I'm often asked how
started. The most often asked question is whether or not his work is a
blend of other disciplines, rituals, and bodies of knowledge. Did he
get what he got as some fortuitous combination, as some lucky fluke
amalgam of everything he read and immersed himself in? Did
he simply repackage all that, unoriginally albeit
brilliantly, then resell it? While that may seem to be a plausible
explanation, in truth it's not what happened.
One midweek morning in March 1971 Werner Erhard got into his Ford
Mustang and drove to work heading south on US Highway 101 from his home
in Corte Madera, towards the
Golden Gate Bridge
to San Francisco.
had had an
in which he didn't suddenly find out some new thing. Rather, he
realized he had accumulated all the things he already knew in order
to "make it", in order to survive. He realized he really
knew nothing. In that experience, he came to know all the things he
already knew in a whole new way. In other words, he hadn't become aware
of something new to know. Rather, he'd become aware of the
of knowledge itself: not what he knew, but rather how he held
everything he knew.
He never made it to work that day. Instead, he spent the day walking on
Twin Peaks, a mountain overlooking San Francisco, looking at what he
was going to do with the experience he had just experienced and how he
was going to share it.
work which resulted, isn't (as it's erroneously considered to be) an
amalgam of everything he read and immersed himself in. Neither is it a
repackaging and reselling of other disciplines, rituals, and bodies of
knowledge he'd experimented with. The source of
is his own authentic experience of who he really is, of the
man's own experience of himself, of who he became on that fateful day,
out of time, on the
Golden Gate Bridge.
There are many articles and books discussing Werner and his work, some
of them great and some of them not so great, some of them laudatory and
some of them outright hostile. I've got no
to people's opinions - not yours, not my own ...
especially not my own. People have opinions, as widely
differing as they have noses. Listen to everything you possibly can
about Werner, then draw your own conclusions out of your own