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April 16, 2007

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Mr Zip

Very interesting and I might have been tempted to find out more. Unfortunately it seems that enlightenment does not extend to darkest Tyneside.

Pam

I just signed up for the course in York.

Mr Zip

Blimey! You'r already so enlightened I'll be able to see you from here, Pam.

Simon

Hmm, maybe I should have discussed a rate of commission before I placed that post... But seriously, well done, Pam, and commiserations Mr Zip - I'm sorry that you're outside the school's catchment area. Leeds does seem a little southerly for the northernmost tip of the north-east and I see that the whole of Wales is also excluded. I haven't enquired how the school evolved but I suspect that it may been through the enthusiasm of individuals in specific areas - and indeed countries - hence these seemingly random gaps in coverage.

alexis

I love your blog. I am really into spirituality. I also practice positive thinking. Whenever I start feeling negative or get into a slump, I go to Karen Salmansohn's site: www.notsalmon.com. She is a best selling author, who has her own radio show called Be Happy Dammit, which is on Sirius. Thanks for the enlightening thoughts!

Michael

I was a member of the School of Practical Philosophy for 8 years (in Boston and New York). Beware, this is really a cult NOT a school. The first few years are mostly filled with classes, but as time passes the School will demand more of your time, energy and commitment - to the exclusion of any other part of your life. I've seen too many empty shells of human beings after spending a few decades in the School.

A lot of this is enforced with the promise of enlightenment if you just do what your tutor tells you along with the rigid hierarchy that tempts one to please the "senior level" students in hopes of rising in status within the organization. Any life decisions such as changing jobs or getting married must be first approved by the tutor.

Any form of questioning of the School dogma is immediately suppressed. They will tell you, "Do not accept or reject anything, but simply try it out in your own experience." However, the tutor has already decided on the answer. Students either accept the existing dogma or are asked to leave.

The introductory material in the School definitely has some great components. Just beware of being sucked in too deep into the organization.

Secret Simon

Hi Michael - I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience of the school. Obviously I can't make a judgment based on your comment alone. But what I will say, speaking generally, is that any endeavour, however noble its original intention, can readily be subverted by the human ego's desire for power and status. In other words, an organization is only as good as the people who are running it.

Your comment certainly bears no relation to my own experience of the school in Leeds, UK - and Pam (see comment above) tells me that she greatly enjoyed her first term at the nearby centre in York. Certainly, I have been encouraged to help the school with such things as painting & decorating or serving tea & coffee for other students, but there has been no coercion, and these activities are presented to us as opportunities for spiritual practice. I have to say that if people are indeed preoccupied in trying to rise in status in the organization, then they are flying in face of the teachings of the school as they have been presented to me.

Thank you, however, for making this comment, and I am eager that visitors to this blog should have a chance to see it alongside my own material, so I shall put a note about it in the post.

One more general comment as a postscript: if anyone tells you that one specific path will lead you to enlightenement, then my advice is to get the h*ll out of there. I truly believe that the path to enlightenment is to hear the teachings of others yet follow your own wisdom. (And I think my tutor at the school would agree with me!)

AJALA GBADEBO MICHEAL

sir.
i am interrested to be one of your philosophy student. kindly register me. waiting to hear from you soon

Simon

I can't help you with this directly, Ajala. I was a student at the school. I don't help to run it. You need to look at one of the links I gave in the post. I hope you enjoy the course!
http://www.philosophyworks.org/landing/ for the USA
http://www.schooleconomicscience.org/index.php?page=branches for UK
http://www.schooleconomicscience.org/index.php?page=international worldwide

Veganknitting

Having been raised in the school in NYC and been a member for some years before leaving, I have to say that everything Michael said is true, and then some. My parents were members for decades before leaving. It was awful.

I truly enjoyed my first few years as an adult member before the school gets more and more controlling of your life. When I left, once you reach a certain level, men are required to dress in suits and ties and women are required to wear long skirts or long dresses. That's only the tip of the control.

The UK school is even more controlling than the US school. Please see this website to hear the experiences of many adults who were raised in the school or attended its schools for children in the UK: www.ses-forums.org

There are many good practices offered at the school, and many good people are members. But it has had a devastating effect on many emotionally, the longer you are there. Especially for women. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

Simon

Many thanks for your input, Veganknitting. I took a look at the web site you mention and it mainly seems to relate to experiences in the seventies at a couple of UK schools run by the School of Economic Science. It should be remembered that these were very different times from today. At my state-run primary school in the sixties, the teachers would hit you first and ask questions later - and that was thought to be acceptable. But even bearing this in mind, the regime at those SES schools appears to have been appalling: a wholly unacceptable abuse of power. There is certainly nothing in any of the material I learned at the School of the Philosophy that could have justified such a thing. It is very sad.

As for the attitude to women at the adult school, I saw no sign of any chauvinist attitude other than the rather bizarre dress code which seemed to require the more senior students to wear 'long flowing dresses'. Students were encouraged to serve refreshments to other students and men and women were expected to play an equal part in this.

I attended the school for three and a half years and they never tried to impose the dress code on us, nor to split us into same-gender groups, though we were aware that this would be expected at some stage. We were all pretty much agreed that if it came to that, we would rather leave.

I suspect that most adult students spend a few years at the school, learn from the philosophy, and leave having had a positive experience. I experienced no coercion to stay longer and let them start 'controlling my life', if that is indeed what happens. When I announced I was leaving (because I wished to devote my time to other things), I was simply told that I would be welcomed back at any time if I wished to return. End of story.

It is always sad to see that apparently worthy organizations can be subverted by the shortcomings of those who exercise power in them. I think the best advice I can give about this - or any other organization or teaching - is to go into it with your eyes open and only take on what seems true to you. Remember that *you* are in control of your life. Never surrender your power to anyone else.

Michael

Hello,

I just read with alarm your recommendation of the School of Economic Science. I spent seven years in the School in Leeds. After a year or two, I too started helping with decorating, serving tea and coffee etc. very innocuous, no problem. Seven years later I (and many others) was a neurotic wreck trying to provide for a family and live up to the demands of the school and my teacher. It is more than twenty years since I managed to free myself from the school, and I still dream about trying to escape. Please be aware that the process is extremely subtle. Over the years you find yourself agreeing to spend more and more time with various School activities. Social life drops away. There is less and less time to devote to the family. Some of the people I knew went mad and had to go into institutions. Families broke up.

The school pays much lip-service to the idea of Adwaita, always qualifying it by saying "but we know nothing about ultimate liberation, and we must start where we are, with the illusion that we are separate from the Absolute. We must work under discipline, in complete obedience to the master, otherwise we will be unable to free ourselves from the bondage of desire."

This is not Adwaita. This underscores and strengthens the illusion that there is an individual, a way, and a goal to be attained. All that can be hoped from years of "consciously" scrubbing the floor with toothbrushes (yes they really used to get us to do that - it was supposed to increase the sattwa in the building) is that one becomes so fed up of the whole business that one gives up trying to attain the unobtainable.

If there is any truth in the philosophy of non-duality then liberation is always and constantly available, and there is nothing you can do to deserve or attain it.

Om Tat Sat everywhere and always.

Peace
Michael
(actually a different Michael from the one whose mail you quote. But I agree with him wholeheartedly.)

Simon

Thanks for sharing your experience, Michael. Having corresponded with you briefly by email, it seems that you attended the school in Leeds in the seventies. Certainly the quote you supply ("we know nothing about ultimate liberation, and we must start where we are, with the illusion that we are separate from the Absolute. We must work under discipline, in complete obedience to the master, otherwise we will be unable to free ourselves from the bondage of desire") is not something I recognize from my own time at the school (2004 to 2007). Indeed, if they had quoted that at me, I would have headed straight for the door.

I am grateful to you and others for sharing your experiences but one thing I don't quite understand (obviously I am talking only about the adults here) is why any of you put up with such nonsense for as long as you did. I don't mean to diminish any harm that the school might have done to people, but could it be the case that you had a lesson to learn: not to relinquish your power to some outside so-called 'authority'? And if you hadn't learned it at the School of Philosophy, would you have had to learn it somewhere else?

Pam

Simon, your comment to Michael seems a tad harsh to me. It can be extremely difficult to spot nonsense like this when it starts appearing ever-so-gradually inamongst the non-nonsense. Everything we deal with, anywhere, happens within its own context, and the power of context should never be under-estimated, in my opinion.

As a current member of the School in York, I'm grateful to you, Michael, and others, for talking about your experiences. My nonsense-ometer is now set on "high", and I'm sure I will do well to keep all of your experiences in mind.

So far, I consider myself to have benefitted from the School's teachings. (I'm currently in my second year - term 6.)

Coincidentally, our topic last week was discipline, but the quote above was not mentioned. I think I now have a better understanding of the "real" meaning of discipline - or at least a meaning that is more helpful for me than the one I had before.

Michael

"but could it be the case that you had a lesson to learn: not to relinquish your power to some outside so-called 'authority'?"

Yes, it could well be. In fact I did learn exactly that. At least I started to. And I suspect strongly that my subjective experience of SES was very personal, and not necessarily an accurate impression of what was "really" going on.

It's odd though. The more you're surrounded by people who tell the same fairytale, and the more isolated you are from those who don't, the more you come to believe that the fairytale is real. So when the master says for example "You have taken up a Work that you may not put down", at least you are inclined to give his words serious thought.

Once again, let me emphasise that the process was subtle. It was only after five or six years that we started to give up our own petty desires and ambitions to "the discipline". I (and many others) started to regard the devices and desires of the "little me" as something to be overcome by surrendering to the will of the Absolute as interpreted by various men (and no women, as far as I can tell), from Sri Sankaracharya through the various School translators and authorities, and Xeroxed onto the pages of "this week's lecture".

And maybe, maybe they were right. Maybe I just couldn't hack it, the total delegation of "my power" to an outside authority. Maybe, in leaving the School I am attempting to put down the sacred Work which I once took up, and in so doing feeding the demons of suffering which prey upon all life. Maybe this has %&§$ed up my Karma for the next thousand lifetimes.

I still feel a bit like I'm risking my immortal soul when I call it "bullshit". It' only a bit less difficult for me than it would be to spit on a crucifix.

They really got to me didn't they?

That was all at least thirty years ago, and the School may well be different these days. Despite this,I would still advise caution in dealing with S.E.S..

In my opinion, it is a bad idea to delegate your own responsibilities to other people unless you're sure you really think it's a good idea. Unfortunately they are likely to try to subtly show you that as an aspiring candidate for liberation it's your sacred duty to really believe that it's a good idea to do just that.

Peace
Michael

Simon

Hi Pam - Yes, it seemed to me that my comment might be taken as harsh, but I couldn't think how else to phrase it. And it came up for me, so it seemed appropriate say it. I was intending to come from the perspective of one who himself has many lessons to learn, not of someone who purports to look down from a higher plane of wisdom. Fortunately, Michael seems to have taken it in the spirit which I intended.

Many thanks for your comment, Pam, and for sharing your own experience of the school.

Simon

Hi again Michael - I certainly don't want to set myself up as an 'authority' but I hope you will believe me when I assert my belief that your immortal soul is doing just fine!

I actually think that quote about not putting the Work down is true. Once we embark on the path to self-realization, there's no turning back. But you haven't turned back. You are still engaged in the Work in your own way: in a way that seems right to *you*.

But I don't believe that this Work involves delegating our power to an outside authority. It *is* about surrendering our will, but to an *inside* authority: our own higher self, for we ourselves are a part of that greater power. And when we surrender, it doesn't seem like a burden. It seems like a great release.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Michael - and good luck in your Work!

Tom

Thanks to all for your posts - I'm a current NYC student. I started attending classes looking for open-minded discourse with like-minded searchers, in search for wisdom, understanding and personal peace. While the first few terms were great, things definitely took an odd turn at some point.

I don't want to go a long diatribe of all the events that have me turning away from the school, but there are definitely aspects of the school that are, if not cult-like, certainly religion-like. Including the desperate attachment that long-time members have displayed when concepts are questioned in class.

It's unfortunate, because I've had the chance to meet a tiny number of members who seem genuinely able to really embrace the spirit of their philosophy without succumbing to the clutter of the rituals and window-dressing.

FWIW, I recently heard (and my own experience seems to back this up) that the NYC school has a policy of putting their very best teachers on the lower-level classes (especially parts 1 through 5) and allowing the less experienced or less capable have the upper level courses. This would seem consistent with an objective of keeping students interested and enthusiastic long enough for them to become attached to the school and their classmates, before starting to channel them into the more rigid, less open-minded teachings.

joanne

Tom and Michael - my experiences of the SES are exactly the same as yours. It starts off as one thing - a discussion group with some useful, even life-changing techniques - and becomes another - a conversion. People seem to end up living a monk/nun-like existence, dedicated to the school, but also trying to maintain a normal life with a job, family etc.

The conversion seems to kick in about the 4th year. You're not expected to question/discuss any longer. You listen, then put into practice and find, surprise surprise, that all the things you're told are true. In fact, you've no option as resistance is futile. You're expected to turn up to every group session, also take up a 'second line' and go to all the residentials to which you're invited. Then later on, you appear to be at the beck and call of 'senior' people. You're told to be a tutor - you become a tutor, you're told to learn sanskrit - you learn sanskrit etc. If you're not willing to do all this, then you're not welcome.

It's actually very cruel and quite cold and calculating.

It's easy to say, well why didn't you just walk away. When I first stumbled across whyaretheydead.net (now ses-forums.org) I was deeply shocked at the treatment of children and young people. I was also slightly scornful of the adults who recounted their awful experiences. However, it's actually quite difficult to leave. Meeting the same people week after week, discussing quite deep questions, you form a bond with the group. When you leave, you miss it terribly (well I did). I would imagine the longer you stay, the harder it is. And they know that. As Michael says, it's very subtle.

It was also hinted to me that if I left, I'd be doing myself no favours at all. I was quite depressed after that conversation and seriously wondered for a few minutes whether I was doing the right thing. I definitely was. Though I almost felt in need of a support group for the leaving process!!

I took away from the experience some good techniques. However, sometimes I feel more confused rather than less about spirituality etc. I've read it's not uncommon for Westerners who dabble in Eastern philosophy to end up feeling like that. Ouspensky apparently ended up a sort of wreck, hiding from his students in his car, surrounded by his cats!

Simon

Thanks for your comments, Tom and Joanne.

The consensus certainly seems to be that the school is very useful for the first few years, but then be very wary! Though I should reiterate that I left about half way through my fourth year and was put under no pressure to stay.

I can empathize with the guy with the cats! By the way, Joanne, are you one of the Joannes I know from the Leeds school (the scripture class)?

It is I

Hi All,
I'm new to this forum and have been reading this thread with much interest, having been sent the link by a fellow group member.
We are in our first year and we have all discussed some of the "cultish" aspects of the school, usually with much laughter and "as if" attitude.
I however haven't felt any pressure from the school to date, but have been warned of the turn the course takes and I will certainly see that as my exit point.

I am very grateful to those who have shared their negative experiences here and like Pam will dial up my "coercion detector"
I have to agree with Simon - however subtle any form of coercion is, it is ultimately we who make the choices and there is a learning in that.
Thanks for the great thread.

Simon

Hi 'It is I' - I'm glad you found this useful. Many thanks for leaving a comment - I hope you enjoy the rest of your time at the School of Philosophy!

Mike

I recently attended the session on Plato's cave at the NY school. I was very impressed and was thinking about taking the first course starting next month, but hearing these things, I'm now inclined not to. Stressing any one school of thought at the exclusion of others, personality worship (of a guru, or anyone else), rituals and all the rest turn me off in a big way. Too bad, because I thought I might have finally the dogma-less group that unifies east and west that I've been hoping to find.

Simon

But will you ever find that group, Mike? I've come to realize that there will never be such a group or organization in which I can fully put my trust because any group is only as trustworthy as the people in it - and we are all human, even (perhaps especially!) those who set themselves up as gurus. But if we turn our back on all such groups, we may miss out on many sources of wisdom. Why not listen to teachings from various sources, yet put our ultimate trust only in our own wisdom: in our own innate ability to discern truth from falsehood?

I'm glad you found my site so that you know to approach the School of Philosophy with due caution. But perhaps it will be a shame if you miss out on its teachings entirely.

Mike

Thanks for the reply, Simon.
When I say I'm looking for a group, I don't mean a guru or teachings, but more a "sangha" (one that doesn't focus exclusively on one school of thought).
I've read quite a bit of what's been put out there by the various western and eastern sources, ancient and modern, so it's very unlikely I'd hear anything new. It's the face-to-face interaction with like-minded people that I'm looking for.

Michael Winslow

I've been attending the school for several years and as the New York Times said recently if The School of Practical Philosophy is a cult it is a terrible one. Take what you like and leave the rest. Places like this attract some damaged people. The practices offered are very useful and the meditation is incredibly beneficial. I've attended many classes and had many different teachers and none have been coercive. Enthusiastic yes but coercive no. Skeptics are welcomed and encouraged. Look at the book store and see what is being sold there. If you don't like a teacher chose another one. If you don't like something speak up. Many things at the school have changed because people have spoken up. No man has to wear a suit and no woman has to wear a dress those days are over. Don’t want to take men or women only classes then don’t.

fam

I have been in the school now for 7 years and yes, it might have been a controlling cult in the seventies and eighties, but the school has changed!!!!!!!!!!! All I get from it is the teaching and the liberation from MY ideas and MY issues!!! And yes I do serve once a week, so the school can run and help others. Check it out again. It truly is a changed institution! And I NEVER wear skirts!!!

Salona

lol! I cannot haelp but "laugh out loud" about these comments. I am 25 years old, I have a very healthy social and family life, I am PROUD to be a part of the school of Practical Philosophy. I HAVE BEEN ATTENDIN SINCE I WAS 4 YEARS OLD! My parents placed me in the school at this age, and they were a part of it as well. My dad passed on 5 years ago, and my mum passed on 3 years ago. If it were not for my many many teachers over the beautiful years I have spent at this school I would not have had the strength and courage to go on. The strength and courage was always there. I did not look for it when my parents were gone. All I have learnt at the school (and all I am still learning) has given me the tools that so many others in the world lack, to live my best life yet!

If you want the schools teachings to work for you, you need to allow it to! An accumulation of knowledge from the greatest souls in the world mean NOTHING, if you do not know how to apply it practically!!!The school gives one these tools... and yes, it is very very difficult, but... the things worth doing in life are never easy! To those that have been in the school and have had "bad" experiences... always remember, when you make a concious decision to challenge the negativity in this creation YOU WILL BE TESTED!

toby keen

I am naturally a skeptic; I have attended for about 4 years, gone through the introductory parts and now am at the phase where the conversation tends to be more dogmatic ( although the Bible and other texts are quoted, it is far less frequently) I do "service" which is making cups of tea for junoir students ( I really enjoy this - basically = you are simply "serving" others, which has benefits for you and them) The material discussed does change over time as others have stated and I will not continue on next year as I feel ( as others have indicated) that I do not want to commit more time; there are weekend "residentials" and other activities and basically if you dont attend you naturally will feel a bit left behind. Some of the extra curricular activities are just people getting together to do the things they love ( calligraphy , speaking with eloquence some are more in line with the Eastern bent such as learning Sanskrit and there are Plato study groups) I find all people who attend are fine people and I dont beleive there is much more of an adgena other than teaching you to see the world in fairly broad eastern philosphical/religeous terms, in a modern Western context and meditation which is exactly what it is(which to my mind stacks up resonable well to the other major religions) Having said all of that, I do see more senior members do wear suits and dresses and they do have seperate classed for men and women ( however the sepearate classes have joined back together recently)
Misleading - how can you deny it
Well intentioned - absolutely
Cult - its up to your definition, I'd say not
In summary, I have enjoyed my time so far; I see that ( implied )demands on my time and the (implied) need to suit up as not being for me.
I have benefitted a lot from my involvment with the school
You are the company you keep and the books you read
SHANTI

Sceptic

Why do I get the impression that this is another branch of a Masonic organisation.

TC

I attended classes at the school in NYC for several years. I no longer attend.

It's always hazardous to invoke such an emotionally charged word as "cult" when talking about any group. When you come right down to it, any religion or religiously-oriented group could be labeled a cult to one degree or another.

Does SPP have some cultish tendencies? Absolutely -- the awkward formality of longtime members, the eventual separation of men's and women's instruction, the encouragement of men to wear suits and women to wear "modest" outfits, the secrecy about what students can expect to encounter as they progress through the classes, the encouragement (if not outright expectation) of increasing time committed to serving the school and its needs, etc.

Which is the point of my comment -- while I'm not sure I'd go so far as to categorize SPP as a cult, I definitely put in the category of religion or religiously-oriented group. While the earlier class levels seem quite diverse and secular, drawing from various traditions oriental and occidental, as one progresses the points of reference bend, perhaps slowly but unerringly, toward the Vedic tradition. Other sources, be they Buddhist, Christian or secular, are slowly diminished to only being used when they align with the Vedic writings or the teachings of the guru to the school's founder.

I was already beginning to have questions about the group before we were "given" meditation, in a ceremony that can only be described as a religious rite (candles, symbolic gifts to the "masters" who came before, kneeling before an image of the guru, etc). As a recovering Catholic, I resented being ambushed in this way, and the protestations from leaders at the school that they are not a religion rang with hollow defensiveness.

Later, the concept of reincarnation was dropped on our class as a matter of fact. There was no introduction of it in a philosophical context (i.e. "what if..."), but as a fact as obvious as gravity. When I stopped the class (literally, as in "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!") and challenged the instructor on this, she was incapable of any debate or even elaboration -- it was what the material said, it was dogma, it was to be taken for granted as fact, apparently. She seemed, quite literally, unable to conceive that it might not be the truth or even worthy of discussion.

Finally, the early Vedic writings which came to dominate the classes came to be referred to simply as "The Scriptures." Not the Vedic scriptures, but THE Scriptures; the prime source, the logos.

Honestly, I had originally decided to attend the school because I was interested in philosophy and inquiry, and I was saddened as everything bent more and more toward religious instruction, obeisance and conformity. If I wanted that, I'd go back to church.

True philosophical exploration tolerates neither dishonesty nor secrecy.

If SPP wanted to be honest with prospective students, and with themselves, they would rename their organization The Center for Vedic Studies. Anyone considering attending should be prepared for the instruction to eventually take this turn.

Are there things of value I gained from my time there? Sure -- I've become a semi-regular meditator, although I'm not bound by their particular method (which is thinly-disguised TM), I met some very nice people and, following Mr. Edison's argument, I've eliminated one more path that doesn't work. But I have no regrets about leaving, either.

Rebecca

Does anybody know anything about the Australian schools? Are they essentially Vedic at the later levels? Why do they have other people (apart from the tutor) with notepads attending the classes as I have read on threads? Any info re: the Australian set up would be greatly appreciated.

Francesca

I'm currently attending the New York school and so far I have been very pleased with many of the ideas presented. I've found it to be a very useful perspective on analyzing my life. I have had two excellent tutors but, unfortunately, I've also had a couple that were not so good. Naturally I would be more critical but I have been asked to consider how negative feelings are the font of endless ignorance and suffering! Nevertheless in everyday life you have a kind of awareness that others might hurt you but less so in a place like this. Thus I found myself unprepared when one of the tutors at the most recent Plato day decided to spill his bruised ego at me with unexpected aggressiveness. He was really rude.

Even though everyone in front of us is supposed to be our teacher, I went there to be inspired by people with a wiser understanding of human nature. I can learn from the negative ones everywhere else.

Guy

SPP is an organization, I discovered, which sadly belies what it purports to teach. I say it that way because I don't think they are truly wicked people. But it seems to me that the length of time one remains in it is a function of one's ability to really employ in one's life that which they teach. And sadly, it is an inverse function-- the less capable you are of really taking charge of your life and clearing out much of the mess between your ears, the longer you will stay in it. In a way, what they do is to separate the wheat from the chaff of the people they attract-- they end up with the chaff. They really are basically insecure people who need a fresh supply of persons even less secure than they, whom they will bring into their circle for them to feel superior to. They need the ego-stroking.
For the record, I attended up to Level 5 in NYC in 2011 and 2012. I will expand upon my remarks if requested.

LMP

Hi all,
I've read all the comments and they are consistant with my experience of the school so far (Perth western Australia), I've done 2 levels skiping one between them and the difference in openness to questions is noticeable. My impression is the school over the course of 4-5 years slowly losses those who can't accept the "propositions" s facts, and that is why the few who are left don't have the critical/analitical voices of other students and are less likely to see the conflicting issues. My experience is that the tutors use silence and not answering the questions directly(turing them back on the questioner) to avoid being held accountable or explaining any clear position (I had a counsellor I use to do this to and he called me "slippery", which is apt).

My suggestion is to find a group that will put perspective, even criticize what is being taught (not necessarily directly) to keep some balance -I have been actively involved in a church that has no controlling culture, (which was why I started looking at the Philosophy classes to being with as they had more structure), and can see where there are contradicions, which incourages my critical thinking rather than dulling it, which I think shoud be the point of any group (religious, educational or philosophical)
I have made myself familiar with what manipulative behaviour looks like - basically it is the guilt and consequences of saying "no" without being able to clearly define why you feel that way.
I will be continuing in the course for now as I am still enjoying the different perspective presented by both the school and fellow students.

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  • "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Sir Winston Churchill
  • "My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened." - Michel de Montaigne
  • "Take any fear. Call it out. Actually make an appointment: I'll meet you face to face to get this settled once and for all at 'such-n-such' time. Tell it you'll even meet it in its own space: a dark room. And you'll find nothing will ever come to meet you..." - Sue Ann Edwards
  • "Your mind is the interference to experiencing the bliss of this moment." - Dr Joe Vitale
  • "A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive." - Albert Einstein

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2012 and Oneness Awakening

  • Full day workshop on Sat 3rd Dec at 10am in Leeds, UK. An opportunity to experience the powerful energy of Deeksha (Oneness Blessing) and play your part in global transformation.

    Email Simon

    for more details.

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