I've been with the SES for twenty years

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
Christoph

I've been with the SES for twenty years

Postby Christoph » Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:21 pm

There's a lot of very interesting discussion around the subject of the SES. I've been in the School for twenty years but one thing I've learned is: you get out of it what you're prepared to put in to it. One of the theories is that 'service = happiness' which I've always treated with a certain degree of lazy scepticism. Funnily enough, on the occasions I've thought 'ok, time to have a go myself', it's proved to be true. It's healthy for me not to obsess over my own personal interests once in a while.
The main thing that's bugged me over the years is the white-middle-class character of School. You just don't see working class blacks! Not in England, at any rate. Not that there would be a problem, of course, it's probably the image of the SES that attracts the white professionals in the first place. But bearing in mind what I've got out of it (a lot), I wish it were more 'Everyman' in its approach. And from what I hear, that's exactly how it is New York. So there's hope yet.
As for the teaching, it's moved away from Gurdjieff/Ouspensky, which is where I came in, and now it's pretty much all Advaita Vedanta, though with a strong sprinkling of Plato, Marsilio Ficino, and let's not forget Mozart and Shakespeare! I've never been forced to believe anything I'm told, but I would also have to say that the 'drip drip' effect of constant exposure to Advaita, can subtly modify your belief system over the years. Not that this is a problem in itself, of course. Only fundamental evangelical Christians (Muslims/Jews), would find it hostile to their own beliefs, but they are notoriously inflexible and dogmatic anyway. Advaita seems to consist of two main aspects: the theory (a lot of which I take on trust until I can verify it - or not - in my own experience), and the practical, which - like Buddhism - has direct and beneficial impact on daily life, or so I and many others have found.
To those who say it's a cult which causes mental problems and family break ups, I can only reply that in twenty years I've yet to see it. Maybe it was more true in the 1970s? I only encountered Leon McLaren once, towards the end of his life, and he seemed mellow enough at the time. I have heard stories though... I was lucky enough to be tutored by Tom Gerry, a pint-drinking Yorkshireman with no time for 'airy fairy nonsense' and a very down to earth attitude to philosophy. He always emphasised the 'practical' side of it. Sadly Tom died in 1991.
This is in danger of turning into a memoir and that wasn't my intention at all. But just because I'm in the SES doesn't mean that I wouldn't like to talk philosophy with other people. For instance,
"the nature of God now that physicists have hypothesised eleven dimensions to handle superstring theory."
Anyone?

truelies
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Postby truelies » Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:27 pm

To those who say it's a cult which causes mental problems and family break ups, I can only reply that in twenty years I've yet to see it.


Really, I think I could find you a few examples :fadein:

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a different guest
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Postby a different guest » Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:36 am

might as well e dit this then - thanks ft
Last edited by a different guest on Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RobMac
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Postby RobMac » Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:42 am

Only fundamental evangelical Christians (Muslims/Jews), would find it hostile to their own beliefs, but they are notoriously inflexible and dogmatic anyway.


Really

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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:49 am

He posted this originally back in October of 04 and never registered. I doubt he's around to reply.


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