Correction to quote by Werner Erhard in Philosophy for Life
Hi, here's a correction regarding a quote in Philosophy for Life (the correction has already been made in the new edition of the book). In chapter eight, I misquoted an interview by Werner Erhard (the founder of erhard seminars training) taken from the wonderful Adam Curtis documentary The Century of the Self. I quoted Erhard as saying this:
The real point of est was to go down through layer after layer after layer after layer [of the self], until you got to the last layer and peeled it off and reached the recognition that it's really all meaningless and empty. Now, that's Existentialism's endpoint, but est went further. It's not only empty and meaningless, but it's empty and meaningless that it's empty and meaningless. And in that there's an enormous freedom. All the constructions, all of the rules you've placed on yourself are gone. Nothing is an extraordinarily powerful place to stand, because from this nothing that you can create a life. You can be what you want to be.
Erhard's lawyers have pointed out to me that I accidentally misquoted Erhard, and have asked that I clarify this. He actually said this:
The real point to the est Training was to go down through layer after layer [...] until you got to the last layer and peeled it off, where the recognition was that it's really all meaningless and empty. That's Existentialism's endpoint. Est went a step further in that people began to recognize that it was not only meaningless and empty, but it was empty and meaningless that it was empty and meaningless. And in that there's an enormous freedom. All the constrictions, all of the rules you've placed on yourself are gone, and what you're left with is nothing. And nothing is an extraordinarily powerful place to stand, because it is only from nothing that you can create. And from this nothing people were able to invent a life.
The accurate transcription will be in future editions of the book. You can see the interview here, its 2 hours and 29 minutes in: