Women and Self-Realisation in the School

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
NYC
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:17 pm

Postby NYC » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:48 am

But if you don't believe there is anything accessible to human experience beyond the mind, it's all going to be mind play, isn't it?

Exactly. So what?s the SES definition of self-realization, Bella?


AntonR wrote:The so-called "Self" that we want to discuss can't be discussed or experienced nor can IT experience without going through the mind

If we can?t experience the self/soul, then what makes us think it?s there?

Keir wrote:I always split it into its two english words ( ie Self and Realisation) and understood that depending on your definitions of Self and Realisation it can be made to mean all sorts of things.

Yeah?what did your teachers say it meant, Keir?
Attended Parts 1,2, & 3 and a Plato study group in the NY adult school 2004 - 2005. Also explored advaita philosphy in other organizations since 1995, and continue to do so.

User avatar
a different guest
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:13 am
Location: Australia

Postby a different guest » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:55 am

it could be as simple as identifying with someone else?s suffering


Given as to how a good number of SES people on these boards come across as totally lacking in any ability to empathise with others, all I can say is that the SES appears to be failing miserably in teaching something that is central to their belief system.
Relatives with long-term involvement in the SES / SOP/ SoEP

User avatar
Keir
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:04 am
Location: London

Postby Keir » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:04 am

From dim and distant memory.....

It was presented to me from the age of 8 upwards by both SES and St James as an exceedingly rare and privileged golden state that you could only achieve by lifetimes of hard work and service, I can't honestly remember the actual phrases they used but the way it was used as a threat in the manner of exclusion from the club or failure and therefore rejection by the club. Understand that is how an 8 year old sees things. So when some stuffed shirt postulated about MacLaren being Self-Realised it fed in to the almost reverential way he was treated etc etc.

You had that alongside stuff that said that it was in the moment, which I tend to suspect now was nearer the truth of the teaching rather than sycophantic misogenystic commentary or speculation.

NYC
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:17 pm

Postby NYC » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:33 am

Keir wrote:[self-realization as] an exceedingly rare and privileged golden state that you could only achieve by lifetimes of hard work and service

so, it?s implied that once you ?attain Self-Realization? you?re golden forever, no need to continue that hard work & service? Tch. The lineage of advaita I?m most familiar with, the yoga tradition, gets very itchy about goals, and attainments. Itchy is the sense that?s its counterindicated.

ADG, I?m in quite sharp agreement with you about the lack of empathy exhibited by so many SES members on this board, but I will say that face-to-face, in my exp of the adult school, anyway, more people than not made a visible effort to be kind. Of course, if the belief system was questioned past a certain point then kindness vanished and tutors could be very intolerant. In the first year, though, I can?t say the teachers were a whole lot more intolerant than a lot of university profs ? at least the type who belongs to a particular school of thought or methodology.
Attended Parts 1,2, & 3 and a Plato study group in the NY adult school 2004 - 2005. Also explored advaita philosphy in other organizations since 1995, and continue to do so.

User avatar
bella
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:52 am

Postby bella » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:33 am

It just is, nothing more, nothing less. There is nothing to DO at all. The doing itself is what is the mind play.


Anton, you sound just like my tutor before meditation. *peers* Susan, is that you? ;)

NYC, as Keir has pointed out, there are more than a few ideas floating around about self-realisation in the school. As he also pointed out, what you take from the school's words on the subject probably has a lot to do with where you're at in your life at the time, and what your propensities are. In my experience, ideas of goals and attainments in this area are also contraindicated.

Something that was put to me quite early in the school, which has stayed with me, is that if you're in the present moment for a few minutes, chances are you've realised the Self (with the ubiquitous big S). Ideas about what constitutes "being in the present moment" obviously differ as much as ideas about self-realisation, for some of the same reasons, I'd guess.
Last edited by bella on Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby AntonR » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:40 am

Post deleted
Last edited by AntonR on Wed May 17, 2006 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

NYC
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:17 pm

Postby NYC » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:51 am

Ideas about what constitutes "being in the present moment" obviously differ as much as ideas about self-realisation


Well, care to take a crack at describing your idea of what constitutes ?being in the present moment? then?
Attended Parts 1,2, & 3 and a Plato study group in the NY adult school 2004 - 2005. Also explored advaita philosphy in other organizations since 1995, and continue to do so.

User avatar
bella
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:52 am

Postby bella » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:08 am

Heh, I did, in the original post, but it kept going on and on and on and I started to feel like Ross. OK, I'll do 25 words or less, and happily open myself to a "tsk tsk, that's not what it is at ALL" from Anton. Maybe...operating as required without internal commentary or judgement, and so without identification as a separate entity with separate needs and knowledge.
Last edited by bella on Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Goblinboy » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:09 am

AntonR wrote:Herein lies the problem with the Jnana Yoga that the SES is teaching. It is totally devoid of one vital ingredient, WATER. That is why there is no love and compassion in anything they do. There is no real reaching out to the world in which they live because it is only an intellectual concept.


That's interesting. Would you be able to expand a little on that theme, Anthony?

Cheers,

GB

mm-
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: LONDON

Postby mm- » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:27 am

This thread is way beyond me.

Am I the only one on this BB that has no idea what you are all going on about? How on earth can educated, intellectual individuals become so gullible and actually believe all of this rubbish that is being taught.

If it is true that men are being led to believe that they must help women on the path to self-realisation, and more worryingly women in these groups then believe that the only way to achieve this is through the help of a man...then I honestly think every single person that is involved with the SES should take a long hard look at themselves and get out as fast as they can.

There has been talk on this BB about not wishing to harm the present schools. In my opinion, if this kind of crap is being fed to innocent children then the schools should be closed immediately. The more I read on this BB the more angry I get.

I am sooooo glad that I got my children out of St James when I did !

User avatar
bonsai
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:08 am
Location: London

Postby bonsai » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:20 pm

I find this conversation interesting for a number of reasons. Like Alban, my search to discover what sort of organisation the SES is has led me to questioning everything and discovering that the foundations of my life and my own belief system are very weak.

Another reason I find the conversation fascinating is that we are talking about concepts that cannot be rationalised or experienced and yet we try to rationalise them and understand what we can do to experience them.

The final thing I find so amazing is just how many different views of apparently the same thing are being expressed.

Without a doubt the concept of self realisation, as taught through St James, was that it is goal of mankind and that by following the philosophy and the path that the SES prescribed we might make it. It is something that sounded like a torturous trial. There were many things that were touted as coming with being "realised". These included that you would then be free from the cycle of birth death and reincarnation, you would know all your former lives and you would be in control of your own life and would choose your own death, amongst other things.

To me the concept of self realisation is best described by the allegory of the film the matrix and the idea that most of us most of the time are entirely caught up in our day to day world which is nothing more than an illusion (the computer virtual reality matrix). To be realised is to realise that there is something beyond this. To me to actually be realised means that this goes beyond a belief but you know that there is something beyond the physical creation in which we live.

I personally struggle with many aspects of this concept and idea. If realisation is an achievable state then there seems to be nothing in it that suggests you have to live a virtuous, righteous or moral life to achieve it. There is also nothing to indicate that have attained this state that you would from there on in choose to live a virtuous, righteous or moral life.

Also how do you distinguish that someone who claims to have achieved this state is anymore than a delusional nutter? If they do not claim that they are how do you tell and why would they show any outward signs that weren't consistent with the illusionary world in which most of us preoccupied.

If there is nothing observable about the state of being fully realised itself then what would the SES know about a path to achieving this state. And if someone is telling you a path from their personal experience of knowing something about it how are you supposed to discriminate that again they are not a madman or in other way delusional.

If becoming fully realised is like waking up from a dream like you may experience when you are asleep then being awaken to the reality has no effect on the dream and your role in the dream has no affect on reality. As far as I can tell the concept of realisation is one that entirely doesn't matter at all to anything. The idea that the school is following the teachings of someone who was realised is just full of holes. At the end of the day the SES and even the ideas of Advaita are just based on a set of beliefs. Beliefs that are beyond that which is provable or existential experience.

As much as I don't believe in the concept of realisation I can not get away from it being a possibility because of the sheer effect of the drip fed method in which I was introduced to it.

Certainly looking at the SES, it is an organisation that fails to provide a consistent message about what it is about and the level of involvement of its members let alone capable of conveying a consistent or comprehendable meaning to its philosophy or beliefs.

Yes people have the right to believe whatever they want and they can go and set up an organisation to investigate these beliefs or whatever but to manipulate people into convincing them that these ideas are true and that there are specific paths to finding them is just wrong. The manipulations involved are the same as those used to lure people into finacial scams such as pyramid schemes and the results are disappointment and hurt.

I have to agree with mm. I too fail to understand why educated people get so caught of in this stuff and allow themselves to believe all this stuff and I certainly feel that it has no place in a children's school having been through it.

Bonsai

leon
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:13 pm

Postby leon » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:55 pm

It's a shame SES does not teach philosophy

User avatar
bella
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:52 am

Postby bella » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:42 pm

Agreed with bonsai - this is an interesting thread for me too, foot-stamping included. Pretty instructive (not only for us, I imagine) to see the widely varying interpretations and associations with what is one of the school's fundamental areas of focus.

User avatar
bonsai
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:08 am
Location: London

Postby bonsai » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:50 pm

leon wrote:It's a shame SES does not teach philosophy


Perhaps all the adverts that pose the questions like "who am I" and "What is my purpose" etc should have a disclaimer at the bottom along the lines of "Attending these course is no guarantee to obtaining answers"

It's like advertising investment vehicles. We all expect to make investments expecting them to do well and we get lured in by adverts etc but every advert comes with the disclaimer that "the value of investments may rise as well as fall".

Bonsai

PS Perhaps it should come with a more significant disclaimer along the lines of "May cause mental illness, trauma and breakdown" ;-)

User avatar
Keir
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:04 am
Location: London

Postby Keir » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:10 pm

I don't think a tagline under the adverts on the tube would stop lonely, frustrated, vulnerable, or intellectually led people from staying in the SES OR putting their children in St James. Shame, but because of what it purports to offer (i.e. the answers to the meaning of life). It is only when you can clearly see what is going on (usually from an external perspective after some time for reflection) that you see that the SES and St James offer a half-baked watered down version of a facsimile of a number of different threads of belief, filtered through a number of different sets of beliefs in the tutors that instruct you in its use.

The fact that it is neither that new or that up to date for them to be so arrogant about it, is mildly annoying. Most people who have a few evenings off in the week will gain the experience by living life to never have made the mistake of ignoring all the reports and signs they have had to change. I think most people would also recognise the need for professionals to ensure that they stop trampling on everyone's feelings everytime they try to help.

But I guess you can lead a donkey to water but you can't make it drink.


Return to “General discussion of SES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests