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Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 am
by bluemoon
Jo-Anne wrote:

There's an article in the Convivium magazine of Autumn 2003 by SM Jaiswal. It is about the concept of Sanatana Dharma, laws conceived 'by wise men on the pattern of the ever-present, eternal laws of nature'. The laws evolved in Ancient India 'for social co-operation, Man's equitable relation with the universe at large, and for the successful realisation of his own possibilities.' Jaiswal goes on to say that 'Sanatana Dharma proposes 4 types of people or caste:
Brahmana – the philosophical type
Kshatriya – the organising type
Vaishya – the enterprising type
This classification is based on the emotional, intellectual and physical talent which may predominate in the individual. The fourth is called
Shudra or one who has fallen from his duties by conscious rejection of the whole Sanatana Dharma. He is out of the law system.'

Jaiswal's use of language is interesting. He equates Brahmana with 'the philosophical type' which just happens to fit the people in the SES who call themselves 'philosophers'. Certainly 'philosophical type', 'organising type' and 'enterprising type' are not the terms used in the Laws of Manu and it seems a bit of a stretch from Manu's words to Jaiswal's.

This (below) is how it is put in the new translation of the Laws of Manu that the SES have undertaken. Note also that the printed copy of this 'new' translation does not provide the names of those involved in the translation, which would be unheard of in academic circles (and this ommission has nothing to do with 'ego', it is important to take both the credit and the responsibility for what you produce. I happened to be in the room at one of the Manu translation sessions at Mandeville Place library so I know there are at least half a dozen people involved in this translation.):

Page x of the Introduction:

"The four classes of society and the four stages of human life

With the aim of promoting stability and prosperity, society is arranged in four classes:

i) The Brahmana, the priest and teacher, performs sacrifices, and studies and transmits the teachings of the Veda.
ii) The Ksatriya, the warrior and ruler, governs and protects society.
iii) The Vaisya, the merchant and farmer, cultivatres the land and ensures the material welfare of society.
iv) The sudra, the labourer, offers service in support of all."

The translators also offer the following comment here: "A similar division of society is laid out by Plato in the Republic, and is also reflected in the feudal system of the Middle Ages, with the Priest, nobleman, townsman, and serf. Perhaps some such division is natural to all human societies."

Note the absence of a question mark here. This is not a question posed to others, it is a statement made by the translators who are clearly considering the obvious benefits of living in a society based upon such a system. One wonders if the translators would like to be 'serfs'?

Also to be clear what a 'serf' is, this is copied from thefreedictionary online:

"serf (sûrf):

1. A member of the lowest feudal class, attached to the land owned by a lord and required to perform labor in return for certain legal or customary rights.

2. An agricultural laborer under various similar systems, especially in 18th- and 19th-century Russia and eastern Europe.

3. A person in bondage or servitude."

Here is some information about Plato's Republic if anyone is interested:


Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:40 pm
by ET
As a long term member of this forum and also the previous "why are they dead" forum, I would like to put in a note of caution here.

Whilst I accept that many adult ex-members of SES (by which I mean people who joined SES as adults) have come away with many positive memories as well as negative ones and want a place to discuss the philosophical ideas and concepts which they have found helpful, I also feel that we have forgotten why the original forum came into existence.

I joined near the beginning of the forum's existence, and it started as a place for the damaged ex-pupils of the St James and St Vedast schools to "meet up" and discuss what had happened to us. For many of us, the discovery that there were others who felt as we did about the schools and had similar experiences to us was a revelation. After all, when you experience abuse as a child, you often feel that it is only you who is going through it, and your memories of it can sometimes be hazy or unreliable. We got together such a strong community that we were even able to hold the SES to account for some of what they did to us, even if we never received the kind of response from them that we wanted.

What I noticed most at that time was how incredibly damaged some of us were, and still are. The posts of Hallucinogenic Jesus show exactly how badly some of us have been damaged. I am not convinced that starting a whole host of discussions on this form about Gangaji, the Laws of Manu and Advaita would be at all helpful to us ex-pupils. I have had a great deal of therapy over the years, which has helped me to come out the other side of my experiences, but there are many on this forum and, most importantly, many who may come across this forum in the future, who are not as "sorted" as I may be. Despite all that therapy, I am finding the "philosophy" discussions that have already been started on here very difficult and upsetting to read, and have considered leaving the forum as a result. To be continued...


Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:47 pm
by ET
continued from above...

Because of this, I'm afraid I don't agree with Daffy about "allowing" such posts on this forum. This is a place to meet those of your fellow ex-members who wish to connect with each other to give support and understanding, and not a place to find a new philosophy to replace the old one.

Those of you who are new to this forum, please bear in mind that you need to tread softly. Most of us did not choose to have anything to do with the SES, we were forced into it by the people who were supposed to protect us.

I was only 4 years old when I was first told what a useless child I was by one of my teachers, who was, of course, an SES member. Their "philosophies" caused them to treat me like s***t. So forgive me if I don't want to read about them in any shape or form on this forum where I come to feel safe and supported.

I apologise if this offends anyone, but I think it needs saying.


Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:01 pm
by ET
bluemoon wrote:Poor, vulnerable ****, it just seems a shame he is excluded, when through his posts there is something quite remarkable. What they did to those kids.

Just as an aside, bluemoon, it's not generally good forum ettiquette to name someone who has posted under a pseudonym online. (Hence my decision to put stars in your quote). I also feel a tiny bit offended by the offhand "What they did to those kids". I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound so flippant, but as I said above, tread softly.


Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:09 pm
by bluemoon
ET, I certainly didn't mean anything flippantly, I was upset at the time. I think I have made it very clear here how horrified I am about the past. As for my other comment, the person had already used their own name, but I do take your point. Actually that is not quite accurate, he was replying to my message where I mentioned his name along with his other pseudonyms early in the topic. I will ammend the original quote.

The information about Manu/the Hindu tradition that informs the philosophy in the SES, is one of the fundamental issues that as adults we have been drawn into, in my experience, in a non-transparent manner, so that is why I have brought this to the attention of others on this forum, in case any current/new students are interested in this influence.

I hope that the original reason for the forum has not been diluted because of these other issues.

As I said before I completely understand and accept the points about not starting a thread on Advaita.

I am very sorry ET if I have offended you, or anyone else, in any way.

Best wishes, Bluemoon

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:43 pm
by Free


Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:38 pm
by bluegreen


Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:45 pm
by bluegreen
I'm sorry, please don't leave.


Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:04 pm
by bluemoon
Well, thanks for your honesty. I think this is a good time for me to leave this forum. I will check in, but I have said all I wanted to say in the interests of transparency anyway.


Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:29 am
by Daffy
I completely respect ET's views on this, and on a completely personal level I can't be bothered to read what I consider airy-fairy philosophical discussions of this kind because they have no relevance to me. As the administrator of this forum though I have to apply a 'benefit of the doubt' principle: where there is no clear case for preventing or curtailing a discussion, it should be allowed to take place.

I wouldn't want to see people leave the forum because other people hold opposing views, even strongly opposing views. When I see people say they are going to give up and leave the forum because others disagree with them - which fortunately doesn't happen too often - I think frankly this is the kind of pushover mentality that allows a strong-willed monster like Maclaren to impose his will in the first place.

ET and Bluemoon, I think this forum is certainly big enough for both of you and I hope you will both stay, even though you may not have a meeting of minds as to what these discussions do for you.

I must have my head in the sand not knowing what is meant by the 'Brights forum' though...?

ET wrote:continued from above...

Because of this, I'm afraid I don't agree with Daffy about "allowing" such posts on this forum. This is a place to meet those of your fellow ex-members who wish to connect with each other to give support and understanding, and not a place to find a new philosophy to replace the old one.


Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:16 am
by bluemoon
I think frankly this is the kind of pushover mentality that allows a strong-willed monster like Maclaren to impose his will in the first place.

I never met LM, if I had I wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes in his presence from what I've heard about him. Make of that what you like.

I need to get out of here, or at least take a break. It is not ET, or Bluegreen or even you Daffy. I have written far too much here over this last year or so - its become a bit of an obsession trying to understand it all. So, you have just given me the push I needed to take a big step back. ET and Bluegreen your stories have affected me deeply, as have many others here. I don't know Daffy's.

Thanks to all of you for your support.

I may delete some of my stuff, but will leave what I think is important in the interests of transparency.



Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:42 pm
by ET
Thanks everyone for your understanding and thoughtful replies to my post. I agree that the forum needs to evolve, and I've been very interested to read about the experiences of adult ex-members of the SES, if only because it helps me to understand the experiences of my own parents and other relatives in more depth. I also agree that it's important to move on, and that is what I have done, generally. I don't read this forum every day anymore, and I also don't contribute very often, only when I feel strongly about something.

I was quite irritated when I wrote my last post, so I'm sorry, Bluemoon if I offended you. You didn't offend me exactly, I just wanted you to be a little more careful about how you put things in forum postings where it's impossible to read your intended tone or intonation, something I think a lot of people across the web are quite bad at doing!

Daffy, I completely understand that you need to allow room for everyone on here, I didn't mean to imply that you had made a wrong decision as such, just that I didn't necessarily agree with it.

I hope Bluemoon and others like you will continue to contribute to the forum, but I just want all of us (and that includes myself) to remember what we've all been through, child and adult ex-pupils/members alike, and reflect that in our posts.


Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:58 pm
by bluegreen
Bluemoon don't leave.
I just meant that I joined the forum for one thing and discovered another. I would not have kept logging on if I hadn't been learning about all sorts of things I hadn't realised and that I find interesting. I have no idea what it is like to join an organisation like this as an adult. I don't know about the meetings and groups that you guys went to or any of the things that filled your lives when involved. The weekends and the duties, the hierarchies, asking permission to move house, all that stuff, it was amazing. The history behind it all, the kind of men LM and the awful aussie one were. The funny things that you can look back and laugh at, the shared memories. I can't contribute to these but have been interested to read.
The 'airy fairy' stuff, as Daffy put it, is something I have heard and read lots and lots about over the years. At various ages I have believed or tried to believe bits of it. If it's supernatural and bizarre enough, my dad will have stated it as fact at some point. I have read quite a bit lately written by Richard Dawkins and other Brights* and felt much more comfortable once I found that atheism is an option. It is also in my eyes the most spiritual and truthful. But that's not to say I don't think 'seekers' or finders could be right and me wrong, but as I am not seeking for another meaning to my life, I have nothing to contribute on these subjects either.
I got huffy about the aquarius stuff because that was wandering into extreme airy fairy territory, but I'm sorry I made anyone feel they should leave. There is very much a place for you on this forum. You bluemoon have contributed a huge amount to the protection and help of SES newbies and leavers and are perfoming an important function. You have needed this forum to help you in your transition out of SES and you should not give it up if you still need it. I can see though how it can become a bit obsessive and if you want to stop contributing for that reason then that's up to you.
What is a bright?

* A bright is a person who has a naturalistic worldview
* A bright's worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements
* The ethics and actions of a bright are based on a naturalistic worldview


Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:29 am
by bluemoon
Thanks ET and Bluegreen,

I won't leave, it was a knee jerk reaction. I am over sensitive at the moment about all this. I do need to take a big step back and I thank you for pointing out what the forum was set up for. It does need to be said as a reminder. Daffy is right too running away is not the right way to deal with things either.

The other thing you are quite right about is, it is not fair to subject some of these ideas on those that have suffered possibly because of them. The Manu is a case in point. Lets get out of this topic for a start.

I will keep checking in but reduce my contributions.

Many thanks and best wishes,



Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:26 pm
by daska
Oh gosh I find myself sitting right on the fence here!

On one hand I hate that people appear to want to choose to believe something which I find utterly repellent. e.g. Manu, which is so riddled with excuses for men to mistreat others based on entirely fictional ideas

On the other hand I find it useful to read other people's thoughts and observations, not least because these can help crystallize exactly how I feel and think. E.G. I've realised just this morning why, when I've often used the phrase 'what goes around, comes around' very frequently, I loathe the concept of Karma. It's because we know what we have done in this life but have no knowledge of our past lives, therefore Karma can be used as an excuse to mistreat people while denying them the right to protest about being mistreated (which a very SES minded way of thinking to my mind).

Perhaps this is where splitting the forum might be worth considering. We just have a 'general discussion' at the moment. Maybe we need a 'pupil friendly' section and an 'philosophical discussion' section. That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more appropriate distinctions.