I attended a Landmark Forum seminar last night.
It was interesting.
I think the best word to describe it is intriguing.
Believe it or not, I am intrigued by a lot of things. Anything structured and phenomenally succesful like the Forum gets my attention. I am fortunate to be among many graduates that have learned how to use the technology of transformation(active thoughts).
People who have not attended the forum think the idea of 'technology' is ridiculous or mysterious at best. I have had very few conversations regarding my experience; it is on purpose, the more I start to explain, the more layered in bullshit my explanation becomes.
Using Landmark terminology, the language of transformation, really yields results- desired results. I learned a long time ago about visualization(eighth grade conquests) but I never conciously 'broke it down'.
These guys are on to something.
From what I have gathered Landmark was previously called Erhard System Training. It could be described as a more intense form of'positive brainwashing'(if that is possible) perfected by a mysteriously brilliant figure named Werner Erhard. Erhard was a succesful car salesman. I don't want to get into him. It would require more writing than I am prepared to do.
Simply put, he embodied all the qualities of a good lawyer or shuckster, depending on what side of the desk you were on or how you were positioned on it.
What compelled him to start this new exciting 'therapy' is beyond me. What is important to remember is the radical social changes that were occuring in the Bay Area during the sixties and early seventies. It was a destination for thousands , millions of people 'seeking'.
Seeking and not finding.
All the while, Erhard sought and found a small fortune in the car business. He also developed a keen understanding of human nature and the 'things' that move us as people. He met regularly with the brilliant minds of the time. Stanford Theoretical physicists, even renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. All them were regularly invited to his beautiful Mansion in San Francisco.
I have always assumed they were tripping on acid and discussing the absurd reality that has been chosen by most of us.
These masters of quantum understanding helped fortify something Erhard already knew. Without all the mathematical jargon Erhard was able to grasp some very important fundamentals to the technology he would later bring to the modern world.
He just had to work out the kinks.
With the help of some experts- perhaps colleagues of Dr Gottliebb himself - Erhard System Training mades its way from college campus parties to his central location somewhere in San Francisco.
In 1971 he held his first seminar.
There he would put the participants through a rigorous 48 hour cleansing. He believed people needed to be deconstructed before they could be useful to the new technology that he was offering them. Some of the words used to describe the experience are demeaning, humiliating, abusive , profane and authoritarian.
I would not have lasted. Simply put, I don't and never have taken shit, from anyone; I guess thats my story and I willfully stick to it.
Anyway he succesfully brought his version of self help to many people in The Bay Area and beyond. I rememebr mentioning EST to my mother that was her era; I am sure , as a hip adult in the seventies she had run across it. She had; after some prodding she explained "I ran across people who followed Jim Jones too... I decided to just sell Shacklee... it was easier" When it came to yelling, denying bathroom breaks and all those tactics that they infamously employed she was definitely-
"Already Always Listening"
In other words she didn't take shit either.
Black folks have a distinctly different approach to self help, that is an intrinsic quality to our story. We are not at a point where we have everything, yet, still feel that 'emptiness'. We are still 'locked' in the struggle. My mother thought many of the people who were in this introductory seminar had complaints about life that were trivial and they were simply spoiled adults who where coming to terms with not having things their way all the time. As my great-aunt Lou used to say.
Landmark is definitely a much different version of EST. Werner Erhard sold the technology and left the country in 1991. Since then it has been modified and, like I said, provides some intriguing approaches to life that I like.
I am drawn to transforming the world around me; visualizing goals and achieving them. The forum provides a vehicle for great communicators to be better. Bad communicators to be understandable and good communicators to be great.
I like the whole idea of getting rid of right and wrong; being clear about motives and agendas. When I write my goals down now it is like a fraction. I have to break it down to the lowest common denominator and I am amazed at what I end up with - with what I really want.
If I don't get it
Friday, October 12, 2007
I attended a Landmark Forum seminar last night.