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January 20, 2011
What it is, we're not sure.
A recent cartoon in The New Yorker:
A guy (of course) poses this question over dinner:
"I’m in the market for an easier religion."
For some reason, I thought of est, which became sort of a pseudo religion, and wondered what happened to it?
By the way, it's est, not EST, which is Eastern Standard Time, although est was practiced a lot on the east coast.
Est had a lot going for it in the merchandizing area.
For one thing, it stood for Warner Erhard Seminar Training, and is also Latin for "it is."
So who is Warner Erhard, whose real name was John Paul Rosenberg?
Scientologists, to this day, accuse Erhard of having stolen his main ideas from L. Ron Hubbard.
The accusations never stuck since it appears Erhard borrowed a little from everybody — Zen Buddhism, motivational psychology, Maxwell Maltz's Psycho-cybernetics, Freud, Abraham Maslow, Dale Carnegie, Socrates and PT Barnum.
To name a few.
But that was the genius of it.
The first est seminar was held in October 1971, at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco, with nearly 1,000 in attendance.
Getting "it,” a concept taken from author, teacher and expert communicator Alan Watts, featured early.
While many participants didn't think of finding "It" particularly abusive, some were not used to the discipline required.
In some of the seminars, extraordinary bladder control (ebc) or bathroom breaks were not allowed.
Didn't want to break the flow, so to speak.
So what is it?
Perhaps the most concise description of "it" is from an Alan Watts essay, "This Is It:"
Here's the short version:
"...the central core of the experience seems to be the conviction, or insight, that the immediate now, whatever its nature, is the goal and fulfillment of all living."
In a nutshell, there's no time like the present.
But est went.
Before it did, close to a million people, depending on who's doing the estimating, attended the seminars until they were halted in 1991.
Erhard sold the est "technology" to some followers and his brother, who established Landmark Forum, which has 42 offices in 11 countries.
On their website, they claim their revenues were approximately $77 million in 2009.
The legacy of est, however, remains.
Once a bright light in the human potential movement, It tapped into a need at the time.
Maybe it still does.
Is there an It?
Greek Pride in the Individual: 23helpme.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Human potential movement indarticles.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
THE DANGERS OF THE HUMAN POTENTIAL MOVEMENT! ukapologetics.net Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Does the human potential movement have any potential?