Where did Werner Erhard’s ideas about transformation come from?
Werner Erhard is known as one of the pioneers and foremost leaders of the personal training industry. Having introduced the breakthrough notion of “transformation” to the general public over 35 years ago, Werner Erhard’s ideas about transformation subsequently came to be seen as a powerful, practical, and relevant resource in contemporary society. In 1971, Werner Erhard’s ideas of transformation manifested into the overwhelmingly popular est Training. The est Training was delivered to over a million people in a 10 year period.
The programs and work of Werner Erhard focused on personal responsibility, integrity and leadership. Werner Erhard was influenced by a collection of the times and circumstances, including the 60’s, the turn of a decade, and an immersion in such great philosophers as Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Werner Erhard’s ideas and his ability to share these ideas were and remain uniquely his own. As with many new ideas, paradigms or thinkers, we try to answer the question: where did the ideas come from? Mostly the answers can only be attributed to an individual with an original thought and an effective way of conveying it to people and organizations such that those people and organizations have access to a new paradigm. This is certainly the case with Werner Erhard.
The 60’s had an entire generation looking for answers. In pursuit of change and breakthrough thinking Werner Erhard developed as an original thinker. Werner Erhard, in search of answers, explored the writings of the philosophers Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Husserl and was profoundly moved by his own Episcopalian religion and the teachings of Zen Buddhism. However Werner Erhard’s ideas and programs are not religious in nature and do not form any religious thought or contain any belief system. While often misinterpreted, Werner Erhard’s programs are not influenced in any way by new age philosophy or Scientology.
After more than 40 years many of Werner Erhard’s ideas, as well as the many people who have built something from Werner Erhard’s notion of transformation, have become a part of society’s thinking and culture across the globe.
The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard
This documentary was created by the independent filmmaker and two-time Emmy Award Winning Producer for PBS, Robyn Symon. It chronicles the history of Werner Erhard, his life, the world of the est Training and his work and ideas, all put into perspective through the dozens of stories told by numerous professional and academic experts. Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard is available on DVD.
Werner Erhard Foundation