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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:09 AM

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This message was self-deleted by its author (PotatoChip) on Wed Jun 21, 2017, 01:46 PM. When the original post in a discussion thread is self-deleted, the entire discussion thread is automatically locked so new replies cannot be posted.

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Reply This message was self-deleted by its author (Original post)
PotatoChip Dec 2012 OP
Melissa G Dec 2012 #1
CanSocDem Dec 2012 #3
PotatoChip Dec 2012 #5
CanSocDem Dec 2012 #7
PotatoChip Dec 2012 #4
tama Dec 2012 #2
PotatoChip Dec 2012 #6
tama Dec 2012 #8
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #9
CanSocDem Dec 2012 #10
PotatoChip Jan 2013 #11
PotatoChip Jan 2013 #12
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #13
PotatoChip Jan 2013 #14
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #15
Dash87 Jan 2013 #16
Post removed Jun 20 #17

Response to PotatoChip (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:12 PM

1. I have lost friends to this group.

Last edited Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:56 PM - Edit history (1)

Your mileage may very. IMHO, they are like the Borg and will try to assimilate you and your resources.
A friend of mine, who I am quite a bit less close to now, is fine with that. You and your daughter may be also.

It is significant to me that they have had many names. I was tricked into wasting part of an evening, during the EST/ Forum days. I extricated myself through the bathroom trick.

Try googling Landmark (The Forum and EST were previous names) plus scams and see what info you come up with before you send your time and money that way. Many folks will give you an in depth opinion. PM me if you want to discuss. Good luck.

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Response to Melissa G (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:46 PM

3. I thought this sounded like EST.



I remember when EST came out in the 70's and was struck by how much of their program resembled my own life-long pursuit of psycho-spiritual salvation. I had doubts about their ability to teach it all in a few days, but I had no problem with their emphasis on self-discipline.
Of course, back then I had a lot more faith in human nature. 'Self discipline' would be used to further the public interest, and not as it used today as a tool to achieve private wealth.

Self Discipline is all powerful. And it is FREE!

.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:02 AM

7. Good info.....




I didn't realize they were that close. I stopped paying attention when Erhard got into some kind of 'pickle' and had to give up control of EST. There were many pop culture heroes in those days and though their stars burned brightly, they were often short-lived.

Erhards background is what got him a pass from me in the first place. The Zen Consciousness around at the time, was the most all encompassing ideology for a time of rapid change. I had a personal friend who truly freed my mind through ZEN and writers like Hesse, Watts, and illuminated my world with things like this:

Sit
Rest
Work.

Alone with yourself
Never weary.

On the edge of the forest
Live joyfully
Without desire.


The Buddha

My friend went on to Sufism and I lost touch with him. Teachers come and go at the right time.

.








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Response to Melissa G (Reply #1)


Response to PotatoChip (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:09 AM

2. Young people

 

tend to feel strongly about such stuff - at the beginning and for a while. Then they usually move to next thing on their Seeker path. No worries. Just don't turn it into matter of her personal declaration independence. Good thing you are also participating, feel free to be the embarrassing parent if that's your thing and you think it helps...

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:06 PM

8. Our children

 

I've been bit depressed lately - winter and dark I guess mostly. Now my two sons are visiting me for holidays, feel happy again. We need our children as they need us, and when we become parents we don't cease to be children.

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Response to PotatoChip (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:43 PM

9. My take on Landmark - pros and cons

 

I've never done Landmark, but I was a part of a spiritual organization that attracted a number of their graduates. There was an underlying similarity to them that made Landmark grads immediately recognizable. They tended to be self-confident, at ease in their own skins, happy and above all quite outward-directed. In contrast, the organization I was part of, called The Inner Journey, tended to foster attitudes of contemplation and self-discovery, with less emphasis on being in control of the persona we project to the outside world.

I think Landmark fosters those qualities in their attendees, and so it tends to appeal to those who are looking for those skills - predisposed to look at the world through Landmark-tinted glasses you might say. Its training can be extremely valuable for many, but the risk is that any large organization concerned with being a (growing) organization tries to hold onto its recruits. More inner-directed spiritual teachings tend to expect (and even encourage) devotees to eventually grow beyond the framework - this doesn't seem to be the case so much with landmark.

I think one useful way of understanding Landmark is in the context of the "Victim, Victor, Vehicle" progression developed by Carol Ruth Knox in her book "The Incredible Journey". Landmark is intended to move people out of "Victim" state and into "Victor". Classical spiritual training in oriented towards moving people past the Victim and Victor states to eventually (perhaps) becoming Vehicles.

I've taken the liberty of creating the following chart and synopsis based on these ideas.


This table has been adapted from the work of Rev. Carol Ruth Knox, who first published it in her book “The Incredible Journey”. It represents the idea that each of us at any given moment is operating out of one of these three life states. It also demonstrates how personal spiritual development involves successive shifts from being a Victim, through being a Victor to becoming a Vehicle.

A Victim is someone who has a generally weak sense of self, sees themselves as being victimized by life, and responds to that feeling of powerlessness through complaint rather than action. In this state the individual mostly waits for things to happen to them, and is reactive rather than proactive. They tend to be stuck in very traditional spiritual states, whether religious or not. In the language of Transactional Analysis, you might think of this as the “Child” state.

As we mature, we may eventually choose to leave our victimhood behind and operate instead as a Victor. In this state we no longer blame others for our misfortunes, but act on our own behalf to overcome life’s challenges and obstacles. People in this state have a strong sense of self, and have internalized the belief that they are autonomous actors who can influence the world around them. They feel in control, and entitled to act. Victors tend to have a looser, more philosophical or metaphysical spirituality. In Transactional Analysis terms Victors are acting in the role of “Parent”.

When a person has done a lot of conscious self-development work and has opened themselves to grace, they may begin to operate as a Vehicle. Many of the “normal” rules change in this state. Our sense of self may no longer be the driving force behind our actions. We may see winning and losing as unimportant, irrelevant or even illusions. When we act creatively it is always together with others, whether the "others" are people or elements of the Universe. This state requires us to surrender to What Is, to fully accept our place as dancers in the great unfolding known in Hinduism as Lila. People in this state are prone to mystical perceptions of their relationship with the Universe, Reality, Creation or God. They experience direct communion with those larger forces, seeing themselves as complete representatives of the Infinite. At the same time they may become even more deeply aware of their role as individual creative elements in the Dance. Being in this state is also known as being an “Adult”.

Landmark is focused directly on helping people move out of Victim state and into Victor state. As a result it is very attractive to people who want to be more successful in their dealings with the outer world. The Landmark "technologies" give trainees the tools they need to make that step, but there are a couple of risks. The first is that it may interrupt one's natural progression, trapping one in Victor state because it feels so good and is so useful. The second is the risk inherent to large organizations - the program reinforces in graduates the value of the organization and its goals, and may suck up time, energy, attention and money that could go towards their further personal exploration.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:58 AM

10. Good analysis...


...and I think this sums up my own concerns for the OP:

"...the program reinforces in graduates the value of the organization and its goals, and may suck up time, energy, attention and money that could go to wards their further personal exploration."

Seems to be a common legacy for large social organizations. An individual loses sight of personal goals in pursuing membership in the group.

.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:11 PM

13. Yes, you understood what I was getting at about being trapped there.

 

I get the impression that in some ways Landmark is similar to many other motivational/positive thinking/self-help groups. But that's just an outsider's impression. In my opinion, such programs appeal to two broad categories of people: those who are stuck in Victim state and have figured out that it's a pathological place to be; and those who feel they have a tenuous hold on the Victor state and are worried about stalling or sliding back to Victim. It sounds like your daughter fits the second description pretty well.

I was all set to go to a Landmark weekend with a previous partner a few years ago, but we backed out at the last minute. The reason at the time was that the Landmark dynamic wasn't what we were was looking for, since we had both done a number of different Inner Journey programs. In retrospect my underlying reason was that I knew I'd be expected to buy in to the program at least for the weekend, and it would have felt like a charade. As well, I'm allergic to motivationalism and extroversion in general.

Were I in your shoes I'd worry that a Landmark workshop would be a difficult setting to communicate your own growth path to your daughter. What she might see is that it's not the one that "works" (for her...) and she could be doubly emphatic about trying to bring you "on board". Pure speculation on my part, of course.

The Inner Journey that I was involved with is a very small organization. Last I heard they have a presence in Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Ottawa Canada. It's the brain child of one man named Michael Schiesser. The program blends a lot of East/West influences - depth psychology, Vipassana meditation, some of Osho's tantric work, transactional analysis, holotropic breathwork from Stan Grof, Enneagram work from A.H. Almaas etc. They also have ties with the Oneness movement out of India as well as Henninger's Constellation work. The program is quite experiential, and is aimed at tapping one's blocked or disowned emotions and bringing the emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects into better balance. For a small organization it's tremendously ambitious, and quite successful.

I'm just barely on the periphery of it now, but I was fairly involved for about 4 years. I had a massive transformational breakthrough during a breathwork session on my first weekend intensive in early 2007 - not quite an enlightenment experience, but definitely an awakening. I also learned how to meditate properly and started "peeling the onion" of my true self, a process that hasn't stopped since then. Given that I was borderline suicidal from eco-despair when I went in, I think they're definitely worth a recommendation.

One other reason I recommend them is because the participants all come out of the weekend more different from each other than when they went in. One of the marks of cultishness in my opinion is that the participants all end up seemingly more homogeneous - they've been given a groupthink recipe. I didn't find IJ to be like that at all. Because it's so personal, there is no single recipe for authenticity, let alone for "success".

I moved on because the follow-on programs were a little too "bhakti" for my comfort - too much kirtan etc. I'm more comfortable in the pure-consciousness realm of Advaita, which is where I've been happily for the last 3 years. But it was all built on a foundation of IJ. It may not have helped me completely figure out who I am, but it gave me a pretty good handle on who I wasn't.

They have a web presence that should be able to tell you more:

http://www.michaelschiesser.com/the-inner-journey.html

Good luck!

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:05 PM

15. You're welcome. Let me know how it goes! nt

 

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