Women and Self-Realisation in the School

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
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Postby Free » Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:33 am

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:34 am

Wait until we get into how this is done in the children's schools.


Well WITH an understanding of the SES belief system AND reading between the lines, this obscure article well buried (it actually ends up opening in a new window when you eventually find it) in the Sydney school's website gives us a hint re the teaching of the girls.
http://johncolet.nsw.edu.au/Articles/se ... sophy.html
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ross nolan
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deja vue

Postby ross nolan » Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:36 am

Bella, the reference to the 'meaning' of Deja Vu experiences was amongst a lot of other similarly slanted 'discussion' amongst the class about 'lost time' events (ie have you ever been driving on a long trip and realized you couldn't remember the last town you went through ? ) -- this might not happen so much in the UK with much shorter distances and a lack of long monotonous stetches of road but is a fairly common thing in the backblocks in Australia ,-"daydreaming" , etc and other so called evidence for different states of mind that,somehow, reveal the existence of a 'higher'
conciousness .

A couple of the students had studied psychology and (it later turned out ,the Upanishads, pentecostal preaching training, catholic nuns etc)and were able to press the tutors 'hints' at what these things meant probably a bit further than was intended at the introductory stage . (one 'student' also knew a bit more about the whole SES dogma but only revealed this at the end of the course )

Alternative hypotheses such as the switching from left to right brain hemisphere dominant activity, re processing of information , etc presented as 'answers' were obviously not 'correct' --
the role of the 'observer' in mental processes that seemed to deny the reality of individual self- generated thoughts in favour of some Jungian-like pool of conciousness was brought in --
the impossibility of a piece of biological tissue actually creating original thought was the bottom line in this -- we are,in this view, essentially all a kind of puppet being put through some sort of 'acceptance testing' process in effect -
- this is in itself not unlike the basic Christian doctrine or lots of other religions -- the illusion of free will or thought and the concept of a selection based on response to evil,temptation, the true religion etc (sheep vs goats , Adam and Eve ,the tree of good and evil etc ) seems itself a little schizophrenic.

I asked why there would need to be such an exquisitley sophisticated physical organ like the Brain if it was,in effect, not actually doing anything -- ie all thought, ideas etc came from an external divine source or 'hyperlink' to the metaconciousness of the 'absolute'.

This basic idea was quite clearly the 'guts' of the SES teaching -- ie the supernatural basis for thought, the existence of "spirit" and "mind" as totally seperate from the 'meat' and not emergent properties of a complex arrangement of normal matter and energy.

(Incidentally energy is defined as the capacity to do work -- the on going discussion seems to be attributing some properties to energy that are somewhat unrelated )

The observed relationship between specific diseases and other conditions like injuries to the brain SEEM to show that the 'person-ality' of the human being does in fact arise from the electrochemical workings of the lump of tissue inside the skull -- this is in itself a staggering realization in that it is then only the microscopic physical (and hence chemical,quantum even ) interactions of inert atoms that create the phenomenon of consciousness and hence thought.

The structure of the brain is so complex that it looks 'magic' for sure -- the discovery of microtubules and the possibility that quantum processes can actually be involved, so that true randonmness and novelty can come about rather than endless causation and effect slaved together, is another groundbreaking discovery -- the vast medical records of how the individual facets of life,thinking and motivation are related intimately to the actual structures of the brain and the chemical state(from actual specific injury cases and testing of various drugs,lithium etc ) seem to show beyond reasonable doubt that the brain ACTUALLY does manufacture all the thoughts and actions carried out by human beings .

This conclusion was certainly not so inescapable 5000 or more years ago when the scholars who wrote the Vedic texts or the many other religions including Christianity -- it is unforgiveable that such antiscientific claptrap could be being peddled by the SES today (and even worse that it is being done in the very headquarters of the Royal (Scientific) Society building and appearing to enjoy their imprimatur (!)

The fundamental divergence between "Universe as rational , logical ,is what it seems to be , actual thing including humans " to "Universe as illusion, big con job by 'puppet master' God or Gods (thousands in Hinduism) who manipulate the thoughts and actions of humans by supernatural means " (can't see the 'strings' but we know from religion that they are there nonetheless ) is the difference between the two world views .

The modern belief is that the Universe is NOT a big illusion just put there as backdrop for the playing out of an ancient 'morality play' but is an astounding (when scientifically studied) reality that reveals itself to be ever more complex and apparently 'engineered' in some fashion so that the artifacts of intelligence and the other workings of life come about .

Paul Davies is perhaps the prime advocate for the school of thought that rejects the collapse into fearful God worshipping as the only response to the understanding of the real nature of the universe and what it is about -- Oliver Sacks is well worth reading to dispell some of the 'folk' explanations of mind functioning and 'souls' 'spirit' etc that emerge from brain function study and encompass "deja vue" , subconciousness and other altered mind states that do not go to prove SES or other religious dogma.

The universe is stranger than we can conceive (yet) and is a lot stranger even than the inventions of religion.

A harmless belief in untrue concepts (say flat Earthism -provided you are not in the rocket launching business) would just be a sad waste of time but the "household" 'practical philosophy' that we discuss is, to me, not just provably untrue but is far from being harmless -- it is intolerant of any questioning (unlike science) and seems to be inadvertently damaging(in the St James sense ) as well as actively 'self protective' in the classic religious manner by threat ( principally by bad Karma on reincarnation ) and stifling any of it's critics -- which might lead to self preservation but is hardly likely to arrive at 'truth'.

Hang on I think I am having a 'deja vu' experience- haven't I written this before ?......
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Postby Tom Grubb » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:25 am

a different guest wrote:
Wait until we get into how this is done in the children's schools.


Well WITH an understanding of the SES belief system AND reading between the lines, this obscure article well buried (it actually ends up opening in a new window when you eventually find it) in the Sydney school's website gives us a hint re the teaching of the girls.
http://johncolet.nsw.edu.au/Articles/se ... sophy.html


I was interested to see this when I followed the link above:

Obedience - " When I was in 3rd class I thought that only children had to obey, but then I realised that everyone has to obey. Adults have to obey laws. People who don't obey the laws get put into jail if it is really serious." (10 yrs old )

Surely she means: "Adults have to obey laws, unless they teach at SES-run schools."

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Ben W
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Postby Ben W » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:07 am

Hi Bella,

There are a few comments in response to your question. What do you make of them? There certainly seems to have been a very established approach to treating women as secondary to men in the past. I've also had this confirmed from my mother.

Are you comfortable that this is no longer part of the teaching? If so, what do you think caused the shift?

Best wishes,
Ben
Child member of SES from around 1967 to around 1977; Strongly involved in Sunday Schools ; Five brothers and sisters went to ST V and St J in the worst years

chittani
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Postby chittani » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:25 pm

I remember the vow or 'sankalpa' referred to above, although I didn't know that it was different for girls. It wasn't compulsory, I remember getting up voluntarily and doing it; but there WAS one member of my group who didn't do it. His humble reasoning was that there was no way in the world he could turn his back on ahankara, so he couldn't do it.

I've never stopped regretting having taken that vow; nor stopped respecting him for not doing it.

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Postby NYC » Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:35 pm

Jo-Anne wrote:NYC, are you referring to the following verse in Chapter 9?
'For even the children of sinful parents, and those miscalled the weaker sex, and merchants, and labourers, if only they will make Me their refuge, they shall attain the highest.'

I took that to mean that Krishna was saying to Arjuna that, contrary to his prejudices, women and the lower castes could attain the highest through their own efforts.

Hi Jo-anne,

Yes, the passage you quote is the one I had in mind. But the text continues in the next verse (Ch9 v 33, if want to find it) that although women and the lower classes CAN "attain the highest" it is EASIER to do so if you are a brahmin.

Since these passages are in Sanskrit, English translations vary. Here are two:

From WJ Johnson, educated at University of Sussex and Wolfson College, Oxford, trans 1994:
"For whoever depends on me, Partha [nickname for Arjuna], however low their origins whether they are women, farmers and merchants, or even labourers and serfs they go by the highest path.

How much more then deserving brahmins and devoted royal seers. Since you have been born into this impermanent, unhappy world, devote yourself to me."


And from Barbara Stoler Miller, Barnard College, University of Pennsylvania, trans 1986.

"If they rely on me, Arjuna,
Women, commoners, men of low rank,
Even men born in the womb of evil,
Reach the highest way.

How easy it is then for holy priests
And devoted royal sages?
In this transient world of sorrow, devote your self to me!"


Neither translation specifies that you must be male to become enlightened, but I think that in the context of its time of composition most of the Gita's audience would have understood "it's easier for Brahmins to be enlightened" to mean "Brahmins have lived many previous lifetimes of virtue and so have already done some of the work to be enlightened." Modern people might interpret it differently, that it's easier for Brahmins and royal sages to be enlightened because they have access to education, their lives are easier, they suffer less oppression, and they have to worry less about basic survival.

So it's accurate to say that women and the lower classes are not totally shut out of the enlightenment process -- but the two verses together make clear that some people have advantages in that process. Will it take a woman more than one lifetime, just to catch up to the Brahmins? The chapter doesn?t say. Bella mentioned "The passage in the Vivekachudamani about a male birth" which I would be curious to hear more about.

Here's a transliteration of the Gita passages in Sanskrit, in case someone has studied enough to understand it (wouldn't be likely on most boards, but perhaps someone here can?)

Maam hi paartha vyapaashritya ye?pi syuh paapayonayah
Striyo vaishyaastathaa shoodraste?pi yaanti paraam gatim.

Kim punarbraahmanaah punyaa bhaktaa raajarshayastathaa
Anityamasukham lokam imam praapya bhajaswa maam.


Anyway, you can see that when you are dealing with a source text written in another language, whether it's Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, or Sanskrit, the translator is also an interpreter. I do think the translation Jo-Anne cites, which uses "those miscalled the weaker sex" for "women" is a modern bit of editorializing -- although it is the perspective I agree with.

This thread and AntonR's postings in particular remind me of a part of a text written 400 years after the Gita but still 600 years before the Adi Shankaracharya is said to have walked & talked advaita:

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Ch 4 verse 15:
Each individual person perceives the same object in a different way according to their own state of mind and projections. Everything is empty from it's own side and appears according to how you see it.

Vastu-samye citta-bhedat tayor vibhaktah pantha

Vastu: the object samye: being the same chitta: mindstuff bhedat:being different tayor: of the two, subject and object panthah: the path vibhaktah: is different

Translated by Sharon Gannon, www.jivamuktiyoga.com

PS

Alban wrote:I think it was NYC (apologies if not) who was talking about realising the air about her was just a load more molecules whizzing about similar to the ones more densly packed materials. I have been thinking about this for a while but while that side of is explained by science, what isn't explained is the energy causing them to whizz about in the first place.

Yeah, that was me. And while I haven't the slightest idea of what makes the atoms and molecules whiz around either, the realization was more that although I'm used to thinking of myself as a separate entity from everything else, I'm breathing all the time, taking in air and keeping some molecules, exhaling other molecules, and I'm really not as separate as I think I am. I just don't normally notice how much "of a piece" my own existence is with everything else unless some unusual sensory thing happens.

Edited --
1 all Sanskrit terms in italics
2 header bolded
3 punctuation marks fixed
Last edited by NYC on Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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.

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Postby AntonR » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:55 am

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ross nolan
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self realization etc

Postby ross nolan » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:14 am

The title of this topic is probably meant to be "self realization of women in the SES " rather then the two pronged " women AND self realization in the SES" -- there is very clearly a great sensitivity to the perception of unequal treatment of the sexes both within SES and otherwise -- this is almost exclusively made up of reaction by women against their feelings of less than equal treatment rather than any other of the four basic possibilities.

There is also the minor dispute about whether "realization' even exists in contrast to interacting with the world on the concious and 'real ' level rather than the altered level of consciousness from meditation,trance,or some other mindstate.

Western thought equates 'insight' to being focussed, 'switched on' and applying the senses and logic to the revealing of new information -- there is room for subconscious processes and 'intuition' but generally the western approach is to be 'wide awake' when seeking enlightenment.

There is nothing inherently sexually oriented about the basic processes of formal logic or rational thought processes whereas in the Eastern ways it seems that the basic process involves trancelike 'connection' with a spiritual entity and is said to be inherently biased in favour of 'male' minds -- even Paul subscribed to this idea in his comments on women speaking in church .

Is there any justifiable basis for the widely held belief that women do in fact have a different world view and brain functioning to men ?

Why is it neccesary for everything about men and women to be 'equal' at all ?

Is there any way of subjecting this hypothesis to rational test ?

It might be of interest to look into the most recent example of a 'test' to see if men and women do in fact think differently and if so in
what direction -- the 'gender swapping' concept has featured in a number of films eg "She's the man"(current film) Barbra Streisand (can't remember the one word title ) and comedies like Mrs Doubtfire .

A Norah Vincent actually did the experiment for "real" by disguising herself as a man and passing herself off for a period of months amongst a bunch of men (fake stubble, make up, etc ) whom she then observed 'from the inside' and wrote a book about it - "Self Made Man"

Her findings surprised her and caused her to re evaluate her entire picture of how men really are

(she was interviewed on Radio National (Australia) on 15 th April 2006 on the "life matters" programn if anyone would like to hear her speak about it ) -- there would surely be a website by now and the book is on sale.

If someone was to "translate the translation" of the Vedic texts into plain English with replacement of the "in words" in Sanskrit with their transliteration in English it might be less exotic -- the observable treatment of women and the 'lowly born' in India does not offer much hope for real equality of opportunity in Hinduism .

A scientific examination of this dogma would ,for example, have two new born babies presented to a Hindu "holy man" or Guru and he would have to pick the "highly born" from the "lowly born" by his wisdom (a double blind experiment with enough repetitions to be statistically significant)

Otherwise what "meaning" does any sentence including "women and the lowly born ....." really have ? The acceptance that somehow 'merit' or Karma is transferred on birth OR is inherent in the sex of a child are both intertwined in this vedic drivel.
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The potential of women

Postby Ben W » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:29 am

An interesting article linking two threads on this site - this one, plus classical music.

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1617989.htm

The gist of it is that there is current interest in the idea that some of history's greatest music may have been written by the wives of the great composers - in this case the Bach Cello Suites (which are amonst his best loved works).
Child member of SES from around 1967 to around 1977; Strongly involved in Sunday Schools ; Five brothers and sisters went to ST V and St J in the worst years

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Postby a different guest » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:40 am

Good find Ben - can't wait for the SES's reaction should it ever be discovered that Mozart's sister composed some of his stuff. LOL
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ross nolan
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female talents

Postby ross nolan » Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:39 am

Hmmm.... would like to see some follow up on that research -- no doubt they interacted after marriage and likely shared a similar musical 'signature' having also been student and teacher -- I can see no reason why the Bachs Mr and Mrs could not have collaborated -- look at the current Mr and Mrs Brown and the "Da Vinci Code" conundrum -- she did the research ,he composed the words -- whose were the ideas ?

Similarly Albert Einstein and Lisa Meitel (sic) -- the Curies etc also teamed on their intellectual work -- the taking of credit for other's work is par for the course in science and lots of other fields.

On another subject a bit related , has anyone seen the film "What the bleep do we know ? - down the rabbit hole ? " (or the earlier shorter, 'What the bleep...' )

This is a mystical semi scientific sort of stream of conciousness type 'documentary' that purports to marry quantum physics and personal life experience -- I found echoes to the sort of material behind the SES in that it was quite interesting and even appealing on one level but studded with jarring misconstruing of many concepts in physics and unwarranted conclusions being put over as fact . (eg reincarnation .....)

One of the 'talking heads' (in this case in 'in your face' close up ) is a woman faintly reminiscent of Zsa Zsa Gabor who is "introduced" at the END of the film as the "channelled" soul of a 35000 year old "Ramtha" and it turns out that this whole film is a slick promotional piece for another cult.

Apparently a couple of the bona fide scientists that appear in the film were deceived into thinking this was to be a genuine documentary and only later found they had been 'cut and spliced' out of all recognition or their context and real meaning.

Can't trust anything you see or hear at face value........

PS, a general comment arising from a couple of recent PMs;-

I've been reminded that I come across as being a bit 'sceptical, unfeeling perhaps , lacking empathy and so on -- the sort of "Dilbert syndrome" that is attributed to engineering types (and males in general)--- probably a bit of truth in that but it is almost forced upon someone who is 'defending the faith' in effect from beguiling and invariably very warm and appealing peddlers of bunkum --

I seem to remember a line from Tolkien (either the Hobbit or lord of the rings somewhere ) to the effect that a true friend might not seem to be so friendly as compared to a deceiver who will always be more pleasing and gain your confidence. ( when Aragon was still disguised as the walker and seemed 'fey', rather than friend, I think the term was
-- anyway this is more in reply to a PM that also presumed that I read less widely than perhaps I have -- don't know exactly why I thought of that except that the mystical world of Tolkien and the 'reincarnation' of Gandalf etc was also recently referred to in regard to cult beliefs and the belief in supernatural things by contemporary 'modern' people.

The just passed Easter ,celebration of a reincarnation supernatural event, (with echoes from the Dan Brown 'de bunking' authorship conflict) gave rise to a renewed interest and re evaluation of the mystical in Christian doctrine .

When doing the overland walk in Tassie I was reading the Hobbit and could not help but evoke the feeling of the journey of Bilbo amongst that primeval landscape - Ben's Tassie hiking notes brought that to mind.
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leon
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Re: The potential of women

Postby leon » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:55 am

Ben W wrote:An interesting article linking two threads on this site - this one, plus classical music.

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1617989.htm

The gist of it is that there is current interest in the idea that some of history's greatest music may have been written by the wives of the great composers - in this case the Bach Cello Suites (which are amonst his best loved works).


which the proponent finds "inferior". (Bach's best loved is not always his best!) I am pretty sure that had Nannerl Mozart got the chance she would have been a major composer.

Classical music is a good litmus test for SES. Their simply "thick" views on it are similar to their take on everything else. I never remember being taught any Wittgenstein Descartes Deleuze Russel etc or even Aristotle on the humbug "philosophy" courses. And they have the arrogance to call it "Philosophy" as if they own the term....

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Re: female talents

Postby Tom Grubb » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:07 pm

ross nolan wrote:This is a mystical semi scientific sort of stream of conciousness type 'documentary' that purports to marry quantum physics and personal life experience -- I found echoes to the sort of material behind the SES in that it was quite interesting and even appealing on one level but studded with jarring misconstruing of many concepts in physics and unwarranted conclusions being put over as fact . (eg reincarnation .....)


I know what you mean, Ross.

There used to be some downloadable sample lessons on the John Colet website, including some quite shocking 'science' lessons. You can still find them thanks to the wonderful Internet Archive site - just put johncolet.nsw.edu.au/texts.html into their search engine.

[Added 25/04/06: I've just found out that the file is still available (nicely hidden away) on the current John Colet site after all. It's at http://johncolet.nsw.edu.au/Downloads/Electricity%20from%20Thales%20to%20Tesla.pdf]

This is from the teacher's notes to a science(!) lesson called 'The Nine Vedic Elements':

2. The word ?science? come [sic] from the Latin word scientia meaning knowledge. Knowledge of what? At its broadest, it means knowledge of the universe, of God, of man and his place in the universe. Everyone has a an [sic] inherent thirst for knowledge, no one wants to be ignorant. We all want to know who we are, what the universe is and how it works and what our place in the universe is. Unfortunately, now-a-days, science has come to mean knowledge of the physical universe only. It excludes knowledge of God, of the subtle world of mind and of spirit. This unfortunate [sic] because without God, with out [sic] he [sic] causal and mental worlds, we can never understand how the physical world really works. Some scientists are coming to see this but this type of thinking is yet to become wide spread in the scientific community.

Er, I think that's because this type of 'thinking' has nothing to do with science! By the way, a footnote gives an approving example of a 'scientist' who thinks in the right way: Rupert Sheldrake! As I'm sure you know, Ross, Rupert 'morphic fields' Sheldrake has about as much in common with serious science as David Icke has with sceptical inquiry.

More from the lesson notes:

3. To include God, the casual [sic!] world, the mental world and the physical world in our study of science we will use and [sic] ancient description of the universe found in the Vedas known as the Circle of Nine Points.

No, folks, I'm not making this stuff up. I wish I was. There's a whole lot more such drivel where this came from.
Last edited by Tom Grubb on Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

ross nolan
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science vs SES

Postby ross nolan » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:51 am

Thanks Tom, I have read Rupert Sheldrake on morphic fields and pets who 'know their master is coming home' etc -- I think New Scientist made the comment on his first book that "if there ever was a candidate for book burning this has to be it " .

A bit harsh perhaps -- Sheldrake is a qualified biologist (or something similar ) so knows a hell of a lot more than I do about such things and I can see what he is trying to explain - ie. what is the 'scaffolding' that somehow gives three dimensional living things their shape,size and symmettry (amongst other things) -- how is it that a lifeless combination of amino acids,base pairs etc - in reality just colourless, simple molecules in a 'soup' of other similar molecular fragments can come together to create something that has a definite shape detailed to even atomic dimensions and yet also precisely defined in terms of a specific (as in species) three dimensional shape and size (there is 'no one' to 'read' any 'instructions' or 'encoded information' as we like to 'explain' the facts of DNA by comparison to, nor is there any toolkit to make things with or rulers to measure with and yet it all happens.

Sheldrake is attempting to postulate a 'mechanism' to explain how this sort of thing comes about ("morphic fields") which is itself more mysterious than the problem itself -- nonetheless no one else can really show how a sequence of anything (genes etc) can be converted into a three dimensional and size specific 'thing' like an animal.

His concept of some sort of template is a hypothesis and he does give a number of doable tests to verify or reject it so, at that level, he is being scientific -- just about any basic concept in physics or other sciences is ultimately 'inconcievable' in reality so I would hesitate to ridicule him -- if nothing else he has suggested a possible solution to a very real problem .

(I have two twin cats that are indistinguishable but for a small scar on one's ear -- somehow that "3D shaping program' that has to exist has 'sculpted' each one of them to essentially exact replicas and no doubt right down to all the internal skeleton,muscles and even cellular level -- I cannot even conceive of how such a thing can be done 'in the dark, with no measuring devices, no 'plans' as such etc -- having been in the engineering patternmaking game for a few years and following a little of the programming for CAD CAM etc it still looks like a real' miracle' .

Remember reading a comment by Michael Crichton -- he was referring to how our minds are so influenced by 'representations' like maps,diagrams
etc that they tend to become our reality rather than mere analogies -- he was flying across the USA and suddenly realized he could not see the nice neat state boundaries and differeing colours that he 'expected' to see from his subconcious map memories -- likewise when looking at living cells under a microscope he expected to see a dark nucleous and outlined cell walls, mitochondria etc -- just like in the text books ; only trouble is that those cells were dead and stained to reveal the otherwise invisible structures .

When it comes to real understanding of just about anything we are just about bereft of real 'global' perception of how things work let alone any knowing of why . (most of the underpinnings of industry and medicine were learnt by observation without knowing what was the cause of things and practice certainly preceded the theory and still does .

There is no doubt that intelligence exists in the universe (and stupidity !) because we are here -- we recognize the value of intelligence whether it has evolved without purpose or was somehow made by a higher intelligence (a bit like the evolution of the elements from primordial hydrogen to iron and then via supernovae all the way to uranium -- it could be that intelligence has to undergo more 'stages' than just one 'incarnation' -- it seems appealing to believe in something beyond pure chance and reincarnation has such appeal that virtually every religion offers it (including Christianity) .

Perhaps I diverge from strict "Dawkinism" on this philosophical level even if I can not hope to match his intellect -- ultimately the whole of life and the physical universe is astounding in it's complexity and would seem to be a lot of trouble to go to for no particular reason ; on the other hand this lack of certainty is no excuse to open the door to every circling conman or charlatan who trades on the vulnerability of the 'thinking person' (the target for SES advertising )

I would have liked to find the SES/SOP to have been a sort of 'secular , non institutional , thinking organization to allow people with an interest in the intellectual ideas that both science and philosophy (and life) thow up to discuss and ponder on those things -- if only it were so.

I'll certainly have a look at that John Collet website, thanks.

My bit about Tolkien and the Hobbit, LOTR etc, was a bit obtuse maybe in the context -- I think it(LOTR) was itself an allegorical "journey of self realization" reflecting both Tolkien's interest in the mythology of the scandinavians mainly and the whole 'good versus evil thing', with the ring symbolizing the sort of danger of the 'original sin' of forbidden knowledge in some fashion, and the state of the world up to and in the second world war.

The idea of removing evil from the world by an act of selfless risk or even sacrifice (taking the embodiment of evil - the ring- to mount mordor /mt doom for destruction) in the form of an innocent,naive, hobbit and returning the world to an age of simple yet blissful ignorance in effect is the yearning for the pre nuclear age or the putting the genie back in the bottle, closing pandora's box , or some other example of man going back to his 'innocent childhood' in effect rather than exposing himself to the worry and threat from seeking knowledge that is not good for him.

This common theme postulates a divinely intended sort of 'bovine bliss' in an unspoiled
garden of Eden to some extent and underpins the modern cynicism with science as the source of all wrongs in the world (or at least threats to continued existence, pollution,global warming etc genetic meddling etc ) and creating a backlash against science and technology.

It is that anti science thread in the SES teachings that I instinctively reacted to as I would any form of backward looking and dictatorial type of
'teaching' process -- there are big parallels to other cults like the Jehovah witnesses and even such things as Amway take on these same cultish manifestations that invariably result in someone being screwed (very much more often than not women seem to be the victims as well )

Sometimes the only 'realization' that takes place is the one of having been taken advantage of - too late.
Skeptic


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