I wrote most of this in 1996 - over a decade ago at time of this update - and it continues to be powerful for me.
As of 2009, I have added a couple of points.
If you have any addictive disorders, that you are not confident that you can control, like alcohol, drugs or gambling, then do not do Landmark.
Everything in Landmark is predicated on self control. If you are not demonstrating self control in your life, do not expect to get it from this program. The program does create conditions where most people get to discover and experience some amazing things about themselves and the world, and it is not comfortable. It will take you outside your comfort zone. You need to know you can handle that.
If not - do not do it!
They stress this in their forms, I am stressing it even more so.
One other point, one where I and the Landmark establishment do not agree, relates to reality and possibility.
The Landmark prose states that the future exists as "possibility" - "anything is possible".
That is not quite my understanding and has not been my experience. The difference is subtle and significant.
What I understand is that we are capable of imagining anything as possible, and what we imagine will be in one of two infinite classes in reality - the infinite class of what is possible, and the infinite class of what is not possible.
The only way I have found to distinguish one from the other with certainty is some version of "suck it and see" (test it and find out). Do so responsibly.
It seems to me that most of reality is like probability functions in action. Almost anything can happen, and some things are more probable than others. By altering the context of our thoughts, we can create what seem to most contexts "miracles".
That said - read on - have a go, test it for yourself, and see what you make of it!
If you are interested in where exploring possibility space has taken me in respect of the future of humanity, check out Solnx.org.
Landmark home page now has a much better explanation than this.
This explanation does in part follow a formula, and it has parts that are purely my own creation, in as much as anything is ever one's own creation.
I was a trainer within the JayCee organisation, and lead many of their excellent programs. I have done many other courses, in philosophy, self hypnosis, sales & motivation; all of which had their benefits. The benefits I have gotten from the Landmark Forum are orders of magnitude beyond any of those other worthy courses. It has been the most productive course I've done; in both my business and personal lives.
It is a training course run as an inquiry into what it means to be a human being. It addresses such questions as, how to communicate effectively, how to be effective in your chosen profession, what does it mean to be a human being, and many others.
The forum is run by an extensively trained program leader, and it runs as a conversation. It works in a group with between 60 and 300 people, usually between 150 & 250 people. Any person may ask a question, but only one person at a time speaks. It differs from traditional education in two ways.
1/ Traditional education focuses on learning new practices which produce results, and building little by little on what is already known. It works in a steady progression as we move from kindergarten, to primary school, secondary school, and maybe university. We do have breakthroughs in our understanding, but if/when they happen it is more like an accident, than by design. I recall the breakthrough when I discovered the concept of number, and understood what multiplication, division, addition and subtraction were about (not just how to do them), but lots of people complete the education system without making that particular breakthrough. The Landmark Forum is based upon non-linear learning, that is, it is a systematic inquiry into what produces breakthroughs in people's lives. It's sort of like learning balance when learning to ride a bike. People can describe balance to you, but that doesn't give you balance, nothing works better than climbing on a bike, and falling off a few times. After a bit of practice, you suddenly get what balance is. Acquiring balance in this way is a breakthrough. It's going from no balance, to balance, in a sudden jump, rather than in a steady climb.
Breakthroughs happen in traditional education, but they sort of happen by accident, rather than design, in most cases. Landmark have developed a systematic approach to producing breakthroughs which has been very effective in my life. Examples abound, but I'll only mention two here, one was in my relationship with my ex-wife, which was, shall we say, less than cordial; and is now excellent, such that we are now better friends than before we were married. A second is in my work, where I was a procrastinator of many years practice. On one particular project I had procrastinated for over 5 years. I develop software systems, and since the Forum have written over a megabyte of debugged source on that project, and delivered the working system to clients. I have also done several other projects, as well as running the support and consultancy sides of my business, and have also made time to enjoy a young family and everything else (keen pilot, voluntary work, reading, tramping, boating etc.).
2/ The second area where Landmark differs from traditional education is in the topics addressed. In the Landmark Forum the questions addressed are questions like:
the sort of questions traditional education leaves alone.
The Landmark Forum is run in over 20 countries, and in 8 languages. In New Zealand there are centers in Auckland and Wellington. If you are outside NZ, look up Landmark Education in the phone book in a major center near you, if that doesn't work, email me & I'll find the nearest center for you. Within NZ I will happily do the registration for anyone interested (I don't get any commissions, just a lot of enjoyment working with people who have completed the course - it allows a level of communication that wasn't previously present for me).
In Auckland courses run most months, Wellington & Christchurch about every 4-6 months, but are getting more frequent.
Cost in NZ was $450 in of April 2002.
Check the landmark site for current costs Event Search Page dates and contacts for registering (and links to other areas).
$100 of which is a non refundable, but transferable deposit (it is transferable to you for another date, if you cannot make the forum you enroll for).
It always runs over a weekend starting on the Friday morning, and continuing to Sunday night, then completing on the following Tuesday evening. On the Friday, Saturday & Sunday it starts at 9am (sharp) and finishes about midnight, sessions are about 3 hours long with half hour breaks, and a one & half hour meal break about 6 in the evening. Tuesday evening starts at 7:30pm and finishes at 10:45pm.
The venue is usually a conference center, or sometimes a university building.
It is done in a group, and the benefits of the group dynamic allow you to conduct an inquiry in 3 days that might take years by yourself. You get to hear other people speaking exactly as you would speak, and begin to see how much of what we take as personal to ourselves is actually common to all people.
The leaders are highly trained individuals. The men and women who lead the Landmark Forum are all highly trained senior program directors. The guy who lead mine was a practicing surgeon, who gave up surgery and underwent a further 5 years training to lead these programs.
Finally there is the technology itself. I can't give you the technology from the web, just as I can't give you "balance" in riding a bike, but I can tell you what it is, and perhaps begin to give you a feel for how it works.
As I've said, the Forum is an inquiry; a kind of dialogue between the instructor and participants - into what it means to be human. They inquire into how a human being is designed, what is possible for us as human beings. For example, if we were talking about cars rather than humans, we would see that there are particular design principles that are common to all cars, while each model is different, and each vehicle is unique. Cars all have wheels, an engine, brakes, accelerator, steering etc. They follow certain design principles. If you are interested in becoming a driver (and want yourself and your car to stay in one piece), then it pays to understand these top level design principles. If you want to become a mechanic, then there are another set of design principles to become familiar with such as electrical devices, internal combustion engines, bearings, lubricants, hydraulic systems, etc. If you want to design cars, then more design principles, such as aerodynamics, metallurgy, composite mechanics, computer systems engineering, all come into play.
Design principles operate at all levels. If your car stops functioning, or is doing something that you don't want, or you want better performance from it, then it pays to have someone who understands the design principles of a car to look at what is concerning you. In the Forum you get to see how a Human Being is designed, and with that understanding comes a lot of power and ability that you wouldn't otherwise have. By working in a group of people, you get to discover for yourself, first hand, what principles are common to the design of a human being. You become aware of, and work with, your own design principles.
In the car analogy above, a forum leader is the equivalent of a race-car driver, who is also a trained engineer, with degrees in metallurgy, etc., who is also in a teaching position, and a world leading researcher in the field of automotive design. The Landmark Forum is a continuing inquiry. It doesn't pretend to have the answers to the meaning of life, or anything else remotely similar. It is a continuing inquiry into what it means to be human, what are the limiting paradigms we set ourselves, and what else might be possible ? The answers to these questions are completely personal. Landmark is interested in that we embark upon the inquiry, and how to do that powerfully.
There are many methods or techniques that the Forum uses to give us access to ourselves, what we think, how we are, and what's possible. One of these is called shifting the limits or paradigms within which we operate. You may have seen huge circus elephants held in place by a small chain to a small peg in the ground. This works, because, when the elephant is small, the chain and pole are bigger, and the elephant learns that it can't break the chain. Once it learns that, it never tries again. A small chain is quite enough to hold it in place, even though it is capable of walking off at any time, it doesn't. It is trapped within a certain view of the world, or paradigm. We all live within our paradigms, we have no other choice, but awareness of this allows us to take on new paradigms, and explore their limits; whole new worlds of possibility become available. The Forum addresses this in some very practical ways.
Because I choose to make a difference for others.
Because I have a vision of what is possible for being Human that harmonises well with the work being done by Landmark Education.
Because I get a real "kick" out of seeing people living a life that they love.
Because, long term, it is in my own self interest to foster as much awareness as possible.
Not one cent of commissions, but all of the values above.
Note - I am not an employee of Landmark Education, or in any way financially connected to them (except perhaps in the extra profits my business has generated since I completed the Forum). Opinions expressed here are my own, and are not part of Landmark Education Corporation. I am a great fan and supporter of the work being done by Landmark Education: it works.
I have completed the Landmark curriculum for living (Forum, Forum In Action FIA, Advanced Course, Self Expression & Leadership Program SELP), Communication courses (Communication Access to Power CAP, and Communication Performance and Power CPP), and Introduction to Forum Leadership Program (IFLP).
I hold Landmark in high regard, since completing the forum.
Even as late as the middle of the thrid day of my forum I was trying to make up my mind whether these guys were Scientology or Amway, then I experienced a paradigm shift, and understood what they had been saying for three days, and a lot more besides.
They take from both scientology and amway, and a lot more besides; and at the same time they are neither of the above.
They have borrowed aspects from each, yet the matrix in which it is embedded owes more to Zen, than either of the others. Yet Zen masters have much to learn from their teachings.
They stand for individual responsibility, communication, and understanding.
Above all they stand for individual freedom and fulfillment in your own life.
Your choice my reader - and, like the Nike ad says - Just Do It!
Letters to people enquiring about the Forum.
Graduate communications - between myself, and another recent landmark graduate.
Landmark home page for Landmark information.
Event Search Page dates and contacts for registering (and links to other areas).
If you are interested in where exploring possibility space has taken me in respect of the future of humanity, check out Solnx.org.
To my Home Page.
To my company Solution Multipliers NZ Ltd should you be inclined to buy any of my products.