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ferrous
ferrous

member
Location: brisbane, queensland
Member Since: 4th Jan 2008
Total posts: 55
Posted:not sure if this will be interesting to any/many of you, but from my short time here, it seems that at the very least, quite a few of you are up for a good spiritual debate, if nothing else. smile

just some background, first. i'll try to make it short.

my dad & i have a pretty close relationship. we don't agree on everything, but we talk very well & openly about most things. while i don't (these days) agree with his very black & white views on his deeply christian beliefs in god, he's pretty cluey about some spiritual matters. for example, he's a very good judge of character; he knows sometimes when things are going to happen; he gets strong feelings about things which are usually correct. about three times in my life i've felt extremely strong jabs of intuition telling me things about people as well. he has this sort of thing pretty often, i think.

his background is that he was heavily involved in the occult from quite a young age. he could see spirits & thought it was normal until he found out as a kid that not everyone sees them. he became involved with his father-in-law as a medium, he read people's minds, he used to be able to put thoughts into people's heads.

i don't have any doubt that all of what i've heard him tell about this is true. my dad is *the* most honest person i know. to a fault, in fact. he's the type that practically doesn't have a thought in his head that doesn't come out his mouth. he's not even good at little white lies .. such as telling women friends, "you're putting on weight!" lol! biggrin just as well they already know him well & that he's a good & honest man & that what you see if what you get with him, or he might get slapped fairly often.

in his early 20s he had a dramatic conversion to christianity while driving home from work one day. a 'bad' spirit started to choke him while he was driving. he became very frightened & called out "god!" (he's still not sure if it was asking for help or just using his name in vain) & then started having a vision of jesus & satan talking to him. after the vision, he was back in his car & had driven quite a distance through mountainous roads. there was quite a transformation for him, it seems, because as soon as he walked in the door, mum took one look at him & asked, "what happened?" since that time, he's been a very strong christian.

okay, enough background.

the other day, he called me to say hi & also to tell me that he had a very strong thought about me being in much danger. he said that it was odd to him because, in his words, "i never worry about you. you're very capable." (which was nice to hear. smile ) he said that he wasn't sure what sort of danger i might come across soon, but that it might be spiritual danger.

i took his words as he intended them, since i know him well & we are pretty similar in a lot of ways, so i thanked him for telling me & have been thinking about it once or twice a day since then.

now, the thing is, one man's spiritual danger might be another man's spiritual enlightenment. he believes that the only way to 'salvation' is through jesus christ. i used to be a church goer until i was in my early twenties. my (now ex-)husband was instrumental in me beginning to think for myself about spiritual & life matters when i was in my middle to late twenties. (yeah, i'm a late bloomer. lol!) i'm still not sure that i could define what i believe, but i guess i lean toward the belief that you create your own destiny. as for an afterlife, well, maybe there is one, maybe there isn't. maybe we get reincarnated.

so if my belief system is still changing & it's leaning more & more away from what my dad believes, then i'm thinking that in his mind, that could very well be interpreted as spiritual danger.

it's just me & my little boy (four years old) at home & even on the odd occasion that i get to go out with other adults without having to keep constant tabs on my little one, i don't really get to talk about this sort of stuff with others. i guess i'm just wanting to be able to discuss this with other adults who have an opinion on these sorts of matters.

so go for it. lol! biggrin


when i grow up, i want to be a circus freak.

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:/cue x-files theme

Curious I should run into this first thing in the morning

I wonder if this is what motivated dad's warning.

/end x-files theme


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by: link

A UQ study has found that young adults with a belief in a spiritual or higher power other than God were at more risk of poorer mental health and deviant social behaviour than those who rejected these beliefs.



rolleyes

Ferrous, I meant that the "official" (catholic) church tried to eradicate pagan elements (which nevertheless are still present on a regional level). All spontaneous healings, crying Mother Mary statues, appearing Jesus faces in trees are not what the Vatican favours (I come to believe)...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted: Written by: link



A UQ study has found that young adults with a belief in a spiritual or higher power other than God were at more risk of poorer mental health and deviant social behaviour than those who rejected these beliefs.







Because that doesn't sound like a biased study in the first sentence!



What's to say that the mental health problem wasn't what turned them away from "God"? And not that a lack of "God" gave them the mental health problems? (because which is more likely medically?)



Not to mention whose traditional beliefs?



And the blatant assumption that anything non-traditional is "selfish"



 Written by: link



New Spirituality promotes the idea that self-transformation will lead to a positive and constructive change in self and society.

But there is a contradiction how can one change society if one is focused on oneself?





Because Christians wanting to get into Heaven and isn't focusing on themselves?



And what's the "study of pregnancy" doing researching 21 year olds, of which some where male so definitely not pregnant! On a topic which isn't about pregnancy or infants!



I so despise biased studies.

EDITED_BY: Rouge Dragon (1200890681)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Good spot Stout,

Though, Im left a bit confused by the article. The research in the phd seems to be comparing new age beliefs with traditional religions, yet the Im left wondering what are the spiritual or higher powers other than god?

In my experience, many new age beliefs might be focused on self-transformation, self-fulfillment and self-enlightenment, yet they are not generally about belief in higher powers, nor do they exclude community.

 Written by:

"But there is a contradiction how can one change society if one is focused on oneself?"



I think the best way to answer this is to say how can one change society if one does not understand or is at peace with oneself.

Id suggest that a survey of 31 year olds would lead to a much different conclusion. Mainly because they been around the block a few times, and had really looked at traditional religions in comparison to new age transformation.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Rouge. The study could be biased but if Dr, Aird wasn't described as an agnostic, I wouldn't have linked to it. I'd have preferred it if she'd been described as an atheist though. The pregnancy part refers to when this study was actually started, back in 1981 when the mothers were pregnant with these children who are now about 21 years old.

The key words here are "at more risk of poorer mental health and deviant social behaviour" which doesn't say anything concrete, really, just offers a suggestion.

Stone. I agree, this study should have been done on 31 year olds, or 41 year olds.

I'm thinking that the New Age belief in a "higher power" could be summed up by the amount of times we hear reference to some sort of higher consciousness like " the universe" Take the movie The secret for example. The idea there is asking someone, something to fulfill your wishes and leaves one with the idea that there is something "greater" out there that has some sort of impact on your life.

Maybe this same something could be referred to as fate, but it's definitely not called God.
Goddess, maybe.

And no, IMO New Age spirituality doesn't exclude community, so I find her comment about isolation rather confusing.


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Dont know Stout, as someone who had done the cult that produced the propaganda film. Id say much of the New Age belief has nothing to do with belief in "higher powers". Check out Dr Phils webs site. As far as propaganda films go, by your criteria we would have to add The Fight Club, and The Matrix wink


Good to see you back smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:You dad sounds like a really nice guy and you can see the love you have for each other in the way you speak about him.
I think he is just worried about you, i agree with the statment that one mans spiritual danger can be anothers enlightenment. I wouldn't read too much into it as he also has his perception of what is safe and what isn't. To many the things your father experianced is quite normal, or nothing to fret about. As your father though he just doesn't want you to have bad experiances but these shape us into who we become. you are a good person and i believe you have been brought up to trust your instingt.

x


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Hi Stone, thanks for the welcome back smile

I can't say I understand your Dr.Phil reference. I've never seen his show but I did check out his website and the wiki entry on his show and as far as I can tell he's just a shrink who basically promotes what most of us would consider common sense. Does it have anything to do with his Oprah connection?

Ok, about the propaganda film bit. What the Bleep was actually made by the followers of a cult called Ramtha's School of Enlightenment. Who is Ramtha you ask ? Well Ramtha is a 35 000 year old "entity" channeled by JZ Knight, that woman in red with the funny accent in the film. You have the opportunity to attend seminars, all over the world, with JZ and Ramtha at a cost of $1000+ for a four day seminar.

So there's the "higher power",,Ramtha.

What else? There was Japanese water guy, who was more of an art project than science. What he was doing was selective data mining in order to get results to fit his hypothesis. Now we all Know that this is bad science, really bad science as his results have never been successfully duplicated by anybody, anywhere using the double blind method. IMO he was just in the movie to add a little extra woo-woo to their already woo-woo attempt to explain Quantum Mechanics to an audience that has no understanding of QM in the first place.

QM + "spirituality isn't a new idea my any means, after all when was The Dancing Wu Li Masters written ? Lemme check.....1979. And The Tao of Physics ? brb.. 1975.

Toss in the selective quote mining ( through editing ) and the defrocked due to allegations of sexual misconduct priest....and we have, quite possibly

Worst
Movie
Ever.



The Secret's more about selling books and DVDs

So I've just used the techniques in The Secret to ask for two tickets to Ramtha's upcoming seminar in Argentina ( plus airfare and spending money ) should I expect them to manifest themselves in my mailbox this afternoon ?


Thing about the Matrix is, there was no central theme to the movie, it draws from lots of everything. I suppose if I had to pick a main theme it would be solipsism ,an interesting, but rather useless idea, IMO.


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Stout, I was under the impression that What the bleep came out of a Landmark Education, self expression and leadership project. I could be wrong.



Nothing about higher powers at Dr Phils webs site, and by default Oprah, just common sense.



 Written by:

elective quote mining ( through editing )





ubblol



I have to see this movie.



Otherwise, I'm flat out like a lizard drinking, and will even miss the Rainbow Serpent Festival even though its on Australia Day weekend.



Dunno about tickets to Ramtha's upcoming seminar in Argentina ( plus airfare and spending money). How about stating with visualising parking spaces wink



Love and Light



ferrous, hope things are going well hug2

EDITED_BY: Stone (1201187147)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Nope, no Landmark ( nee EST ) What the Bleep connection that I can find.

Given the level of controversy surrounding Landmark, I wouldn't be suprised if there was though.

Parking spaces ? It's been done.... ubblol wink





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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Yes, I saw that episode lol. And I copped quite a bit of flack over it.

cheers


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:PS:



Thats a crap site. Lot of misinformation. I think Ive done three so called cults, and lived. Plus, I'm a lot closer to family now that I was a few years back, plus Im getting paid a shitload at the moment with SUV, house and pool package



lol

EDITED_BY: Stone (1201213393)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Stone. I can't say I agree with labelling landmark as a cult either. It seems more like Landmark wants you to adopt their methods as a lifestyle rather than demanding blind obedience like a stereotypical cult does.

You figure there's a lot of misinformation in the link I posted ? Could be, there's a lot of information there and with the limited amount of time I've spent on landmark, I'm in no position to offer an opinion on it.

Congrats on the new job smile


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Thanks Stout,

Well they a bit quirky, and they do like you to sign up your friends wink However, it is an education, and I got a lot out of it. If you are up for personal development then its good value for your money. Its not for everyone, but neither is Vipassana. I suppose its Large Group Awareness Training; NLP is another. These courses are for people who want more out of life. The difficult thing is having to face your self, look at yourself for who you really are, and some people can't face that.

I lurked for a while at Rick Rosss message board, and while he has his opinions, its pretty difficult to have a valid opinion about something you have not experienced. I think he would like to do the Forum, but he has this thing about them not guaranteeing his personal safety/sanity. And for sure, its a pressure cooker in many respects; but hey, you dont get transformation in a weekend by reading a book.

Im sure there is a lot of valid information about cults at the site, its just that they tend to get carried away with what they call a cult.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:The definition of the word "cult" is rather amorphous and when I was using it in reference to that bleeping movie, I was definitely using it as a pejorative. It doesn't have to be though and example might be corporate cult where there is no deference to an intangible "higher power" that's promising impossible rewards for blind obedience to the dogma.

Landmark is comparable to a company like Amway. Both want the participant to live the company policy as a lifestyle, both rely on "word of mouth" advertising ( ie sell by zealot ) and, really both are about the money at heart.

There's a few LGATs out there and luckily, all the information one could ever want on these operations is readily available on the internet. So someone wanting to do Landmark, for instance only has to spend a few hours researching to see if it's for them, or not.

That's an interesting point about Ross not wanting to do the Forum due to them not guaranteeing his personal safety/sanity. He has to know why that's there ( legal reasons. it is an American company after all ) and you have to question why someone who would put so much work and effort into a topic wouldn't be willing to spend the $600 and four days to find out about what he was writing about first hand.


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Im not sure Landmark want people to live the company policy as a lifestyle, unless you are going places within the company, as say in a leadership role. They really prefer people get what the can out of the education, and create the life they want for themselves. Of course graduates might prefer hanging out with other people who have done the education wink

I dont tell many people this, but I did Network 21 (Amway) for a short while. Just couldnt get into it. I didnt sell anything or sign anyone up. A poor mans Landmark imo. Both are about money for sure, but there is nothing wrong with selling a product or an education. Unfortunately, the "word of mouth" advertising often leaves people feeling pressured. Its interesting though, often the reason people give for not wanting to do the course, say not enough money, is the thing that is holding them back in life.

I havent visited Rosss message board in ages. A lot of the comments there came across as whinging, so I left. I think he could take the risk, see what its all about, and get on with his life.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Nobody forces me to join any spiritual movement just by watching a movie (and liking it). Nobody forces me to take the entire story for granted - vice versa: I am prompted to find my own way and my own balance, to gracefully accept or even take what is mine and reject or leave behind what's not (one man's trash, another man's treasure).

Money making schemes on "spirituality" is a common disease... I reckon the established "cults" (as in "religious practice") are living examples. Then again they are only educating us in finding our own way and gracefully rejecting their schemes.

Having said (I regard) this as one aspect of "maturing". Your relationship to your dad, ferrous, might be the challenge for the two of you that is necessary for growth and learning to think for your selves, with the handicap of emotional/ family involvement.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Stone. Flipping through various dictionary definitions of the word cult, it seems that pretty much every type of group can fit into being labelled a cult as long as there's a common purpose that the group meets for. I'm thinking that the fire arts group I belong to can be called a cult, if we so desired.

Stereotypically, I've always thought cults have an air of coercion about them, and maybe some of the things I've been reading on Landmark, like not being allowed to leave the room and go to the bathroom except on official breaks may classify as coercion. I dunno, it's a stretch.

I've never done Amway, but I've known several people who have along with other MLM schemes and at this point I suppose I could toss in pyramid schemes too. Thing is, I've noticed a short ( usually a few months ) and very intense dedication to "the cause" and then......nothing. Nobody really made any (net) profit in the end, they just ended up with a household of "the product" and as you imply above, a rather embarrassed demeanour when asked about their experiences with "the group"

So does Landmark training last at all? Sure you'll probably come out of The Forum with a fresh outlook, but what I'm wondering is how long does that new outlook last without constant reaffirmation from other graduates. I'm aware it's a YMMV thing, but never having met anyone IRL who's been through The Forum, I'm unable to speculate on it.


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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Tom...true nobody forces you.....but they do present you with a viewpoint that, if you're so inclined, you may take to heart and not only believe in, but attempt to spread.

So what??? I hear you asking. Problem is that some of these viewpoints can be harmful and not simply misleading. Take my mention of people getting into financial trouble after watching "The Secret" . Another problem I have with these "documentaries" like What The Bleep, is their hijacking of scientific ideas in order to make their point. Take Japanese water guy in that movie. That's not science, it's art wrapped up in a scientific "idea" in order to give it more ( false ) credibility.

There's enough misinformation out there on teh internets already that people are watching on Youtube and completely failing to do any further research to see if what they just watched is indeed true, or even remotely true. Just last week, someone hit me with all that Steorn nonsense, based on that 2006 video and all the accompanying "the oil and gas companies are suppressing the technology..yada yada" insight into the way the world works...without doing even a minute of research into the topic yet insisted it was true.


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Imbalance
Imbalance

not different, just not the same
Location: Charlotte, NC
Member Since: 9th Sep 2005
Total posts: 263
Posted:Humans have what seems to be an innate need to externalize experiences, thoughts, desires and problems. This, in my opinion, is part of the crux of religion (or cults or the occult or whatever you want to talk about). Blame the spirits, blame god, have visions... whatever it takes to move the issue 1 degree further from the person. Giving responsibility to problems to an external force is easy and makes for some interesting developments in mental illness.

I am what some people probably term an "Angry Atheist". This doesn't mean that I'm an angry person (i'm not) I just have very strong anti religion opinions as I feel strongly about all the harm religions have caused to humanity (intentional or not). That statement alone probably angers some of you, sorry, please don't take it as an insult to you personally. I grew up inundated with religion, more than a lot of people I know. It's bad enough that I live in the south (North Carolina) but my whole family up both sides is religious. My father is head elder/head usher at his church and my mom used to teach sunday school for years. I love both my parents, they are good people, I just take issue with their beliefs. At an early age I started questioning the validity of the things I heard in church or the behaviors that were forced upon me. It wasn't till I was about 16 or so that I started forming all these thoughts together into a coherent understanding of what I believed. Ever since I've struggled to understand peoples need for religion and done a LOT of research about it.

Anyway, I say all that to kinda help you understand my basis for what I'm about to say. I should preface this with another disclaimer: I am NOT insulting anyone personally, you are MORE than free to believe whatever you want and I have NO issue with that. My issue is when your beliefs start to infringe upon my own, or my ability to live my daily life, and more so when they infringe upon the ability of others to live/think for themselves.

In regards to your fathers warning, I would take it with mostly a grain of salt. I'm not saying people can't have intuition and can't guess when bad things are going to happen, but having a bad feeling really isn't cause for alarm. Absolutely no one can tell the future, but you can make educated guessed based on trends or patterns you see. Many people know the feeling of a storm coming. You can often tell in the morning that there may be bad weather that afternoon. This doesn't make you psychic it just means you/your body is responding to subtle changes in atmosphere, or shades of light in the sky, or your subconscious recognizing patterns it's seen before. The same type of thing occurs when it comes to bad feelings of impending doom. It is more than possible that your dad was thinking about you, or heard something on the news that made him think about you in the back of his mind. Or any number of other things that git his wheels churning, and for some reason even he can't yet figure out his mind gave him a nudge that he expressed to you as a warning. Quite often people who have strong feelings about religion spend a lot of time thinking about said religion especially how it relates to other people and this can often manifest in these feelings.

I don't think your dad is trying to control you or anything just that some switch tripped in his head and he expressed that to you. This is pretty normal actually. Heck I've had plenty of times in my life where someone has expressed concern about something and low and behold something happend. A story... My younger brother has always had... problems... you could term him as a "F**k up" i suppose. Good kid, bad decision making ability, and generally bad attitude to match. But anyway, my parents and I were discussing him some months ago and I got the feeling that something major was coming up (as it always does every couple years with him) and low and behold the next month he got his girlfriend pregnant. That by itself isn't bad, its just he's not in a position to deal appropriately with it and it's become a bit of a family problem for other reasons. Anyway, I was trying to figure out WHY I thought something was going to happen and some things jumped out at me, certain types of things he'd been saying, stories I'd heard about him, changes in patterns of communication etc, all these things weren't obvious to me at the time but somehow I put it all together in the back of my head and kinda "knew" something was gonna happen and it did. I'm not psychic, I just made a good mental guess.

On another topic expressed in this thread, I quite agree that the time you spend on negative thoughts makes those things more likely to happen. Not by some mental powers people have but because you are more attuned to things that would be negative. If you constantly think about getting in a wreck when you drive, if you worry about it, if you dread it, you will probably drive WORSE and make a wreck more likely. Then when it happens many times people feel justified that they had a premonition or something. Not true, you just were working against yourself. So, the best thing to do is NOT dwell on the negative. "Don't worry be happy" as the song says and you'll lead a happier life. I'm sure it's not that simple for everyone, but it does help.

And now to hijack the thread a bit... I have serious problems with religion as I've stated. One of my biggest issues is that religion seems to be used as a justifier, a means, and an end all at once. This is quite contradictory and in my opinion idiotic. People do good and bad things all in the name of religion. Often its spoken of as "love for your fellow man" or "furthering gods plan" or some other such nonsense. A person doesn't need a religion to guide a moral compass. Good and bad exist just fine without a personification attributed to them. Religion however has become so ingrained in the human mind now that many people feel morals are a product of religion which couldn't be further from the truth. The golden rule is universal (not christian), and if you do things simply to be a good human instead of doing them because you want to be like god, or because you want to go to heaven, or avoid hell etc, they are FAR more satisfying. Religion can be a great facilitator for good activities, giving to the poor, feeding the elderly, helping others etc. But why can't people do these things WITHOUT the pressure of an omnipotent being constantly staring over their shoulder? Many people will immediately say that they don't do it for god or whatever but that is quite frankly a lie. If you are religious and do good things then you are, in part, doing it because of the religion and consequently FOR the religion. Whether you consciously involve the religion or not. There's still that piece in the back of your mind that does it to get to heaven, to make god proud etc. Only once you remove all vestiges of religion from you and your mind are you truely being selfless, at least as much as a human can be. Honestly even being selfless is still a bit selfish as you feel good for doing it and are being rewarded in that manner, but to me that is by far a better reason than doing it for god.

So I'm sure there's a lot of opinions on that one and I'll start ducking fire any moment here but another thing that bothers me is that people feel they should be allowed to follow their own version of their chosen religion. I've heard the "Personal relationship with god" line of BS so many times it makes me sick. A person grows up with some religion, hears things they agree with, and things they don't, then they summarily throw out the things they don't like about the religion and still call themselves, for example, Christian. This is the height of hypocrisy if you ask me. You can't be part of a religion and only abide by part of the rules or activities, nor can you avoid the reputation of that religion simply because you don't agree with that piece of it. For example I know a girl who claims to be Wesleyan (google it) but she has no problem sleeping with her boyfriends (or random people she likes). But if someone says G.D. in front of her she freaks out. I attempted to get her to see the hypocrisy there but she says she doesn't think god feels she's doing something wrong. The book she places all her faith in expressly states she's sinning but somehow she has god's permission to ignore that rule, yet she expects all the other ones to be followed. For example she thinks being gay is a sin. Last time I checked God isn't supposed to make special rules for each individual, but humans constantly want to alter their chosen religion to fit their unique situation. Why do all that? why make it an issue? just drop the religion, live for yourself and be moral WITHOUT some invisible all knowing apathetic being's personal permission.

Sorry for the hijack, but that was on my mind. Anyway, I totally understand your desire for adult conversation on the topic of spirituality. Absolutely none of my friends here have been capable of talking about it without very quickly resorting to some of the typical religious justifications that they feel trump everything, such as "you must respect my religion" or "I believe it because I believe it" or "the bible says so" or calling ME close minded because I don't just up and accept that there's a god with no proof or reason. Its frustrating to never be able to have dialogs on these issues. Consequently this leaves me with an inability to get help organizing my thoughts and feelings on the matter as I have no one to act as a sound board and present alternative arguments, no discussion can be had.


I once learned every move that there was,
Every style, Every technique.
Then I woke up, and forgot it all,
So now I struggle to dream.

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Stout, I think we can label any group as a cult, and there are destructive cults out there. I wouldnt call Landmark a cult, but the Forum is a bit like a pressure cooker.

The stuff you read about Landmark is old. They keep improving and developing their courses. So while the seats are still hard and the sessions are still long, you can leave the room to go to the bathroom any time. I never thought of their room management as coercion, to me it was more like discipline. And for someone like me, and I suspect many of us, a bit of discipline is quite a shock to the system.

Will the training last?

I did lots of leadership type training courses when I worked for the department of agriculture, but the Forum is like no other course Ive done. You learn a lot of tricks. Like how to listen properly by getting an understanding of our internal dialogue (the little voice in your head). You also learn how you became the person you are today, and how you can change reoccurring behaviours. However, on the Sunday, you actually get a shift or transformation (a glimpse of nirvana for want of a better description). I dont know how they do it, but its an experience Ill never forget.

As far as reaffirming you new outlook. They give a free seminar series to back up the distinctions you learn in Forum. And they have many other courses. Some people do the Forum and go back to normal after a few weeks, for others it changes their whole outlook on life forever.


Imbalance, thanks for putting some of my thoughts into words. I agree, many people feel morals are a product of religion. And for sure, humans are constantly changing their chosen religion to fit their unique situation. .lol.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Stone. So it's old info, and maybe Landmarks taken it's criticism to heart and relaxed the regimented Forum daily routine to no be so torturous? OK. And it's merely intense, and in no way coercive to remain in the fold if one simply wants to walk away?

I did time in government employment too and got the same motivational courses thrust on me. I can't say that I, or anyone else who i talked to about these courses got anything out of them except fodder for inside jokes. The game was more like stay awake and get through this more than anything else.

I get what your saying about the transformation,,,more of an intensifying of self consciousness through relationships you hadn't thought of.

Imbalance. in general I wouldn't call myself an angry atheist, an atheist for sure but I don't automatically condemn all religious dogma simply because it is. I'll only go after it if I think it sucks. Sometimes, the Scriptures just got it wrong.


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Stout, I think they are trying to make their courses less arduous. They dropped a day off the advanced course, and they are aiming to finish sessions earlier. The Forum goes late because there is a lot of individual sharing, and with 150-200 participants it can take a while. One difference between LE and Network 21 is you have to sell a heap to get hold the microphone at Network 21, but at LE they let you talk for ages.



Basically you can walk, but there are a couple of things here. By fold I guess you mean graduates of the Forum, so you have to finish the Forum to graduate. On the Friday morning of the Forum, people get the opportunity to leave if they dont like it or feel they have been pressured into being there (money refunded). There are a few more opportunities to walk on the first day. Then after that, you can still walk, but they will want to debrief you, which is fair enough as it could be a well-being issue. LE are very concerned about peoples well-being. People with psychiatric disorders or on anti-depressant are not allowed to do the Forum. However, some people lie on their registration form, and it is often these people who walk. LE is not a substitute for proper medical treatment.



LE is very big on integrity, so if a graduate signs on for another course, training or assisting, then they will expect you to honour that agreement. If you walk, then they will want to discuss the issue with you, and try to get you to finish what you started. I wouldnt say coercive, because at the end of the day if you are not supporting the company there is little value in you being there.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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ferrous
ferrous

member
Location: brisbane, queensland
Member Since: 4th Jan 2008
Total posts: 55
Posted: Written by: FireTom

Having said (I regard) this as one aspect of "maturing". Your relationship to your dad, ferrous, might be the challenge for the two of you that is necessary for growth and learning to think for your selves, with the handicap of emotional/ family involvement.


with the handicap? or do you mean without the handicap of emotional/family involvement?

even though i'm divorced now, i'll be forever grateful to my ex-husband who was instrumental in me doing a lot of 'growing up'. he encouraged me no end to think for myself & to make decisions based on what i felt about it, not based on what my family might think.

i used to be really stuck in that daughter role. not so now. so glad to have become my own person. smile


when i grow up, i want to be a circus freak.

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ferrous
ferrous

member
Location: brisbane, queensland
Member Since: 4th Jan 2008
Total posts: 55
Posted: Written by: Imbalance

In regards to your fathers warning, I would take it with mostly a grain of salt. I'm not saying people can't have intuition and can't guess when bad things are going to happen, but having a bad feeling really isn't cause for alarm. Absolutely no one can tell the future, but you can make educated guessed based on trends or patterns you see. Many people know the feeling of a storm coming. You can often tell in the morning that there may be bad weather that afternoon. This doesn't make you psychic it just means you/your body is responding to subtle changes in atmosphere, or shades of light in the sky, or your subconscious recognizing patterns it's seen before. The same type of thing occurs when it comes to bad feelings of impending doom. It is more than possible that your dad was thinking about you, or heard something on the news that made him think about you in the back of his mind. Or any number of other things that git his wheels churning, and for some reason even he can't yet figure out his mind gave him a nudge that he expressed to you as a warning. Quite often people who have strong feelings about religion spend a lot of time thinking about said religion especially how it relates to other people and this can often manifest in these feelings.

I don't think your dad is trying to control you or anything just that some switch tripped in his head and he expressed that to you. This is pretty normal actually. Heck I've had plenty of times in my life where someone has expressed concern about something and low and behold something happend. A story... My younger brother has always had... problems... you could term him as a "F**k up" i suppose. Good kid, bad decision making ability, and generally bad attitude to match. But anyway, my parents and I were discussing him some months ago and I got the feeling that something major was coming up (as it always does every couple years with him) and low and behold the next month he got his girlfriend pregnant. That by itself isn't bad, its just he's not in a position to deal appropriately with it and it's become a bit of a family problem for other reasons. Anyway, I was trying to figure out WHY I thought something was going to happen and some things jumped out at me, certain types of things he'd been saying, stories I'd heard about him, changes in patterns of communication etc, all these things weren't obvious to me at the time but somehow I put it all together in the back of my head and kinda "knew" something was gonna happen and it did. I'm not psychic, I just made a good mental guess.


that's a good point. i guess a lot of intuition can be put down to a finer perception of events going on around you at the time.

interesting thoughts. thanks. smile

 Written by: Imbalance

On another topic expressed in this thread, I quite agree that the time you spend on negative thoughts makes those things more likely to happen. Not by some mental powers people have but because you are more attuned to things that would be negative. If you constantly think about getting in a wreck when you drive, if you worry about it, if you dread it, you will probably drive WORSE and make a wreck more likely. Then when it happens many times people feel justified that they had a premonition or something. Not true, you just were working against yourself. So, the best thing to do is NOT dwell on the negative. "Don't worry be happy" as the song says and you'll lead a happier life. I'm sure it's not that simple for everyone, but it does help.


that's how i take the information given in 'what the bleep' & 'the secret'. what you focus on is what you'll get. focus on the positive &, concurrently, that's what you'll aim for & achieve. it's perfectly logical.


when i grow up, i want to be a circus freak.

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ferrous
ferrous

member
Location: brisbane, queensland
Member Since: 4th Jan 2008
Total posts: 55
Posted:i've never heard of landmark. from the current talk about it, i assume it's some sort of leadership/personal integrity training program .. ?

when i grow up, i want to be a circus freak.

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:wow there's a lot to catch up with...

Stout, I hear you and I partially side you on your concerns. Partially because exactly all this is part of the process. Somebody hears a story, doesn't verify it and spreads it. BTDT and felt quite stupid after I figured. Since then I verify allMOST everything before I pass it on, or don't pass it on as long as I haven't verified it myself.

Ppl putting up credit card debts after watching a movie? Nice piece of art, isn't it? Tell me, would you reckon that more ppl jumped out of high rises after watching "ANIMATRIX"? Guess not. Why so? IMO it works like hypnosis, most only respond to what is already within them. The damage with credit card debts is comparatively low.

What the $&%* do we know? Tell me, are the scientific statements inappropriate or erroneous? If not, then I have zero objection against the movie. Out of my personal POV I find nothing invalid that is on display in this movie. Hence I don't run for the initiation or seminars, because only that's when the goofing starts.

I admit the Japanese water crystal arts is very much for "wannabelievers" and there is a huge point taken. This is one piece of information that doesn't belong there. Still it points at the need for positive thinking and it therefore has got some grain of truth.

Apart from that I fully side Imbalance: Believe what you want and let me believe what I want. There is NO "superior" faith on earth.

Question is: If we can predict the future, we can change it, no? Is it then still the same future (as predicted)? Who really believes to be able to influence the future, or better asking: Who believes that they can change "destiny" (whatever that is), raise your hand...

Out of my own I experienced a lot between heaven and earth that can't quite be explained with "synchronicity" alone. Amongst my (sober) experiences have been telepathy, tele and psychokinesis and (astral) projections as much as synchronisations BEYOND anything imaginable (previously from my side), nope I'm not calling it "magic" but it would be the common word for it.

This thread now intertwines with "talking to god" and others... If you do good, certainly you're not "selfless", because of many reasons. Some of the most "selfless" people I met in my life IMHO are some of the most (smart) "selfish" ppl. and to me this question is solved anyway as we stem from the same singularity -> you help others = you help your self.

Stone, Stout: "the Forum" umm I must have missed something somewhere... confused

Ferrous: with the handicap of emotional/ family involvement... yes, that's what I mean. It's far more easy to stand aside some random stranger and listen to his story, but when the same story is told by a family member or close friend, it's different.

Did your husband keep up that support for your individual thinking when you filed for divorce? Sarcasm, pls excuse.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Stone, a couple of days ago I read a day to day account of The Forum written by a guy and his wife who were skeptical of the program but took it anyways. For some reason I can't find the link but suffice to say that it was critical of the intensity with which LE conducted The Forum( among other things ) However, IIRC it was dated 1996, so yes, it was old. he talked about playing a game called red/black for instance and mentioned a room full of people screaming out not only what they want in life, but actively lamenting past, failed relationships and all sorts of dysfunctionality that one normally wouldn't reveal to a room full of strangers. I can see why they wouldn't want anyone who might be susceptible to a breakdown in the room

The way you present the discipline of The Forum is s lot different than the way the author did and I like your presentation better. The author mentioned that those who were tempted to walk were harangued into returning with threats of failing the course. The possibility of a refund was never mentioned.

Tom....The Forum came up because Stone was thinking What The Bleep was connected to LE, which is sometimes referred to as a cult and hence Stone thinking I was calling LE a cult. Really, the movie was made by adherents to Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, which I linked to upthread.

Yes, I feel running down the truthfulness or likelihood of a story actually being true should be part of the process, especially in this day and age of the internet which has given us, as a society access to information on a scale previously unheard of. Problem is. not many people are willing to do the research. Time and time again, both IRL and online I run into "facts" gleaned from some Youtube video that are presented as insight into the way the world works. Most of it is strictly agitprop, and that becomes obvious the more you check into it.

An example ? yesterday, it was an article published in the Independent saying prisoners are going to be implanted with microchips so the government can track them with satellites. Article here This isn't a new idea by any means, it's basically part of the whole NWO conspiracy theory ( see Zeitgeist, part 8 ) but if you're willing to put the effort into researching RFID technology, you'll quickly come to realise that there is no such technology out there that allows an.....implanted microchip to communicate with a satellite.....

What's going on in the Independent article is the police officials interviewed are mixing up their technologies RFID with GPS tracking ( via cell phone ) of stolen cars. Two very very different technologies. So when we're sitting around in a bar, and someone trots out the whole microchipping CT ( sometimes using the next gen microchip embedded credit cards as "evidence" ) and i respond with "that's not possible, and they don't want to believe me, and nobody has a laptop with a wi-fi connection handy.

Then what ? It's true....No it's not....The video said so.....The video was wrong....Why would somebody put out a "wrong" video ?......Agitprop, they want to sell books and DVD's..............etc.

Interesting point on Japanese water guy reinforcing the need for positive thinking. I hadn't thought of it in that respect, I just saw really bad science.

Of course I must point out when your watching the Animatrix, you KNOW you're watching fiction. With The Secret, and What The Bleep, you're being marketed non fiction. As for the problems marketing fiction as non fiction, check out the Satanic Ritual Abuse scandal of the 1980's that was spawned by a book titled Michelle Remembers. A lot of lives were screwed up over that one...a lot.


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Thanks Stout, yes I have heard that their methods were abusive in the past.



The Forum is a personal development program. This give a reasonable summary of the good and bad of the Landmark Forum. Though, 94% of people who do it have positive responses, and it is much better these days.



PS. The dont really go into the laws of attraction, but you learn how to do a lot of stuff, like in the Secret, without the hype.



I think I said something like this previously, anyhow my mum was a religious fanatic, which was part of her specific bipolar disorder. I felt she was always forcing me to attend mass and go to confession. And I really used to resent the lectures and her manipulation in this regard. It took me a long time to realise that her actions were more about her concern for me, than any religious mania. Now that may be obvious, but that realisation didnt come until after I did the Forum.









I dont have much time today.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1201469046)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Stone. Stories like the relationship between you and your mother are one of the reasons I'm not an angry atheist. I've never experienced a type of Christianity where I was made to feel rotten about myself for not following that path. Compared to stories like yours, I better say that I grew up pretty much secular.

It wasn't always that clear to me that relationships like you and your mother's were based on genuine concern for another's well being, I just sort of picked it up along the way. When i was really left, politically, I was angry at "them", the religious right, but I got over it.

The law of attraction?? Are you talking about the part that basically says that if you're a nice guy, you'll naturally gravitate to and want to hang out with other nice guys ?


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