The Landmark Forum: it teaches you what you didnt know you didnt know

This particular course seems to have generated a lot of discussion on Divya’s blog (http://www.nimbupani.com/) and there is a huge post on it at Soldier’s blog (http://chaoticthots.blogspot.com/, I dont know who this is btw!). After reading through the post and the comments I’m intrigued. In this post I am not going to look at every aspect of the forum which has generated the discussion but specifically what Divya says it does.

Now, I have never spoken to Landmark employees about my problems with their course and my knowledge of the course only comes from the blog post and its comments. However, I have attended a course on self actualization (or self help or whatever it maybe, semantics not important here) by one Swami Sukhabodananda in India. I attended this course simply for the experience i.e. with no expectations or predispositions as to what it can do. And i thinki would attend the Landmark Forum (money permitting, i’m still a lowly undergrad!) simply for that reason – just a new experience which has the potential of being helpful.

My understanding of what the landmark forum teaches you
Mainly from Divya’s comments, the forum tells you what you did not know you didnt know about life. (Yeah, that sounds slightly complicated). Let me instead paste the part of Divya’s comment which is relevant.

“Landmark is precisely not a self help course. Self Help course starts from what you know you dont know (for e.g. you know you cant do Karate kicks). And from what you dont know, using those self help books you try to “know” them (by reading “Karate for dummies”). If only you could do that, all of those who read those self-help books (like Getting Things Done) would have stopped procastinating and would have gotten into action. But why do they not help? The first thing Landmark Forum Leader talks in an introduction is, NOBODY NEEDS LANDMARK FORUM. It is not a faith or a cult or a drug that is required for salvation. It is simply a disucssion to provide a new angle to your life that you have never seen before. And you wont understand it precisely because you dont think there can be any new angle to your life! “

My opinion
I have a few questions:

1) Can another person tell you what the new angle to your life is?

2) Can this new angle be the same or atleast thematically similar to the 900 odd people (or whatever the number, again semantics dont matter) sitting in the room?

3) Do people really want to know the new angle?

Each question merits some explanation.

Question 1
I am of the opinion that its quite difficult for a third party to really tell you whats wrong with your life or what you need to do to make it better. This sounds too much like what a shrink does and even he/she needs to spend time with you to know your life inside out to make suggestions, doesn’t he? This ofcourse might be just me being a skeptic. But the question needs to be asked.

Question 2
Here comes my biggest problem with the “new angle” and teaching you “what you didnt know you know” idea. I dont think that a new angle to life can be common to a group of people. And i am assuming here that there is not much one on one interchange, that the lecture or philosophy is common to all the participants which seems to be the case with halls being rented out for the seminars etc. How can this new angle be common to so many people? Especially people from different backgrounds, different social status and particularly different goals in life. Even if this angle is a general philiosophy or approach to life i do not believe that it can be common. There are different obstacles that each individual either puts up himself or faces through the course of his life. The kind of disparity over here is just too immense to be dealt with by a general “technology”.

Question 3
This is a particularly pertinent question because of the mixed reactions that participants of the forum seem to display. I believe that sometimes we refuse to acknowledge certain things simply because we dont want to deal with them. The reasons for these are manifold; it might be because we dont want to acknowledge their existence or because we are scared we might not be able to deal with them. But whatever the reason ultimately, its about a personal choice we make as to whether we want to face a certain problem or not. Ofcourse i submit that in the spirit of honesty, openness and maybe even a desire to improve we need to acknowledge certain obstacles that we ourselves might have created for our success. Its also probably the healthy thing to do.

But I would humbly submit that the reason a few people face such mental turmoil after the forum is because they didnt believe that they could deal with those problems in the first place. Its also arguable that that very fear is a more important thing to conquer which the forum doesnt seem to accomplish and doesnt claim to either. The thing is its very difficult for these people to realise where their real fear stems from and the forum by bringing out all the obstacles only makes it worse for these people. Therefore I believe that the forum is only for a certain set of people.

To round off, I still believe that the forum can be good. Not only because several participants swear by it but simply because i do not wish to dismiss it on personal prejudice or expectations. I also agree that most people dont NEED the forum so i would submit that to base it on need is not the best way to decide. But i do have problems with the expectations that the marketing of the forum generates. If you go in expecting to reach the moon and they only manage a tree top its still a big fall. I would submit that its best to go for these things with no expectations and an open mind. Which ofcourse is difficult when they charge 750$ for it.


11 thoughts on “The Landmark Forum: it teaches you what you didnt know you didnt know”

  1. First Sushil, everything you are extrapolating as “facts” are only from websites with no authorization or credibility. Even the statement:

    “But I would humbly submit that the reason a few people face such mental turmoil after the forum is because they didnt believe that they could deal with those problems in the first place.”

    I would like you to consider Sushil, not to treat this matter as a subject to have an opinion on, but actually attend an introduction and talk to the people and see what is in it for you.

    So, whatever questions you have raised, here is my clarification, simply because there seems to be a misunderstanding.

    1) Can another person tell you what the new angle to your life is?

    A third party does not tell you about it. You realise it in your discussions. Nobody tells you “this is who you are, or this is what you didnt know”. But the discussion is organised in such a way that you get to realise something new about yourself.

    2) Can this new angle be the same or atleast thematically similar to the 900 odd people (or whatever the number, again semantics dont matter) sitting in the room?

    I did not mean this angle to be a striaght jacket manna from heaven for the condemned souls. Each person gets to see a new facet of himself/herself.

    “I believe that sometimes we refuse to acknowledge certain things simply because we dont want to deal with them.”

    Sometimes you dont even know why you are the way you are being. Suppose, for example, you get angry if a black cat passes you. You know that it is simply a bunch of superstitions and black cat doesnt do anything to you, but still you are suddenly gripped by fear of something bad is going to happen. You cant stop that. The “knowing” doesnt help.

    If you do not want to realise a new facet to yourself. It is fine. Perfect. Just say “no” to Landmark Forum and walk away. No questions asked.

  2. hey Divya,

    I dont think we ever doubted if we could walk away from the Landmark Forum. Neither am I personally trying to judge whether the forum is for me per se, i’ve already stated in my post that i would attend simply for the experience.
    I’m just trying to have a discussion and since you are the only person i know who has attended it, i asked for your opinion.
    As for the discussion, i was voicing my personal fears. If you would rather not answer them or if you think i should direct these questions to the employees of Landmark sure, no problem.

  3. Sushil,

    I apologise if I assumed you are simply exploring this topic as a topic to debate on.

    I just have stated what the facts of the
    discussion is upright, so that when you read it you will know how I am answering your questions.

    I think I have already answered your fears in the comment I made above. If you have any more doubts, I simply invite you to attend an evening session on 23rd of August to get a complete perspective and to get clear on all your fears about the same.

    Also, you had asked what if the other person does not want to know a new facet to himself/herself. Many of them sign up nevertheless. But if you are uncomfortable with that, then, I again suggest you address that to the relevant authorities.

  4. hey divya

    yeah, i think ill come for the evening session on 23rd august. it would make more sense to direct these questions to the relevant authorities.

  5. Приветствую всех!
    У меня такой вопрос,кто что интересное подскажет буду признателен.
    Мы с друзьями собираемся поехать в круиз по просторам России и ближнего зарубежья месяца на два на своих машинах,но не как не можем согласовать маршрут,если у кого уже был опыт такого путешествия,может,что посоветуете.Девчонок с собой не берем,думаем,что во все городах России с этим не будет проблем,если у кого будут рекомендации и в вопросе отдыха с девушками тоже буду признателен.

    С уважением Сеньчик

  6. Remember when it seemed like this year’s pro football ripen could be cancelled or delayed because of a pluck between millionaires and billionaires?

    Phew! The NFL kicks high tonight, on earmark, on NBC, when the Saints perform the Packers. Which means that some of you, representing a variety of reasons, are affluent to observe it on the Web.
    And you can! Precise better, you can do it legally, for the treatment of free: Comcast’s relay unit is gift a complete stream of the plot, via NBCSports.com, along with additional camera angles and other digital goodies. From the herd unshackle:

    Sunday Night Football Leftover employs a chuck-full HD-quality player, which includes a draggable picture-in-picture feature for any of the online-only cameras, benefit thorough DVR functionality allowing the user to pause and scroll back-and-forth – even review article plays in “slo-mo.”

    After tonight’s occupation, NBC will provide the free streams for every game it broadcasts this season, every Sunday night.
    It’s the fourth mellow in a hullabaloo that NBC has done this, and I’m continually surprised that more people don’t make a ample sell into public notice of it. NFL TV rights are the most valuable responsibility in video, and they not go to more expensive each year — Disney virtuous agreed to repay about $2 billion a seasoned in search Monday Night Football rights.

    So the impulse that a broadcaster would assign this stuff up for disencumber on the Cobweb at the anyhow hour seems counterintuitive. (Note that Monday Blackness Football, in behalf of event, is sole of the lone things you can’t watch via ESPN’s admirable immature iPad/iPhone app.)

    The only conclusion I can inhale is that there just aren’t that uncountable people watching the glowing streams — because really, if you procure the selection, you requirement to watch this on your large HD abrogate, right?
    OK. So what about the rest of the season? Marvellously, you can look after that on the Network, legally, too. But it intention cost you: Forefront more than to DirecTV to see how much they’re charging in place of access to their “Sunday Ticket” package, which instanter includes measureless access on your laptop, as without doubt as iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc.
    (FYI: If you’re amenable to exterior loophole in requital for Sunday Ticket but don’t want a two-year DirecTV commitment, and you be dressed a Sony PS3, try visible the match device’s unexplored accommodation, which commitment allow in you rule a time’s merit of football recompense $340. Over the odds, but it drive give you more give and you don’t bear to worry up installing a dish. Imply: When it asks you if you are skilled to pick up DirecTV where you tangible, say “no.”)
    I don’t condone larceny this furniture off the Spider’s web, of passage, and those of you who lack to do that don’t prerequisite my information, anyway.
    I hand down note, howsoever, that readers who real false front the U.S. and pine for to stream the games can purchase what appears to be a precise reasonably priced incorporate directly from the NFL. It looks like $150 for a root bundle with all the games, even if that may transformation depending on what homeland you loaded in.
    *I’m not supposed to do this, because it violates some urgent high-minded rules, but here goes: Go Accumulation Disintegrate! Except when you’re playing the Vikings. And if you entertain the idea I’m the simply Minnesotan with conflicted Wisconsin loyalties, satisfactorily — you’re wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s