Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Discussion of the SES' satellite schools in Australia and New Zealand.
Ahamty2
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:03 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Ahamty2 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:01 am

Information for this thread:
The disclosure of the School of Economic Science (SES), School of Philosophy (SOP), School of Practical Philosophy (SoPP) and Practical Philosophy; School of Meditation and the Study Society are all the same shade of grey( different from a book title) came about due to the publicity these organizations received in 1985 and later years by subsequent media expose due to the publication of “Secret Cult”. Their connection to Advaita Vedanta and Sri Shantanand Saraswati was made so public these organizations had no choice but to acknowledge the fact.
Also, whether these men are so called “realised beings” is very fanciful to say the least. There is something in the human ego that makes us want to feel “special” and “chosen”. That “higher hidden knowledge” is reserved for a special few human beings and not available at large, this is all occult stuff which Madame Blavatsky was very good at perpetrating. Even her ‘Secret Doctrine’ is said to be plagiarized, which was easy to do in 1888. The Orient was a place of occult mystery for the British and Americans, very few travelled there except for the military. The idea of a ‘fully realised person’ is a trick of Manas; ie, it is simply the mind playing with itself.

Tootsie
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:37 pm

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Tootsie » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:39 pm

Hi Ahamty 2, Swami Shantanand Saraswati was Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math from 1953-1980. He stepped down from the position in 1980 and Swami Vishnudevand became Shankaracharya. He lived for another 17 years before passing on in 1997. Do you know why he stepped down and what he did during those 17 years? Paul Mason the Maharishi's biographer claims: "Apparently, after his retirement, Swami Shantanand was persuaded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to travel abroad and involve himself in promoting Maharishi's meditation technique (Transcendental Meditation, TM). In 1982 Swami Shantanand visited Hong Kong, China (Shanghai, Nanking, Beijing), Moscow and Seelisberg, Switzerland. Again, in March 1983, he travelled to Africa; visiting Kenya (Nairobi Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret) and Zambia (Lusaka and Livingstone)."

It seems strange with all his traveling why he did not visit London.

ManOnTheStreet
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:32 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:06 am

Ahamty2 wrote:Also, whether these men are so called “realised beings” is very fanciful to say the least. There is something in the human ego that makes us want to feel “special” and “chosen”. That “higher hidden knowledge” is reserved for a special few human beings and not available at large, this is all occult stuff which Madame Blavatsky was very good at perpetrating. Even her ‘Secret Doctrine’ is said to be plagiarized, which was easy to do in 1888. The Orient was a place of occult mystery for the British and Americans, very few travelled there except for the military. The idea of a ‘fully realised person’ is a trick of Manas; ie, it is simply the mind playing with itself.


What astounds me is the fact that in almost every other field of human endeavour over the last few thousand years or so there has been some evidence of progress and development. As a species, we've gone from subsistence agriculture to putting men on the moon; We've discovered bacteria and eradicated smallpox; the list of human achievements and understanding goes on and on. Yet, in this one area (of "spirituality") we seem to think that no such development is possible. "The wisdom of the ancient sages" is considered gospel truth purely on the basis that it is ancient. While 'ancient' sources might provide some picture of what these people were thinking at the time, it in no way suggests that what they thought was accurate or true.

What the School fails to do is acknowledge this simple fact. In any case, there are so many other 'ancient' sources that contradict 'the scriptures' - are they true as well? It may well be the case that 'spirituality' has some relevance in the modern world, but surely it is not the 'spirituality' that requires a belief in unsupported notions like reincarnation and 'realisation'.

MOTS

Ahamty2
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:03 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Ahamty2 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:33 am

Tootsie, that is a big ask.
You are asking me to go back to my first visit to India in 1964.
In order to understand what this is all about the readers of this forum will have to put to one side their preconceived western rose tinted glasses, in particular, the anglo-american view of the world and other cultures. It has nothing to do with spirituality or religion, but about customs and culture.
While I have respect for Dr Francis Roles who with Leon MacLaren gave the leg up to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his TM movement I believe he was mistaken about finding the “Source” which P.D. Ouspensky said to find, this was an error on his part. When Maharishi introduced Dr Roles to his “boss” Sri Shantanand Saraswati, he was being introduced to a holy man who followed the tradition of Adi Shankara, that is all he was and that is all they all are, holy men in the tradition of Adi Shankara.
I note that the Brisbane branch of the SOP claim a connection to Sri Shantanand Saraswati successor HH Jagadguru Vasudevanand Saraswati which is very misleading and I think the door is still closed on the SES to Jyotir Math, besides the fact that it was Sri Vishnudevanand who was Shantanand’s successor.
Paul Mason gives good historical accounts of the problems with the succession of the Jyotir Math in the line of Shankaracharya. There have been many court cases to determine who has right to the throne of this branch including the SFSK’s guru, Sri Swaroopanand Saraswati. Sri Shantanand Saraswati was forced to step down in 1980 by none other than fellow disciple of Guru Dev, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in favour of Sri Vishnudevanand Saraswati. Let us not forget that Maharishi and TM have a very hefty wealth clout. Money and wealth speaks more powerfully than spiritual wealth nowadays. The door of Jyotir Math have been closed to the SES and Study Society ever since.
It is all to do with political manipulation and power struggle like anything else, nothing spiritual about it at all!

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Earlgrey » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:05 pm

Tootsie wrote:It seems strange with all his traveling why he did not visit London.


That's a good question Tootsie. As most people know the leaders would go to India and have an audience with His Holiness and the translated questions and answers would become the "material" we would eventually hear on group nights and residentials.
I remember one year around the mid eighties there was some material that warned us about pride, at least, that's how it was presented to us, i.e. that we, the students were being proud of our spiritual knowledge and we should watch our attitude. It wasn't explicitly stated like this but that was the feeling we got.
It was only years later that it occurred to me that HH was talking to the schools leadership, they were the one full of this pride. I also talked to one of my friends in school who was involved with editing and collating the material and he said to me there was other similar material which was removed. I didn't ask specifically about what this material said so I can't add any more.
I reckon, and I wouldn't really know, that maybe His Holiness in the end, didn't think much of the School of Philosophy leadership.

Ahamty2
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:03 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Ahamty2 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:41 pm

Absolutely, Earlgrey. The material was manipulated and even Mr Jaiswal’s translations have been questioned. India does not exist in a vacuum. Jyotir Math did get to hear about the public expose about the SES and Mavro’s running of the SOP. It all began to leak out in the early 1980’s. HH Shantanand Saraswati wouldn’t risk being at the mercy of the British press. That is why when the Mavros started the SFSK they had to find a new guru to see in India. You can be sure they didn’t mention the SES to him.. I remember all the top group members including myself having to hand over one weeks wages for the Mavros’ visit to see HH Shantanand Saraswati. They kept the recordings of the visit locked up, known only as “the tapes”.
Shantanand and Maharishi were hand in glove disciples. Shantanand approved of the TM Movement and Maharishi’s work in the West. Even to this day, the TM movement support Jyotir Math and HH Jagadguru Vasudevanand Saraswati. Well, why wouldn’t they? You have to understand the culture and customs and even after fifty years I am still trying to get my head around some of them and I have been involved with the Indian community and I enjoy their respect and hospitality.

Babs
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:52 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Babs » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:53 am

'I remember all the top group members including myself having to hand over one weeks wages for the Mavros’ visit to see HH Shantanand Saraswati. They kept the recordings of the visit locked up, known only as “the tapes”.'


I've heard on the grapevine that Mrs Mavro is "reassuring" students about the authenticity of the mantrum and the authority to give initiation by reference to the fact that a) she doesn't lie and b) she has "tapes" which are a record of the relevant transaction with HH.

Please see previous post by Middle Way on this thread about 11 ways to obfuscate.

Unique
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:30 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Unique » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:05 am

Hi everyone,
Looking at the SFSK website http://www.schoolforselfknowledge.org ...

Babs wrote: So, this begs the question: what has the SFSK, and specifically Mrs Mavro, got to hide? Why doesn't the SFSK make similar disclosure of its provenance, connection with the Indian guru and Advaita Vedanta, administration, management and funding? Why the secrecy? It really is fascinating but also quite creepy. Secrecy is antithetical to accountability and transparency. To extrapolate, children who are abused are told to keep it a secret, and that's how the abuser gets away with criminal behaviour.

... It is a fascinating story about how so many people could get so sucked in. It has happened before and will happen again, particularly with religious and quasi-religious organisations. There are many gurus out there with "clay feet" and many vulnerable people to exploit.

The questions asked by Babs are related to such an essential information about the school that it goes without saying that this information should be clearly stated and available to all current and prospective students. No genuine spiritual teachers/schools would ever try to hide it, nor would they need to.

Would Mrs Mavro be happy to give her time, service and devotion for years, while knowing only as little about the organisation and teachers she serves as the others know about her and her school? No way! But, it is fine by her to deliberately deceive people by giving them only a minimum of a carefully selected, mostly general information and omitting even to mention the most relevant specific details.

Some questions inevitably arise when looking at the ad which states that:

The School For Self Knowledge is a cultural, educational organisation, founded in 1987 and is currently operating from its premises in Sydney and Canberra, Australia . “

? Is it not a “spiritual“ one? Founded by whom? Operated by whom?

Why there are no names of the founders, Mr and Mrs Mavro, and the current leader Mrs Nina Mavro? It is nothing to do with “not wanting to take any credit for it”, which was a statement used as an excuse for not having their names disclosed anywhere in association with the school (including the school's legal documents), as the credit has been taken in many other ways. It is to do with wanting to protect themselves from any public or legal questioning if it ever occurs, so that they cannot be held responsible for anything. It was always their practice to make senior students in the school to sign all the legal and other documents in relation to the SFSK, so that the name “Mavro” never appears anywhere.

The ad further states:
The School is a wholly independent, non-profit organisation, and is not associated with any political, religious or other organisation .”

? And not associated with the Shankaracharya who supposedly gave the authority to Mr Mavro to initiate people, and the mantra to the school ?

The source of the material used in the SFSK is described in the ad as:
Material for the course is drawn from the wisdom of ancient Sages, the world's great cultures and religious traditions, and a wide range of literary, artistic, and scientific sources .
Some of the sources drawn from include great poets and writers such as: Shakespeare, Blake, Kabir, Emerson, Whitman, al-Ghazali, Marsilio Ficino and Rabidranath Tagore; great composers and artists such as Mozart, Haydn, Vivaldi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli; scientists and astronomers such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Kenneth Walker, Hoyle and Stephen Hawking; Eastern classics such as the teachings of Lao Tzu, Bhagavad Geeta, Upanishads, Mahabharata, The Mathnawi; the Holy Bible; the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and others
.”

? Who has drawn the “material” and interpreted it?

There is a whole long list of “sources” stated above, all of which have been used only as quotations in the main material, and yet there is not even a mention of Leon MacLaren who actually wrote the “material” which, although somewhat edited, is still the basis of the SFSK's “teaching”. This is how deceptive it is.

It is interesting that Mrs Mavro has recently stated that “material” belongs to her and not to the school, and that “she is only giving it to school to use it.“ This, “her material” is the same MacLaren's material that was snatched from the SOP, with some additions, including many plagiarised works. Some of it contains Mavro-modified teachings given by the Shankaracharya “to be translated and distributed in the West“ (and not kept locked in the draw for Mavros' personal use as a reference when editing MacLaren's work, never reaching the students in its given form).

It has been clearly stated by the Shankaracharya himself that the source of the material is the most important and that his words should be given to people exactly as he has spoken them. Little did he know that Mrs Mavro busily "worked " on them until they would fit in her own understanding of the Gurdjieff’s doctrine and Blavatsky’s fluff.

The School for Self knowledge is a replica of Mr MacLaren's establishment, faithfully reflecting his vision of the “School” and its particular form as the only appropriate vehicle for spiritual development. Although Mr and Mrs Mavro have established their own contact with a Shankaracharya after being expelled from SOP, the essence and the form of the School for Self Knowledge remained faithful to MacLaren's teaching, originating in the doctrines of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and later on his interpretation of Advaita Vedanta as received from Maharishi's nephew, Shantananda Saraswati.

Therefore, Leon Mac Laren remained Mr and Mrs Mavro's real teacher, as also evidenced in Mr Mavro's continuous fascination by him and efforts to imitate his style of teaching and behaviour, as well as his methods of controlling people-please see “In Search of Truth”, by Brian Hodgkinson.

The book may cause a bit of a shock to the SFSK students who, for all those years, were led to believe that “their” school is unique in its methods and teaching and that Mr Mavro was the true author of the main bulk of the material and its many “pearls of wisdom” which were taken by students as the ultimate evidence of Mr Mavro's unique and profound spiritual knowledge. In fact, most of it was said, often word for word, and done, by Mac Laren, who's authorship and influence was never acknowledged by the Mavros in the SFSK. Supported and elevated by his ambitious wife, Mr Mavro was taking all the credit for it, placing himself in the position of authority which would be fit for a “knower of Brahman” himself.

Mr and Mrs Mavro started the SOP in Sydney as a branch of the London SES after spending only 6 years as students in the SES. That was all the “work” done before becoming the “leaders” who demanded without any hesitation a total, life-long subservience from their students. Please see the entry by sydneykatieking » Fri Feb 04, 2011 on this forum.

But how could they ever be open about their background, the material, etc? It would demystify their “work” and importance. The students would have much more realistic view of their knowledge and self-inflated authority and resulting privileges and entitlements, including the cult-like control and manipulation of people under the excuse of “special care and love for students".

This may be of some help when looking for an answer to the question: “...what has the SFSK, and specifically Mrs Mavro, got to hide?”

All this may not trouble the current or the prospective students(if there are any)of the SFSK, but if they don't even know about it because it has been concealed from them(which is an act of “lying by omission”), what choice do they have?

It seems that the author/s of the ad are quite comfortable not telling the truth, possibly wanting to believe themselves that it is an appropriate measure to bypass the assumed people's ignorance and spiritual immaturity, arrogantly assuming to know better what is in people's spiritual interest than people themselves and to have the ability to change the spiritual course of people's lives for the better. Would they themselves ever accept to be treated in such a way by anyone? Thinking that they are “different “and “special” is a good excuse to do whatever they want and remain unaccountable for it.

Many manipulative practices in the SFSK , which are unacceptable by any standards anywhere, continue to be interpreted and justified as being necessary means to achieve some higher goal that is invisible to the “men on the street” and it is all known as “The Work". This work seems to be nothing else but labouring under a heavy load of ideas and delusions of the inflated “spiritual “egos.

Ahamty2
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:03 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Ahamty2 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:37 am

Unique. You have described everything to a “t”. There is nothing in your post that could be said to be inaccurate or exaggerated. Their behaviour in the SFSK is identical to when they ran the Sydney SOP except they do not have to answer to anyone else. Michael and Nina Mavro are cunning, shrewd and deceitful, like a true Greek tragedy, they would sacrifice their own children (if they had any) to be executed in order to save themselves from their own wrong doing.
My lawyers and barrister told me, after I had left the SOP, that if my name and signature appears anywhere on any SOP legal documents then I will be held accountable and I could not, as a sane mature adult, be excused under the law for any misdemeanours which have been committed by the Mavros even if it were true in fact, and I could not blame the Mavros for them. What was said to me was “you must have been under the influence of drugs to have allowed it to happen”. It was totally beyond their belief that you would willingly put yourself in such a position and allow it to happen.

iwonder
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:44 pm

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby iwonder » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:31 am

I decided to start at the Sydney School, as I wanted to see for myself what it was all about, and the person I initially mentioned was still attending and still 'raving on' about how much it would benefit my life. I decided not to look at this forum and have not been on it all year, until getting on tonight to read what had been posted since I last looked at it. I did not want my observations or thoughts to be influenced by others nor did I want to have any bias of knowledge upon starting.
My experience resulted in my observations below;
* Certain students are selected and favoured by the group's tutor, no matter what answer they give, right, wrong or otherwise. This concept was very weird.
* There was an overall discouraging atmosphere created by the tutor (John Cooper was the tutor's name) when anyone wanted to ask a question that needed clarification. Tactics used by the tutor were creating self doubt in the mind of the questioner (who is asking that, you are thinking too much etc). I found this quite disturbing to both experience and witness.
* Ongoing subtle pressure to attend the school workshops and how they could help me become more spiritually focused
* John Cooper the tutor was sarcastic, and had a sharp tongue and if need be would use his perceived sense of power to cut someone down if necessary.
*These so called tutors also seemed to meddle in people's private lives, and walked around like they ran the world.

Alas, I am no longer attending the SFSK.

The ad states the SFSK is a "non profit organisation" yet they charge money to enrol, money for tea, money for workshops, books, hear money for residentials, meditation initiations etc - is this not a business?? If it looks like a duck well you know the rest...

Tootsie
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:37 pm

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Tootsie » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:00 am

Yep, you got it right iwonder, experience is the best teacher!

Ella.M.C.
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 6:12 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Ella.M.C. » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:28 am

Hello to all,

Thank you very much Unique, for your most accurate and thoughtful post ..
And as Ahamty2 stated ..described to a 't'

Ahamty2 wrote:Unique. You have described everything to a “t”. There is nothing in your post that could be said to be inaccurate or exaggerated. Their behaviour in the SFSK is identical to when they ran the Sydney SOP except they do not have to answer to anyone else. Michael and Nina Mavro are cunning, shrewd and deceitful, like a true Greek tragedy, they would sacrifice their own children (if they had any) to be executed in order to save themselves from their own wrong doing.


And Ahamty2, the same practises that you described about signing papers for school still goes on,
it does beg again the question .. What have they got to hide?

I encourage all students either current or prospective to read the whole post.

I have just re-quoted a small portion of Unique's post below, outlining the main questions.
And also the background relating to the school's leader, and where the material originates.

A genuine spiritual school, would advertise openly and honestly .. if you start with lies, it
can only get worse!


From my own perspective of being a former long time student of SFSK, now realising more and more,
the full impact of it all .. how we have been deceived, manipulated and have actually been in a 'cult like'
(at the very least) organisation for so long.
For myself and some others it is the spiritual deception that is the worst crime.
I could go on but this post says it all....


Unique wrote:Hi everyone,

Looking at the SFSK website http://www.schoolforselfknowledge.org ...

Babs wrote: So, this begs the question: what has the SFSK, and specifically Mrs Mavro, got to hide?
Why doesn't the SFSK make similar disclosure of its provenance, connection with the Indian guru and Advaita Vedanta, administration, management and funding?
Why the secrecy? It really is fascinating but also quite creepy.
Secrecy is antithetical to accountability and transparency.
To extrapolate, children who are abused are told to keep it a secret, and that's how the abuser gets away with criminal behaviour.


The questions asked by Babs are related to such essential information about the school that it goes without saying that this information should be clearly stated and available to all current and prospective students.
No genuine spiritual teachers/schools would ever try to hide it, nor would they need to.



Some questions inevitably arise when looking at the ad which states that:

The School For Self Knowledge is a cultural, educational organisation, founded in 1987 and is currently operating from its premises in Sydney and Canberra, Australia . “

? Is it not a “spiritual“ one? Founded by whom? Operated by whom?

Why there are no names of the founders, Mr and Mrs Mavro, and the current leader Mrs Nina Mavro?

The ad further states:
The School is a wholly independent, non-profit organisation, and is not associated with any political, religious or other organisation .”

? And not associated with the Shankaracharya who supposedly gave the authority to Mr Mavro to initiate people, and the mantra to the school ?



? Who has drawn the “material” and interpreted it?

There is a whole long list of “sources”, all of which have been used only as quotations in the main material, and yet there is not even a mention of LEON MCLAREN who actually wrote the “material” which, although somewhat edited, is still the basis of the SFSK's “teaching”. This is how deceptive it is.

It is interesting that Mrs Mavro has recently stated that “material” belongs to her and not to the school, and that “she is only giving it to school to use it.“ This, “her material” is the same MacLaren's material that was snatched from the SOP, with some additions, including many plagiarised works. Some of it contains Mavro-modified teachings given by the Shankaracharya “to be translated and distributed in the West“ (and not kept locked in the draw for Mavros' personal use as a reference when editing MacLaren's work, never reaching the students in its given form).

It has been clearly stated by the Shankaracharya himself that the source of the material is the most important and that his words should be given to people exactly as he has spoken them. Little did he know that Mrs Mavro busily "worked " on them until they would fit in her own understanding of the Gurdjieff’s doctrine and Blavatsky’s fluff.

The School for Self knowledge is a replica of Mr MacLaren's establishment, faithfully reflecting his vision of the “School” and its particular form as the only appropriate vehicle for spiritual development. Although Mr and Mrs Mavro have established their own contact with a Shankaracharya after being expelled from SOP, the essence and the form of the School for Self Knowledge remained faithful to MacLaren's teaching, originating in the doctrines of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and later on his interpretation of Advaita Vedanta as received from Maharishi's nephew, Shantananda Saraswati.

Therefore, Leon Mac Laren remained Mr and Mrs Mavro's real teacher, as also evidenced in Mr Mavro's continuous fascination by him and efforts to imitate his style of teaching and behaviour, as well as his methods of controlling people-please see “In Search of Truth”, by Brian Hodgkinson.


Mr and Mrs Mavro started the SOP in Sydney as a branch of the London SES after spending only 6 years as students in the SES. That was all the “work” done before becoming the “leaders” who demanded without any hesitation a total, life-long subservience from their students. Please see the entry by sydneykatieking » Fri Feb 04, 2011 on this forum.

But how could they ever be open about their background, the material, etc?
It would demystify their “work” and importance.
The students would have much more realistic view of their knowledge and self-inflated authority and
resulting privileges and entitlements, including the cult-like control and manipulation of people under
the excuse of “special care and love for students".

This may be of some help when looking for an answer to the question:
“...What has the SFSK, and specifically Mrs Mavro, got to hide?”

All this may not trouble the current or the prospective students of the SFSK, but if they don't even know about it because it has been concealed from them (which is an act of “lying by omission”), what choice do they have?

ManOnTheStreet
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:32 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:15 am

Just realised my reply to iwonder on the other thread should've been put here:

iwonder, your experiences echo our own.

iwonder wrote:
Tactics used by the tutor were creating self doubt in the mind of the questioner (who is asking that, you are thinking too much etc)



The disturbing thing about this is that after a while, a lot of students see this is as one of two things:

1) Evidence of some kind of 'deeper understanding' of the tutor (because they can perceive the 'activity' in the mind of the student) or
2) A worthwhile thing - what I mean is that after a while they think it's a good thing to stop asking questions, because this impedes their 'spiritual development' in some way. This process starts in part 1, and only gets reinforced later on.

I'm very happy that you are no longer a member iwonder - particularly so since it took you only a year to leave. For some of us, that process took over 20 years.

As for not-for-profit: I think the financial escapades of the Mavros have been mentioned in the main thread so I won't go into it here, but suffice it to say they made full use of the funds accorded to them (overseas trips etc.) Not for profit simply means that no extra profit is made over and above what is needed to run the organisation. The School could very well have operated in this fashion, but clearly it did not.

MOTS
Last edited by ManOnTheStreet on Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

Babs
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:52 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Babs » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:58 am

ManOnTheStreet wrote:
As for not-for-profit: I think the financial escapades of the Mavros have been mentioned in the main thread so I won't go into it here, but suffice it to say they made full use of the funds accorded to them (overseas trips etc.) Not for profit simply means that no extra profit is made over and above what is needed to run the organisation. The School could very well have operated in this fashion, but clearly it did not.

MOTS


Another "premium" placed on SFSK material, I venture to suggest, was on the calligraphy boards and set. I was asked to pay $100 for a wooden board (assembled by a senior student) and for the calligraphy set. At the time I thought it was probably a bit steep but not outrageous. However a friend of mine who obtained his set a few years later was asked to pay $200 for the board and set. That's a massive inflation rate. I know wood is not cheap, but $200 for a wooden board the size of a tea tray and a plastic pencil case with a few nibs and a spot of ink, really?

Babs
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:52 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Babs » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:54 am

One of Mrs Mavro's disturbing observations was made at a ladies' residential in Canberra a couple of years ago. I used to look forward to those weekends in Canberra actually: it was lovely to meet up with the Canberra ladies who were unfailingly hospitable and provided good company and lashings of lovely food (at risk of sounding like a character from Enid Blyton, the food was really nice!). Therein lies the contradiction of the SFSK again: it could have been so positive but for the at times controlling and disturbing behaviour of the leader. Mrs Mavro was in full swing indulging in her guru status leading a session on goddesses (!) when she made the observation that "you only ever marry once" in your lifetime. Upon questioning, she reiterated that even if you "divorce" your husband "the law" (according to Mrs M) was that you remained married to him. By that logic then, anyone who had divorced and remarried was adulterous or their new union wasn't properly consecrated by marriage. In the interests of attempting to be objective, there are two ways of looking at this. First, if one were having marital problems, perhaps Mrs Mavro's stricture may have encouraged one to stay in the marriage, so far so good. Maybe. But if one were divorced, and there were at least half a dozen women in that room who were divorcees, the effect of Madame Sosostris' decree must have been troubling. I was troubled by it! The problem with Mrs Mavro's black and white world view is that it doesn't allow for the many and varied nuances and gradations of individual circumstances. To tell a woman who has been through goodness knows what personal circumstances culminating in divorce that she remains married to the man she has seemingly divorced is silly, unrealistic, and probably psychologically disturbing. It is so lacking in empathy and judgmental. Ditto her decree to my class one evening that "if you abort, you too will be aborted". For the women in that room who had had an abortion, and there are many in Australia who when young and unmarried have had unplanned pregnancies, that likewise would have been a truly disturbing thing to hear and again, completely judgmental.I recognise that the question of the right to an abortion is controversial (although something that Australia has legally settled), and many people take a strong stand on this issue, but for someone who promotes herself as a spiritual leader, to come out with this crushing judgmentalism is just so wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, whether it be in the choice of husband, or having an unwanted pregnancy, or whatever, and to have someone like Mrs Mavro decree that the consequences of that mistake will be felt throughout your life and future "embodiments" down to being "aborted" yourself (if that were your mistake) is far, far removed from forgiveness, acceptance, empathy, healing and from love.


Return to “The Australian and NZ schools”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests