Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Discussion of the SES, particularly in the UK.
woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby woodgreen » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:28 am

Don't cry for the wrong ones Earlgrey, and Happy Easter sweet heart.

xxw woodgreen
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

Earlgrey
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby Earlgrey » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:20 am

Thanks Woodgreen,
Rest assured I remain entirely self centred!
Earlgrey
Last edited by Earlgrey on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby actuallythere » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:01 am

Earlgrey,

In think you've done right thing by putting the clause back. I also agree with you that it is important to be careful about self-indulgence, there is indeed a trade-off between self-indulgence and honesty. But one can determine the difference between the two. And you've also pointed out something extremely important, you have noticed that what could have been your wish not not be self-indulgent could also (or even, more accurately) have been a wish to avoid ridicule.

As far as I'm concerned such hidden motivations are not dirty, they're an entirely standard fact of life for all human beings. When we go through a time of wondering, it is helpful for us to think them through. It might be worth thinking through this wish of yours to avoid ridicule, (A) where it has come from and (B) how that shaped your involvement with SES - both your involvement and your departure.

Everyone, myself included, has gone through the experience of wanting to avoid ridicule. I think it's worth looking at in more detail. Is it vanity? Is it pride? Is it fear? If so, what's the fear from? Is it fear of the known - a fear that is triggered by past experiences? Or is it fear of the unknown, a fear that is triggered by lack of experience? Or a combination of the two? Or none of the above, and something else? There won't be hard and fast answers, but it all matters.

Could your wish to avoid ridicule come from low self-worth? If so, do you think SES at the start seemed to promise you some kind of liberation from this low self-worth? Might it even have offered to boost your self-worth without you quite realizing it at the front of your mind? And yet, is it possible that SES simultaneously relied on your underlying lack of self-worth for your dedication to SES? When you look back, do you see any kind of carrot-and-stick cycle of emotional reward and punishment at work? And, if there was, how does that relate to the notion of transcending the limitations of the ego?

Earlgrey
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby Earlgrey » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:32 am

actuallythere wrote:Earlgrey,
Could your wish to avoid ridicule come from low self-worth? If so, do you think SES at the start seemed to promise you some kind of liberation from this low self-worth? Might it even have offered to boost your self-worth without you quite realizing it at the front of your mind? And yet, is it possible that SES simultaneously relied on your underlying lack of self-worth for your dedication to SES? When you look back, do you see any kind of carrot-and-stick cycle of emotional reward and punishment at work? And, if there was, how does that relate to the notion of transcending the limitations of the ego?


Well AT, the answer is yes to most of your questions. Although I'm not sure the organization has deliberately set out to exploit its members. SES has a mission, as dreamed up by McLaren, and that is to raise the consciousness of society and create a renaissance. I am not making that up. They are not here to help individuals they are here to fulfill that mission.
So I think the organization believes it's own bullshit and people like me get what happens to them. Not everyone is like me and there are other personality types and they get what happens to them. Some of them like to inflict the bullshit on others. I read with great distress some of the stories from the SES day schools that were posted by former students. Terrible stories.
And yes yes yes it is all about "the notion of transcending the limitations of the ego". The trouble is SES/SOP/SFSK has already decided what your limitation of the ego is. As Dr Alan has said, they have westernized the idea of transcendentalism into a mass produced solution without understanding the needs of the individual. So no individual will become free as a consequence of being a member of SES or SOP unless they fully morph into a "school person" working towards fulfilling the mission. Can't really comment on SFSK.
So people like me spend 35 years there and when they have a crisis and have to try and solve it themselves they have to ask what the hell have I been doing?
Anyway, since I began the quest to try and find out the cause of my discomfort I settled on this,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidant_p ... y_disorder
this is the one although I don't suffer from all that is described here. All the bells started to ring when I read this. I haven't sought professional help but I am planning to. It's not that hard to do with the internet but I had to find this out for myself. I heard the phrase "personality defect" somewhere and I knew that was it, into the search engine and bingo.
Thanks for asking these questions AT, it really helps to straighten out my thoughts. This is much better than just replacing my thoughts with "I am the Self" and hoping that I will be healed.
Earlgrey

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby actuallythere » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:37 pm

Dear Earlgrey,

It seems that you are in a good position to try out professional assistance with your situation. I say this because you clearly have strong independent ideas about what has happened. You're not looking for someone with a view to them telling you what to think. If you are interested in personality disorders (I'm not keen on the word 'defect' for what might in fact be a perfectly understandable and common response to your environment) am sure a mainstream clinical psychologist registered with the Royal Society of Psychologists http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/ or the British Psychological Society http://www.bps.org.uk/ would be the places to look. They'd probably invite you for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with someone who specializes in APD. My hunch is that you'll be better off steering well clear of the many 'alternative' therapists who try to present themselves as some kind of spiritual authority, or as having paranormal ability.

If you haven't seen these already, you might also be interested to read Wikis about codependency http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-dependent and NPD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissist ... y_disorder which seem relevant on the subject of personality types that might be drawn to spiritual groups when they could benefit from other forms of personal development.

By the way, for the record, I didn't say most people higher up the organization consciously set out to exploit members. If you were there for 35 years, you must have risen pretty high up yourself. Who knows whether you might have been simultaneously both a victim of exploitation and, unwittingly and on behalf of others, a perpetrator. You passed on the teaching and methodology. I would guess that there was an occasion when the the c-word was used about your organization and you hurt inside as if it was being said about your mother. Which might, for a while, have drawn you to their defense - understandably.

This said, personally I find it difficult to rule out the possibility that Jeremy Sinclair, the fabulously well paid chairman of one of the world's most successful psychological exploitation companies (M & C Saatchi PLC), never had any psychological exploitation on his mind while participating in the leadership of this organization.

You mentioned that MacLaren, a politician, dreamed up a mission "to raise the consciousness of society and create a renaissance". Politicians are often in the business of psychological exploitation. They certainly were in 1937, the year that the SES was founded.

sydneykatieking
Posts: 51
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Location: Texas USA

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby sydneykatieking » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:11 am

Easter Sunday
Texas USA

G'day, all:

The 2nd rule of Sydney SOP (the first being, "we do not speak of what we hear or who we meet outside the Group") was "We do not criticize anyone or anything, not even silently in our heads."

In my 11+ years, I never heard the 2nd rule as stated in these postings, about criticism being unjustified and unnecessary. I never heard that ever. Perhaps it was only a Sydney SOP thing, not an SES thing. These two rules, delivered the first night of Part One, seemed harmless enough at the time. AA has similar rules, but then that is done to protect the anonymity of those who seek the AA lifeline for overcoming addiction. It creates trust and respect within the AA fellowship.

SOP's rules, by comparison, were designed to control and put SOP students to sleep starting that first night and weaken a rational citizen's natural critical thinking skills.

Criticism is an positive act of reasoned opinion, a discernment, it is dissent, debate and disagreement. All of science is built upon criticism, all exploration and new discoveries are based on criticism. If there had been no criticism and disagreement between the American colonies and King George III, there would never have been a USA. Criticism makes the world a better place. Criticism is the opposite of complacency and contentment with the status quo. Criticism is behind all the many progressive drives for political equality and social justice: civil rights, voting rights, racial equality, equal pay for equal work for women, family law, prison reform, the outlawing of child labor, the many liberties and rights we have come to accept as 'normal' in modern societies. Criticism says, such and such is wrong; we must do better and pass better laws. Criticism finally brought down apartheid in South Africa and terminated the Soviet Union. Long ago and far away, discontented star-gazers had the dissenting view that the Earth was not the center of the universe and criticized the political power of their times which insisted on its established doctrine. And we all know the problems those people had bucking the status quo of their day.

But, the word has been debased into meaning only the negative, tearing people to shreds, not offering solutions, always 'being negative." SOP would only accept the most negative definitions of the word, because the so-called Leaders could not brook any other point of view than their own, would not tolerate being doubted or questioned. To the bullies, there was no such thing as "constructive criticism." So anytime a student disagreed with anything the bully-bosses said, it was labeled 'criticism' and the student's line of inquiry was firmly shut down. Reasonable questions were labeled 'curiosity questions' and ignored. It's such a joke that MacLaren wanted to bring about a new renaissance, because unrestrained curiosity, the love of science, the respect for evidence and proofs and, especially, a healthy respect for personal liberties, were all regarded as 'not useful' for the SOP spiritual path. How ol' Leon or Mickey Mavro thought they would raise up great thinkers, musicians, lawyers, jurists, painters, writers, philosophers, when any hint of independent thinking, or dissent was immediately trounced and condemned, is anyone's guess.

But then, as we now know, the whole shebang, the whole enchilada, was just one heap big silly fraud, designed for the pleasure of the few at the top of the sham-school hierarchy. The Schools of Philosophy are Schools of Folly, using historian Barbara Tuchman's definition of folly: "wooden-headed attraction to a goal or course of action that is against your best interest, deprived of powerful warnings and feasible alternatives." (March of Folly)

Only tyrants and bullies are afraid of criticism. They are, actually, so very weak inside, they have to close people down in order to dominate.

The 2nd rule, from the very beginning, was such a hoot, pure hypocrisy. The entire sham-school system is based on criticism, the negative, destructive criticism, that is. Criticism of the democratic, modern world: so let's create some fantasy Utopia, another renaissance, where women know their places (in the kitchen and bedroom) and don't compete with men for their livelihood, black skin people (like Australian Aboriginals and Africans) know their places at the bottom of the economic scale as slaves and servants, where there is a dominant ruling class of superior white men, where girls are taught to 'serve,' and boys are taught to rule and dominate, so they can perpetuate the 'inner circle' and the 'aristocracy of the universe.'

All -- All - that foolish and arrogant old man, Leon MacLaren and Mickey and Nina Mavro ever did was criticize us, year after year and after year. If we felt love for our children, it was 'a claim on Absolute substance." If we loved our spouses and family, it was "a claim on Absolute substance, or covering others with 'tamas' or 'ignorance.' If we continued to question the suffering that was rife in SOP, it was because 'ignorance has you by the throat.' Love of country was a claim on the land, a digit (anyone remember 'digits'?). For god's sake, ol' Leon came to Sydney and did nothing but criticize Australia, even our fabulously well-adapted gum trees, he regarded Aussie students as inferior 'naavies.' But that didn't stop him getting soused and inebriated on all that excellent Aussie wine provided for his drinking pleasure paid for by the senior students. I see on his "foundation" website he was photographed on board a boat on Sydney Harbour. No doubt it was not a regular Sydney Harbour Ferry where he would have to rub shoulders with the dregs of the earth, the ordinary citizens. Perhaps in his declining days, when all his excesses caught up with him, he came to appreciate that Australia is one of the great privileged places on the planet to live. And one of modern history's great, unlikely, success stories. Apparently, every word out of his mouth (when it wasn't dragging on a fag) was sacred. And everything the students said was disrespected.

The constant put-downs, the never-ending criticisms from the Mavros was extremely destructive to me, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. I still cringe to remember many of the bitchy, hateful, vicious, cruel statements I endured from La Nina and some of her top-group female storm-troopers, such as Judith R and Helen R. These vicious females set the example for younger students coming up in the ranks on how to behave within the school. Many became just as vicious as Nina was, seeing her as some sort of mother-figure. I put up with it for years, because I thought 'it was for my own good.' It's amazing I had enough self-confidence left after 11+ years to walk away with my sanity intact. All of this cruelty was completely 'unnecessary' and 'unjustified.'

Nina Mavro is one very nasty piece of work and she ran rough-shod over anyone she perceived as not fully conforming to her will. I mean, absolutely cruel and vicious statements about people. She's loyal to no one, will spread gossip, will backbite, will divulge confidential details about your private life to others. She did nothing but criticize with total impunity. The Mavros were so arrogant they didn't even pretend to keep their own school rules about not criticizing, because that's all they ever did.

Blessings and good will to all open-hearted people
Sydney SOP survivor 1969-1980, proud contributor to the expose, Secret Cult.

actuallythere
Posts: 180
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Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby actuallythere » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:11 am

Dear Dr Alan,

Thank you for your response. Perhaps you could clarify a few things.

First of all, in a nutshell, are you saying Advaita Vedanta was never meant to be practiced by people in society at large, that it more a sort of reclusive mysticism, perhaps more in common with the theology of monastic orders? And so, that its application by a spiritual organization whose members lead lives in society at large is a mismatch?

Secondly, please continue about how Advaita Vedanta would help people form a better understanding of a murderer instead of criticizing murder. For example, understanding that Adolf Hitler had a rough childhood (which is well documented) does not stop me from criticizing his part in the murder of 10 million Slavs, 6 million Jews, half a million Roma/Sinti as well as thousands of handicapped people, homosexuals and others. According to Advaita Vedanta, should one not criticize Hitler? If you were German in the 1930s, should you have stood by and watched?

Third, perhaps you could define the concept through a process of contrast. So please explain the difference between not criticizing wrongdoing such as murder, and the following concepts: indifference, amorality, nihilism, irresponsibility, cowardice, apathy, escapism, complacency, tacit consent (the philosophical idea that if one does not resist something, one is agreeing to it) ?

Fourth, would still really appreciate a direct answer from someone about what SES advised on how a person who is banned from criticizing should respond to wrongdoing. Surely, the SES is not suggesting that Jimmy Savile's BBC colleagues were right not to criticize what he was doing and stand by and watch him molest children as it continued for years, without criticism, on the grounds that an adherent of Advaita Vedanta is able to see where pedophilia has come from?

Finally, in view of Sydneykatieking's comment above, can someone please explain how criticizing criticism is not a form of criticism? There does indeed appear to be a contradiction.

ManOnTheStreet
Posts: 137
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Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:46 am

actuallythere wrote:Fourth, would still really appreciate a direct answer from someone about what SES advised on how a person who is banned from criticizing should respond to wrongdoing. Surely, the SES is not suggesting that Jimmy Savile's BBC colleagues were right not to criticize what he was doing and stand by and watch him molest children as it continued for years, without criticism, on the grounds that an adherent of Advaita Vedanta is able to see where pedophilia has come from?


I remember this one coming up many times in groups. The idea given to us was (essentially) that everything we see around us is our own projection, and so if we see "suffering", it is because we are in fact 'projecting' that suffering onto an otherwise neutral situation. "Neutral" was never really defined properly, but my impression is that it was meant in the sense of moral neutrality (neither good nor bad). Of course, Advaita doesn't actually say this, (the moral epistemology of Advaita is much more complex than that), but the above was the version we got at SFSK. It was a view that slotted very nicely with the idea that if we saw anything going on in School that we found troubling, it was essentially our own fault. This idea served to quash independent thinking about how the School was run and (more importantly I think) the other ideas promoted therein.

As for "knowing where an idea comes from": it is a common logical fallacy (called the "Genetic fallacy") to assume that an idea is shown to be true or untrue by the fact that you can explain where it comes from. "School" teaching is deafeningly silent on issues of real moral import, because to truly address the issue of what one should do when confronted with these situations the student has to go against many of the "School principles" with which they have been inculcated. Time and time again in groups I would here the popular fatalistic refrain - "things are as they are meant to be" - used as an excuse to avoid moral responsibility in a wide variety of situations. The fatalism is praised (because "you saw that everything was just your projection") but no enquiry is made into whether anyone is subsequently better off as a result. Too often, the student's personal feeling of satisfaction for having "resolved the situation" (by withdrawing emotionally from it) is confused for real and genuine improvement.

actuallythere wrote:Finally, in view of Sydneykatieking's comment above, can someone please explain how criticizing criticism is not a form of criticism? There does indeed appear to be a contradiction.


Of course it's a contradiction. Contradictions like these are the inevitable result of the ill-thought-out "principles" that abound in School. The same can be said regarding the idea that "everything you see is your projection": The idea that "everything you see is your projection" is itself a projection, and hence false. The list goes on...

MOTS

Dr.Alan
Posts: 70
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Location: UK

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby Dr.Alan » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:34 pm

Dear AT,
many thanks for your interesting questions.

To fully answer your questions may need a whole book. However, I will try to keep it as short as possible.

FIRST QUESTION - (application of Advaita Vedanta) :- I have already written about the differences between the monastic use and the house-holder use of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy in the post of 27th Jan. on page 4 of the "Mistakes ---" stream. But to augment that I will simply say that there is plenty of evidence in the Upanishads that it was a house-holder way to spiritual liberation before it was a monastic one. e.g. Rama had 4 sons. Also in the previous post I have written about its application in the method of an institutional approach is not appropriate. i.e. SES itself is an irrelevance as far as Advaita Vedanta is concerned.

SECOND QUESTION :- (Understanding atrocity) In the last post I have mentioned that to look to Advaita Vedanta for guidance on how you should behave or respond to matters in human society is not the purpose of the teaching. I may have misunderstood you, but it appears you include in your meaning of the term "not criticising" matters to do with how a person should act in the face of observing despicable actions of others (or indeed of the leaders of the country in which they live). But there is a difference in "holding a view" and "taking action". In my opinion, anyone can hold any view they like, but decisions to act must be the responsibility of the individual in relation to the socio / economic etc. conditions in which they find their life - but not necessarily part of the path to finding the meaning of that life. i.e. if to speak up means being sent to the Gulag or its equivalent - then another course of action might be appropriate so that you can continue to find out more about the life you have preserved. In many cases there is little chance of escape from tyranny for those who live under it - for those who look with hindsight and from a different time and place there may be many reasons to have stopped it or to have acted against it. But all these ideas may not have been practicable in the real situation in which it happened. Not filling our minds with such things is one of the benefits which purifying the mind with the principles of Advaita Vedanta may bring.

THIRD QUESTION :- (Comparison with other things) - As I have said above - Advaita Vedanta is not about telling people how they should act in the face of social adversity of some kind. If anyone knows about a crime or actions which go against the rule of law in the country where they live, then they have a duty to their community and their own future security to do whatever is necessary to bring such things to the notice of the authorities who deal with these things. Neither SES nor Advaita Vedanta have any part in this. As I said in the last posting, "It is clear that human societies survive reasonably well without any such philosophy as Advaita Vedanta." i.e. all these social issues you raise are not relevant to the particular purpose of Advaita Vedanta .

However, it is not good to assume that people know things that are happening, apparently close to where they are, when they may be, for one reason or another, either unaware or blinded to these things going on. If anyone were to find out that myself and my wife were at SES when the childrens' school atrocities were being perpetrated, then they may feel right to say that we were guilty of - " indifference, amorality, nihilism, irresponsibility, cowardice, apathy, escapism, complacency, tacit consent" or anything else you like to mention. The fact is - as a result of the information discovered from this forum I purchased the book "Shame on You" two months ago. Both my wife and I read it. All the information in there was new to us. We agreed 100% that had we known about what was happening we would have left SES immediately and would have sought advice about what legal action could be taken. However, the fact is - we knew nothing whatsoever about the children's schools - our children were not of school age then. We left a few years later when SES started to tell us how to run our private lives and our domestic affairs. So any judgement of our inaction etc. etc. while at SES would not be relevant. The same applies to the BBC past events. There are many reasons why people at that time would have had blind spots about what was going on. To assume they knew precise details is very misleading. Of course we all condemn such things when we know they are happening and we should alert the authorities to deal with them. But having such views and taking such actions is not to be confused with the term "criticising".

FOURTH QUESTION (what did SES say). My guess is quite simply - MacLaren et all picked up on the Advaita Vedanta principle told to them :- "The human mind will become of the same quality of that thought upon which it dwells." This is a universal fact for most of us. However, it is not obvious until it is both pointed out and continually observed in oneself. The unclear mind** is as incapable of getting a true sense of the Advaita Vedanta teaching as the rough surface of a lake can show you a clean simple image of the full moon on a clear night. This is the reasoning behind teaching this principle. Those that have the clear and still mind know it without doubt. Those with the ruffled mind can only wait.
** this includes a mind affected by doubt, lack of faith, false knowledge or any irrelevant theories opinions or beliefs.

However, from my own knowledge of the SES historical background and the platform of practice from which they all came, the way of applying such simple principles was not to use reason, advice and recommendation (as is the Advaita Vedanta approach) but to devise some weird practical exercise, in which groups of people would engage so that they would be forced to confront someone's personal idea of what the principle means in life. The fact that such methods created 10 times more problems than they were designed to address escaped the SES mentors, as they were all actually spiritually blind and mentally asleep. What else would you expect from such a situation??

The strange fact is - that if those at SES were to actually "wake up" - as is the hope of the SES leaders - those who awoke would not hesitate to leave . StillatSES may be evidence of this probability. Hence, it is with some confidence that I say they were "spiritually blind and mentally asleep."

As far as criticising criticism is concerned - there is such a thing as infinite regress. i.e. you enter into a logic which continues to apply the same question (or accusation) to each solution which is presented. Thus not only denying yourself an escape route - but increasing the state of confusion and getting no answers in the process. Which is what MOTS referred to when he wrote, "The same can be said regarding the idea that 'everything you see is your projection': The idea that 'everything you see is your projection' is itself a projection, and hence false. The list goes on..."

Some people use this approach to undermine a philosophy that they are unable to comprehend as well as stopping the process midstream and coming to false conclusions.
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

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

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby Jo-Anne Morgan » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:43 pm

Earlgrey said:
SES has a mission, as dreamed up by McLaren, and that is to raise the consciousness of society and create a renaissance.


That is correct and it even goes further than that. The SES considered itself, under Leon MacLaren, to be the current manifestation of ‘School’ as associated through the ages with Thoth/Hermes Trismegistus, Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle etc.

Some quotes from a talk given by Sheila Rosenberg in Birmingham in 1981 about ‘the history of school’:

‘It is interesting to draw on history for evidence of school. When you identify the appearance of school organisations over the centuries, you have the impression of a row of lights shining in the darkness.’

‘School manifests to meet a need, under a teacher appropriate to the time and place, and school no more belongs to that teacher than to anyone else.’

‘The work of school manifests on different scales. The scale required in the preparation for the coming of Jesus was very large indeed, for one aspect of the work of Jesus was the forming of a civilisation. That required 12 fully-perfected men, the fruit of continuing endeavour over a long period of time.'

'The most potent school organisation of which we have certain information in modern times is that of Marsilio Ficino, under whose auspices there developed the Florentine or Humanist Renaissance, though there is a hint of school later among the Encyclopaedists of the end of the 18th century, who held much of Europe steady in the face of revolution and change.’

‘Let us return to the manifestation of school in London, under the leadership of Leon MacLaren.’
‘Refusing any limitations on its own terms of reference, it extended its field of study and practice from economics to philosophy and the search for truth in all spheres. Eschewing any sense of limitation in time and space, it allowed students going to other parts of the English-speaking world to start groups there’

The aim of school – ‘It may delight in discovering and teaching natural law; it may bring about transformation in people and institutions; it may remind society of forgotten talents and neglected standards; but finally its concern is that truth may be manifest.’

The above is how the SES saw itself at least up to the 80s. I don’t know whether it still does see itself like that. Very possibly.

In the talk, she mentions the ‘features’ of school. One of them is that the ‘smallest unit is not the individual but a group’. This is another of the ‘rules, regulations and directions’ in SES/SOP.

We know the effect of this in the classes. It stifles the raising and discussion of any opposing views. They say, 'you're holding up the rest of the group', 'you're disturbing the rest of the group', 'you're letting down your group'. It's also used to apply pressure to attend residentials, study days and second line work. Get with the programme, like the rest of the group.

Dr.Alan
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Location: UK

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby Dr.Alan » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:02 pm

What Jo-Anne says is basically correct as far as I remember. However, SES leaders confused the term "schooling" with "school". Schooling is what Marcilio did with such people as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo etc. He applied ancient concepts of training the mind which Pythagoras used, which incidentally he learned in India (Pitha Guru) = Sanskrit for father teacher - which is how Pythagoras got his name. Schooling is what you do to improve people. Both of the above great artists are an example of the fact that the smallest unit is in fact a single human being who becomes Self-realised.

However, school is an institution and is not the approach Pythagoras had, although He gathered followers in a group in Croton south Italy where He schooled their minds and lives.

There is a vast difference between the Divine Geniuses, such as Ficino and Pythagoras were, transmitting mystical matters into the lives of a very few close adherents, to that which SES is doing where lost souls are setting themselves up as teachers of others, because they think it is a good idea. For a human being to become Self-realised it requires certain unspeakable matters to be absorbed into the being of one thirsty seeker from the heart of an abundant well-spring of love, knowledge and reason. For SES to compare itself to such a thing is simply delusion combined with wishful thinking and imagination. Sounds like "One out of ten for trying. Could do better if he paid more attention in class." My art teacher's comment on my "school" report - at age 13.
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby woodgreen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:36 am

I think we need to leave the SES and it's offshoots behind,in looking for some answers, and see what the Indian Gurus were trying to teach us. (Sorry if some peope have put some faith in these gurus, but bear with me as I seek to explain a bit more than even what advaita vedanta may have attempted to offer). I think we understand this, as we know deep in our hearts that advaita gave something, but not quite enough - it is not perfect, it is a belief system , formed out of a very ancient belief system, mainly a questioning of who and where man is in this great universe, but unfortunately, the men teaching advaita are not perfect, and they too are continuing to learn about themselves in this universe. Which is good, if they wish too learn. The basis of most scriptures comes from men looking up and wondering about the creation, and wherin they fit ( women too, we also wonder).

And through life, and sometimes death ( not that we know much about the latter) people create structures to live by, hence the great religions, and hence the not very great new religions, who are also seeking the same answers.

We can find many answers at different times, and more so when our consciousness is raised - and many "religious" experiences come from raised consciousness. Even the mainstream religions raise conciousness, and following them, the SES and the Indian gurus, learned how to raise it too, and in the latter cases they learned to do it quite quickly, but unfortunately they assumed that no-one had even been "raised" in their own conciousness. A big mistake. "All heathens" someone said to me in the SES. No, not all heathens by any test. None of us are or were " heathens" (what is a heathen? - a non believer? Of what?).

What I am saying is that the purveyors of any new religion are simply piggy-backing on the age old questions, but the new age religions are unsafe in the ways they do it - and it would seem many have there own agendas and leaders - they force their new found beliefs on people who find themselves in the same company. This is true of the gurus from the east as well- they too do not have the answers to life ( who does) but they persist in telling others they have. Advaita was re-invented by Adi Shanka when he merged a few eastern systems together. Fine, but do not enforce it on people who are actually seeking something else!

Unsafe - the SES and their paid - for gurus. The "play" is one thing, but real life is real life.We have not yet got a code of practice or regulations for new religions. Wars were fought in the past for the old religions, and people are still paying the price. Let us not go there again. Each life counts, for the victim,for a mother, a father,a sister, a brother, and a friend.

Maybe we need some rules, regulations, and directions for these NRMs, includingthe gurus. ( Sorry , Dr. Alan, but they too out East may need some reality checks).


woodgreen
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby woodgreen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:11 am

PS. Just wanted to say to Sydneykatieking --- absolutely great post, things I never knew, but maybe I had an intuition!.

Apols, Earlgrey, I think I broke a rule or two in posting twice, but hey, what are rules for! Keep on breaking the rules pal.

xxwoodgreen.
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby actuallythere » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:01 am

Dear Dr. Alan,

Thank you very much indeed for taking so much time to answer the questions at length. I must admit that some of your explanation has me still interested to know more. This may be because I am no expert on the subject, while you appear to be a doctor with a PhD - did you say that this is your field of expertise?

On first reading, from my perspective, two of your points come out as the most clear:

(A) That a mind affected by doubt, lack of faith, false knowledge or any irrelevant theories, opinions or beliefs is incapable of getting a true sense of the Advaita Vedanta teaching.

(B) The idea that criticizing criticism might be a form of criticism is used by some people to undermine a philosophy that they are unable to comprehend as well as stopping the process midstream and coming to false conclusions.

Here are the two quotes that I am referring to:

Dr.Alan wrote:

The unclear mind** is as incapable of getting a true sense of the Advaita Vedanta teaching as the rough surface of a lake can show you a clean simple image of the full moon on a clear night. This is the reasoning behind teaching this principle. Those that have the clear and still mind know it without doubt. Those with the ruffled mind can only wait.
** this includes a mind affected by doubt, lack of faith, false knowledge or any irrelevant theories opinions or beliefs.

[...]

As far as criticising criticism is concerned - there is such a thing as infinite regress. i.e. you enter into a logic which continues to apply the same question (or accusation) to each solution which is presented. Thus not only denying yourself an escape route - but increasing the state of confusion and getting no answers in the process. Which is what MOTS referred to when he wrote, "The same can be said regarding the idea that 'everything you see is your projection': The idea that 'everything you see is your projection' is itself a projection, and hence false. The list goes on..." Some people use this approach to undermine a philosophy that they are unable to comprehend as well as stopping the process midstream and coming to false conclusions.


Kind regards,

AT

Earlgrey
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Rules, regulations, and directions made in SES/SOP/SFSK

Postby Earlgrey » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:24 am

Hey Woodgreen,
The rule for posting I made was meant to apply to posting one rule at a time. I.e. the criticism rule.
Posting a new rule would require a new thread. Please post as much commentary as possible.

Also I think Sydneykatieking may be right, I have the rule wrong. The version I posted may have been part of the commentary on the rule. Anyway, it doesn't really matter, there has been some excellent comments and discussion.
By the way Sydneykatieking do you have access to the written material from all those years ago? Your descriptions were so accurate.


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