List of affilated schools

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
a different guest

Postby a different guest » Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:52 pm

Can you explain why ancient languages are "good" from a "logically" point of view.

Antises

Postby Antises » Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:22 pm

Some merits of classical languages (not SES views, but my own views):

They are generally very logical languages. The grammar is more sophisticated and allows greater depth in meaning through more complex constructions, adaptable word order, wider vocabulary, etc. Ultimately, this allows you to explain the same thing in many different ways: this, I believe, would be reflected in the English of someone who has studied classics.

They improve your English vocabulary through etymology. You understand better the derivation of words and therefore, together with their common usage today, you can make informed decisions on the best word to use in any given situation.

They provide an insight into western culture. For example, studying the works of Livy, Ovid, Virgil, Tacitus, etc not only gives descriptions of specific events but searches to describe human nature at the most fundamental level. To see what I mean, it is necessary to actually read some of the works.

Classics are highly regarded by employers. That is a fact. Perhaps not in the next generation of workers, the majority of which will never have had the opportunity or the will to learn classics, but at the moment classics is highly regarded since classicists have been found to be able to think logically and express views in a concise and understandable manner.

Of course it is virtually impossible to give statistical evidence of the merits of classics so, if that it is the only way to convince you that classics are worth studying, then I am afraid that you will never be convinced.

a different guest

Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:06 am

Antises wrote:
Classics are highly regarded by employers. That is a fact. Perhaps not in the next generation of workers, the majority of which will never have had the opportunity or the will to learn classics, but at the moment classics is highly regarded since classicists have been found to be able to think logically and express views in a concise and understandable manner.
.


Perhaps in the UK still, but certainly not here. And while the classics may do as you say, this hardly means that people who DON'T study classics are unable to "think logically and express views in a concise and understandable manner".

Senior level english here (similar to your A level) involves a broad depth of understanding of english and ability to deconstruct texts. It really does teach the student to think critically and logically and these skills are further honed in tertiary study. Things like the roots of words are also naturally picked up along the way.

Antises

Postby Antises » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:18 am

a different guest wrote:And while the classics may do as you say, this hardly means that people who DON'T study classics are unable to "think logically and express views in a concise and understandable manner".

I agree. I never said that classics is a requirement to think logically! The art of literary criticisim should never be understated. However, classics do have that effect and, believe it or not, they can be quite enjoyable!

Alban
Posts: 271
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Location: London

Postby Alban » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:20 am

a different guest wrote:
Antises wrote:
Classics are highly regarded by employers. That is a fact. Perhaps not in the next generation of workers, the majority of which will never have had the opportunity or the will to learn classics, but at the moment classics is highly regarded since classicists have been found to be able to think logically and express views in a concise and understandable manner.
.


Perhaps in the UK still, but certainly not here...


No, not in the UK either. There is a very limited number of positions that a good classics degree will assist you with. However, if you have a good degree in Mathematics or other sciences such as physics, then the world is your oyster.

Maybe you could expand on your use of the word "fact"

a different guest

Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:25 am

Antises wrote:I agree. I never said that classics is a requirement to think logically! The art of literary criticisim should never be understated. However, classics do have that effect and, believe it or not, they can be quite enjoyable!


However it IS a requirement at SES schools.

And yes, some "classics" CAN be quite enjoyable - but I LOVE reading and language. What about students whose interest and talents lie elsewhere?

One theory of "intelligence" is that there are seven (i think) different types of intelligence. Maths, language, art, sport - ahh, sorry, forget the rest.

Antises

Postby Antises » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:38 am

Are you aware that you only have to study one of Latin, Greek or Sanskrit (in the senior boys school at least)? Most *choose* to take more! After some unbiased googling (yes, that is a word in the New English Dictionary!), I failed to find any sites putting down classics (although there were many criticizing media studies), but there were numerous articles praising classics, e.g. Classics Careers. Just because St James offers classics, it does NOT mean they neglect everything else! Art, drama, sport, etc are all offered to those who excel in those areas (and, to a certain extent, to everyone).

a different guest

Postby a different guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:13 am

Antises wrote:Are you aware that you only have to study one of Latin, Greek or Sanskrit (in the senior boys school at least)? Most *choose* to take more! After some unbiased googling (yes, that is a word in the New English Dictionary!), I failed to find any sites putting down classics (although there were many criticizing media studies), but there were numerous articles praising classics, e.g. Classics Careers. Just because St James offers classics, it does NOT mean they neglect everything else! Art, drama, sport, etc are all offered to those who excel in those areas (and, to a certain extent, to everyone).


Art (do they study modern schools?), drama (oh yes, Shakespeare again), sport (broken up into "girls" and "boys" games, you DO know that girls play soccer don't you? And men's netball is very big here). And regardless that some students take more than ONE ancient language, why have an ancient language as a compulsory subject?

As for media studies - I don't know what the curriculum is where you are, but I certainly find no sites here criticising it as a course of study.

btw I thought you were english - but you spell like an american.

Antises

Postby Antises » Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:27 pm

a different guest wrote:Art (do they study modern schools?)

The lastest absurdity in modern art of which I am aware is a rope of toilet paper publicized by a popular newspaper. Then, of course, there was the unmade bed. I get the impression that I am killing two birds with one stone: a lack of dignity in certain areas of the media, and the outrageousness of the most popularized modern art.

a different guest wrote:drama (oh yes, Shakespeare again)

Shakespeare is, understandably, big in England compared to other countries, simply because Shakespeare was English! Just like American history is taught more in American schools, and British history is taught more in British schools.

a different guest wrote:sport (broken up into "girls" and "boys" games, you DO know that girls play soccer don't you? And men's netball is very big here)

There is a factor which you're forgetting called "money". For years containing just 20 pupils, it is simply impractical to offer 6 different sports! The fact that sport is compulsory at all is a great credit when child obesity levels are at the highest ever.

a different guest wrote:And regardless that some students take more than ONE ancient language, why have an ancient language as a compulsory subject?

The fact that I do not know anyone (and I know many people) who has only taken just one classics subject suggests that even if they were given the option not to take any classics at all, they would CHOOSE to take at least one anyway! French and German are also offered to those who want to take those instead.

a different guest wrote:As for media studies - I don't know what the curriculum is where you are, but I certainly find no sites here criticising it as a course of study.

From the dependable Wikipedia: "Media Studies degrees have had criticism from the industry some countries including the United Kingdom for their tendency to over theorise." Yes, "some countries" is ambiguous, but I have not found any encyclopedia even indicating that there is criticism of classical languages. I do not have statistics at hand, but a "Media Studies degree" was considered by international employers to be one of the least appropriate degrees for almost all the jobs they offered.

a different guest wrote:btw I thought you were english - but you spell like an american.

For your information, both criticize and criticise are acceptable in an Englishman's English, whilst only criticize is acceptable in American English. I have developed a habit of using on public forums the spelling that is acceptable to more people.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:09 pm

Hello,
my name is Meikl. I`ve only just discovered this website and this is my first post. I would like to respond to "A Different Guest" who talked about "class".
I spent seven years of my life in SES, was a part-one tutor and a meditation tutor. That was about twenty years ago, and I`ve done a lot of thinking since then.
The older I get, the more relevance I discover in much of what I learned in the school. There was much that was very, even transcendently beautiful. The words of Sri Sanka Acharya which filtered down to me were often very simple and of practical use. The problem was (still is? I don`t know) that these simple words were so broken, analysed and often distorted by the individual personalities in the hierarchy.
Just take "the diet", for example. The words of His Holiness on the subject of "what should we eat?" were, as far as I can remember "Eat what you like and be sure it is fresh". Beautifully simple. By the time this simple sentence got transmuted into a discipline it was almost unrecognisable, with rules about only eating things which grow in the sunlight etc etc.. (all based on a pretty dodgy part of the Apochrypha which talks about "the angel of appetite").
This proliferation of rules and regulations was because we poor mortals were not capable of deciding for ourselves "what we like" to eat, being under the influence of "ancient habit" and "desire" and "maja" in general. OK, but who decides what His Holiness "really means"? It seems to me that the people who did all this deciding, were senior members of the school around Leon Maclaren. All of them living among the wealthy, educated denizens of a rarified plane of society.
"The Diet" is only one example of the effect of this class system in the school. The whole atmosphere was permeated by an upper-class, public-school wine-and-cheesiness. We were encouraged to vote Conservative because the socialists were "godless". I was actually ordered to terminate my membership of the Labour Party. What started as a "practical" gnostic philosophy got changed into a sort of "gentlemen`s philosophical society" (yes women were subtly regarded as second-class).
It`s a shame. If it wasn`t so caught-up in it`s freemason style, I think I might possibly still be a member.

Peace
Michael

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:03 pm

Hi Meikl, and welcome. I totally agree, and have made the point on other threads. Like most things to do with religion, basic principles are sound - but human interpretation and the desire for power completely screws it up for everyone.

We have just got to face it, some people either do not want to think for themselves, don't trust themselves to, or just plain can't. Those people will always be vunerable to organisations like the SES, and will seek comfort in numbers. It should also be noted that they will vehermently defend it too, as to take it away would be to take away their safety net.

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dottydolittle
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:32 pm

Postby dottydolittle » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:02 pm

Alban wrote: Like most things to do with religion, basic principles are sound - but human interpretation and the desire for power completely screws it up for everyone.



You are spot on with that one!

Meikl
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:20 pm

Postby Meikl » Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:06 am

Hello Alban,
thanks for replying so quickly to my post. Sorry I appeared as "guest", I thought I was logged on with a proper username, I hope I get it right this time.

you said -
"... basic principles are sound - but human interpretation and the desire for power completely screws it up for everyone."

It`s funny that, it`s an illustration of the doublethink that was going on in my head all the time. On the surface I was practicing "being still" and "resting in the awareness of the presence of Myself". Another, never quite acknowledged part of me was trying to demonstrate what a good student I was in order to rise in the hierarchy and become a tutor for example. That`s just where they got me by the short and curly hairs, a semi-unconcious striving for influence and recognition in my peer-group (and after a few years, the school was the only peer-group I had left).


you said -
"... some people either do not want to think for themselves, don't trust themselves to, or just plain can't. Those people will always be vunerable to organisations like the SES, and will seek comfort in numbers."

Of course, any form of psychological assessment of oneself or the tutors was discouraged=forbidden. So a lot of very basic practical human wisdom is ignored from the beginning. Psychology is unimportant, part of the illusion, uncontrolled manas. It is however, in a very practical way a fact that, if your childhood environment prevented you from developing an adequate sense of your own value as a person, you will remain vulnerable to people who know how to manipulate. Not only cults and religions, the nefarious STASI in East Germany for example, trained agents in taking advantage of men with a father-complex.


you said -
"It should also be noted that they will vehermently defend it too, as to take it away would be to take away their safety net."

Yes. I`ve done it myself. And then I threw away my safety net and fell and fell and fell. Have I reached the bottom yet? I`ve learned a lot about who I am not on the way down. Maybe there`s just oblivion waiting at the bottom. But what`s the difference between oblivion and enlightenment?

Peace
Michael

Alban
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:23 am
Location: London

Postby Alban » Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:36 am

Meikl wrote:Yes. I`ve done it myself. And then I threw away my safety net and fell and fell and fell. Have I reached the bottom yet? I`ve learned a lot about who I am not on the way down. Maybe there`s just oblivion waiting at the bottom. But what`s the difference between oblivion and enlightenment?


You may feel like you are falling, but you are actually standing on your own two feet.

I wish some others on this board would do the same

Meikl
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:20 pm

Postby Meikl » Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:42 am

Alban wrote:
You may feel like you are falling, but you are actually standing on your own two feet.



After falling for a long time through trauma, neurosis and a bleak and empty longing for death, what I am now standing on is something I have painstakingly built up over a number of years. It`s not something I have to vehemently defend or preach to other people, because it is mine and works for me, and I don`t give a monkey`s if nobody else likes it. From this position I can look back at the things I learned in SES, and decide for myself what is still useful and what is ballast. What I miss is a group of like-minded friends with whom I can work on spiritual development and leave out the nonsense.

Peace
Meikl


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