Thoughts about the est training forty years later

In 1976 I participated in the Erhard Seminars Training (est), an organization, “founded by Werner H. Erhard,” that, according to Wikipedia, “offered a two-weekend (60-hour) course known officially as the est Standard Training. The purpose of est was ‘to transform one's ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up just in the process of life itself.’ The est training was offered from late 1971 to late 1984.” Est, the Wiki says, “focused on transformation and taking responsibility for one's life.” As a parting memento, we received a little brown-covered book of aphorisms that pretty much summed up what we learned in that training. One aphorism that has stayed with me over the last forty years is: “If you keep your agreements your life will work.” Since that time, keeping agreements has been the way I live my life, and I find myself very impatient with those who don’t keep theirs. So i … [Read more...]

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Keeping agreements

True confessions: in the mid 1970s I spent two weekends at the Los Angeles Convention Center in a room with hundreds of people taking the est Training. It was the thing to do in those days. And over the next decade, over a million people like me resonated with Werner Erhard’s philosophy of transformation, personal responsibility, accountability, and possibility. We left the room at the end of the fourth day, feeling very much like we “Got It.” And now, in 2012, I still feel that way. I always think of est when I say to someone or myself to go for it. est espoused the notions of going for it more than 100 per cent, living on the high road, and riding the horse in the direction it is going. Such simple concepts, made so clear and meaningful in four short days. The most important aphorism of the training for me was: If you keep your agreements your life will work – because if you do, you don’t have to squirm, equivocate, think up lame excuses. You’ve kept your agre … [Read more...]

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