One is not "at fault", just "responsible" or not
The source of progress is... and the inhibitor is...
True, but not determinant
The truth, but not an excuse
It is an either/or
What is true?
Keeping the story in existence


Clearly, you are not "at fault" for learning any faulty concepts and beliefs, as you just did your very best to adopt what beliefs you thought would serve you, based on your knowledge and logic at the time.  You could not have possibly done better at the time, because each step of "learning" in life has to come from the place you were right before that step.  And where you were was simply a result of all you'd learned before.  No other path is possible.  Yes, we might be lucky to have a gem come to us from another person, an experience, or a workshop and that could have changed our path, but that is only luck.  We normally only have that which we already know to make our next conclusion from.


However, the most significant change in beliefs will come from committing to changing one's beliefs as quickly and completely as possible. 

A particular way of thinking can, however, inhibit this process. 

That way is "holding onto stories", primarily those that include blame or attribution of responsibility to someone or something outside of yourself. 

For instance, Barbara often would relate the stories about how her mother demanded so much from her that it was no wonder she was so sensitive and scared.  While there is some truth to that, there is also an implied lie.  The lie lies in attributing the responsibility for that occurring to her mother, instead of herself.


It is true that her mother provided the raw material for Barbara to come to the conclusions she did,  but it is not true that what her mother provided was determinant of Barbara's life.  Barbara could have chosen different beliefs and/or revised her beliefs as soon as she could see that they were harmful AND as soon as she knew that she would best do so.  (If she was not knowledgeable enough, she simply wouldn't do what is best.)

Yes, Barbara did choose to adopt those beliefs and to formulate some beliefs from those experiences at a time when she was of diminished ability and insufficient knowledge. 

It would be easy to "blame" her mother. 

She might say that she doesn't "blame" her and that she recognizes that her mother did the best she could at the time given her level of awareness at the time. 

But her language indicates that she attributes cause to her mother, saying things like "I am this way because of my mother" (actual quote from my notes from her conversations) or, a different way of attributing cause outside of oneself "if she hadn't compared me to...".


The truth is that a bunch of beliefs that might not have been very good were provided and Barbara adopted them or formulated new beliefs from them, period.  No "excuse" (I was of diminished knowledge, just a child).  Barbara simply was at the awareness/knowledge level she was at - and took on some untrue beliefs.

But looking back at the past (other than analysis to provide a basis for revision) is absolutely unuseful, and, I would say, harmful - because that means we are being held captive by the past.

Or, as they used to say in LifeSpring:

"You can't navigate a ship by standing in the back looking at the wake".

Responsibility lies in standing in front of the ship, reading the navigation devices, and correcting the course.  Responsibility is always "prospective", progressive, moving forward.  Holding on to stories is always regressive, past oriented, and often harmful to our living a better life. 


Life is either but not both at the same time:

            Past             ←             |           →      Future

One of the things that can be confusing here is that the story contains some "what's so" that did actually occur.  A "what's so" is a description of "what actually did happen".  In problem solving, we start with a description of "what happened", as it facilitates clarity, but what we do also is distinguish "what we made up about" what happened, as that is the "story" we added to what happened.   

The formula for looking forward and being responsible is (as noted in the problem solving section):

       "What's so?"               "So what?"             "Now what?"
  (What occurred?)        (Dismiss any story)    (Factually what should I do)

Or, as the famous detective of old, Sergeant Friday, used to say "Just the facts, M'am, just the facts". 

One sign of a person going beyond the facts is the person having a negative emotion or upset.  (We're not saying that won't happen or that the person is "bad" for it, but just that its existence is a sure indicator of a story being present.)


Back in the past, it was true that Barbara's mother did compare her to her neighbor's daughter and it is true that Barbara adopted some of her mother's beliefs and that she felt bad about being compared to the daughter and that she made up what that meant. 

Those actually happened. 

But when they are considered as something permanent and present in the now, it is not true that they exist anymore "out there", out in "reality".   It is true that they are being created in Barbara's head, though.


Having them "exist" occurs only out of Barbara keeping the conversation going, rather than letting go and moving on.  Of course, Barbara also has the choice of doing "problem solving" to correct old beliefs so that she doesn't allow her life to be run by them anymore.  (In the latter case, then the "facts" are considered currently and are part of the "here forward" responsible approach.)

Since Barbara has "choice in the matter", she is also responsible - responsible for "responding in a way that is positively contributing" to what just occurred (a thought/belief and/or actual situation occurring just a moment ago).   Telling stories about the past is not contributing (except when it is used for progressive analysis). 

Such story telling must be given up, forever, if one wants to have freedom and not continue to just be a product (or extension) of the past.  Period.

But many people would protest "but I am responsible", "I am trying hard", "can't you see how much time I'm spending on this?", etc. and etc.  Not to be cruel and certainly with no pejorative judgment, I state that one is not being fully responsible in anything until the desired (attainable) result is achieved.  Short of that, there is some irresponsibility, some victimness, something holding one back from getting what is desired.  Responsibility is a "100%" thing, not a "well I did 99% and it still didn't work" thing.  One is either responsible in the matter or not responsible - it's black and white!  (I point out again that I'm not judging the person, but only assessing the results.

Part IV in The Course Syllabus For The Landmark Forum.  Read about stories and the vicious circle they keep a person in. See also Landmark Education, Landmark Forum,  Video Section, click on "see it in action", vignette picture, middle left, lower left, and upper right to review related concepts.

One can't, in this responsibility definition, be a little pregnant.  One is either pregnant (with victimhood) or not pregnant.  ....


Responsibility Vs. Victim
100% Responsibility
Stories Vs. Non-Stories