Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Discussion of the SES' satellite schools in Australia and New Zealand.
ManOnTheStreet
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:32 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:12 am

I agree - the language on the website is rather exaggerated. I think the "500 million" comment refers to the fact that Swaroopananda holds two seats, and the area covered by those seats is approximately half of India. India has a population of around 1 billion, so the writer of the website has probably thought "half the population must live in half the area, so the figure is 500 million". (I'm just speculating here - of course I have no idea what was going on in the writer's head).

Obviously there are problems with this. Firstly, Swaroopanda does not minister to all the non-Hindus living within that area. Secondly, not all the non-Hindus are his followers. Thirdly, (in this I agree with Dr. Alan) the number of people with which he has personal and ongoing contact must necessarily be few in number, or at least a lot fewer than "500 million". If anything, saying that he has "500 million shishyas" somewhat cheapens the notion of "shishya" does it not?

I think whoever wrote the words was probably a little too enthusiastic and sacrificed fact for what is ultimately a fiction.

MOTS

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby woodgreen » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:47 pm

I've always had a sneaking suspicion that in some strange collusion between the Gurus and the organisations across the world who have been involved in promoting, following, or using Advaita etc. that they keep numbers of the many who have been "initiated" and given puja to Guru Dev. This could at a stretch amount to 500 million- if they included people in India who may acknowledge the tradition. Pujas are given regularly and for many things in India I understand.

Sadly, this collusion ends up with the likes of the SES using Gurus, and Gurus using the likes of the SES. It may be that Swaroopanand is now acknowledging that his relationship with the Mavros went badly wrong, but I still have many reservations about the whole relationship brought about by the introduction of the initiation and puja to the "west" and the likes of McLaren and the SES.
Does it make people watered - down " remote" disciples maybe? By virtue of initiation? At my most cynical, were they attempts at back-door conversions?

Anyway, if there is a way to rescind a "puja to Guru Dev" I hereby do it, with all respect to him, his followers and his divinities. Rescinded on the basis that it was not given by me with any teaching of the knowledge of the tradition or cognisance of the ceremony, its language, the divinities it gave worship too, and any continuation it could imply.



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

Krishna
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:04 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Krishna » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:46 am

Dear Mr Alan ,
Welcome to India,
Shankaracharya Of Dwaraka and Jyoshimath has half of India as his shishyas ,you have to see to believe so why not visit his ashram and take his blessings .
You have to be in his divine presence to seek the truth .
Krishna.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:06 am

Krishna wrote:Shankaracharya Of Dwaraka and Jyoshimath has half of India as his shishyas


Are you seriously sticking to the number of "500 million"? The Shankaracharya admittedly has many followers, but for the reasons above - they could not possibly number in the 100's of millions. Also - in what sense are you using the word "shishya"? Perhaps you are using it very broadly.

Krishna wrote:You have to be in his divine presence to seek the truth .


I'm sorry, but I just can't let this one pass. Are you really suggesting that the only way to "seek the truth" (whatever that is) is to be in his "divine presence"? What happens when he dies? Will no one be able to seek the truth any more? Obviously, you probably think that he can never truly "die" (so his presence will persist), but you have absolutely no foundation for that belief other than your own fervent desire that he keep persisting in non-corporeal form (so that you can continue to live in his presence).

Also - how do you know that Dr. Alan's guru is not "divine" as well? The fact that he disagrees with you doesn't make his points less valid. Claims like this only highlight the spurious nature of people trying to prove their guru is the real deal. In any case, Dr. Alan wasn't talking about the divinity or otherwise of the Shankaracharya; he was commenting on the obviously exaggerated claims on the website. He doesn't need to come and see the Shankaracharya to sort out that question. Whether the wording of the website is accurate or not has nothing to do with the "search for truth".

MOTS

Dr.Alan
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Dr.Alan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:44 am

GETTING AWAY FROM ALL THIS CONTROVERY

To view Advaita Vedanta as something connected with money and fame or collecting followers is to superimpose false ideas onto the true tradition. It is always true in all civilisations that people will corrupt any tradition for money, fame etc. etc. - but we should focus our attention on what Advaita Vedanta is really giving us the opportunity for.

It is not a philosophy for analysis and debate like many such things have become in Europe and the western styled nations - a philosophy to think about. No, it is not like this - it is a practical code for all to see that they can live a different kind of life to the one which is like an instinctive animal.

Whether any one believes in re-birth of the soul or not - we can all observe that most human beings are born with many animal traits. It is to give us the concept that it is possible to live a life free from the instinctive way of behaving just like animals. The qualities which Advaita Vedanta suggests that we give up are all related to those inborn, natural tendencies which we all have to some extent. Whatever progress we have made it is good to know that we can go further and to exalt the human being to its right status. To have the dignity of its true status which is far, far above that of instinctive behaviour.

See the list below of the qualities which are expected or are possible for a human being. Compare your own life with this list. Thereby see that it is not an easy thing to acquire, maintain and always live with every single one of these good qualities in all actions, words and thoughts. Is there in the world any society that would not put such things as the goal of their way of living??

Yet it is difficult - and we need help. All this bickering about whether Advaita Vedanta is true or false - is a just a red-herring in the mind, a diversion from grasping the nettle and seeing that we can become better human beings if we follow a systematic approach to it and try to live it.

Such things as realisation and liberation are matters that are too far away form us to think about - until such time as we can surely and honestly say that we have mastered our base nature and equalled our living to be as the list below.

From The Bhagavad Gita (with chapter and verse indications)

5: 27/28 who has controlled the senses, mind and intellect, who is solely pursuing liberation, who has cast away desire, fear and anger,
6 :8 who remains unshaken, who has conquered the senses, to whom a clod, a stone and a piece of gold are the same.
12:13 He who hates no being, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from the feeling of 'I and mine', even-minded in pain and pleasure and forbearing,
12:15 by whom the world is not afflicted and whom the world cannot afflict, he who is free from joy, anger, fear and anxiety
12:16 He who has no wants, who is pure and prompt, unconcerned, untroubled, and who is selfless in all his undertakings,
12:18 He who is the same to foe and friend and also in honour and dishonour, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment,
12:19 To whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent, content with anything, homeless, steady-minded, full of devotion
13:7 Humility, modesty, non-injury, forbearances uprightness, service of the teacher, purity, steadfastness, self-control.
13:8 Dispassion towards the objects of the senses, also absence of egoism;
13:9 Unattachment, non-identification of self with son, wife, home, and the like, and constant equanimity in the occurrence of the desirable and the undesirable
14:24 Balanced in pleasure and pain, Self-abiding, viewing a clod of earth, a stone and gold alike the same to agreeable and disagreeable, firm, the same in censure and praise;
15:5 Free from pride and delusion, with the evil of attachment conquered, ever dwelling in the Self, their desires being completely stilled, liberated from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain,
16:1 Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and yoga, almsgiving, control of the senses,
16:2 Non-injury, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, serenity, not slanderous, compassion to all beings, uncovetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of agitation.
16:3 Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride,
17:15 The speech which causes no excitement, which is truthful, pleasant and beneficial,
17:16 Serenity of mind, gentleness, silence, self-control and purity of disposition
18:49 He whose intellect is unattached every-where, who has subdued his self, from whom desire has disappeared,
18:53 Having abandoned egoism, violence, arrogance, desire, enmity, property, free from the notion of "mine" and peaceful,

Any normal person who would consider the above list -- if they are honest to themselves would know that it is an almost impossible status to achieve.

This is why it is considered to be that only very few people can reach that state.

Gita Chpt.7 v3 Among thousands of men scarcely one strives for perfection, and of those who strive and succeed, scarcely one knows Me in truth.

New Testament -- Matt. Chpt 7 v 14 Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Gita Chpt 7:19 the man of wisdom takes refuge in Me, realising that Vasudeva is all that is. Rare indeed is that great soul.

Also it is considered incorrect to expect a normal human being to be given an obligation to achieve such a state before that person is ready to work at it. For this reason it is often recommended that the ordinary person is not told about it so that they do not become unduly affected by feeling that they have fallen short of such a high ideal. It is consideration for the ordinary people that such verses as follow are given, not to keep the teaching secret.

Gita Chpt 18 v 67 This is never to be spoken by you to one who is devoid of austerities, nor to one who is not devoted, nor to one who does not do service, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.

N.T Matt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs. Neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you.

Cloud of Unknowing :- I charge thee and I beseech thee -- that thou neither read it (this book), write it, nor speak it, nor yet suffer it to be read, written or spoken by such a one unless he has become a perfect follower of Christ.

So all those that were introduced to Advaita Vedanta by SES when they were not ready for it - or did not choose to follow it resolutely in their lives, would be advised to leave it entirely alone and carry on living a normal life trying to be the best that you can be - but not meddling with Advaita Vedanta until such time as you are attracted to it in such a way that you will have the right attitude of respect and belief in it.

This would be the easiest way to GET AWAY FROM ALL THIS CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHY
Last edited by Dr.Alan on Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:11 pm

Dr.Alan wrote:It is not a philosophy for analysis and debate like many such things have become in Europe and the western styled nations - a philosophy to think about.


I think even Adi Shankara would beg to differ on this point. He spent most of his life going around debating people on the topic of Advaita. The books he wrote are full of "objections" and "responses". Clearly this is "analysis and debate". Advaita is another way of looking at the world. It claims things about metaphysics and epistemology that are obviously philosophical in character. It may also be a "practical code", but the ideas that underpin that practical code are definitely philosophical. Of course it's a "philosophy to think about" - you have clearly thought about it rather a lot Dr. Alan.

Dr.Alan wrote:it is a practical code for all to see that they can live a different kind of life to the one which is like an instinctive animal.


Are you really suggesting that the only two ways to live are as an Advaitin or "like an instinctive animal"?

Dr.Alan wrote: It is to give us the concept that it is possible to live a life free from the instinctive way of behaving just like animals.


Fair enough, but I don't see why it is necessary to believe all the metaphysical claims of Advaita in order to do this.

Dr.Alan wrote:All this bickering about whether Advaita Vedanta is true or false - is a just a red-herring in the mind, a diversion from grasping the nettle and seeing that we can become better human beings if we follow a systematic approach to it and try to live it.


(i) I don't think we are "bickering" - we are just trying to have a reasonable conversation. What's wrong with that?

(ii) You obviously think Advaita is true - so by your own words, you are just as distracted by this "red-herring" as we apparently are. The question of whether the claims of Advaita are true or not is an important one - if they're not true, what's the point of following them? If I told you "Christianity is true! Don't question it, just believe." You would obviously not throw yourself into becoming a Christian (for good reason). Why do you expect us to react any differently with regard to Advaita?

Dr.Alan wrote:Also it is considered incorrect to expect a normal human being to be given an obligation to achieve such a state before that person is ready to work at it. For this reason it is often recommended that the ordinary person is not told about it so that they do not become unduly affected by feeling that they have fallen short of such a high ideal.


And yet there it is in the scriptures for all to see, and here you are telling us all about it. I think those "recommenders" really shot themselves in the foot on this one...

Dr.Alan wrote:It is consideration for the ordinary people that such verses as follows are given, not for keep the teaching secret.


(i) Who exactly are these "ordinary people"? Are they just ignorant "men on the street"? That concept sounds eerily familiar...

(ii) The argument that "we are keeping this knowledge from you for your own good" is rather sinister. We got this argument in SFSK all the time. "Don't ask those questions, because you aren't ready for the answers. We're keeping this "knowledge" from you because you're not "ready"". I am not at all affected by the possibility that I have not achieved the "ideal" set out in the scriptures. Why should I be? I think whoever came up with that argument assumed an astounding lack of mental fortitude in the people who were to read the scripture.

The only thing the writers of these scriptures managed to do with all these idealistic statements is point out that human beings, on the whole, are not "perfect". Everyone knows this. It's really not that hard to deal with.

Dr.Alan wrote:not meddling with Advaita Vedanta until such time as you are attracted to it in such a way that you will have the right attitude of respect and belief in it.


Again, this assumes that the only correct attitude to Advaita is one of belief in it. On what basis are you so sure that there is only one "right attitude" to Advaita, and why does it have to be "belief"?

Dr.Alan wrote:This would be the easiest way to GET AWAY FROM ALL THIS CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHY


There is no "controversy" here; only a simple question about whether the claims of Advaita are true or not. Why are you so adamantly trying to avoid addressing this question?

MOTS

Dr.Alan
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Dr.Alan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:29 pm

MOTS

of course we expect you to try and run down anything anyone says. This is what your mind is full of - doubt, scepticism and controversy.

You cannot argue with the good qualities listed in the Bhagavad Gita. They are echoed in all respectable codes of life across the planet. I have not said that Advaita is the only way - I actually related them to all societies on the planet. Please read what is written - instead of the first idea which pops into your mind and takes control of you.

Why do you not simply try to include them in your life and stop applying your childhood frustrations which came from SES membership at everything which contains the words Advaita Vedanta in it. And stop calling it intelligent debate. It is no more than doubt and scepticism of something you have not sincerely tried to model your life on.

The effect of receiving the teaching in your life long before you were ready for it - is very clear from every word you write. As I have said before - you should seriously consider ceasing your involvement with this subject. It is very clear that you are not ready for it. But it is also clear that you cannot - and do not - want to see this simple fact. Your mind is seriously deluding you but you believe every thought that comes into it and then speak and act.

When I wrote to you to say that you will have to stay in the doubtful state you are in until you meet a realised soul. You would not have it that this could be a situation for you. So you then wrote to me to say that you had been to India and had met a realised teacher "As a matter of fact, I have met someone who is "realised" on quite a number of occasions (in India)" with whom you had conversations. And that this person was all those "incredible" things you had been told that a realised person was.

By saying this you put to bed the suggestion that your life might be deficient in some way - because you had countered my statement that you would have to wait. This is all your mind wanted to do - countermand everything which appears you may have a deficiency. This comes from your childhood experience with SES.

But then because you like to run down the idea that someone might be realised you said that when you met this teacher the last time, you considered that he was just an ordinary person. saying "On the other hand, there is a big difference between being "an exceptional human being" and being "realised".

So when I naturally asked you what you criteria were for deciding whether a person was realised or not, you said "I actually don't think there is a way to determine this. Everything seems to rest on people's subjective beliefs and desires regarding the person they call "realised". I don't think there is any independent test that establishes whether someone is "realised" or not."

Once again your mind wanted you to appear to come out on top so you made the above statement.

What you did not realise was that you had completely undermined your own previous statements.

1. That you had met a realised person.

2. That you had later considered he was not realised.

You have not made any logical sense with your statements - as you cannot say you have met a realised person if you also say that there is no way to determine that a person is or is not realised.
Also you cannot say "he was just an ordinary person" if you have no way of determining that he was or was not a realised person.

I have recently sent you many questions about things that you have written. From the answers you have given me, the above example, which is illogical and completely lacking in intelligence, -- is only one of many that I could have put up here today.

You are a confused person who has been let down and misled by the very people you trusted would guide you correctly. This is abuse of you as a child - and as such you are suffering from as serious an effect as those others on this forum who were sent by their parents to the SES children's schools. It is no wonder that you think the way you do about Advaita, after such prolonged and serious abuse of you by the adults who should have cared better for your life.

It shows how deluded you are when you compare the controversy which you like to engage in with the kind of debate which Adi Shankara had to deal with. There are many people much more intelligent than you who have said that Adi Shankara was one of the greatest minds that lived on this planet. A great genius and much more - only your silly mind would compare itself with Him.

It is time for you to stop believing every negative thought which comes into your mind about any belief system. Get on with living an ordinary life without these things.

There is no doubt that instead of getting some value from this post - your mind will immediately fill with thoughts to countermand everything which is written here. You will never get value out of philosophy by this approach. You need to see that it is the silly thoughts in your mind which are leading you into the traps of the illogical mistake shown above. You are not those thoughts of yours. You really know better. I have exposed your mistake so that you will seriously consider getting out of this subject - for your own good and peace of mind. But you will not believe me more than the silly thoughts which come into your mind - because they are in control of you - you are not in control of yourself.

So now we wait for more of your silly thoughts.
Last edited by Dr.Alan on Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:06 am

Dr. Alan,

1. Setting aside the somewhat unethical way in which you quoted personal messages, I think you have failed to grasp the main point of my post. I actually don't mind you quoting things I've said in PM's to you because I'm consistent in my views, but you might find that others are not so accommodating.

2.
Dr.Alan wrote:of course we expect you to try and run down anything anyone says.


Actually, I think "we expect" and "anyone says" should be replaced by "Dr. Alan expects" and "Dr. Alan says". I don't think you can speak for anyone else on this forum but yourself. If others on this forum disagree with my points they are entitled to say so. They certainly don't need you as their spokesperson.

Dr.Alan wrote:This is what your mind is full of - doubt, scepticism and controversy.


In fact, I am quite happy that my mind operates with a bit of doubt and a healthy dose of scepticism. If I had had a bit more of these when I was in the SFSK perhaps I would have extricated myself from that place earlier. Scepticism is merely the idea that anyone that makes a claim about anything needs to provide some independent evidence to support the claim. What's so terrible about that?

3.
Dr.Alan wrote:You cannot argue with the good qualities listed in the Bhagavad Gita. They are echoed in all respectable codes of life across the planet. I have not said that Advaita is the only way - I actually related them to all societies on the planet. Please read what is written - instead of the first idea which pops into your mind and takes control of you.


I never "argued" with the good qualities you mentioned. However, you only related the good qualities with all societies on the planet; you did not relate Advaita with all societies on the planet. Shankara himself states that the Veda are the only valid means of knowledge. Thus my question was legitimate. Perhaps you should read your own posts more carefully!

4.
Dr.Alan wrote:Why do you not simply try to include some of these good qualities in your life


Who's saying I'm not? Also - this is a completely different question to whether the metaphysical claims of Advaita are true or not. Advaita is not just some ethical code or system of values. It is primarily a metaphysical and epistemological system that attempts to characterise our experience of the world. In other words, it is a philosophy, in the true sense of the word. Why are you so reluctant to admit this? Why are you so concerned with making Advaita "special"?

Dr.Alan wrote:stop applying your childhood frustrations which came from SES membership at everything which contains the words Advaita Vedanta in it.


This is a ridiculous assertion. I don't have a problem with Advaita Vedanta in general, but if you are going to make grand sweeping statements about the way you think the world operates then I am more than entitled to express a certain scepticism with regard to those statements. The fact that you happen to derive your views from your own understanding of Advaita is actually irrelevant. I apply scepticism to any claim made without supporting evidence. This forum is one in which Advaita is a likely topic of conversation, but I'm applying no more scepticism to your claims than I would to anyone else's.

Dr.Alan wrote:And stop calling it intelligent debate. It is no more than doubt and scepticism of something you have not sincerely tried to model your life on.


How on earth do you know the quality of my sincerity? This is a completely baseless claim, and moreover you are simply committing a No true Scotsman fallacy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman: There's nothing about Advaita that necessitates a belief in it. I could equally say to you - "well, if only you truly tried to model your life on Advaita you would inevitably see it was false. You still think it's true, therefore you cannot have truly applied yourself." You wouldn't agree with that argument at all, and yet that is exactly the argument you are presenting here. Clearly, this claim is spurious.

5.
Dr.Alan wrote:The effect of receiving the teaching in your life long before you were ready for it - is very clear from every word you write. As I have said before - you should seriously consider ceasing your involvement with this subject. It is very clear that you are not ready for it. But it is also clear that you cannot - and do not - want to see this simple fact. Your mind is seriously deluding you but you believe every thought that comes into it and then speak and act.


Actually, when you said this to me before, you later said that it was "all a test". I won't quote your PM for ethical reasons, but I'm sure you remember the exchange. You say that my mind is deluding me, but your only evidence for that is the fact that I disagree with you about the truth claims of Advaita, and really that's no evidence at all. This claim is also spurious.

6.
Dr.Alan wrote:When I wrote to you to say that you will have to stay in the doubtful state you are in until you meet a realised soul. You would not have it that this could be a situation for you. So you then wrote to me to say that you had been to India and had met a realised teacher "As a matter of fact, I have met someone who is "realised" on quite a number of occasions (in India)" with whom you had conversations. And that this person was all those "incredible" things you had been told that a realised person was.


I was merely relating a fact about my life to you. I don't see how that represents "not having it that this would be a situation for me". I didn't invent that fact just so I could "escape" your argument. Why would I do that? I also said that "(not surprisingly) I found him to be all the incredible things we were told realised men were." Clearly what I meant there was that I was preconditioned into being accepting of the fact that he was "realised" and possessed of incredible qualities etc. Your point here is therefore spurious as well.

Dr.Alan wrote:By saying this you put to bed the suggestion that your life might be deficient in some way - because you had countered my statement that you would have to wait. This is all your mind wanted to do - countermand everything which appears you may have a deficiency. This comes from your childhood experience with SES.


Leaving aside the ad hominem, wherefore is the categorical statement that my childhood experience with SFSK makes me now want to countermand everything that appears to have a deficiency? In any case, what's wrong with wanting to discard ideas that have clear deficiencies? The idea that the world is flat has clear deficiencies - are you really suggesting that the desire to discard this idea is ill-placed?

Dr.Alan wrote:But then because you like to run down the idea that someone might be realised you said that when you met this teacher the last time, you considered that he was just an ordinary person. saying "On the other hand, there is a big difference between being "an exceptional human being" and being "realised". "


That is absolutely untrue. How do you know beyond any doubt what my "intention" was? All I did was apply the same scepticism to the claims about him as I would to claims about anyone else. Again - there is nothing wrong with doing this. It doesn't represent some sinister agenda of mine or anything like it. I don't "like to run down the idea that someone might be realised" - I just don't think there are convincing reasons to hold that there are such people, because there is no independent evidence that establishes that quality in a person. Perhaps you just don't quite understand what Scepticism is?

7.
Dr.Alan wrote:So when I naturally asked you what your criteria were for deciding whether a person was realised or not, you said "I actually don't think there is a way to determine this. Everything seems to rest on people's subjective beliefs and desires regarding the person they call "realised". I don't think there is any independent test that establishes whether someone is "realised" or not.

Once again your mind wanted you to appear to come out on top so you made the above statement.

What you did not realise was that you had completely undermined your own previous statements.

1. That you had met a realised person.

2. That you had later considered he was not realised.

You have not made any logical sense with your statements - because you cannot say you have met a realised person if you also say that there is no way to determine that a person is or is not realised.

Also you cannot say "he was just an ordinary person" if you have no way of determining that he was or was not a realised person.


This point is really quite interesting:

(i) Your comment about me "wanting to come out on top" is spurious for the reasons I gave above.

(ii) I said that when I first met the Shankaracharya, I thought he was realised (because I was pre-conditioned to thinking that way). At the time I merely took that as an article of faith; I used no "test" or anything like it. I am quite happy to say that this was a deficient way to approach the question of whether he was realised or not. I now realise that there is no actual test to determine whether someone is realised or not. This just makes my earlier belief (that he was realised) incorrect.

The burden of proof is on the person who claims realisation is possible, because this is the more tenuous position. We would only need a "test" precisely because it isn't self-evident that someone is realised or not. In fact, as I've said to you before, the Geeta (Ch. 2) spells this out as well: ("the sage walks, talks, eats, sleeps" etc.) The argument is simply that no one can claim that anyone is realised because they have no way of determining this objectively. I said "he was an ordinary person" because there was no reason or evidence to suggest he was anything else. There is nothing illogical about that position.

8.
Dr.Alan wrote:You are a confused person who has been let down and misled by the very people you trusted would guide you correctly. This is abuse of you as a child - and as such you are suffering from as serious an effect as those others on this forum who were sent by their parents to the SES children's schools. It is no wonder that you think the way you do about Advaita, after such prolonged and serious abuse of you by the adults who should have cared better for your life.


I'm not sure what you're trying to get at here. Again, the only evidence for my "confusion" is that I disagree with you regarding Advaita. There are many people in this world who would disagree with you about Advaita who were not abused as children. Not once do my arguments regarding the truth claims of Advaita mention "abuse as a child" as a supporting reason. The moral abhorrence of child abuse has nothing to do with whether or not Advaita is true.

9.
Dr.Alan wrote:It shows how deluded you are when you compare the controversy which you like to engage in with the kind of debate which Adi Shankara had to deal with. There are many people much more intelligent than you who have said that Adi Shankara was one of the greatest minds that lived on this planet. A great genius and much more - only your silly mind would compare itself with Him.


I never compared myself with Shankara. All I said was that your point about Advaita not needing to be debated was ill-founded because Shankara spent most of his life debating Advaita. Nowhere there is a comparison between Shankara and myself.

Also - your standard of intelligence just seems to be "whether or not he/she agrees with me about Advaita". If they do then you think they're intelligent. If they don't, you think they're "silly". This is truly a ridiculous standard.

I also happen to think that Shankara was one of the "great minds" of history. The fact that I see great value in his philosophy doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he says, much less everything you say.

10.
Dr.Alan wrote:There is no doubt that instead of getting some value from this post - your mind will immediately fill with thoughts to countermand everything which is written here. You will never get value out of philosophy by this approach. You need to see that it is the silly thoughts in your mind which are leading you into the traps of the illogical mistake shown above. You are not those thoughts of yours. You really know better. I have exposed your mistake so that you will seriously consider getting out of this subject - for your own good and peace of mind. But you will not believe me more than the silly thoughts which come into your mind - because they are in control of you - you are not in control of yourself.


All you seem to have "exposed" is the illogic of your own arguments. Moreover, you have still to answer my original question: why are you so reluctant to engage in a discussion about the truth claims of Advaita? Yet again you have reverted to personal attacks, and all this does is make you look frustrated and inept.

11. Finally - I remember that on one of the previous occasions where you made statements like "It is time for you to stop believing every negative thought which comes into your mind about any belief system. Get on with living an ordinary life without these things" you claimed it was all a "test" and that you didn't actually think that. I have decided to approach your post as "not a test". If you are being disingenuous again, then you have simply done yourself and everybody else on this forum a disservice.

MOTS

Dr.Alan
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Dr.Alan » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:27 am

MOTS

Above is as I predicted - more silly words straight from your silly mind. You are a deluded person who has been seriously intellectually abused as a child. Many years later you may (if you are lucky) come to know that this is true. So stop bothering me - and everyone else with your deluded logic - none of which makes any sense. It is very clear that you cannot see your own condition. "The mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain."
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

Middle Way
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:46 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Middle Way » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:42 pm

Anyone who knows MOTS knows that his mind is very very far from silly. Anyone who reads his posts with dispassion can clearly see the same thing.
ManOnTheStreet wrote:Yet again you have reverted to personal attacks, and all this does is make you look frustrated and inept.
Yet again MOTS has hit the nail on the head, and Dr.Alan you really need to see that you are descending into frustrated ad hominem attacks when MOTS has never once descended to this level.

MW

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:55 pm

For those who noticed that Dr. Alan deleted his earlier comments, they are reproduced (almost) in full in my replies in roughly the order in which he wrote them. I say this only so that my posts can be read in context.

Dr. Alan, I might add that it's a real pity that you would rather see fit to delete your own posts than to engage in a meaningful conversation about the points you raised therein.

MOTS

bluegreen
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:42 pm

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby bluegreen » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:05 pm

MOTS you always make such good sense. I too think that having doubt and skepticism is much healthier than blind belief. Dr Alan I am shocked by your poor forum etiquette quoting private messages, and no matter how hard I try I cannot see things your way. There are always huge jumps and assumptions in your posts, plus so many personal attacks it is too hard to pick my way through them.
MOTS is always such a respectful poster and makes a lot more sense to the likes of me, I have to say. It is just baffling to me that such a sensible person could ever have been so involved in the SFSK and Advaita Vedanta. You've had quite an awakening since then!
St James Girls School 1977-1981

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:12 pm

Thank you bluegreen,

Yes, I think "awakening" is the right word - a few years ago I was certainly not awakened to the fact that there were other, equally (il)legitimate points of view out there about how the world works, and was hence quite narrow-minded and dogmatic when it came to Advaita. That is one of the main problems with being brought up in the SFSK (as I was) - Advaita (or that garbled version of it that we got) was all I knew, and so it was difficult to compare its value with anything else. I think it was actually the study of of philosophy at university that really brought home the idea (and legitimate possibility) that religious/"spiritual" systems of metaphysics could be subjected to the same logical/reasonable tests as we would any other philosophy. Moreover, if a philosophical proposition failed to satisfy those tests, it needed to be refined or discarded. I think this realisation provided a strong challenge to the monolithic and (self-styled) 'complete' system we were being taught at SFSK by the Mavros - they could never be wrong about anything! As it turned out, they could, and I think at this point it was only a matter of time before I ended up leaving.

It's truly unfortunate that the Mavros decided to inculcate me (and so many others) with nonsense as a child, when they could have used their considerable power and influence to do some good and encourage us all to think critically about the ideas presented to us. The kind of forced acceptance that was arrogantly mandated instead is really very sinister and psychologically damaging. Of course, they only had considerable power and influence as a result of inculcating people with nonsense, so we were all trapped in a vicious cycle from which it was very difficult to extricate ourselves. I think I was very lucky to have been able to escape.

MOTS

Dr.Alan
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Dr.Alan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:08 am

MOTS

I am sorry if you found my method too strong. It was not my purpose to personally attack you. My main concern is related to the one of the main purposes which I believe this forum serves.

But everyone observe this fact -- I did not say that MOTS was silly. I said the thoughts in your mind were silly. If you are indentified with that mind and those thoughts, then it is you who apply it to MOTS - not me.

I did in fact write "You are not those thoughts of yours. You really know better." This should have told you that I was not attacking you - but the error of thinking - which you too should be trying to eliminate.

It was originally my intention to delete the post as soon as you had read it. There was a specific purpose behind that. I now begin to realise why your intelligence was not awake to my reasons for doing what I was doing.

You mention "awakening" but this is all relative. It only means that after a long time, things that should have been obvious at the start gradually become clear to the mind, which could have been more awake at the start.

Surely you all can see that, if a person was in fact much more awake when first joining SES, SFSK etc. then all those things, which (for some) many years later come to light, would be clear from the outset, and they would not stay there.

So can some people be more awake than others??? Can it be that all the SES problems described on this forum - indirectly come from the fact that those going to SES and staying there - were not as awake as they could have been ???

The reason most people are now looking back and finding all these faults - is surely an acceptance that they were not so awake (as they are now) when they were earlier at SES, SFSK etc.

Why stop there with this process of awakening ??? - there is much further to go - many more degrees of awakening. Which is why I used the term "relative" above.

If we cannot accept that the normal condition of humanity in this age is to be spiritually and mentally asleep, unconscious of things which are beyond our sense perception, then we just have to carry on our life without such an understanding, trying our best to struggle through life and overcome all the difficulties which it presents.

We need to expand our minds to the world all around and try to explain why life does not go so well in the world ??? And see if this sleep is anything to do with it. If indeed there is any such mental sleep operating in what we call the waking state during the day ???

But even in normal daily life we can observe the effect of this "sleep" on our mental state. We do not really fully observe what is happening and we live inside a personal mental construct which keeps us separate from other people. This is partly the cause behind many of the normally accepted problems of life, such as differences between people, which cause arguments, political divides, even wars, all the SES problems etc. If you can see what a great, intelligent and noble being the human can be - the mind must boggle at why there is so much trouble and difficulty for ordinary people on this planet to live harmoniously together and not be so selfish with each other etc. etc.

Gurdjieff was a thinker about such things and you may have read the passage below, which was his way of explaining what he had seen for himself.

“There are two lines along which man’s development proceeds, the line of knowledge and the line of being. ........., people understand what knowledge means. And they understand the possibility of different levels of knowledge. They understand that knowledge may be lesser or greater, that is to say, of one quality or of another quality. But they do not understand this in relation to being, ..........,take for instance the being of a mineral and a plant. It is a different being. The being of a plant and of an animal is again a different being. The being of an animal and of a man is a different being. But the being of two different people can differ from one another more than the being of a mineral and of an animal. This is exactly what people do not understand. And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being. Not only do they not understand this latter but they definitely do not wish to understand it. And especially in Western culture it is considered that a man may possess great knowledge, for example he may be an able scientist, make discoveries, advance science and at the same time he may be, and has the right to be, a petty, egoistic, cavilling, mean, envious, vain, naïve, and absent-minded man. ......, and yet it is his being. And people think that his knowledge does not depend on his being. People of Western culture put great value on the level of a man’s knowledge but they do not value the level of a man’s being, and are not ashamed of the low-level of their own being. They do not even understand what it means. And they do not understand that the man’s knowledge depends on the level of his being.”

Anyone who thinks he was not telling the truth can just forget about it and carry on.

But anyone who has any reason to suspect that he may have seen something of value, could begin to think there may be a subject in life which could be investigated to discover if the mind and intellect could have a higher plane of being in which they both may see things much more clearly and solve life's situations with more insight to them. It might also explain the mystery behind some rare people in the world who most people recognise as being a genius, i.e. people who's minds are a level or two above the ordinary - and are able to see and understand what (in many cases) was staring everyone else in the face.

There is no obligation for anyone to delve into this subject at all.

But the pre-condition for the best chance of finding out more is one where a person accepts that their current normal condition is one of a lower level of being, which may mean a degree of being both mentally and spiritually asleep. A subject which can't be easily explained - but may be true and important.

I have tried every way so far to get you to see that this is a possibility for the normal human starting point, when looking into the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. I have tried - detailed explanation, tests, trickery and shock tactics. But none of them have worked so far.

I have learned a lot about how difficult it is to get a message through. A message which is simple really.

Although Vedanta does not talk about our condition in the same way Gurdjieff does, much of the teaching is centred around this situation which normal people live with - one of being asleep (or unaware) of subtle things.

Adi Shankara was a great genius. He saw the condition of humanity in a way we will never see it. Very clearly and what the causes of all the difficulties in life are.

The best starting point is surely to accept that there are, and have been, some people who were far greater than the normal person. And to put ourselves into a position of needing to learn from them. i.e. at their feet - metaphorically.

But where a person says, "I also happen to think that Shankara was one of the "great minds" of history. The fact that I see great value in his philosophy doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he says." Is not in the best condition to undertake the process of awakening.

You either recognise that Adi Shankara has much to teach you because he saw things you cannot now see. Or you leave his teaching alone. But to put yourself in a position of saying that you may not agree with him, is to create in your mind that there are some subjects that you may know better or understand better than him. (this I call silly thinking)

If your "not agreeing" means that you are not sure if he is right or -- that you cannot fully understand what he is saying. Then the words "agree" or "disagree" are not the right words. "Further to go with understanding" is a better position to be in.

I know now that you do not understand all the posts which I have put up. My purpose for putting all of them was to bring clarity and informative text to those who might find value in them.

It is a sad thing for me to see MOTS analysing and thereby partly destroying any value which others might find in the text which I put up - by quoting line after line and picking holes in it. This in my view goes contrary to some of the value which others may have found in the text. And hence against the purpose mentioned above which I believe this forum can serve.

REMEMBER -- I wrote to you within the first week of my joining this forum -

" I hope you follow my point here. It may save you a lot of time spent in analysing what I say and trying to pick holes in it. This process is counter-productive to the purpose for which the posts I put is aimed. No offence meant by this. But you may always send me a PM or an email. Rather than make comments on the posts, which could take away some value they may have for those who may want to know. "What on earth are SES really playing at? And why are they deluding people?"

I have tried in vain to get you to see that it serves little purpose for this forum if you carry on picking holes and spreading your doubts and scepticism to others. You may think it shows how clever you are. But you have not countenanced the possibility that you add confusion into the lives of some people with all your theories. I have yet to read one post from you where you write with clear evidence from personal experience of the failure of Advaita Vedanta to help you - or even any success where it may have helped you. All you ever do is pick holes where it is really not necessary.

I know that you do not agree with Advaita Vedanta, due to your sense of scepticism and doubt about it. Yet you have read much of it. However to treat it like a normal scientific type or other complex subject of the world is not a helpful approach. I have been reading the Bhagavad Gita for more than 50 years now. I have experienced many levels of knowledge arising from it over the years. I still read it every day of my life - and I am still getting deeper insights into what it really means. If you read a Vedanta text only a few times it will not work for you. It needs a life time of exposure to remove the human ignorance with which we are all born (no exceptions). Thinking that you understand what it says is a part of the ignorance with which you were born - preventing you from getting deeper - so that it can maintain its position of control over you. It cannot be treated in the same way as a 3 or 5 year university degree study - read it and understand it within a few years - it does not work like that - believe me if you will - but if not - at least do not believe your own mind when it looks for negative matters in this ancient teaching.

I find it hard to understand how it is that you cannot see that a person who has lived and practised the teaching of Advaita Vedanta for more than 50 years - has seen that it can really improve life beyond all expectations - can bring much more love and understanding of others in life - can remove anger 100% from life - can remove lust for any pleasures at all 100% from life - can bring acceptance of all disasters which life throws etc. etc. That the help and advice from such a person may have some value in it for a few others on the forum. - How can you believe that to pick it to pieces with analysis and petty words is more helpful to others than to just read it and try to understand it ??? After all - it may be that you do not really understand all that is written there.

This is the main reason behind my failed attempt to get you to see that - you may have been put up on too high a pedestal by the adults who "cared" for you when you did not know what was going on. And that this may be a serious matter connected with why you are not willing to allow Advaita Vedanta to be a subject which could serve you well as it has done for me.

I have learned much about the condition of people in this world through my contact on this forum. It will help me in the choice of language which I may use in a book which I am writing about the Shankaracharya Tradition.

You can analyse etc. as much as you like this post - comment ,comment, comment, - But it will all be for you to read - not me .

I have so much to do - I do not have any more time for this forum.

Anyone who wishes - can email me - as I will now open that option again for a few weeks. But I will not be visiting this forum again.

Many thanks for putting up with me for so long.
Last edited by Dr.Alan on Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:12 pm, edited 7 times in total.
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

sydneykatieking
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: Texas USA

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby sydneykatieking » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:16 pm

Dear Dr Alan: before you go, could you tell me what kind of Doctor you are? Medicine, Psychology, science, a PhD in the Humanities, or in which field? You've probably already stated this in your earlier postings, but I can't find it. If this reaches you before you bow out, good luck. Thanks for the information.
Sydney SOP survivor 1969-1980, proud contributor to the expose, Secret Cult.


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