Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Discussion of the SES' satellite schools in Australia and New Zealand.
still looking
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:42 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby still looking » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:47 am

I'm a new poster and part of the 2012 exodus. Yes Babs you're absolutely right about the calligraphy charge. While the term fees at $150 to $170 were reasonable comparative to other "courses", the school has always (thus far anyway) been able to get away with excessive charges for calligraphy boards, residentials, and of course the "initiation". Essentially students are conditioned to do as they're told and not to question. Or if questions "arise" then that's just the old ahankara up to its usual tricks. The calligraphy board issue is symptomatic of the overall modus operandi of the school. Being told to do all those tasks and chores in the name of being present and giving service. These issues have already been discussed widely and very astutely by many participants in this forum.

But fortunately many of us do ultimately question, or perhaps, more accurately, actually stop and listen to the questions and doubts that were always there, rather than flicking them away as "circling thoughts". Middle Way described the process very nicely as resolving ambiguity. Once we start to do this, it brings us to waking up (in a healthy real-world sense). We can investigate spirituality and philosophy and all the big questions for ourselves, free of the controlling and anachronistic attitudes of Mrs Mavro, the dutiful compliance of tutors, the inconsistent, contradictory and plagiarised "teaching", and the constant pressure to conform and comply.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Middle Way » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:06 pm

Thanks for your post still looking. You have well summarised your reasons for leaving. I think it's important that other recent members of the exodus also consider posting here - even just a brief explanation why you left - as it's so helpful to others. Also, the more people who post here, the more Mrs Mavro's chief weapon of "shoot the messengers" is disarmed.
MW

Someone else
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Someone else » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:00 am

Just wondering if this thread is still active? Seems like a sudden quiet after the storm....?

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:17 pm

Well I suppose its contributors are still alive and active... I think it likely that everything needed to have been said about the SFSK has been said. There were calls for responses that went unanswered in print, but were certainly answered in action - many people (if not a majority) have voted with their feet and left the SFSK.

Given that this thread has received over 12,000 hits I would assume that it is regularly viewed (and re-viewed) by many current, former and prospective students. This is all we wanted when we began to write here - that the truth about the SFSK be made available to the general public so they can make up their own minds regarding whether or not to stay. To that extent I believe our aim has been achieved.

Someone else
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Someone else » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:21 am

Agreed! I am one of the numerous who answered with their feet..
No regrets and the content on this thread and others was certainly very useful in the decision process.
Moving on now and you're right,
Enough said..

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Ella.M.C. » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:22 pm

Someone else wrote:Agreed!
Moving on now and you're right,
Enough said..


Maybe not ..
There are still a couple of details that were promised, but are not as yet ready,
BUT WILL BE

Moving on though is right of course and I feel most of us have,
and you then see how small the view and scope of school was ..
the false bubble we were living in.
Being given a teaching in a controlled environment, that gave rise to many fears subtle
and obvious.
Now hearing the teaching in a free and natural environment .. the difference is like chalk and cheese.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Middle Way » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:48 am

Hello MOTS: re your reply on the other "PR..." thread

Middle Way quoted:
"Their spirituality is not casual, it is the most critical thing in their life. Without their spiritual path, they have not much interest in life."


MOTS replied:
Do you think this is true of the tutors in the School? I would've thought that if they were so committed to their 'spiritual path' they would've made more of an effort to convince us to stay. Surely a truly 'spiritual' person is concerned with the spiritual welfare of everybody, not just themselves?


Yes, I do think that quote rings true. For at least some of the students who've been part of SFSK for so long it seems that SFSK is certainly the most important thing in their life. After all, they have been systematically brainwashed for so long to slowly but steadily put the "School" ahead of everything else in their lives. And the tutors were certainly told to convince people to stay, hence the many phone calls made to people intending to leave after completing the early parts. They didn't bother to convince either you or I to stay because they would have known that was a hopeless cause. I think those tutors are for the most part genuinely convinced they are concerned with everyone's spiritual welfare, but because they are also convinced that only SFSK has the Truth they are telling a lie, as stated in that quote I posted, and therefore are not "truly spiritual".

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:58 pm

Middle Way wrote:And the tutors were certainly told to convince people to stay, hence the many phone calls made to people intending to leave after completing the early parts.


I was always under the impression that these calls were made essentially out of a fear of losing students. Given what we now know about Mrs Mavro it seems unlikely that she was genuinely interested in the spiritual welfare of her students. The reason I mention her is that the injunction to call students who wanted to leave came from her. In other words, the tutors were "following orders" - their own concern for the spiritual welfare of their students may have been a later justification for calling, but it was not the reason they called. As far as we are concerned, the 'hopelessness of the cause' should really make no difference to someone who is genuinely interested in our spiritual welfare. This interest/concern should trump any perceived obstacles. A simpler explanation is to say that the same process is going on now as it did with the students who wanted to leave the early parts - except that Mrs Mavro is now telling (or encouraging) the remaining students not to call us. It seems difficult to imagine somebody you saw on a weekly basis for 20+ years not calling you simply because they might think it's a 'hopeless cause'.

I think they have been lead to believe that we are bad people and liars, and this is what prevents them from making contact. As you said - they have been brainwashed, but I think this brainwashing has resulted in an irrational trust in the word of Mrs Mavro, rather than a sense that the School itself is of prime value. After all, it is not her intention that the School has prime value, rather that she is of prime value within that School. She would rather a few people stay around her and serve, than there be more students in the School. If the teaching of the School is so important how could she be content to just let us all go? Her actions betray a profound selfishness that is willing to sacrifice so many valuable people in order that she maintain her position. The irony of it is that without those valuable people, her position is fast becoming meaningless.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby Middle Way » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:47 am

ManOnTheStreet wrote:it is not her intention that the School has prime value, rather that she is of prime value within that School. She would rather a few people stay around her and serve, than there be more students in the School. If the teaching of the School is so important how could she be content to just let us all go? Her actions betray a profound selfishness that is willing to sacrifice so many valuable people in order that she maintain her position. The irony of it is that without those valuable people, her position is fast becoming meaningless.

I agree entirely with this summary. It is the only way to explain why she is so content to accept droves of people leaving without attempting to stem it.

As for the other tutors, I really do think at least a few of them did and still do believe that the spiritual wellbeing of others is important, whether or not they are following Mrs M's orders, and whether or not they are pursuing that aim in the best way. We might have to differ on this point!

nick
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:48 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby nick » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:29 pm

Thank you for all your posts.

Just curious if each of you can answer the following:

1) what have you been up to spiritually since leaving the school? Is it related to service or self gratification?
2) I read somewhere there is proof of the fact the school has not been authorized to give out the mantrum. Please provide this as this is long overdue since the last post.
3) the scriptures say to serve the community. Mrs Mavro is still serving at her tender age.
4) the scriptures say to be equal in honour and dishonour. Mrs Mavro seems to exhibit this quality although her key supporters have left. I do not see this in most others in or out of the school.
5) I wonder how many of you have actually been able to renounce key worldly attachments. Mainly attachment to women by the men. And for women, attachment to men.
6) in all the time you have spent expressing your opinions on Mrs Mavros actions, what have you been doing? How have you been serving? again it is stated in all scriptures to serve. You cannot not act for a moment. Or remember the mind can be a devils workshop which I am sure you have vividly experienced and acted out without any control.
7) I wonder if any of you can attest to being a pure soul. Jesus did not say "those who have not sinned cast the first stone" while he was dreaming. He saw what people in this world are like. ALL people and then said this statement. It seems you all have many rocks to throw. I would be more then happy to learn from non-sinners but I cannot see any classes held by any of you.
8) I would suggest you reflect on your meditations. If you listen to the mantrum and you cannot stay with the mantrum for 30 minutes. YOU HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. You do not have time or should not have time to waste your time on others. It is simply a waste of time and a statement of you inability to control yourself to allow you mind to wander into other people business.
9) last point. in the earlier chapters of the Geeta it is stated by Krisna not to disturb the minds of the ignorant. If you accept that the school are ignorant, why are you not following the instructions of the scriptures? I wonder if a true seeker would go against this.
10) I also wonder why one would hide their identity. Why do you not state your REAL names? what are you trying to hide? reflect and see. I personally hide things when i am in the wrong. I wonder if it true for you too.

Nick Knape.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:21 am

Hi Nick, thank you for your post.

Here are my answers:

1.
nick wrote:1) what have you been up to spiritually since leaving the school? Is it related to service or self gratification?


I do not accept the premise of this question. 'Service' and 'self-gratification' are not the only possible options available in life generally, so I do not see why anyone should be bound to these alone in this case. Moreover, there is no obligation to pursue 'spiritual work' at any time, and no such injunction exists in the scriptures. This leaves me wondering what the precise implication of your question is. The fact that someone is or is not engaged in 'spiritual work' says absolutely nothing about the quality of their character.

In any case, I think that most of the recent leavers (that I am aware of) have continued to engage in spiritual practises. It really seems a bit meaningless to pre-conceive the spectrum within which they practise as lying completely between such vague concepts as 'service' and 'self-gratification'. For my part, I have not continued practising, but this is because (in my view) Advait-Vedanta does not provide a cogent means to knowledge of the 'Truth'. This is not to say that I am not searching for some 'truth', but I am now searching in a different way. Again, there is nothing about this that suggests 'self-gratification' of any kind - it's just not relevant to talk about it in this context.

2.
nick wrote:2) I read somewhere there is proof of the fact the school has not been authorized to give out the mantrum. Please provide this as this is long overdue since the last post.


Yes - I agree with you here. This should be provided, preferably in written/recorded form. I actually left the SFSK before this was known, so it didn't factor in my decision to leave - however I agree that claims would be supported by evidence, and this ought to be done here.

3.
nick wrote:3) the scriptures say to serve the community. Mrs Mavro is still serving at her tender age.


Again, I must disagree with the premise here. The very point in issue is whether Mrs Mavro is actually serving anyone but herself. For the reasons I have already posted, I do not think she is serving anyone, let alone the community. If you have a reasoned argument as to why she is, I would be eager to hear it. Of course, her age is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

4.
nick wrote:4) the scriptures say to be equal in honour and dishonour. Mrs Mavro seems to exhibit this quality although her key supporters have left. I do not see this in most others in or out of the school.


See above answer to point (3). Provide a reasoned argument as to why this is the case, and we can then discuss it. I don't remember you being a student of the SFSK, so I wonder whence all this information you apparently have regarding our characters and 'honour'?

5.
nick wrote:5) I wonder how many of you have actually been able to renounce key worldly attachments. Mainly attachment to women by the men. And for women, attachment to men.


I'm not sure that this is at all relevant. Mrs Mavro herself was married for over 50 years. In any case, what's inherently wrong with men being attached to women and vica versa? Since you seem to like scriptures so much, I will remind you of Rama's very famous attachment to Sita in the Ramayana. As above, it's helpful to everyone if you provide some support for your assertions in the form of evidence of a reasoned argument.

6.
nick wrote:6) in all the time you have spent expressing your opinions on Mrs Mavros actions, what have you been doing? How have you been serving? again it is stated in all scriptures to serve. You cannot not act for a moment. Or remember the mind can be a devils workshop which I am sure you have vividly experienced and acted out without any control.


I must say that I again reject the premise of your statement here. What exactly do you mean by service? What exactly do you mean by the 'mind' being a 'devil's workshop'? I understand the implication, but what makes you think it's a true one? If the mind really can be a devil's workshop, then should you not doubt your own convictions about Mrs Mavro? I am sure you'd agree that your own mind is no less capable of being a workshop then any of ours. All these ad hominem attacks really do nothing to support your point of view.

For my part, since leaving I have attempted to salvage some of the intellectual dignity left to me after 20 years of manipulation by Mr and Mrs Mavro. I write on this forum to warn others about the dangers of entering an organisation like the SFSK. I also write in support of others who have left as I think it is important to get this information and other points of view in the public sphere. You may not think that is 'service', but that is only because you disagree with what I'm doing, and not because you have a clear picture of what 'service' really is.

7.
nick wrote:7) I wonder if any of you can attest to being a pure soul. Jesus did not say "those who have not sinned cast the first stone" while he was dreaming. He saw what people in this world are like. ALL people and then said this statement. It seems you all have many rocks to throw. I would be more then happy to learn from non-sinners but I cannot see any classes held by any of you.


This point has been addressed many times before in this thread. Suffice it to say that this argument is often used by people like Mrs Mavro to justify all their reprehensible actions. It would have done no good at all for those living under oppressive regimes and dictators to say "those who have not sinned cast the first stone". Do you think Churchill would have done the right thing if he had said the same thing regarding Hitler? Do we say the same about murderers? Of course we don't. The same principle applies here - it's about a spectrum, and not an absolute rule. In any case, you can refer to our earlier posts regarding a fuller answer to this question.

8.
nick wrote:8) I would suggest you reflect on your meditations. If you listen to the mantrum and you cannot stay with the mantrum for 30 minutes. YOU HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. You do not have time or should not have time to waste your time on others. It is simply a waste of time and a statement of you inability to control yourself to allow you mind to wander into other people business.


I'm not sure what you mean here - this seems to be another version of the 'cast the first stone' point above. If you're suggesting that we all just sit an meditate all the time, then I'll remind you that Mrs Mavro herself cannot meditate properly - meditation in the Friday group hardly lasted 30 mins anyway. She also likes to go on luxury cruises paid for by her considerable wealth. I actually don't have a problem with her going on holidays and having money etc. at all. I just think that your argument is weakened when Mrs Mavro herself does not live up to your standards.

Anyway, wandering into other people's business is exactly what Mrs Mavro does - the whole school is set up in order to facilitate this. I am very happy to be freed of her influence. I also (yet again) reject the premise of your statement that "you have a lot of work to do." How do you see this? You assume so much about us without providing any support for your claim.

9.
nick wrote:9) last point. in the earlier chapters of the Geeta it is stated by Krisna not to disturb the minds of the ignorant. If you accept that the school are ignorant, why are you not following the instructions of the scriptures? I wonder if a true seeker would go against this.


You are no doubt thinking of the verse in Chapter 3 of the Geeta. "The wise man should not perturb the minds of the ignorant ..." But when did we say we were "wise men"? I have certainly never said this. The verse clearly refers to "realised sages" - none of us have ever made this claim, and so the verse does not apply in this context. You will also note however that earlier in the chapter, Krishna says that "action for duty's sake is superior to inaction." I consider posting on this forum a duty - can you refute that?

I don't think the students in SFSK are ignorant, rather I think they have been deceived (like we all were). Some continue to suffer this deception, and it is against that deception that I write here.

What is your precise characterisation of a "true seeker"? Surely deception is the enemy of truth - if so, then I am no less a 'true seeker' for combating deception. Also, what makes you think you understand the instructions of the scriptures? Cherry-picking verses from the Geeta is not evidence of understanding. You have to look at the context of the verses in question, not just pick the ones that you think support your pre-existing view.

10.
nick wrote:10) I also wonder why one would hide their identity. Why do you not state your REAL names? what are you trying to hide? reflect and see. I personally hide things when i am in the wrong. I wonder if it true for you too.


This has also been dealt with before on this thread, so I will refer you there. Among other things, it is simply a convention on public forums to write under an alias. I am quite sure that any current/ex student of the SFSK who reads my posts recognises who I am, and I'm not at all worried about it. I trust their discretion, and that trust has so far proved to be well-placed. What do you think you will gain by knowing my real name? The import of what I say on this forum is not lessened because I write 'anonymously'. In School, a lot of attention is paid to "who says X" rather than "what does X say". You don't know Plato's real name either - do you trust him less for that?

MOTS

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby actuallythere » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:31 pm

Hello Nick and welcome,

First of all, using pseudonyms is common practice on internet discussion forums. This tends to be to avoid heated discussions getting literally personal, to avoid unwanted approaches from people elsewhere on the internet, etc. In the case of this forum, many people are protecting other people they know by remaining pseudonymous. Some have been victims of child abuse and using their real name could lead to the 'outing' and public vilification of people they'd rather deal with themselves. So we're not in a position to allege malice in the internet use of pseudonyms. And by the way, I could call myself Matthew Smith or Mark Jones, and nobody would be any the wiser - your use of what appears to be a real name is purely the appearance of a real name - until you provide your residential address, date of birth, passport number, perhaps a photograph and other personal information, your identity is no more overt than anyone else's. But one might assume, because of your use of a real name, that this is a photograph of you http://adelaidehills.realviewtechnologi ... age0000006 , that you do a lot of work helping people around you, were adopted and - like many people drawn to the SES and its satellite schools - you had a tough childhood.

You asked "what have you been up to spiritually since leaving the school? Is it related to service or self gratification? " Please could you tell how one establishes what is spiritual versus non-spiritual activity? Who decides? And how does one establish whether it is related to service or self gratification? For example, I may enjoy meditation but that might give me self gratification, no? I might serve my local homeless charity, but how can I know whether that is spiritual service? I might be on an internet forum criticising the purported spirituality of Islamist terrorism, but how to I establish whether that is service, gratification, or spiritual? And what if my service is self-gratifying, because I thinking that being useful makes me a better person? And what if I find out that my service is being exploited by self-gratifying people, who benefit from my labour in some greedy, selfish manner? If I know this and then don't stop serving them, does my service change its quality?

You wrote "I wonder how many of you have actually been able to renounce key worldly attachments." Please can you tell me how to identify a 'key' worldly attachment and who says it is 'key'? I mean I am quite attached to my family (and as hard as I tried over the festive season I wasn't able to renounce them, ho ho). And I might eat too much cheese but where is the threshold for my cheese consumption to become defined as a worldly attachment? What about the statute of a buddha in my garden that I am fond of. Am I attached to it? What about cleaning, repetitive chanting and and sleep deprivation in a big house in the countryside for a week? If I found this cocktail of experience quite exhilarating - might I be attached to it? Or giving my money to spiritual organizations with rich leaders to spend on real estate, could that be something I'm attached to as well? How does one know?

"I wonder if any of you can attest to being a pure soul," you wrote. Now I'm really stuck. I wouldn't want to attest to being a 'pure soul', first of all because I don't know what a 'pure soul' is, so please explain it to me to see if its something I might attest to after all. What is the criteria for assessment of a 'pure soul'?

But why is attesting to being a 'pure soul' relevant in this context? Are you a 'pure soul'? Do you know a 'pure soul' - and if you do, how do you know they are a 'pure soul'? And does not attesting to being a 'pure soul' in some way diminish our ability to observe, to think autonomously and to make a choice between right and wrong?

I accept that I have answered your questions with more questions. And that my questions may come across as very direct. The reason is that I think you deserve meaningful and honest answers, and I can only give you these if I'm totally clear about your questions. I hope you understand, it is about my respect for you.

Kind regards,

AT

nick
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:48 am

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby nick » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:17 pm

Thank you for your response.
We're off on a great start. Some real thoughts are coming up rather than thoughtless regurgitations that generally arise. See below answers.[url]

1.
nick wrote:1) what have you been up to spiritually since leaving the school? Is it related to service or self gratification?


I do not accept the premise of this question. 'Service' and 'self-gratification' are not the only possible options available in life generally, so I do not see why anyone should be bound to these alone in this case. Moreover, there is no obligation to pursue 'spiritual work' at any time, and no such injunction exists in the scriptures. This leaves me wondering what the precise implication of your question is. The fact that someone is or is not engaged in 'spiritual work' says absolutely nothing about the quality of their character.

"ONE NEEDS TO THINK OF WHAT ONE IS READING FROM SCRIPTURES AND NOT ALLOW IT TO CREATE MORE CONFUSIONS IN ONES HEAD. SIMPLY STATED, EVERYONE IS SERVING, YOU CANNOT NOT SERVE. TRUE SERVICE IS WHEN YOU ARE NOT SERVING YOUR EGO BUT A HIGHER ETERNAL PRINCIPLE. ALL ELSE IS SELF/SENSE GRATIFICATION, WHATEVER YOU MAY CALL IT."

In any case, I think that most of the recent leavers (that I am aware of) have continued to engage in spiritual practises. It really seems a bit meaningless to pre-conceive the spectrum within which they practise as lying completely between such vague concepts as 'service' and 'self-gratification'. For my part, I have not continued practising, but this is because (in my view) Advait-Vedanta does not provide a cogent means to knowledge of the 'Truth'. This is not to say that I am not searching for some 'truth', but I am now searching in a different way. Again, there is nothing about this that suggests 'self-gratification' of any kind - it's just not relevant to talk about it in this context.

"COGENT MEANS "appealing forcibly to the mind or reason". IF YOU HAVE READ VIVEKACHOODAMNI, IT IS BASED ON PURE REASON. IT IS NOT A STORY BOOK WHICH YOU CAN READ AND SHOW AND TELL. IT SPECIFICALLY SAYS TO DO CERTAIN THINGS. E.G DISCRIMINATE, DETACH, FIND GURU, TAKE SHELTER OF HIM, ETC. IF YOU READ STRAIGHT THROUGH IT WITHOUT DOING ANY OF IT, YOUR MIND WILL NOT GRASP IT. THE TRUTH IS ONLY SECOND HAND KNOWLEDGE IN THE BOOKS and even tutors/teachers. ONE WILL THEN FIND ANOTHER BOOK/teacher/tutor, THAT MIND CANNOT COGENT.
SIMPLY PUT, IF THERE IS A PIN LOST IN THE OCEAN THAT YOU NEED TO FIND. YOU SEARCH BY READING A MAP. YOU UNDERSTAND OR THINK YOU UNDERSTAND IT BUT DONT WANT TO START LOOKING, SO YOU WALK TO ANOTHER LOCATION AND FIND ANOTHER MAP. OF COURSE THE MAP WILL BE DIFFERENT AS IT STARTS FROM DIFFERENT POINT. AGAIN, YOU DECIDE TO FIND A BETTER MAP SO ONE DOES NOT START. YOU READ HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF MAPS ALL FROM DIFFERENT LOCATIONS BUT NO START HAS BEEN MADE. ONE CAN DO THIS FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS. "

2.
nick wrote:2) I read somewhere there is proof of the fact the school has not been authorized to give out the mantrum. Please provide this as this is long overdue since the last post.


Yes - I agree with you here. This should be provided, preferably in written/recorded form. I actually left the SFSK before this was known, so it didn't factor in my decision to leave - however I agree that claims would be supported by evidence, and this ought to be done here.

"MOST PEOPLE HAVE LEFT BECAUSE OF THE KEY TUTORS WHO HAVE STATED THIS BUT HAVE PROVIDED NO PROOF TO THE STUDENTS BUT WORDS. WE ARE SIMPLY SICK OF WORDS, WORDS, WORDS. SHOW US SOME PROOF BEFORE WE MAKE ANY DECISIONS. I THINK THAT IS INTELLIGENT. PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THERE FOR MANY YEARS, CAN DEVELOP MOULD WHICH CAN CAUSE CERTAIN THINGS TO GERMINATE. I DO NOT THINK WORDS SPROUTED FROM THIS IS WORTH ACTING ON. HENCE PROOF IS REQUIRED. NO DELAYS HERE PLEASE. I WOULD CONSIDER THIS TO BE YOUR DUTY IF ANYTHING. (SORRY, I DO NOT WISH TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO BUT I AM FRUSTRATED WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE DECISIONS BASED HERESAY, IT IS SO STUPID). "

3.
nick wrote:3) the scriptures say to serve the community. Mrs Mavro is still serving at her tender age.


Again, I must disagree with the premise here. The very point in issue is whether Mrs Mavro is actually serving anyone but herself. For the reasons I have already posted, I do not think she is serving anyone, let alone the community. If you have a reasoned argument as to why she is, I would be eager to hear it. Of course, her age is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

"BEST THING HERE IS TO VIEW CONSISTENCY. ONE WHO BELIEVES IN WHAT THEY SAY, WILL NOT BUDGE. SHE STAYED PUT ALTHOUGH ALL HER KEY SUPPORTERS, STUDENTS, TUTORS LEFT.
YOU HAVE TO REFLECT OBJECTIVELY HERE AND NOT ALLOW ANY MOULD TO GET IN THE WAY. SHE IS NOT AT SAME LEVEL AS JESUS BUT EVEN HIS STUDENTS LEFT AND CONDEMNED HIM. IT IS HUMAN NATURE. THE ONE WHO IS STILL DURING THIS TEACHES A LOT AND SHOWS ONES TRUE CHARACTER. I AM SURE YOU WILL ATTEST TO THIS WHEN YOU ARE QUIET. I DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO ATTEST TO THIS IN THE DUAL FORUM. "

4.
nick wrote:4) the scriptures say to be equal in honour and dishonour. Mrs Mavro seems to exhibit this quality although her key supporters have left. I do not see this in most others in or out of the school.


See above answer to point (3). Provide a reasoned argument as to why this is the case, and we can then discuss it. I don't remember you being a student of the SFSK, so I wonder whence all this information you apparently have regarding our characters and 'honour'?

"PLEASE SEE ABOVE. ONES CHARACTOR IS REFLECTED IN WHAT ONE SAYS BEHIND THE PERSONS BACK. I AM SURE THERE IS A Better way to communicate this with everyone present. "

5.
nick wrote:5) I wonder how many of you have actually been able to renounce key worldly attachments. Mainly attachment to women by the men. And for women, attachment to men.


I'm not sure that this is at all relevant. Mrs Mavro herself was married for over 50 years. In any case, what's inherently wrong with men being attached to women and vica versa? Since you seem to like scriptures so much, I will remind you of Rama's very famous attachment to Sita in the Ramayana. As above, it's helpful to everyone if you provide some support for your assertions in the form of evidence of a reasoned argument.

"DONT KNOW ABOUT RAMA AND SITA. But I am sure it is a story attachment and how one can do crazy things because of IT. Enlighten me.
THE WISE SAY TO RISE ABOVE YOUR ATTACHMENTS. ITS ALL IN THE BOOKS TO BE PRACTICED. "

6.
nick wrote:6) in all the time you have spent expressing your opinions on Mrs Mavros actions, what have you been doing? How have you been serving? again it is stated in all scriptures to serve. You cannot not act for a moment. Or remember the mind can be a devils workshop which I am sure you have vividly experienced and acted out without any control.


I must say that I again reject the premise of your statement here. What exactly do you mean by service? What exactly do you mean by the 'mind' being a 'devil's workshop'? I understand the implication, but what makes you think it's a true one? If the mind really can be a devil's workshop, then should you not doubt your own convictions about Mrs Mavro? I am sure you'd agree that your own mind is no less capable of being a workshop then any of ours. All these ad hominem attacks really do nothing to support your point of view.

For my part, since leaving I have attempted to salvage some of the intellectual dignity left to me after 20 years of manipulation by Mr and Mrs Mavro. I write on this forum to warn others about the dangers of entering an organisation like the SFSK. I also write in support of others who have left as I think it is important to get this information and other points of view in the public sphere. You may not think that is 'service', but that is only because you disagree with what I'm doing, and not because you have a clear picture of what 'service' really is.

"OK, CAN YOU PROVIDE PROOF OF YOUR STATEMENTS AND YOUR ASSERTIONS OF HER. WHY IS THE GURU NOT DOING ANYTHING. CAN YOU ORGANISE SOMETHING EVERYONE HAS A OPEN FORUM. I MEAN EVERYONE FROM THE SCHOOL AND OUTSIDE, INCLUDING THE GURU ETC. DONT YOU THINK THIS IS YOUR DUTY. 20 YEARS HAVE PAST. A FEW HOURS OF PLANNING THIS WONT HURT. A LITTLE ACTION ON YOUR PART. "

7.
nick wrote:7) I wonder if any of you can attest to being a pure soul. Jesus did not say "those who have not sinned cast the first stone" while he was dreaming. He saw what people in this world are like. ALL people and then said this statement. It seems you all have many rocks to throw. I would be more then happy to learn from non-sinners but I cannot see any classes held by any of you.


This point has been addressed many times before in this thread. Suffice it to say that this argument is often used by people like Mrs Mavro to justify all their reprehensible actions. It would have done no good at all for those living under oppressive regimes and dictators to say "those who have not sinned cast the first stone". Do you think Churchill would have done the right thing if he had said the same thing regarding Hitler? Do we say the same about murderers? Of course we don't. The same principle applies here - it's about a spectrum, and not an absolute rule. In any case, you can refer to our earlier posts regarding a fuller answer to this question.

"IS MRS MAVRO KILLING PEOPLE? SHe may be teaching based on what she knows. It may be incomplete. She is trying. I just cannot grasp why one would intentionally mislead or deceive for 20 + years in a spiritual path. I just cannot fathom that. You need to provide conclusive reasoning about this. The mould must be removed before you speak."

8.
nick wrote:8) I would suggest you reflect on your meditations. If you listen to the mantrum and you cannot stay with the mantrum for 30 minutes. YOU HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. You do not have time or should not have time to waste your time on others. It is simply a waste of time and a statement of you inability to control yourself to allow you mind to wander into other people business.


I'm not sure what you mean here - this seems to be another version of the 'cast the first stone' point above. If you're suggesting that we all just sit an meditate all the time, then I'll remind you that Mrs Mavro herself cannot meditate properly - meditation in the Friday group hardly lasted 30 mins anyway. She also likes to go on luxury cruises paid for by her considerable wealth. I actually don't have a problem with her going on holidays and having money etc. at all. I just think that your argument is weakened when Mrs Mavro herself does not live up to your standards.

"I DONT KNOW THESES THINGS. BUT MRS MAVRO IS NOT IN THESE FORUMS TALKING BEHIND PEOPLES BACKS. SHE IS WORKING AND SERVING STILL. HER INACTION TELLS ME SHE KNOWS SHE HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO."

Anyway, wandering into other people's business is exactly what Mrs Mavro does - the whole school is set up in order to facilitate this. I am very happy to be freed of her influence. I also (yet again) reject the premise of your statement that "you have a lot of work to do." How do you see this? You assume so much about us without providing any support for your claim.

"WHAT INFLUENCE, YOU ARE INDEPENDENT. 20 YRS OF LISTENING TO "YOU ARE NOT THE BODY BUT THE SOUL"????? HAS THIS NOT FREED YOU???? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT AND MORE IMPORTANTLY UNDERSTOOD AND PRACTICED????"

9.
nick wrote:9) last point. in the earlier chapters of the Geeta it is stated by Krisna not to disturb the minds of the ignorant. If you accept that the school are ignorant, why are you not following the instructions of the scriptures? I wonder if a true seeker would go against this.


You are no doubt thinking of the verse in Chapter 3 of the Geeta. "The wise man should not perturb the minds of the ignorant ..." But when did we say we were "wise men"? I have certainly never said this. The verse clearly refers to "realised sages" - none of us have ever made this claim, and so the verse does not apply in this context. You will also note however that earlier in the chapter, Krishna says that "action for duty's sake is superior to inaction." I consider posting on this forum a duty - can you refute that?

"I AM NOT IN ANY POSITION TO STATE WHAT IS YOUR DUTY IS. LET ME ASK YOU? WHAT NEED IS IT YOU ARE SATISFYING BY DOING YOUR "DUTY"? Objectively is the satisfaction of the need good for you, others including Mrs Mavro? Or is it good for you and other for a shorter term. If people have left because of your posts, have you given them an opportunity to attend your classes? Or have you left them in the wilderness to find something else? "

I don't think the students in SFSK are ignorant, rather I think they have been deceived (like we all were). Some continue to suffer this deception, and it is against that deception that I write here.

"YOU CANNOT BE DECEIVED IF YOU THINK THROUGH THINGS. ONE MUST MUST MUST USE ONES HEAD IN THIS WORK. I Believe THERE ARE WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING IN THIS WORK. THE WOLVES ARE A PERSONIFICATION OF IGNORANCE. "

What is your precise characterisation of a "true seeker"? Surely deception is the enemy of truth - if so, then I am no less a 'true seeker' for combating deception. Also, what makes you think you understand the instructions of the scriptures? Cherry-picking verses from the Geeta is not evidence of understanding. You have to look at the context of the verses in question, not just pick the ones that you think support your pre-existing view.

YOU ARE CORRECT, I DID CHERRY PICK. TO BE HONEST, I CAN GIVE YOU PLENTY TO SUPPORT THE POINTS FROM SCRIPTURES. LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT ME TO DO THAT. THE THING IS NONE OF US REALLY FOLLOW WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SAY. WE THINK WE DO IN OUR FAIRY LANDS. WE ACTUALLY DO NOT. JUST LOOK AT THE LIFES OF THE ACTUAL REALISED SAGES, JESUS, THE SCHOOLS GURU INDIA, ETC.

10.
nick wrote:10) I also wonder why one would hide their identity. Why do you not state your REAL names? what are you trying to hide? reflect and see. I personally hide things when i am in the wrong. I wonder if it true for you too.


This has also been dealt with before on this thread, so I will refer you there. Among other things, it is simply a convention on public forums to write under an alias. I am quite sure that any current/ex student of the SFSK who reads my posts recognises who I am, and I'm not at all worried about it. I trust their discretion, and that trust has so far proved to be well-placed. What do you think you will gain by knowing my real name? The import of what I say on this forum is not lessened because I write 'anonymously'. In School, a lot of attention is paid to "who says X" rather than "what does X say". You don't know Plato's real name either - do you trust him less for that?

OK.
MOTS[/quote]

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby ManOnTheStreet » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:45 am

Thanks again Nick for your response.

As a general tip, you can use the quote function (top right of the post from which you want to extract a quote) so you don't have to use capitals all the time - makes things a bit easier to read as well - so we know who is saying what.

I will address your points in the same order they appear above. The numbering is going to change as I think we are beginning to split up some of the original points.

1.
nick wrote:"ONE NEEDS TO THINK OF WHAT ONE IS READING FROM SCRIPTURES AND NOT ALLOW IT TO CREATE MORE CONFUSIONS IN ONES HEAD. SIMPLY STATED, EVERYONE IS SERVING, YOU CANNOT NOT SERVE. TRUE SERVICE IS WHEN YOU ARE NOT SERVING YOUR EGO BUT A HIGHER ETERNAL PRINCIPLE. ALL ELSE IS SELF/SENSE GRATIFICATION, WHATEVER YOU MAY CALL IT."


A couple of things here:

i) What you say is still quite vague. What exactly do you mean by "higher eternal principle"? Which one? What is it? How do you know we are not serving this principle? etc etc. As I said before, it is precisely my contention that Mrs Mavro is serving her ego only, and not the 'spiritual needs' of her students.

ii) I am happy to accept the view that "we always serve something", however I contest the premise that we are confused simply because we disagree with what Mrs Mavro is doing and teaching. That is not a basis upon which to decide anything.

iii) What exactly do you mean by "confusions in one's head"? Is a thought a 'confusion' simply because it dares to challenge the official SFSK story?

2.
nick wrote:"COGENT MEANS "appealing forcibly to the mind or reason". IF YOU HAVE READ VIVEKACHOODAMNI, IT IS BASED ON PURE REASON. IT IS NOT A STORY BOOK WHICH YOU CAN READ AND SHOW AND TELL. IT SPECIFICALLY SAYS TO DO CERTAIN THINGS. E.G DISCRIMINATE, DETACH, FIND GURU, TAKE SHELTER OF HIM, ETC. IF YOU READ STRAIGHT THROUGH IT WITHOUT DOING ANY OF IT, YOUR MIND WILL NOT GRASP IT. THE TRUTH IS ONLY SECOND HAND KNOWLEDGE IN THE BOOKS and even tutors/teachers. ONE WILL THEN FIND ANOTHER BOOK/teacher/tutor, THAT MIND CANNOT COGENT.
SIMPLY PUT, IF THERE IS A PIN LOST IN THE OCEAN THAT YOU NEED TO FIND. YOU SEARCH BY READING A MAP. YOU UNDERSTAND OR THINK YOU UNDERSTAND IT BUT DONT WANT TO START LOOKING, SO YOU WALK TO ANOTHER LOCATION AND FIND ANOTHER MAP. OF COURSE THE MAP WILL BE DIFFERENT AS IT STARTS FROM DIFFERENT POINT. AGAIN, YOU DECIDE TO FIND A BETTER MAP SO ONE DOES NOT START. YOU READ HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF MAPS ALL FROM DIFFERENT LOCATIONS BUT NO START HAS BEEN MADE. ONE CAN DO THIS FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS. "


i) I have indeed read Vivekachudamani many times. I don't think it is based on pure reason, rather I think Shankara (the author) attempts to use a reasoning process to come by the conclusions therein. Thus it is possible to analyse the effectiveness of that reasoning process. In other words - does it achieve what it sets out to achieve? (Viz. a cogent means to knowledge). I do not think it does, and that is why I reject it as a cogent means to knowledge.

ii) To take your analogy of the maps: I think the situation we find ourselves in is very much akin to looking for a treasure that may or may not exist, with a whole lot of merchants trying to sell you maps describing 'how to get there' in varying levels of detail. The point is that many, if not all, of the maps could be totally misleading or downright wrong. Some could be drawn up by people who genuinely think there is treasure and would like to help you find it, but many others are drawn up by charlatans and deceivers who wish only to take your money and time. Now, the obvious question is 'how to distinguish the merchants?' My contention is that only reason can help you decide which is which.

If you are following a map for 20 years and getting nowhere then I would suggest that it's likely the merchant sold you a dud map. There is no inherent value in 'sticking to one path' - particularly if the path is false. Surely it's better to be humble and say "I don't know" than to think you do, for at least in the former case you afford yourself the opportunity to search - the moment you say "I know", you stop searching, and that is the death of true inquiry. Any genuine inquiry involves questioning the validity of your most fundamental beliefs - otherwise the whole thing is just an exercise in self-confirmation, and that is really quite pointless. It's like sitting on a rock somewhere telling yourself over and over again that there is treasure and that your map is true (essentially because the merchant told you so and you believe them). We would never do such a thing in any other context - it's no more valid in this one. I might add that Science has not suffered at all from taking the "different maps" approach - yes, some of them were red herrings, but overall there has been incredible progress - I wouldn't call that "no start has been made". The idea that "one must stick to one path only" is often used by cults to entrench their members and prevent them from leaving. It has very little to do with the search for 'truth'.

iii) The injunctions in scripture to discriminate and detach etc are all contingent on you wanting to pursue 'spiritual' knowledge. These statements are always framed as "if you want X, then we recommend you do Y." They are not general commands. The scriptures just assume that there is such a thing as 'truth' - and my questions deal with that assumption. There is no injunction to search for the truth in the scriptures, because at the time they were written, the only people reading them were assumed to have already affirmed the existence of that truth and the validity of those scriptures. I am merely challenging that assumption.

3.
nick wrote:"MOST PEOPLE HAVE LEFT BECAUSE OF THE KEY TUTORS WHO HAVE STATED THIS BUT HAVE PROVIDED NO PROOF TO THE STUDENTS BUT WORDS. WE ARE SIMPLY SICK OF WORDS, WORDS, WORDS. SHOW US SOME PROOF BEFORE WE MAKE ANY DECISIONS. I THINK THAT IS INTELLIGENT. PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THERE FOR MANY YEARS, CAN DEVELOP MOULD WHICH CAN CAUSE CERTAIN THINGS TO GERMINATE. I DO NOT THINK WORDS SPROUTED FROM THIS IS WORTH ACTING ON. HENCE PROOF IS REQUIRED. NO DELAYS HERE PLEASE. I WOULD CONSIDER THIS TO BE YOUR DUTY IF ANYTHING. (SORRY, I DO NOT WISH TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO BUT I AM FRUSTRATED WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE DECISIONS BASED HERESAY, IT IS SO STUPID). "


What exactly do you mean by "mould" and "causing certain things to germinate"? This is extremely vague. What is this "mould"? What things are germinating? If length of time in School is a factor, then the obvious rebuttal is that Mrs Mavro has been in the School longer than anyone - so by your argument she has had the greatest chance of 'mould' and 'germination' of 'certain things'. I think you may need to clarify what you want to say here.

It is unfortunately not within my power to provide evidence of the mantram fiasco. I can only urge that those who possess that evidence make it available. I do know that it exists - but I think it is a recording and as such will have to be uploaded here somehow.

It is within my power to speak of the manipulation and hypocrisy present in the School. This I have done before, as have many others. I might add that it is not just the 'key tutors' that have left the School. Many others have also left, citing general misgivings about the place that were merely confirmed (but not instigated) by the actions of those 'key tutors'. With so many dedicated students leaving, you have to wonder whether Mrs Mavro is really telling the truth. Also - has she provided any evidence to the contrary? (Apart from vague statements about things like 'mould' and 'germination'?)

4.
nick wrote:"BEST THING HERE IS TO VIEW CONSISTENCY. ONE WHO BELIEVES IN WHAT THEY SAY, WILL NOT BUDGE. SHE STAYED PUT ALTHOUGH ALL HER KEY SUPPORTERS, STUDENTS, TUTORS LEFT.
YOU HAVE TO REFLECT OBJECTIVELY HERE AND NOT ALLOW ANY MOULD TO GET IN THE WAY. SHE IS NOT AT SAME LEVEL AS JESUS BUT EVEN HIS STUDENTS LEFT AND CONDEMNED HIM. IT IS HUMAN NATURE. THE ONE WHO IS STILL DURING THIS TEACHES A LOT AND SHOWS ONES TRUE CHARACTER. I AM SURE YOU WILL ATTEST TO THIS WHEN YOU ARE QUIET. I DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO ATTEST TO THIS IN THE DUAL FORUM. "


Consistency can be misleading. Nikolai and Elena Chauchescu (Romanian communist dictators) were 'consistent' right up until they were shot by their own people for their many crimes. It's very possible to be 'consistently' selfish and manipulative. What else is Mrs Mavro going to do? Admit her fault? Any change in her message would completely undermine the image of herself she has worked so hard to foster among her students. It's not in her interest to change anything. Every con-man wants the charade to continue. What dictator 'chooses' to give up power?

Also, (as a side point) the disciples of Jesus did not condemn his character - they only said they didn't know him to avoid persecution. We are not saying that we don't know Mrs Mavro - quite the contrary - we do know her, and we are condemning what she did and continues to do.

5.
nick wrote:"PLEASE SEE ABOVE. ONES CHARACTOR IS REFLECTED IN WHAT ONE SAYS BEHIND THE PERSONS BACK. I AM SURE THERE IS A Better way to communicate this with everyone present. "


Everything I say here I have said to Mrs Mavro's face. She knows my view and we had a few rather heated interchanges before and after I left the School. I think that addresses the 'behind the person's back' point.

As for a better way to communicate - many of us here have expressed a wish to discuss these points with any member of the SFSK. So far, you are the only one that has responded on the forums. For my part, I would welcome any response or attempt at communication. I think that it is in fact Mrs Mavro that discourages her students from speaking to us.

6.
nick wrote:"DONT KNOW ABOUT RAMA AND SITA. But I am sure it is a story attachment and how one can do crazy things because of IT. Enlighten me.
THE WISE SAY TO RISE ABOVE YOUR ATTACHMENTS. ITS ALL IN THE BOOKS TO BE PRACTICED. "


My point was more in lieu of why you specifically referred to men and women. The story of Rama and Sita is to be found in the Ramayana - an Indian epic akin to the Mahabharata. It's a bit complicated, but your characterisation is incorrect - Rama's attachment to Sita is what prompts him to save her from the demon Ravana. Anyway, you can probably find a synopsis on the web - it's a very famous story in India and south-east Asia.

7.
nick wrote:"OK, CAN YOU PROVIDE PROOF OF YOUR STATEMENTS AND YOUR ASSERTIONS OF HER. WHY IS THE GURU NOT DOING ANYTHING. CAN YOU ORGANISE SOMETHING EVERYONE HAS A OPEN FORUM. I MEAN EVERYONE FROM THE SCHOOL AND OUTSIDE, INCLUDING THE GURU ETC. DONT YOU THINK THIS IS YOUR DUTY. 20 YEARS HAVE PAST. A FEW HOURS OF PLANNING THIS WONT HURT. A LITTLE ACTION ON YOUR PART. "


I would be more than happy to engage in an open forum. It would obviously require acquiescence from the other side, but I don't think that will be forthcoming (see my answer to point 4).

As an example of what I am talking about - we were led to believe that the "silence material" read to us at residentials was an inspired work of Mr Mavro's and a product of his inquiry and 'spiritual work'. It turned out that this material was plagiarised almost verbatim from a book by Helena Blavatsky, a 19th Century occultist and founder of the Theosophical Society. This material was presented to us as part of the 'eternal tradition' of Advait-Vedanta and so on. In fact, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Advait-Vedanta, and in places flatly contradicts it. The material used in the junior part of the School is almost entirely lifted from Gurjieff and Ouspensky with no acknowledgement of that fact. Read "In search of the miraculous" by P. D. Ouspensky and you will see what I mean.

The question is - why would the Mavros lie about this sort of thing? The fact is that they look a lot better and wiser when they say that the material is composed by them alone. It enhances their position and consolidates their authority. Furthermore, as pretty much no one in the School has read any of the above authors it's very easy for the Mavros to keep up the charade. This is but one example - there are many more, and we have spoken about them at length earlier on in this thread. I would strongly encourage you to go back and read what we have written.

8.
nick wrote:"IS MRS MAVRO KILLING PEOPLE? SHe may be teaching based on what she knows. It may be incomplete. She is trying. I just cannot grasp why one would intentionally mislead or deceive for 20 + years in a spiritual path. I just cannot fathom that. You need to provide conclusive reasoning about this. The mould must be removed before you speak."


My point was simply to illustrate that there is no hard an fast rule about 'casting the first stone'. To say that Mrs Mavro is 'just doing to best she can' is simply not good enough. She is not doing the best she can at all. The best she could do would be to teach Advait-Vedanta pure and simple. She wont do this of course, because there is no concept of hierarchy or 'schools' or anything like that in Advait-Vedanta. In other words she could not use it to acquire power over others. Your personal incredulity regarding her ability to intentionally mislead people for 20+ years is no argument either. I can grasp why she would do it, and I have explained why in point 4 above. She does it because it's in her interest - she has a lot of power within that school and she will do anything to keep it. 'Spirituality' is merely the vehicle she uses to acquire power over others - and it's rather easy for her to maintain that power because the language of 'spirituality' is so vague and undefined that it's always possible to have an answer or pull the wool over people's eyes. That power is the only thing she has to lose by coming clean and admitting what she has done.

9.
nick wrote:"I DONT KNOW THESES THINGS. BUT MRS MAVRO IS NOT IN THESE FORUMS TALKING BEHIND PEOPLES BACKS. SHE IS WORKING AND SERVING STILL. HER INACTION TELLS ME SHE KNOWS SHE HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO."


I have addressed the 'talking behind people's backs' point above. I'm not sure what you mean by your last sentence.

10.
nick wrote:"WHAT INFLUENCE, YOU ARE INDEPENDENT. 20 YRS OF LISTENING TO "YOU ARE NOT THE BODY BUT THE SOUL"????? HAS THIS NOT FREED YOU???? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT AND MORE IMPORTANTLY UNDERSTOOD AND PRACTICED????"


That's not all I heard. I heard things about karma, and koshas, and "astral bodies", and a whole lot of complete nonsense that crippled me intellectually and put me in a state of fear and self-doubt almost constantly. I don't know if you remember Mr Mavro, but no one sitting through one of his tantrums could honestly tell you they felt "freed".

Yes, I'm independent now, but that is only after quite a few years of great internal struggle. I am simply lucky to have been able to free myself from the clutches of SFSK - others have not been so lucky.

On the subject of practise - I was very diligent with my practises. For quite a few years I was doing at least 2-3 hours of 'spiritual work' every day. What I found was that the validity of what I was being taught in the School was totally independent of how diligently I practised. That was the real beginning of my freedom, and not anything the Mavros ever told me.

11.
nick wrote:"I AM NOT IN ANY POSITION TO STATE WHAT IS YOUR DUTY IS. LET ME ASK YOU? WHAT NEED IS IT YOU ARE SATISFYING BY DOING YOUR "DUTY"? Objectively is the satisfaction of the need good for you, others including Mrs Mavro? Or is it good for you and other for a shorter term. If people have left because of your posts, have you given them an opportunity to attend your classes? Or have you left them in the wilderness to find something else? "


The 'need' is that people know what's really going on in the SFSK. The 'need' is that they be provided with an alternative point of view to that of Mrs Mavro. The 'need' is that egomaniacs not be allowed to rule the lives and minds of other people. The 'need' is truth-telling in a sea of lies and deceit. The 'need' is the provision of facts and the exercise of reason.

It's not about what's 'good' or 'bad' for anyone - the truth is not interested in what people think is good or bad for them or others. What people think is good and bad will change, but facts do not.

I don't run classes because I don't believe in Vedanta any more. I do think it likely that alternative classes have been set up by others. I don't think that I am leaving anyone in the 'wilderness'. Quite the contrary - if the 'wilderness' is anywhere, it is to be found in the School. But there is a deeper point here, and that is that the distinction between "School" and "the world" is completely false. The School is just as much part of the world as anything else. So I disagree that leaving the School puts you in the 'wilderness', because we are all in the wilderness - the only difference is that in the School you have someone there pretending that they are not.

There is a very common argument to the effect that if you leave School you will be 'like a leaf in the wind'. This is ridiculous. What did people do before the School was around? In fact, the tradition of Advait-Vedanta grew up in the total absence of "schools". You might well ask where Mr and Mrs Mavro got all that "knowledge" - they got it in the SES in London during the 1960's. There's nothing particularly special about that. They simply chose one of many organisations around at the time and became cogs in the machine. Now Mrs Mavro sets herself up as a leader, but where is her authority? She doesn't want a public forum because she couldn't stand up to the questioning that would inevitably accompany it. The moment you get past all the vagueness in her statements and try to pin her down on detail you will find that she doesn't have a leg to stand on.

12.
nick wrote:"YOU CANNOT BE DECEIVED IF YOU THINK THROUGH THINGS. ONE MUST MUST MUST USE ONES HEAD IN THIS WORK. I Believe THERE ARE WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING IN THIS WORK. THE WOLVES ARE A PERSONIFICATION OF IGNORANCE. "


This is exactly my point. Mrs Mavro is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

13.
nick wrote:YOU ARE CORRECT, I DID CHERRY PICK. TO BE HONEST, I CAN GIVE YOU PLENTY TO SUPPORT THE POINTS FROM SCRIPTURES. LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT ME TO DO THAT. THE THING IS NONE OF US REALLY FOLLOW WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SAY. WE THINK WE DO IN OUR FAIRY LANDS. WE ACTUALLY DO NOT. JUST LOOK AT THE LIFES OF THE ACTUAL REALISED SAGES, JESUS, THE SCHOOLS GURU INDIA, ETC.


Yes - I would welcome any points from the scriptures that you deem relevant. It's always better when we have an actual quote. The existence of 'realised' sages is another topic altogether so I won't go into it here.

Thank you again for your response - I hope we can continue to engage in a vigorous discussion. I apologise for the length of my post - there were admittedly a lot of points to address and I did not want to be accused of not answering them. I think we can probably narrow the discussion a little; perhaps you should pick the points that most concern you and we can deal with them particularly, with a view to addressing the others later.

MOTS
Last edited by ManOnTheStreet on Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Sydney School for Self Knowledge

Postby actuallythere » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:10 am

Further to my last post, I'm not going to disclose my real name for the reasons already stated - this also goes for private messages - which I am unlikely to respond to. On that note, another convention of internet communities is the 'assumption of good faith'. Meaningful, collegial discourse can only continue if we all at least appear to assume that others - even those with pseudonyms - are not motivated by some underhand agenda. Malice can be exposed be reasonable discourse, not by 'outing'.

If it helps to build understanding I don't mind saying a little more about my background, which I think I've mentioned before on this forum. Over a period of decades I have known many people in the SES and St. James School, as well as a few in an SES satellite school - and I have known just as many in another identifiable group: those just outside SES and its satellite schools but equally effected by it: the children, spouses, parents and friends of members. Members encouraged me to join but only ever attended a few meetings before declining to continue. I am familiar with SES practices and the commonly recognisable behavioural change that members go through and the effect this has on the people around them, especially their children. No metaphor is ever precisely equivalent, but I could say my position on SES is similar to my views on hard drugs: I don't need to become a user to know I don't want to be a user, because I have observed its effects on users and people around them (ii) users normally enjoy it very much but are blinded to what is happening to them, they are drawn into an illusion of self-awareness when quite the opposite is at work. For that, they have my heartfelt sympathy - but my sympathy stops sharp when they cause anguish to those around them. I know of psychological breakdowns, family breakdowns, divorces, widespread child neglect and abuse, juvenile delinquency, a rape and a suicide in which the SES was a significant contributing factor. I'm not convinced by talk of reform or breakaway movements. I also know of many people who have had a lot of good things to say about SES and might be justifiably baffled that all these terrible things have happened around them. But too much suffering has been documented for me to not believe that this is on balance a dangerous and destructive organization, and that the ever fewer people who have not yet seen this, will in due course.
Last edited by actuallythere on Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:25 am, edited 4 times in total.


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