SES then and now - what has changed?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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bella
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Postby bella » Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:55 pm

Sorry NYC, my turn to be unclear. I didn't mean for you to ask about note-taking in the Aussie schools - I'm under the impression that's something each school decides for itself - but to ask about the practice as it applies in the NY school. I can understand why the idea of taking notes bugs you - especially when it's done after class - and I thought it might be something else to enquire about, since your school likely either does it or has done it in the past.

Is there a reason you'd prefer to write, rather than make an appointment to see someone who could answer your questions? It might be more direct, and you'd get all the non-verbal cues as well, but I don't know how you feel about the likely outcomes of that situation, or whether you think you might not get everything said that you want to say (or ask).

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:51 am

I disagree Bella - I think getting an answer in writing IS the way to go.

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:55 am

i wonder where everyone is. Maybe their computers have blown up like mine? :(((

some messages left via PM...

ross nolan
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thanks

Postby ross nolan » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:57 pm

Erikdr - thanks for the cosmology , I wasn't aware of their multicyclic conception of time (bit like the Mayan cycles and supercycles ) just about every religion has a 'final windup' scenario where everyone gets their just desserts and the 'good' live happily ever after. The obvious cyclic nature of seasons,lifetimes etc and the planting of 'dead' seed to give rise to new life etc are common roots . I was interested if there is any "great flood" myth in Hinduism (given that the Abrahamic religions come from a river valley subject to flooding and "Hindu" comes from Indus (river) and apparently has indeterminate actual origin .

Leontius - don't know about the 'obvious polymath' bit but thanks anyway for the compliment (don't get that many somehow ....) My feeling is that there are characteristic differences in thinking mode between men and women (and between different nationalities or any other group of people who share some defining feature that distinguishes them from others -- hence our stereotypes about various nationalities etc -- there is an obvious general basis of validity even if politically incorrect to say so . no doubt there is a huge overlap, lots of outlier examples and simple anomalies but by and large physical and geographic etc differences give rise to corresponding ways of behaviour and the preceeding thought processes .

How can I ever know how females think ? or vice versa -- no doubt ADG can read maps quite OK but "on average" "in general" etc the tendency is for men to have different strengths --- this does not justify in any way the imposition of some sort of hierarchy and diminution of women by the SES/SOP -- it seems they are just perpetuating primitive Hindu dogma as far as I can see .

Regards Ross.
Skeptic

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:08 am

Ross - has it ever occured to you that many or even all of these vague and general "differences" you are rabbitting on about are cultural constructs and have little to do with biology or ethnicity?

Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:51 pm

I predict that the SES will change quite dramatically over the next 10years.

There will be factions that continue to follow the rigid dogma of the "old" SES ideology using logical constructs in an attempt to fathom the deepest spiritual instincts of humanity. I predict that these factions will be derived from the core of the established schools around the world and that the London/Waterperry powerbase will become less influential in the colonies i.e. the colonies will become more autonomous. This will lead to greater militancy in some quarters and there will be those who attempt to revive the cold lunacy of the 1960's UK school. I would worry in this instance that we may see some hardliners setting up cult-style retreats where an insular society is cultivated and where discipline is more harsh than ever before.

Other factions will emerge from the dissipation of the SES schools and their focus will shift away from the rigidity of principles and social cocooning of students towards a more inclusive and open-hearted view. I say open-hearted as opposed to open-minded beause they will begin to realise/remember that the heart is the core of the human being. They will develop the view that the suppression of individuality and ego they had been taught is in reality a waste of energy; causing in many instances a whole load of pain, guilt and anxiety.

Sadly most people will contiue the practice of meditation as it has become habitual serving little purpose other than to perpetuate the hypnotic trance-like state that it has always induced. I do not see the point of repeating the name of a pagan demi-god over and over again - there are undertones of occult practice and worship there.

However, meditation aside, I believe that the latter group will become more socially adept and able to interact and integrate into the wider community with greater efficacy and possibly to the benefit of the wider community. One thing that concerns me however is that the schools for children all over the world will continue to be controlled by the more right-wing portions of the SES - at least for the forseeable future. This in my opinion is NOT a good thing.

It is not uncommon that any organised belief system fractures as it develops and as it does so some factions paper over the cracks, some attempt to repair the underliying fabric and some deconstruct and reconstruct in an attempt to reveal the sound structure of the original. Whichever group makes strides towards revealing and understanding the heart of Man will be better served to make a positive impact upon the world. There is a battle on and the heart is at the centre - ignore it at your peril. Almost preaching, there - steady! But seriouly, my heart was broken by the SES, St James and ultimately by my own ignorance but it is gradually being healed and I am regaining my courage.

I'm sorry if this is changing tack from the current discussion but quite frankly the current discussion is verging on boring. I forsee a stalemate.

Alban
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Postby Alban » Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:00 pm

A very interesting view snowman, and perfectly plausible. What have you seen that has led you to that conclusion.

I'm sure a number of today's fanatical / militant groups were formed out of yesterday's religeous idealogical foundations. One wonders what path of action is left open to the first group you talk about!

Snowman wrote:I'm sorry if this is changing tack from the current discussion but quite frankly the current discussion is verging on boring. I forsee a stalemate.


Agreed, it is a a much needed change.

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Postby Snowman » Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:15 pm

Alban wrote:A very interesting view snowman, and perfectly plausible. What have you seen that has led you to that conclusion.


I'm glad you found it interesting, Alban.

I have chanced upon people from time to time whom I knew during my time in the SES and St James. Some have been my peers from St James who continue to be SES students, some have been related to current SES members and some have been existing SES members a generation or 2 older than myself.

The most recent chance meeting I had (an old classmate and current SES member) expressed opinions that 10 years ago would have seemed unthinkable or at least inexpressible. I realised that there really are changes afoot within the SEs and that there are definite groups whose attitudes to the current SES are polarising. There would appear to be an ever-widening ideological chasm between those who follow the SES without question and those who actually want to intellectually examine the ideology without fear of questioning and challenging the establishment.

I am sure that there are hundreds of students who are realising that they have been manipulated into thinking and acting in a certain way and they will begin to express their opinions more directly. I was pushed over the edge by certain people in the SES over a decade ago, galvanising me to pose the questions that I had been supressing. The answers I got were all too predictable and it was at that point I realised I had been deceived all along. I had no-one to share my feelings with but for those who are having those feelings now there appears to be others with whom they can talk. That is a crucial feature of the current SES that is different from the old SES.

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erikdr
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Meditation - baby and tub?

Postby erikdr » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:32 am

Hi snowman,

Sadly most people will contiue the practice of meditation as it has become habitual serving little purpose other than to perpetuate the hypnotic trance-like state that it has always induced. I do not see the point of repeating the name of a pagan demi-god over and over again - there are undertones of occult practice and worship there


Opinions vary also amongst ex-SES folks. The friends I have with that shared background all in some form continued to meditate, and say that they benefit enormously from it. As I do myself, though now I practice (and teach) more other forms of meditation (e.g. focus on breathing) than the mantra-based forms.

Probably you will have to distinguish between basic meditation techniques and a doctrine on top of it. Basic meditation to me is nothing more than a 'base tone' in a classic orchestra: essential to open up the mind to the Spiritual dimension, but not colouring it into a specific direction. Techniques and doctrines on top of it give the colour, just like the violin parties in an orchestra do so for music. The SES doctrine of suppressing emotions, blocking thoughts etc. IMHO is the evil part and not the basic meditation. Basic meditation can even be found in Christianity, e.g. the Catholic rosary prayers; and trance-like experiences can be linked to that and help to open up to the Spiritual dimension. And believe me, many doctrines on top of meditation can be found that do allow for free thinking and not blocking spontanic behaviour - IMHO even enhancing it!

As to occult worship: I can only find that in the 'doctrines on top of basic meditation'. Again, basic meditation can be found in ANY religion and if you are now of the opinion that religion itself is always evil then we are at odds.

So IMHO you are throwing away the baby with the tub. Hoping for more balanced expressions from your side from now on, or alternatively first an exchange of views to define what the balance is in this respect...
With folded palms,

<Erik>

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Re: Meditation - baby and tub?

Postby Snowman » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:12 pm

erikdr wrote:As to occult worship: I can only find that in the 'doctrines on top of basic meditation'. Again, basic meditation can be found in ANY religion and if you are now of the opinion that religion itself is always evil then we are at odds.

So IMHO you are throwing away the baby with the tub. Hoping for more balanced expressions from your side from now on, or alternatively first an exchange of views to define what the balance is in this respect...


I don't recall mentioning religion in any context and in any case, since you raised the issues, my opinion is that religion is NOT evil. I believe that the meditation system proscribed by the SES is essentially an occult practice - the cult of Rama. Whatever excuses are made for this practice as beneficial or essential to reach a spiritual plane are IMO a load of waffle. I am not familiar with the form of meditation which you practice and I cannot comment on it. If you were offended by my comments I am sorry but I am not sorry for expressing my views on the form of meditation into which I was initiated at the age of 10.

I am unable to dissociate the meditation practice in the SES from the SES itself as they are intrinsically linked and indeed I could say that the practice of meditation is a cornerstone of the SES. So, if you want to defend meditation you are free to do so and I suggest a good starting point is to define how and why your forms of meditation are different.

I accept that it may be possible in some instances to dissociate the practice of meditation from the doctrine within which it is practiced but I find it difficult in the case of SES - based on my experiences. I know what it does to people in that context and I believe that it is detrimental to their spiritual development to practice it. I stand by my comments that continuing practice of the SES sanctioned form of meditation after leaving the SES is sad and will go as far as to say that it is detrimental to their spiritual development.

To leave the SES you must leave all of it behind. If you still want to meditate after you have left then ask Erik to point you in the right direction. Thanks Erik - I hope we are happy to disagree on this issue.

Snowman

with open palms

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erikdr
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Types of meditation

Postby erikdr » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:07 pm

Wow, quite a topic. If more people jump in, please!

I don't recall mentioning religion in any context and in any case, since you raised the issues, my opinion is that religion is NOT evil. I believe that the meditation system proscribed by the SES is essentially an occult practice - the cult of Rama.


Which forces you to explain to me your distinction between 'occultism' and 'beneficial religion'. I feel that won't be easy, as I mostly see occultism used in a negative sense in quite conservative Christian and Muslim circles (the ones that want to ban Harry Potter...).

Also I'd love to hear the reason why you want to add things like 'occultism' to the accusations we in this forum have to the SES. Generally spoken I sense that the accusations are in the direction of abuse of power, group coercion and misrepresentation of the intentions. All things we can agree on irrespective of our present spiritual direction. Once you start throwing these terms probably you divide the anti-SES community quite strongly; me at least would have almost as many problems with some conservative Christians as I have with SES!

I am unable to dissociate the meditation practice in the SES from the SES itself as they are intrinsically linked and indeed I could say that the practice of meditation is a cornerstone of the SES. So, if you want to defend meditation you are free to do so and I suggest a good starting point is to define how and why your forms of meditation are different.


Sad, as IMHO they are quite separate levels. As I said, mantra meditation as practiced in the SES is not that different from repeating Mary's name hundreds of time doing a Catholic rosary prayer, or any mantra meditation in mainstream Buddhism and Hinduism.
As for the meditation which I mostly teach: that is focusing on breathing, another one from mainstream Buddhism and hence part of a respected religion...

I accept that it may be possible in some instances to dissociate the practice of meditation from the doctrine within which it is practiced but I find it difficult in the case of SES - based on my experiences. I know what it does to people in that context and I believe that it is detrimental to their spiritual development to practice it. I stand by my comments that continuing practice of the SES sanctioned form of meditation after leaving the SES is sad and will go as far as to say that it is detrimental to their spiritual development.


Well not so for my friends, they can clearly separate between the base layer and the cult layer as I described them.
So we might agree to disagree here, but only when you make sure that you want to belong firmly to the group that only uses
" things we can agree on irrespective of our present spiritual direction" against the SES. Once you start accusing them from a very specific background that also tends to accuse almost all other (very respectable...) religions, then you IMHO disqualify for a more generic broad anti-SES community...
With folded palms,



<Erik>

NYC
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Postby NYC » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:30 pm

Snowman wrote:...realised that there really are changes afoot within the SEs and that there are definite groups whose attitudes to the current SES are polarising. There would appear to be an ever-widening ideological chasm between those who follow the SES without question and those who actually want to intellectually examine the ideology without fear of questioning and challenging the establishment.


I'm not surprised. You'd have to be made of stone to hear the testimony of the grown-up children of St. James/St. Vedast here and not question the organization.

As far as meditation, I was introduced to it outside of the SES/SoPP, without coercion or a high level of mystification, and I notice four things about it: 1) it is truly the hardest thing I've ever tried to do, maintain a regular, personal meditation practice, 2) people who HAVE maintained a regular practice over many years have a different look in their eyes, a depth or a strength, I'd call it. (I have not noticed this particular look in the eyes of any of my teachers at the SoPP; presumably they do meditate but the look I'm thinking of is very distinctive, immediately recognizable, and (I'm hypothesizing) might be the result of years of diligent, non-artificial spiritual practice. (By the way, I don't think there is anything special about repeating the syllable "Ram" unless YOU think it's special; I use "om" but "ong" or "so ha" or any other thrum type of sound would probably be perfectly fine. This is my own opinion, as a non-orthodox type.)

3) Snowman, I've often thought to myself that the bullying teachers described here COULD NOT POSSIBLY have been actually sitting down and meditating on a regular basis and still been so small-minded, mean, and emotionally retarded.

In my experience, mediation brings you face to face with your own mind -- whatever is not particularly, shall we say, evolved, smacks you in the face. I find it very very difficult to believe that Mavro, etc -- the really sadistic types -- actually meditated much. If you are running around hitting people, -- I could be Wrong! but I just don't think that it is really likely that such a person sits down to meditate on a regular basis. Maybe he or she SITS STILL for the half hour or whatever group meditation that they are supposed to lead, but nobody knows what they are thinking.

Which leads me to 4) which I find inspiring, that no one can make you meditate. They can make you sit there, they can make you be silent, but no one can REALLY control your mind or your thoughts. Your mind can think whatever it wants to, and no authority figure, no matter how brutal, can stop it. I find that encouraging.

I don't mean any of this as advocacy that people who grew up in this opressive environment should run right out and start studying meditation with some other org; if St James/SES did real harm to you, it's probably too long a leap to make and some other kind of spiritual practice, (or secular ethics) will serve you better. But I do feel that the SES understanding of meditation is only one among literally thousands, and it's a mistake to characterize one's personal experience as universal.

As far as reform in the org -- it seems like it's a little difficult to affect that from the outside.

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Postby Snowman » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:02 pm

Ok, Erik, are you defending occult practices and classifying them as religions (beneficial or otherwise)? Are you a member/practicioner of occult group/worship?

I am aware that the practice of meditation is widespread in many religions and faith systems and even the Bible has many references to meditation as I guess the Qu'ran too. What I am interested in is what is meditated upon when one practices it. Numerous occultist practicioners and organisations engaged in meditation including Hitler and Alistair Crowley, self confessed satanist and champion of the occult. His practice of meditation is derived from the same roots as the SES form of esoteric meditation. A practice where a spiritual guide is summoned and followed - in the case of SES it is Rama.

The system of the SES spiritual development ideal reinforces the arcane system through meditation, discipline, group coercion, ego supression and guilt. The meditation is a key part of this indoctrination and intimidation process. At St James if you disrupted the meditation session you would be punished usually being beaten with the cane. Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul taught a system of meditation in the early 20th C whose concepts and guidelines are so obviously derived from the same sources as the SES. Bailey cites one her greatest influences as Madame Blavatsky (anti-semite and occultist) one of whose "Baboons" was Leon Maclaren.

National Socialism in Germany succeeded to power on the back of a manifesto rooted in occult ideology skilfully packaged as Aryan heritage, national identity and national rights - note the swastika origins. The ideological foundations of which were laid by people such as Crowley and Blavatsky, von List, amongst other influences. Why is this relevant to the SES and the practice of meditation? Because New-Age practicioners still embrace these ideas and promote them as spiritually beneficial. When history and common sense have shown us that they are detrimental not only to humanity's spiritual well-being but to humanity's physical well-being.

Whether a meditation technique is part of a "respected religion" or not is no measure of its benefit to society. The practice of rosary meditation is rooted in a very different basis - contemplating the life and works of Christ.

I am sorry to burst your bubble but the SES form of meditation is an occult practice. Did I mention that Bailey's publisher is called the Lucis Trust which is also the publisher for the Rosacrucian Masons and whose name was changed from the Lucifer Trust to become more socially acceptable.

If you believe in a spiritual dimension, and I am pretty sure that you do, then you must be just a little concerned that these influences are more than some kind of harmless New-Age "peace, love, respect" mantra. If you want a spiritual guide in your life know what it really is. It is no coincedence that Satan is called "The great deciever" in the Bible and the New-Age beliefs are one hell of a big deception.




NYC,

You are right there is no way to force an individual mind to or individual to meditate but at the age of 10 and with the fear of being beaten it certainly made you wonder.

I would not be so presumptious as to assume that my experiences could be characterised as universal and must reiterate that I am merely expressing my personal opinion.

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erikdr
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Types of meditation

Postby erikdr » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:59 pm

Hi snowman,

Ok, Erik, are you defending occult practices and classifying them as religions (beneficial or otherwise)? Are you a member/practicioner of occult group/worship?


I am simply explaining that in my religious experience (now mainly Buddhism-based) meditation is essential, and that it has strong similarities with the basic technique as used in SES.

As you fail to offer any sensible reasoning for your labeling of 'occult', and IMHO even fail to analyse truly the rights and wrongs of the SES and probably of most other spiritual groups outside your own (which seems to have become quite narrow-minded to me), I am sorry to conclude that there is not much common ground for us to discuss on.

So let's close the discussion in all due respect?
With folded palms,



<Erik>

Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:29 pm

Erik

I have offered my views on the rights and wrongs of the SES earlier on this forum over several postings. You may be inetersted in the following:

http://www.whyaretheydead.net:/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=2365&highlight=#2365

http://www.whyaretheydead.net:/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=2652&highlight=#2652


I would be ineterested in your thoughts on the above. You may have a clearer understanding of my viewpoint after reading them.

I am happy to call the occult discussion a stalemate.


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