The Book of est by Luke Rhinehart

Summary
  1. A written description of the est training program. “Realizing that one creates one’s own experience and coming to take responsibility for one’s own life seem to be two of the most valuable results of the training.”
Key Takeaways
  1. Once you awaken to negative patterns, you have the ability to change them
  2. est seeks to remove total adherence to the mind’s belief systems
  3. Most people will do anything to avoid true feelings and tough experiences
  4. Most people would rather be right than happy
  5. “As soon as you have an idea about what you want and exactly where it is, you’ve ruined your chance of being happy and alive, because an idea or belief destroys experience and you ain’t never gonna be alive unless you live in the realm of experience…”
  6. The only things people believe in are things they don’t know. Experience doesn’t need belief. With experience, you just totally accept, be present, don’t strain, no assumptions and no comparisons
    1. Natural knowing – highest level, most reliable knowledge, don’t need to believe, you simply know
    2. Belief – lowest form of certainty
  7. Tenets of est
    1. First notion of est – all are perfect but some have barriers from experiencing and expressing perfection
    2. Second – what you resist, persists. Make no effort to change
    3. Third – recreating own experience makes it disappear. “Trying to change a thing leads to the persistence of that thing. The only what you’re ever going to eliminate anything is to observe, find out what it is and where it is. The complete experiencing of that thing, being totally with it, leads to its disappearing…”
  8. The elements of experience are bodily sensations. Experiencing problems fully is like peeling the layers of an onion and normal problem solving is like adding skins
  9. What is real is physical and measurable and unreality is experience. “If reality exists only by agreement, then each one of you is responsible for this particular ‘reality.’ We each create our own experience. You can’t name anything for which you yourself are not responsible.”
  10. People let ‘false cause’ rule their lives. You are the sole source of your own experience and are responsible for these experiences
  11. Certain things are real but everyone’s experience of those realities will always be different
  12. “The mind is a linear arrangement of successive moments of now”
    1. Only purpose of mind is survival and anything which the being identifies itself with or considers itself to be
    2. Ego – when the being gets incorporated into the mind and that is when the mind will do anything to help the ego survive; only look for things which we agree with and confirms we are right (confirmation bias)
  13. Value experience above all else – not training, not reading, not knowledge…
  14. Enlightenment is simply knowing and accepting you’re a machine (you are not the Doer but you are responsible for how you react)
  15. What “is” becomes more important than what was or what ought to be
  16. The most important and cherished human experiences cannot be understood by the intellect
  17. “The fully enlightened man always does nothing. Doing nothing is simply doing what you’re doing when you’re doing it. Doing nothing is simply accepting what is. What it is, whether we accept it or not, so you don’t have to be bright to be enlightened, you just come to accept what you are, accept what comes, accept what is, or, as we’ve been saying for ten days, take what you get…when you get it.”
  18. “Being enlightened is knowing you are what you are and aren’t what you aren’t and that’s perfect. Being enlightened is saying yes to what happens, saying yes to your yes’s and yes to your no’s.”
  19. You are not the Doer, you are the source and creator of all your experience
  20. Even when people reach enlightenment, they often get bored as there is no longer any “game” to play so we decide to begin playing again and when we begin playing again we get back on the roller coaster which is life
  21. “What we humans want is interesting problems and games, no more, no less. Not pleasures, not truths, not moral codes, not a state of happiness, but interesting games.”
What I got out of it
  1. A pretty strange book that I forgot how I stumbled upon but I thought it had some key points – take responsibility for how you react to things and realize you can’t control outcomes, most people would rather be right than kind, what you try to resist persists