchise o do this work. (est Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

We have as our purpose really tapping into what’s already out there. People have the opportunity and the responsibility to improve the quality of their own lives. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

The first generating principle comes from a question Buckminster Fuller asks. Bucky’s question is: “What can the little individual do?” What can you do as an individual that some big organization or government can’t do?

What you can do that no other entity can do is create a context. Only you have the power to create a context. It cannot be done by a group. It cannot be done by an organization. It must happen within the Self. The home of context is Self. Only within your Self can you create the context: The end of hunger and starvation on the planet within two decades. That is what the little individual can do. (Werner Erhard in ES, 25.)

Every major transformation in history begins within a being – as in Human Being. People first create a context within themselves – their Selves; then they bring that context to life in the world. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

In this new context, making a difference becomes a way of life – individuals live their lives out of the knowledge that each of us has the responsibility and the power to create a world that works for all of us. (Werner Erhard, Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

Context – Alignment vs. Agreement

Alignment is the spontaneous cooperation of wholes coming from a context or common purpose. Agreement, on the other hand, is a banding together of parts in support of a position or a point of view. You don’t need anyone’s agreement to create a context. You don’t need anything from anybody. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

All you need to create a context is your Self. The Hunger Project is an alignment of Selves taking responsibility for creating a context. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

We can predict what hundreds of thousands of people banded together in a movement, each doing his or her part, could do about hunger and starvation – but no one has ever seen hundreds of thousands of aligned people. No one can pre­dict what hundreds of thousands of aligned people can do who are aligned out of themselves, out of their individual sense of responsibility, out of being willing to create new contexts within themselves – within themselves as individuals, within them­selves as relationship, within themselves as a group, within themselves as organization or institution, within themselves as society, within themselves as humankind. We have no idea what a group of hundreds of thousands of aligned people can do. And I say that any attempt to predict it limits it.

So I only predict miracles. (Werner Erhard in ES, 29-30.)

Context – Context is Created by Self from Nothing

Contexts are created by the Self, out of nothing. When you stop identifying yourself as a thing, as a position, and start experiencing your Self as the context, as the space, for your life – when you start experiencing that you are the context in which the content of your life occurs – you will automatically and necessarily experience responsibility for all the content in your space. You will experience that you are whole and complete and that you are aligned with other Selves, with the Self.

When you experience your Self as space, you create con­texts from which you can come into the world. One such context is the end of hunger and starvation on our planet within two decades. (Werner Erhard in ES, 18.)

All you need to create a context is your Self. The Hunger Project is an alignment of Selves taking responsibility for creating a context. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

The creation of a context … can be done only within your Self.

And you create a context from what? From nothing. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

The nature of context is that it is created. You create it and live your life out of that context, regardless of what you want a lot of the time. What you want will be contrary to what you do. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

The Self creates context; belief destroys context. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

The Self is the source of context. The way it creates a context is by creating a context. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, Dec. 10, 1979.)

Every major transformation in history begins within a being – as in Human Being. People first create a context within themselves – their Selves; then they bring that context to life in the world. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

The source of scientific discovery is to come from nothing and create a context for living. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Context and truth are one because the context is nothing. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Vision is the ability to look out from nowhere and see. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Creating context allows you to handle any context in your life. How much more powerful do you want to be? (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

We have the power to create our own limits. No, you can’t do anything about your circumstances except share them around and that hasn’t worked anyways. But you have the power to create the principles that will form the basis of your life. (Werner Erhard quoting Barnett Newman at the Werner Event, c1980.)

At first [the creation of context] will be “pretend,” and you’ll feel stupid, foolish. And then when you get in touch with the power of it, literally you can have life be the way you wish it to be. Day after day, creating the context, you give up your life to sell out to circumstances. Let the circumstances be. Even if life is crappy, create the context day after day. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Context – The Power of Context

You have the ability to create a context around the problem and thereby dissolve it. How come you’re not using it? (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

In order to live your life out of the space that who you are makes a difference, you need the power of context. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

In order to live your life out of the space that who you are makes a difference, you need the power of context. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

You can make a difference at the level of context. You have power at the level of context. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

It doesn’t make much difference where you get to in life as where you come from with who you are. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Create a context and you have mastery. I promise you that at the point in this project when you actually experience the context, “The end of hunger and starvation on the planet in two decades,” you will experience a transforma­tion in the quality of your own life. You will experience a kind of mastery that you have never experienced before.

I said mastery, not force. Many of us have a lot of force. Mastery requires no force. If everything is going vertically, what do you have to do to get something to go vertically? Nothing. Just do whatever you’re doing. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28.)

Context – Context Generates Process

The stone which grinds us is shaped by the context we create for ourselves. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 8-9.)

If you simply tell the truth about the content, it will disappear back into everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.

Anyone who has created a context knows that context generates process; process in turn grinds up content, it changes content so that it becomes aligned with the context. … The stone which grinds us is shaped by the context we create for ourselves. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 8-9.)

If you simply tell the truth about the content, it will disappear back into everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.

Anyone who has created a context knows that context generates process; process in turn grinds up content, it changes content so that it becomes aligned with the context. …

All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Context generates process. A contextu­ally-generated process transcends the existing forces; it trans­forms those forces. A contextually-generated process aligns the existing forces within the context. Then the aligned forces pro­vide a condition of workability. Every action taken in a context is a fulfillment of, an expression of, and a manifestation of that context. The pessimism, the cynicism, the position, “It can’t be done,” are ground up by the process generated by the context, and are transformed into the material out of which the result is achieved. When an idea is transformed so that the apparently opposing idea actually validates and gives expression to the idea, then it is an idea whose time has come. (Werner Erhard in ES, 20.)

For me, the context created now has a power greater than those facts. It has the power to generate a process, to generate a set of forces which are aligned with the end of hunger and starvation and which will create the circumstances within the next 20 years for the end of starvation. (Werner Erhard in ES, 24.)

Instead of the condition in the world creating lines of force running horizontally and our activities to eliminate hunger running vertically, the context will generate a process to realign the forces so that the lines of force start running vertically. Then, within a realigned set of forces, what you did that didn’t work before suddenly works. It’s the same thing you were doing before, except that suddenly it now works. Every action taken in a context becomes a fulfillment of, an expression of, and a manifestation of that context. In that context your intention to end starvation can be realized. (Werner Erhard in ES, 22-3.)

For me, the context created now has a power greater than those facts. It has the power to generate a process, to generate a set of forces which are aligned with the end of hunger and starvation and which will create the circumstances within the next 20 years for the end of starvation. (Werner Erhard in ES, 24.)

Within your Self and from nothing you create the space, “The end of hunger and starvation on the planet in two decades,” and in that space you put all content and all process, and within the space, process is generated, which reorganizes and realigns the process and content. In that context, everything that happens in every moment is really the end of starvation manifesting itself. Each position that used to contribute to the pea soup now becomes a position manifesting itself as contributing to the end of starvation. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28.)

Context – The Self Creates Context from Nothing

Contexts are created by the Self, out of nothing. When you stop identifying yourself as a thing, as a position, and start experiencing your Self as the context, as the space, for your life – when you start experiencing that you are the context in which the content of your life occurs – you will automatically and necessarily experience responsibility for all the content in your space. You will experience that you are whole and complete and that you are aligned with other Selves, with the Self.

When you experience your Self as space, you create con­texts from which you can come into the world. One such context is the end of hunger and starvation on our planet within two decades. (Werner Erhard in ES, 18.)

All you need to create a context is your Self. The Hunger Project is an alignment of Selves taking responsibility for creating a context. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

The creation of a context … can be done only within your Self.

And you create a context from what? From nothing. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

The nature of context is that it is created. You create it and live your life out of that context, regardless of what you want a lot of the time. What you want will be contrary to what you do. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

The Self creates context; belief destroys context. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

The Self is the source of context. The way it creates a context is by creating a context. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, Dec. 10, 1979.)

Every major transformation in history begins within a being – as in Human Being. People first create a context within themselves – their Selves; then they bring that context to life in the world. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

The source of scientific discovery is to come from nothing and create a context for living. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Context and truth are one because the context is nothing. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Vision is the ability to look out from nowhere and see. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Creating context allows you to handle any context in your life. How much more powerful do you want to be? (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

We have the power to create our own limits. No, you can’t do anything about your circumstances except share them around and that hasn’t worked anyways. But you have the power to create the principles that will form the basis of your life. (Werner Erhard quoting Barnett Newman at the Werner Event, c1980.)

At first [the creation of context] will be “pretend,” and you’ll feel stupid, foolish. And then when you get in touch with the power of it, literally you can have life be the way you wish it to be. Day after day, creating the context, you give up your life to sell out to circumstances. Let the circumstances be. Even if life is crappy, create the context day after day. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Context – Recontextualization and Transformation

Our lives can be said to have two components or aspects: the content or facts and circumstances of our lives (including our positions, points of view, information, opinions, beliefs, concepts, rules and assumptions) and our context – the way in which we hold these facts, circumstances and positions.

The est training doesn’t change the content of anyone’s life, nor does it change what anyone knows. It deals with the context of the way we hold the content. People complete the training and return to the same family, friends, jobs and other situations. What happens in the training is a transformation – an essential shift in the context in which the facts, circumstances, and positions of one’s life are held.

While it may take forever to alter the facts or content of one’s life, it actually only takes an instant to transform the context in which those facts are held – and to realize fully that the ability to transform is actually available to us at any moment. During the 60 hours of the training, people have the opportunity to experience that instant.

Transformation occurs as a recontextualization – from a context where you are at the effect of “things” to a context where you are the source (“at cause”) of things. The heart of transformation is going from being at effect to being at cause. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

I have something I want to tell you which is very delicate. Perhaps delicate things should not be said in public because they are apt to be misunderstood. This is something so delicate it requires intimacy. So I say this to you not as a public statement but in the intimacy of the relationship which we have now established as beings.

Until now, each time someone has died as a consequence of starvation, that death was further evidence of the persistence of hunger and starvation. The instant you create a context – the end of hunger and starvation on the planet – then deaths resulting from starvation occur in that context, and suddenly the same deaths that had been a manifestation of the persistence of the problem become a manifestation of, virtually a contribution to, the end of the problem.

When a space in which something happens is trans­formed, the same happening takes on a different meaning and therefore leads to a different result. No one would ask anyone to die as a contribution toward the end of death – and it is a fact that when you create a context around death and make that context real, it does shift the meaning and result of the event.

A person can die as evidence of the persistence of hunger and starvation, in which case that person’s life and death have been reduced to meaninglessness. A person can die in the context of the end of hunger and starvation, and the context affords meaning – almost purpose to that life and death. (Werner Erhard in ES, 24.)

The fourth generating principle of The Hunger Project is the principle of transformation. … If you and I were caterpillars talking about flight, can you imagine what the talk would sound like? “We don’t have the power to fly. Caterpillars don’t fly. They wiggle. We’re too bulky and fat and we don’t have wings. We can’t do it.”

To which someone might reply: “But if a caterpillar could fly, by what method do you suppose it would happen?” Don’t you see that you can’t answer that with a caterpillar mentality? Whatever answer you figure out comes from the limited condi­tion; it is deduced from what already exists, that is, the form of the caterpillar. The creation of a context dissolves the limitations; it transforms the condition of unworkability and creates an opportunity for solutions to occur. …

Twenty years from now, when we’re looking back at how hunger and starvation ended, it will not look as if miracles had happened. Everyone will know how it happened. They will point to events that were pivotal, that made a difference. There will appear to be an obvious relationship between what was done and the logical consequences of what was done. The wea­ther got better; there were bigger crops; this government changed; the president said that; the government did this; and it all resulted in the end of starvation on the planet. In retrospect, that’s how miracles always appear to happen.

Butterflies can explain how caterpillars came to fly. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28-30.)

Satisfaction is intrinsic to the Self, as I was at this time (1963) just beginning to glimpse. Any mechanisms, such as those employed by [Maxwell] Maltz and [Napoleon] Hill, that fail to recognize and allow the Self block the experience of satisfaction that is intrinsic to the Self.

If the tools employed by Maltz and Hill are held in a wider context: that is, if they are recontextualized, they become invaluable. When contained in an inadequate context, they are of limited value. Even when they produce success, they can be destructive. (Werner Erhard in WE, 110.)

Our lives can be said to have two components or aspects: the content or facts and circumstances of our lives (including our positions, points of view, information, opinions, beliefs, concepts, rules and assumptions) and our context – the way in which we hold these facts, circumstances and positions.

The est training doesn’t change the content of anyone’s life, nor does it change what anyone knows. It deals with the context of the way we hold the content. People complete the training and return to the same family, friends, jobs and other situations. What happens in the training is a transformation – an essential shift in the context in which the facts, circumstances, and positions of one’s life are held.

While it may take forever to alter the facts or content of one’s life, it actually only takes an instant to transform the context in which those facts are held – and to realize fully that the ability to transform is actually available to us at any moment. During the 60 hours of the training, people have the opportunity to experience that instant. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

The technology of transformation is a set of principles, processes, and procedures that, when applied to certain situations, will lead to communication, responsibility, cooperation, results, workability. These principles, processes, and procedures will produce a world that works for everyone. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

Context – Context as an Idea Whose Time has Come

The point is to create a climate, an environment – specifically to create a context, a commitment – to the end of starvation, in which what is done is effective. (Werner Erhard in ES, 22.)

What causes an idea’s time to come? An idea’s time comes when the state of its existence is transformed from content into context.

As a content, an idea expresses itself as, or takes the form of, a position. A position is dependent for its very existence on other positions; positions exist only in relation to other posi­tions. The relationship is one of agreement or disagreement with other positions. This agreement or disagreement manifests itself in various familiar forms. For example, your position is similar to, cooperates with, or supports other positions; it is independent from or ignores, other positions; it protests, con­flicts with, or opposes other positions. Positions exist by virtue of contrast, such as being different from, or more than, or unrelated to, or better than other positions. A position cannot stand by itself; it is not self-sufficient.

To come at this from another direction, we can look at content is thing, because an idea as a position is a thing. That which is without limits is either everything or nothing, and therefore not something, not a thing. It follows then that a thing requires limits to exist. These limits are expressed as the bound­ary of that thing. Since the existence of a thing is dependent on its boundary, and a boundary, by definition, is that place be­tween a thing and not-that-thing (i.e., something else), the existence of a thing is dependent on something else – anything else. Therefore a thing, a content, is dependent on something outside itself for existence. Content is not self-sufficient.

Context is not dependent on something outside itself for existence; it is whole and complete in itself and, as a function of being whole, it allows for, it generates parts – that is to say, it generates content. Content is a piece, a part of the whole; its very nature is partial. Context is the whole; its nature is complete.

When an idea exists as a position – when it is a content – ­then it is an idea whose time has not come. When an idea’s time has not come, whatever you do to materialize or realize that idea does not work. When an idea’s time has not come, you have a condition of unworkability in which what you do doesn’t work, and you don’t do what works.

When an idea is transformed from content to context, then it is an idea whose time has come.

When an idea is transformed from existence as a position to existence as a space, then it is an idea whose time has come. Now an idea as position literally requires other positions for its existence, while an idea as space is both self-sufficient, requiring nothing else in order to exist, and allows for-is the space of-the existence of other ideas. When an idea is transformed from existing as a function of other ideas to being the space that allows all other ideas, then it is an idea whose time has come. (Werner Erhard in ES, 17-8.)

Context – The Context of Community

Perhaps the real outcome of the work of this [Community] workshop, the real purpose or true result, is a context of community being brought into being so that people can literally recognize themselves personally as community. Without that recognition, you and I remain incomplete. It’s not just that because we’re successful as individuals we turn to community to have a new game to play. Community is really who we are. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 3-4.)

No matter how successful we are as individuals, we remain incomplete unless we are able to recognize and express ourselves in community. We pay dearly for that incompletion by having to live in a world that does not work, by living in a condition of unworkability. A fundamental purpose of the workshop is a context of community being brought into being where people can recognize and know themselves as community. The stone which grinds us is shaped by the context we create for ourselves. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 9.)

We are finding out what we need to know right here. We are creating this together. I want to work with people who are willing to participate at a very high level of responsibility and integrity. We need to be willing to work through the difficulties and frustrations that accompany a creative process. We need to transcend our personal interests, our own agendas, and search for what is wanted and needed to create community. We will have to give up that last-ditch reaction to our frustration of not being able to get it done: ‘All right, I’ll do it myself.’ That won’t work any more. We need to learn to produce results by empowering each other. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 5 and 7.)

As a context, … the community now exists totally. Throughout the workshop we will grind and polish all that is in this room: the ideas, the notions, the personalities, the individuality, the weaknesses, the strengths, the beauties, and the uglinesses. Who we are, in essence, is community – and the workshop will keep grinding away at everything else until we manifest ourselves as community. The stone which grinds us is shaped by the context we create for ourselves. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 8-9.)

Context – The Context of Workability

While no one wants to be the first to say it, who each of us is and the fundamental choices each of us makes in life seem to matter very little.

Even acts of great courage and intelligence, while admirable and even inspiring, exist in sharp contrast to the apparent unworkability of the world at large. Our greatest technical achievement, walking on the moon, while galvanizing the world for a moment, did not fundamentally alter people’s experience of their lives and the world.

Sometime around now – it may have happened five years ago or 50 years ago – but sometime around now, the rules for living successfully on earth shifted, and an opportunity, unseen before, began to reveal itself.

This opportunity is a context – a particular space or paradigm, a way of being – which unexpectedly creates the possibility for a person’s life to truly make a difference.

In this context, the way each of us answers the question, ‘What is my life really going to be about?’ can literally alter the course of humanity.

The possibility to create the context in which people’s lives really matter is undoubtedly the most profound opportunity available to anyone, ever. (Poster for A Shot Heard Round the World: A World that Works for Everyone, Spring 1980.)

The appropriate context for life is that life shall work for everyone. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

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 then unthinkable, dare to do more than dream, dare to be the architect of your own world. (Werner Erhard in poster for A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone, Spring 1980.)

The appropriate context for life is that life shall work for everyone. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

The organizing principle for a life that works for everyone is “you and me.” (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

A completely-developed, whole human being will naturally select as a context for life that his life will work for everyone. But it’s not going to happen automatically. You’ve gotta be able to keep your word. Because there’ll be times when you want to break it. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

You need to go home and find out what’s wanted and needed to make the world work where you are, to create a you-and-me world context for life. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Context – The Context of Making a Difference

What makes a difference is to create a context in which everybody makes a difference and no one is left out. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Thank you for having the courage, audacity, and heart to create as the context for your life that people – you – make a difference. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, April 1980.)

The purpose of the Making a Difference series is to support you in your intention to make a difference by expanding your mastery of creating context by revealing your ability to empower and be empowered by a group. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Context – The Civil Rights Movement as an Example of the Power of Context

It is important to get that opposing positions actually contribute to establishing a context. In the case of the civil rights movement during the 1960s, for example, all those people who opposed civil rights for blacks actually contributed to creating a national dialogue that demonstrated to the country that the issue could no longer be ignored. Every government official in the South who stood in the doorway of a school and prevented black children from entering had been a cause, a part of the persistence, of the problem, of the oppression. After the cre­ation of a context – “equal rights and dignity for blacks” – the very same action that had been a part of the problem’s persistence became an action contributing to the end of legal discrimination against minority races. Then, every such action contributed to an increased awareness of the issue, to the passage of civil rights legislation and to the gradual change in attitude that ultimately evidenced itself in the recognition that civil rights was an idea whose time had come.

In a newly-created context the most important position is the position, “It can’t be done.” That is the first and most important content to be processed, to be realigned. (Werner Erhard in ES, 19-20.)

Context – Putting a Man on the Moon as an Example of the Power of Context

You are probably not yet clear about what context is – at least, not how it works – so we’ll use an example. On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy initiated a context when he told Congress: “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

By creating the context, “A man on the moon in 10 years,” Kennedy transformed space travel from merely a good idea – which had not succeeded despite considerable attempts, the feasibility of which had been questioned, argued, and discussed – into an idea whose time had come.

The result of what Kennedy did can be understood by analogy. It is as if he created a building named, “A man on the moon in 10 years,” and inside that building he put offices for all the various ideas, positions, notions and people that had to do with space flight. The first office inside the front door of the building in 1961 would have been called, “It can’t be done.” This office would have been inhabited by the skeptics and cynics.

A content or position is threatened by any opposite posi­tion. Given two opposing positions, only one can survive. On the other hand, a context gives space to, it literally allows, it even encourages, positions that are apparently opposite. In fact, the most important position in a newly-created context is the posi­tion which appears to oppose the context.

It is important to get that opposing positions actually contribute to establishing a context. In the case of the civil rights movement during the 1960s, for example, all those people who opposed civil rights for blacks actually contributed to creating a national dialogue that demonstrated to the country that the issue could no longer be ignored.

Every government official in the South who stood in the doorway of a school and prevented black children from entering had been a cause, a part of the persistence, of the problem, of the oppression. After the creation of a context – “equal rights and dignity for blacks” – the very same action that had been a part of the problem’s persistence became an action contributing to the end of legal discrimination against minority races.

Then, every such action contributed to an increased awareness of the issue, to the passage of civil rights legislation and to the gradual change in attitude that ultimately evidenced itself in the recognition that civil rights was an idea whose time had come.

In a newly-created context the most important position is the position, “It can’t be done.” That is the first and most important content to be processed, to be realigned. Anyone who has created a context knows that context generates process; process in turn grinds up content, it changes content so that it becomes aligned with the context.

In the building of “A man on the moon in 10 years,” the skeptics and cynics were working on “It can’t be done” in the context of doing it, so that instead of being a threat or a stop to the goal, suddenly their skepticism and cynicism started con­tributing to the achievement of the goal.

All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Context generates process. A contextu­ally-generated process transcends the existing forces; it trans­forms those forces. A contextually-generated process aligns the existing forces within the context. Then the aligned forces pro­vide a condition of workability. Every action taken in a context is a fulfillment of, an expression of, and a manifestation of that context. The pessimism, the cynicism, the position, “It can’t be done,” are ground up by the process generated by the context, and are transformed into the material out of which the result is achieved. When an idea is transformed so that the apparently opposing idea actually validates and gives expression to the idea, then it is an idea whose time has come.

Pretty soon the it-can’t-be-done people became aligned. They were still skeptics (that’s their nature), they were still cynics (that’s their nature), but they were suddenly now cynical and skeptical and in alignment with the context called “A man on the moon in 10 years.”

Then they just moved out of the way and the new office in the front of the building was: “You can’t put a man on the moon without this specific kind of metal and we don’t have this specific kind of metal.”

As we all know, the metals were invented and produced. Then what moved up was: “But you don’t know whether to do it with high technology or high energy.” We know that that one was resolved. The Russians said high energy. The United States said high technology. It didn’t make any difference. Within the context of putting a man on the moon in 10 years, either one of the solutions would have worked.

Unlike the problem of hunger, in which solutions already exist, there were no solutions to the problem of getting a man to the moon in 1961. President Kennedy created a context called “A man on the moon in 10 years,” and out of that context, in which the question of feasibility was merely one of many posi­tions within the context, came the workable solution: the Con­gressional approval, appropriations of money, technological breakthroughs, NASA, and, ultimately, men on the moon. Be­fore then, space travel was not possible because the attempts to make it real existed in a condition of unworkability.

In 1961, the people all the wav in the back of the building called “A man on the moon in 10 years” were optimists. Much less than 10 years later they had the first office, the office of “It will be done.” In 1969, it was done.

The position “It will be done” and the position “You can’t do it” are merely positions within the context of “A man on the moon in 10 years” – or within the context of “The end of hunger and starvation on this planet in two decades.”

The Hunger Project should not be compared literally with the space project. It is the power of a context to cause an idea’s time to come that is analogous; nothing else. (Werner Erhard in ES, 19-21.)

Context – The Hunger Project as an Example of the Power of Context

There is some sense of connectedness among the people of the world that is damaged when we think of 20 million people dying of hunger. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 19 Jan. 1981.)

Within two months of the initiation of The Hunger Proj­ect, the National Academy of Sciences published a report based on a two-year study announcing that we have the ability to end hunger and starvation on the planet in two decades. The report stressed that a key factor in ending hunger is the will to reach that goal. As you can see, the facts support that the end of hunger and starvation is an idea whose time has come. (21-2.)

Now as a practical expression of that, you will ask: “What can I do?” The Hunger Project does not answer that for you. It goes out of its way to not answer that question for you. Instead, it creates a context in which you get to answer that question yourself, so that the answer is your own answer. (Werner Erhard in ES, 25.)

The Hunger Project is not something more to do. It is not something better than what is being done. It is not some new and different and wonderful thing which makes everything in the past obsolete. No. The Hunger Project is about causing the end of hunger and starvation on the planet in two decades to be an idea whose time has come, by causing the end of hunger and starvation in two decades to exist as a context for what we do and for the process of decision and discussion by which we arrive at what to do. (ES, 22-3.)

Out of the context, “The end of hunger and starvation on the planet in two decades,” sometime in the next month some opportunity to do something to make real the end of hunger and starvation on the planet will cross your path. Instead of interact­ing with it out of a position, you will be able to interact with the opportunity out of this context. Then, what you do will be wholly appropriate to the end of hunger and starvation. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28.)

There isn’t a person reading this who does not know, the power of context in his, or her own life. Whether you were conscious of it or not at the time, there have been times when you created a context in your life. As a consequence of your doing so, suddenly things started to work: That which previously did not work, that which was stuck and not moving, suddenly began to move and start working. When you create a context, it’s not that you are now doing something very much different from what you were doing before or even that you now know something very much different from what you knew before. It is that there is a shift in the climate, the space­ – specifically, the context – in which you work, that makes things suddenly workable.

I tell you that the power of context is real. True, it doesn’t seem very real if you operate out of a system of reality that says that the body of the person over there is more real than the love that that person experiences. My love for you is a lot more real to me than your body is. Your love is an experience more real for me than your face. The context – the end of hunger and starvation on the planet in two decades – is very real for me. It’s more real than the “yes-buts,” “how-abouts,” the confusion, the doubt, the controversy, the conflict. This context is now more real for me than the facts regarding the persistence of starvation.

For me, the context created now has a power greater than those facts. It has the power to generate a process, to generate a set of forces which are aligned with the end of hunger and starvation and which will create the circumstances within the next 20 years for the end of starvation. (Werner Erhard in ES, 23-4.)

It is clear that any position one takes will only add to the pea soup. It is clear that nothing we do in this condition will be anything more than a gesture. It may be ambitious and massive, but it will be a gesture nonetheless. It is clear that given the current set of forces, given the current condition, nothing will end starvation on the planet. And it is clear that when its time comes, starvation will end as a function of what we do and we will do what ends it.

It is clear that mere opinion, argument, doubt, mistrust and explanation only contribute to hopeless­ness and frustration. It is clear that making and supporting gestures is only a way of avoiding responsibility. It is clear that defending a position, arguing a point of view, only adds to the pea soup. It is clear that when the end of hunger and starvation on this planet is an idea whose time has come, then this mess in which we have been living will be transformed into the end of hunger and starvation on this planet. (Werner Erhard in ES, 15.)

The first generating principle comes from a question Buckminster Fuller asks. Bucky’s question is: “What can the little individual do?” What can you do as an individual that some big organization or government can’t do?

What you can do that no other entity can do is create a context. Only you have the power to create a context. It cannot be done by a group. It cannot be done by an organization. It must happen within the Self. The home of context is Self. Only within your Self can you create the context: The end of hunger and starvation on the planet within two decades. That is what the little individual can do. (Werner Erhard in ES, 25.)

The second generating principle is that the project is an alignment of wholes, not a sum of parts. In this project you do not do your “part.” There is no “part” for you to do. This is a project in which you are the whole project.

If you enroll yourself in the project you become the source of the project. It becomes your project and anyone working to eliminate hunger and starvation around the world will be work­ing for you because you have taken the responsibility to create the context of the end of hunger and starvation on the planet.

When you do that, anybody doing anything is working for you.

Let me give you an analogy. If you take a transparency, a photographic slide, and you cut the transparency in half and you project one half on a screen, what you see is half a picture. On the other hand, if you take a holographic transparency and you cut it in half and you project it, what you see is the whole picture. In a holographic transparency, each part is not a part. Each part is a whole that contains the entire picture.

Similarly, The Hunger Project is not you doing your part. It is a transformation from you doing your part, to you being the source of it all. The Hunger Project is an alignment of sources, an alignment of wholes. You are the source of The Hunger Project. You make the project completely yours in a way that allows others to make it completely theirs. No one gets credit for the project, and each of us is allowed to own the project completely. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

The third generating principle of The Hunger Project is the one I’ve already discussed with you: the creation of a context, to cause the end of hunger and starvation on this planet in two decades to be an idea whose time has come. It can be done only within your Self.

And you create a context from what? From nothing. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

The fourth generating principle of The Hunger Project is the principle of transformation. … If you and I were caterpillars talking about flight, can you imagine what the talk would sound like? “We don’t have the power to fly. Caterpillars don’t fly. They wiggle. We’re too bulky and fat and we don’t have wings. We can’t do it.”

To which someone might reply: “But if a caterpillar could fly, by what method do you suppose it would happen?” Don’t you see that you can’t answer that with a caterpillar mentality? Whatever answer you figure out comes from the limited condi­tion; it is deduced from what already exists, that is, the form of the caterpillar. The creation of a context dissolves the limitations; it transforms the condition of unworkability and creates an opportunity for solutions to occur. …

Twenty years from now, when we’re looking back at how hunger and starvation ended, it will not look as if miracles had happened. Everyone will know how it happened. They will point to events that were pivotal, that made a difference. There will appear to be an obvious relationship between what was done and the logical consequences of what was done. The wea­ther got better; there were bigger crops; this government changed; the president said that; the government did this; and it all resulted in the end of starvation on the planet. In retrospect, that’s how miracles always appear to happen.

Butterflies can explain how caterpillars came to fly. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28-30.)

Context – The Context of est

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. (Werner Erhard in Judy Oringer, “Transforming the Beingsphere,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1978, 4.)

The context of est is to make the world work. It always has been that. … est has always been about making a difference. It has been about transforming the “beingsphere.” … The real purpose of est has always been to make aliveness the natural, rather than the unnatural, condition. (Werner Erhard in Judy Oringer, “Transforming the Beingsphere,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1978, 5.)

Our lives can be said to have two components or aspects: the content or facts and circumstances of our lives (including our positions, points of view, information, opinions, beliefs, concepts, rules and assumptions) and our context – the way in which we hold these facts, circumstances and positions.

The est training doesn’t change the content of anyone’s life, nor does it change what anyone knows. It deals with the context of the way we hold the content. People complete the training and return to the same family, friends, jobs and other situations. What happens in the training is a transformation – an essential shift in the context in which the facts, circumstances, and positions of one’s life are held.

While it may take forever to alter the facts or content of one’s life, it actually only takes an instant to transform the context in which those facts are held – and to realize fully that the ability to transform is actually available to us at any moment. During the 60 hours of the training, people have the opportunity to experience that instant.

Transformation occurs as a recontextualization – from a context where you are at the effect of “things” to a context where you are the source (“at cause”) of things. The heart of transformation is going from being at effect to being at cause. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Create Space for Others – See Love

Creation

Being truly alive is creative and generative. One creates one’s own life. How? Very simple. By making a distinction called the domain of creation. (Werner Erhard in the Review, July/August 1982.)

One creates from nothing.
If you try to create from something, you’re just changing something.
So in order to create something, you first have to be able to create nothing. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Watch. I’m now going to create something. “Let there be light.” Notice I only create what is. I can’t create what isn’t. See, if I said, “let there be darkness,” I’d get my mind in a mess. I’d definitely have my head up my asshole. It’s dark up there. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

From nothing, you create for no reason. So there’s certainty. It’s what’s so. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

You are the space in which it exists. When you have space, you can do what you can’t do with the records there – you can create. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Create from nothing. For no reason. From nothing, everything/nothing creates for no reason.

Creating is distinguishing from everything what is, for no reason.

Intention is the force of drawing the distinction, the force without forcing, the allowing of something to be. Intention is the flipside of experiencing. There can’t be the front of my hand without the back. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Life is about creating and letting go, and creating and letting go. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Being truly alive is creative and generative. One creates one’s own life. How? Very simple. By making a distinction called the domain of creation. (Werner Erhard, The Review, July/August 1982, back cover.)

Culture, A.

All of the programs of the Consulting Services Group are designed to enhance and to reinforce a culture. A culture that recognizes and appreciates each contribution to the quality of life and ignores no one’s needs, or pain, or discomfort. A culture where it is all right to dedicate your life to greatness, to excellence, to humanity. A culture in which the dreams of our innocence are occasions for action rather than cause for embarrassment. (Brian Regnier, October 1981, cited in brochure on The Nature of Reality. A Course in Well-Being.)

Data

The data will not set you free. You’ve got to set you free by engaging with it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

You’re attempting to make the responsibility for being a success a function of information instead of a function of yourself. But in going for more information, you’re going for making more better. Do you need moe information? (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Decisions

“Decide” has the same root as “suicide,” “homicide,” and “infanticide.” It means murdering the alternative. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Your decisions are a filter through which you organize communication. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, October 1980.)

It’s the decisions that we’ve made in our lives that run us. After the Training you’re no longer run by those circumstances in your life. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Dehypnotized

Here you find the real difference between hypnosis, as understood in the West, and the meditative and yogic disciplines, as understood in the east. In Eastern religions and disciplines, it is well known that trance states can be used to provide power to manipulate the cybernetic machinery of the Mind. But that is not the point at all; that is just a stage that you pass through. The Eastern disciplines recognize the existence of Self beyond Mind.

The point is to be dehypnotized. That is what an expanded state of consciousness actually involves. This is a state of consciousness characterized by freedom, one in which one is not at the effect of suggestions, beliefs, patterns, or any other unconscious mechanistic forces. On the way to such an expanded state of consciousness, one moves through both the trance of normal states of consciousness and those states formally labeled as trance. It is as legitimate to make use of trance states as it is to make use of normal states of consciousness. Both normal and trance states are, in and of themselves, neutral states of being. (Werner Erhard in WE, 82.)

Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty – See Above the Line between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty

Discomfort

We’d rather invalidate and cut out of the situation than hang in with it and watch the other person pop. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

The whole key to experiencing is to be willing to feel uncomfortable. And, out of that, you’ll get free from operating out of your concepts to being ready to operate out of your experience.

If you want to go back to feeling comfortable, then go back to Santa Claus, the Tooth Fair, and the boogie man can’t get you with the blankets over your head. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

Doing nothing – No justification for that

By the way, this is not a justification for doing nothing, either. The truth doesn’t justify anything. It’s a place to come from, not something to argue with. This paper is not an attempt to take a stand. What we’re attempting to do is to get at the truth about hunger and starvation on our planet. And when you get to the truth of it, when you work your way to the source of it, you see that hunger and starvation of this planet are a function of the forces in which we live on this planet. (Werner Erhard in ES, 13.)

Double-Bind

The way you break a double bind is to communicate, and you risk whatever the penalty is that lies behind the double bind.

Here’s the double bind: “You never tell me that you love me.” “I love you.” “You’re only saying that because I criticized you.” (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Doubts

Looking back, I know that I could probably have laughed about the vehicle that Werner used to develop the training: the book business. Being a doctor, I could have been a real snob about that. Probably was.

Then here he comes along with this vehicle called a race care, which is no less audacious than the book business. As a result of my experience of him and of what happened to me in the training, I’m willing to be engaged in what he’s doing now. The same skepticism has come up for me, the same doubts, as came up when my wife Jeanne told me about the training before I’d taken it. The difference is that I’m not as inclined to make decisions on the basis of those doubts. (Jerry Joiner, est Trainer, Graduate Review, October 1979, 3.)

Dramatizing errors

[Werner] knows that if you do your job wrong and fail to acknowledge it, yiu will dramatize it. You will get tired, or get a cold, or a headache, or be bitchy to someone. You will make more and bigger mistakes until you make one so dramatic that you get called on the carpet and perhaps even fired. So if I ever did anything wrong – and in the beginning I rarely did anything right – Werner would correct me as soon as he found out. (Randy McNamara, est Trainer, Graduate Review, May 1978.)

Ego

I saw that I had to take responsibility for my own ego, so that my transformation would not turn into just another ego trip. I had destroyed my previous [1963] experience by holding it incorrectly – by believing it and being righteous about it. I was concerned that I might do that again.

What resolved this worry was realizing that it is ultimate ego to suppose that you can function without ego. I saw that I could let my ego be, and that when I did so, it would let me be. It would not longer impede me. Instead of my ego’s running the show, I could run the show. It was a matter of my being willing to be at cause with my own ego, to hold it as something that belonged to me – not to resist it or try to get rid of it, not to prove that I didn’t have one, not fall into it, submit to it, or let it run me. Now this was a matter, in part, of taking responsibility for Jack Rosenberg and for Werner Erhard. It was all over for Werner Erhard. And yet now, for the first time, I could use that particular personality, Werner Erhard, as a means of expression, as a way to express the Self. (Werner Erhard in WE, 169.)

Embarrassment

Look at your fear of embarrassment. … Take a look at the person you are afraid you are. You see, winning and losing go together. It’s possible to get beyond winning and losing. Your real self doesn’t really give a damn about winning and losing. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977, 4.)

Embarrassment … is something that most of the time we don’t get our hands into, it’s too touchy. You’re not allowed to talk about the embarrassment of being. As a matter of fact, maturity is probably that process in which you learn to hide the fact that you’re embarrassed about being at all. If you’re very mature you’re really got it hidden beautifully, and if you’re not quite so mature, then you don’t hide it so well, and it’s popping out all over the place. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977, 4.)

Empowerment

The next ledge of the game in which you’re calling people on their rackets is to get them to see what’s going down in such a way that they’re not invalidated but empowered by it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

We’re interested in empowering people. If what we do is to empower people to make the development without empowering them to produce the results, what happens? Zero. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

The process works in magical ways, and you can’t manipulate it. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

I don’t think that white people with white glove should go into a black ghetto to show black people how to operate. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

What I know now is that my money makes a difference in the world. I knew I could. But I never knew my money could. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

End to Hunger – See The Hunger Project – An end to hunger

Enlightenment – See also Transformation

The purpose of the special seminar on enlightenment is for you to be able to relate to and understand enlightenment in a way that it can contribute to the expansion of your aliveness rather than being a concept for you. (est brochure on the Special Graduate Seminar Series, n.d.)

The last thing people have to give up in the training to get it – to be enlightened – is that they aren’t enlightened. (Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, May 1978, 23.)

The fundamental principle of en-darken-ment is that you are smaller than the physical universe. If you are smaller than the physical universe, you can’t be master of it. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

est

All of est comes out of the abstraction “making a difference.” (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

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. (Werner Erhard in Judy Oringer, “Transforming the Beingsphere,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1978, 4.)

The context of est is to make the world work. It always has been that. … est has always been about making a difference. It has been about transforming the “beingsphere.” … The real purpose of est has always been to make aliveness the natural, rather than the unnatural, condition.

The day that I’m not clear that that can be done, Ill resign and go sailing. I’m not interested in making gestures. I’m really not very worried about most of the things that worry most people about est. My experience over the years is that the things that worry people about est are irrelevant to the outcome of things in the world.

… this Board … really [does] have an opportunity to make a difference in the quality of life – to transform the beingsphere … it is possible. It is not likely, since it’s never been done before. It’s not likely, since better people than us have tried it, and so on and so forth. I know that the opportunity is there, and I have the suspicion that the opportunity has always been there, and that it hasn’t been actualized because we haven’t, in the past, realized or taken responsibility for the opportunity. (Werner Erhard in Judy Oringer, “Transforming the Beingsphere,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1978, 5.)

From a pyramidal structure we have created a very different shape and topology. It is actually a globe. A globe has no top, and no head. Wherever you are, that’s the center. Everything flows around the surface or through the center of the globe to any place else. Each of us is the center of that sphere, flowing information and power out and in from any other point on the sphere, either around the surface of through the center. (Werner Erhard in “A Report on the Project to Create est Anew,” Graduate Review, Nov./Dec. 1980.)

est Training

Our lives can be said to have two components or aspects: the content or facts and circumstances of our lives (including our positions, points of view, information, opinions, beliefs, concepts, rules and assumptions) and our context – the way in which we hold these facts, circumstances and positions.

The est training doesn’t change the content of anyone’s life, nor does it change what anyone knows. It deals with the context of the way we hold the content. People complete the training and return to the same family, friends, jobs and other situations. What happens in the training is a transformation – an essential shift in the context in which the facts, circumstances, and positions of one’s life are held.

While it may take forever to alter the facts or content of one’s life, it actually only takes an instant to transform the context in which those facts are held – and to realize fully that the ability to transform is actually available to us at any moment. During the 60 hours of the training, people have the opportunity to experience that instant.

Transformation occurs as a recontextualization – from a context where you are at the effect of “things” to a context where you are the source (“at cause”) of things. The heart of transformation is going from being at effect to being at cause. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

If it isn’t predigested, it’s hard. If it isn’t yes or no, or something you can vote on, it’s hard. This is hard and worth it. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Knowing that you can choose, that you have the power to transform the quality of your life – at every moment, and in all circumstances – is what the est training is about. And that transformation can happen in an instant. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

The est training is a 60-hour educational experience which creates an opportunity for people to realize their potential to transform the quality of their lives. It is about an expansion of that area of life called aliveness – an expansion of the experience of happiness, love, health, and full self-expression.

The purpose of the est training is to transform your ability to experience living so that the situations you have been trying to change or have been putting up with clear up just in the process of life itself. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

The est training was created by Werner Erhard in 1971. There are twelve est trainers, who have been personally trained by Werner. The training is currently offered in 3 cities in Canada, 26 in the United States, two in India, in London, England and in Israel. To date, more than 250,000 people from all walks of life, ranging in age from 13 to 91, have completed the est Standard Training.

The training operates on the principle that there is only one thing powerful enough to transform the quality of your life in just four days – you. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Est is not a system of beliefs or tendencies to be learned and practised. Some people approach the training with enthusiasm, and some with skepticism – and some with both. Your willingness to be there is all you need. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

The est training is not designed for people who “need” it. Most people who take the training already experience success and productivity in their lives. The training is about a dimension of life beyond success. It is about realizing your true potential for producing aliveness and satisfaction in your life. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Sometimes people get the notion that the purpose of est is to make you better. It is not.

I happen to think that you are perfect exactly the way you are. … The problem is that people get stuck acting the way they were, instead of being the way they are. (Werner Erhard, “Your complete training schedule, Vancouver, November,” © 1977.)

Graduates often report the results of the training in their lives, and when they do, certain areas tend to be frequently cited by them as areas of noticeable transformation in the quality of their lives. Some of the areas include:

  • expanded satisfaction, wholeness, and completeness in relationships.
  • An enhanced willingness and ability to communicate with others completely and spontaneously.
  • A greater sense of certainty and clarity in handling problems and choices in life.
  • More effortless and satisfying accomplishment in work.
  • Improved physical health.
  • A renewed sense of the joy and challenge of life.
  • A clearer sense of meaning, direction, and purpose.
  • A recognition of self-imposed limitations and a reduction of pretense and defensiveness.
  • A sense of competence and power and of being willing to be responsible for one’s experience of life.
  • An expanded commitment to contribute to the quality of others’ lives. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

The three basic premises of est are:

(1) You are perfect and there are barriers to your experiencing that perfection.
(2) Change causes persistence.
(3) Transformation causes disappearance. (est Trainer Stewart Esposito, 24 May 1980.)

The training is not about escaping life. It’s about training yourself in the skills of living. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 10 Jan. 1981.)

Please don’t change here in the Training. I don’t want you to change anything about you. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

The est Training is the opportunity to transcend circumstances.

You know an enormous amount about the training and you can express very little. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 15 Jan. 1980.)

What actually happens in the Training is that there is a shift so that, instead of being the content of you life, you are the context, the space in which the content goes on. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

What the training offers is the chance to step back and unhook the circuits and see what we want to do in our lives. (est Vancouver manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

The true value of the est training is what’s left after we fuck it up. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 15 Jan. 1980.)Relax. It’s gonna get worse. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

If your picture of freedom means never getting plugged in, then the first time you got plugged in after the training you probably concluded that you were ripped off for $400.) (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 15 Jan. 1980.)

The training is asshole proof because what you get is nothing. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Remember: You can always count on me to do nothing. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You can’t ever go back. Too bad. Your life is doomed to turn out. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You all know what I’m talking about. (Just say “yes”). (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Remember when you asked yourself five years ago how things would turn out? Well, this is how they turned out. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

This is a game where you win, no matter how badly you play. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The est Training is not another experience. It’s not about getting better. It’s not a religion. It’s not touchy-feely. It’s not a therapy. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Cut that out. This isn’t any humanistic bullshit. No touchy-feely crap here. (Ted Long, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 16, 1980 to a woman who is comforting another woman.)

We have gone about as far out as it can get without having our vote cancelled. … People in the breakthrough. Longer ropes. What do you need before you transform your lives? Some of you discipline freaks are sitting there planning your next course, saying “This was nice.” You had a few highs and heard a few neat remarks to take home to your friends. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

The trainer “works close to the material.” (WE, xx.)

People sometimes misunderstand the est training and think that after they have taken the training they’ve got it all. In fact, it is the beginning of something. But it is a complete beginning. It is something started so fully that you can’t draw back from it. It is something you never get over. It is with you for the rest of your life. (Werner Erhard in “A Report on the Project to Create est Anew,” Graduate Review, Nov./Dec. 1980.)

As demonstrably valuable as the est Training is, people are not breaking down the doors to get into it. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

est & Life Series

Werner designed the est & Life series to enable you to locate, communicate and dissolve the barriers you have to getting the job done in specific areas of your life, including and mot limited to your work.

Getting the job done – being responsible for the way things turn out and having them turn out perfectly – expands aliveness, creates space for people to experience, and produces the experience of completion, fulfillment and satisfaction. (est brochure on the est & Life Series, n.d.)

Getting the job done in life is what’s confronted in this series. It’s designed to allow you to get in touch with your ability to have things in your life ho right and turn out perfectly. (“It’s What’s Up ‘Now” That Counts,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Ethical Behavior

When you reach a goal, you’ve filled a space. All there is to do then is to create a bigger space. Along with that, the trick is to keep your ethics open. Ethical behavior is behavior that produces the greatest amount of aliveness. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

What ethical behavior looks like is to not knowingly create an upset. And if you do, clean it up. That gets you into the game. It’s the bottom-line, operational level. From there, where you want to go is to the place where you’re contributing to the space your full known experience of yourself at the time. Another way of saying that is to play 100% all the time. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Everything/Nothing

If you simply tell the truth about the content, it will disappear back into everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.

Since there is no content at the level of experience, we have no examples. As you get towards true experience, it disappears and we get back to everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

You’re stuck with yourself as a conclusion, an assumption, a thing. The truth is, who you are is everything/nothing, the context for it all. You know what happens when you misidentify yourself with a concept? You resist. And it gets heavier. The story of life. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Enthusiasm vs. Excitement

Most people have never experienced enthusiasm. … It is an inspired state. Whereas excitement, which is a common experience, is only a high-energy state. … Excitement is related to personality and Mind; enthusiasm is related to Self. When you reach the Self, you get enthusiasm. The enthusiasm may be quiet or humorous or exuberant or buoyant. It is there naturally, whereas excitement is something added on or put out. Excitement is noise of outer form. You can fake or pretend excitement. Enthusiasm is what you essentially are. You can’t pretend it. Everybody is always enthusiastic. One reveals or discovers one’s enthusiasm. (Werner Erhard in EW, 143-4.)

Existence

Most of the time we think that “existence” refers simply to what “is” already there – the facts that shape our options, and that lie largely beyond our control. However, when we grasp our authorship of existence as a conversation, we expand our power over circumstance, and our ability to direct actions consistent with what we intend. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

Expectations

To be in a state of expectation, what does one have to give up now? Now. So can you ever be satisfied in a state of expectation? No. Can you ever be satisfied in the future? No. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, Nov. 1980.)

The purpose of expectations is to make us right in our own eyes. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipsett, 24 Sept. 1980.)

The value of expectations is that you get to be righteous about other things, states and people. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipsett, 24 Sept. 1980.)

I expect the sun to shine tomorrow. If it doesn’t, I get to be right and upset. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipsett, 24 Sept. 1980.)

Expectations are there to justify upsetness over a failure. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Experience – See also Beliefs, Concepts, Above the Line Between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Knowing or Certainty, Present Time

Parts of an experience: Body location and sensations; emotions; attitudes; states of mind; point of view; behaviour or body movement; posture; facial expression’ considerations; images from the past. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Start operating out of your experience or know when you’re not. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

How do you know what you know about communication? You can never tell us what you’re experiencing right now, and right now, and right now. All you can do is report on right then.

Experience just is. Experience is here and it’s gone; now and it’s then. Put a bunch of “nows” together and you get process. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

As you move more and more into experience, the fewer are the explanations that you have. The explanations are all “how come.” (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Since there is no content at the level of experience, we have no examples. As you get towards true experience, it disappears and we get back to everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Experience – Unexperienced experience – See also Beliefs, Concepts

Below the line [is] unconscious awareness, unexperienced experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The concept begins to determine the experience. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

People are very seldom in present time experiencing their experience. They usually spend their time in one of two places – how it was and how it will be. Being with yourself now is what happens when you get past your barriers to experiencing in present time. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Experience – Experienced experience

The only thing you can ever be free of is what you are willing to experience. What you are not willing to experience you cannot be free of. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

You don’t need to worry about getting where you want to go. You’ll get to where you want to go if you just experience where you are. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

Put two things in the same space and they disappear. You assholes who are fat people in skinny bodies, put fat where fat is and it disappears. Put a headache where a headache is and it disappears. Put anger where anger is and it disappears.

But you know what you do? You put a smile on anger. You put guilt on pain. You put joy on depression. Get into being angry, without dumping on anyone. Get into pain. Get into depression. And it will disappear. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

The experience [of the est Training] is a transformation only if you create it changing every facet of [your] life in relation to that incident. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 19 Jan. 1981.)

Knowing it intellectually is accurate but not the truth. It’s knowing it, not experiencing it. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Experience – It has no content

Since there is no content at the level of experience, we have no examples. As you get towards true experience, it disappears and we get back to everything/nothing. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 15, 1980.)

Explanations – See also Reasons

The explanation [a person chooses to explain their life] is almost irrelevant. (Werner Erhard in WE, 24.)

As you move more and more into experience, the fewer are the explanations that you have. The explanations are all “how come.” (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Failure

Failure is when you don’t want what you have. That’s the senior definition. The junior definition of failure is a thwarted intention. (est Seminar Leader Susan Lipsett, 5 Jan. 1981.)

False Cause – See also Victim

The lowest level of non-experienced experience is false cause. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

“Weather Reports.” The weather’s cloudy, the ground wet, so I can’t run today. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Out of false cause a person will come up with reasons for what he is experiencing. And you’ll notice that they’re always good reasons. And it’s reasonable-ness because “ness” always comes out of machinery. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Firing people up

People have said to me: “Sure, you can talk to 40,000 people and get them all fired up. How long will that excitement and commitment last? What will happen after it wears off?”

If I have to keep people fired up, this project is a joke. If this project isn’t natural to your Self, this project is a fraud. (EC, 26.)

This is not a movement. This is not a bandwagon. There is no movement or bandwagon to join. You can’t be a part of something here. You can only be the whole thing, aligned with other people who also are the whole thing. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

Forces – The forces in the world

It is the forces in the world which result in 15 million of us dying each year as a consequence of starvation. It is the forces emanating from the condition in which you and I and all of us live that result in those 15 million deaths each year.

Call them political forces, if you like. Study the political forces and you will see that hunger and starvation on the planet are the inevitable result of those forces. It doesn’t make any difference what form the forces come in, or how you change them. When you study the various forms of political forces, you see that hunger and starvation are the inevitable result. If you don’t like politics, do it with economic forces. If you don’t like economics, do it with sociological forces. Psychological forces. Philosophical forces. Or if you prefer, a combination of them.

The forces in the world come from and are consistent with the existing content, the existing circumstances. In turn, these content-determined forces circle back to reinforce the existing content, the existing circumstances, in an endless cycle. This process describes the condition of unworkability in which, no matter what you do, it does not work.

The point is that when you get your own belief system out of the way and you get through the confusion, controversy and opinions, down to the source of the problem of the persistence of starvation on the planet, you see that it is a function of the forces on this planet.

As an analogy, let’s assume we live in a world in which the forces are represented by invisible horizontal lines. Any attempt to take vertical actions is stopped by the horizontal forces that turn all vertical movement into horizontal movement. You can’t see those forces. They are like magnetism or gravity. You can see their results, but you can’t see the forces themselves.

To continue the analogy, let’s assume that horizontal ac­tions result in the persistence of hunger and that to end hunger you need to take vertical actions. But if you do that in a field of horizontal forces, you can see what happens. You end up being forced to move horizontally. So what you do, even when you try to end starvation, is consistent with the persistence of starvation. Inevitably. No matter what you do, it will be ultimately ineffec­tive in ending starvation. Starvation will persist.

By the way, this is not a justification for doing nothing, either. The truth doesn’t justify anything. It’s a place to come from, not something to argue with. This paper is not an attempt to take a stand. What we’re attempting to do is to get at the truth about hunger and starvation on our planet. And when you get to the truth of it, when you work your way to the source of it, you see that hunger and starvation of this planet are a function of the forces in which we live on this planet. (Werner Erhard in ES, 12-3.)

Game

Life is a game.
In order to have a game
Something has to be more important
Than something else.

If what already is,
Is more important than what isn’t
The game is over.
So, life is a game in which what isn’t
Is more important than what is.

Let the good times roll. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Gestures

When you do something that is hopeless, what you’re doing is experienced as a gesture. I’m fundamentally opposed to gestures. I consider them to be dehumanizing. They say that you don’t count; you don’t matter; you don’t make a difference. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

You can’t discover this principle of opposites by making gestures. The United States Congress can make an enormous gesture, a billion-dollar gesture. There are organizations around the planet that can make big gestures, hundred-million-dollar gestures. There are small organizations that can make small gestures. And as individuals we can make even smaller gestures. But as long as you are gesturing – as long as you are asking what more can you do, what better solution have you got, what have you come up with that’s different – as long as you’re asking those questions, you cannot see that the confu­sion, controversy, conflict, doubt, lack of trust, and opinions surrounding the problem of hunger and starvation result inevit­ably from any position you take.

Once you are clear that you cannot take any position that will contribute in any way to the end of hunger and starvation, that any position you take will only contribute to the pea soup that engulfs the problem of hunger and starvation, then hope dies. And when hope dies, hopelessness dies with it: Without hope you can’t have hopelessness.

You are now close to the source of the problem of hunger and starvation on the planet. If you can see that the problem is without hope, you are no longer hopeless and frustrated. You are just there with whatever is so. There’s just you, without the structure of beliefs through which you try to look at the prob­lem. By getting clear yourself, and then getting underneath the pea soup, you can then look deep down into the problem and see its source. (Werner Erhard in ES, 11.)

Getting better

The est Training is not another experience. It’s not about getting better. It’s not a religion. It’s not touchy-feely. It’s not a therapy. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

The [Making a Difference] seminar is not about getting better. For you to get better, you have to be not OK now. If the seminar was about getting better, then wehn things look like they’re getting worse, you’ll invalidate your experience. Besides you can never get better enough. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Getting it

The last thing people have to give up in the training to get it – to be enlightened – is that they aren’t enlightened. (Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, May 1978, 23.)

Every position or point of view we have can be said to have a “cost” (reckoned in terms of aliveness) and a “payoff.” “Getting it means being able to discover when you have been maintaining (or are stuck with) a position which costs you more in aliveness than it is worth, realizing that you are the source of that position, and being able to choose to give up that position or hold it in a way that expands the quality of your life. Living becomes a continuing and expanding discovery of positions or barriers to your and others’ aliveness, with the attendant opportunity to handle those positions and barriers. The result of this continuing process of choosing or “getting it” is an expanded experience of happiness, love, health, and full self-expression. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Q. If I “get it” will it last?

A. The answer is “no” – and “yes.” “Getting it” is not simply a “peak experience.” Ultimately, it is knowing from your own experience, that, whatever your circumstances, you have the power to transform the quality of your life at any moment of time. Thus, transformation or enlightenment is not merely a one-time event, but something which continues to unfold and be available to you as a part of everyday living. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Getting Off It

To “get off it” [means] to emerge from the network of self-deception in their lives. (Werner Erhard in WE, xvii.)

Getting off it means, when you find you’re being a self-righteous ass, you’re willing to let go of that position. Why would you want to trade your satisfaction for your principles? (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 19 Jan. 1981.)

There is no greater gift than the gift of getting off it. (est Trainer Vic Goscia, 19 Oct. 1980.)

The normal condition in the world is to get smaller and smaller and smaller. (Morely Lipset, Graduate Seminar Leader, Be Here Now Seminar, Dec. 3, 1980.)

Given that we live in a world that is hostile to transformation, that is hostile to getting off it, that is hostile to making other people right, I’m committed to making a difference in other people’s lives by creating more space for experience, and by getting off being righteous. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipsett, 3 Dec. 1980.)

I’ve been willing to discover that I’m inadequate. And I don’t hide that, or even apologize for it. If you see an inadequacy in me, I want you to point it out and if I can I’ll get off it. I’m not interested in keeping it. (Laurel Scheaf in Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

Getting on with it

When you get to the top of one level and break through it, you’re thrilled – and then you’re at the bottom of the next level, starting all over again. (Stewart Esposito in Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

As soon as you know you can do something at one level, move on to another level. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

If you don’t play at the level you’re capable of playing, there’s no juice in it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

The training is designed to operate with people who are at a certain level in life, the level of adversary; the seminars, the level of uncertainty or better. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Global Context

There is some sense of connectedness among the people of the world that is damaged when we think of 20 million people dying of hunger. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 19 Jan. 1981.)

It’s my planet. I’m not satisfied with the way it is. So I give me the franchise to do this work. (est Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

The technology of transformation is a set of principles, processes, and procedures that, when applied to certain situations, will lead to communication, responsibility, cooperation, results, workability. These principles, processes, and procedures will produce a world that works for everyone. (est Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

We have as our purpose really tapping into what’s already out there. People have the opportunity and the responsibility to improve the quality of their own lives. (est Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

Goals – See also Playing Safe/Small

Goal-setting is a validation, an indication of your movement in life. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Goals are solutions to problems. Three days later, goals, like all solutions, become new problems. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Watch out what you wish for. You might get it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, Sept. 29, 1980.)

Goals as an end don’t work. Goals as a beginning do. Goals as a beginning give you something to relate to. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

When you reach a goal, you’ve filled a space. All there is to do then is to create a bigger space. Along with that, the trick is to keep your ethics open. Ethical behavior is behavior that produces the greatest amount of aliveness. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

The way to have your goals realized is make them an indispensable part of a larger process. (Brian Regnier, Nature of Reality, 1983.)

A goal achieved is an opportunity to begin. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Life is about expanding the space to contribute, and then contributing everything you have to contribute. Then goal-setting tells you where you are. You say “ten” and you get “five” – the physical universe says “50&.” That’s not a statement of your worth as a human being. It just says where you are in life. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, Sept. 29, 1980.)

To find out where you’re at, look around you. The whole universe is a reflection of where you’re at. Your whole personality, your whole attitude is reflected by everything around you. (est Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

You can set your goals, watch the physical universe, and see where you’re at. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Life is about expanding the space to contribute and then contributing everything you have to contribute. Then goal-setting tells you where you are. You say “ten” and you get “five” – the physical universe says “50%.” That’s not a statement of your worth as a human being. It just says where you are in life. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

You use what’s happened to invalidate your word. You don’t let the physical universe tell you what’s so. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Find someone who’ll support you in your goals. If you can’t find someone, and you decide to stay with your partner, stop bitching about it. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

The way to have your goals realized is to make them an indispensable part of a larger process. (Brian Regnier, Consultant, The Nature of Reality, 1983.)

To make a relationship work, get individual goals. Go get yourself something bigger than the relationship. Get a bigger purpose or a bigger problem. (est 6-Day Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

God

The first thing you gotta know about God is that she’s black. I don’t want to talk about the black lady in here. (est Trainer Rod Browning, Nov. 1979.)

Graduate Programs

The Purpose of the Graduate Programs [is] to provide a space in which graduates can participate, serve and come to realize a sense of true purpose; to provide a pace for experience and a supportive environment from which graduates can come into the world, take responsibility for its condition, and experience and contribute to the expansion of love, health, happiness, and full self-expression through complete communication, conscious participation, acceptance of what is, and the willingness to take responsibility for their lives, est, and the universe; to provide a space in which graduates experience their own integrity, recreate and validate the experience of the training, knowingly share and communicate their experience of living, actively, support the programs and persons that serve people, and experience themselves as participants in support of est with the full realization that est is theirs. (© Werner Erhard, January 1975.)

Werner created the Graduate Seminar program out of his observation of the spaces people move through after the training. The series are designed to be taken in sequence according to the way things normally come up after the training, and there is no requirement that the sequence be followed rigorously. The eight seminar series are listed below in the recommended order:

Postgraduate Seminar Series.

Be Here Now.
What’s So.
About Sex.
The Body Series.
Self-Exporession.
Life.

Graduate Review Series.

(“It’s What’s Up ‘Now” That Counts,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Graduate Programs – est & Life Series

Werner designed the est & Life series to enable you to locate, communicate and dissolve the barriers you have to getting the job done in specific areas of your life, including and not limited to your work.

Getting the job done – being responsible for the way things turn out and having them turn out perfectly – expands aliveness, creates space for people to experience, and produces the experience of completion, fulfillment, and satisfaction. (est brochure for the est & Life series.)

Ground of Being with People

Your ground of being communicationally is that you treat people as things.

You don’t let things be. You go for the response that you want. You train people with behavior that has a certain consequence to come up with the response that you want. When your basis of operation is that people are things, your highest human approach is behaviorism. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Groundrules – See also Integrity, Perpetrations, Word

Not a lot is expected of you in here so be clear about what is. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Keep the groundrules in here. A rule is the way a thing works. Life is a process of discovering the rules.

As you keep the groundrules here, you’ll become very clear on whose course this is. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

When you start to get this, you’ll get what you paid for in here. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 16, 1980.)

Your est choan is ‘follow the instructions and take what you get.’ If you do that, the training will work for you. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

If you follow the groundrules, we’ll have a foundation for this workshop to work, and that foundation is the workshop’s integrity. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

This is the way to get groundrules. Assholes come in here and make the course about walking around in their stereo headphones. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, Nov. 1980.)

Until you keep your agreements, you cannot see why it is your life doesn’t work because you’ve got this shroud around your life of broken agreements. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, Nov. 1980.)

One of the things that becomes immediately obvious is that you’ll make fewer agreements. You’ll only make the agreements you’re prepared to keep. (est Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

When people don’t know who they are, the best you can give them is a moral code. And then you’re stuck with a moral code. And your precepts are what you’d do if you know who you were and kept your word. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Growth

As soon as you know you can do something at one level, move on to another level. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

The next ledge of the game in which you’re calling people on their rackets is to get them to see what’s going down in such a way that they’re not invalidated but empowered by it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

Guest Seminars

The people who brought you here tonight are not going to win toasters and blenders. We have cuisinarts tonight. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, Dec. 16, 1980.)

We go down the street and we’re saying, “No transformation for him! No transformation for him!” (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Guilt

Guilt is another emotion, connected to resentment, which forms part of the failure mechanism of negative self-images. Guilt, got [Maxwell] Maltz, is an attempt to make right in the present something one did or thought as wrong in the past. Since one cannot change the past, guilt is inappropriate. The correct use of emotions is to help one to respond appropriately to present reality. Neither guilt nor resentment do this. (Werner Erhard in WE, 72-3.)

Happiness

Happiness is a function of accepting what is. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

You know that stuff about the pursuit of experiencing? That’s you you’re experiencing. And you’re there all the time. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Health

Health is a function of participation. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

What we mean by health is a body that gets up when you do, not a half hour later. You know? After you’ve kicked it and poured caffeine into it? (est Trainer Jeff Galbraith, 15 April 1980.)

My vitality is not a function of whether my body is ill or not. (est Trainer Jeff Galbraith, 15 April 1980.)

Hope

If only…. (Jerry Joiner, est Trainer, Oct. 19, 1980.)

“There’s always hope.” Hope keeps you stuck in waiting for the future, for the day when you become. What you miss is the present, the moment in which you are. (Unknown est source. Probably Dennis Percy.)

When hope disappears, so does hopelessness. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Hunger

Hunger is of sufficient magnitude that it requires you to get in touch with a critical mass of yourself to get in touch with and deal with it. Something smaller would not be big enough. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Hunger and starvation persist not as a function of what we do but asa function of the condition in which we do what we do. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Hunger Project

This paper is not an explanation, a solution, an opinion, or a point of view about the problem of hunger. It is an examination of what is so about the persistence of hunger, aimed at answering two questions:

(1) What are the laws governing and determining the persistence of hunger on our planet? Not the reasons, however cogent; not the justifications, however comforting; not the sys­tems of explanation, however consistent or clever. If we were merely looking for reasons to explain the persistence of hunger and starvation, we could logically deduce them from the facts.

Fundamental laws and principles, however, cannot be deduced. One knows them by creating them from nothing, out of one’s Self. One does not arrive at fundamental laws and principles as a function of what is already known.

Such laws and principles do not merely explain; they illuminate. They do not merely add to what we know; they create a new space in which knowing can occur. The test of whether we are dealing with fundamental laws and principles, or with mere reasons and explanations, is whether there is a shift from controversy, frustration, and gesturing, to mastery, motion, and completion.

(2) What are the principles of the end of hunger and starvation on the planet? Not new programs of solution, no matter how saleable or clever; not different or better opinions, no matter how arguable; not points of view, no matter how agreeable. This discussion is not about another good idea. It is about revealing the fundamental principles of the end of hunger and starvation on our planet. (Werner Erhard in ES, 4-5.)

The Hunger Project came into being because it was an inherent expression of transformation. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership Program presentation, Sept. 1977.

Today, even as you read, an unprecedented outpouring of public sentiment, concern, and commitment is gathering. Quietly and without fanfare, individuals throughout the planet are declaring their personal commitment to a world without hunger. One by one, as individuals, not as part of a movement, men and women in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere are looking into their lives and their world, and choosing to include hunger as one of their life concerns and personal commitments.

They do so on their own, without direction from government, without prodding from the media, without any particular encouragement from their leaders.

They come from every country, worship in every faith, speak in every language. They live in the world’s richest countries and in the poorest; some work on the cutting edge of computer technology, and others farm their tribal lands with the same methods as did their grandfather’s grandfathers.

What unites them all is their common styand, a commitment, a declaration for the end of the persistence of hunger and starvation by the end of this century. Out of their stand, they are taking a leadership role in the emergence of a worldwide, grass-roots commitment that is unique to our time.

This growing expression of commitment goes largely unreported and unnoticed in the media age. No matter. These are the people the late Buckminster Fuller called “little individuals,” men and women who may be unknown to history but who nonetheless are boldly determined to direct the world in which they live.

Looking out at their world, they ask themselves the question, “What will I do to cause the end of hunger?” Their answers, multiplied a millionfold, arrived at newly and authentically each day, are literally speeding up the process of history, by ensuring that the end of hunger is an act of creation rather than an event that occurs through the inevitable passage of time. …

They are demanding a new kind of information – information that empowers their stand and enables them to be more effective in expressing their commitment; information that is accessible, comprehensive, and up to date; information that makes available both facts and points of view, and distinguishes between the two; information for people who have a job to do in the world and want the tools to get that job done. (EH, 3.)

If we have succeeded, not only will you gain a firm foundation of information, but you will also be able to create for yourself:

A way of interacting with hunger and other global issues that can lead to the resolution, rather than the persistence, of the problem.

A method of sorting through often confusing and contradictory information, which you can use to better understand other global issues as well;

An ability to hold and reconcile divergent viewpoints so that their differences mutually support and reinforce, rather than obstruct, your arriving at a solution;

The principles for action by which intention and vision can be turned into reality. (EH, 4-5.)

We have an opportunity to transcend the differences of nations and religions and ideologies by working together to address the most fundamental need of all – the need for food.

We have an opportunity to learn and grow by achieving the end of hunger, and by so doing begin developing the skill, experience, knowledge, and self-confidence to tackle other formidable global issues.

We have an opportunity to make our lives matter, to recognize our own personal power and responsibility for our planet, to perceive what needs to be done and do it.

The time to begin is now. (EH, 5.)

We define countries in which hunger exists as a basic, society-wide issue as those with an infant mortality rate (IMR) above 50 per 1,000 live births. (EH, 17n.)

Whether you participated directly or indirectly in the expression of the Hunger Project into the world, you have created the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people to experience that they can make a difference and to express their responsibility for the world in which we live. (Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, Nov. 1979, 11.)

Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: First

There are four generating principles of The Hunger Proj­ect and I want to discuss them now.

The first generating principle comes from a question Buckminster Fuller asks. Bucky’s question is: “What can the little individual do?” What can you do as an individual that some big organization or government can’t do?

What you can do that no other entity can do is create a context. Only you have the power to create a context. It cannot be done by a group. It cannot be done by an organization. It must happen within the Self. The home of context is Self. Only within your Self can you create the context: The end of hunger and starvation on the planet within two decades. That is what the little individual can do. (Werner Erhard in ES, 25.)

The first generating principle of The Hunger Project is that it is a project of individual and personal responsibility.

It has nothing to do with guilt. If you want to feel guilty, fine. Keep it to yourself. It’s not part of the project. The Hunger Project has nothing to do with feeling sorry for starving people. I consider feeling sorry for those people demeaning to their hu­manity. If you want to feel sorry, please don’t get it on me. The project is not about being ashamed. You do not have to be ashamed about what you eat, even about what you waste. Being ashamed of what you waste is a mere gesture. It’s a cop-out. It’s cheap. The project is not about blaming anybody. It’s not even about your personal interest. Of course it is very much in your personal, selfish interest to eliminate starvation. If people don’t get fed, your life is going to get very miserable in about 20 or 30 years, according to the experts. And this project is not about your selfish interest. (Werner Erhard in ES, 26.)

Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: Second

The second generating principle is that the project is an alignment of wholes, not a sum of parts. In this project you do not do your “part.” There is no “part” for you to do. This is a project in which you are the whole project.

If you enroll yourself in the project you become the source of the project. It becomes your project and anyone working to eliminate hunger and starvation around the world will be work­ing for you because you have taken the responsibility to create the context of the end of hunger and starvation on the planet.

When you do that, anybody doing anything is working for you.

Let me give you an analogy. If you take a transparency, a photographic slide, and you cut the transparency in half and you project one half on a screen, what you see is half a picture. On the other hand, if you take a holographic transparency and you cut it in half and you project it, what you see is the whole picture. In a holographic transparency, each part is not a part. Each part is a whole that contains the entire picture.

Similarly, The Hunger Project is not you doing your part. It is a transformation from you doing your part, to you being the source of it all. The Hunger Project is an alignment of sources, an alignment of wholes. You are the source of The Hunger Project. You make the project completely yours in a way that allows others to make it completely theirs. No one gets credit for the project, and each of us is allowed to own the project completely. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: Third

The third generating principle of The Hunger Project is the one I’ve already discussed with you: the creation of a context, to cause the end of hunger and starvation on this planet in two decades to be an idea whose time has come. It can be done only within your Self.

And you create a context from what? From nothing. (Werner Erhard in ES, 27.)

Hunger Project – Four Generating Principles: Fourth

The fourth generating principle of The Hunger Project is the principle of transformation. … If you and I were caterpillars talking about flight, can you imagine what the talk would sound like? “We don’t have the power to fly. Caterpillars don’t fly. They wiggle. We’re too bulky and fat and we don’t have wings. We can’t do it.”

To which someone might reply: “But if a caterpillar could fly, by what method do you suppose it would happen?” Don’t you see that you can’t answer that with a caterpillar mentality? Whatever answer you figure out comes from the limited condi­tion; it is deduced from what already exists, that is, the form of the caterpillar. The creation of a context dissolves the limitations; it transforms the condition of unworkability and creates an opportunity for solutions to occur. …

Twenty years from now, when we’re looking back at how hunger and starvation ended, it will not look as if miracles had happened. Everyone will know how it happened. They will point to events that were pivotal, that made a difference. There will appear to be an obvious relationship between what was done and the logical consequences of what was done. The wea­ther got better; there were bigger crops; this government changed; the president said that; the government did this; and it all resulted in the end of starvation on the planet. In retrospect, that’s how miracles always appear to happen.

Butterflies can explain how caterpillars came to fly. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28-30.)

Hunger – I am not an expert on world hunger

I am not an expert on hunger and starvation. The little bit of knowledge I’ve acquired in four years of study is small compared to the knowledge of the true experts in the field. But as a result of my interaction with tens of thousands of people, I do have some insight into Self – my Self, your Self, the Self – and a certain expertise about what a “me” is. I want to take a look with you at what a “me” is with respect to hunger. (Werner Erhard in ES, 6.)

An idea whose time has come

I recognize that you’ve got to do something. But until its time comes, what you do won’t work and you won’t do what works. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Victor Hugo said, essentially, that all the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.

If, in fact, the time were to come for the end of hunger and starvation on this planet, hunger and starvation on this planet would end. That’s it. When the time for things comes, they happen by whatever means are available. When an idea’s time comes, the forces in the world are transformed so that ninstead of what you do being unworkable, what you do works. And you do what works.

The Wright brothers would have died bicycle merchants had flight not been an idea whose time had come.

If you understand this, you begin to understand why things in the world have progressed as they have. In 1800, slavery in this country, exactly like hunger around the world today, was seen as inevitable. The attitude was: “When you’ve got human beings, one is going to dominate the other.”

Remember, it doesn’t make any difference what those forces were: psychological, economic, political. The consensus among people was that slavery was a function of inevitability. In addition, those people knew that the economy of the country would collapse without slaves. Everybody would be damaged, even the slaves themselves. It was better to be good to your slaves than to end slavery. Besides which, if we ended slavery, all those blacks would overrun the country and play havoc with the white citizenry. Everyone knew you could not end slavery. You just couldn’t do it.

But when that idea’s time came, slavery ended. Now, in the case of slavery, it took a cataclysm. When something’s time comes, it takes whatever form is available to it, and it happens.

It is not a solution which makes something happen. It is its time coming which makes the space for creative solutions and enables the solution you use to work.

If you have traveled in Asia or Africa in the past, you know that smallpox was a scourge there. People died from it. They were disfigured by it. Recently, there have been signs in red on the walls of towns in Asia, offering a sizeable reward to anyone who lets the local health authorities know about a case of fever and spots.

Nobody collected those rewards while I was in Asia the last time. Why? Because, for all practical purposes, there is no more smallpox on this planet. It was not the solution that ended smallpox. We have had the solution to the end of smallpox – the vaccine – for over 150 years.

As anybody who has worked with the problem or studied the problem knows, smallpox persisted, not because of a lack of solutions, but because of the economic, political, sociological, psychological forces in the world. For example, we couldn’t get into some countries because they didn’t want any outside help. Some people didn’t want to be vaccinated. And so forth. But somehow smallpox ended when the time came for it to end.

When an idea’s time comes, whatever you do works, and you do what works. (Werner Erhard in ES, 13-5.)

An idea whose time has come – What causes its time to come?

What causes an idea’s time to come?

When you know the answer to that, you are no longer a mere speck of protoplasm on a dustball hurtling through space.

You know how to have an impact on the world. You know what can make your life matter. The answer to “What causes an idea’s time to come?” is what The Hunger Project is about.

The Hunger Project is not about doing something more to end hunger. It is not about doing something better to end hunger. It is not a different set of solutions to the problem of hunger. It is simply about causing the end of hunger and starva­tion on this planet to be an idea whose time has come. The people who enroll themselves in the project commit themselves to that. What they do will be derived from that commitment. (Werner Erhard in ES, 15-6.)

What causes an idea’s time to come? An idea’s time comes when the state of its existence is transformed from content into context.

As a content, an idea expresses itself as, or takes the form of, a position. A position is dependent for its very existence on other positions; positions exist only in relation to other posi­tions. The relationship is one of agreement or disagreement with other positions. This agreement or disagreement manifests itself in various familiar forms. For example, your position is similar to, cooperates with, or supports other positions; it is independent from or ignores, other positions; it protests, con­flicts with, or opposes other positions. Positions exist by virtue of contrast, such as being different from, or more than, or unrelated to, or better than other positions. A position cannot stand by itself; it is not self-sufficient.

To come at this from another direction, we can look at content is thing, because an ideas as a position is a thing. That which is without limits is either everything or nothing, and therefore not something, not a thing. It follows then that a thing requires limits to exist. These limits are expressed as the bound­ary of that thing. Since the existence of a thing is dependent on its boundary, and a boundary, by definition, is that place be­tween a thing and not-that-thing (i.e., something else), the existence of a thing is dependent on something else – anything else. Therefore a thing, a content, is dependent on something outside itself for existence. Content is not self-sufficient.

Context is not dependent on something outside itself for existence; it is whole and complete in itself and, as a function of being whole, it allows for, it generates parts – that is to say, it generates content. Content is a piece, a part of the whole; its very nature is partial. Context is the whole; its nature is complete.

When an idea exists as a position – when it is a content – ­then it is an idea whose time has not come. When an idea’s time has not come, whatever you do to materialize or realize that idea does not work. When an idea’s time has not come, you have a condition of unworkability in which what you do doesn’t work, and you don’t do what works.

When an idea is transformed from content to context, then it is an idea whose time has come.

When an idea is transformed from existence as a position to existence as a space, then it is an idea whose time has come. Now an idea as position literally requires other positions for its existence, while an idea as space is both self-sufficient, requiring nothing else in order to exist, and allows for-is the space of-the existence of other ideas. When an idea is transformed from existing as a function of other ideas to being the space that allows all other ideas, then it is an idea whose time has come. (Werner Erhard in ES, 17-8.)

An idea transformed from content to context is an idea whose time has come. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28.)

The question, “What causes an idea’s time to come?” belongs to a particular class of question. Its answer is not the normal and conventional, reasonable type of descriptive or explanatory statement that a mind likes, that we are used to handling. (t is not an exposition, concept. or theory. The answer to this class of question is, instead, a principle more powerful than all the forces in the world.

To answer this class of question, you have to give up your normal way of arriving at answers. Rather than knowing more and then more as you go along, you will need instead to be willing to know less and then less – that is to say, to become somewhat more confused as you go along. Finally you will have struggled enough to be clear that you don’t know. In the state of knowing that you don’t know, you get, as a flash of insight, the principle (i.e., the abstraction) out of which the answer comes.

While this is work that transcends ordinary intellect, all it requires is an unusually high degree of openness, commitment and intention. You will need these qualities to get you past the impatience, frustration and confusion that almost certainly will result from the feeling that what you are reading doesn’t make any sense. In fact, the statement we are seeking isn’t sensible; it transcends the senses. One doesn’t test the validity of such a statement by seeing if it fits into one’s system of beliefs. The test is whether there is a resulting shift from controversy, frustration and gesturing to mastery, movement and completion.

Answers in this class are fundamental principles; they are the source of parts, rather than the product of parts. They come as a whole, which whole can then be divided into pieces. You cannot reach the whole by adding up pieces; obviously the pieces don’t even exist as pieces until there is a whole of which to be a piece. Answers in this class – fundamental principles – can be known only by creating them. (Werner Erhard in ES, 16-7.)

Image Management – See Pretense

Inauthenticity

Fuck you very much. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, n.d.)

Integrity – See also Perpetrations, Word

You actually have 100% integrity and, when you do something that doesn’t live up to your ideals, you arrange to do bad things to yourself. (est Trainer Hal isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

What is a burden can become an opportunity. No matter how bad you got it, your job is to clean it up. And, truly, your bullshit is insignificant compared to what others have to handle. It’s the old beating the hand with the hammer routine. (est Trainer Ted Long, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Interimly, integrity is being true to one’s principles; ultimately, integrity is being true to one’s self. (Werner Erhard cited by Don Cox, “Integrity,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1978.)

Intention – See Communication – Intention

Intention – Will

Will is what it takes to take care something that isn’t. Intention is what it takes to take care of something that is. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

It takes no effort to intend something. To will something, I have to do something. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Interesting

Attractive people are interested. Unattractive people are interesting. You want to get people to like you? Be interested. You want to live life in a corner? Be interested. (Werner Erhard on unnamed film, October 1980.)

Issues

It’s a real mistake to make things wrong and necessary. Sleep is no more necessary than breathing, you know? There’s a lot of people not breathing now. It’s just another state. Like the sun going up and going down. It’s all just a cycle. Each part is essential to the whole, and no more significant than any other part. Don’t make an issue about sleeping. What people find when they get through then issue is that they need less sleep. (Ted Long, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 17, 1980.)

Keeping Your Agreements

It is not that if you keep your agreements you life will work; it is that if you keep your agreements you can then see what is not working in your life. If you keep breaking agreements, you can’t see whatever it is that is not working, because you keep moving around and that confuses theb field of vision. When you keep your agreements and the field is clear, then you can see what is not working and you can correct it. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Nov. 1977, 5.)

Knowing – See Above the Line Between Conscious and Unconscious Awareness – Dimensions of Knowing or Certainty

Laughter

They are not laughing at you. They are recognizing themselves. They are saying, “Oh, shit. Him too?”

Laws – The laws that determine persistence of hunger keep the world from working

In fact, in experiencing the truth underlying hunger, one comes to realize that the ordinarily unnoticed laws that determine the persistence of hunger on this planet are precisely the laws that keep the world from working. And the principles of the end of hunger and starvation in the world are the very principles necessary to make the world work. (Werner Erhard in ES, 4.)

Fundamental laws and principles, however, cannot be deduced. One knows them by creating them from nothing, out of one’s Self. One does not arrive at fundamental laws and principles as a function of what is already known. Such laws and principles do not merely explain; they illuminate. They do not merely add to what we know; they create a new space in which knowing can occur. The test of whether we are dealing with fundamental laws and principles, or with mere reasons and explanations, is whether there is a shift from controversy, frustration, and gesturing, to mastery, motion, and completion. (Werner Erhard in ES, 5.)

Letting Go

Life is about creating and letting go, and creating and letting go. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Levels of Experience

Sourcing
Realizing
Participating/Sharing
Accepting/Allowing it to be
The line between conscious and unconscious awareness
Helping
Hoping\Deciding
Reasonableness (Unidentified est source; probably est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The lowest level of non-experienced experience is false cause. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

The training is designed to operate with people who are at a certain level in life, the level of adversary; the seminars, the level of uncertainty or better. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Real communication is an unusual phenomenon in life. Communication at this level supersedes the conventionally agreed on laws of reality and empowers us to produce phenomena that do not ordinarily occur. It is in the space of communication that transformation of organizations takes place. (Werner Erhard, “A Report on the Project to Create est Anew,” Graduate Review, Nov./Dec. 1980.)

What ethical behavior looks like is to not knowingly create an upset. And if you do, clean it up. That gets you into the game. It’s the bottom-line, operational level. From there, where you want to go is to the place where you’re contributing to the space your full known experience of yourself at the time. Another way of saying that is to play 100% all the time. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

I want to work with people who are willing to participate at a very high level of responsibility and integrity. (Werner Erhard quoted in Joan Bordow, “Inventing the Community Workshop,” The Review, May/June 1982, 5 and 7.)

Since there is no content at the level of experience, we have no examples. As you get towards true experience, it disappears and we get back to everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

When you get to the top of one level and break through it, you’re thrilled – and then you’re at the bottom of the next level, starting all over again. (Stewart Esposito in Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

As soon as you know you can do something at one level, move on to another level. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

If you don’t play at the level you’re capable of playing, there’s no juice in it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Lies

People who lie to the other person show by their experience that something is up. And the other person knows something is up and hears a denial that invalidates his or her experience. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Life

Your life is a series of terminally-ordinary events until you ordinarily terminate your terminally-ordinary lives. (Unknown est source.)

Life is a privilege, not just the good parts, but all of it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

Life is about making life work. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership Program presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Liking For

The purpose of the special seminar on liking for is to allow you to experience some of the barriers between you and your liking for others. (est brochure on the Special Graduate Seminar Series, n.d.)

Limitations

Q: It’s going to take me a long time to get through that barrier.

A: If you say so. As a wise bird once said, “Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1980.)

Living your life out of your failures is what makes so many people fail. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The bigger you are, the more will come up. The more you take responsibility for yourself, the more will come up. Don’t let the failures invalidate you and your life. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Love

Love is a function of communication. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

I know that you know
That I love you.
What I want you to know
Is that I know
You love me.
(Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

You don’t have to go looking for love when it is where you come from. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

The other necessary part to love is that it’s all right with the people who invited you here for you to expand and become more powerful and able. They have space for you to be exactly the way you are and they have space for you to expand and be even more powerful than you presently are. For me, that’s what love is. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Nov. 1977, 5.)

The truth about love – that each of is loves the other unconditionally – is covered over by the barriers to experiencing our love. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Love is the willingness to allow the [other] person to be, exactly the way they are and exactly the way they’re not. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Love is creating space rather than using space. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Create space for people in your lives to be just the way they are.

When you allow another person to be the way he or she is, they allow you to be the way you are. Create space for them to be and other people create space for you. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

When you’ve said all of the bad things and all of the good things you haven’t been saying, you will find that what you’ve really been withholding is, “I love you.” (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Love – What we do with love

What we do is trade the experience of love that is available to us for our images of it. (est Trainer Jeff Galbraith, 15 April 1980.)

It’s not that you fall out of love with people when you’re on it. It’s a case of you getting more interested in that other stuff. You’re in love all the time and you suppress it under withholds and resentment. You can remember it any time you want. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, 17 Nov. 1980.)

It’s actually an invalid comparison to compare making love on a one-night stand with someone to making love to your partner. You have no withholds with the one-night stands, and you have no investments in them. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Love is … one of those things that everybody wants to keep under very good control and have only show up at the right times. If you’re in the midst of being angry at somebody and it shows up that you love them, it’s terrible, it ruins the whole thing. You have to learn how to handle love and be very controlled about it. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977, 5.)

Making a Difference

The purpose of the Making a Difference series is to support you in your intention to make a difference by expanding your mastery of creating context by revealing your ability to empower and be empowered by a group. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

The self expresses itself in the course of making a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

For the most part in life, we’ve got our attention on stuff that doesn’t make any difference. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

It’s not good to get people to take a look at the fact that their greatest achievements have not made a difference, not really. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Instead of making a difference, we spend our lives earning a living. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

We wind up feeling frustrated, cynical and clever. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The trap that we all fall into is that we don’t count; our choices don’t matter; we don’t make a difference. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

If we can’t make a difference, maybe we can cause some trouble. That’s the high commitment/low responsibiloity phenomenon. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Calling it the “Me Generation” suggesting the decade is about narcissism is wrong. People are looking at themselves, but out of a space of frustration. at the ralization that people don’t make a difference. At the realization that people don’t make a difference, their choices don’t count. Nothing they do has any impact. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

We live our lives in the space that’s left to us when we live in the condition that we don’t make a difference. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

We keep getting stuff to prove that our lives make a difference. But the stuff is just proving our own inadequacy. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Living in the space that’s left when you don’t make a difference is called earning a living. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

What I’m interested in is turning you on to the faculties which you can use to take control of your lives. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

What makes a difference is to create a context in which everybody makes a difference and no one is left out. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

One of the most important things about this reality is that nothing remains true. You can’t look back in this reality. You can’t check back. If in fact you made a difference, there won’t be any record of you having made a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

YOU get to answer the question: “Did I make a difference?” There is no other evidence you can use. That’s strange because we live in a world where evidence really counts. “Don’t tell us you’re great. We have all this evidence that you do rotten things.” (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

That you make a difference is not a result. It’s a cause. It’s not something one achieves. It’s what creates the space for achievement. So it takes a very wonderful, exquisite kind of courage to make a fool or an ass of yourself to make a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

The fact is that we live our lives out of the ground of being that who we are doesn’t make a difference in the world. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

We live in a world in which a fundamental assumption is that it is futile for an individual to have an impact on the world. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, April 1980.)

Notice that you deal with your participation in the Training as you deal with it around everything else – as if your participation doesn’t matter. (Randy McNamara, est Trainer, Jan. 11, 1981.)

Everything about your system is there to keep you thinking that you don’t make a difference, to defend you from getting your magnificence. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

As I look into people’s lives, I see that they are living their lives out of “I don’t count.” (Joan Bordow, “Voting,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

Those who come face-to-face with the fact that they don’t make a difference will give up their circumstances to make a difference. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

What makes a difference is making a difference in other people’s lives. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

When we’re denied that opportunity [to make a difference], we live out of the space that’s left. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

In order to live your life out of the space that who you are makes a difference, you need the power of context. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Every major transformation in history begins within a being – as in Human Being. People first create a context within themselves – their Selves; then they bring that context to life in the world. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

Thank you for having the courage, audacity, and heart to create as the context for your life that people – you – make a difference. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, April 1980.)

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. (Werner Erhard in ES, 3.)

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. (Werner Erhard in poster for A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone, Spring 1980.)

It’s been our observation that everybody has a central desire or intention in life, and that is to make a contribution to other people. (Stewart Esposito in Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

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 then unthinkable, dare to do more than dream, dare to be the architect of your own world. (Werner Erhard in poster for A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone, Spring 1980.)

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. (Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, February 1979, 7.)

What does my experience tell me needs to be attended to which no one else is attending to, which if attended to competently will bring advantage to all humanity, and which if left unattended [to] can eventually find all humanity in great trouble? (Buckminster Fuller in the Graduate Review, February 1979, 7.)

The [Making a Difference] seminar is not about getting better. For you to get better, you have to be not OK now. If the seminar was about getting better, then wehn things look like they’re getting worse, you’ll invalidate your experience. Besides you can never get better enough. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

You know what your thoughts tell you? They tell you what you think. You want to know if you think you make a difference? Ask your thoughts. If you want to know whether you make a difference or not? Observe how you interact with life. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

There is a place from which to make a difference but you can’t get there from where you’re at. That’s why a lot of people shut themselves off. If the only way you can make a difference is with two or three people, you’ll restrict yourself to them. You’re so tired of throwing out your line and having it come back empty. You don’t go fishing any more. You stay home in bed where it’s warm.

You tend to organize your lives in the itsy-bitsy areas where you can make a difference. I don’t make a difference in my organization. Or in my family. But the driving pressure is to make a difference. It’s the senior-most driving desire on the planet. You do not have a relationship with someone who does not make a difference to you.

So the problem is what’s the source of making a difference. The seminar is about finding that source. This seminar is about getting to the source of mastery in life, an incredible opportunity. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Who you are makes a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

When you say “make a difference,” you think “change.” You cannot make a difference by changing things.

You see yourself as smaller than the problem. You are not able to deal with the problem as long as you are smaller than it.

You have the ability to create a context around the problem and thereby dissolve it. How come you’re not using it? (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

What are you being right about? That you don’t make a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Making a difference doesn’t mean improving something. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

We’re talking about your ability and experience in an on-going way to make a difference in life. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Making a difference is you being the source of life rather than it being the source of you. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

When you have a problem, it’s no problem because you make a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

When you’re in the fast lane you run out of gas very fast. And what’s the best way of fuelling yourself? Sharing yourself. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

There’s no room in the slow lane to make a difference. That’s in the fast lane. There are different rules in the fast lane.

Unless you share the fast lane with people, guess what? There’s no fast lane. What is there to do in the fast lane? Tell other people about it. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

In every case the cost of not sharing yourself is not making a difference. And the payoff in being right is that you can’t make a difference.

The more your express yourself, the more your mind becomes peaceful. Soon it goes to sleep. So send your mind to bed. You stay and play. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

The thing that keeps your anger stuck is that you’re not responsible for it. Even when you say they are not the cause, you still see them as responsible for it. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

You don’t lose it. You don’t forget how. You stop creating it. How come you stop creating it? You sold out to some circumstance.

You sold out your experience of satisfaction and your ability to make a difference to your notions of being right about them and not making a difference.

You do not change your circumstances to make a difference. You only have to change the circumstances to make a difference in a linear reality because they stand in the way and you cannot get from here to there. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

You can’t make a difference by manipulating context. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

As a child, you really had it in your heart to make a difference. And then slowly you learned better. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The question is can you clean the toilets out of the principle that who you are makes a difference? (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Since who I am makes a difference, I am the author of the dignity in my life. I cannot be invalidated. Only you have the power to make your life make a difference. In a you-or-me world, nothing makes a difference. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The question “Did I make a difference?” comes from the context “I didn’t make a difference.” (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The whole proof that you made a difference is that the world works, not that you did it .(Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Making Things Wrong and Necessary

It’s a real mistake to make things wrong and necessary. Sleep is no more necessary than breathing, you know? There’s a lot of people not breathing now. It’s just like another state. Like the sun going up and going down. It’s all just a cycle. Each part is essential to the whole and no more significant than any other part. Don’t make an issue about sleeping. What people find when they get through the issue is that they need less sleep. (est Trainer Ted Long, 17 Nov. 1980.)

What would you do if you had to stop making people wrong? (est Trainer Vic Goscia, 25 Oct. 1980.)

Mastery

This is it.
There are no hidden meanings.
All that mystical stuff is just what’s so.
A master is someone who found out. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

A master is someone who is able to let something be. (est Trainer Vic Goschia, 19 Oct. 1980.)

To be able to hold both sides of the dichotomy at the same time opens the door to mastery. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1980.)

The ability to keep your word creates mastery in life. You can move mountains by simply giving and keeping your word. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

The first step to mastery or recreation is imitation. If you can’t imitate, you can’t recreate. (Jed Naylor, Communication Workshop, October 1980.)

Mechanisms

You’re an expanded rock, a high-powered dog. You have a high power to rationalize, and you call it choice. You say what you say to me, and then you explain it. You have a large number of strings, and when you pull them or someone else pulls them you call it choice. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Memory

A memory is a symbol of something. When you completely experience the symbol of something, it disappears and what you’re left with is the thing. That’s the paradox. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1980.)

Mind – See Records

Mind – Observing the Mind

Observing the mind … has two parts.

One part is confronting rejection and loss of agreement. … The other part of seeing how willing you are to come from your experience. (Werner Erhard quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, Nov. 1977, 5.)

Miracles

A miracle is getting from point A to point B without covering the space in between. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, October 1980.)

Miracles happen in direct relation to your willingness to have them. Be willing for miracles to happen here. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

It’s not getting off it that’s important. The [est] training gives you the space to get off [it]. It’s not the miracles, but the capacity to have miracles. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

Misidentification – See Self – Treating your Self as a concept

Money

What I know now is that my money makes a difference in the world. I knew I could. But I never knew my money could. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

More, Better, and Different

What you call communication doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work consistently, it doesn’t work. And what you do, when it’s not working, is go for “more, better and different.” (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

What we do when what we do doesn’t work is we do it more. And when that doesn’t work, we do better. And when that doesn’t work, we do it dsifferently. And when that doesn’t work, we begin the cycle again. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

More less is better. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

Movement – There is no hovering

There is only expanding and contracting. There is no hovering. That’s for hawks and helicopters. Selves don’t hover. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

In this universe, you’re either moving out or you’re moving in. There’s no stationary; no status quo. (est Trainer Vic Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Movement is not about feeling great. You can go from apathy, which is not caring and not caring about not caring, to hostility, and that’s movement. There is actually more aliveness in hostility than in apathy. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipset, 3 Dec. 1980.)

Keep expanding your experience, keep alive the knowledge that you’re making a difference.

Of course, if you’re listening on the periphery of this – if you read what we’re saying as a way to live, or as an invitation to follow someone – it’s all nonsense. But if you read this out of a commitment to make a difference, you’ll hear us asking, “How am I going to keep expanding myself? What’s next?” (Laurel Scheaf, Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

Narcissism

In part, … the charge of narcissism has to do with a verbal misunderstanding. Some writers have been led astray by a technical use of the word “self.” “Self,” as used by Werner, has nothing to do with “selfish.” It has not connection to the accidents of individual biography or history, personal appearance, achievement, or possession. There is nothing narcissistic about attempting to transcend those things in life that lead people to narcissism. (William Bartley III in Graduate Review, May 1978, 5.)

Nature of Reality Course

In this course people move from being determined by the circumstances of life to using those circumstances to express their vision of life.

The course is especially directed towards people who have a regular opportunity to affect the productivity and well-being of others, such as managers, public officials, health professionals, and educators. (Brochure for The Nature of Reality. A Course in Well-Being. 1982.)

Necessary – See Making Things Wrong and Necessary

New Paradigms

In order to get our of this [Making a Difference] series, you have to get out of your old paradigm and into a new reality.

The problem is that when we explore new realities it’s uncomfortable. You’re pissed off. It’s no fun. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Nothing/No Thing

One creates from nothing.
If you try to create from something, you’re just changing something.
So in order to create something, you first have to be able to create nothing. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

To make sure a person doesn’t find out who he is, convince him that he can’t really make anything disappear.

All that’s left then is to resist, solve, fix, help, or change things.

That’s trying to make something out of something. (Werner Erhard, source unknown.)

Create from nothing. For no reason. From nothing, everything/nothing creates for no reason.

Creating is distinguishing from everything what is, for no reason. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The farthest away we can get from something is nothing. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

When you create space, you get nothing. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

What happens when you put something through nothing? It disappears. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Watch. I’m now going to create something. “Let there be light.” Notice I only create what is. I can’t create what isn’t. See, if I said, “let there be darkness,” I’d get my mind in a mess. I’d definitely have my head up my asshole. It’s dark up there. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

From nothing, you create for no reason. So there’s certainty. It’s what’s so. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Nowhere/Now Here

I want you to go nowhere because nowhere is “now here.” (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You can’t live in the now because you avoid bringing up the past. You can’t live in the now unless you are responsible for the past. Avoiding the past is living in the past. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Observation

Observation means to be with something without being stuck in your point of view. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Organization

The definition of an organization that works is one that is true to its purpose, viable in the world, and nurtures those who participate. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Most organizations forget their purpose and opt instead for survival. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

An organization that works is responsible for its finances in the world, and offers the world something it wants. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Or-ness

Do things move?

(1) Yes.
(2) No.
(3) Yes or no.
(4) Yes and no.

Yes or no. Things move, or they don’t move. They move in the same time and place, or they don’t move. Get in touch with “or-ness.” (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Participation

Health is a function of participation. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

There are a number of places to come from: (1) disloyalty, (2) adversary, (3) uncertainty, (4) detriment, (5) service. (est Trainer Vic Goschia, 19 Oct. 1980.)

The training is designed to operate with people who are at a certain level in life, the level of adversary; the seminars, the level of uncertainty or better. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

What stops participation all the time is reasonableness. You don’t want to participate because it isn’t reasonable. All that makes life real, my friend, is participation. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

When you don’t press out, it’s only because you don’t think you make a difference. (Wendy Richardson at est Training, 1 June 1980.)

Past

While I have a past, I am not my past. (Werner Erhard in WE, xi.)

Peak Experience

There is the experience, and then there is the report or explanation of it. In a sense it is absurd even to try to report or explain a peak experience, since such an experience essentially concerns the limitations of report and explanations. All I can do is to talk around the subject.

A peak experience is, first of all, an experienced experience. Now I know that phrase sounds funny, but I use it as a kind of shorthand for referring to the fact that most of what we think of as experience in our live sis highly schematic and conceptual, and so rigidly organized that true experience can rarely break through it. That is, most of what we call experience is in fact not experiential. So this was a moment in my life when experience broke through the wall of theory and concept that I kept between myself and true experience.

You can in this sense Have a peak experience of anyone or anything. … I could for example have a peak experience of you. Ordinarily, my experience of you is filtered through my concepts and memories. I experience you through the concept that you are a professor, and that you are such and such an age, that you dress a particular way, and so on. I see you as fitting into my life in some particular way. I attach a value or importance to you in terms of myself and my projects.

In a peak experience, all that drops away. My experience of you is no longer mediated by my own position. Who you really are penetrates through the screen of my own conceptual structures and my hierarchy of values. I experience you as you are. And although I am more detached and more objective, I sense you more intensely.

The peak experience that I had in 1963 was a peak experience of what I call the Self. This is perhaps unusual. People are more apt to have peak experiences which are related to other people, or to their work; or related to nature or to art. Such peak experiences are splendid things that may profoundly affect life. Any peak experience carries you out of your ordinary state: you see in a larger context.

But the peak experience that I had was not related to any person or to my work, not to the ocean or to the sunset or to art, not to any of that. It was a profound sense of Self. I truly experienced the Self – not my Self: the word ‘my” belongs in the world of concept about Self, not experience of Self. I was carried out of my ordinary state, not merely to another state, but to the context of all states, the context of all contexts.

Of course in 1963 I didn’t have the means to express the matter in this way. Although I had experienced Self, I didn’t yet know how to talk about it. It was only later, as I worked through Zen, and Scientology, and other disciplines, that I began to understand the matter better. …

… A peak experience is not a warm bath of experience where you just feel good. It is not a time when your intellect and your concepts get fuzzy. It is a high noon of the spirit, when all shadows disappear. It is as if you see your concepts stretched to their furthest limits – and worn out. That discipline that I put myself under – of telling the truth unflinchingly 0 just wore out my concepts.

So the concepts that you go beyond in a peak experience are concepts that are inadequate and are perceived to be so – not concepts that are so fuzzily perceived that you couldn’t begin to say whether they are adequate or not. A peak experience doesn’t come in a stupor; it comes in a blaze of clarity. …

… I had mystical or peak experiences before: for example, just after I graduated from high school, lying on the beach at Atlantic City. But I never did anything with them. They had no real consequences – except perhaps to create within me the space to have a more significant experience of this sort.

But this new experience had all sorts of effects. It put me in a quite new state of being. For one thing, it made my life magical for a while. My ordinary experience totally altered. It was as if it just never rained where I was. I was in incredible shape personally, and my organization became incredible too. The people who worked with me transcended themselves. Now I had people with whom I could share what was happening with me.

Quite apart from giving a lyrical, magical cast to my life, … my experience had the effect of reorganizing my values. Until then, I had functioned from the values with which I had grown up, chief amongst which was the idea of success and security, or making it – of getting to the top of the pile of bodies.

Afterward, I saw the folly of merely making it. I saw the stupidity and hypocrisy of my conventional values. I began to get the kind of skeptical head – skeptical of reality, skeptical of convention – that is attributed to people from the drug scene – to many of whom similar things happened.

Such a shift in values is also typical of religious conversion. (Werner in WE, 107-9.)

Perfection

Perfection is a state in which things are the way they are and are not the way they are not.
As you can see, this universe is perfect.
Don’t lie about it. (Werner Erhard, IGHM.)

If you could really accept
That you weren’t ok
You could stop proving that
You were ok.

If you could stop proving
That you were ok
You could get that it was
Ok not to be ok.

If you could get that it was ok
Not to be ok
You could get that you were ok
|The way you are.

You’re ok, get it?
(Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Perpetrations – See also Integrity, Word

A perpetration is something you have done or not done that you consider damages the aliveness of another or others. Then you withhold it and make them wrong. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

A perpetration is something that you agreed to do and you haven’t done. And what your mind does with a perpetration is make you right.

You don’t talk about perpetrations and you need to. It’s like you all come to breakfast, Werner once said, and there’s a hippopotamus head on the breakfast table and nobody says anything about it. (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, Oct. 1980.)

You actually have 100% integrity and, when you do something that doesn’t live up to your ideals, you arrange to do bad things to yourself. (est Trainer Hal isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

If there’s a phone, and you want it to, you’ll find a way to make it ring. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

By the way, if you’re angry at someone, communicate or you’re going to be doing some bad things, like crashing their car. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Physical Universe

The purpose of the special seminar on the physical universe is to look at and experience some of the barriers you have to being there with the physical universe. (est brochure on the Special Graduate Seminar Series, n.d.)

Places to Come From

There are a number of places to come from: (1) disloyalty, (2) adversary, (3) uncertainty, (4) detriment, (5) service. (Vic Goscia, est Trainer, Oct. 19, 1980.)

The training is designed to operate with people who are at a certain level in life, the level of adversary; the seminars, the level of uncertainty or better. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Playing Safe/Small – See also Goals

Notice that you deal with your participation in the Training as you deal with it around everything else – as if your participation doesn’t matter. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

You’re not living your life as if your life depended on it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, n.d.)

People don’t take on jobs where they can blow things high, wide, and handsome. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

If you don’t play at the level you’re capable of playing, there’s no juice in it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Pleasure

The stuff you call pleasure is really the absence of pain. You know, you keep hitting your hand with a hammer and then stop and say, “Hmmmm…. That feels great.” (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Positions

Every position or point of view we have can be said to have a “cost” (reckoned in terms of aliveness) and a “payoff.” “Getting it means being able to discover when you have been maintaining (or are stuck with) a position which costs you more in aliveness than it is worth, realizing that you are the source of that position, and being able to choose to give up that position or hold it in a way that expands the quality of your life. Living becomes a continuing and expanding discovery of positions or barriers to your and others’ aliveness, with the attendant opportunity to handle those positions and barriers. The result of this continuing process of choosing or “getting it” is an expanded experience of happiness, love, health, and full self-expression. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

It will not work for you to approach a person from the position of you being in integrity and the other person being out of integrity in the name of aliveness. Don’t occupy a position to handle a position. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

The pea soup gets made this way: someone takes a position and what you don’t realize is that, when someone takes a position, it automatically calls into being its opposite position.

To get the pea soup thick, what happens is you get the nucleus of “yes” and “no’ and then you add the confusion of the more, better, and different solutions.

That pea soup of confusion, controversy, conflict, organization, judgment and evaluation covers every major problem on the planet. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Notice your system, but be with the person if you want to communicate. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Positions – Their futility

Now we are ready to look at the problem of starvation itself. What position could we take that would end hunger and starvation?

I looked at a lot of positions that people have taken:

  • The position of feeding people through better distribution.
  • The Malthusian position of seeing starvation as nature’s way of maintaining a population that the world can feed.
  • The position of giving away our excess food.
  • The position of having the Government solve the problem.
  • The position of getting industry to do it.
  • The position of getting churches to do it.

I found out that any position you take with respect to the end of hunger and starvation automatically and inevitably calls up the opposite position in equal measure.

To illustrate: When I say “left,” notice I don’t need to say “right.” It I say “up,” I don’t need to say “down.” (Werner Erhard in ES, 9-10.)

Positions – They are not self-sufficient, but depend on other positions

It Is a fact in the universe in which you and I live that any position requires its opposite position. The assumption of any position necessarily implies its opposite position. If I take the position, “Let’s end hunger and starvation,” without further ado I have called up the opposite position in some form or other. Maybe the form is, “It can’t be done.” Maybe the form is, “There are more important things to do.” Maybe the form is, “Let them do it.” Whatever the form, it is in opposition to, “Let’s end hunger and starvation.”

When our positioning calls up the opposite position, we habitually redouble the energy we invest in our position. That’s how we handle opposition, isn’t it? When you’re opposed, don’t you redouble your force? And when you redouble your force what happens? Obviously, you call up redoubled opposition. (Werner Erhard in ES, 10.)

Position – They are threatened by other positions

A content or position is threatened by any opposite posi­tion. Given two opposing positions, only one can survive. On the other hand, a context gives space to, it literally allows, it even encourages, positions that are apparently opposite. In fact, the most important position in a newly-created context is the posi­tion which appears to oppose the context. (Werner Erhard in ES, 19.)

Positions – Positions and oppositions combine to make a pea soup

A term I use to describe the mess that surrounds most issues in the world today and prevents us from getting at what is really so about the world’s problems is “pea soup.” The pea soup is a mass of confusion, controversy, argument, conflict, and opinions. It is, in fact, composed of positions and oppositions.

The mass of the pea soup is created like this: As a nucleus, you have “yes” and “no” as position and opposition. Then around the nucleus an enormous mass called “other solutions” builds up. For example: “That way won’t work. Try it this way instead.” “We need to do more.” “Oh, no, that won’t work, I’ve got a better idea.” “No, none of that will work, we need to do it differently.”

Then this mass of solutions becomes the larger nucleus for an additional round of more/better/different, which becomes an even larger nucleus for … and on and on. That’s how you get the mass of the pea soup. That is the way we create the confu­sion and conflict and controversy that keep us from even seeing the truth of what the problem is. (Werner Erhard in ES, 10.)

Predictions

I cannot predict exactly what will happen to end starvation on the planet. In fact, any predic­tion begins to place a limitation on what can occur. (Werner Erhard in ES, 28.)

At this end of transformation, you can’t see what the end looks like. People say to me, “Werner, what’s going to happen?” I don’t know what’s going to happen. Twenty years from now, we’ll look back and explain it in a nice, linear, billiard-ball theory of reaction. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

I say that any attempt to predict it limits it. (Werner Erhard in ES, 29.)

I talked to about 40,000 people in a series of presentations of The Hunger Project in September and October of 1977. Those 40,000 people experienced alignment and began to talk to tens of thousands of other people, who, in turn, have enrolled tens of thousands who are now enrolling hundreds of thousands. The Hunger Project will continue to grow exponentially because people want to make a difference in the world, and are naturally committed to making the end of hunger and starvation an idea whose time has come.

We can predict what hundreds of thousands of people banded together in a movement, each doing his or her part, could do about hunger and starvation – but no one has ever seen hundreds of thousands of aligned people. No one can pre­dict what hundreds of thousands of aligned people can do who are aligned out of themselves, out of their individual sense of responsibility, out of being willing to create new contexts within themselves – within themselves as individuals, within them­selves as relationship, within themselves as a group, within themselves as organization or institution, within themselves as society, within themselves as humankind. We have no idea what a group of hundreds of thousands of aligned people can do. And I say that any attempt to predict it limits it.

So I only predict miracles.

Twenty years from now, when we’re looking back at how hunger and starvation ended, it will not look as if miracles had happened. Everyone will know how it happened. They will point to events that were pivotal, that made a difference. There will appear to be an obvious relationship between what was done and the logical consequences of what was done. The wea­ther got better; there were bigger crops; this government changed; the president said that; the government did this; and it all resulted in the end of starvation on the planet. In retrospect, that’s how miracles always appear to happen.

Butterflies can explain how caterpillars came to fly. (Werner Erhard in ES, 29-30.)

Present time

To have communication, you have to have the experience of being. So the success of communication depends on the degree of thrreeness of the person. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

People are very seldom in present time experiencing their experience. They usually spend time in one of two places – how it was and how it will be. Being with yourself now is what happens in the training. And when it happens you get past your barriers to experience in present time. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Get present or communicate about it. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, Nov. 1980.)

Pretense

Those were the days of my youth – you know? Four or five years earlier? (est Trainer Jeff Galbraith, 15 April 1980.)

Do your act, but don’t get stuck in believing it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

What keeps us being shy, afraid, and embarrassed is the pretense of not being shy, afraid, and embarrassed. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Embarassment is part of the structure of the withhold. You’re worried that people will think bad thoughts about you. They will. Even if you share good shit. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

“Who me? I’ve transcended my ego.” See, now you have two egos: one called, “I have no ego” and the one hiding underneath that. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 18 Jan. 1981.)

What had seemed earlier to be just the eway I was now clearly revealed itself as patterns or mechanisms which I happened to have.

As you break up these patterns, you begin to get in touch with your natural integrity. And as you get in touch with your nat7ural integrity, you break up the patterns more. Thus a beneficent cycle or spiral begins, a spiral which becomes the deadly enemy of pretence.

I don’t mean that there aren’t any problems in your life anymore after you discover your own integrity. … There were plenty problems in my life…. I was still living a lie. Yet, instead of having dishonesty in my life, the real fundamental underlying integrity began to emerge, and to break up the old patterns which permitted the dishonesty. (WE, 105-6.)

Problems

Who you are is a mechanism that sees problems through a condition of workability, scarcity and no solutions. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Remember when you asked yourself five years ago how things would turn out? Well, this is how they turned out. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You try taking a problem away from someone who has it. What happens? They hold onto it like mad. And if they finally let go of it? They leap to the next problem.

You are your problems. What would you do without your problems? What would keep you going? What would involve you with things? Problems are opportunities; they are your points of contact with the world. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

The pea soup gets made this way: someone takes a position and what you don’t realize is that, when someone takes a position, it automatically calls into being its opposite position.

To get the pea soup thick, what happens is you get the nucleus of “yes” and “no’ and then you add the confusion of the more, better, and different solutions.

That pea soup of confusion, controversy, conflict, organization, judgment and evaluation covers every major problem on the planet. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Every new opinion only adds to the pea soup. Any position you take on ending world hunger only adds to the pea soup. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

It’s not what we do or don’t do that matters but that we do it from a position of unworkability that keeps the problem persisting. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

You see yourself as smaller than the problem. You are not able to deal with the problem as long as you are smaller than it.

You have the ability to create a context around the problem and thereby dissolve it. How come you’re not using it? (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Human beings normally deal with a problem by ignoring it or by trying to solve it. Both of these represent resistance and in both cases another problem is created overlaying the first. (BE, 97.)

In est we witness problems and when they disappear, lo and behold, the one hiding behind them, a more basic one, appears. Experiencing problems fully is like peeling the layers of an onion. Normal problem-solving and problem-avoiding is like adding skins to the onion. In here we’ll guarantee you better and bigger problems: new ones, the ones you’ve been hiding from since you were six. And the weight of your problems will get less and less as the skins of the onion are peeled, instead of getting heavier and heavier as it does with normal problem-solving. (BE, 97.)

There’s a big difference between learning to live with a problem – which implies trying to ignore it, and that’s a form of resistance – and experiencing full what we’re experiencing, whether it be resentment of a husband’s traveling or fear of having a lion in the house. Someone who says “I hate my husband’s traveling. I can’t stand it. But I put up with it for the sake the children,” is living with her problem and is a royal pain in the ass. So is someone petrified with fear who announces they’ve learned to live with the lion in their house. What we want is for you to get in touch with the situation and with the emotions generated by the problem. When you do that, surprise! Your problem will clear up just in the process of living, and, surprise! You’ll probably uncover a more basic one underneath. (BE, 97.)

When things aren’t working out, that’s an opportunity for a breakthrough. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

One person’s problem is another person’s opportunity. The family struck by cancer looks upon it as a problem. The cancer researcher they go to looks upon it as an opportunity for him to use his study skills. The social worker they go to looks upon it as his opportunity to help someone and feel significant in the world. (est Trainer Stewart Esposito, 25 May 1980.)

For the bureaucrat employed by the American Cancer Foundation, what would be the biggest catastrophe imaginable? That’s right. Finding a cure for cancer. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, 1 June 1980.)

Every problem is an opportunity. The opportunity is there to do whatever the problem challenges us to do. Or we can challenge ourselves to transform the problem. Or we can challenge ourselves to change the problem. Or we can challenge ourselves to let the problem go. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You want to see me take away all the problems you have? Here, put your arm here, and “Whack!” Now you won’t worry about your problems. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

What can you expect after the training is problems. So will life be any different after the training? Nope. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Sure, you’re your headache. Your headache keeps you from confronting someone else. Boy, I’ll tell you, you didn’t have your headache when you were going down the cliff yesterday [on the Ropes Course]. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long,17 Nov. 1980.)

If your life is boring, create some good problems. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

To make a relationship work, get individual goals. Go get yourself something bigger than the relationship. Get a bigger purpose or a bigger problem. (est 6-Day Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Problems – Every solution becomes a problem

Have you ever noticed how the solution to one problem creates another problem? What problem was your current problem once a solution to? (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Goals are solutions to problems. Three days later, goals, like all solutions, become new problems. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

All problems started out as a good idea. You started out as a good idea. And then after four days it becomes a problem. And what happens to a problem? You solve it. And what happens to the solution? It becomes a problem. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Every solution you’ve come up with, every brilliant solution, is part of the Labyrinth. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Problems – Run them

Run your problems; don’t let your problems run you. Run your life; don’t let your life run you. Run your body; don’t let your body run you. Be at cause with your life, rather than at effect. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Problems – Dissolve them

You don’t solve problem; that just makes more problems. You dissolve problems. And the way you dissolve problems is to experience them. And then they disappear. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Until you experience your experience, until you fully witness your problem, your problem will persist forever! You may add a new layer to the onion, change the shape or form of your problem, and the only way you’re ever going to get to basics is to do what we’ve been doing in this room today: don’t lie, get in touch with your experience, and take what you get. (BE, 98.)

Notice that Linda had a problem with me shouting. She fully experience it. Her problem with my shouting disappeared. Now she got maybe a bigger problem : how does she really feel about daddy.

Henrietta had a problem with feeling left behind in the training. Could I have solved it by helping her, by going slower and repeating what I’d said before? No. Her problem about the pace of the training simply disappeared when she really examined her experience. She peeled the layer of the onion skin and got closer to the core. (BE, 98.)

Get in touch with your experience when you’re being nagged. What you experience then, the bodily sensations, and so on, that’s your item. (BE, 99.)

Nancy says vehemently, “You’re implying that all problems are just something from the past that’s been bugging us. I think a woman trapped in a lousy marriage with a husband who is away half the time, and probably a bore when he is around, has got a real problem in the here and now. Do you expect me to sit around examining my loUsy husband for the rest of my life?”

“No!” the trainer shouts. “That’s not what you’ve been saying. Your problem is not your husband, it’s your own stuckness, your own failure to leave. If you get really in touch with your stuckness you’ll find …. We don’t know what … that you really lobe him and he’s not lousy, or maybe you’ll get in touch with the source of the barrier to leaving him and when you experience it out, you’ll leave.

In either case your problem of experiencing yourself as stuck in a lousy marriage will disappear. (be, 99.)

As you experience your problems, as you dissolve them, then what will be revealed is another problem. But you’ll always be moving in another direction. When you solved your problems, you created one after another, and made the stack of records bigger. Now, when you dissolve them, you make the stack smaller. That’s the other direction. If you don’t know, it can look as if nothing is happening. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Problems – Be at cause with them

Run your problems; don’t let your problems run you. Run your life; don’t let your life run you. Run your body; don’t let your body run you. Be at cause with your life, rather than at effect. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Program

These techniques are not about programming yourself. They are not mechanisms for getting up in the morning if you have trouble doing that.

For those of you who can’t go to sleep at night, you need to know that your program is, “When you want to go to sleep, wake up.” For those of you who can’t wake up, your program is, “When you want to wake up, go back to sleep.” (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

Promises

I do not make promises and agreements I’m not going to keep. I don’t play a game I’m not enrolled in. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Promises – General Program Promises

A. Discover and clean up everything in your life that is inconsistent with living as your word.
B. Have no involvement in illegal activities.
C. Do all homework.
D. Do not intentionally cause upsets, problems or withheld perpetrations.
E. Create, commit to and carry out at least one major project in your participation in your Area center and at least one in your life outside the network.
F. Attend and be on time for all team meetings including the gues events and participaate in the full on-site program.
G. On-site, be responsible for knowing and following all participant ground rules.
H. Do not initiate or promote sexual relationships with staff, participants or other assistants while in the program.
I. Respect the confidentiality of all participants and assistants, including but not limited to their identities and their sharing.
J. Do not use any medications, except those your physician has told you that you must take or that you must take under specific circumstances (this does not include birth control pills, vitamins, etc. and is not intended to contradict any instructions or advice your physician has given you).
K. There will be additional required promises that are specific to your participation on site. You agree to follow these as well.
L. Communicate openly, honestly and completely.
M. Follow instructions and get the job done; in addition, be responsible for others getting the job done.
N. Be clear about what is expected of you at all times and immediately ask for assistance if you are uncertain about what to do.

Promises – For the Six-Day Course

1. I promise to communicate openly about everything while at the 6-Day Advanced Course.
2. I promise not to tell any lies.
3. I promise not to complain about anything.
4. I promise to use the course as an opportunity to do things I’ve never done before and integrate them into my daily life.
5. I promise to have the results of the course apparent in my daily life so that the people I meet after the course recognize and comment on these results.
6. I understand that the 6-Day Advanced Course is about going beyond the limitations I’ve been living in and I promise to accept the challenges encountered there rather than withdrawing from the risks.
7. I promise to stay well. If I’m injured, hurt, or sick, I promise to communicate immediately, take appropriate action, and see a medical doctor if necessary.
8. I understand that my job as a participant here is to reorganize and redesign my life to be consistent with a commitment to living life passionately and with a passionate commitment to humanity. I also understand that in this reorganization and redesign it will necessitate my learning and discovering new ways of dealing with integrity, communication, participation, relationship, freedom, commitment and accomplishment. I promise to do that.

Racket

You’re one of the guys who wants to keep screwing around with things. You have a habit and it keeps bringing you into this corner. What you’re doing won’t work. But you don’t abandon what you’re doing. You keep getting further into it. And you won’t manage yourself to get bigger than this habit. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

If you blow the whistle on your racket, it’ll cease to have command value over you. You’ll still run it, but it won’t run you. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 7 Dec. 1983.)

Why are you being a one-way bitch? (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 15 Jan. 1980.)

When he makes noises to leave, you say:

(1) “I’ve given you the best years of my life.”
(2) “What about the children?”
(3) “I’m sick. You can’t leave me.”
(4) “I’ll kill myself if you leave me.”
(est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.

Life isn’t a burden. You’re a burden. You’re a walking burden, looking for someone to crap on. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Racket – Calling someone/yourself on a racket

The next ledge of the game in which you’re calling people on their rackets is to get them to see what’s going down in such a way that they’re not invalidated but empowered by it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

Eighty percent of people who are on time are on time because they are too scared to be bad by being late. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

You can’t call people on stuff in your life because you do it and you don’t want to be responsible and you don’t want to be irresponsible about being responsible. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 jan. 1980.)

Reasons

A reason allows me not to take responsibility for my actions. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You’re all of you so concerned about being right. You make up good reasons about everything you do. But the reasons have nothing to do with why you do what you do. Why did I just do that? I don’t know. Make up a reason. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

What’s worse than not coming up with a reason is coming up with it. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

When I find reasons, life becomes a series of situations in which I try to prove how right I am. With reasonableness, I truly lose my power. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

What stops participation all the time is reasonableness. You don’t want to participate because it isn’t reasonable. All that makes life real, my friend, is participation. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Finding reasons and getting agreement means creating new records. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

There is no end to the number of reasons you can have for things. You can tip the reasons scale either way – for doing something or for not doing something. Your choice is not a result of your reasons. Your choice is a result of your choice. I do this because I do this, and for no reason at all. But you don’t choose; you decide. “Deciding” has the same root as suicide, homicide, fratricide, infanticide. When you decide, you murder the alternatives. Then you have to supply yourself with reasons to prove your decision is right and the alternative is wrong. That’s why you get self-righteous about your decision, and won’t get off it even when everything else screams at you that your decision is not serving you.

Have your reasons. But don’t make them responsible for your being here. Make yourself responsible because you said you’d be here, because you gave your word.

Experience yourself being here self-determinedly, out of choice, out of your having put yourself here. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

The ultimate step is to hold a reason as a reason and not as a justification. “Oh, look, I have this reason for not doing that, and I think I’ll still do it to further this purpose.” (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

Records

The mind is a linear arrangement of multi-sensory, total records of successive moments of now. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, 1 June 1980.)

The mind is a linear arrangement of multisensory, total records of successive moments of now. Its purpose, its design function, is survival: the survival of the being and anything which it considers itself to be. When the being identifies itself with its mind, we call this state of affairs the ego and it means that the mind’s purpose becomes the survival of the mind itself. For the mind to survive, it tries to keep itself intact, it seeks agreement, and tries to avoid disagreement. It wants to dominate and to avoid domination, it wants to justify its points of view, conclusions, decisions, and avoid invalidation. It wants to be right. Running through it all, over it all, is the unending effort of the mind to prove itself right. (BE, 174.)

When I activate a record, the entire pattern gets pulled up, including posture, facial expression, vocal tone, gestures, expressions, attitudes, etc., and the entire pattern has total command value over you. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

There are three kinds of records:

(1) Those that record pain (impact), unconsciousness and a real or imagined threat to survival;
(2) Those that record loss, shock, or shocking loss and emotion that is not fully experienced;
(3) Those that are triggered by unwitting reminders of 1 and 2. (est Trainer Ron Browning, Nov. 1979.)

Number one incidents have us on rails. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipsett, 24 Sept. 1980.)

When the record is playing you are less alive, at effect, no choice, automatic, and mechanical. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

A memory is a symbol of something. When you completely experience the symbol of something, it disappears and you’re left with the thing. That’s the paradox. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Kan. 1980.)

Finding reasons and getting agreement means creating new records. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Finding reasons means I’m always right, deadright. I get less alive and create more records. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

It’s irrelevant that you jerked off the dog. It’s irrelevant that you starve yourself. But you make it relevant. In the world of agreement, it’s no more relevant than anything else. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

Our beliefs come from decisions we made about surviving. These decisions come from and generate emotions which are suppressed. Out of the beliefs and suppressed emotions come our thoughts, evaluations, judgements, criticisms, resentments, regrets, and more decisions and beliefs. We take these things as reality, “the way things really are,” as if we found them rather than made them up.

Right here, some definite opposition to what I have just said will likely come up. You may be thinking something like: “Wait a minute! This guy is nuts. My thoughts and beliefs and judgements and evaluations come from what I observe around me, what other people say and do, how people and things behave around me. They come from what I’ve been taught and learned and noticed and figured out and….” And on and on.

Too bad, but that is backward. Your environment is a reflection of your beliefs. Your beliefs come first, then they are materialized in the illusion-reality. You are the source of your beliefs, your environment is not. The only place you can effectively take responsibility for your reality is in looking at, and taking responsibility for, your beliefs. How do you do that? By doing it. Responsibility is a generating context. There is no technique for it. It is a choice you make. (Bob Larzalere, The Harmony of Love. Context Publications, 1982, 71.)

Records – Recreation – See Recreation

Records – The mechanism that makes them play

Anything is like anything else, is like anything else, but not always. The mind will say that this horse is like the horse that nipped you, but it may not be and it may be. (est Trainer Ron Browning, Nov. 1979.)

When you surrender to your anger, you get a realization. “The person I was angry with six years ago wore the same colour as you.” (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Records – Recreation is the mechanism that makes the record disappear

When you recreate the stack of records, you “disappear” a record and what happens? You get space. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

As you experience something, it pops. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

What happens when you put something through nothing? It disappears. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

When you recreate the stack of records, you “disappear” a record and what happens? You get space. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Put two things in the same space and they disappear. You assholes who are fat people in skinny bodies, put fat where fat is and it disappears. Put a headache where a headache is and it disappears. Put anger where anger is and it disappears.

But you know what you do? You put a smile on anger. You put guilt on pain. You put joy on depression. Get into being angry, without dumping on anyone. Get into pain. Get into depression. And it will disappear. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

To make sure a person doesn’t find out who he is, convince him that he can’t really make anything disappear.
All that’s left then is to resist, solve, fix, help, or change things.
That’s trying to make something out of something. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

If you let go of the control of your bodies, your bodies will literally go out of order. They will communicate to you your records with regard to your body. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

Relationships

The last thing people have to give up in the training to get it – to be enlightened – is that they aren’t enlightened. Similarly, the last hold-out in having your relationships be brilliantly alive, magical and deeply nurturing is giving up that they aren’t already. (Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, May 1978, 23.)

Most of you would be far better off spending far less time together. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Only when you are alone, complete unto yourself, can you create a relationship that works. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

All it takes is one person willing to make a relationship work for it to work. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

To make a relationship work, get individual goals. Go get yourself something bigger than the relationship. Get a bigger purpose or a bigger problem. (est 6-Day Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

What relationships look like when they’re operating at the level of survival is attachment and entanglement. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Once you decide that you can’t live without someone, your relationship becomes about survival and you’ll do anything to keep the other person around.

“I love you” becomes “I can’t live without you.”

We say “I love you” to get the other person to say “I love you” back. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

You can’t love someone you need. You know that person you love? You need that person, but you lie about it and say “I love you.” Tell the truth and need will go away. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

The trade business is where you take inventory of everything you’ve got to trade to keep the other person around. “I’ve got tits. What have you got?”

“Stick around and I’ll give you….” (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

You are acting out your relationships from arguments you had four weeks ago. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

The relationship becomes the dramatization of the #1s, 2s, and 3s [i.e., most traumatic records] of relationships. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Your relationships look like two slot machines facing each other waiting for a jackpot. When you get one, you marry each other, and then you keep pulling the handle. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Relationships – Transformation expressing itself into untransformed relationships and institutions – See Transformation – Expressing it into untransformed relationships and institutions, Making a Difference

Resentment

Definition of Resentment: A feeling of bitter hurt or indignation, from a sense of being injured or offended. Resent: to feel a bitter hurt or indignation at (some act, remark, etc.) or toward (a person), from a sense of being injured or offended. (est handout, giving definition from Webster’s New World Dictionary © 1972.)

Resistance – What you resist persists

You get what you resist. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

It is a law of the Mind that you become what you resist. … Having resisted my mother, I became my mother. (Werner Erhard in WE, 44.)

Whatever you resist, persists. Create what is and it disappears. Follow the rules and they disappear. Acknowledge people’s resistance and they disappear. Follow another’s preferences and the person will suspend them. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

People go round resisting and then they wonder why their life sucks. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 15, 1980.)

The “bad stuff” is there because you resist it; the “good stuff” disappears because you accept it. When you get off the bad stuff everyone else gets off it. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

The “bad stuff” is not out-of-alignment. It’s just where you’re at. The “good stuff” is what you’d prefer. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

It is a law of the Mind, that you become what you resist. … Having resisted my mother, and lost my mother, I became my mother. (Werner Erhard in WE, 44.)

Just find something you don’t want to be and you’re it. Just decide you don’t want to be something and you’ll become it. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

People go around resisting and then wonder why their life sucks. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

You don’t want to disturb people. So you know what? You disturb people a lot. You get what you resist. Now if you put it out from your experience and tell people what’s so for you, you’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

It takes no effort to move the universe. It takes incredible effort to resist it. See, think what you’re thinking. Great. Do what you’re doing. Great. See how easy it is. But try to get them to think what they’re not thinking. That’s a different matter. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Given what you say you’re up to, we need pliers to get you to acknowledge even what’s so. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal isen, Nov. 1980.)

In the times you “don’t know that,” stop forgetting. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

You have to be able to see what you’re doing to see that you don’t see it. You have to be able to know something before you know that you don’t know it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

It’s real useful to be intentionally vague. Being that way allows for a lot of room; not much movement, but a lot of room. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept, 1980.)

Whatever you resist persists. You get what you resist. Create what is and it disappears. Follow the rules and they disappear. Acknowledge people’s resistances and they disappear. Follow another person’s preferences and they will suspend them. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

Resistance and the need to dominate and be right destroy your ability to allow things to be. When you have no ability to allow things to be, you have no responsibility to be responsible for them as they are. When you cannot be resp0onsible for the way things are, you have no ability to create. It is in creating that you establish true independence. (Werner Erhard in WE, 24.)

Responsibility

Responsibility begins with the willingness to experience yourself as cause in the matter. (Werner Erhard, The Graduate Review, November 1979, 4.)

Self-expression is a function of responsibility. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Clean communication is responsible. It places you in the picture as the source of your experience. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

We’re not saying “Be responsible so God will like you.” We’re not saying “Be good. Be nice.” We’re saying “Be responsible so you’re able to handle what you gotta handle.” Then if we ask you to take a million dollars to the bank, you’ll be at the bank with the million dollars. No trying. No hoping to come through. You’ll be there, and that’s that. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

You can’t live in the now because you avoid bringing up the past. You can’t live in the now unless you are responsible for the past. Avoiding the past is living in the past. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

You can’t call people on stuff in your life because you don’t want to be responsible and you don’t want to be irresponsible about being responsible. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

You people don’t operate as if you’re the producer and director of this movie. You think you bought a ticket. And you’re still waiting for the snack bar to open. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8. Jan. 1980.)

You want us to be responsible for you getting it. You’re responsible for getting you to get it. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 15 Nov. 1980.)

The stuff that doesn’t bother you is the stuff you’ll either let be or else take responsibility for. But the stuff you won’t let be, you won’t hold yourself responsible for. You’ll be unconscious of it. Take responsibility for it and you’ll be conscious of it, aware of it. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

It’s not real for me that I am the source of the Vietnam War. However I’m willing to come from the space that I am the source. Knowing it intellectually is accurate but not the truth. It’s knowing it, not experiencing it. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Responsibility – As fault or blame

You think being responsible is blaming yourself for doing it wrong. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

Responsibility – Responsibility is innate

I know that underneath our facades, underneath the junk that we bother ourselves with in life, right underneath the surface – and I have been underneath the surface of tens and tens of thousands of people – is the experience of an innate and natural responsibility for the world in which we live. It is not something you have to jam in there or convince people of.

I want to convince you of nothing. I have nothing to convince you of. The experience of responsibility already exists within your Self. All you have to do is experience your Self as the space of your experience and you will automatically and neces­sarily experience responsibility for everything within your space. The Hunger Project is a natural consequence of the ex­perience of individual and personal responsibility, of your Self’s experience that hunger and starvation exist in your space, in your world. (Werner Erhard in ES, 25.)

This project is about you, and I suggest that if you get in touch with your Self, you will experience a natural, spontaneous sense of responsibility. (Werner Erhard in ES, 26.)

Responsibility – Reasons – See Reasons

Righteousness

With all your right reasons for what you do, you’re deadright. (est 6-Day Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Here’s the choice in life, folks. You either play God or you be God. If you play God, you don’t get to be God. If you be God, you don’t get to play God. You’re either alive or you’re right. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

It was clearly one of those days when I was “Fuck aliveness!” Yea, righteousness. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Satisfaction

Satisfaction is intrinsic to the Self, as I was at this time (1963) just beginning to glimpse. Any mechanisms, such as those employed by [Maxwell] Maltz and [Napoleon] Hill, that fail to recognize and allow the Self block the experience of satisfaction that is intrinsic to the Self.

If the tools employed by Maltz and Hill are held in a wider context: that is, if they are recontextualized, they become invaluable. When contained in an inadequate context, they are of limited value. Even when they produce success, they can be destructive. (Werner Erhard in WE, 110.)

The way to create satisfaction is simple: get off your point of view. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Imagine if it was so wonderful, what would be your first thought? It’s going to end. And the second thought? How can I create satisfaction when everything has turned out? (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Although reprogramming the Mind, when accurate applied, does produce success, it is not a source of satisfaction – of being whole and complete, fulfilled. Of course, many who use these programs do experience fulfillment in their lives. But their fulfillment comes out of who they are, not out of these programs. Serious misunderstandings stem from that.

In refining my understanding of the difference between success and satisfaction, and pondering the relationship between the two, it became clearer that Self – which is nonpersonal, nonpositional, nonnarrative – is the source of satisfaction.

Repogramming the Mind can of course produce something called satisfaction. A satisfaction that comes from succeeding through motivation or self-image can more accurately be called gratification. It may involve a sense of having gotten it, an approval of what you are doing. This can produce a temporary high, But one falls back from such a high. Worse, one may retain the belief that one now has it. (Werner Erhard in WE, 119-20.)

Self

It’s an acknowledgement of who you are that we could even be here saying this. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership presentation, Sept. 1977.)

When the fool is bigger than the Self, then the Self must be hidden. When the Self is bigger than the fool, then the fool can be presented. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

The willingness to be yourself is an enormous contribution to everything around you. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, n.d.)

The space of the reverence of the Self is natural, but it sure as hell ain’t normal. You are that which will get your life to work. The point is that you need to trust yourself ultimately. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Self – As space

Most people feel that who they are is what they (1) have, (2) do, and (3) are. They might get a better handle on things if they started the other way around. But, in actuality, who you are is not what you have, do, or are, or what you are, do, or have. It’s nothing, nowhere, or everything, everywhere. It’s the space in which things happen. (est Trainer Ron Browning.)

“Who you are” is a conclusion, a story. Notice you’re trapped in the evidence of an “I” when that’s the thing you have least evidence of. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 15, 1980.)

Self – As context and source of context

This is the bad news. You paid your $800. This is not going to work. Jesus is not going to save your ass. Buddha won’t work. Krishna won’t work. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

The Self is the source of context. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1979.)

The space of the reverence of the self is natural, but it sure as hell ain’t normal. You are that which will get your life to work. The point is that you need to trust yourself intimately. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Self – Treating your Self as a Concept

The source of the problem is misidentifying yourself as a thing or a point of view. You identify yourself as your body sensations, your point of view, your story, your considerations. Get the price you pay for that in terms of your aliveness, of your ability to enjoy life. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

You’re stuck with yourself as a conclusion, an assumption, a thing. The truth is, who you are is everything/nothing, the context for it all. You know what happens when you misidentify yourself with a concept? You resist. And it gets heavier. The story of life. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

This radiant being caught a transient worry and now she has reduced herself to that worry. She has identified herself with that worry. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Whatever you dream with is inadequate to see into that other reality. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Q: If I am the space for everything, would I not disappear?

A: Notice how you just made yourself into a thing. (est Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

[Pointing to a circle on the blackboard in which is written “thoughts, attitudes, memories, ideas, emotions, sensations, body, me”] You have evidence for everything in the circle except “me.” (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

‘Who you are’ is a conclusion, a story. Notice you’re trapped in the evidence of an ‘I’ when that’s the thing you have lead evidence of. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

That “real” self that nobody knows? That’s all your considerations. You’re not a deep person. You’re a shallow swamp. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Every single problem in life has as its root the misidentification of self. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Learn your concepts. That’s what will enlighten you. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, undated.)

Self – Treating Other’s Self as a Concept

We try to make people fit our definitions so we know we’ve got it. That’s what’s happening when we manipulate events by saying “If you really loved me, you’d….” If they do it, we receive “proof” that they really love us; if they don’t, we receive “proof” they don’t love us, and we “find out why.” (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 14 Jan. 1980.)

Self-Expression

Self-expression is a function of responsibility. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Without the contribution of your self in these seminars, they’re not powerful. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Instead of getting a relationship with you, we get what you think. You have no self-expression. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

You want to know how to communicate an emotion. Emote it. It’s called self-expression. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 16 Nov. 1980.)

People are moved to be around a person who’s willing to put out his or her experience at that level. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

How many times have you shared that one? How many times have you told people that you get nervous when you address a crowd/ Take a risk now. Share something new. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 7 Jan. 1980.)

Self-Expression Series

“Who you’re afraid you are” buries your ability to express “who you really are.” Self-expression is designed to enable you to locate, communicate and dissolve your notions about “who you’re afraid you are” and get you to you – the source of your ability to communicate. (“It’s What’s Up ‘Now” That Counts,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Sex – See also About Sex Series

Be clear that sex has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with communication. That’s why the purpose of the “About Sex” series is to clear up the barrier to communicating about sex and not something else about sex. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, you’re not. This is enlightened sex. When you get this handled, you’ve got sex handled. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

The only thing that’s gotta be hard for success is something connected with sex. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

You make love like two Volkswagens scraping fenders. It’s all technique. Some of you are running through the baseball scores in your minds. You have your lovemaking rehearsed. Let’s see, first kiss the ear; then the neck; then the breasts; and you’re in. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Sharing

People write article saying est is good, est is shitty. Thank you for sharing. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

The purpose of the special seminar on sharing is to create the space to confront your barriers to sharing yourself with others, individually and in a group, so as to be able to more fully contribute to making the world work. (est brochure on the Special Graduate Seminar Series, n.d.)

Space

When you reach a goal, you’ve filled a space. All there is to do then is to create a bigger space. Along with that, the trick is to keep your ethics open. Ethical behavior is behavior that produces the greatest amount of aliveness. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

Your willingness to include all of life in who you are is the celebration of this season. It is a privilege to be in the space you create. (Werner Erhard, quoted by Don Cox, President and CEO, est, 26 Nov. 1979 letter.)

You cannot have insights without space. It’s all stimulus/response, survival. You don’t have space. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Special Graduate Seminar Series

The Special Graduate Seminar Series supports you in expanding your ability to be with other people and the physical universe in a way that allows for full expression of yourself and your enlightenment. (est brochure on the Special Graduate Seminar Series, n.d.)

Without the contribution of your self in these seminars, they’re not powerful. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, Sept. 29, 1980.)

Staff, Being on

Being on staff is for people who are committed to showing up like a match for the mountain that this work is – not as a struggle, but as the opportunity for real dignity in life … the dignity of being able to live as your word. (Werner Erhard in invitational letter from Stewart Esposito to Steve Beckow, undated.)

Stand – Undeclared stand

An undeclared stand is a survival move, organized to get a particular payoff, and organized to do so in a way that presents the payoff isn’t wanted. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 7 Dec. 1983.)

What you see when you look at what you’re being when you’re not being who you are is your undeclared stand. Your undeclared stand will close off certain ways of being and open up other ways of being. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 7 Dec. 1983.)

When you create an orientation to life and run your life by it without revealing it to yourself and others, that’s your undeclared stand. Make your stand senior to the other shit in your life. Find out what your undeclared stand in the matter is. “Hi. I’m looking to be the victim of someone. Are you interested?” (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 7 Dec. 1983.)

Standards

The purpose of the special seminar on standards is to validate the moevemnt in your life, to become aware of some of the barriers you experience in being here now, and to eliminate those standards which form barriers to being there with other people. (est brochure on the Special Graduate Seminar Series, n.d.)

States of Mind

Enthusiasm
Strong interest
Mild interest
Boredom
Anger
Covert hostility
Grief
Victim
Apathy (Unknown est source.)

Starvation – It happens in the space of our lives

When you look at making the world work, you are confronted by, and cannot pass over, the fact that each year 15 million of us die as a consequence of starvation. This unparalleled failure for humanity enables us to see that the world’s unworkability is located in the very condition in which we live our lives. Thus, it is not people “out there” who are starving; people are starving “here” – in the space in which you and I live. You and I are working to make our lives work in the same condition that results in hunger and starvation. (Werner Erhard in ES, 3-4.)

Starvation – Its Impact

Starvation both maintains and dramatizes a world that does not work. Persisting throughout history, it has counted for more deaths and suffering than all epidemics, wars, and natural disasters combined. During the past five years alone, more people have died as a consequence of starvation than from all the wars, revolutions, and murders of the past 150 years. As you read this, 28 people are dying in our world each minute as a consequence of hunger, three-quarters of them children.

The bare statistics are so shocking that we rarely examine the further impact of starvation on our own lives. Hunger, by its persistence, seems to invalidate that our lives could matter. It seems to prove that we are capable only of gestures. It suppresses the space in which each of us lives. (Werner Erhard in ES, 4.)

Starvation – The opportunity it presents

Yet, precisely because the impact of starvation on our lives is so great, its existence is actually an opportunity. It is an opportunity to get beyond merely defending what we have, beyond the futility of self-interest, beyond the hopelessness of clinging to opinions and making gestures. (Werner Erhard in ES, 4.)

Story

‘Who you are’ is a conclusion, a story. Notice you’re trapped in the evidence of an ‘I’ when that’s the thing you have the least evidence it. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

I was clearly a mistake at the hospital. I was the son of rich and famous parents and there was a mixup at the hospital. So I’m big about it. I’ll spend some time with the common people. Then one day the mistake will be known and I’ll be seen as the guy who knew it all along. Anf I’ll have made a contribution to the common people. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, 17 Nov. 1980.)

The fact is, I was trapped in my story, in the way I conceived my life. My story came to define who I was. (Werner Erhard in WE, 24.)

You’ve taken all the est jargon and used it now to tell your story. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

You don’t live in your experience. You don’t even live in what you call your experience. You live in your concepts, your story, your explanations, your labyrinth. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

The only thing that’s real for you is your own experience. All the rest is your story. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

I don’t want to hear your story. I already know it’s good. I don’t want to hear your reasons. I already know you have the right reasons. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

What you call your life is your concepts organized in a particular way, the way you organize them determining the way you see your life turning out. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15. Nov. 1980.)

I don’t want to hear your story. I already know it’s good. I don’t want to hear your reasons. I already know you have the right reasons. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Structure for Fulfillment

A structure for fulfillment is designed to ground, or give substance to, possibility. While you and I have goals, expectations and visions of possibility, we may be missing a reliable pathway,a structure for fulfillment, to accomplish them.

This program [Communication Course I] provides you with a way of using communication to create such a structure. This structure works like a map – a direct route to generating appropriate and effective action, and to discovering a sense of freedom with which that action is fulfilled. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

The faster we create possibilities, the more powerfully we relate to others, the more urgent becomes our need for a structure in which our commitments and conversations can be seen and managed. Only with such a structure can we truly honor our word as ourselves; only in this way can our conversations have the integrity and move with the velocity and confidence equal to our commitments and our stand. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

Suppression

Your well-being is dependent on having your attention on the well-being of others. You are suppressive when you have your attention on your own well-being. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Where you suppress yourselves, you can’t produce results. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

For there to be suppression, separation from other people has to exist. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Suppression loves company. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Emotions don’t damage people. The expression of emotions doesn’t damage people. Only suppression of them does. Dishonesty damages people. The expression of emotions doesn’t damage people.

When you say “People can’t handle my emotions,” you make them small. Making them small damages people. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Suppression comes out of fear. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

The opposite of suppressing emotions is not using them to attack people. Attacking people is not expressing your emotions. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Suppression signals include:

– Feeling no joy
– Feeling withdrawn
– Feeling guilty
– Feeling not good enough
– Feeling stifled
– Feeling not liked
– Poor me/victim. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Survival

It is in fact false that the purpose of life is survival. The real purpose of life is life itself. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership Program presentation, Sept. 1977.)

Systems

What systems are are concepts ordered in a particular way. Abstractions are not concepts. Abstractions are context. They’re creations. Your system of knowing is reductionism: you break things down. You reduce them, and what lies at the base of things in your theories is the physical universe. (est Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

This Isn’t It

So if you serve people, that’ll be “it.” Or if you get people to play 100%, that’ll be “it.” Everything you say will be out of that system. The “This isn’t it” system isn’t it. But when we get to the “This is it” system, that’ll be it. But the “This isn’t it” system isn’t it. But it will be it when we get to the “This is it” system. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, Nov. 1980.)

Since most people’s lives don’t function in our society, you are on very dangerous ground if your life does function. Most people have a vested interest in not looking too good. That your life functions threatens people. (Actor Orson Bean quoted by Gary Clarke, “The Struggle to Share It,” Graduate Review, February 1977, 3.)

Time

For most of us, the limits of what can be done are the hours, weeks and years required to attain our goals. This conception of time is founded in what’s measured by clocks; typically we use it to explain, define and circumscribe our vision and the possibilities for our lives. But, in fact, when we discover “time” as a conversation, it becomes far richer, more open, more expansive and malleable than we’ve ever considered.

Rather than appearing as a cause of pressure, time will appear as a valued resource, an opportunity that invites you to act with momentum and leverage appropriate to the tasks at hand.

The background of time will be seen not just as a limited but necessary commodity, but a real opening, a future possibility made present by your word. (Brochure for the Communication Course I and II, n.d.)

Trainers

It’s the trainers’ job to be absoluitely responsible for the space that ‘my life can make a difference.” That’s what everything’s about. (est Trainer Ted Long in Judy Oringer, “Transforming the Beingsphere,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1978, 5.)

People say, ain’t it great to be important like a trainer. And we’re up there [at the cabin] cleaning the toilet. (Ron Bynum, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 17, 1980.)

I think it’s useful to remind people that Werner has said a number of times to the trainers, “I don’t want you going out selling or promoting me. All I want you to do is to go out there and tell the truth about your experience.” (Jerry Joiner in Graduate Review, October 1979, 7.)

Transformation

What happened [in March 1971]? How did it happen? … To relate the experience to time and place is to falsify it. It does not happen in time and space. Either I am inadequate to explain it or it simply cannot be explained in words. Or both. All my efforts to put it into words damage it.

What happened has no form. It was timeless, unbounded, ineffable, beyond language. There are no words attached to it, no emotions or feelings, no attitudes, no bodily sensations. What came from it, of course, formed itself into feelings and emotions and words, and finally into an altered process of life itself. But that is like saying that the hole in the sand looks like the stick that you made the hole with.

Part of it was the realization that I knew nothing. I was aghast at that. For I had spent most of my life trying to learn things. I was sure that there was some one thing that I didn’t know, and that if I could find it out, I would be all right. I was sure that there was a secret, and I was determined to find it.

Then this happened – and I realized that I knew nothing. I realized that everything I knew was skewed toward some end. I saw that the fundamental skew to all knowledge, and to unenlightened mind, is survival, or, as I put it then, success. All my knowledge up to then had been skewed toward success, toward making it, toward self-realization, toward all the goals, from material to mystic.

In the next instant – after I realized that I knew nothing – I realized that I knew everything. All the things that I had ever heard, and read, and all those hours of practice, suddenly fell into place. It was so stupidly, blindingly simple that I could not believe it. I saw that there were no hidden meanings, that everything was just that way that it is, and that I was already all right. All that knowledge that I had amassed just obscured the simplicity, the truth, the suchness, the thusness of it all.

I saw that everything was going to be all right. It was all right; it always had been all right; it always would be all right – no matter what happened. I didn’t just think this: suddenly I knew it. Not only was I no longer concerned about success; I was no longer concerned about achieving satisfaction. I was satisfied. I was no longer concerned with my reputation; I was concerned only with the truth.

I realized that I was not my emotions or thoughts. I was not my ideas, my intellect, my perceptions, my beliefs. I was not what I did or accomplished or achieved. Or hadn’t achieved. I was not what I had done right – or what I had done wrong. I was not what I had been labeled – by myself or others. All these identifications cut me off from experience, from living. I was none of these.

I was simply the space, the creator, the source of all that stuff. I experienced Self as Self in a direct and unmediated way. I didn’t just experience Self; I became Self. Suddenly I held all the information, the content, in my life in a new way, from a new mode, a new context. I knew it from my experience and not from having learned it. It was an unmistakeable recognition that I was, am, and always will be the source of my experience.

Experience … is simply evidence that I am here. It is not who I am. I am who I am. It is as if the Self is the projector, and everything else is the movie. Before transformation, I could only recognize myself by seeing the movie, Now I saw that I am prior to or transcendent to all that.

I no longer thought of myself as the person named Werner Erhard, the person who did all that stuff. I was no longer the person who had all the experiences I had as a child. I was not identified by my ‘false identity’ any more than by my ‘true identity.’ All identities were false.

I suddenly saw myself on a level that had nothing to do with either Jack Rosenberg or Werner Erhard. I saw that everything is just the way it is – and the way it isn’t. There was no longer any need to try to be Werner Erhard and try not to be Jack Rosenberg. Werner Erhard was a concept – just like Jack Rosenberg.

“Nor was I my Mind, patterned unconsciously, as it was, on identifies taken over from my mother and father. I was whole and complete as I was, and I now could accept the whole truth about myself. For I was its source. I found enlightenment, truth, and true self all at once.

I had reached the end. It was all over for Werner Erhard. (Werner Erhard in WE, 166-8.)

Was this enlightenment?

Werner sometimes calls it so, yet has expressed two reservations. First, the connotations of the word “enlightenment” suggest a kind of Eastern mysticism, whereas, as he puts it, “I don’t require that context.” Second, the transformation that he underwent was not in itself as much an experience, as a shift of the context in which he held all content and all process, including experience. Hence he sees what happened in 1963 as a “peak experience,” and what happened in 1971 as a transformation,” and prefers not to use the word “enlightenment” at all. (W.W. Bartley in WE, 168.)

While it may take forever to alter the facts or content of one’s life, it actually only takes an instant to transform the context in which those facts are held – and to realize fully that the ability to transform is actually available to us at any moment. During the 60 hours of the training, people have the opportunity to experience that instant.

Transformation occurs as a recontextualization – from a context where you are at the effect of “things” to a context where you are the source (“at cause”) of things. The heart of transformation is going from being at effect to being at cause. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

On the 4th day [of the Training], you come face to face with the person you thought you were. And suddenly you get a flash of how you couldn’t be the person you’re looking at because someone has to be looking at that other person. (Werner Erhard on film about the est Training, Oct. 1980.)

You and I possess within ourselves, at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances, the power to transform the quality of our lives. (Werner Erhard in Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

Knowing that you can choose, that you have the power to transform the quality of your life – at every moment, and in all circumstances – is what the est training is about. And that transformation can happen in an instant. (Questions people ask about the est Training. est, 1977, n.p.)

My intention is to create transformation as the context of life, so whatever content people have in their lives is held in the context of transformation. And the beginning of that is making it all right for people to experience transformation, to experience it being all right to contribute to the lives of others and to have one’s life work. I’m still not sure exactly how to state it, but it’s something like: “To create the condition for transformation to be in the world.” (Werner Erhard in Morty Lefkoe, “Taking It Out into the World,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Whatever you dream with is inadequate to see into that other reality. (Ted Long, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 15, 1980.)

Transformation is … to be yourself. (Werner Erhard in Morty Lefkoe, “Taking It Out into the World,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977, 11.)

If you think Prema and I will go through it all with you, you’re wrong. We’ll assist you to a critical mass and then you’ll have to go for it. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

We’ve all got a picture of what enlightenment looks like. You know? Flowing orange robes, bald head and finger cymbals. Old man with flowing white beard. Chorus of angels in heaven. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 15 Jan. 1980.)

The greatest thing that can happen to someone who’s enlightened is to get plugged in. Because then he can get into it and experience his stuff and expand. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

The mechanism for realizing yourself is to behave consistently with your ideals of who you are. If you violate your ideals, you’ll suffer from worry and guilt. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Transformation – Change and transformation

Don’t change beliefs.
Transform the believer.
(Werner Erhard, IGHM.)

There is a difference between change and transform. “Change” means an alteration in form; “transform” an alteration in substance. When you change something, you pas something through something; when you transform it, you pass something through nothing. “Nothing” means you add nothing to the experience – no judgments, no expectations, nothing. That way you experience it and it disappears. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Transformation – Expressing it into untransformed relationships and institutions

Most people who’ve experienced transformation have very little room in the world to express it. They are validated almost not at all. The world isn’t friendly to the experience that your life works; the world isn’t friendly to the experience that you have relationships which are meaningful and nurturing. There’s no room for that out there. There’s plenty of room to be very slick and clever and successful. You’re a slick operator? Terrific! The world’s truly friendly to that. But if you’re decent, you’d better hide it.

I’d like it to be all right for people to express their all-rightness. My intention is to create transformation as the context of life, so whatever content people have in their lives is held in the context of transformation. And the beginning of that is making it all right for people to experience transformation, to experience it being all right to contribute to the lives of others and to have one’s life work. I’m still not sure exactly how to state it, but it’s something like: “To create the condition for transformation to be in the world.” (Werner Erhard in Morty Lefkoe, “Taking It Out into the World,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Relationships and institutions are contextual, and thus either create space or restrict it. When untransformed, families and institutions manifest Mind: they generate survival orientation and positionality. They restrict. Such environments are not ones where the truth can be told. They are spaces which are inimical to transformation, having been created by individuals in the Mind state to foster the Mind state.

Werner himself has spoken bluntly about this environment. “The world as it is,” he says, “in an untransformed state, is evil. What I mean by ‘evil’ is selling or trading aliveness for survival. Virtually every existing institution is like this. Government and education, for instance, fail to do their jobs; but they are very good at justifying and perpetuating themselves, and dominating others. Like the individuals who created and who sustain them, they come from the Mind state, from survival. Instead of being an activity to generate a healthy community life, politics becomes an end in itself. Nationalism, which increases positionality, is an epistemological disaster.”

“People who have the experience of transformation consequently have little room in which to express it. They are validated almost not at all. The world is not friendly to the experience that your life works, that you are capable of having relationships which are meaningful and nurturing. There is, on the other hand, plenty of room to be slick and clever and successful. The world is truly friend to that.

“Such a world is an unhealthy space for transformation. Transformation must appear ultimately threatening to the Mind state. Thus to express transformation into an untransformed relationship or institution is automatically to generate survival behavior from the affected relationship or institution. Yet the transformed state, the state of the Self, is a naturally expressive and expansive state. A transformed individual demands transformed relationships because only in such a context can he or she naturally express a transformed individuality. Similarly, transformed relationships or families demand transformed institutions and organizations in which to manifest and express that transformation.

“You cannot foster transformation,” Werner continued, “by retreating from life to some twentieth-century version of a cave. In fact, the historic retreat of the enlightened to the cave is simply a manifestation of the hostility of the environment to transformation. When the untransformed environment provides an inadequate or restrictive space for the transformed individual be or she will not be able readily to expand into it. Or the individual may rapidly reach the limit of the space. When that happens, there is the danger of evolving back against yourself in weird variations. This is essentially what is involve din the retreat to the cave, and in most monastic and world-denying endeavors. Some of these variations are beautiful to watch; but they represent a terrible waste.” William Bartley III and Werner Erhard in the Graduate Review, May 1978, 2.)

Trust Yourself

The space of the reverence of the Self is natural, but it sure as hell ain’t normal. You are that which will get your life to work. The point is that you need to trust yourself ultimately. (Ron Bynum, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 17, 1980.)

Truth

The truth is something that is known in a different way than facts are known. The truth can’t be proven. The truth doesn’t explain anything. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The ultimate expression of truth has no value. It is a tautology. It explains nothing. It’s a place from which to come. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Man keeps looking for
A truth that fits his reality.

Given our reality,
the truth doesn’t fit.
(Werner Erhard, IGHM.)

Obviously the truth is
what’s so.
Not so obviously, it’s also
So what.
(Werner Erhard, IGHM.)

Most people in the Training think they got this thing. So they walk around six months later with this mouldy “it.” (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 10 Dec. 1980.)

Fuck you very much. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, undated.)

Knowing it intellectually is accurate but not the truth. It’s knowing it, not experiencing it. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

The end is the end,
or it isn’t.
The end justifies the means,
or it doesn’t.
(Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

This is it.
There are no hidden meanings.
All that mystical stuff is just what’s so.
A master is someone who found out.
(Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

The truth doesn’t mean anything. It just is.
(Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

The truth will set you free, and before it does it’ll make you angry. (Jerry Joiner in Graduate Review, October 1979, 3.)

One of the most important things about this reality is that nothing remains true. You can’t look back in this reality. You can’t check back. If in fact you made a difference, there won’t be any record of you having made a difference. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

One does not communicate the truth by explaining it. One communicates it by empowering others to know it for themselves. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Truth – Telling the truth

To tell the truth, you must talk about something the way it is. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

It takes an instant to tell the truth and it’s like cutting yourself off at the knees. The real power comes when you call yourself on yourself. (est Trainer Randy McNamara, 11 Jan. 1981.)

The vehicle for moving from the right-hand blackboard [representing concepts] to the left-hand board [representing experience] is telling the truth, and the mechanism is observation. Observation is being with something, without your point of view.

Observe and tell the truth: that’s the whole way out of the labyrinth. Allow yourself to lie less and less. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

The only thing to do is to tell the truth. The truth will set you free. It’ll also knock you on your ass and piss you off. (Bix Bickson, Vancouver Center Manager, Making a Difference Seminar, March 1981.)

Some day you’ll stop breathing. It’s not a necessary thing. It’s what’s next. Some day most of you will stop breathing. Most of you. Some of you are exempt. (est 6-Day Trainer Ted Long, 17 Nov. 1980.)

My mate never supported my bullshit and never made me wrong.

She told me the truth about the way things are and never made me wrong. (est Trainer Jerry Joiner, 19 Oct. 1980.)

I began to impose on myself – overriding the various techniques and exercises of encounter and of Rogerian and Maltzian psychology – the discipline of telling the truth absolutely. Some time early in 1962 I began to tell the truth unflinchingly. If I said something would happen, you could bet that it would – you could bet everything you owned. When you start to tell the truth, you begin to look at your offhand remarks, and to examine every single one of them. You begin to notice the lack of fit between the word and the object. You begin to realize that you almost never tell the truth exactly. And you realize that anything less than the truth is a lie: you cannot ‘pretty much’ tell the truth. To ‘pretty much’ tell the truth is to lie. (Werner Erhard in WE, 106.)

Truth – Effects of speaking it

If you simply tell the truth about the content, it will disappear back into everything/nothing. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.

If you keep saying it
The way it really is,
Eventually your word
Is law in the universe. (Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

Telling the truth is never useful. The truth has no use. (Werner Erhard in Seminar Leadership Program presentation, Sept. 77.)

Truth – The Truth Process

The truth process reverses your experience of life from more solid to less solid. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

“I tried to do the process and it didn’t work.” Bullshit.

The truth process doesn’t work for you because you do it not to tell the truth but to change things. Don’t you remember that the first level of experiencing experience is acceptance? Changing stuff is not acceptance. Tell the truth. Don’t change things. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Trying

You know what you mean by “trying”? You mean “failing, but wanting the rewards of success.” When you say “I tried,” you mean that “I didn’t succeed but I want a reward anyways.” You either accomplish something or you don’t. Stop trying and you’ll accomplish more. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Uncertainty

Eliminate the uncertainty in the space. The trainees will be looking at everything you do, comparing it to what they have experienced elsewhere. (est Training Supervisor Nami Kominami, to her team of volunteers, 9 Jan. 1981.)

There are a number of places to come from: (1) disloyalty, (2) adversary, (3) uncertainty, (4) detriment, (5) service. (Vic Goscia, est Trainer, Oct. 19, 1980.)

The training is designed to operate with people who are at a certain level in life, the level of adversary; the seminars, the level of uncertainty or better. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

How you get out of uncertainty is by choosing, choosing, choosing. Choosing what? Choosing what is. (est Trainer Vic Goscia, 19 Oct. 1980.)

Self-confidence is a bullshit myth. The only thing people have any self-confidence about are the things that don’t matter a damn anyhow. The things that matter you can’t have any self-confidence about. Coming from nothing, you can’t be sure your behavior is right. But coming from a context, people can at least be sure that you can be trusted for yourself and your actions. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

I have great confidence that what is going to happen will happen. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

Unconsciousness

It’s easier to go numb than to feel uncomfortable. Going numb involves being unaware, non-experiencing. Being uncomfortable involves staying aware, experiencing. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 15 Jan. 1980.)

Unconsciousness in the mind manifests as blocks in the body. It’s about releasing the blocks in the body to knowing who you are. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

Understanding

In life
Understanding is the booby prize.
(Werner Erhard in IGHM.)

The item is “procrastinating” and the person is “wondering why.” “Wondering why” keeps you from dealing with your procrastination. While you’re wondering why, you still have the pattern. Wondering why is energy turned in on itself. It’s a killer. But it’s endlessly fascinating. You can do it forever. And in the end you’ll still have the pattern and your understanding of why you have the pattern. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

Unworkability

In a condition of unworkability, nothing you do works. In a condition of workability, you do what works and everything you do works. (Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

Upset

Definition of Upset: To disturb the functioning, fulfillment, or completion of; to disturb mentally or emotionally or physically make sick; to overturn or overthrow, especially unexpectedly.

An upset is composed of all of the following three elements: thwarted intention, unfulfilled expectation, and undelivered communication. (est Definition of Upset, © est Werner Erhard 1974.)

An upset is an interruption in your beingness. It’s a being with what isn’t, not with what is. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 7 Dec. 1983.)

An upset reduces participation and diminishes the sense of affinity. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipset, 24 Sept. 1980.)

The normal condition in the world is to get smaller and smaller and smaller. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipset, 3 Dec. 1980.)

This radiant being caught a transient worry and now she has reduced herself to that worry. She has identified herself with that worry. (Ron Bynum, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 15, 1980.)

Upsets are not accidents. If we didn’t have certain expectations, we wouldn’t have upsets. You do not need to have expectations to have your lives work. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipset, 24 Sept. 1980.)

So often people are upsets looking for a place to happen. All are responses are pre-planned, pre-packaged so that when someone does X, it becomes the trigger for us to do Y. We say: “Well! If you’re going to do that, then I’m going to do this.” Yes, we will do this, but not because the other person did that – but because we’ve programmed ourselves to respond in the way we’re doing. We’re acting like robots, not people. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 15 Jan. 1980.)

Between now and next session, be your upsets. Recognize and accept that you are upset when you are. Don’t evaluate or judge them. Be with them from the point of view of observing them. Notice whose intention was thwarted. Notice that you are acting out of an earlier incident. Notice that you have stopped participating. Notice that you are not being responsible. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipsett, 24 Sept. 1980.)

Upset – Recurring upset

A recurring upset is one that keeps happening rather than a bad one that happens once. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipset, no date.)

Upsets – Who did it to whom?

There are four perspectives on who did it to whom. I did it to you. You did it to me. I did it to me. You did it to you. (Summary of discussion on the subject with est Seminar Leader Morley Lipset, no date.)

Upset – Accept being reactivated

However you are, be so reactivated. Create yourself the way you are. Be the way you are. Experience how you are. Go in the direction you’re going. What you are is what you are. Be what you are. What you get is what you get. Get what you get. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, 1 June 1980.)

Vagueness

It’s real useful to be intentionally vague. Being that way allows for a lot of room; not much movement, but a lot of room. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, Sept. 29, 1980.)

People tell you and then you don’t get it. That’s part of the game. You just won’t get it. Theer’s always a “because” that explains why you’re where you’rre at, always reasons for not seeing your situation and dealing with it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, Jan. 8, 1980.)

Victim – See also False Cause

[Being a victim] requires that someone must have done it to you. That person is automatically bad and may be punished. As a victim, you get to be righteous, and that is all you get. (Werner Erhard in WE, 53.)

The lowest level of non-experienced experience is false cause. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

My mother does what my mother does. Now what am I going to do? (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

It’s real useful to be intentionally vague. Being that way allows for a lot of room; not much movement, but a lot of room. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept, 1980.)

People tell you and then you don’t get it. That’s part of the game. You just won’t get it. There’s always a “because” that explains why you’re where you’re at, always reasons for not seeing your situation and dealing with it. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 8 Jan. 1980.)

If you declare yourself a victim in an area, then the physical universe manifests it.  (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Vote

If you do things that are out of agreement with your world, you’re gonna get your vote cancelled. (est Training Ron Browning, Nov. 1979.)

Watts, Alan

Watts did two main things for me,” Werner said. “He opened up the connections between what I was doing and the traditional Oriental philosophies. And he pointed me toward the distinction between Self and Mind.” (Werner in WE, 118.)

Well-Being

The state of well-being is where things just are. That’s ground zero. (est Seminar Leader Morley Lipset, 24 Sept. 1980.)

Werner’s Enlightenment Experience

What happened [in March 1971]? How did it happen? … To relate the experience to time and place is to falsify it. It does not happen in time and space. Either I am inadequate to explain it or it simply cannot be explained in words. Or both. All my efforts to put it into words damage it.

What happened has no form. It was timeless, unbounded, ineffable, beyond language. There are no words attached to it, no emotions or feelings, no attitudes, no bodily sensations. What came from it, of course, formed itself into feelings and emotions and words, and finally into an altered process of life itself. But that is like saying that the hole in the sand looks like the stick that you made the hole with.

Part of it was the realization that I knew nothing. I was aghast at that. For I had spent most of my life trying to learn things. I was sure that there was some one thing that I didn’t know, and that if I could find it out, I would be all right. I was sure that there was a secret, and I was determined to find it.

Then this happened – and I realized that I knew nothing. I realized that everything I knew was skewed toward some end. I saw that the fundamental skew to all knowledge, and to unenlightened mind, is survival, or, as I put it then, success. All my knowledge up to then had been skewed toward success, toward making it, toward self-realization, toward all the goals, from material to mystic.

In the next instant – after I realized that I knew nothing – I realized that I knew everything. All the things that I had ever heard, and read, and all those hours of practice, suddenly fell into place. It was so stupidly, blindingly simple that I could not believe it. I saw that there were no hidden meanings, that everything was just that way that it is, and that I was already all right. All that knowledge that I had amassed just obscured the simplicity, the truth, the suchness, the thusness of it all.

I saw that everything was going to be all right. It was all right; it always had been all right; it always would be all right – no matter what happened. I didn’t just think this: suddenly I knew it. Not only was I no longer concerned about success; I was no longer concerned about achieving satisfaction. I was satisfied. I was no longer concerned with my reputation; I was concerned only with the truth.

I realized that I was not my emotions or thoughts. I was not my ideas, my intellect, my perceptions, my beliefs. I was not what I did or accomplished or achieved. Or hadn’t achieved. I was not what I had done right – or what I had done wrong. I was not what I had been labeled – by myself or others. All these identifications cut me off from experience, from living. I was none of these.

I was simply the space, the creator, the source of all that stuff. I experienced Self as Self in a direct and unmediated way. I didn’t just experience Self; I became Self. Suddenly I held all the information, the content, in my life in a new way, from a new mode, a new context. I knew it from my experience and not from having learned it. It was an unmistakeable recognition that I was, am, and always will be the source of my experience.

Experience … is simply evidence that I am here. It is not who I am. I am who I am. It is as if the Self is the projector, and everything else is the movie. Before transformation, I could only recognize myself by seeing the movie, Now I saw that I am prior to or transcendent to all that.

I no longer thought of myself as the person named Werner Erhard, the person who did all that stuff. I was no longer the person who had all the experiences I had as a child. I was not identified by my ‘false identity’ any more than by my ‘true identity.’ All identities were false.

I suddenly saw myself on a level that had nothing to do with either Jack Rosenberg or Werner Erhard. I saw that everything is just the way it is – and the way it isn’t. There was no longer any need to try to be Werner Erhard and try not to be Jack Rosenberg. Werner Erhard was a concept – just like Jack Rosenberg.

“Nor was I my Mind, patterned unconsciously, as it was, on identifies taken over from my mother and father. I was whole and complete as I was, and I now could accept the whole truth about myself. For I was its source. I found enlightenment, truth, and true self all at once.

I had reached the end. It was all over for Werner Erhard. (Werner Erhard in WE, 166-8.)

Was this enlightenment?

Werner sometimes calls it so, yet has expressed two reservations. First, the connotations of the word “enlightenment” suggest a kind of Eastern mysticism, whereas, as he puts it, “I don’t require that context.” Second, the transformation that he underwent was not in itself as much an experience, as a shift of the context in which he held all content and all process, including experience. Hence he sees what happened in 1963 as a “peak experience,” and what happened in 1971 as a transformation,” and prefers not to use the word “enlightenment” at all. (W.W. Bartley in WE, 168.)

Werner sometimes calls it so, yet has expressed two reservations. First, the connotations of the word “enlightenment” suggest a kind of Eastern mysticism, whereas, as he puts it, “I don’t require that context.” Second, the transformation that he underwent was not in itself as much an experience, as a shift of the context in which he held all content and all process, including experience. Hence he sees what happened in 1963 as a “peak experience,” and what happened in 1971 as a transformation,” and prefers not to use the word “enlightenment” at all. (W.W. Bartley in WE, 168.)

The peak experience that I had was not related to any person or to my work, not to the ocean or to the sunset or to art, not to any of that. It was a profound sense of Self. I truly experienced the Self – not my Self: the word ‘my” belongs in the world of concept about Self, not experience of Self. I was carried out of my ordinary state, not merely to another state, but to the context of all states, the context of all contexts.

Of course in 1963 I didn’t have the means to express the matter in this way. Although I had experienced Self, I didn’t yet know how to talk about it. It was only later, as I worked through Zen, and Scientology, and other disciplines, that I began to understand the matter better. …

… A peak experience is not a warm bath of experience where you just feel good. It is not a time when your intellect and your concepts get fuzzy. It is a high noon of the spirit, when all shadows disappear. It is as if you see your concepts stretched to their furthest limits – and worn out. That discipline that I put myself under – of telling the truth unflinchingly 0 just wore out my concepts.

So the concepts that you go beyond in a peak experience are concepts that are inadequate and are perceived to be so – not concepts that are so fuzzily perceived that you couldn’t begin to say whether they are adequate or not. A peak experience doesn’t come in a stupor; it comes in a blaze of clarity. …

… I had mystical or peak experiences before: for example, just after I graduated from high school, lying on the beach at Atlantic City. But I never did anything with them. They had no real consequences – except perhaps to create within me the space to have a more significant experience of this sort.

But this new experience had all sorts of effects. It put me in a quite new state of being. For one thing, it made my life magical for a while. My ordinary experience totally altered. It was as if it just never rained where I was. I was in incredible shape personally, and my organization became incredible too. The people who worked with me transcended themselves. Now I had people with whom I could share what was happening with me.

Quite apart from giving a lyrical, magical cast to my life, … my experience had the effect of reorganizing my values. Until then, I had functioned from the values with which I had grown up, chief amongst which was the idea of success and security, or making it – of getting to the top of the pile of bodies.

Afterward, I saw the folly of merely making it. I saw the stupidity and hypocrisy of my conventional values. I began to get the kind of skeptical head – skeptical of reality, skeptical of convention – that is attributed to people from the drug scene – to many of whom similar things happened.

Such a shift in values is also typical of religious conversion. (Werner in WE, 107-9.)

What’s Going On

It is very simple to find out where you’re at in life. All you have to do is look around. The universe is a total mirror of everything that’s going on with you. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

What’s So Series

The incompletions of your life are the issue here. The series is designed to allow you to experience-out your resistance to confronting your incompletions and move toward realizing your “true” intentions to having your life work. (“It’s What’s Up ‘Now” That Counts,” Graduate Review, Feb. 1977.)

Withholds

What often blocks completion is what we call “withholds.” Withholds are statements your survival seems dependent upon not delivering. Withholds are statements that recur and recur and recur, the statements that grab you when they do recur. They limit participation.

Withholds are statements that you feel compelled to justify. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.

There’s no responsibility around withholds. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

As soon as you are withholding, you are no longer complete. There are no perpetrations without withholds. You’ve just learned to lie better as you’ve gotten older. You are more sophisticated.

A withhold that’s been activated is the same as a button that’s been pushed. A withhold is a missed experience. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

What makes your withholds so powerful is that you haven’t communicated them. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

What was real [in my family] was not spoken about. People did not discuss what was really going on with them. Yet their dirty little secrets were dirty only because they were held as secrets – and indeed secrets which they held to be dirty. People demeaned their own experience. (Werner Erhard in WE, 31.)

Needs and attachments are a function of withholds. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

You can complete your withholds by experiencing them and bringing yourself out of the realm of automaticity into the realm of self-determination. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

What you gave up when you went to the other board (from “concepts” to “experience”) was your withholds.

Withholding = deadness.

As soon as you are withholding, you are no longer complete. There are no perpetrations without withholds. You’ve just learned to lie better as you’ve gotten older. You’re more sophisticated.

You hang onto your withholds rather than tell the truth. Your whole life becomes about not telling the truth about your withholds. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

The “bad stuff” is there because you resist it; the “good stuff” disappears because you accept it. When you get off the bad stuff everyone else gets off it. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 16, 1980.)

Around the bad stuff, you’re monitoring yourself completely, so there’s no communication. In the good stuff, you’re not monitoring yourself completely. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 16, 1980.)

The bad stuff is not out-of-alignment. It’s where you’re at. The good stuff is simply what you’d prefer. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 16, 1980.)

The real trick of the mind is to tell 80% of the truth and not share the whole thing. Not only did you shag your poodle but you let her go down on you. You didn’t tell them that part. (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

You can recover the deeper withhold by sharing the current one. You’ll get back to it.  (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

The real difficulty with a perpetration/withhold is that you diminish yourself and the other person by considering him or her too small to get the communication. You make them small.  (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

The primary mechanism of the mind gets into gear when you withhold.  (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

The only way out when you[‘ve withheld something is communication.  (Julia Dederer, Nature of Reality Course, Jan. 21, 1983.)

Withholds – What holds them in place?

Two things keep you from sharing: fear of being rejected and fear of being conned. Look at what comes up for you next time you resolve to share and it’ll be one or the other. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 3 Nov. 1980.)

Why withhold? Fear could be the fundamental source. The bottom line is fear of not surviving. When you draw out the string of pictures, the last one is “you’re dead.” (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

There’s only one question – are you going to play the game or are you going to take your marbles and go home. And we’ve been burned enough times that we’re into saying, “Not me, Jack. Maybe next lifetime.” (est Vancouver Centre Manager Bix Bickson, 16 Dec. 1980.)

Withholds – What you won’t communicate runs you

What you won’t communicate runs you. (Dennis Percy, est Trainer Candidate, 29 Sept. 1980.)

That stuff you’re withholding? That’s what your life becomes. You construct your life around hiding. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

You hang onto your withholds rather than tell the truth. Your whole life becomes about not telling the truth about your withholds. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Withholding jams you into non-alignment. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

What you do with a withhold is to cit yourself off from the other person’s experience. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

If you have a lot of people around you who are pissed off and angry, where’s the mystery around that? (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

If you don’t say it, you’re going to continue doing it. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Embarassment is part of the structure of the withhold. You’re worried that people will think bad thoughts about you. They will. Even if you share good shit. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

When you’re withholding “I don’t want to make love to you,” communication becomes about psoriasis, diabetes, and haemorrhoids. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Withholds – Monitoring

Around the bad stuff, you’re monitoring yourself completely so there’s no communication. In the good stuff, you’re not monitoring yourself completely. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Withholds – Withholds deaden a relationship

You know what you call a friend? Someone who won’t talk about your shit. You get together and you don’t talk about your shit. You reinforce each other and there you go along, all your lives, keeping it all together, keeping it all hidden. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

If you don’t communicate withholds, you’ll be putting deadness into the relationship. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

When you notice you’re incomplete in a relationship, look for the withhold. And then notice what the fear is around withholding. (Communications Workshop Leader Jed Naylor, Oct. 1980.)

What most people’s relationships are about are the withholds. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

You are acting out your relationships from arguments you had four weeks ago. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

It’s actually not a valid comparison to compare making love on a one-night stand with someone to making love to your partner. You have no withholds with the one-night stands and you have no investments in them. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Do you understand that people blow other people’s heads off because they have a suppressed, frustrated experience of their love for that other person. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

You either give up your withholds or you’re dead. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Withholds – Withholding pleasure

One of the things that happens around withholds is that something happens and you get pleasure from it, and you don’t communicate the pleasure you got out of it. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Withholds – Everyone knows yours

Here’s the joke: you don’t have any secrets. Your thoughts are absolutely reflected in the rest of the universe. Everybody knows. The notion of everything existing separately in the universe is naive. For something to exist, it must have agreement. The whole universe is in alignment. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

You hold onto your withholds, even though everyone knows it. Like, “I won’t tell and then maybe I won’t do it.” Bullshit, you’ve already done it. The real thing is if you can communicate on it. If you can’t share it, it will hold you and run you. (est 6-Day Leader Ted Long, Nov. 1980.)

The stuff you’re hiding is always there and visible. It’s just that you’re hiding it and lying about it. There’s only what’s there and what you’d prefer to be there. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Do you realize if you guys all realized that you had the same withholds and the same things going on you would be sitting around laughing instead of looking so serious out there. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Withholds – How to determine if something is a withhold

The way to discover whether something is a withhold is to communicate it. If you lighten up, it’s a withhold.

You need to communicate the specific withhold, not a generalization of it: “I think you should go fuck yourself” not “I have bad thoughts about you from time to time.” (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Withholds – Communicate them

Pay the government off the money you owe. Communicate to your lover that you’ve screwed her best friend. Communicate a critical mass of your withholds so that you break the back of your withholding. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

You have a finite number of withholds. Communicate the big ones you have and the little ones will clear up for you. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

Don’t tell things as if they’re so about the other person; communicate them as withholds. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

If it’s not an issue with you when you’re around someone, then it’s not a withhold. Communicate it if it keeps coming up. Communicate it if you see costs in communicating. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

If you just dump your withholds, they won’t be gotten and they’ll simply be more perpetrations. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 16 Nov. 1980.)

If you can’t think of some withholds, make ‘em up. You made ‘em up anyways. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

The point that you’ve gotta get is that you can’t communicate into a silver box. You’ve gotta keep communicating or you’re withholding. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 17 Nov. 1980.)

You guys are high, and you treat life as if it’s all pleasure. But it’s a pendulum. And you know what happens when you swing a pendulum hard? It swings back hard and hits you in the ass. Your magnificence expands this way [spreads his arm], not this way [spreads only one arm]. Your magnificence is really manifest when you share the evil shit that’s going on with you. (est 6-Day Trainer Ron Bynum, 17 Nov. 1980.)

Word – See also Integrity

The ability to keep your word creates mastery in life. You can move mountains by simply giving and keeping your word. (est 6-Day Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

Some of you have so damaged your word that to your word doesn’t mean anything. You have the opportunity in the 6 Day to recover the power of your word. (est Trainer Hal Isen, 15 Nov. 1980.)

One of the things that becomes immediately obvious is that you’ll make fewer agreements. You’ll only make the agreements you’re prepared to keep. (Hal Isen, est 6-Day Trainer, Nov. 15, 1980.)

Workability

Since you don’t have to do anything, you can do anything. Therefore, since you can do anything, do what works. (est Trainer Angelo d’Amelio, Nov. 1979.)

[What does it mean to have life work?] It doesn’t mean you don’t have any problems. It means you have some sense of mastery over the quality of your own life, of being able to make a difference in the world, of being capable and able, and related to that which is joyful and alive. (Werner Erhard, the Graduate Review, February 1979.)

A World that Works for Everyone

This book is intended … for all individuals who are willing to be responsible for the state of their planet; who want their life to have made a real difference; who have a vision of a world that works and the commitment to realize their vision. (EH, 3.)

The technology of transformation is a set of principles, processes, and procedures that, when applied to certain situations, will lead to communication, responsibility, cooperation, results, workability. These principles, processes, and procedures will produce a world that works for everyone. (est Breakthrough Foundation Executive Director Dan Miller, 14 Dec. 1980.)

Every major transformation in history begins within a being – as in Human Being. People first create a context within themselves – their Selves; then they bring that context to life in the world. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World That Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

We cannot wait for the world to turn, for times to change that we might change with them. … We ourselves are the future. (Beatrice Bruteau, letter from the Breakthrough Foundation to author, 22 Dec. 1980.)

We live in a world in which a fundamental assumption is that it is futile for an individual to attempt to have an impact on the world. Clearly, people are now ready to express in commitment and in action their deepest desire to create a world that works for everyone. (Werner Erhard in “A Shot Heard Round the World: A World that Works for Everyone,” Graduate Review, April 1980.)

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 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.

If not you, who?
If now not, when?
If not here, where?
(Werner Erhard, Graduate Review, February 1980.)

In this new context, making a difference becomes a way of life – individuals live their lives out of the knowledge that each of us has the responsibility and the power to create a world that works for all of us. (Werner Erhard, Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

A you-and-me world – a world that works for everyone – is now beginning to be revealed by our awareness of it. It is not just happening in our lifetime, it is happening in our lives. (Werner Erhard, Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

It is more radical than a revolution. Here, purpose and meaning in our lives do not come in response to a common enemy or in the wake of a popular leader, but from individuals willing to take on and create purpose and meaning for themselves. It is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet for each of us, with no one left out. We can choose to make the success of all humanity our personal business. (Werner Erhard, Graduate Review, May/June 1980.)

When we start to examine our assumptions about our relationship with the world, we begin a process that results in a discovery.

We discover that not only are we related, we are actually members of a vast human family. Along with this discovery comes a deeply experienced sense of responsibility for all family members, and a desire to do something, to make a contribution that will make the world work for everyone. (Graduate Review, probably citing Werner Erhard, February 1979.)

Werner assumes that transformation – whether attained through est or in some other program – will have a radical effect on society, as it is mediated by transformed individuals through transformed relationships and transformed organizations and institutions. Existing institutions – in education, law, medicine, government – will then start to work. The manner in which people relate to one another and to the world will be regrounded. And humankind will, in the process, be transfigured.

Meanwhile, Werner does not see social reform as potentially effective. It is not his goal to get a particular group out of power and another group into power. Replacing one group of leaders with another is in his view futile if neither of the groups, not the institutions in which they operate, are able to function on purpose.

As Werner put it to me, “I am a sort of revolutionary with a strange ambition. I don’t want any statues. I don’t want any ordinary monuments. I want the world to work. That’s the monument I want. There’s egomania for you! The organizing principle of est is: “Whatever the world is doing, get it to do that.” I want to create a context in which government, education, families are nurturing. I want to enable, to empower, the institutions of humankind.

“This is not a revolution in the ordinary sense of the word. Ordinary revolution is concerned with social change. It involves resistance. One revolts against something. Whereas a true revolution transcends what one was previously either resisting or submitting to. In this sense I am a revolutionary.

“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.

“Thus I have no political or social ideology. I have no idea about where you ought to be going, what you goal should be. The information that can transform where you are going is to know where you are coming from – from survival and positionality. You transform where your life goes by experiencing where it is coming from, rather than by having an attachment to how it’s going to turn out.” (William Bartley III in Graduate Review, May 1978, 4-5.)

What are the [principles of] a you-and-me world? (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

You do yourself a great disservice when you don’t interact with all people, including those who are really obnoxious. (Werner Erhard at the Werner Event, c1980.)

You and I can choose to make the success of humanity our everyday business. (Werner Erhard quoting G.B. Shaw at the Werner Event, c1980.)

The appropriate context for life is that life shall work for everyone. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

The organizing principle for a life that works for everyone is “you and me.” (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

A completely-developed, whole human being will naturally select as a context for life that his life will work for everyone. But it’s not going to happen automatically. You’ve gotta be able to keep your word. Because there’ll be times when you want to break it. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

If you really look, the only thing that allows anything to work is your word. The only thing that will make you break your word is your mind. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

I know how to win and to make others lose. I know the rules of the “you-or-me” game. I’ve been trained by society in these rules. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Yes, you can share the fruits of winning but don’t share winning itself with them because you have to start wrestling again and, when you do, it’s still “you or me.” (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

In a you-and-me world, I win by virtue of your winning. It’s true you’re not allowed to think in this way. It’s not natural. It’s naive, stupid. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

If you want to make a difference, if you want your life to matter, you must devote yourself to finding out what’s wanted and needed where you are.

You need to go home and find out what’s wanted and needed to make the world work where you are, to create a you-and-me world context for life. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

When I got it, I stuck my neck out to make it possible for others to participate in it. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

And don’t ask anyone what’s wanted and needed. Find out for yourself. (Angelo d’Amelio, Post-Training Event, Nov. 1979.)

Wrong – See Making Things Wrong and Necessary

Bibliography

BE: Luke Rhineheart, The Book of est. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1976.

EH: The Hunger Project, Ending Hunger: An Idea Whose Time Has Come. New York, etc.: Praeger, 1985.

ES: Erhard, Werner. The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time has Come. San Francisco: The Hunger Project, n.d.

IGHM: Werner Erhard, If God Had Meant Man to Fly, He Would Have Given Him Wings; or Up to Your Ass in Aphorisms. Werner Erhard, 1973.

WE: Bartley, W.W., III. Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man; the Founding of est. New York: Potter, 1978.

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