Est made history and the following is a history of est. A tribute to transformation and Werner Erhard. Follow the lineage of people places and things that enlightened a generation and made an impact on the world.

What is est

est publication , May 16, 1977

The Relationship between est and Religion, Psychotherapy and other Disciplines
The est training is sometimes confused with other disciplines, yet it is none of them. est is not group therapy, sensitivity training, encounter, positive thinking, meditation, hypnosis, mind control, behavior modification, religion, or anything else you might think of. It is not therapy; it is not “human potential;” not psychology. And, finally est is not a movement – there is nothing to belong to; there is nothing to join; there is nothing to remember and nothing to believe in; there isn’t even anything to do after you’ve finished the training.

Most disciplines have techniques and content. They want to give you things and ideas that they think are worthwhile. est has no ideas or techniques that we think are worthwhile. est deals with the context in which all ideas and techniques are held – it does not deal with content. (For further details, see “The est Standard Training,” a presentation by Werner to the American Psychiatric Association annual convention.) est is not religion as religion is commonly understood today. A religion entails a belief system – a set of moral precepts. It tells you what to do. est has no belief system. There is nothing to believe.

est is not therapy either. Therapy is concerned with changes – with fixing up and making better. est is concerned with transformation. This is not merely semantics – there is a real and crucial difference. Change is substituting one thing for another thing. Transformation is a fundamental alteration of the context in which one holds or observes everything. est is concerned with context; therapy is concerned with content. est is concerned with transforming the context in which one views and experiences everything in life. est does not change what one knows; it transforms the way in which one knows.
Graduates report that religion becomes more fulfilling and therapy becomes more effective after the training. est is a context in which religion, therapy and other disciplines – which are all different forms of content – exist.