Page 2 of 2
Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:47 pm
Thanks for the articulate response Stanton. Helps to better understand your point of view. No brickbats from here. Hope things are improving for you re crises, etc.
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:09 am
I can't see any reason for brickbats Stanton, I understand the search for a meaningfull explanation of life, especially after a personal crisis. But surely you have heard that one of the common threads between new members is the crisis moment.
In psychological terms it is a time of vulnerability and openness. Add to that the withdrawal pangs from an organisation that promotes an all-encompasing reality that subverts emotion in favour of intellectualism.
My ideas about the SES may be old fashioned but things were very sinister then. Not to say that when folk are vulnerable there aren't a host of willing participants to take advantage. But surely as an insider you lose the perspective on such things as the value of compassion. Maybe even the distance to have a real determination to ensure resignation of the pertinent people for their lack of governorship, but accept instead that the ones who bring you such relief from life's stresses must know what they are doing when it comes to knowing when to resign.
Can I ask what it is that made you discontented enough to leave in the first place, and what changed for you to find that acceptable enough the second time around. Was it no longer valid? Were you more desperate to cling to something? Had they changed out of all recognition?
My aim is not to discredit you but to understand what precisely you gained and what you lost by rejoining the organisation the second time. It is a question that calls for complete honesty - and you can PM your answer if you like - as I imagine it is a very personal thing for you to explain.
Infact I think it would be very useful to hear why people rejoin or join the SES in the first place. I am sure that there are valid reasons for you and for everyone that joins, I am just not convinced it would be the answer I would give, given what I have seen going on in the name of truth.
As detractors it is important to understand what brings people back once they have left, maybe because our experience has forever soured us to what can be found there. Or maybe we have by virtue of the St J education become such extremists towards the SES that there is no hope of us ever finding any good in it.
Reconciliation is a fine word to bandy about in Press releases but to reconcile two such variant views of the good of the SES, something dramatic has got to be recognised by both sides. At the current time it seems to me that the SES organisation has not budged an inch further than they were required to by public opinion, and whether by betrayal of trust or by bad example in the past there is a negative and distrusting residue of the entire organisation and its influence in the St J schools leavers. Given that the same people are in the upper echelons of the organisation as were there when we experienced this mistreatment, how will you ever convince me or anyone else that it is alright for the governors to continue in post or the heads to continue as if nothing much has happened?
The way I see it, no matter how many 'nice' people I meet in the SES the organisation is run by people who I have personal knowledge of being distrustful and manipulating. They have not renounced the ideas that were more from Mr MacLaren's personal larder of misogyny than from any teaching that I ever heard. They continue to be secretive (if depressed) and oblique, and they refuse to deal with any seriousness with any of the complaints on this board, preferring them to be proved in a court of law, until which they are accused of being groundless exaggeration and bitterness. It doesn't matter how much of a solution you seem to provide if the one group of people who were fed the philosophy from the ground up end up angry, confused, unprepared for life, and deeply distrusting and full of criticism of the teachers. Something aint right.
Does everyone have to wait for 15 years, or until their kids have breakdowns at age 30 before they take a word on this website seriously? Or do enough people have the courage to ask the questions on the basis that some of it might be true and that is worth investigating? Listen to the testimony of people who have loved family members in the SES unable to discuss this BB. Why should their saviour belief structure be so fragile that it cannot take discussion, or a different view and some criticism? What is it that encourages such stiff necked arrogance about the world outside from within the SES, and at the same time such sensitivity? What is it that is so precious about the cobbled together philosophies that demands such unquestioning obedience and respect when it comes through the SES, when the philosophies are at least in major part available without the organisation?
What is the fear of openness? What is the fear of change for the better? what can be gained from sticking their head in the sand about criticism or good behaviour when it comes to untenable position?
You are a current member, you tell me what is so special that it elevates the SES so high above its fellow man that it doesn't need to pay the blindest bit of notice to it? And is that helping to elevate society or just those who happen to subscribe to the SES coffers? But is it really elevation or delusion that they offer after all? Rennaisance? They are behaving like any corporate organisation. New knowledge? not hardly. Responsible for children in its care (only in the last decade apparently). Oh they are happy as can be. Bulletin board? Liars and malcontents.
If you can find solace in a ship with so many holes - good luck to you, especially if you wont act to be sure to stop the holes once they are pointed out by an independent QC.
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:55 am
Thank you Stanton, for such a thorough description of your background and affiliations with the School. (Someone suggested using a capital S when referring to the SES rather than one of the day schools.) Your postings now make more sense given your experience.
I think that Keir has raised quite a few valid points. I, particularly, am interested in why you returned after having left. I know quite a few US members who did the same, although I have not spoken to them about their reasons for doing so.
Here is one of the reasons why knowing a poster's background is so important. Stanton fits into the category of adult SES members rather than having grown up within the School or one of the schools. I think this gives him/her a very different outlook of the school than those of us who grew up there. Not that his/her view is inherantly wrong, but just different. I would NEVER return to the school no matter how much they protest that they have changed. However, I could see myself having had a similar experience to Stanton had I not grown up there - joining as an adult, leaving, and then joining again. The community is very strong, as is the school's assertion that by being a member, you are working towards the Truth, and towards a Realization of your Self.
Please remember that we do not want to scare current members from posting, which may be why Stanton took so long to make an introduction. I think that it is vital for current members to be willing to participate in this forum and hear our experiences, so that they can share them with other members in the school and hopefully bring about some changes.
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:54 pm
Thank you Goblinboy, Keir and Free Thinker for your posts and questions. I will try to answer these as best I can. There is nothing much I can add to your experiences of the day schools ? you are in a far better position to judge this than I am.
You ask me why I left the School and why I returned. Free Thinker is right in that the School is different for an adult. You can come and you can go as you wish. There?s a different perspective.
I left because, after many years, the School had become dull and dry for me. What had started out as an exciting if difficult adventure, had matured into deeper understanding as I grew older, then became tedious. Having lost contact with the teaching the rest was just a chore. Sanscrit grammar? Oh dear. Book of Manu? A depressing and dreary article. What happened to that spirit of enquiry? Wrong end of telescope. Nothing spoke to me. Why stay? Habit? So I left.
But I promised myself that I would not become bitter or unhappy about the School. I had benefitted from it a great deal and it would be ungrateful to bite the hand that had fed me so well. Life is for living not weeping.
Quite recently I experienced a personal crisis which called into question my entire life and what I had chosen to do with it. Don?t ask. It?s enough for you to know that years of accretions cracked away ? it was painful and also liberating. But a crisis is an opportunity hammering on the door under a different name. To my great surprise that door had School written on it.
What else can I say? I?m taking it day by day. I have no answer to your criticisms. I should feel intensely sorry, however, if your unfortunate early experiences turned you completely against a similar enquiry. Wherever that might be.
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:09 am
Thank you Stanton for clarifying. I certainly wouldn't ask what personal crisis brought you here. that's for you to share when and if you feel comfortable doing so.
As for being closed off to further inquiry, are you saying that you would think it sad if I closed off ever returning to the school because of my early experiences, or if I closed off exploring myself, as I did when I was in the school?
If it's the latter, certainly not. I have spent much of my adult time examining myself and trying to better myself. While I may not be part of a traditional spiritual group, I feel much more in touch with my Jewish heritage, where everyday things are made holy through rememberance and intentions. I think this is somewhat aligned with "being in the moment". So the food I eat, the clothing I wear, the places I visit, my political involvement, is all done very purposefully.
If you mean the former, I would say that 19 years spent within the school was enough to help me decide to "reject" rather than the acceptance that was shoved down my throat for so many years with the false label 'neither accept nor reject". Because while it's good to have an open mind, there are times when it is important to choose one or the other. And when the School spends so much time really forcing you to "accept" - because if you rejected, you would be ignored, punished, or have to leave - you begin to accept when you really shouldn't.
When a person enters the school as an adult, with a fairly good view of themself, this may not be such an issue. But for children or teenagers, it is. When you don't yet have the experience or judgement to know what is right and wrong, or to understand people's actions versus their intentions, this can be very damaging. For me, it caused me to agree to many things whether I really agreed with them or not; to not speak out when I saw or heard wrong; to agree to do things to please others even when I didn't want to, etc.
Now an exercise like having a partner for the evening where you each do everything for the other, like choosing the clothing to wear, what to eat, etc. may seem light and not dangerous - and on it's own it was def. an exercising in letting go of one's ego (oh, the clothing I had to wear that night!) - it's just a very superficial example of what went much deeper.
Now I might have gotten some of this type of mind-training (if you will) at home, but the fact that I saw it happening all over the School leads me to believe that it was a lot more than that. As a result I have endured some very painful situations (having sex when I didn't want to but being unable to say "no"; waiting for almost 14 hours to be seen in the Emergency Room because I was unable to speak up for myself enough to make my needs known; agreeing to do things for people that I didn't have time to do like working extra hours, etc.). So I think that I really know what I'm talking about when I say I've had enough of that sort of training and I will never ever ever ever ever go back.
That's all for now. I might post some more later.
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:17 am
Free Thinker - you have clearly not closed down your enquiry and I found your post thoughtful and clarifying. To find oneself having to go along with any philosophical or religious system when one doubts its veracity is difficult to say the least. My only caveat is that, throughout the ages, doubt has assailed the best - the dark night of the soul. But I don't think you were speaking of that. Force can never be justified.