Transformation: The Life & Legacy of Werner Erhard

Originally posted on Werner Erhard and Est:

This documentary offers viewers a rare view into the life and ideas of Werner Erhard. A compelling documentary film, Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard premiered at the Palm Beach film festival to a Standing Room Only crowd and went on to break the box office records during its opening week at the Quad Cinema in New York.

In exclusive interviews, Werner Erhard speaks candidly about the early days of est and the ideas that underpin his work.

Insightful and rare footage allows you to step inside the est Training, and hear provocative interviews with academics, celebrities and family members.  Experts speak of the world-wide phenomenon that Werner Erhard initiated with his thought provoking and inventive approach to “transformation”.

The documentary digs deep into the hard questions of Werner Erhard’s programs and ground-breaking work.  Viewers will learn how Werner’s ideas have permeated the very fabric of society –…

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What is Holding Me Back?

If I am only a passenger in the vehicle thinking I am the driver, I do not have the control I believe I have. If everyone is a passenger, while an unknown driver who knows our destination is driving, what is there to worry about? If the driver doesn’t know the destination why am I a passenger? If I am in one car on a train, where people are committed to one side of the car I ride makes all the difference in our destination, as long as the view from the side I am on makes me happy, confirms my belief, all is well. When I don’t like my view of the direction we are headed I may be tempted to switch sides believing that affects our destination somehow.

perspective2The squares and circles we use as excuses, arguments, justifications and beliefs never make any difference. Plato’s shadows on the cave wall still enslave and mesmerize us, even when we suspect none of it is true. We are still stuck like crabs in a bucket. Someone will support our vision…our beliefs keeping us stuck in our perspectives.

I have been standing in the question ‘What is holding me back?’ for a long time.  Perhaps the question only gives the squares and circles keeping the ‘held back’ experience always present.

The nattering regarding time [insufficient usually], difficulties [ongoing Goldilocks sagas], readiness [starting usually] and worthiness [more insufficiencies] all happen in our minds, from an in-the-stands perspective amounting to book size justifications. School taught us to think and look for the correct answer. That is the wrong universe!!!

The latest in neuroscience and cognitive science research says…

The belief that our attitude or state of mind influences or causes the way we act is a fallacy.

The belief that our feelings or emotions influence or cause the way we act is a fallacy.

The belief that our body sensations influence or cause the way we act is a fallacy.

The belief that our decisions influence or cause the way we act is also a fallacy.

As a three year old, the one thing that impacts accomplishment is not smothered yet.whoYouareNOT

No magic buttons affect our actions. ‘Yeah, but’ at best is just a gif. The application that may work is:

Knock UNTIL the door opens
Seek UNTIL you find
Ask UNTIL you have it
REPEAT

What we see is always and all ways a function of what we believe. Until we can set aside one belief as easily as we can another, we are blind. Consider all beliefs are a lie or at best incomplete truth. Any nanomicrocosm of doubt voids the ‘whatever you want you can have’ warranty too.

Accepting what is happening, without paying causal attention to the circle or square, without judgments, without justifications is not easy or simple to acquire.  One plus one equals three and two is a lie or at best a bridge.

wonderYou do not change your reality through doing anything. … Enlightenment is not an experience. – Richard Rudd

The choice of perspective is always to live in a lie.

How do I move into the driver seat? Is it possible to get out of the train, get in front of it and lay new track while the train is moving? Is either question a possibility in this paradigm? What delusion keeps it all in place?

Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. – Lewis Carroll

Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth. – Ludwig Borne

The only escape, the only way out, the only way forward, the only exit from the box is remaining present in the moment to now. As an answer, this is worthless information.

 

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Leaders are NOT Babysitters

My experience of most leaders and leadership is a mutual endeavor to be taken care of and to take care of ‘people’. That insures a codependence preventing ‘people’ from ever experiencing themselves as ‘leader’. Asking me to accept a babysitter for anyone older than fourteen is abuse. Yeah, but you do too.

integritycourageThere are four foundational factors concerning leadership and leaders. They are integrity, authenticity, being committed to something bigger than yourself and being cause-in-the-matter. Each of these deserves a series of blog posts over the next year.

Leader and leadership have four aspects to their contextual framework.   They are the linguistic abstractions, phenomena, concepts and terms. Blogs on all of this are coming and all the source material that will get in the way of all of it as well.

The two kinds of ontological constraints, often ignored or not identified, are perceptional constraints and functional constraints. Click on any links for additional information.

An epistemological mastery (a from-the-stands mastery) of a subject leaves one knowing. An ontological mastery (an on-the-court mastery) of a subject leaves one being. – Werner Erhard

There is a belief, a myth actually, that if it isn’t difficult or a challenge, if it didn’t take a lot of struggle and hard work, ‘it’ isn’t worth remembering or doing. That goes against all of my best breakthrough experiences. What led up to the breakthrough was not always simple or easy to explain and sometimes involved a story about difficulty or ‘hard’ work but the actual experience while it happened, while the breakdown was in progress had a sense of effortlessness. The breakthrough effortlessness is multi-directional compared to a single line of breakdown effortlessness. Only afterward, was I ‘required’ or ‘taught’ to explain it relative to the perception of difficult, especially for anyone else.

I struggle daily with judging and justifications. The struggle is to notice when it begins. Judgments, especially related to awareness5myself, are always using the standard of a future perfect me. [Or you] When I notice that, only then may I let it go to notice real perfection. All justifications are ploys used by the mind to keep me [or you] out of ‘now’, the present, that one place in time “I” may exist. Any justification is an excuse related to some judgment about how it should or could be and only happen in the mind from a place not now.

Real perfection is noticing and letting me [or you] be exactly the way I am [you are] and exactly the way I am [you are] not. Stop lying about it. Improvements, the way to additional achievements is only possible from where I am [you are] now and never from anywhere else.

[Y]ou do not change your reality through doing anything. … Enlightenment is not an experience. – Richard Rudd [one plus one only equals three, 2 is a myth or maybe a 'bridge']

What is intradependence?

Michael Eisbrener:

A conversation for intradepenence….

Originally posted on intradependence:

I am a firm believer in independent learning which for me, is allowing children to acquire processes that their natural enquiring minds feel most comfortable.  One of the important aspects of learning that applies to all children is to work at that own pace.  Some teachers see this as an excuse to be lazy, but by motivating the children through good leadership skills a teacher can guide a student towards high quality learning.  It is not a question of nature vs nurturing – I firmly believe that a teacher’s role is to nurture the child.  One of my preferred methods is through sharing and collaboration.  In the modern high tech 21st century world, it seems that our children will work on projects in collaboration with people around the world, so to be competitive in the job market they need to acquire the skills and processes that collectively I term as…

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Beliefs DETERMINE Our Results!

Beliefs reside in our conscious mind and in our subconscious. Holding beliefs that are incompatible is cognitive dissonance and everyone who looks has work to do on cognitivedisonancethemselves or it is done to you.

Self-limiting beliefs that we are unaware of run us producing results determined by the belief and we then justify with our story of reality. When aware of them you have a choice to ignore, to stop being aware or take a new approach. Removing them may take a lifetime or some, once you learn how to ‘weed’ your mind, may disappear permanently.

One of my favorite stories is in Matthew and Mark where Jesus walks up to a fig tree expecting it to have figs out of season.  The fig tree said no and it had a great excuse too. However, the Creator of the Universe asked for something He clearly had given the fig tree permission to do and all the power necessary to produce it.  The consequences of no figs today, I’m not ready yet, it isn’t a good time now, this isn’t the season, was the fig tree was cursed to ruble and dust in hours. Clearly, the fig tree had a self-limiting belief.  That dash or more of doubt we keep around is dangerous to our health!

What keeps us stuck is self-talk that we hardly ever notice.  The three versions all of us have on standby run like, “I am not worthy” and or “If I try I am sure to fail” and or “If I succeed/fail nobody will want me”.  The reality is anything worth doing is worth failing at the first couple hundred times if necessary. I believe success appears sometime after the 99th failure.  If you have ever practiced playing the piano or heard someone practicing at playing the piano, you have heard failure over and over.  Provided they continued practicing at some point, playing the piano occurred.

holediggerGetting to where you hear your own self-talk for the first time, you may have to peel back the onion of your mind many times to find it that first time. What hides and covers that chatter from us are layers of great reasons and justifications.  All of us have programmed ourselves and been programmed since childhood to keep the core hidden with layer after layer. There is no specific order either. Some of us may have a few and others the same ones over and over on top of over and over.  Tired of attempting upon attempt is not a reason to take a nap or go to sleep. It just may be the clue to stay awake! Here are some of my layers that each needs a blog post and a few an entire blog series to weed out of existence.

Do you practice being the Lone Ranger, Batman or Superman while operating from the stands instead of on the court? Nobody can learn the nature of relationship and networking, especially when confusing them with involvement and entanglement.

Do you love to argue against every other point of view than yours?  What would happen if you chose to hear all suggestions or ideas from others as an attempt to assist you in your dreams? Where and when did they offer the defenselessness class? I missed it.

Your persistence has a limit; a number that when reached means you stop. Fanatical success6persistence unshaken by circumstance, the crowd in the stands or the chatter in your head is a habit worth developing.

From birth to the present, the world says conform.  What does it look like to be yourself, the unique person you could be, if you got out of your own way?

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. – e. e. cummings

Finding the ‘Goldilocks’ just right confidence is also a class I missed. Are you stuck in too little or too much? Excessive confidence, too little humility and total ignorance of authenticity is a formula for disaster.  Much of going past your limits to find them is a perfect way to stretch the mind to where it can never go back to a workable reality.

The ability to engage in multiple distractions daily, often called multi-tasking, hides what you are to do from being done.  Failing to concentrate your focus on one thing at a time until completion is living out of focus.  Dreams’ coming true requires perpetual focus.

The worst ‘holic’ is an excusaholic.  When you form a habit for your mind to have one [or more] excuse ready for every circumstance, living in the Valley of Death surrounded by mountains with no top called, responsibility, accountability and integrity is a very dark place. Wallowing in credit, blame, fault and no fault guarantees you never leave.

whenIndoubtdontUntil you are able to carve out a space for possibility for you to show up in, to be a stand for your dreams and all that they make possible, you are standing in a space of no belief.   What is worse than no belief is to carve out a space of doubt with a little belief curtained to hide it.  Even a space of possibility with a dash of doubt is the ground of failure.  Mountains move when there is no doubt.

Total indifference is quitting on life. The lack of caring is not zero emotional attachment to the outcome.  The ability to ignore the score while being firmly committed to the object or events at hand is when making a difference shows up. When did they steal our ability to play full out?  They didn’t but they covered it with nice, fairness, equal outcomes and working on your own by yourself as priorities instead. When you stopped willing to risk embarrassment, being wrong, looking stupid or silly you chose being the worst kind of indifferent. You chose to be right about what everyone else wanted for your life instead of what you wanted. Real communication is insuring what they heard is what you meant by what you said. Going along to get along, settling for good enough, especially in their ‘listening’ dooms you to more indifference.

The definition of ‘goal’ is an object or an event towards which play is directed in order to action2score.  You can change all your goals to align with your dreams. Only tell people your accomplishments after a goals completion.  Keep your dreams safe from naysayers and dream stealers.  Ignore the score as best you can.

The mind is not an onion. It seems more like the ebb and flow of the ocean tide.  No sooner have you made a dent in any of the above and one of the others or one I have failed to identify moves in to replace any gain or success.  At the core is our self-worth. It holds hands with our self-imposed limits. We all collect evidence at the subconscious level that “I am not worthy”, “I am sure to fail”, and “nobody will want me”.  Every path to success is paved with the proof. How do you succeed?  The short answer is one-step at a time.   Stay tuned for the long, detailed answers.  What say you, from either the court or the stands and do you know the difference?

An Already Always Listening

In a recent conversation with my dad, he told me a story where the retort to a given comment was ‘that is either SWAG or WAG, which one is it?’  SWAG is a scientific wild ass guess. That sums up far too much of everything today for me. Look at the science called economics or meteorology. Both appear from more than one perspective as WAG.  SWAG is their cover story.  Disagree with ‘them’ and YOU are the problem.  The same people are still outraged when another religion jailed Galileo for simply stating the truth that this earth revolves around the sun.

Today if you watch the weather channel, the descriptions of weather fronts appear as a ‘flat planet’ where the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. [The Sun does not move relative to us!]  The weather fronts move across a nonmoving planet at some kind of speed. Yet we all know the planet has two different speeds that just might affect weather patterns yet I know they ignore both.

spinspeedofearthThe planet is whizzing around the sun at about 67,000 miles an hour. They do consider that when leaving the planet’s atmosphere.  The rotation speed at both poles is inches per day and at the equator about 1000 miles an hour. I live at 6000 feet overlooking the valley about 1000 feet below. To the west, I can see two more mountain ranges.  Knowing that the sun is not moving I have a different sense of me falling away from the sun every day after noon.  On bright, cloudless mornings, it looks like I am falling into the sun! I walk up to 7000 feet three or four days a week and from a precipice where I can only see the sky and clouds, I can see the clouds are being pushed, sometimes they are pulled and sometimes we are in synch. The experience of the earth moving at the first appearance of the sun at 6am and the end of daylight at 6pm is the easiest to sense.  Living in the flat dry lake bed of Lake Agassiz in northern Minnesota, you can see for nearly 26 miles in any direction and lying on the ground mid-afternoon looking up at the sky there was nothing but sky and clouds. It is where I first caught the sense of the earth moving.

I have been spending time studying my ‘map of reality’ or you could call it my worldview. IREach of us has one and the one each of has is unique. If you have any siblings, the more the better, you will see how worldview affects what people remember, see and believe. Sometimes it is difficult to believe we all sat at the same dinner table!

Some of us are committed to our ‘self’ first. The other polarity is “I’ll go later, let’s take care of you first.”  There is no moral component, right or wrong to this. Each of us is one or the other and we need an equal number of givers and receivers.  When in the “Me First” [m1] mode and mapping on the belief that everyone else is a mirror to us, everyone else appears in that moment to be an m1 too.  Anything they say or do supports my belief, my worldview, internal map of reality and my already-always-listening/interpretation.  If I am committed to my job from and with a listening, ‘you are always the problem’, the world appears to be a minefield of problems and ‘you’ are the main one!

When I am experiencing my ‘self’ as the source of joy, happiness and love, the moments are all wonder filled.  When I know or believe it to be true, from the stands perspective, I make myself bad and wrong for not having the experience and since everyone is a mirror, them too!

When you come from love, you don’t have to go looking for it. – Werner Erhard

assumeloveriskyOne of my worst perspectives is “I assume…” And the one that causes the most dissatisfaction for me; I assume everyone sees what I see, cares about the world as I care, is committed to making a difference like I am and is willing to put their needs and wants last to achieve the objective.

When this perspective or script is running, I am at least disappointed and the experience, the taunt from the subconscious, “I AM WRONG” [again].  We only operate, unless we are aware, with our own interpretations and when aware it seems to give us only random glimpses of what is real.

I grew up with, ‘Remember, when you point the finger, three are pointing back at you.’ ‘The thing we like least in others is the thing we least in ourselves.’  How I developed and threefingersembedded these ‘truths’ over time is every upset I have about anything tells me the problem is me. I give everyone a 100% accuracy about me. Any disagreement, even out loud with you is essentially with just me. I am beginning to see ‘now’ they are being 100% accurate about themselves. Sometimes there are correct about me and sometimes the problem is that is not ‘me’ and I never took the time to see that, making them right and ‘me’ wrong.

Granting everyone all my strength, courage, ability, intelligence, integrity, etc [or lack] is a real source of upset for people. Most don’t even know the cause, they are just upset, and usually at me. Yes, it is possible I am again taking all the credit/blame here. This is a perfect way to support my “I am wrong” [again] mantra.

As an exercise, that I saw I had not done in a long time, I spent a couple hours initially and then kept the pad close to me over the next day, to write down, “I am committed to…” whatever came up. Whatever appeared, I wrote it down without any judgment, true, false, etc, I just wrote them down. When I found another one, I wrote it down. After a day, I had a large list. I imagined a huge crystal bowl of my favorite spaghetti and each noodle was one of the commitments.

crystalbowlThe bowl represents me and I thought the ‘goal’ was to empty the bowl and have it just be ‘crystal clear’ and maybe that will happen sometime. I never labeled or named the bowl before.  My focus was only on the spaghetti. I have known or experienced my ‘purpose’ for as long as I can remember. I can remember my first causal incident at age two and the purpose was there already. Languaging the purpose tended to separate people into for and against and that defeated the purpose. A conundrum of the worst kind especially since it was my fault.  Around thirty years ago, I listened to a lecture and it struck the chord of harmony with my purpose. I have spent much time since then wondering what this means.  “I am committed to a world that works for everyone, with no one left out and no one left behind.” What would that look like? Not having any idea, I am left with ‘this world SURELY isn’t it’, which again defeats the purpose.  Another great way to hear from the subconscious, I am wrong [again].

The purpose is life and that it be, completely.
The commitment is: aliveness

- Werner Erhard

With my pile of commitment spaghetti, I filled the bowl, a world that works for everyone, pastawith no one left out and no one left behind, with those commitments that resonated in the bowl. My list includes commitments given or imprinted upon me by the world, the cultures I have lived in, family, upbringing, ‘who knows from where’ and my own creations, on purpose and not.  I am no longer going to make any of them wrong. Many do not belong in the crystal-clear bowl ‘now’ however. I have another bowl called ‘not doing now’ and I put them in there. There is another bowl labeled ‘never doing now’ and it has tons of great ideas for someday.

The often incoherent pile of my ‘internal map of reality’ is what I view and filter out the world and those in it.  When we accidentally or on purpose are on the ‘same page’, have a similar worldview, workability appears. Treating it, as a random act of kindness offers no solution. Hope is not a strategy!  Taking all unworkability as my fault instead of being cause in the matter or being responsible is a recipe for upset, yours and mine. I now have a list of commitments that resonate in the bowl. One of the first things I noticed, that to the level I am willing and able to honor my commitments as myself, lowers the level of angst and worry around me.  Theirs accordingly lowers mine.

I have begun a personal review of a ‘leadership course’ that the first lesson is discovering for myself the ‘already-always-listening’ I am.

What you don’t distinguish (that about which you are unaware) runs you. – from the course

The ‘seasonings’ of life are those pesky already-always-listening/interpretations. The AlreadyAlwaysListening2sauce in my spaghetti is herbs and spices that say, ‘I know!’… ‘I am wrong [again]’ …  “Is this true or false?” …“It’s all my fault” … “Blame me” … “I already know” … “I know better” … “I am right”… “You are right” … “You should …”… “I am busy” … “what do you want from me?” … “Hurry up! Get to the point” … “is this good or bad?” …“What’s in it for me?” … “this is going to be a waste of my time” … “I don’t believe you” …”what do you really mean?” … “what are you up to?” … “Tell me what to do”… “what’s the answer?” … “I want the answer”.  The more I looked the more listening and interpretations I found.

I mentioned one earlier that my noticing it has shifted what I am hearing and experiencing. I now see two polarities in life, both are perfect and correct. One is “Me First, I get what I want and you will get what you want.” [m1] The other is “I’ll take care of you first and worry about me later”. [m2]  It seems we tend to pick and live from one and are only able to see that one in others [the mirror] until we realize we can be either one anytime OR that we have chosen to freeze one in place for ourselves as a permanent life test.  Both provide the power, the flow of energy to work with others. Eliminate one and nothing happens, the motor stops.

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. – Harry Truman [m2]

If Mother is not happy, nobody is happy. [m1]

I suspect all of my favorite quotes; any quote comes from either m1 or m2.

m1The most recent already-always-listening I caught shocked me present!  “I should ONLY have to do this once!” This context and script holds everything and is added to everything I do. Naturally, you may notice the likelihood of some upsets around the way the world works for me.

I then saw a way to [adding it out]  “Ask, [UNTIL] it is given to you; seek, [UNTIL] you find; knock, [UNTIL] it opens to you. [REPEAT] (Take one day off a week).

A shorter version, Ask, Seek, Knock (all ways and always) [UNTIL] results appear. [REPEAT]

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.  
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,  
And miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost

What does a world of 7.5+ billion, self-actualized, self-aware genius leaders look like? m2They are all followers too and not one is ‘in-charge’ of anyone but themselves. When an opportunity to serve, to lead occurs they respond appropriately to the opportunity. The current ‘design’ empowers the .01% to be happy, amused and in charge of the rest of us. I say there is a switch that flips this paradigm inside out.  Evidence suggests a small core group will create the breakthrough, soon if you are willing, able and ready to play.

Master Key Completion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe definition of a goal is an object or an event towards which play is directed in order to score. The last six months fit into my play. I accomplished numerous goals and the score remained unchanged.

Rationalizing one’s choices based on one’s past will always look like and be the past. The infinite loop, whether it be success or failure, produces a prison without joy or accomplishment. I completed this course happily. We spent a lot of time investigating how to change our thinking. It did not make a distinction between having thoughts and ‘thinking’ as two different phenomena however. Regardless, both only and always put one eventually into cognitive dissonance. The ‘Truth’ believed is always a lie. cognitivedisonanceThe truth can only be an experience. It is best to ride the horse in the direction the horse is headed. I am rereading a Gerald Vann book and realized that the Presence of God, living in now, operating in a space of possibility, ‘being’ present, the space of Infinite Possibility, mindfulness, aliveness or whatever one chooses to describe the experience requires NO THINKING or having thoughts or using the cognitive functions as the source of ones being. Winston Churchill said, ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’ All too often, when I notice [a state of thinking] I am in ‘hell’ I stop to argue! Clearly not the path through but if I ‘notice’ the thought as an alarm clock that just began ringing I can see it is an opportunity to ‘get off it’ or go back into the ‘zone’ or presence myself to the experience. Hell then looks awe full funny or is that awfully funny.

What’s next in this space? I will make some housekeeping changes soon and I will begin success12building on the material I found here. I learned a lot. I gained some super insights and a couple breakthroughs that restored decades of blindness. In many ways, I am a dharma bum, someone who dabbles and investigates many different approaches while never mastering one. I have learned much in the process. All paths lead to a mountain with no top. I am after mastery.