why u hate/love the SES

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
Tom Grubb
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Location: London

Postby Tom Grubb » Sun May 09, 2004 11:16 am

Meikl, do you really need to be a member of a religious cult to experience those "moments of pure, silent joy"?

Meikl
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:20 pm

Re: Question for Meikl

Postby Meikl » Tue May 11, 2004 2:38 pm

You wrote -

"I don't really understand what you are saying. Are you saying that you went through doubt and fear to come out the other side as a better "happy" person?"

No, that`s nothing like what I meant. In a nutshell, I suppose what I meant was that my feelings are deep and mixed, and I tried to describe three different aspects of the way it feels in three separate posts.



You wrote -

"I took the first 2 parts of the course and I found their teaching to be very confusing. They seem to contradict themselves and discourage requests for clarification."

For me it was the simple straightforwardness and willingness to talk without being dogmatic that first got me hooked. It wasn`t until years later that I discovered that I was continually being expected to swallow logical contradictions, insults to my intelligence and general absurdities, and being crushingly discouraged from talking about it.



You wrote -

"Your writing style reminds me of their teaching style; sound thoughtful, take a long slow road in explaining yourself, appear to question so you can sound open minded and then hit with a punchline that requires a suspension of disbelief."

If I sound thoughtful, it`s because I`m thinking a lot, trying to understand my feelings and express them, in answer to the question posed at the start of this thread.
If the road is long and slow, it`s because I want to be sure I`m understood (which doesn`t seem to have worked in your case - sorry :-).
If I sound open-minded it`s because that`s what I`m trying to be.
If I have required you to suspend your disbelief, then I apologise. It wasn`t my intention.
And yes, you also say further down in your post that you find residual pollution in your own system. Are you really saying that questioning, thoughtfulness and open-mindedness are symptoms of being brainwashed by SES? Or are you taking the Mick, laughing at me up your cyber-sleeve?


You wrote -

"There has been much written about synchronicity and I'm guessing that when you are looking for spiritual signs they're pretty easy to find. Beautiful rain included. I'm guessing if it hadn't rained you would have found Beauty in the parched earth."

Of course, I agree with you. I insist however, that from my own subjective viewpoint, I`ve experienced one or two moments of still joy in my life that were directly connected with the school and it`s teachings.



You wrote -

"I was not subjected to any overt pressure and I could SEE that they were leading to a particular philosophy but I still felt uneasy at the damage done to my thought processes. I value questionning and thoughtfulness and tend not to reject ideas out of hand so I feel like I have some residual pollution in my system. Does any one else feel the same way? What advice do you have for clearing oneself?"

You really want to clear yourself of thoughtful open-mindedness? Stay nine or ten years in SES - they`ll do it for you. Or you could join the Conservative Party :)

Peace
Meikl

Meikl
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:20 pm

Re: another thought for Meikl

Postby Meikl » Tue May 11, 2004 10:04 pm

guest wrote:Maybe there isn't a Conclusion.


I`ll drink to that :-)

Thanks for the thoughts.

Peace
Meikl
Last edited by Meikl on Tue May 11, 2004 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Meikl
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:20 pm

Postby Meikl » Tue May 11, 2004 10:05 pm

Tom Grubb wrote:Meikl, do you really need to be a member of a religious cult to experience those "moments of pure, silent joy"?


That`s what I keep asking myself. I think that working with a group of like-minded people probably makes it easier. Anyway, such moments are gifts and probably addictive if overly indulged in. It`s an attractive thought though - my whole life as one moment of quiet joy.

Peace
Meikl

Beetle in the Boc

Postby Beetle in the Boc » Wed May 12, 2004 3:18 pm

adrasteia wrote:Although the masters may have stopped beating the boys the prefects and sixth form can still beat the younger boys.


Bollocks. They are not allowed to lay a finger on them.

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adrasteia
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:55 am

Postby adrasteia » Sat May 15, 2004 10:41 am

Maybe they're not allowed to, but it happens.
Didn't mean to imply that the law of the school allowed it, sorry.
There are bullying problems at St. James boys school.

Misty

Postby Misty » Sat May 15, 2004 2:50 pm

adrasteia wrote:Maybe they're not allowed to, but it happens.
Didn't mean to imply that the law of the school allowed it, sorry.
There are bullying problems at St. James boys school.


There are bullying problems in the boys school, and that is something which I hope the new headmaster will have on his agenda to wipe out in the future.

But then again you look at all the schoolS in the UK, how many have no bullying?

Oh apart from the girls school, ofcourse :evilbat: !

Guest Daina

Apology to Meikl

Postby Guest Daina » Fri May 21, 2004 2:16 am

I wrote the 2 Guest posts that you replied to. When I first read your 3 posts I was feeling quite under attack. I had decided that the school was not a good fit for me and had left. Some of my former classmates have recently been pressuring me over my decision to quit. They feel that my discomfort with some of the methods indicates a personal frailty and that my tutor and the school can help me heal.

I admit to frailty. I first heard of the school in a very positive newspaper article; learn to live life with courage (or somesuch thing). A difficult work situation had ultimately led to burnout and clinical depression and I was drawn to the positive account in the article. The first session was very healing; being reminded of all the values I had gradually forgotten as I struggled to feed my family; Truth, Beauty,Compassion. I felt an atmosphere of respect for honest inquiry. Looking back I realize that most of the positive feelings came from the class but the teacher also seemed open.

In the second part I found that my questions about what other great minds may have said about "natural laws" were stonewalled. At first I assumed the fault in understanding lay with me. Finally I took to the internet hoping to find some articles or explanations that other SoP schools may have posted about subjects like "Divine Goods and Human Goods". I was quite shocked to see the "cult" references and even more shocked when in reading some of the information I recognized the methodology and curriculum I had experienced. I know that information in the internet must be read with healthy scepticism but the stories seemed to match what I had sensed.

I must admit I was relieved to find that my discomfort may not have been totally a result of my "coarse" mind (which could not take in learning in the "superior oral tradition"). My teacher had kindly suggested that I should try to refine my mind by listening harder and that taking notes would hamper this refinement.

Having lately been in a fragile state this type of comment was disturbing. Fortunately I was able to talk to others about my questions and as I listened to myself I could stop the self-doubt that had crept back in like a poison.

I loved the first session and I think that connecting to the one Truth and Beauty in the world can certainly lead to moments of pure bliss. There's a silence that is so big it fills the universe with Joy. (and that's a good thing!) That is also something I had experienced many years before going to the school. Meikl - perhaps those experiences came from WITHIN YOU and IN SPITE of being with the school. Who knows, perhaps you would have had more such experiences had you been with another group.

Unfortunately the openess and trust I developed in that first session I think opened me up to be less discerning about the readings I was fed in the second session. Perhaps though for some people the SoP is the only path they can find to Beauty. I'm glad to move on with my life but I don't think I should judge what works for other people. (at least when my best instincts are at work - and when other people aren't trying to decide what should work for me!)

Best thoughts to you all

wombat

Postby wombat » Fri May 21, 2004 5:03 am

Meikl's observation are so true .... I recognise so many of them being a past (70's) student at the Sydney SOP. There a 'madman' ( M.Mavro) raged supreme ... can't say that I blame him. Who else but a madman would want to take on a city as stupid as Sydney "Ausralians will do anything ... kneel on dried peas if necessarry ... anything to avoid using their minds".
Fools there were aplenty all those years ago ... still if one survived with one's wits intact ( many did not) one did profit from the experience. Much like a marines boot camp, I suppose.
Now there is simply too much money adrift in the organisation .. too many 'mediocrities' hanging around and sucking at the teat.
remember this, all : If no new members ... there is no school. Suckers ( me) awit in abundance.

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a different guest
Posts: 620
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Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Sun May 23, 2004 12:12 am

Wombat - when did Mavro cease to be a leader (or whatever they call it) with the Sydney school?

Is it still influenced by him?

guest

Postby guest » Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:12 am

It's clear to me from observation and discussion that there are people who benefit greatly from the school, and from the system of thought and practice it teaches. In fact, recognizing the positive effects that one acquaintance claims are a result of his studies makes remaining with the school tempting - I'd like to have some of those benefits as well. In addition, I've rather liked some of the tutors and other students I've met.

However, seven weeks into the first course, it is crystal clear that the new students are being guided down a very clear path leading to what the leaders of the organization consider the truth. Despite the admonition to neither accept nor reject ideas without examining them in light of our own experiences, the tutor looks for agreement before moving on. Instead of examining a variety of ideas and encouraging critical thinking, the tutor often leads with a question, but the "correct" answer has already been determined; other answers will be refuted until concensus is reached.

It's a shame. I think they have some good ideas to offer, but I don't need a new religion, and I won't be told what to believe.

Guest Daina

Postby Guest Daina » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:28 pm

I found the first session to be quite open. During the second session I started to sense the walls of the chute begin to narrow. When I asked questions about the things being discussed I sometimes was told that I should speak of my own experience. This was said in a very kindly and paternalistic tone. Since I WAS speaking of things I personally have experienced that admonition would shake me and I almost felt as if I was having blackouts or psychotic events. I mean I was speaking from experience but here I was being told to speak from experience. I suspect that the questions I was asking would lead to "unrefined" thoughts that might distract others in the class. One incident in particular involved the discussion about Divine Goods and Human Goods. I wanted to know how to hang on to Divine Goods when I was having major financial problems of the "no money for food" variety. I guess I think it is important to hang on to eternal values in that sort of situation but the pressure can be very difficult. I think my question / attempt at discussion was a reasonable one. In any case I finally decided that I didn't want to continue sparring with our "tutor" and left during session two. I still would like to find a place where people meet to discuss such things. Any ideas out there about where to find such a place? During Session One I thought I had found it.

erikdr

why u hate/love the SES

Postby erikdr » Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:27 pm

Hmmmm... on
"I still would like to find a place where people meet to discuss such things. Any ideas out there about where to find such a place? During Session One I thought I had found it.":

Would depend quite much on your personality and what's available in the location where you live.

After quite some time in the SES I had a few years of 'wandering in the spiritual supermarket' before settling in Buddhism. In my experience, framework-less discussions as you seem to need often go side by side with uncommitted shopping-like environments. In other words - people being tolerant simply because they are fuzzy themselves and like to shop and shop without committing.
There are exceptions however I've met or I've heard about, often people or groups I still respect highly despite them following a different path than I now do. An example are the Sufis (Inayat Khan-style oecomene), another the Quakers and other very libertarian thinkers on the edge of commomplace religion. Or, inside Buddhism, more the discussion-type groups than the meditators - e.g. Tibetan Gelugpa.

Hope this helps a bit,

with folded palms,

<Erik> - Amsterdam

TB

My experiences of SES

Postby TB » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:03 am

I am a past member of the SES and recognise most of the views expressed by others here. My feelings about the school are mixed, again similar to others. I have rationalised the how and why as follows. If we set aside the school specific objectives, goodness, badness etc and see them as a social organisation that requires conformity of its members in order to exist, we realise that we fit into many such social groups. From our nuclear family, to the business we work in, schools we attend, religion, nation etc all exact a toll from us as individuals. My conclusion is that in order to work within society, and gain the benefits it offers (or avoid the penalties it imposes) we compromise many individual desires thoughts, feelings etc (many of which are not actually our own, but arise from society).
With this as my starting point I have to say I found the principles of school appealed to me. I found knowledge at a different level than that offered by society outside (politics, religion, business, science etc). However this came at a cost. The school demands an increasing time commitment, but being out of the mainstream it can create rifts around you with family, friends unless you choose to sacrifice much of this. Much of the issue with the school is caused by the differences we have around us in normal society. I liken it to a person who exercises and eats a healthy diet, there is pressure if all around us choose a lazy, unhealthy lifestyle (or vice versa) and it's a challenge to go against the flow.
However I do not like being pushed around, I wear a tie at work and shine my shoes only because they pay me money to do it, but accept I sell my soul in the process.

Someone posted a question on caning at the SES school. Is caning bad? Toss a coin and find out. We are in a time warp of moral relativity. Ask smokers, homosexuals, wifebeaters, kamikazi pilots, samurai, headhunters, society designs our morality based upon politics. Don't expect me to judge right and wrong, its already done.

So, we all choose our own social burden, for some it is religion, armed forces, business, et al, they differ only in detail. Is it better to follow a system that seeks the truth or one that sells illusion? This is a good question indeed, defeating better minds than ours. For me the school offered healthy exercise for my spirit and mind, despite its own people sometimes compromising its principles, mostly because like you and me - they are small people seeking their own ends, however noble they might seem to us.

Even if you 'choose' an alternative to the school, there is no doubt in my mind another social group is moulding you in its own image, different stripes perhaps, and not as obvious if all around you are lemmings.

I chose to 'retire' from the school because I could not reconcile its lifestyle into my other life baggage, despite the value I gained from it. The meditation offered is truly a wonderful tool, as valuable to me as fresh food, air and exercise. That said, you do not not need the SES to get these things but they can add impetus.

If my perspective helped then you have just been brainwashed, if it didn't, you have just been brainwashed. :grab:

Tom Grubb
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Location: London

Re: My experiences of SES

Postby Tom Grubb » Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:12 pm

TB wrote:Someone posted a question on caning at the SES school. Is caning bad? Toss a coin and find out. We are in a time warp of moral relativity. Ask smokers, homosexuals, wifebeaters, kamikazi pilots, samurai, headhunters, society designs our morality based upon politics. Don't expect me to judge right and wrong, its already done.


TB, do you never make moral judgements on anything?


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