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Est- A Philosophical Appraisal , by Michael Zimmerman

Est- A Philosophical Appraisal , by Michael Zimmerman

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Published by WEFoundation

The est Training, created by Werner Erhard, as assessed by Michael Zimmerman

The est Training, created by Werner Erhard, as assessed by Michael Zimmerman

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Published by: WEFoundation on Nov 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/17/2013

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f
est:
A
PhilosoEhical
Appraisal
Michael
E.
Zimmerman
March,
1982
 
est:
A
Philosop~ical
Assessreent
Introduction.
The
purpose
of
this
report
is
to
provide
a
philosophical
assessment
of
est training.
I
first
took
the
training
in
New
Orleans
in January,
1981,
and
reviewed
it
as
an
observer
in
Sacramento
in
February,
1982.
My
analysi&
of
the
training
is
guided
by
my
understanding
of
~he
philo-
sophy
of
~artin
Heidegger,
existential
psychotherapy,
and
Eastern
religions.
The
following
app~Bisal
arises
not
only
fron
my
t~eoretica}
training
as
a
philosopher,
however,
but
also
from
my
own
personalexperience.
This
report
is
bynomeans
eXhaustive;
much
more
could
have been
said
about
the
topics
coveredbelow. Moreover,
many
more
issues
could
have been
dealt
with.
Because
of
my own
philosophical
expertise
and
personal
interest,
however,
I
chose
to
focus
my
attention
on
those
aspects
of
the
training
that
bear
on
the
topic
of
authenticity.
I
hope
that
this
report
will
prove
to
be
of
some
help
in
resolving
whatever
problems
remain
in
what
is
already
an
excellent
training.
I
would
like
to
thank fernando
flares
for
having given
me
the
opportunity
to
prepare
this
report.
The
experience
has
been
important
for
me.
My
analysis
of
the
training
addresses
itself,
in
part,
to
four
questions
posed
by
Jack
Mantas:
1)
Can
the
l'
authentici
ty"
of the
training
be
establishec)
more
directly
and
explicitly at
the
start
of
the
training?
2)
How
can
one
speak
more
effectively
of the
Self
asemptiness
or
nothingness?
3)
How
is
one
to
understand
the notion of
"res-oluteness~"
i.e.,
thenotion
that
the
authenticSelf
takes
a
stand
on
itself
as
the
context
of
contexts?
4)
Is
there
too
much
SUbjectivism
in
the
idea
that
we
"create"our
own
experience?
Answers
to
these
questions
will
be found
in
the
body
of
the
text,
a
summary
of
which
follows.
 
2
Summary
of
Findings:1)
The
"authenticity"
of
the
training
may
be
more
firT!lly
established
initially
if
the
trainer
explicitly
asserts
that
the
trainer
and
support
team
are
prepared
to enter into
agreement
with
the
trainees.
The
agreement
would
be
that
everyone
give
100%
of
himself
or herself
to
the
training.
2)
There
is
a
tendency
to
speak
as
if
the
training
will
provide
more
"satisfaction"!n
life,
but
if
satisfaction
is
made
the
goal
by
trainees,
they
will
never
find
it.
Satisfaction
ensues;
it
cannot
be
pursued.
At
times,
the
training
conve~s
the
impression
that
the
reason
for
keeping
one's
agreements
is
to
gain
satisfaction.
Such
a
utilitarian
view
of
behavior
is
inimicable
to
the
fundamentally
sound
view,
expressed
elsewhere
in
the
training,
that
the
key
is
toact
impeccably:
from
this,
everything
else--including
satisfaction
as
well
as
unhappiness--follows.
3)
More
explicit
treatment
of
death,
and
the
attendant
~henomena
of
anxiety
and
guilt,
are
needed
to
provide
a
more
complete
account
of
human
existence.
Anxiety
is
constriction
of
the
self
that
occurs
in
the
face
of
the
disclosure
of
mortality,
but only
such
disclosure
enables
us
to
make
the leap
from
mechanicalness
or
inauthenticityto
aliveness
orauthenticity.
Guilt
is
the
ontological
self-correctivethat
reminds
a
person
that
he
or
she
is
failing
to
repay
the
loan
of
life
by
experiencing everything
there
is
to
experience.
Guilt
and
anxiety
call
the
individual
to
the
resolution
or
decision
to
live.
4)
Resoluteness
refers
tothe
decision
of
theindividual
to
experience
whatever
there
is
to
experience.
Resoluteness (Entschlossen
heit) is
authentic
openness
or
disclosedness
(Erschlosse~~ei~)~
The
decision
in
favor
of
being
openness
is
a
free
choice
to
be
the
freedom
that
we
already
are.
Ulti~ately,
freedom
is
not
a
human
possession,
but
instead
the
openness
or
no-t~ingness
into
which
we
are
thrown.
Hu~an
existence
or
Dasein
constitutes
the
clearing
or
openness
in
which
the
Being
of
beings
manifests
itself.

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