Allowing Vision To Speak …| October 21, 2021
For Everyone, All of us.
I believe that no one should be violated physically, mentally, emotionally, politically, religiously or legally.
In the USA, we have created the possibility of freedom, equality and liberty for all.
Even though we have come so far, we seem further than ever away from the lofty goal of equality for All. It even seems like the definitions are changing and we are forgetting thousands of years of history.
If we all really wanted Peace, Love and Joy for the world, why do we not have it? What stories are getting in the way?
Are we really all included in a world that works for everyone? Are we enslaved to our inherited conversations? Why does someone always have to be wrong? Why does someone have to be to blame? Why does someone have to be discriminated against? If, somehow, we were all heard simultaneously, would it miraculously create a world that worked for everyone somehow in an instant. All voices matter, All lives matter? No comparisons, no rackets, no stories. Just We All Matter.
If WORD can create anything …
Neal Donald Walsh made the statement: “If billions of people in the world really wanted Peace, Joy and Love” in the world then we would have it. That one statement struck me as if someone had slapped me across the face. When I read this this, I was somewhere in my 40’s, (2006) done raising babies and doing what I love best, running a small multi-national natural health company and helping fight bad government/Constitutional violations. I pondered upon my late childhood to young adulthood life and considered the memories of living in one of the first integrated neighborhoods in Dekalb County as a young white female. I did not see white or black at that time: we were all just kids playing outside together, in our homes doing homework, and just basically living our lives as children do.
Fast track to 2016 and I am taking the Landmark Forum. By this time, I had LOTS of stories going on, many dating back to a very violent time in my life. During the Landmark Forum, as fate would have it, I was seated next to a very tall and dark black male with very long dreadlocks. I believe that he played basketball and appeared to have a bit of notoriety. I was very judgmental and probably a bit hostile … and I am sure it showed. During the Forum there are many opportunities to turn to the person on your right and share what you had got out of what the Landmark Forum Leader had just shared. My initial thought was that I could not imagine what this fellow had to share with me that would have any relevance to me and my life … Due to my violent past with black males, I had had enough of ‘his kind’ in my past and wanted nothing to do with this person. As a young woman I had been raped multiple times by black men as part of their initiation into gangs or just because they could do so.
The time came to share and it was a complete surprise. He and I ended up having a great time sharing. We became so intimate in seconds. It was freeing. It was healing. As luck would have it, later on during the Landmark Forum, we were sitting beside each other again (which you are supposed to try to avoid) and we had an even more delightful time. I could not tell you what we shared, what was said, or any of the details other than it was pure joy.
A miracle occurred when at the end of the Landmark Forum, you are asked to seek out the person who impacted you the most, and whom you would like to thank. I could think of no one else but “D” … As I was looking upward for him in the crowd, it was like a movie scene, and the crowd parted and he came through the crowd with arms wide open and we hugged and laughed. It was very powerful and very healing. He pulled away and shared that when he had first sat down with me, he had felt very judgmental and could not figure out what a hoity-toity white person like myself could have anything of value for him! I laughed as I clearly understood the judgment and we looked into each other’s eyes and saw each other … each of us profoundly moved, touched and inspired.
The Evidence Continues to Pour In
Years later, in 2020, I was in the Landmark Wisdom Course during what I have termed the “pLandemic”. Wisdom started in April, one month after the worldwide lockdown. In this class, I heard a lot of terrifying fear and resentment, from black women in particular. At first, I brushed it off as drama but the more I listened, the more fear, anger and hostility that I heard in their voices. Worse, they seemed to be teaching fear to their children and other loved ones. I was surprised. These were very successful families. They were not poor or uneducated and yet they were convinced that Trump voters think that black lives don’t matter, and that there is an epidemic of black men being killed by police officers.
I was surprised. This was Landmark, after all. I expected more reasoning, compassion, understanding. Why are these people believing all this fear, ignoring facts, why be trapped as victims? I listened and listened to these rants of fear. And then the George Floyd incident occurred in May 2020. Regardless what you think about the matter, Society, in general, judged the white police officer BEFORE an investigation and BEFORE a trial … they judged him guilty with NO due process in accordance with the Laws of our civil society.
And the nation erupted! The response was Fear on Fire! Fear, hatred, lies, accusations, and a cancel culture in full swing. Fueled by media. However, if you dared even to question the mainstream story you were labeled a racist. Even in the groups and breakout groups in the Wisdom Course, those who did not agree with or believe the mainstream media’s narrative felt shunned and silenced, while the cries of “BLM” and the egregiously hostile comments about President Trump were accepted and tolerated WITHIN LANDMARK!
I wondered, how is this creating a possibility for healing? By contrast, in an in-person Wisdom Course in another country, I am told, when a participant made a similarly hostile political comment, that Wisdom Course leader gently challenged the participant to be responsible and to get that what he had said was a racket and a story. Isn’t this what Landmark is about? Identifying our rackets and our stories, so we can get ‘off them’ … not smear them about? As a Landmark friend of mine said, does Landmark really want to be discriminating against half the population of the US? Does Landmark really want to limit transformation to just half the population?
I really began to feel more and more isolated, even inside of Landmark. Why are the words “ALL lives matter” offensive? Doesn’t my life matter too? Doesn’t anyone and everyone’s life matter? NO matter what god your worship, who you sleep with, or what you look like?
We returned in June for Wisdom and the consensus was clear: Black Lives (not all lives) Matter. It felt racist. I found myself in the midst of my autobiography, looking at all of the events in my life that involved ‘black and white’. And I found myself angry at THEIR fear, the hatred, the division, and I exploded in class. WHAT ABOUT ME? What about my life? BLACK MEN raped me, beat me up, used me and tortured me! BLACK MEN! When I was growing up you had to rape a WHITE girl to get into a BLACK gang! ON and on … I had a complete breakdown …
I was horrified! I had never that LABELED them black men before. I had NEVER clumped those ‘bad guys’ and those incidents into a ‘color thing’, into a racial issue, before. In fact, I had made sure that my life was not ruined by the violent events in my life and that I would not judge any men for those things that occurred in the past. And, here I was defending myself and angry: DON’T ALL LIVES MATTER?
Where were the conversations about unity? Where did Martin Luther King Jr.’s beautiful dream “of a nation where people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” go?
Where I live, white people from whom I had NEVER heard a negative word about black folks (I live in a redneck county) were naturally becoming defensive out of the accusations being hurled at them in the media. No matter what their race, color or creed, people do not like being unjustly accused. No one likes being likened to ‘slave owners’ or called ‘racists’, and now society is beginning to teach our children that being white is somehow inherently evil, how does anyone think that that is a good idea? How is teaching that what you are, in this case, “white is evil” a creation of possibility for goodness of any kind?
Where is the place for me to ask in Landmark – why do you think that I, a redneck, hate you/would not accept you? And, why are you not accepting me?
As luck would have it, my mother, knowing nothing of my violent past, as I spared her this knowledge, called me during this breakdown (which lasted a few months) and she asked me to start apologizing for what she called my “white privilege”. She insisted that I was ONLY successful because of my white privilege.
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Please know that I have recovered from being a crack addict at the age of 20 on my own. I put myself through university and obtained my masters and my doctorate all on my own (and my own finances). I was a single mother twice during my successful climb and I worked my fingers to the bone. 30 years ago, I started a natural holistic company. I homeschooled my 3 and then later on 5 kids, birthed babies at home, built my own home, generated our own electricity, became a non-vaxxer, Naturopathic Doctor all with no debt. It felt like my mother ‘robbed’ me of all my accomplishments.
Where do I fit in?
I felt like I did as a child again, left out, not important, less than. I felt embarrassed to be who I am … a successful female that scrapped her way to where she is at. I did not know where I fit in and I was angry. When I hear black women in Landmark call out to their ‘sisters’, there is a little girl inside of me who feels excluded and ostracized, and who wants to say: “I’m your sister too!” Where do I belong? Where do I fit in? It is the same 8 – 12 years old inside of me just wanting to play with others regardless of their color.
Responsibility for Ones’ Life
Currently there are Landmark Forums for African Americans (and, yes, white folks can attend, too!) because there is a census that voices are not being heard, that Landmark is not listening. I wonder, what other conversations are not being heard? I wonder how many other persons feel silenced, left out, excluded by Landmark amid the general political/social media consensus that is occurring.
Where is the being responsible for our own lives and our experience of our lives? Even when you have been a real victim, in your real life, as I have, it does not help to hold on to that victim mentality and keep living into it. Where is the Landmark challenge to these stories?
If we really wanted to make a difference, why are we not looking at history and stories and examining them from all sides (ignoring NO sides). What is wrong with looking at our history and having conversations that look at what happened, what seemed to happen and what could happen?
What could we do differently so that society showed up as a place of Peace, Joy and Love? If we continue to look at history, allowing ONE voice to be heard, but silencing another voice (let alone half the population!), it will never work.
Capitalists are Not Bad People After All
A world of equality is a world based on merit and performance, not a world of handouts. This was finally highlighted during the CGT 2021. During the CGT 2021, two speakers I heard finally acknowledged capitalists and the value of partnership with them.
I was surprised and delighted to hear these two speakers share their discovery of a unified effort with Capitalist Venturists. They seemed surprised that this could ever occur – as if capitalists are ‘bad people’. I was delighted and in every breakout room I attended, I shared my delight that FINALLY entrepreneurs were not being portrayed as ‘bad guys’. I received a lot of feedback, like “yeah, that makes sense”. I looked around Landmark: where are the conversations between capitalists/entrepreneurs/business owners and those amazing leaders leading humanitarian efforts? Where are any classes that support the growth and development of business owners and the collaboration between them and humanitarian efforts? Where is the cooperation and conversation between ourselves … NOT government … that allows for solutions and possibilities that work for all of us?
Judgment vs. What we do not know that we do not know.
As I write this, I find that I have an awful lot of complaining and judging to stay away from. A lot of ‘what if’s, ‘what about’s, ‘how come’s, why are they, why can’t they see, they are missing the boat. And I am wondering if I am just stuck in the fix it of it all. How do we fix it when we are all human beings being human? How can we stop being judgmental and stuck in our ways and comfortable especially when exposed to supposed ‘life threatening like COVID? Or an emotionally charged Presidential Election like Trump vs Biden?
How do we go forward into the future with the threat of more Pandemics looming, more economic disasters, and climate change, and have an open space of communication amongst our scientists when Big Pharma is involved, and Big government is involved? Doesn’t Landmark teach about responsibility for ones self and create the possibility of a Future that Was Never Going to Occur? Why the tendency to lean on/depend on Big Government or Big Pharma?
How do we keep our society out of a place of fear when our media outlets are controlled and favor negative features vs. positive stories? Why are we hating upon each other and letting private companies like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter cancel our words? Why are our words becoming so-called ‘fact-checked’ by biased companies with political agendas? Why are we so naively following along? Why are we not questioning everything? Why does questioning certain topics get us canceled and ostracized?
The irony of it all
It seems that history is being forgotten again … the rule: What goes up must come down. Yes, a certain political agenda is in office in the world right now but what happens when they are not in office? Shouldn’t we all be behaving like we would want to be treated once one loses power? The dangerous precedents of hate, fear, separation and division will only be fueled in the future if it is not STOPPED now.
Why do those who speak up against the status quo ALWAYS seem to get attacked, if not executed? Look at Galileo, Aristotle, Socrates, Van Gough, Michaelangelo, whistleblowers in general, … Jesus Christ himself. Why do bullies seem to prevail more often than not?
Why do we continue to crucify those that have a different message or merely even hint at questioning the status quo? Why does our society no longer pass Natan Sharansky’s ‘town square test’ of a free society? Can we go into the center of town and state our views without anything bad happening? No. We now live in what Natan Sharansky called a “fear society”, not a free society.
Courage and Bravery
Why is it that, as humans, we tend to persecute those who dare to say something ‘new’. As humans we persecuted the ‘Savior of the World’ (Jesus). We persecuted Socrates, the founder of Western ethical tradition of thought, Joan of Arc, a heroine of France during the Hundred Years war, Gandhi, the Dalhi Lama, etc.
Why would humans want to cling vicariously to racism, separation and division, hatred and fear versus a new way of being? What is it that we, as a society, are so terribly afraid of? New thoughts? New words?
Why do those who take a stand – for something different - tend to get ostracized or silenced?
Landmark states repeatedly that there is a long history of not being listened to and actions not be taken and I agree 100% … however, to neglect and ostracize any of us, for our different view points and way of being just perpetrates the same cycle over and over again. The Victim becomes the Aggressor and creates a new victim by attacking others and blaming others.
What is wrong with asking questions?
7 months after starting to write this paper I find myself in the new hated upon group. As a naturopath and an anti vaxxer (for 30 years), I am the newly discriminated against ‘society’. We are the bad people, spreading the plague across the world and going to kill everyone (complete story).
What happens in ten years if cancer rates of the lungs are doubled/tripled because they discovered something in the blue masks cause cancer? Or the vaccine caused infertility? Why are we NOT considering these conversations NOW, before the damage is done? Why can we not have free and open public discussions about health? Why is personal health care even being considered to be legislated?
As Nikki Minaj, so justly said: “I will not be bullied into a vaccine”.
Why does everything have to become so FEAR based? Eating properly, exercising, meditating, sitting, etc. If we really wanted to reduce the death toll of our family members, we would get rid of fast food restaurants that contribute directly to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity – the leading causes of death in the USA (way more than COVID, by the way).
Why is it ok for people to Lose their jobs, careers, livelihoods and be threatened violently for their health care beliefs?
A broke and sick society is an easily controlled society. Are we this broken? If so, how do we transform it?
Empty and Meaningless
In the Landmark Forum we discover that everything is ‘empty and meaningless’. While some folks find this to be a very upsetting and disturbing concept, I revel in its freedom. If everything is empty and meaningless then it all starts with me and my perceptions, my thoughts, me. I am responsible.
This creates realms of possibilities that can be generated in language in a new way that could be creative.
Are we really choosing to replace Empty and Meaningless with Fear? Separation and Division? With a new group of people to discriminate against? Hate against?
Where is the conversation: All Of Us?
IF WE TRULY BELIEVE IN ALL OF US, WE SUPPORTED ALL OF US, IF ‘ALL OF US’ WAS IMPORTANT … who could not be included? Where would the divisiveness be? The separateness? The segregation?
Why are we tolerating any type of cancel culture? Why are we tolerating anyone’s right to free speech being violated? What are we so afraid of? Taking care of ourselves? Providing for ourselves? Nurturing our offspring?
Isn’t it better to get in tune with your body? Listen to your health instead of listening to a government that does not care and has motives that none of us really know.
When will we change the conversation from “you are racist” to being accountable for yourself and way of being and more importantly turn to a conversation about universal love and acceptance? Our stories and rackets and superstitions about one another are allowing social media and the government to use us against each other.
Where I live in the south, no one really ever talked about the issue of race anymore. We just lived together. We had a black commissioner for many years and we have mixed children and grandbabies that are loved and adored by all. We get along because we judge (yes, we still judge) each other by our merits, our accomplishments … how well we take care of ourselves and our families. How active we are in our communities and we could care less what color you are and who you want to ‘partner up with’. In fact, I have witnessed the exact opposite. I have seen ‘old white men’ playing with non-white children and enjoying every moment of it. I have seen ‘comfortableness’ occur amongst heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals. I have witnessed jokes and laughter occur out of talking about how it ‘used to be’ as we shake our heads. I have seen a healing and a closeness because we chose to not continue the same conversation: “We are different” … instead we choose to consider that ‘we are all the same’. This is what I see in the Deep South.
We keep repeating history … ignorantly and blindly. Instead of putting aside our blinders and all that divides us, we foolishly continue to walk into the same situation over and over and over again. Why do we keep trusting government? And, now social media? WHY IS IT THAT WHEN THINGS ARE NEW/DIFFERENT/AGAINST STATUS QUO, we turn a blind eye to it? We disregard it? And then 10 years later, we are like, oh yeah … that did not work. Why are we so convinced in the moment that ‘this’ works and NOT ‘that’? Why do we have to wait for time to pass to see what is happening?
Where is our Word in the matter in the conversation regarding discrimination? Where is a different type of conversation? One based on unity? Where is peace, love and joy for everyone? To be honest, I am SO BORED of the pointing fingers and blaming someone else conversation! Non-black people are afraid to speak up and are afraid to assert their thoughts. Worse, they are being judged for the very color of their skin now. How can one apologize for being white? Did anyone choose to be white? How is blame to be useful in the creation of a possibility of a world that works for everyone? How is this going to fix things?
Why does anyone think that repeating history would work to create a different future? Why choose to be like what you hate? Why the need for punishment, retribution or bullying instead of forgiveness, and a new conversation that prevents slavery and discrimination from ever happening again?
All violence, all violations, all prejudices, all forms of hate are wrong … no matter what.
No, I am not black, but I have been a victim of violent discrimination because I was white, by black folks. Do I want an apology? No. Do I blame black people for the wrongs of those people? No, of course not! I just want that to never happen to another human being ever.
Where is the conversation that inspires a new way of being? A listening that can create a possibility of unity – humans united? Why not have a communication class that actually talks about what it means to be white … what it means to be black, if we want to talk color? What it means to be gay or straight? Why not have those with others not in those groups, so that we can all understand that we are all one, that we all feel the same, that we have all experienced the same? Isn’t that what Landmark is all about?
What can we do?
Here is a thought, until we consider all children, any child in the world, ‘OUR’ child we will not be able to live in a world full of joy, peace and love.
Currently, we live in a world where we teach fear to their children: For example, You can’t play outside by yourself or other friends you might get kidnapped and become a sex slave. It seems as if the whole world is out to make children afraid … afraid to play in the dirt, afraid to get germs, afraid to hug a family member, etc. And, if you are a minority, we are teaching them as a society that they will be murdered by cops, that they will always be a victim and never valued equally or if you are the new minority and you are not vaccinated that you are spreading the plague and harming others.
Is this the world we want to create? Do we really want frightened children to become frightened, young adults, who then become terrified adults who run the world? Coming from an overly protected/sheltered way of being … the boogey man is always just around the corner?
In general, people avoid being Uncomfortable. They want to fit in, they want to be liked but at what expense is my question. What will our future look like? How will our children know and learn intimacy? How will they lead the world?
Creating a Future that was Never Going to Exist.
In the USA, people are destroying our Nations symbols and burning books. Why? Consider this, we do not go to Notre Dame, France or Rome, Italy’s coliseum or any of their amazing buildings and destroy their history. And talk about slavery! Notre Dame was built on the backs of slaves. The coliseum was not only built by slaves but murdered slaves in it. Yet, people go by the droves to view these structures while destroying and removing history in the USA. We go to France and Italy to learn from it while we destroy our own history in the USA.
Why would we want to forget our past?
Violence always begets violence. Landmark teaches us about words and communication.
Yes, the world is changing but it is up to us to ensure that it is changing for the greatest good of all.
Regrettably, we are all, at some level, recreating the same historical patterns that have occurred before us over and over and over again for thousands of documented years. The only thing that has changed is the technology and the labels.
We are labeling, blaming, accusing, and manufacturing distinctions to take the place of reality. Again.
We are setting ourselves up to a hierarchy that we will not control … We will inevitably lose to government who will not ultimately represent any of us if we don’t work together. Again.
Allowing one side to oppress the other side(s) divides us all. And when we are divided, we will be conquered, if not violently, then by our own acquiescence. It is in no one’s interest to allow even our opponent to be silenced. Because then we are next. If we allow abuse of power now against people we don’t like, agree with, think are smart, etc. then it is we who will be attacked, silenced or oppressed, next. Again.
This is what integrity is about to me. Considering how our decisions affect all of us in society – how they will show up not just today but in 10, 20 or even a 100 years from now.
The answers are always next to the problems … in the area of what we do not know we do not know. We should be building curiosity not consensus.
In our conversation about humanity and ourselves, where is the consideration of experience and the experiences of those before us?
Why are we trying so hard to fix ‘our world’ without considering we already have the answers to fix it. America was built on the Natural Rights of Man. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What more could a society want? We have the inalienable right to secure ourselves. We HAVE this Right … it is up to us to utilize it. How could Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness under Equity of the Law be outdated? Or are these just perfect examples of Cognitive Dissonance where we attack the messenger, or make the message insignificant or just sticking with what we know with no consideration for anything else or any new information?
With any type of oppression comes the awakening of the silent, whether it is the blacks being enslaved or the whites being silenced and being asked to pay retribution for crimes they did not commit, and hence, the circle of oppression continues over and over again. Our rights come from our Words. ‘Consent’ (the semblance of consent) comes from silence. This is the classic Perpetration Withhold. This is what is occurring now: Making someone else wrong for what occurred or is occurring to you now.
Suffering is optional. Let us begin to see that we are all equal in each other’s eyes. That we are all good enough. That we are all one. That your children are my children.
How are we going to write this next chapter of our civilization?
What Future are we creating for our world that we live in?
What would it be like to transform the paradigm of what it means to be human … that we can interact with each other regardless of our color, our history and our backgrounds.
For starters, we cannot have leaders putting up BLM signs during a LM only function. We cannot have Landmark leaders on a political platform. We cannot have Landmark leaders endorsing vaccines by sharing their personal decisions and/or participation. We cannot allow participants to bully and belittle other participants in Landmark classes for who they voted for.
We can share our fears, our concerns, or hopes, our dreams, etc. We all know when we are doing this without judgment or attack. Because when we speak and be this way, when we do not make others right or wrong, we all become one. We ‘get it’ and the conversation is created ‘out here’.
When are we going to get beyond right and wrong? Why does the victim now have to become the attacker? Wouldn’t it be a miracle if the victims could stand in forgiveness and allow a clearing for the aggressor/the perpetrator to become complete and end this vicious cycle? Isn’t that what we really want for future generations?
Quoting from Preliminary and incomplete, Comments Welcome, by Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron, #6:
“Does the context of morals, ethics and legality of a larger group trump the context of the morals, ethics and legality of a significantly smaller or less powerful group?”
“Workability as the state of condition that constitutes the available opportunity for something or somebody or a group or an organization to function, operate or behave to produce an intended outcome, i.e., to be effective; or the state or condition that determines the opportunity set from which someone or a group or an organization can choose outcomes or design or construct for outcomes.
The intended outcome that I seek for our beautiful world, is for each of us to be judged by the content of our character. What ways of being create the realm of possibility in which that could happen, and which do not?
Just be nice. Just be Kind. All Humans Matter. All of us as One.
Harry Rosenberg stated in his Message on Behalf of Landmark Staff Program Leaders:
“We provide an environment where people of various political and social views are free to participate together, and to transform matters that have previously been unmovable. “
I hope this is true. And that all are welcome no matter what social media, media and the government says, demonizes, or cancels, etc.
My commitment to the world is:
Equity under the Law FOR the Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness for ALL Humans, United as one.
I stand for this for all Humans, no matter what. I will continue to speak for voices that are not being heard. And I will listen to those voices that I am not hearing either.
I hope that we can transcend all of this! I hope that we can move together, forward, hopefully, into a future that was not going to occur … one of Unity, Peace, Joy and Love that is all inclusive, even including our new ways of discriminating (ie: anti-vaxxers). I hope that we are careful in our precedents that we establish that will be good for humans for the next 100 years and not just a ‘feel better’ for us at the moment due to our fear and lack of ‘what we do not know that we do not know’.
I hope we actually practice what is taught in ALL of the Landmark classes.
Harry Rosenberg leaves us with this commitment:
“There is a new and profound understanding among organizations, institutions, and cultures of what it takes to impact and fulfill what really matters to people, bringing to life a new awareness of humanity and what it takes to make a difference in the world.
“For the world, things that historically have never moved are now moving. The world has changed. A new reality has emerged.”
I hope that reality includes all of us and that all of our lives matter.
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