Talk:Landmark Education/Abd/Glossary

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Scientology terminology[edit source]

Note sure why this link was removed? Perhaps we could come to a compromise here on the talk page after a more in depth discussion. :) -- Cirt (talk) 03:06, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

It was removed because it has nothing to do with Landmark terminology. You will not learn anything about Landmark by reading a description of Scientology terminology. People will be reading this page to learn about Landmark terminology, not to study the general topic of speciallized jargon.
Cirt, I'm breaking it to you. Landmark has nothing to do with Scientology. It seems you bought a Scientology myth, that Erhard stole the training from them. What I have heard is that at one point, he took a Scientology class or course. So did a lot of people in those days. The actual training bears practically no resemblance, either then or now, to what Scientologists were doing. It bears far more resemblance to certain other strains in the air at the time. It's highly misleading to link the two, Landmark and Scientology, except where real events occurred, like the Scientologists encouraging and funding attacks on Erhard. But they attacked lots of people, including my friend w:Keith Henson, whom I knew from Tucson and a bit of conversation more recently. Of course, he also went after them! Erhard didn't, he basically walked away, leaving behind an organization that would survive him without conflict and corruption. In the Self Expression and Leadership Program, one of the distinctions/assignments is to turn the project over to others. It's a community project, not a personal one. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:49, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Werner Erhard took Scientology courses and hired at least 2 members of Scientology to teach in early days of the EST Training and some terms from those beginnings were incorporated and helped form part of the early culture and jargon of the company. -- Cirt (talk) 04:30, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Cirt, I wrote that Erhard took a course (or courses). I'm familiar with Scientology, to a degree. I even know of one term that I've heard in Landmark that might have come from Scientology, being "flat" about something. I think I heard it once, from an old-timer. Most Landmark participants would not recognize the term. Basically, Scientology terminology is irrelevant to Landmark terminology, and it would be quite confusing to connect the two. Landmark operates in a distinct realm (the "realm of enrollment") from that of Scientology (the "realm of survival"), and that difference explains why, for example, Scientology has the concept of "suppressive persons" and contact with them is discouraged, whereas Landmark consistently works to heal families and relationships, and I have heard any leader or coach in Landmark ever encourage a participant to maintain a story of anyone as bad or harmful.
Many people of that time, interested in personal growth, would have explored Scientology. That hiring, then, is meaningless.
A comparative glossary could be of some value. Cirt is welcome to develop that in his section. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:35, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Added some more links[edit source]

Added some more relevant links, -- Cirt (talk) 03:25, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

These really serve little purpose here, but if you need them, i don't see that they are harmful. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:49, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, they are quite helpful to provide context to confused readers who don't understand what concepts such as loading the language mean. :) Thanks for leaving them in place! -- Cirt (talk) 04:31, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I took them out, except that I used the word jargon in the introduction. "Loading the language" is a highly POV interpretation, applied here a kind of general smear. This was entirely outside the purpose of the glossary, which is simply to explain how these words are used in Landmark and by graduates. There are some terms that arrive "pre-loaded," and it's a bit strange that they are used, because the actual training is away from that loading; examples are "racket" and "integrity," as in "out of integrity."
Again, Cirt, you are welcome to explore possible "loaded language" in your section. I'll watch it and participate as you permit. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:46, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Payoffs[edit source]

"Payoffs are consequences of behavior that are perceived as rewards, such as Being Right, Making Others Wrong, Looking Good or Making Others Look Bad." What about dominating/avoiding domination, justifying oneself/invalidating others, and winning/losing, all of which fall under avoiding responsibility? Shinigami Realm (discusscontribs) 20:43, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, of course, particularly as to "dominating/avoiding domination." However, "avoiding responsibility" is not part of the definition of racket, as I've ever heard. Indeed, Dominating could be thought of as taking responsibility. I've not heard "winning and losing," either. What I recall is only a triumvirate: Self Right/Others Wrong, Self Looking Good/Others Looking Bad, and Avoiding domination. (i.e, asserting independence.) I don't actually recall "Domination" in the list. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:50, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

The goal of the Glossary[edit source]

This glossary was created out of a discussion in my first seminar, "wouldn't it be wonderful if there were a glossary." So I began to create one. The goal here is not to convey the Landmark distinctions, as such, but rather the language, and especially the commonly-used terms, which can have different meanings than ordinary language. Some terminology is used by Landmark with "ordinary meanings." Obviously. Those words don't need to be in this glossary. I'm seeing some other terms being added, with definitions that aren't, in my experience, "routine." The definitions are attributed, so that may be okay.

As an example, I never heard the word "superstition" in any of my training. But I did Google it and found one hit for "Landmark Forum superstition", a phrase from a graduate, in 2001: "'Is' is a superstition." That would be consistent with the training, as long as one does not make a Big Deal out of it. I.e., "'Is' is a superstition, and that 'is' is a superstition is a superstition." As with any distinction, the goal is to create a "fresh view," that steps outside of habit and unexamined conventions.

"The distinction might have been in the format at one time. The Forum has also shifted, I understand, since I took it, so it's possible it's in the new format. Landmark trainings are a collection of scripts, in a designed context, "recreated" by those who are familiar with how it works, so they include Leader improvisations, especially in response to participant sharing. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:46, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

"Superstition" could also mean "myth". The syllabus says "The Myth of Is, Because, and I" but it seems like I remember them using the word "superstition" rather than "myth" at that part. It may even have been a slide or written on the board. Shinigami Realm (discusscontribs) 20:49, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Sure. When did you do the Forum? Slide? (The use of any visual media is very recent in the Forum, coming out of experimentation with Direct Access, a temporary program that was also open to non-grads.) "Superstition" is a much more negative term than "myth," myths are stories told for some value. (And the "myth of cause and effect" has survival value, or it would not have persisted.) A "superstition" is something that ignorant people believe, or sometimes, self-deprecatingly, a personal quirk. I searched and found only one hit for "Landmark superstition" that related to this issue, a comment by a grad in 2001, which easily may represent a substitution. However, in addition to what you linked, this was easy to find: The three-part myth of “is, because, and I”. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:04, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Authenticity[edit source]

Shinigami Realm added a definition of Autheniticity as:

Being true to yourself.

I added:

Truth that is deeper than "self."

There is some history behind this for me. It is entirely possible to believe that one is being "authentic," when what is being disclosed is merely an occurring, an old story, a racket. The person will think "But this is who I am." And of course, that is a story, and very specifically a limitation. I know a highly experienced graduate, with something like four times the Landmark experience as myself, who did the Forum and Advanced Course some ridiculous number of times, Wisdom, etc., and who was very clearly stuck here, with, I witnessed once, a Forum Leader yelling at her, "When are you going to let go of this racket?"

I'd say, "When she is damn well ready." She knows it's a racket, but she's right, dammit! He really did abuse her! What happens is that she starts out knowing it's a racket, then she explains it, and in the explanation, the Self disappears as the reactive mind pulls up all the old disempowering associations.

I have some old rackets, and when I explain them, I am back in them. My voice turns whiny, I'm certain I was right, they were so wrong, etc. It's how the brain works!

It's a sign that I'm not yet "flat." Flat takes practice, apparently. (There are old and formerly very painful episodes in my life that I can now recall and describe without this effect. It's just what happened!)

("Flat" is not commonly used in Landmark today, but some old-timers recognize it; it is the only example I know of a Scientology term that was used in est; it may have been an independent invention; it is, after all, close to ordinary language.) --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:47, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

And for fun: a Forum leader on the courage to be authentic. The phenomenon I describe above is actually the opposite pretense, a pretense to be trapped in a racket. It involves a kind of perverse courage, the courage to be "authentic" (trapped!) in a context where freedom is applauded, so it is a form of "avoiding domination."

To complicate matters, acknowledging a racket is the first step in dropping it. And the choice to drop or not drop is always there, it is not "bad" to carry a racket, but ... it does have consequences. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:01, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Complete[edit source]

[1] added a comment to the definition of Complete, making it

  • Complete. Nothing left to say, no lingering resentments, no regrets, no "unfinished business", you can move on from it. It means "done" but is supposed to sound like you have accomplished something.

While "complete" does mean "done," it's a bit more thorough than that. The definition given by Leucosticte is correct. The additional comment is not. "Done" is sometimes used by people who are really saying "I'm sick of this, I hate talking about it, I'm done with it!" That is not "complete." At all! If this is a conversation at the mike in a program, the Leader may well choose to continue the issue, to confront the obvious incongruity -- which will be visible to everyone in the room, including, generally, the participant.

As used in more casual conversation, however, some issue might be brought up, say a person has a dispute with another in Landmark. The recommended protocol is always to bring this up first with the other person. If such a conversation creates a resolution, the one approached might say, "Are we complete?" If the answer to that is Yes, the issue is considered resolved, by all. If No, then there may be some further process necessary. In that context, it does mean "done." And, yes, something has been accomplished, since the situation began with some complaint and ended with none.

The term "complete" is also used with respect to old relationships. I was encouraged, especially in the Introduction Leader Program, to contact all ex-wives to "complete" with them. I did or attempted that, with everyone for whom I had contact information, and the results were little short of spectacular. I remember one conversation, I was sitting in the Center, and I ended the call, and, behind me, was a coach, cheering! And, no, I did not invite the woman to an Introduction! Later, I met her in person, on a trip to California, and told her more about what I was involved in. It was a great meeting, it was good to see her after about twenty years, she was doing well, etc., etc. As it came down in the Center, I had called her and said that I was calling to apologize for "being an asshole." Her response was, "I don't blame you for leaving, I was always angry with you." Yes. That's what had happened. Quite simply, there was nothing left for anyone to be at all upset about. No blame, no guilt, no lingering remorse, it was just what happened, way back then. Complete, which is the third word in the definition of integrity: Whole, perfect, and complete. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:59, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Did her anger cause you to feel flooded? Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 22:15, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Moi? Emotional reaction? Feeling? And, now, with training, looking back, blame her for my own reactions as if she had caused them?
No, I had a mother who was a paranoid schizophrenic, with episodes of violence. In a certain way, I could psychologize, it made me feel at home. On the other hand, that was a home that I was taken out of, rescued from, at 5 and later, again, at 8. So my occurring of her was that she was crazy, and, of course, that there was nothing I could do about it except try to get her to see that she was crazy. "Mommy, there is no poison in the medicine cabinet!" "[name redacted], your tenant is not trying to screw you over!"
So, my first "something is wrong" was based in "mommy is crazy." My conclusion and choice: "crazy" comes from having strong feelings. I will not have those. I will be smart. Very smart. And I was. And I have an expectation: if a woman is "crazy," the relationship will end. There is no other way out. However, I still tried to "fix" it. That relationship was the first where I actually left, and it was in how I left that I'd been an asshole. I stopped trying to fix her. However, the entire setup was a trap, a creation of our pasts (hers and mine, and she had some horrific stuff in her own past, shouldn't happen to anyone. Except it does.)
There is a phenomenon, told as a joke, commonly at Tuesday evening completion sessions and later: "I took the training and my wife got much better." What really happened? Don't jump to conclusions! --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:12, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Proposed words to be defined[edit source]

[2] (added by Leucosticte):

  • Honor (e.g. "That's honoring of you and others to have integrity with your word and not to make agreements to do things you're not really into. That's dishonoring of both you and the other person.")
  • Shut down (e.g. "Live in possibility! So much more is possible than we currently believe. Don't be shut down... believe in possibility!")

I don't recognize either of these, particularly. "Honor" is used generally as in "Integrity is honoring your word [etc.]," but the term "dishonor" I can't recall ever having heard. Whether one is "really into" an agreement or not is irrelevant and is definitely not the kind of language one would hear from Leaders, in my experience. The agreement is made or it is not made, being "into it" is explicitly denied as a basis for integrity, and integrity depends on "honoring" the word, which does not necessarily mean performing on it, there is a reason why the distinction is not about performance on promises. One, for example, might "honor their word" like this: "I promised to pay you $1000 by Friday. I don't have it, and, in fact, I've realized that it would be harmful for me to pay you, so I am retracting that promise. I apologize for not keeping my word." (Whether or not this is "in integrity" from the point of view of the more extended definition -- which includes "doing what is reasonably expected" -- is undefined in this example.)

The "word" is "honored" by acknowledging the commitment, not denying it, and by being in communication about it. Obviously, if one makes promises with no intention of keeping them, that would be "out of integrity," the word is then empty and without power or force. But circumstances change. Part of the whole integrity conversation is recognizing that it is easy to "be in integrity" if one never makes any promises! But that "being safe" has a tremendous cost, all of its own. Rather, it is expected that there will be "integrity failures," and the normal response is to acknowledge them -- which "honors the word" -- and then to recommit, as appropriate.

The basis of the "conversation over integrity" is empowerment, not some sort of moral improvement. If the word is honored, it becomes powerful, one becomes able to create through word, and if it dishonored, it becomes weak. It's that simple. Often newcomers misunderstand "integrity" as a moral issue, because of the common meaning. Training around this begins most intensely with the Advanced Course and then in the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, where the focus is on project creation and measurable results, and plenty of opportunity to be "out of integrity," because many specific and time-bound commitments are made! Definitely not merely "feel-good," and it is not a moral issue.

I cannot imagine a Landmark Leader saying "Don't be shut down!" If I heard one say that in the first session of a seminar, I imagine I'd be considering if I could get my money back.

Most people are shut down, in some sense or other, much of the time, so saying "don't be shut down" is like saying "don't breathe," or, for that matter, "don't think about elephants." One does not open up and live an empowered life by *stopping* living a disempowered one. There is no access that way.

I have never heard a Leader say, as a similar example, "Don't run rackets." Forum Leaders run rackets. Everyone does. However, some have learned to identify them and drop them so quickly that an observer might miss it. People are indeed told, commonly, "That's a racket," and that's because you can almost *smell* rackets. There are characteristics that are readily identifiable, starting with the definition. But attempting to drop a racket because "rackets are bad" is just about guaranteed to fail. Rackets arise because of survival instincts. Try to tell a survival instinct that it is bad and see just how stubborn a human being can be....

So I would say, "If you want to be shut down, be shut down!" Indeed, I'd recommend curiosity about being shut down. What's it like to be shut down and stay shut down for ... how long does a "shut down" last?

Damn! I forgot and got excited about something! I was trying to stay shut down and I ruined the experiment!

And then "believe in possibility"? Eh? We declare possibilities, we come to understand and recognize that declared possibilities often happen, but what is this "believe in"? Like, what, do we place them on an altar and burn incense and fervently repeat them like mantras to make them happen? Is Landmark about the "power of belief"? If so, why don't they say so? Why do they say, "Nothing we are telling you is the truth."?

Landmark is much more about dropping belief, and just, then, observing what is.

"Life is empty and meaningless," could be a declaration of some superficial Buddhist ontology, but it is then followed with:

"... and it is empty and meaningless that life is empty and meaningless," which completes the distinction, making it a much more sophisticated Buddhist declaration. Except Landmark is not Buddhism, it is merely compatible with it, as it is with many other approaches.

So, Leucosticte, you used quotation marks. Whom were you quoting? There is a lot of Landmark material on-line. Can you find a source for what you wrote? --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:27, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

This came from a very reliable source, viz. Facebook comments from my sister, who went to Landmark. However, her philosophy is kinda eclectic, combining stuff from A Course in Miracles, Rhonda Britten's works, etc. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 01:31, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Here, I'd like to avoid falling into explaining reality or philosophy or becoming a compendium of self-help tips. This resource was begun to explain Landmark jargon, which often uses words outside the ordinary, and the jargon sometimes sets aside ordinary meanings.
(A "racket," ordinarily, is a criminal enterprise; it would be fun to look at how est came to use this word, probably because of a certain shock value. Moi? Racket? Or est was famous for "asshole." It worked, in context, but the critics presented these interactions out-of-context, completely ignoring how effective it was, and pretending that this was "tearing people down." So that has been deprecated.
Being an asshole is pretty Bad, eh? "I'd better shell out $600 for the Advanced Course *immediately* or else I'll continue to be an asshole. Can't have that!" Erhard established that we are all assholes, and then, yes, turned it around, removed the significance, disappeared it, and opened up a world of choice.)
And there we have three words in Landmartian, all in one sentence. The meanings do connect with ordinary meanings, but the usage will be recognized by any experienced graduate as familiar, I'm sure, even though I just made this up. It's a story.
Your sister was giving you some remarks that were connected with Landmark concepts, but that also reflected her own personality. I've attempted to stay, here, with what would be familiar in taking Landmark courses. Because I immersed myself so extensively in the training, I recreate it, and in that process there may be some mixture from Abd; however, I've been looking for, in definitions, what I have heard many times. Exact quotes, if possible.
Leaders do speak on their own, outside the scripts, obviously (in personal interactions with participants and in telling their own stories, though the latter may be extensively rehearsed), but are soaked in the distinctions and would avoid incorporated judgments. Leaders are human and present, not robots, so, intrinsically, they also may slip; I once saw a Forum leader jump to conclusions about a participant at the mike, immediately, when the participant started to say, "No," he caught himself, it was practically seamless, no hesitation, he dropped his own story as if it had not existed and moved on with an obviously enhanced perception of the participant. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:45, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Angie explicitly told us where "racket" came from; she said that it's because in organized crime, there will be a candy store that uses a seemingly legitimate business as a front to hide a bunch of criminal activity (I think the phrase she used was "dirty business" or something) going on in the back. People are using a seemingly legitimate complaint as a front for their real agenda, which is to get payoffs (all of which are aimed at avoiding responsibility).
There could be a place for a compendium of self-help tips somewhere on Wikiversity. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 13:59, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's an explanation, a story. Maybe so, it makes sense, but, remember it's an analogy. However, work is done to remove the significance so that people, acknowledging rackets, are not filled with shame. Everyone has rackets.
Leaders use significance. You did find an authoritative source for "avoiding responsibility" as an overall description of "payoffs." These words, "crime," "legitimate," "front," "hide," "criminal activity," "dirty business," and, more subtly, "aimed at," are all judgment, story. and story is double-edged. Again, because "accepting responsibility" is so widely recognized as "good," avoiding it is knee-jerk "bad."
Yet babies neither accept nor avoid responsibility, nor do small children. Pretty quickly, though, children learn to make "excuses." We are trained that if we have a "good excuse," then what we did or failed to do was "okay." So we don't just avoid responsibility, we avoid blame and punishment. The term responsible itself takes on moral qualities. It's paradoxical: if we are victims, helpless, then we are not "responsible." Someone else is, or maybe, a little more sophisticated, nobody is. "Hey, it just happened, nobody's fault, and why are you bugging me?"
(It's obvious why: I'm being bugged because if it is nobody's responsibility, it can and probably will happen again. "So get over it," I would say, "it's just the way it is. Nothing can be done about it. I just say stupid stuff sometimes, that's all. What's the big deal?"
The Big Deal is that the marriage is trashed, my kids are damaged, and everything I care about fails, in the end, or, at least, I could tell that story!
Big Deal? Nah, just the way it is, right? At some point we get it: "I don't have to live this way! I accept responsibility, and, indeed, what in the world was I afraid of? A lightning bolt coming from the sky? In fact, were I to believe in such, there would be more probability of punishment if I don't take responsibility."
So how we are trained is weird. Except, when we look at it, it does make sense within the realm of survival. Social shame is powerful, in some cultures, people literally die from it.)
In the training, "avoiding responsibility" is not used as much as "being at cause." I.e., taking responsibility, full-on, no excuses, and no story, beyond the distinction itself. (Distinctions are stories, simply empowering ones.)
When I am at cause, I may have no conscious clue as to how I created what happened, or how to change it, but standing in cause, without reactivity, the brain starts to work, quite obviously, when we know what to look for, and actions appear that are correlated with the choices that I make. Some of this appears to come from outside, it can be like "magic."
Landmark has no theological stand, no fixed position on causality and parapsychology and the ultimate nature of reality. Is it really magic (or the action of God, for example)? While it can seem so, as I've indicated, I have, in my experience, discovered previously invisible connections, common threads. For example, in every "miracle" I've personally seen, and I've seen some doozies, there is a common thread. What do you think that would be?
The result of this for me is a resounding and clear "I don't know." Landmark is rooted in the We Don't Know We Don't Know territory of human knowledge, and how the hell did they manage that? It is a fascinating inquiry, that's clear to me as well, as my personal story.
As to place for "self-help tips," sure. Care is needed, in my opinion, so that neutrality is maintained. On this talk page, we can just give our opinions, share our experience, etc., with little or no restraint needed, beyond care about things like incivility, copyvio, and the like. Wikiversity is generally quite a safe place, because some of us work to keep it so. And out of this ferment, some quite useful educational resources appear.
Consider this page. Modest beginnings, only a little participation. A little conflict, readily addressed and handled. So, today, when I google "Landmark language," this is the number one hit out of about 93 million. Really? Yes, really. The terms "terminology" and "glossary" produced narrower results, but still over a million each, with this page on top.
Rummaging about with the search for "landmark language," I find this great little essay.
In the training, and especially in the Self-Expression and Leadership Program and beyond, it is common that a participant comes to the front and shares something using Landmartian, and the Leader will routinely ask them to state this again in English. The essayist points out both why the jargon is used, and the limitations of it, and the biggest danger of the jargon is that people adopt it as a mark of membership in a club, but are not actually using the words with depth.
There are then some great responses to the post. In particular, there is mention of the training in the Introduction Leader Program, where one develops the ability to communicate the work to ordinary human beings. Jargon is rigorously avoided there, excepting a few words that are carefully defined in context. The standard Introduction is about half Possibility Exercise, so, of course, "possibility" is introduced and demonstrated, but in a context with clear referent and example.
I could write more on what is on that page, but ... I'm stopping now, beyond saying that the conversation was in 2004 and someone from 2011 left some droppings! --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:56, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't Google adjust the results you get based on your search history? So maybe if you looked it up from, say, a friend's computer at his house, you might get different results? Perhaps "responsibility" has a different meaning in Landmartian. By the way, this guy defines rackets as "All the mental and emotional baggage that is used to create stories (excuses) for avoiding responsibility." I notice he also criticizes the imagining-that-you're-afraid-of-the-people-on-either-side-of-you exercise. Yeah, it seems to be pretty unpopular; a lot of people had negative comments about it. Also, this blog says "The ‘payoffs’ of this way of being or ‘racket’ was to avoid responsibility and the cost was my ‘aliveness’ (love, well being, self expression)." Then this blog says "Rackets are essentially a complaint you have which come ball & chain with an automatic way of being around it, payoffs for what you get out of maintaining this racket (essentially ways to avoid responsibility) and what it’s costing you to keep this up (your aliveness)."
Then of course, this PDF file says "The mafia runs 'rackets' – on the outside, a nice candy store. Façade. Looks great. On the inside, it is something dark and ulterior. . . . With a racket, you setup shop; it is a consistent and recurring experience." It also associates payoffs with avoiding responsibility. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 16:04, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
As to Google, what results do you get? I signed out of Google and shut down my own search history, as instructed by Google to prevent optimization of results. I got the same results. Maybe I didn't do something right.
Responsibility. Much language takes on different color in the Landmark work. In common language, "responsible" can easily mean "guilty." This reaches an extreme when we have cases where a Leader encouraged a participant to take responsibility for the past, as such, we care about the ongoing effect of stories told about the past, and then critics claimed Landmark was "blaming the victim." I.e., one case with an Erhard video, a woman had been raped. The Holocaust is mentioned similarly. However, the responsibility assumed has to do with power, not with blame. We don't care about the past, we care about creating the future, and that rape victim, as an example, was still carrying the rape around. She is encouraged to take responsibility for it, not for the rape itself -- that is in the past and cannot be changed -- but for the future, and none of this has to do with blame. A rapist is still responsible for what he did, but, if she takes responsibility, his power to cause ongoing damage to her life has been withdrawn. There is another aspect to this, related, expressed in "choose your life." I.e., life-as-it-is, which *includes* that past. It is highly counter-intuitive! Yet ... it works. It is liberating. Alcoholics in AA know this one. They convert the wreckage of their past into cause for a liberated future.
There is this phenomenon that occurs. Someone does something to harm us, and we think it was very, very wrong. So we make sure to carry around the damage, to make the point of how bad they were, how harmful it was. If we recover, why, that would, we imagine, excuse them. We sacrifice ourselves on the altar of justice.
Somehow this is quite different from genuine justice! Legally, when we suffer damage, a tort, it is our responsibility to mitigate the damage, not to prolong it! But ... this is within the range of how we think, with rackets.
I know how the "racket" distinction can be misunderstood, so I'm being careful about it. The Mafia analogy does work, i.e., rackets conceal a not-good-looking operation underneath, sometimes positively toxic. Part of the genius of Landmark is to set up conditions where we can simply admit what we do, as it is, nothing added, nothing taken away. And then we can actually use "story summarization" to express this, no longer being reactive to all those hidden implications, blame, guilt, etc. In sharing outside the Landmark context, however, the use of Landmartian is strongly discouraged. That context is missing, so the words will not be understood.
One of my favorite Landmark expressions, I hear it frequently from long-time graduates, is "It's my story and I'm sticking to it!" It is an antidote to the common idea that there is something wrong with "stories." No, stories are stories! They are neither right or wrong, good or bad. They have effects on us, they empower or disempower. We *choose* them! --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:08, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Not only do a lot of victims not like to take responsibility for mitigating harm to themselves, a lot don't want to be told that they might be able to help their abusers change. That might be why Steven Stosny is such a controversial guy. I recently ordered Love Without Hurt: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One (apparently also known as You Don't Have to Take it Anymore with the same title).
It's a step forward from the past that abuse victims now are successfully asserting their rights not to have to take it. But they'd like to interpret that to mean that if they give up on the relationship, no one should challenge their placing the blame for the heartbreak, broken family, etc. entirely on the abuser. If there was the capacity for him to change with their help, then they'd have to admit that they had a choice in the matter. Perhaps choice A is that they could have eventually be happy with the guy if they could help him change using, say, Stosny's workshops, or books, or whatever; and choice B was that they could leave him and be less happy; and choice C was that they could stay with him without helping him change, and be even less happy. Choice A sounds like a lot of work and requires giving up a racket, so it's better to just go with B, and pretend that Stosny is being insensitive by even suggesting a choice A exists.
People have commented on Quora that three-quarters of the relationship advice given to people whose mates are misbehaving is "Dump him." I speculate that the reason might in many cases be that the advice-givers dumped someone for that behavior; if they were to say "Try to help him change" there might be some cognitive dissonance because they didn't try to help their mate change. If they say "As a rule, such people never change" then it supports their story that they had no reasonable choice but to leave. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 01:00, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Key to this conversation is "blame." Very much not a Landmark term! The term "survivor" has come into wider usage than "victim," for sound reasons, though it still carries a certain edge, nevertheless the emphasis is on life and moving on.
  • The concept of changing an abuser is bankrupt at both ends. It defines the person as an abuser, for starters. Then it imagines that one can change the person. People change, but, generally, they change themselves when they choose it, and it is still a process. A relationship that is operating on "you abused me, but I forgive you because you promised to change" is pretty much guaranteed to fail, it's classic codependence, it makes the "victim" into a model of goodness (i.e, forgiveness is good, right?) and the only hope for the abuser is to straighten up and fly right, which, in practice, means that the "victim" is never offended again. A vicious circle is created.
  • No, we make choices, all of us. We are responsible for the choices we make, which then gives us the power to make different choices. To stay with someone or leave them is a choice, and there is no "right answer." Most of the "standard advice" is shallow BS that fails to make people happy. The one good thing I can say about "Dump him," is that at least it takes some responsibility! I.e., for the action of dumping.
  • Actually, no. "Dump him" means, "If you don't dump him, it is your fault if he abuses you. Don't come complaining to me!"
  • All this commentary is wrapped firmly in a blanket of good and bad, right and wrong, guilt and shame, i.e., perhaps they should stay because they "didn't try to help their mate to change." That's manipulation through guilt. No, simple.
  • Door. Open or closed? Stay or walk out? Choose. Live with the choice, be responsible for it. Or, another choice: continue to complain about how others have ruined your life, and, since it is their fault, certainly not your responsibility, you don't need to change at all. That's a choice that a lot of people make.
  • How about the wife, Nathan, who stays with her abusive husband, ostensibly to "help him to change," but, underneath, he has a job and pays the household expenses and she's terrified to be alone? She constantly complains about him, and his story is that with a wife like his, you would drink too! Who is right and who is wrong?
  • The Landmark story, generally: neither. They are making choices and they are responsible for them. After all, they suffer from those choices. Who else should be responsible? God? Their parents? Hey, how about their children? "If you kids would just behave, Mom and Dad would get along!"
  • Now, what does this have to do with a Landmark Glossary? --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:40, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Attribution[edit source]

Since this is a collaboration, and the page history is our byline, why do we need attributions for each definition? Its being an "Abd" subpage means that Abd is the managing editor here, so to speak, who decides what goes in and what stays out, right? Edits others make are merely suggestions, it seems, but the buck stops with Abd. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 17:56, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, I wanted to encourage responsibility. I'm much more likely to accept a definition that I don't fully agree with if it is attributed. However, I'm thinking of removing the attributions. We may also create subpages for each distinction. I'm thinking of that as well.
Leucosticte was globally banned by the WMF not long ago. The stated reason was Terms of Use violation, but I am unaware of any such. So he won't be able to directly contribute here. Anyone may, however, make suggestions to me by email. Etc. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:34, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Drake[edit source]

Drake writes, "The Landmark stuff is really interesting to me. Aside from it almost seeming like some sort of hybrid self-help seminar and pyramid scheme, I like what I've read. People don't realize how important semantics is in philosophy, and the Landmark stuff really emphasizes that. By assigning very specific definitions to terms, it removes the 'conflict of meaning' and allows discourse on deep ideas without confusion or ambiguity.

"I like that it separates reality from perceived reality and narrated reality. That's a HUGE part of Dragon Alchemy. There seems to be a lot of Zen in it. All-in-all, it sounds like something I'd very much like to experience." Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 18:53, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, if I'm correct, Drake is in prison. Est was presented at San Quentin State Prison, long before I was a chaplain there, the story is on the web.[3] It could be done. Meanwhile, you are welcome to proxy for him here, and he can enjoy the Landmark distinctions through you. (By the way, that story is a detailed description of the early training, and shows how confrontive it was. A Leader calls a steaming con, ready to explode, a "liar," and it actually worked. Nobody got hurt! The one telling the San Quentin story was an assistant, and he is himself confronted with clarity. A lot of the early work is described in that account. There are concepts or processes there that aren't clearly a part of the present training, such as "building centers.")
Landmark can seem like a lot of things. I can understand why someone would think it a w:Pyramid scheme, and the claim is not uncommon, so I'll create Landmark Education/Abd/Criticism of Landmark/Pyramid scheme. Basically, it isn't, not by the Wikipedia definition. Drake has quite accurately identified the usage of specialized language; this is necessary in all fields that involve expertise.
Even though we are trained to not speak Landmartian to non-graduates, new grads, especially, often have not developed translations into ordinary English, and thus use the language that worked for them in the Forum context. In the standard format, every term is carefully defined before then being used in subsequent distinctions. This, then, is behind the "rigid" insistence on being present, because a critical distinction may be missed, and from that point, it all becomes psychobabble. With normal habits, then, the participant who no longer understands blames the Leader and Landmark for creating this nonsense, and blames the rest of the participants for obviously swallowing this, being hypnotized into accepting everything. A perfect storm.
My own suggestion would be to create a manual, and to strongly suggest reading it before taking the training. People who come to the Forum with preparation do really well. Why isn't Landmark doing this? There are historical reasons. The past. So ... Landmark is a human organization. It resists change. However, it also has ideals that allow the possibility of moving beyond these limitations, so the process, hopefully, is just a matter of time. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:23, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Wax on, wax off[edit source]

Didn't they used to do a "wax on, wax off" thing based on a scene from The Karate Kid? Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 12:29, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Never heard of it. The format changes, and, further, Forum Leaders improvise. What Leaders are trained to do is not to parrot the format -- it can be boring as hell when someone reads the format -- but to "recreate it." That is, present the formatted material as if one were the author, describing their experience or conclusions or interpretations -- and using personal experience as well. The first Leader distinction in Landmark is Introduction Leader, and that's the training I've done (without meeting measures and thus I don't have a nice plastic badge and don't officially represent Landmark.)
What does "wax on, wax off" mean? In hundreds of hours in Landmark programs, I don't recall ever hearing it, so it probably doesn't belong in the glossary, though if it was widely used at one time, it might belong there. We might, for example, decide to put "asshole" in the glossary. It was used in a very special way, not the common meaning, though related to it, the same as most of the terms. Technically, though, that would not be Landmartian, but Estian. I think "asshole" was deprecated in the pre-Landmark Forum, though it would take time to drop from general usage. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The way I heard it described was that the Forum Leader said something like, "You may not understand why we want you to do the stuff that we're asking you to do, but guess what, wax on, wax off" (after explaining the scene from the movie). I should probably watch The Karate Kid sometime, although I find it kinda depressing to watch movies alone these days, just like I used to find it depressing to go for walks through my neighborhood alone, since it brought back memories of passing that same scenery with my arm around my spouse... eventually I got used to it, though. I had to, since there was nowhere else to walk. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 13:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Making someone wrong[edit source]

This quote by Mises may interest you: "A treatise on bacteriology does not lose its objectivity if the author, accepting the human viewpoint, considers the preservation of human life as an ultimate end and, applying this standard, labels effective methods of fighting germs good and fruitless methods bad. A germ writing such a book would reverse these judgments, but the material content of its book would not differ from that of the human bacteriologist. In the same way a European historian dealing with the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century may speak of 'favorable' and 'unfavorable' events because he takes the standpoint of the European defenders of Western civilization. But this approval of one party's standard of value need not necessarily interfere with the material content of his study. It may — from the viewpoint of contemporary knowledge — be absolutely objective. A Mongolian historian could endorse it completely but for such casual remarks." Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 17:41, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes, although the subjectivity is incorporated in the treatise, so one might indeed say that it has "lost it's objectivity," but it would be more accurate to say that it is partly objective and partly subjective. Mises is saying that the subjective part is not the "material content," it's just fluff.
In the Landmark training, the point is that "right" and "wrong" are invented, and, further, that they can distract us from seeing reality. They do not exist in nature. Leucosticte, you have added a definition of "making someone wrong," but it's not as defined in the Forum or the programs. It's invented, perhaps derived from various explanations.[4][5] I'm again reverting that because the goal here is to explain Landmark usages, not necessary explain or justify them. In practice, "making someone wrong" is a description of an emotional behavior, I'd want to think carefully and see what other sources I can find before endorsing any definition as representing consensus. The word "objective" would not be used, I don't think I've ever heard it in a course or seminar. If you want to add your own definitions, please sign them as I've signed many or most of mine. But the focus here should be Landmark usage. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:51, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Michael Forrest Jones describes it as follows:

Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 16:56, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

You attributed this to Michael Forrest Jones. Well-stated, by the way. Where did he say or write this?
Reading it, I occasionally hiccuped. But he's clearly writing or speaking from the distinctions. Landmark itself will generally not mention "God." I would not draw lines in exactly the same place as him. For example, God doesn't say "murder is wrong." He says "thou shalt not kill." The "wrong" is an overall concept that we apply. Jones is aware that there are theological problems with using "wrong" as a synonym for "prohibited." Laws about murder, you could look them up, do not say that killing is "wrong." It provides penalties for murder (i.e., killing without justice), consequences.
  • Quora. It's great that you asked that question there, Leucosticte. Not so great that you copied the entire response here, verbatim. Copyright issues, you know. I blanked it and replaced it with a link. If you wish to discuss that piece, brief quotes followed by discussion is something that, my opinion, can be done here. Essential to all of this, though, is clear attribution, with a link if possible. Great find, to be sure. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:36, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Unreasonable request[edit source]

Not wanting to depend on my own experience with this, I googled "unreasonable request Landmark" and found some examples. This was the best I found:

  • April 1, 2014. A Landmark "survivor" had a great conversation with a Center Manager and made an unreasonable request: a refund of all fees paid for courses. When in the actual training, we learn that we often don't get what we request, though sometimes we get more than we request. In this case, the person got a refund of $100 to $400, all the "tuition" paid for the Introduction Leader Program, it is $100 for each of the regional weekends. (the first is three days, the last three are two days). (The 30-something local "classrooms" are free.) (And those who have travel expenses in excess of $100 don't pay the "tuition," and ... nobody ever asked me, my Registration Manager told me to make my own adjustments, not to worry about it. I paid an insane amount of money, sharing hotel rooms in New York, plus actual travel costs of almost $100 sometimes, depended.)

That refund was not going to happen without the request! And had the person barged into the Center and demanded a refund, they probably would have gotten nothing. Unreasonable requests, if the person has training, are not impolite, they are not demands, and the goal is to inspire the requested person to action. And then we learn how much we stop ourselves by our expectations, our "reasonableness."

As to the rest of the blogger's story, I think this is worth a blog post of my own. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:32, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

In process. Landmark Education/Abd/Blaming the victim/Never going back --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:42, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Would you agree that a large part of our identity consists of rackets and strong suits?[edit source]

"we explore the nature of what we think of as reality, which includes an objective world that exists independent of us, where cause and effect are key operative factors; where I, as an identity, is a collection of characteristics, attributes, and experiences from the past. . . . we inquire into how our identity – who we consider ourselves to be – got created. The process began in childhood, as we gradually adopted ways of being and acting to deal successfully with things that didn’t quite go the way we thought they should. By the time we reach adulthood, we have assembled a set of practices and approaches, attributes and characteristics, that seem to give us a certain measure of success – that make up our personality, our style, who we consider ourselves to be. When we begin to see that our identity was put together in response to something that we had determined shouldn’t be, the result is a new freedom in saying who we are – a fundamental shift in what we see and know as possible." JFoster1048576 (discusscontribs) 15:17, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes. It is not all of our identity, for not all stories and habitual reactions are rackets and strong suits. Our likes and dislikes, our tastes, are neither, though they may become that if we imagine that things are according to our reactions. "I don't like macaroni," was one of mine, created when I was maybe six years old, ate macaroni for lunch, and got sick. From then on, until not very long ago, macaroni, Yuck! We are an vast pile of these reactions, incorporated as identity, like a prison. Or like a home. Take your pick! I prefer the "home" story, because I can have windows and doors in my home. I can walk in and out of it. I am not my identity, it is simply a tool I can use, just like stories.
One of my favorite expressions, that counters the easy idea that "stories" are bad, is "It's my story and I'm sticking to it!" --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:58, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

suggested alternate format for discussing distinction words.[edit source]

I think this glossary is potentially of great value. The purpose of a distinction is that it takes one single whole and divides it into two or more alternative components.

A large number of "distinctions" used in Landmark terminology are explained in terms of pairs of words, and these distinctions may be most easily understood by simultaneously exploring both words in contrast to each other, rather than independently. This might be better done by having a section of "word pair" distinctions, rather than just having each pair of the words shown separately according to their alphabetic occurrence.

Some examples I have in my mind are:

  • At Choice vs. At Effect
  • Choosing (self expression) vs. Deciding ("reasoning" based, rationalized)
  • Being vs. Doing (or Acting)
  • Enrollment vs. Registrations
  • What happened (consensual reality) vs. story and meaning/judgement (personal story)
  • Description (Words Fit World) vs. Declaration (World Fits Words)
  • Future Based Language (Possibility, Intent, Declarations...) vs. Past and Present (Descriptions) vs. Present progressive (being, doing)

Mcgregor94086 (discusscontribs) 01:12, 17 October 2016 (UTC)mcgregor94086

  • Subpages could be created to explore the pairs. There is no limit to the page hierarchy here, AFAIK.
  • While "at choice" is a decent description, "at cause" is more common. Being "at the effect of..." is certainly without choice, whereas "being at cause" -- that is certainly the term used in the IL training -- is creating a life by choice, and the "Chocolate or Vanilla, choose!" exercise transmits the concept that if we choose for "reasons," that is more "being at the effect." Not bad or wrong, just not as powerful as fully-responsible choice.
  • This stuff just gets deeper with practice.
  • The description vs. declaration dichotomy I don't recall, but it is completely consistent with the training. I'm a little wary of black-and-whiting things like choosing (freely) vs deciding (based on reasons). The disempowerment in "reasoning" comes from an insistence on reason, but reason is a powerful tool in itself, in its realm. Reason, however, proceeds from assumptions, which are intrinsically limited, incorporating accepted stories. Hence the exercise, assigned in the ILP, to do "10 unreasonable things each day." The discovery is that reason is not everything, and that transformation comes from the unknown unknown, it is not "reasonable," which is a kind of prison.
  • This is all basic ontology, it used to be studied as Semantics. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:30, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

Strong suit vs. winning way (aka Winning Formula)[edit source]

An anonymous editor edited the definition of Strong suit to preface it with:

"Updated October 2017 - now called "Winning Way".:

And with the edit summary:

  • (As of 10/2017, a "strong suit" is called a "winning way". This was confirmed by the Forum leader in the Advanced Course held in Salt Lake City, UT October 2017.)

I did google the terms. I have seen strong suits called "winning strategies," and it would not surprising me if Landmark decided to shift the term, though I'd think they would handle "racket" first! Winning way, for strong suit, is certainly not common yet.

The purpose of the glossary is to make "Landmartian" understandable to non-graduates and to support deepening of understanding for graduates, especially new ones. If more occurrences show up for "winning way," then it should have its own entry. As matters stand, the definition of strong suit was provided by Grantlam, and signed by him; while small errors can be corrected, it is better to leave attributed text alone, but possibly supplement it. Because "winning way" is not wrong, and is possible, I added an additional comment, signing it. Thanks for supporting the glossary. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:50, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

I've never heard winning way, just strong suits and winning formula. Theoretically, there are 3 strong suits, or attributes that make up the Winning Formula. Roughly: When you are young, around age 8: when you feel, "there's something wrong here." Roughly: pre-teen, early teen: when you have a "break in belonging." Roughly: early 20s: when you feel, you are "on your own." You decide something about yourself and about the world. you decide you HAVE to be a way to survive. like being funny or clever, being quiet or loud, being good, hardworking, responsible or the class clown, being independent or pretty. you can ask your friends or your boss. THEY WILL ALREADY KNOW YOUR STRONG SUITS. or look at your resume they might be there.

What does it mean to take a strong stand?[edit source]

MW131tester (discusscontribs) 00:47, 13 January 2019 (UTC)