SFSK Devotee

Discussion of the SES' satellite schools in Australia and New Zealand.
Gerasene Demon
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:20 am

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Gerasene Demon » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:01 am

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Last edited by Gerasene Demon on Thu May 30, 2013 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

enlightened
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:38 am

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby enlightened » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:44 am

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, i DIDNT KNOW YOU ALL CARED!
COMEON TIME FOR A GROUP HUG
AND DONT FORGET ):):):"GRAY SKIES ARE GONNA CLEAR UP, PUT ON A HAPPY FACE" ESPECIALLY YOU DEMON :)):):

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Middle Way » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:48 pm

Prospective students of the SFSK might wonder at the stark contrast between what the SFSK, in its website claims it delivers, namely: “inner peace, joy and happiness” and “excellence in thought, speech and action”, and the hatred displayed in ETiCS’ abusive posts. They may wonder that after the 10 years that ETiCS claims to have spent in SFSK, perhaps his posts might display at least some evidence of peace and excellence.

But the SFSK’s dogma can explain this paradox.

Students are told that the “sacred” mantra they’ve been given has the unique effect of “drilling down” through the layers of ego, clearing away the “sanskaric” material (the results of past improper actions) as it goes down. But the deeper layers contain darker, more deeply held egoistic thoughts and beliefs. This is OK though, as long as the 3 hours per day of spiritual practices demanded by the Mavros are faithfully done, which will progressively unearth and dispose of this negative material. So students are told that the emergence of these deeper, nastier layers shows that spiritual progress is taking place. No explanation is given for how this miraculous process occurs apart from some vague references to pure sounds neutralising impure sounds.

(This is the crux of the mantra issue. SFSK students have been meditating on “fish and chips” for all those years while believing the above is true.)

So according to this theory, ETiCS’ prolific abuse is demonstrating spiritual progress: getting closer to peace and excellence. The question is, has he just embarked upon the deeper layers, or is he nearing the end, getting close to his chosen name? (By the way GD, when I set up my own Spiritual School, I shall be calling myself “The Enlightened Sausgog”, with your permission of course.)

Another theory is that ETiCS has admitted to the forum that he does not do the required 3 hours of spiritual practices per day. I applaud his courage. Nobody admitted in public that they didn’t do anywhere near the 3 hours per day when I was there. So it could be that there is no peace and excellence slowly emerging for him because he isn’t doing what he’s told. Back to getting up at 4.30am every day, ETiCS, or when you first wake up, whichever comes first.

The simplest theory is perhaps the best: SFSK delivers nothing like what it promises.

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby actuallythere » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:55 pm

@MW

I'm very curious about this paragraph you wrote:

Middle Way wrote:
Students are told that the “sacred” mantra they’ve been given has the unique effect of “drilling down” through the layers of ego, clearing away the “sanskaric” material (the results of past improper actions) as it goes down. But the deeper layers contain darker, more deeply held egoistic thoughts and beliefs. This is OK though, as long as the 3 hours per day of spiritual practices demanded by the Mavros are faithfully done, which will progressively unearth and dispose of this negative material. So students are told that the emergence of these deeper, nastier layers shows that spiritual progress is taking place. No explanation is given for how this miraculous process occurs apart from some vague references to pure sounds neutralising impure sounds.


Are you saying that you were specifically, literally told by your teacher at the SFSK that deeply held egoistic thoughts and beliefs would be unearthed by the practice of chanting the mantra?

Was there any explanation from teachers as to why this would happen? Did you feel more egoistic or nastier as a consequence of clocking up 3 hours per day? If so, have you any idea why these feelings may have arisen?

And when you wrote "this is OK though", did you mean that they said these impulses are acceptable and should be tolerated provided you pay back by clocking up 3 hours per day, or rather that the intention is for such impulses to be dissolved by clocking up 3 hours per day?

Are you saying that you were definitely told by your teacher that being abusive and nasty was evidence of spiritual progress?

Are you aware whether SFSK inherited these ideas from SES?

I ask such detailed questions because I have long wondered what it is that might have prompted the abuse in SES and St. James that has been so extensively documented. Because there are a range of possibilities such as

(A) abuse is everywhere so it will occur in every organization
(B) well-intentioned discipline went out of hand
(C) because of the personal transcendence SES offered it attracted emotionally damaged people who wanted to transcend their lives, they were abusive because they were damaged but were not specifically encouraged to be abusive by SES
(D) SES swelled the egos of abusive people so much that they lost sight of themselves and were not aware of the suffering they were causing. They felt exhilarated and powerful because they were among a chosen few on a special path and they were corrupted by this power. At the same time, they were not adequately checked and balanced by questions because of the often mindless devotional zealotry that was established in large sections of SES membership, whereby authority is not to be contradicted - even if it is abusive.

But your testimony prompts a notion that I have not heard before, nor even assumed to be a possibility:

(E) people were told by SES that being abusive is evidence of spiritual progress. Therefore they were directly incentivized to abuse by the teaching of SES.

To date I would have found such an allegation implausible.

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Dr.Alan » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:06 pm

SAMSKARA - is at the root of MWs post and what flowed from it.

OR sanskar as it has been written . - this word appears to be the source of a misunderstanding by SES and those who have been there.

The root of the Sanskrit word is SAMS - which relates to - making perfect, make ready, compose, or put together.
The word SAMSKARA carries these root meanings as follows - accomplishment, making perfect, purification, cleansing, making ready, the faculty of memory, mental impressions, impressions in the mind from previous actions.

This word is not used anywhere in the Bhagavad Gita.

As with all the language connected with Vedanta we need to work on any text which contains any word where an instruction is given including the word within it - so as to synthesise the correct meaning from the list above.

It is said that Samskara is a formidable barrier to progress in the spiritual path. But what does that mean if the range of interpretations given above are to be embraced??? It has also been linked to impurities in the mind - what does that mean ???

Typically SES applies the 100s of years old misguided false Christian approach that we all have SIN and we all need to be purged of this (whatever it is) - they have assumed that SAMSKAR relates to that subject. But they have never been told that this is what it is about. They have assumed that they already know - like so much of the error they have made.

The "impressions in the mind" part in the list of meanings given above - relates to a faculty of the human mind to take on the quality of whatever it is exposed to. Like water will become any colour of a dye which you put into it. Also it is explained - like a clear glass crystal which can appear to take on the colour of a flower which might be near the crystal. This means that the mind can be cultured by influences from outside of itself. We say in English "Mix with beggars and thieves and you will become a beggar and a thief". This is a recognition of that same quality of the human mind.

We all know that to go out into the country-side amongst mountains, trees, flowers and birds etc. will give a different quality to the feel of the mind. OR if we watch a horror film on TV or at the cinema - the mind will vibrate with the horror. So we don't need Vedanta to tell us about this quality of the mind - but left alone - we may not have explained it to ourselves in the above way.

It is only recognised in Vedanta as a faculty of the mind - it is not categorised as being either good or bad. Once you know that it is something which can be made use of then the apparent diverse meanings in the list above are not so diverse. All have this faculty - even spiritually perfected people. So SAMSKARA exists in seekers and saints.

The difference is - in the seekers -- SAMSKARA has been previously associated with attachments, desires and perhaps actions which can be termed as producing bad karma. So the predominant vibration of the mind is of that nature.

The SAMSKARA of the saint is vibrating with the love of all fellow human beings, the knowledge of the unity of the individual Self with the Universal Self and subjects which connect life with the unity of all things in creation. That is because over long period of time He has been exposing the mind to that kind of thinking. Hence the terms -- "accomplishment, making perfect, purification, cleansing," from the list above can be seen to be linked to the terms --- "the faculty of memory, mental impressions, impressions in the mind from previous actions." in the same list.

SAMSKARA does not need to be eliminated or "drilled down through layers " - etc. This is old European thinking forced on Europeans by the Holy Roman Empire through the inquisition etc. etc. and the over zealous religious types more bent on purifying others than themselves.

SAMSKARA is a valuable tool in purifying the mind and leading our lives to more clarity and unity. If you think to eliminate SAMSKARA - how will you then progress.

SAMSKARA appears in our every day life in the form of habitual thinking. We are encouraged to change less useful habits for more useful ones. This will purify the SAMSKARA in you and you will understand who you really are - Not this thing which changes so often.
SES - London 1964-1974 left due to SES interference with private life.

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Ella.M.C. » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:36 pm

Whilst waiting for Middle Way's response,
I will just say something of what I recall how it was explained ..

That the mantra would eventually take you back to the source, it is leading one
through the vast forest of the mind.
This is of course because we are quietening the mind, and that in itself makes things easier to 'see'.
So you may see 'tendencies' about yourself that you might not like.. or you recognise as a 'bad habit'.
Because you can see it, or recognise it, you have the strength to deal with it.
Once you tackle this layer (which is only the tip of the iceberg) more things/ tendencies appear.
These Sanskaras/tendencies have built up through many lifetimes through repetition.
Presumably the first things you see are of a more superficial layer,
easier things before the most entrenched and best loved tendencies appear.
Dealing with these builds spiritual muscles, discrimination.

Mr Mavro always said, and it was very reassuring.. that you were never showed what you
did not have the strength (at that time) to deal with.
Which makes sense if this process works at building 'spiritual muscles'.
So this is a process of purification of the Jiva/soul.

Actuallythere,
In regard to your statement " ... whereby authority is not to be contradicted -
even if it is abusive." That only applied to Mr and Mrs Mavro, it would not have
been tolerated in anyone else (by them).
Control of yourself was important ..you might not be able to stop the thought, but it
should not come out verbally.
But whilst that instruction was told to students .. it was not led by example.

enlightened
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:38 am

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby enlightened » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:49 am

Good try Middleway in trying to lure me back , Id give your post a 7/10.....but Im afraid that I have become so detached that Im not the slightest bit affected.
I wish you and all the good people of this forum best wishes in your search for the truth xx

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Middle Way » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:22 am

Hello AT.

actuallythere wrote:Are you saying that you were specifically, literally told by your teacher at the SFSK that deeply held egoistic thoughts and beliefs would be unearthed by the practice of chanting the mantra?

I'm not sure about "literally", but that is how I recall it. Keep in mind that students are constantly discouraged from taking notes (on the pretext that "this is an oral tradition") so it's often difficult to recall precisely what was said, but I think I have the gist of the story correct. We were also told that while the half hour of meditation morning and night was essential, it was not sufficient to ensure spiritual progress. To ensure that, you were constantly reminded you also had to do an additional 2 hours per day of chanting, bible/scripture reading, Sanskrit calligraphy and various other practices. I don't know if this 3 hour per day instruction is included in scripture somewhere but I do know it's not mentioned in the Gospels.

actuallythere wrote:Was there any explanation from teachers as to why this would happen? Did you feel more egoistic or nastier as a consequence of clocking up 3 hours per day? If so, have you any idea why these feelings may have arisen?

No, apart from inferences that somehow impure sounds were being eliminated by pure sounds. There may have been some longer explanation that I didn't understand or retain. Reading Dr.Alan's different explanation of samskara just highlights again how one-sided all that SFSK material was, and why no discussion or questioning would be entertained.

As for the effect of 3 hours per day, I would have no idea because I never did anywhere near that. I always struggled just to do the half hour of meditation morning and night, and, like ETiCS, so do the majority of students I strongly suspect. To check the 3 hour effect we would have to run a scientific experiment, recruiting participants who were prepared to do the full 3 hours per day, every day, 7 days a week without fail (because that's what we were told we had to do, no excuses allowed). The experiment would fail because we wouldn't get any participants prepared to do that, and even if there were, there would be no way of checking whether they honestly did the full 21 hours per week. This means that the assertion that 21 hours per week is the appropriate amount to ensure "spiritual progress" (whatever that is) can never be tested, and therefore people like the Mavros always have a convenient reason why their students don't progress. It was never made clear whether or not the 21 hours per week includes all the hours attending classes, residentials, workshops and calligraphy and chanting sessions, etc, or all that other "service" duty the school demands from the students: tutoring, cleaning, serving tea.

actuallythere wrote:And when you wrote "this is OK though", did you mean that they said these impulses are acceptable and should be tolerated provided you pay back by clocking up 3 hours per day, or rather that the intention is for such impulses to be dissolved by clocking up 3 hours per day?
I think they meant the latter interpretation.

actuallythere wrote:Are you saying that you were definitely told by your teacher that being abusive and nasty was evidence of spiritual progress?

No, definitely not. I heard many silly things there but not that. That idea just popped into my head when I was trying to work out how on earth correspondents like the aptly-named Snapper and the inaptly-named Enlightened could be so blind as to come on here and dish out crudely-written, misspelled abuse when their School purports to teach them to be excellent and pure in thought and speech. So, while I agree that possibility E is implausible, the fact you've picked up on it makes me wonder if my turn at being tongue-in-cheek may actually have some grain of truth in it.
Ella.M.C. wrote:Control of yourself was important ..you might not be able to stop the thought, but it
should not come out verbally.
But whilst that instruction was told to students .. it was not led by example.

That's quite right Ella.M.C., the only people allowed to dish out abuse in SFSK was the Mavros, but I wonder if Mrs Mavro would approve of the abuse directed at former SFSK students?

actuallythere wrote:Are you aware whether SFSK inherited these ideas from SES?

No, and in fact I had been wondering whether somebody might come on and answer that very question.

actuallythere wrote:(D) SES swelled the egos of abusive people so much that they lost sight of themselves and were not aware of the suffering they were causing. They felt exhilarated and powerful because they were among a chosen few on a special path and they were corrupted by this power. At the same time, they were not adequately checked and balanced by questions because of the often mindless devotional zealotry that was established in large sections of SES membership, whereby authority is not to be contradicted - even if it is abusive.

You have stated that perfectly in my view.

MW

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Middle Way » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:15 am

enlightened wrote:Good try Middleway in trying to lure me back , Id give your post a 7/10.....but Im afraid that I have become so detached that Im not the slightest bit affected.
I wish you and all the good people of this forum best wishes in your search for the truth xx

Because your posts are no longer very funny, I can't honestly say that I'll miss you as you go this time. However, in the same spirit as your gracious last line, I can honestly say that I wish you all the best in your search for happiness.

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby actuallythere » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:34 am

MW, Ella, Dr Allan,

Thanks all for your clarification.

This points to something I've always wondered, a thought prompted by observations of the behavior of SES members:

How does one simultaneously aspire to the reward of being a better person who has attained a state of higher spiritual progress, without being driven by the ego?

The stock answer appears to be that 'being aware' of the gratification one's ego derives from being a better person can cancel out the fact that the desire to be a better person was driven by the ego in the first place.

When this has been explained to me by SES members over several decades, it has come across as a sort of Orwellian paradox such as 'war is peace' or 'freedom is slavery' ...pamper your ego by transcending your ego.

Like I say though, it is the behavior of the teller that struck me more than the concept itself: People talked through this to me with a bizarre, hypnotized facial expression - they appeared to be both inebriated and intensely smug, like they had become so superior that it looked psychotic.

They had no sense of the irony of the situation, it was as if they had totally lost self-awareness because they thought they had found self-awareness. For anyone with half a heart, it is upsetting to see. Especially if the people in question have serious personal problems, usually derived from unhappy childhoods, that could also be addressed through other means.

The explanation may be of course be that SES had no intention of causing this, that the reason is that students didn't really understand the class they attended, or that the teacher didn't understand the material. However, the results have been widespread.

enlightened
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:38 am

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby enlightened » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:57 am

Some food for thought:
"Enlightenment aint what it's cracked up to be", a book by Robert Foreman, about his own journey towards enlightenment.An important point was that before embarking on the journey , people should sort out all their psychological "stuff", otherwise it will always be in the background, and will be an impediment.The "impure chitta", is just another term for the unconscious mind, and if you are familiar with Jungian philosophy you will see the parallels. In the spiritual sense all this "stuff" is the result of 'karma", in psychology the "stuff" is deeply repressed issues that one cannot deal with on a conscious level. Do spiritual practices effectively deal with the "stuff", or should it be combined with therapy......................

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Middle Way » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:20 pm

enlightened wrote:Do spiritual practices effectively deal with the "stuff", or should it be combined with therapy

This is an excellent question. I deal with it professionally and have developed a few insights as a result.

I have no idea what prompts you to pose it on this forum which you think is "toxic". The answer for you is simple, given that you said: "I love the School , I have complete faith in Mrs Mavro, I love attending the classes and the material makes perfect sense to me". Mrs Mavro is your spiritual teacher. You have complete faith in her, so you should ask her this question. And believe exactly what she tells you.

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Earlgrey » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:23 pm

enlightened wrote:Some food for thought:
"Enlightenment aint what it's cracked up to be", a book by Robert Foreman, about his own journey towards enlightenment.An important point was that before embarking on the journey , people should sort out all their psychological "stuff", otherwise it will always be in the background, and will be an impediment.The "impure chitta", is just another term for the unconscious mind, and if you are familiar with Jungian philosophy you will see the parallels. In the spiritual sense all this "stuff" is the result of 'karma", in psychology the "stuff" is deeply repressed issues that one cannot deal with on a conscious level. Do spiritual practices effectively deal with the "stuff", or should it be combined with therapy......................


Well, I say that spiritual practices do not deal with the stuff. This is a big dilemma. In fact it's a crisis. It's a crisis that's hard to deal with because I have being relying on others for my well being. Mavro used to say "you can't pull yourself up by your own bootstraps." But I think Mavro was an opportunist and a liar. I think I need to start a thread that lists all those sayings and directions that were given in SOP (and no doubt SFSK) that have served to cause all manner of trouble in the minds of people who were attracted to the organisation of SOP looking to satisfy a desire for some sort of spiritual life.
Anyway back to the point. The response of SOP to people who suffer these crisis is sorry we can't help you, but you don't have the character required for this work. You have a weak personality. In the Bible there is a story that points out what this is akin too. I can't be bothered looking up the exact words but it is something like this. I, a person in crisis is asking for bread but am given a stone. What sort of people do that? The stuff is not about eating too much food and I have got indigestion, can you help me? It's as you say, deeply repressed issues that cannot (easily) be dealt with on a conscious level. It requires help from someone that understands what the problem is and how to help.
All the best,
Earlgrey.

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

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby Middle Way » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:02 pm

Hello again Earlgrey.
Earlgrey wrote:It's as you say, deeply repressed issues that cannot (easily) be dealt with on a conscious level. It requires help from someone that understands what the problem is and how to help.


You are of course quite right about this. It is beautifully summed up in this quote from a book of daily readings that Mrs Mavro insisted we all read every day: "If one confides his unhappiness to a friend it is greatly ameliorated, even as the heavy and dark cloud becomes light by shedding rain. The mind also becomes clear and peaceful when a friend listens to one's fate, even as water becomes clear when a piece of alum is dropped into it." Yoga Visistha, Volume 2, 1 April.

The problem for "Enlightened" and all other thinking SFSK students is that this quote, from one of Mrs Mavro's favourite books, completely contradicts the SFSK (and SES) rule that "you do not do or say negative things". So "Enlightened", if you take my earlier advice (as you really should given your unshakeable faith in Mrs Mavro) to ask her to answer the excellent question you posed, why don’t you also ask her to explain this glaring contradiction between her "rule" and her book?

enlightened
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:38 am

Re: SFSK Devotee

Postby enlightened » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:06 pm

Middle way, you seem to have a very good filter as you take in only what suits you. I did not say that I beleive exactly what Mrs M says , on the contrary, if you go back and actually read what I said before getting on your high horse , I said that I did not take everything she says as the "truth", in fact I have a very open mind unlike you.I posed this question because I do beleive that there are a lot of people on this forum who have toxic thoughts and feelings and they seem to be directing all of their anger onto SFSK, and in particular Mrs Mavro.You say that you deal with this sort of thing professionally, in what capacity, may I ask????


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