Has the SES changed?

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.

Has the SES changed since the 70's and 80's?

Seems pretty much the same (70's or 80's member)
3
50%
Seems to have experienced a sea change (70's or 80's member)
1
17%
Seems pretty much the same (current member)
1
17%
Seems to have experienced a sea change (current member)
1
17%
 
Total votes: 6

Goblinboy
Moderator
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 4:07 am

Postby Goblinboy » Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:39 pm

Ben Wheaton wrote:Your comments on Gurdjief are interesting. There was mention of him and his disciple Ouspensky a fair amount back then, but it all went over my head. Your comments on Gurdjief and discipline are particularly interesting. Is there anything written on this you can refer me to?



See Peter Washington's Madame Blavatsky's Baboon for an entertaining introduction to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky - both their teachings and their lives. The SES and other movements influenced by Theosophy are also examined. http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0436202735/qid=1144193890/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-4845078-0383652 or check amazon's US site.

AntonR
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:32 am

Postby AntonR » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:18 am

Post deleted
Last edited by AntonR on Wed May 17, 2006 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Stanton
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:23 am

Postby Stanton » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:22 am

The School in London was teaching Advaita Vedanta in the 1970s and 80s.

chittani
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:03 pm

Postby chittani » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:07 am

OK, I stand corrected. Before my time.

But I think it is very arguable whether there is a broad or deep understanding of AV even now. Some people do have a good picture of what it is, and is not. Many seem to treat it as a kind of religion, or maybe "common-sense philosophy". Nothing could be much further from the reality. The Philosophy magazine article exposed this.

A few years back Mr Lambie gave us a series of lectures based on Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy that was intended to give people an awareness of philosophy as a discipline. The same could profitably be done for Eastern philosophy.

Matthew
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: London

Postby Matthew » Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:07 am

Goblinboy wrote:
Ben Wheaton wrote:Your comments on Gurdjief are interesting. There was mention of him and his disciple Ouspensky a fair amount back then, but it all went over my head. Your comments on Gurdjief and discipline are particularly interesting. Is there anything written on this you can refer me to?

See Peter Washington's Madame Blavatsky's Baboon for an entertaining introduction to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky - both their teachings and their lives. The SES and other movements influenced by Theosophy are also examined. http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0436202735/qid=1144193890/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-4845078-0383652 or check amazon's US site.

You could also check out "Call No Man Master" by Joyce Collin Smith, and "In search of PD Ouspensky: The Genius in the Shadow of Gurdjieff" by Gary Lachman. See http://www.whyaretheydead.net/phpBB2/vi ... .php?t=486 for the rest.

Goblinboy
Moderator
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 4:07 am

Postby Goblinboy » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:02 pm

chittani wrote:...I think goblinboy's remark that

Advaita Vedanta remains the major underlying source of the teaching.


is quite mistaken. As Ben confirms, Advaita Vedanta was never mentioned back in the 70s and 80s.


That may have been the case in Britain, but not here. Advaita spliced with "the work", viewed through MacLaren's filters.

It was pretty obvious where much of the material was coming from, simply by observing the lives of members in the late '80s and early '90s in the Oz SOP, and conversing with them. Members may not have known that it was called Advaita Vedanta - they appeared to believe it was the exculsive intellectual property of the SES. Using some general knowledge of Hindu culture and a skoolgoblin's knowledge of T.S.Eliot was enough for this to become apparent.

chittani wrote:Probably the most important thing that could happen is a real discussion about what a philosophy school should be like. As part of that I'm going to discuss all of the issues besetting the School at the moment with my students next term.


Good to hear.

Jo-Anne Morgan
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:23 pm

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:12 pm

It was in Sept 1980, Celia and I had a private meeting with an Indian follower of Advaita Vedanta, a person who lived and breathed it. I have hesitated to put on this BB what he had to say to us about it all.
We gained a much broader understanding of Advaita Vedanta from him and continue to respect it, to this day.


AntonR - if you ever fancy putting what he said on this BB, then I for one would be very interested to read it. Cheers, Jo-Anne

AntonR
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:32 am

Postby AntonR » Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:59 am

Post deleted
Last edited by AntonR on Wed May 17, 2006 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

ross nolan
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 5:10 am
Location: Melbourne Australia

SES red cards ?

Postby ross nolan » Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:09 am

Anton R -- I had thought you had severed all ties with the SES/SOP - can you explain please what you mean by 'receiving yellow cards' from the SES establishment?

Is there something to fear from them?

Can someone post a reasonably detailed description of what the SES 'version' of Advaita Vedanta actually is ?

The whole 'discussion' is very much an 'in joke' in effect that ignores those who do not have this common pool of understanding -- a bit like the mention of being talked across in a foreign language on another thread here ,vaguely dismissive or even insulting .

Bear in mind that this organization does not describe itself as having any religious beliefs or practices and uses the term 'philosophy' and 'science' in it's titles .

Philosophy is at root a scientific undertaking in that knowledge and understanding are CREATED by the application of a set of axiomatic principles that make "sense" to the human mind ( we start by believing that we do have a logical and rational sense post Descarte ) and can be conveyed to other minds that can then also 'see' the truthfullness of the proposition put or answer to a question.

Scientific knowledge and philosophical knowledge are thus DERIVED from the application of conciousness.

Religions merely STIPULATE what is to be" believed "-- usually with menaces and threats to those who resist or dispute .

Is Advaita Vedanta a philosophy or a religious belief ?

If it has POSTULATES and not DICTATES then it is philosophical and can be explained and derived from first principles -- even recourse to the nature of perception and feelings, emotions and non material factors are acceptable in explaining the basis for 'teachings'.

Falsities like fictitious eloquent speeches by noble savages are not -- nor is the leaping at "Deja Vu' experience as the proof of former lives or a dochotomy of soul,mind and being -- how much of the other SES teaching is just unargued "interpretation" or religious dogma ?
Skeptic

ses-surviver
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:11 pm
Location: London

Postby ses-surviver » Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:47 am

Stanton wrote:The School in London was teaching Advaita Vedanta in the 1970s and 80s.

Indeed. Once past the early stages of 'Middle School' (does it still exist?) and the misery that was "measure", the material made no attempt to hide Advaita Vedanta. Maybe it was the 'stream' that I was in at the time. However I was certainly happier with the Advaita Vedanta angle than the 'old school' teaching.

Having read some books by Gurdjief and his followers, I am glad that we didn't have to work through some of that. Going to Stanhill and Sarum Chase one felt much more of a contact with that era - the work that must have gone into polishing all that wood!

Walking past the building at Mandeville Place these days and seeing desks with computer flat-screen monitors on them in reception ... it all seems a million miles away from my time in the SES.

Jo-Anne Morgan
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:23 pm

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:56 pm

I'm disappointed that AntonR doesn't feel he can expand on this BB on the thoughts of the Indian follower of Advaita Vedanta.

I have a book called 'Vedantic Meditation' by David Frawley. In there it says,
'Vedanta is a simple philosophy. It says that our true Self, what it calls the Atman, is God. "I am God" is the supreme truth. The same consciousness that resides at the core of our being pervades the entire universe'.
It goes on to say
'Vedanta is the oldest and most enduring spiritual teaching in India. It is fully emergent in the Upanishads and synthesized in the Bhagavad Gita'.

There is no mention whatsoever in the whole book of any distinction or difference between men and women.

However, in the Upanishads, there are statements like,
'Lord! On what does the unlimited depend? said Narada. 'On his own greatness, said Sanatkumar, or not even that. The possession of cattle, horses, elephants; farms, mansions, servants, women, gold; are greatness in this world.' (Chandogya Upanishad)
'In the beginning there was the Self, one and sole. He thought: 'Let me have a wife that I may have children'. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)

In other words it seems that, according to the Upanishads, the woman is nothing more than the possession/chattel of the man, the companion, the producer of children. She is nothing in her own right. Similar in a way to the Adam and Eve story in the Bible. So is it true? And if it is true, why don't I feel it? Why do I feel completely a person in my own right, and always have done even from being very young. Have the Upanishads become distorted by a patriarchal society? Does David Frawley deliberately not make reference to men and women so as not to antagonise half his potential market?

What does it all mean???!!!

AntonR
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:32 am

Postby AntonR » Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:34 am

Post deleted


Return to “General discussion of SES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests