est stands for Erhard Seminar Traning, and is Latin for "it is." Started by Werner Erhard in 1971, est became a very popular movement in the personal development arena experienced by over 700,000 people.
Little information exists today about what exactly took place in those rooms and arenas, but even a cursory search online shows that est had a lasting effect on the personal development movement.
Some say that est was influenced by scientology, however, a closer look shows that it was a mix of philosophical thought from existential philosophy, psychology, Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts, Freud, Abraham Maslow, L. Ron Hubbard, Hinduism, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, and even P. T. Barnum.
Erhard promised participants that he would "blow their minds," "empower" them, and inspire them "to produce effective action." Partipants would learn new methods of communication allowing them "to cause life instead of just living it."
The ultimate goal: Transformation, which is also the title of a movie about Werner Erhard.
See what some people have said about est and The Book of est:
As for the book itself, it's a great read and very thought provoking! A couple of times, I believe I had transformed myself and was actually in the sessions! I loved the parts where some of the participants finally "Got it"! I do believe that I "Got it" too! I have always believed that a person's life is based on the choices they make and what they do with those choices. I believe the est training touches on those very concepts.
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