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Messages - Kemetin

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16
Psionics / Re: Bump. Psi and brain damage??
« on: July 14, 2016, 07:23:06 AM »
^What he said, vis a vis going to a doctor. Any potential head injury should be checked out.

That said, if I had to take a bet, it would be that you're suffering from placebo symptoms (which isn't to say they aren't real, although only a doctor will be able to tell you for sure) as a result of underlying fear and anxiety about injuring yourself. I would suggest staying away from psi work for the time being and working on developing awareness of your emotions and their effect on you via quiet sitting and mindfulness practice.


17
Body Energy Arts / Re: Ask any question about Qigong or Yoga.
« on: May 14, 2016, 11:43:13 AM »
I know I'm resurrecting an older thread, but I came across this video which really neatly articulates a lot of what was being debated here, from a figure who generally receives a fair amount of respect and authority in the Daoist community, so I thought I'd post a link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHaeO2hl4SY

It's a decent length at 45 minutes, but most of what's relevant to the discussion which was being held is in the first half - namely the nature of Jing in traditional Daoist cosmology, how the concept influences Qi Gong practice and relates to Daoist concepts of health and lifestyle, and why it's important, when discussing these arts, to not recklessly cast off the traditional cosmological models within which these arts were developed.


18
Magick / Re: Child abuse in IOT?
« on: May 04, 2016, 12:44:19 PM »
What on earth is "Ice Magick"?

19
Magick / Re: Polarity and the Balancing of Forces
« on: May 01, 2016, 03:17:02 AM »

Sifu Anthony Korahais left the school, I'm a student of Sifu Anthony Spinicchia from Vegas. :)

Ahh, knew I recognized those teachings :p

20
Magick / Re: Polarity and the Balancing of Forces
« on: April 29, 2016, 10:52:13 PM »
I think it is interesting that through working with the vital force in the chinese paradigm one can experience a self balancing effect.

Stand upright
Relax
Smile from the heart

These are the major skills involved at a basic level.

Then repeating a special technique of physical movement to generate a flow of vital force, and enjoying the flow for a time before consolidating that flow at the lower abdomen energy center. It's the state of enjoying the energy flow part that does the balancing, cleansing, building, and nourishing, not so much just tapping the energy, but letting it flow where it most needs to be.

Simple, direct, and effective. Good health mentally and physically is supposed to be the natural state. So I somewhat disagree that all work with the vital force will lean towards only enabling ones current state of being, rather than helping one grow stronger.

One cannot discount the effect of the mind. Expectation. If told during instruction that something will happen, then it likely will. If told that it will create Yin and Yang or Electric and Magnetic balance in the body and possibly cure any ailment, because all aliment is a result of imbalance, then diligent and correct practice will produce the effect in a lot of cases.

I'm not talking out of my ass here, there are thousands of people that have learned this stuff from my teachers teacher over the last thirty years and have gotten massive benefit.

You wouldn't happen to be a student of Sifu Anthony Korahais or another member of the same lineage would you?

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Maybe because you behave like assholes. Think about it.  :wink:

Are we speaking singular, or plural? If you have a specific example where I personally behave like an asshole, feel free to bring it up and we'll talk it out.

If you're lumping me in with the Murawsky's or Julian/Justin, or with others who have associated with them or posted on their blog, simply because I'm also offering criticism of TDS (I would aim to make the criticism more constructive in nature if I thought for a second that TDS was open to any kind of feedback), please take a minute to reflect on the  kind of tribalism and black and white, us v. them thinking you're falling into, because I've never contributed to the blog (I've actually critiqued it heavily since it's emergence, for various reasons), I've never interacted with the Murawsky's at all (beyond Daniel's tenure as the main tech support guy on the old TDS website), and my interaction with Julian and Justin is limited to a few responses to their posts here on Veritas and a brief PM conversation with Justin last year, when I was still a TDS student.

In short, I am not in any way part of the "TDSSanctuary crew," or otherwise associated with some group aiming at bringing down TDS, merely because I've been more openly critical of TDS since my departure.

Finally, someone behaving like an asshole isn't a reason to to neglect to sympathize with their pain and with their struggles - the ability to dislike someone's behavior and still understand the reason for it and feel pity for that person's suffering is the mark of a genuinely evolved and compassionate soul, and that kind of cliqueish, schoolyard bullying behavior is beneath someone claiming to be a spiritual aspirant.

22
Well Kemetin, then your experience has been very different from mine.

I think I've said everything I've wanted to say this time round.

That is, of course, your decision, but it's disappointing that you seem to just ignore criticisms instead of responding to them.

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TDS will continue to be called home by many spiritual seekers, and will continue to have success (students achieving the goals that the school sets out to help them achieve), and in fact improve.

Will it? How do you know this?

I'm not saying it won't, but it seems to me that simply assuming something will be a glorious success is a pretty good way to blind yourself to it's faults (and I admit to having been guilty of this during my early period in TDS).

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Hopefully the school will take steps to place more emphasis on precautions, but ultimately, nothing can shield anyone from their own fate, and no one can walk the path for you, or overcome its obstacles for you.

No, but they can help or hinder - no man is an island and all that. And the goal of a school and of teachers is, after all, to help their students.

I'm not saying it's been all bad - I had a lot of beneficial experiences from TDS too, which is why I lingered so long and tried to defend it in my mind long after my heart had recognized the school for what it was. But ultimately, my own negative experiences aside, I couldn't abide in the kind of toxic culture the school cultivates, and I hit a point where I just couldn't justify my membership and through it my tacit support of their behavior any longer.

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Some will benefit from TDS and some won't. That's life. If I'm being a bit flippant then so be it, this whole thing is a bit tiring. For someone who has benefited as much from TDS as I have, there's no real point in trying to argue with someone who hasn't had that experience. I like TDS's style, their curriculum, and probably most of all the community. I have absolutely no problem with the fact that there are people who really don't. It's fine. There are many, many other places to go - I just happen to like this one, and it's worked exceedingly well for me, and that's really all the justification I need.

For sure, there are a lot of people who've benefited overall from TDS, but this isn't a question of people's favorite gaming console or icecream flavor or some other triviality - we're talking about the behavior of a small group of individuals who have an inordinate amount of power over a large following, and the effect that behavior has on that following. We're talking about people who've had real, life-derailing negative experiences with TDS, the inability of the TDS leadership to help them and the refusal of the TDS leadership to take so much as a sliver of responsibility for the spillover from their behavior.

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People who want to hold on to anger and vengeance will do that, and see how it works out for them.

I agree that holding onto these kind of negative emotions isn't beneficial either personally or to their goals of helping students realize the nature of TDS, and I've said this multiple times, but as everyone knows, it's one thing to tell someone to let go of an emotion and another thing for them to do it.

I personally think that the fact that they were under the spiritual guidance of TDS for so long and came away with such emotional turmoil and discord that they simply can't let go of is pretty telling. "By their fruits..." and all that.

Maybe a few years spent in a spiritual school that wasn't for you isn't such a terrible thing, even if your health and/or ego suffered a bit for it.[/quote]

Maybe, but it's extraordinarily arrogant for anyone but the individual to make that judgement. You can see that right? You're in no position to tell Rodz and his brother, or the Murawsky's, or assorted others, how much they were harmed by their experiences with TDS (whether physically, psychologically, spiritually, socially), any more than, say, I am in a position to tell you how much you have benefited from your time in TDS.

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As far as I can tell everyone recovered anyway, so let's have some perspective.

That's a pretty cavalier attitude, I would expect some more sympathy from someone who's supposed to be trying to improve themselves spiritually.

That was one of the things that really turned me away from TDS - watching people react to the emergence of the Murawsky's and Rodz/his brother (sorry, typing PeoplesChampion over and over is a bit much) and not being able to summon up so much as a drop of sympathy.

Whatever the reality of the situation, whatever the blame, it's dead obvious that they have undergone some kind of pain or suffering of some sort, otherwise they wouldn't be acting the way they are. Short of being severely mentally ill (which would be it's own issue alltogether), people don't just have the kind of 180 degree change in attitude towards something as large as TDS unless they have some kind of reason. It doesn't happen.

To be unable or unwilling to acknowledge that and express even the smallest amount of sympathy for their suffering is a pretty nasty way to be behave.

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These are rather tame first world aspirant's problems, none of us here know true suffering. That being said, I truly hope that everyone who was or felt hurt recovers fully, and that they are able to move on and find true peace, health and happiness.

Really? So, for example, the years of chronic pain Rodz' brother underwent wasn't "true suffering"?

That's a rather awful stance to take.

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And, hopefully, the Veritas Magick forum will some day have meaningful activity apart from endless, circular TDS discussions.

I doubt it - forums on the whole are dying out as a mode of communication, and veritas is reflecting this. People prefer more speed, more instant gratification and less thought in their online communication these days, sadly.


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Kemetin,

For the most part I agree. My point was not to try to imply that more precautions could/should not have been stated, but simply to counter the idea that no risks were mentioned, which simply isn't true. I don't think the TDS staff were as negligent as some people are claiming


This is where things get tricky though, because we walk into the murky waters of anecdote. Whether you believe, for example, that they were as foolhardily neglectful as PeoplesChampion claims they were to him in his case, is largely a matter of the degree to which you trust his word as weighed against the degree to which your personal image of Ramose and Veos allows for such behavior.

When multiple people come out, making claims which more or less line up with both eachother and with my own observations and personal experience, I tend to think they're worth taking serious.

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- on the other hand I would agree that there is certainly room for improvement in this area - an entire lecture on risks, precautions and contraindications would be a welcome addition indeed. Is this going to happen? I can't say.


I very much doubt it, I raised the idea to Ramose and he blew it off, I can't remember his reasoning. The twins have never been very interested in the opinions of the hoi polloi that I've noticed.



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Everything in life carries risk, and I think responsibility must be admitted on both ends, for sure. I definitely think TDS can learn from all of this. I think a large part of the problem is that the approach (not the techniques) TDS has is entirely novel; teaching Theurgy online for Western students - this is a really new and unique endeavour, and I think it's not surprising that there are going to be many, many growing pains. TDS is, in that sense, a work in progress, and I think people who don't like the possible risks involved in works in progress simply shouldn't take the risk. Mistakes will be made, and people are going to have to endure some difficulty. If someone does not think that is worth it, that is up to them to decide sooner rather than later.


It's the question of who's going to be the one who make the mistakes and who's going to be the one suffering the subsequent "difficulty" that makes me wonder. Certainly the formula seems to run in one direction only at the moment.

I would hold a bit more appreciation for the "work in progress" argument if they were, for starters, even slightly open to feedback, a bit more willing to admit error and perhaps a bit more humble and a bit less grandiose. But they aren't, I suspect because that would run contrary to the image they cultivate of themselves (at least within the school, to the affirming ears of their students) as great masters on a mission to "take the Western spiritual world by storm."

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If someone will counter that on the contrary, TDS has always touted how perfect it is, well, that hasn't been my experience. The TDS staff certainly believe in their system and their methods, and I think they are justified in doing so based on the success they have had.

Again we come back to statements that don't necessarily have anything to back them up. "The success they've had." What success? How much? I ask these questions not because I believe they've failed, but because people seemingly say the school has been successful because they are told that the school is successful by the people most invested (in every sense) in it's success.

Personally I think it's far too early for talk of success or failure, in the overall sense, to be anything but either hype or naysaying. Maybe in another decade or three, we'll see how events bear out, but in spiritual terms, 8 years isn't much more than a few grains of sand slipping through the hourglass.

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However, I've heard many times from the staff that teaching Western students online in the way they are doing it is a work in progress, and that in many respects, they are in uncharted territory.

I don't think this is any excuse to so blatantly ignore obvious problems, and again it feels rather thin when any attempts at feedback or constructive criticism fall on deaf ears.

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I don't think Akenu's allegation that this means they are 'experimenting' on their students holds water - at least not in terms of the general roster of techniques and teachings.

I'm not so sure - I'd be the first to acknowledge that Akenu is less than rational on the subject of TDS (sorry, but it's true), but it's hard to deny that the word applies to a degree. What else can you call it when you take a combination of shuffled eclectic exercises from other systems and new exercises put together by the teachers, combine them into a new and untried system of spiritual development and then apply it to a batch of students? It isn't even the same training regime as the one that the twins used to develop their own initial attainment, and the training regime they offer has changed multiple times over the years (even just over the years that I was a member).

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However there is always a degree of personal responsibility involved in any endeavour - placing all the blame on one or the other end is misguided, in my opinion.

I agree, but I've yet to hear any of the TDS teachers take so much as an ounce of responsibility for any of the problems people have had while in the school (and I've heard one of them in particular reject it vehemently) - always they were the heroic, innocent victims of attacks from former students who just turned on them out of spite or some mental imbalance.

I've read what the Sanctuary people have to say, and corresponded with a couple of them, and while I think I've made it abundantly clear that I don't approve of many of their methods, it seems obvious to me that at least some of them are or were undergoing a great deal of suffering, and that suffering would not have taken place in the form it did if it weren't for TDS and their experiences there. To just deny that suffering and reject all sympathy, and instead rewrite it as maliciousness or instability is a rather horrible way to treat people who were supposedly friends and students for such a long time.

It really is a distasteful attitude from people who I expected to take the high ground. I was there, eg. for the famous empowerment video (the one which was posted on the TDSSanctuary blog*, where Veos claims, among other things, that if students have experienced any metaphysical phenomena then they should never have reason to doubt the school or the teachers**, and that the idea of someone setting up a spiritual school for personal and emotional gratification is proposterous, a notion the people at the blog quite rightly pointed out the absurdity of), and it was a huge part of what tipped me over from "wait and see if the school improves" to "get me out of here!" I was hoping this would be the moment that he would step up and act with some wisdom, some compassion, and instead I just groaned my way through it.

*and act I do not agree with, for the record.

**Ironically, I had a powerful clairvoyant experience during the empowerment. Still didn't change how disappointed I was in his inability to accept a single drop of responsibility for everything that had happened.

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  If we think about it, magic (or at least the level of magic TDS is aiming at) is an incredibly demanding endeavour actually fraught with risks. Maybe TDS would do well to point this out more explicitly, and maybe those who decide to undertake the Great Work should realize that no one ever said it was going to be easy - and ultimately, no one can overcome for you those obstacles and karmas that are decreed by fate. In magic, even in the context of a school, only you are finally responsible for yourself and your wellbeing. Things are going to go wrong, sometimes spectacularly. Instructors should apply due diligence, and TDS can definitely make some improvement in this regard, but even with complete diligence some things will still go wrong - this, in my own opinion, is simply the nature of the true spiritual path. It's a journey as tasking as it is rewarding, and ultimately it is a journey taken alone, obstacles, trials and all. As the Dhammapada teaches: “You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way.”

Of course things will go wrong, but I think when someone accepts the role of teacher, they take it upon themselves to do everything in their power to maximize the students chance of success. On a more mundane level, I think the school would be a lot more successful and surrounded by a lot less drama if they were a little less stiff necked, a little more open to the possibility that they could make mistakes, even major ones, and a little more willing to admit it.

A passage from the very first lecture always stuck with me in my early days:

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"Right now a brilliant opportunity, as rare as the perfect pearl, is knocking on your door. If you let us serve you, we will make this all real to you. We will animate those empty words you have been reading from old books and archaic grimoires. We will light a fire in your life that will melt the stiff snow of stagnancy and sorrow. We will make your life a magical thing, so that every day is better than the last. I promise you that, if you just let us, we will turn ourselves inside out for you. Know, therefore, that from this point forward, as long as you are genuine about your desire to find God and perfect yourself, there will be someone thinking about you, toiling over you, and caring for you.
This is the Holy Science, and we will spend all of our power during this class making it more real to you than you could have ever imagined.
Fraternally in the Light,
Your humble servant,
Ramose Daskalodos"

I was incredibly disappointed to discover in due time that, far from having someone thinking over me, toiling over me and caring for me, I had multiple someone's who barely had the time of day for me when I needed them most, who had little time and less sympathy for me when I was struggling seriously on the path, and who appeared to value maintaining their image as wise masters over humble themselves enough to admit to error or wrongdoing in any real way.

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I'm not the school. I'm IIHBuddy and i was obviously just trolling.

In fact i cannot take this conversation seriously anymore it's kinda an infinite loop of lies and whining from the haters. Get a bit boring after a while.

You can call it what you want, but it makes the school look bad. I know I was embarrassed by this kind of conduct within and outside the school when I was a member.




You can't blame others your whole life for everything that's happening to you.


Not blaming anyone - don't know why you keep throwing that accusation around. I'm just giving my opinion on the state of the school.

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I guess in the future it will be much higher priority to warn the newcomers for the possible risks and i agree that it can be an important thing.

I very much doubt it.

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Kemetin,

Well for starters, as I detailed in my last post, during my time in the school they did absolutely nothing to either ensure that people were sufficiently healthy for the practices, or to warn them that certain pre-existing health conditions were either contraindicated or would require an altered training regime. No risks were mentioned, no prerequisites in terms of lifestyle or physical/mental/spiritual health status were set. Students simply joined and were given the exercises as long as they participated in weekly Q&A sessions (and handed in short essays/quizzes for the first few months - which I rather enjoyed writing, as an aside, I was sad they did away with those).

...

Except as I said, there was absolutely no hint anywhere of any kind of risk that I recall (if I'm wrong in this, please cite an example) - not so much as a "if you have any pre-existing health problems, talk to your Daskaloi before jumping into doing the full VOA" or anything of the kind. To get information on these kind of things, students would have had to go to third party resources, at the exact time that they were being told to rely first and foremost on the information being given to them by the TDS teachers.

I'd be happy to cite several.

The first and most significant one is from the Probationer course. In fact, this used to be in literally the second lecture that a Probationer at TDS would receive. At this point, the practices expected of the student are still very light (thought observation, pore breathing, and soul mirror work), but this warning is already given:

Quote from:  TDS Probationer Lecture - Ethos: Self-Governance
This tradition holds firm to the idea that the dense body is a phenomenally important tool to be used in our lives; were this not the case, we would be living in an ethereal world where only our finer vehicles would sustain us. Instead we are in this physical world with a physical body, the primary vehicle of our activities on this plane. No spiritual practice or regime of any sorts should neglect the importance of this precious vehicle.

...

Our physical body, dense and gross as it may be compared to the finer aspects of the self, is still the temple within which those finer aspects are housed. Without it, or even if it falls into disrepair, our higher faculties cannot be utilized in this world. Even if there is no serious problem which it has fallen into, the ability to express certain magical forces through the body is directly proportional to the body’s health. A vibrant, healthy, strong individual will have a vibrant, healthy, and strong flow and expression of inner strength. Therefore, it will be seen as the sacred duty of every aspirant to these mysteries to keep the physical temple in good working condition, free of defect or disease beyond what is inborn and propelled by the forces of fate.

The student of these mysteries should invest the time required to learn proper ways to keep a good, healthy body through exercise, diet, hygiene, and all-around correct living. You are encouraged to keep up with these routines for very practical reasons with regard to magic itself. In the magical workings of this tradition, those students who are capable of expressing a vibrant inner power are far more likely to succeed at a good pace than those who are not. Some of the exercises you will be learning exert a constant but subtle strain upon the body, particularly the nervous system, and if you are not in good health and good shape, this strain can become even more detrimental to your health. The practices will also bring out latent difficulties hidden inside you, illnesses which exist on the energetic level of the elements but not yet in the physical body. Some of these will manifest and be dealt with on an emotional level, but some will have to be birthed through the physical processes to which they are analogous. A pre-existing foundation of good health will make these struggles easier, and prevent them from hindering your meditations or daily life for days or weeks.


Physical exercise is practically a panacea for the body, serving to stimulate the currents of vital life-giving power within us all. The aspirant to this science should aspire to be strong and have good endurance, which will both increase the strain the body can handle as well as give a more vibrant inner power. This does not mean that you should be a world-class weightlifter and runner; quite to the contrary, too much attention to the physical body in this manner can have adverse affects on the higher faculties. In strength, one should simply be fit. In endurance, one should have a healthy stamina. Towards this end one is advised to pick up a healthy hobby requiring physical exertion. This can be biking, hiking, mountain climbing, martial arts, jogging, tennis, any manner of sport, vinyasa yoga (the physical asanas), etc.; anything which stimulates your physical body, encourages overall health, and keeps you active. Just a peaceful walk in the sunlight every now and then! Do something to keep the body frequently vitalized with fresh energy. No amount of meditation, or at least none that the average person can hope to do, will ever replace the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Many meditators have made the mistake of thinking as much in the past, and have failed in their pursuits because of their negligence of the body.

So there it is, right at the beginning of the aspirant's education - a warning about the importance of good health.

I thought I'd share some more examples in terms of specific practices. First, for pore breathing and the accumulation of the vital force (the latter only being introduced after the Probationer class):

Quote from:  TDS Probationer Lecture - Mageia: Pore Breathing
The mind must be controlled during this exercise. If you get swept off into random thinking, especially with any emotion in it, the exercise should be stopped for a moment while you regain control of your mind. Otherwise your thoughts and emotions will impress themselves on the energy, which will give more substance to them, and anchor them further into your psyche. This is the reason for such extended focus on personal thought control in the beginning practices.

Quote from:  TDS Preliminary Eduction Lecture - Mageia: The Vital Force
The student is reminded that the vital force is an immensely powerful energy, and in all accumulations it is unwise to push one’s self beyond reason. To that end we recommend that all students begin with seven accumulations twice each day, but not fourteen in one sitting. Once the student can feel the vital force at seven accumulations, and it does not feel straining, then he can progress to ten accumulations, twice daily. After one month of practicing at this amount, he may slowly, at his own discretion, raise the number of accumulations done up to twenty, twice a day. However, no student should raise the accumulations more than two per sitting each week. Be slow and methodic, and remember that this is no race; the wise and prudent achieve the results much faster than the quick and foolhardy.

Again, warnings are present, they are right there for anyone who cares to look. Finally, from the Vision of the Angel lecture:

Quote from:  TDS Level 1 Lecture - Mysteria: The Vision of the Angel
Again, however, many students have never practiced anything as intensive as the Vision of the Angel is. They may be new to meditation, or to practicing visualization. For those students, we have composed two beginning versions of the Vision of the Angel, each of them still highly effective, but serving as a smooth step-up system for practicing the entire technique. You may practice these at your own discretion for as long as you feel is needed to acquire the experience in meditation necessary for the full VOA. You will find that, though simplified, they will still bring amazing results. Students looking for an exact time frame should spend one month on the first version, one month on the second, and then move on to the full version of the technique. Even if you decide to go straight to the practice of the full version be sure that you read the commentaries of the other two versions first, wherein certain important things are explained.

Not exactly a warning, but a caution to proceed at a comfortable pace at least.

So, it is not the case that there was no mention of risk and so on. There was. Also, the issue of impressing things onto the vital force and thereby exacerbating things is addressed. Now the interesting part is that this is not mentioned for work with the astral light (as in the Vision of the Angel) - maybe it's less of an issue? Again, I leave this an open question.


With respect, I think you're missing the point.

Yes, they did give brief, once off advice on the matter of general health within the early lectures (which most students read once and left off afterwards), but the culture within the school, the manner of teaching and the attitude towards these issues simply didn't do a thing to reinforce them. And there was a vast gap between the way Ramose wrote his lectures and the way he and the other teachers (well really him, Veos, and Teleson, who between them did 95% of the interacting with the wider online student base) spoke and acted, the examples they set and the issues they emphasized.

 Given the importance of the issue and the scale of risk involved, I think they owed their students more than a few brief paragraphs buried in other lectures. At the least, a full lecture laying out the risks that accompany spiritual practice, how to mitigate them, and really laying in the emphasis on the need for a healthy lifestyle, along with the tracking of that lifestyle being a part of the regular communication between teachers and students, should have been in place, imo. After all, if a subject doesn't even merit a full lecture, how much importance are students going to give it?

The reality is, the emphasis and attitudes of the students will mirror the emphasis and attitudes of the teachers. And the emphasis was one of "meditate longer, meditate harder," not of a well rounded lifestyle supporting spiritual endeavor. It felt very much like a gym for meditation at times - energetic weightlifting.

Teachers would check up on (when they bothered to check up at all, more often the student would have to seek out the attention of the teacher) how long students were meditating each day, how many rounds of various exercises they were doing, what phenomena they were experiencing, but  rarely did they raise the subjects of their physical health, their psychological wellbeing, their philosophical and intellectual development (although the last one seems to have improved in the latter days of my membership, as the school became more firmly grounded in Neoplatonic doctrine and philosophical exploration became of greater import).

It simply wasn't anything close to the environment of the traditional spiritual training they claimed to be trying to replicate, and there was no attempt to ensure that students were undergoing well rounded development or had reached certain stages of development before being given certain exercises which really should have been taking place.

 And when things did go wrong, they gave woefully inadequate responses (although this also, I suspect, had a lot to do with the poor structuring of the school), usually starting with "meditate more and it will go away," then "meditate more, but this way, and it will go away" and moving along to "it'll improve with time," although of course no timeframe being given.

To give an example of the kind of things they said regarding these issues, I'll cite a few examples. I'm not doing this to try and badmouth Ramose, although I'm sure I'll be accused of that, or of lying, but I want to give examples of the kind of attitudes that were displayed towards students who were struggling in some way.

The first is one I'll never forget - Ramose responded to a student who said "I can't stop thinking about suicide, what should I do?" with "just don't think about it, because if you commit suicide you'll be stuck in an empty void for all the time you would have otherwise lived out." (obviously I'm paraphrasing a tad, he carried on for a minute or three, but that was the extent of the content of his answer)

That's an absolutely appalling thing to say to someone who is suicidal - it being my early days in the school, I justified it in my mind by telling myself that maybe Ramose contacted that student with something more appropriate and referred him to legitimate mental health treatment, but I find myself doubting it. This was in one of the old Fundraiser Q&A videos (dated late 2012/early 2013 iirc), when they were viewable on the previous website in the downloads section for Fundraiser subscriber.

Another is from when when all of this talk about side effects came up last September/October - Ramose said at one stage in Slack (again paraphrasing, but only slightly) "90% of them wouldn't be having problems if they'd just stop masturbating." 

Without going into the whole issue of sexuality in spirituality (seriously, that's a whole other debate and one I really don't want to drag into this thread, please can we not), on a purely mechanical level, if masturbating was such a severe issue, why wasn't it ever mentioned once in the lectures, or in 2 years of Q&A's? We're talking about a behavior that the vast, vast majority of humans (especially the 20-something men that make up the majority of the student base) indulge in, why would that not be discussed if it could be the cause of 90% of the issues people were experiencing with the meditations? Yes there was talk of moderating sexual activity and controlling lust, but that's a far cry from "masturbating is the most likely cause of side effects from your meditations."

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Yet the authors of the lectures. Ramose and Veos, have told students even after "examining" them that they are ok to practice it and yet the student gets damage. As it has been said already the teachers are responsible for guiding and telling the student to do something harmful contradicts their own lecture, what they wrote.

So if I tell you to jump in a deep well you will do it? Please do.



That kind of attitude doesn't reflect very well on the school, just fyi.

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It was a very small minority actually. Statistically insignificant like it or not. Of course haters like to make a big deal of it and they are very loud and full of anger so it could seem for an outsider who not part of the school and read these forum posts that serious things happened, when actually these are just around 5-10 people (who exaggerate everything) compared to the 200+ students actually enjoying themselves and the practises.


How do you know this - have you surveyed all of the current and past students to see how many of them have and haven't experienced negative side effecys?

And more to the point, even if it is only a tiny portion, even if it is only one person, the way the teachers act towards those who suffer as a result of following their training (and the lack of effort which could be made to prevent such suffering) is telling (as is the way the other students act).

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In fact because of the TDS sanctuary people's defaming campaign here on Veritas more people got interested in the school and wanted to enroll the last time than ever before (so basically it was a failed attempt to make the school look dangerous or negative).

These new people also enjoying themselves a lot and the whole school expanding as time goes on.

I'm not affiliated with TDS sanctuary, and I have actually critiqued their content and methods fairly consistently since they began their activity, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here.


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It's ironic that you mention responsibility, because this is maybe the biggest problem with the haters i see.

Joining TDS or any similar organisation is optional

Reading the lectures offered and doing the practises also optional.

One thing that makes a person an ADULT person is taking responsibility for their action.

A wannabe magician or a spiritual person should even take more responsibility not just for their actions but for their thoughts and emotions too (since they create reality).

Yes, obviously students have to take responsibility for their lives, I never said they didn't, but that street runs both ways. Part of the role of a teacher of any kind, but especially imo a spiritual teacher, is monitoring their students progress and doing what they can to optimize their outcome.

 Simply throwing knowledge and practices at people and saying "do what you want with it" is irresponsible and dangerous. Doing so while omitting vital details about the potential negative effects of the knowledge and practices in question is even more so.

People can only take responsibility for their lives within the context of their own worldview and knowledge. If a school is simultaneously saying "our teachers are authorities on spiritual matters, follow their advice and their training regime if you want to advance spiritually," and then giving improper or incomplete advice, or dangerous training regimes, then they can hardly sit there and throw the blame at their students for experiences negative results after doing what they told them to do (or not doing what they didn't tell them to do, in many cases).

If you put something into someone's life, then imo you hold a certain amount of culpability for the fruit that it bears them.


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You anti-TDS folks who complaining not even reached the ADULT phase that's the biggest problem.

2 days ago I was pro-TDS, now I'm anti-TDS. Interesting how that works ;) Surely there's room for a bit of nuance and less tribalism in this debate?


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You are not taking responsibility for the fact that YOU wanted to join YOU wanted to do these practises YOU wanted to learn what TDS could offer.

Sure I do - but I can't undo that decision, and I'm not sure I'd want to.

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Also some of you joined with an already broken nervous system (as People's Champion mentioned) and other injuries, so how can you blame the practises or the teachers?

Well for starters, as I detailed in my last post, during my time in the school they did absolutely nothing to either ensure that people were sufficiently healthy for the practices, or to warn them that certain pre-existing health conditions were either contraindicated or would require an altered training regime. No risks were mentioned, no prerequisites in terms of lifestyle or physical/mental/spiritual health status were set. Students simply joined and were given the exercises as long as they participated in weekly Q&A sessions (and handed in short essays/quizzes for the first few months - which I rather enjoyed writing, as an aside, I was sad they did away with those).


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It is YOUR responsibility to take care of yourself and before you start doing any practises collect as many information about what is the expected result, which forces are applied (Vital Force/LVX/Elements etc.) and how they work, and what they do with your energy system and what are the RISKS if you have health or other issues.

Except as I said, there was absolutely no hint anywhere of any kind of risk that I recall (if I'm wrong in this, please cite an example) - not so much as a "if you have any pre-existing health problems, talk to your Daskaloi before jumping into doing the full VOA" or anything of the kind. To get information on these kind of things, students would have had to go to third party resources, at the exact time that they were being told to rely first and foremost on the information being given to them by the TDS teachers.

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You apparently not done this research, but blindly started doing something. That's how religious people behave not wannabe magicians.

You know what they say about assumptions...

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I agree that the TDS and its teachers also have to take responsibility.

But they don't.

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My question is when will you guys take your part?


Who is "you guys" exactly?


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Regarding the issue of students who've suffered side effects from the TDS training - I think it's impossible for anyone to say whether it's a "minority" of the student base or not, as no kind of measuring or survey has been undertaken (and by what metric? what number or degree of side effects is acceptable?).

However my experience both personally and from speaking to other students online regularly is that it was at least a noticeable and statistically (not to mention personally, to those suffering side effects or worried about them) relevant portion of the school membership. And this is of course taking into account that there is a certain social pressure within the school to play up the positive effects which one has achieved and to downplay negative effects or lack of progress - almost universally, other students I spoke to would admit in private to struggles and symptoms which they would never discuss in public, some of which actually had me quite concerned for their long term wellbeing (and this was only online).

Maybe these issues crop up no more than in any other such organization (again, short of an anonymous survey of all current and past students, there's no way to be sure), but I think that there could be a lot more done to help these people, or prevent them from running into trouble in the first place, but instead the school barely acknowledged the issue (it was effectively not acknowledged at all, that I ever saw, until the drama of last September had so many students openly asking questions that the teachers were forced to discuss it, although even then the response was rather underwhelming, just a few brief mentions of the possibility of nerve strain and excess heat* and some underwhelming and frankly rather inane suggestions for countermeasures).

*Something which seems at odds with their party line that the AL/VF have an inherently balancing effect, but then, I never found self contradiction to be rare in TDS. From personal experience, I think both stances are something of an oversimplification.

At the end of the day, I think the issue of side effects is a very serious one, and that the school could do a lot more to vet it's students to ensure that they are prepared for certain exercises or levels of practice. There was no attempt to ensure that students were healthy, living a balanced lifestyle, to discuss their past history of physical and mental health problems, or anything of the type, either on joining the school, on giving them certain exercises or on having them escalate their training to a certain degree (in fact the degree of personal contact necessary for that kind of thing simply wasn't taking place for most students, as far as I could tell).

In spiritual training a "one size fits all" approach simply doesn't work, but not only is such an approach adopted, the pace which they set (both in the escalation in the training schedule and the escalation in the strength of the exercises used) is much faster than most systems would recommend, and far out of alignment with their lack of focus on establishing a healthy, balanced lifestyle and dealing with energetic blockages and subconscious emotional problems which otherwise emerge and blow up during training (this was another area which received absolutely no discussion).

In short, I think the teachers at TDS have a responsibility, which they fell well short on at the time of my parting from the school, to acknowledge the full extent of the potential risks which their practices hold (whether or not those risks are excessive compared to other similar systems of training - although I suspect this impression has developed at least partially due to their tendency to hand out exercises quickly and without ensuring the student is capable of handling them first), to educate their students in these risks and how they can be minimized extensively as a matter of course, to more intently vet their students for readiness to undertake certain exercises (namely VF work, the Olympic meditations, and their new Preliminary Cycle exercise - especially if accompanied by the Hekatonomai, which in itself induces an extremely powerful energetic and psychological response), to have a greater focus on the kind of preliminary teachings on lifestyle, philosophy and daily conduct which prepare a student for performing these practices safely, and to provide more consistent and personal oversight for students.

The latter I think is particularly important - it doesn't matter how many essays you write if you do nothing to ensure that students are reading them and heading their advice. This is doubly important when many of the students are overseas and don't have in-person contact with teachers or other students.

 As it was, the original structure with the students divided amongst the Daskaloi who ostensibly monitored their progress through online correspondence barely seemed sufficient, I think it demonstrated their ignorance of the weakness of this system that before this drama they planned on expanding the student base by as much as fivefold. Then they remove the Daskaloi entirely and somehow R & V, with Teleson's help, were supposed to manage over 100 students by themselves?

As it is, I believe they fell (as of Dec. 2015, when I left the school - if anything in this regard has changed dramatically, I'd be interested to know) very short of maintaining the proper duty of care that exists when teaching this kind of energetic/internal alchemy training.

On the flip side, I know there were plenty of students who had no problems at all, but if even a tiny minority of students are experiencing suffering, poor health or problems in their spiritual growth due to what a school is teaching, then those doing the teaching have the utmost responsibility to minimize those issues. Instead, TDS seemed to prefer to take a flippant, negligent attitude, to downplay, ignore and cover up these cases, and I think that alone says a lot.

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It isn't a chip on the shoulder writing as for us it was more you will see them react this way and to keep an eye out for it. It is more like "hey the blog mentioned they would take a technique and trash the author." That way if a currently student reads it, tries it, and see it is not the watered technique taught to them. They can see how the Murphy twins of TDS operate.


It's a question of tone I guess.

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Danny and Carly focused on HYS and their family while my brother and I were dead set on learning magic.

HYS?

I can understand being focused on family though.

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Pardon me saying you were pro TDS, my bad, you're right that you are saying how to make it better.

No biggie, I was walking a fine line last time this debate came up because I was still technically a TDS member (and very conflicted about the situation and the question of my continued membership in the school), now I'm trying to maintain a relatively neutral stance instead of seesawing from defending the school when I was part of it to attacking it now that I'm not.

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If you do not mind me asking, why did you leave?

The specifics are complicated, the generalities have been discussed endlessly here already - I don't think much would be achieved by another diatribe about the failings of TDS on this forum :p

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My brother is resting but I will talk to him about messaging you about what got him better. Maybe I should make a post about the experiences I got with the other systems as again, my life has taken a dramatic turn for better and I am quite happy right now.

Please do, on both counts - I love hearing about different spiritual systems and people's experiences with them.

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Not obsessive just want the truth out there and I never made the comparison that I am Snowden.. you did.


Obviously I did - but you're the one adopting the attitude.

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I just believe in doing the right thing. Simple as that. Also dude my life has gotten A LOT better since I left and done different alternatives of magic. My brother being completely fine is something dramatic that happened in his life due to the alternative sources.

I'm glad to hear your brother is doing well - I'd be very interested in hearing the specifics of how his recovery is going and which methods he is using, if he's willing to drop by and post about it/shoot me a message.

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Contrary to what you and many seemingly pro TDS people think, it doesn't take many hours to type.

Ok let's get this out of the way - quite aside from the fact that I already stated in my most recent post that I'm no longer a student at TDS, exactly what part of my sitting here, telling you from personal experience what would make your blog more effective at reaching out to TDS students, gives the impression that I am "pro TDS"?

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"Obsession" as you claim goes as so far as a single thought and just a simple reply to what you say. I type quick so this is not a big deal to me at all. Again, I believe in doing what is right and exposing a corrupt group, I don't see any issues with it. I going to spend my literal few minutes replying and adding blog posts to shine light on them.

Are you trying to expose a corrupt group or trying to help the students who are experiencing trouble due to membership of said group? They might sound like the same thing, but there's a very big difference in approach.

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Behind on the curb? Hard to find good sources of magic in a sea of crap. Took a while to find good and legit sources. So that is why "I am behind on the curb." It takes time.

Well the blog isn't just you - the Murawsky's are involved in at least two lineages, as I recall, yet have declined to leave contact details for those on the blog (despite discussing at least one of them extensively - which in fairness could be sleuthed out by anyone with half decent internet skills).

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Also I am saying them saying they were those famous people to add to their status as a divine master is quite cult like... I am not focusing on that but using it to show how cult leaders tend to claim they are "special souls." Again, simple as that.

And as I said, I agree, it's not something which should be gossiped about, and R & V should have nixed that a long time ago.

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https://tdssanctuary.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/tds-alternatives/

A solid lineup, from what I know of those resources, but the constant trashing of TDS is just going to turn people off - you point out that TDS will talk down any alternatives, but your combative "chip on the shoulder" writing style only helps them do that.

As some additional alternatives, you might also want to look into Robert Bruce's courses (I believe he runs online seminars now, akin to Justin Miller's) and writings, Damo Mitchell's Lotus Nei Gong school (and excellent books on Daoist meditation and the Bok Fu Pai school of kung fu (which contains an extensive curriculum of qi gong and nei gong spread across multiple teachers located in Europe, America and Australia).

Oh, and of course Martin Faulks is running a meditation workshop online - being on of the major authorities on IIH, this would be in the right ballpark.

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Immature? You realize corrupt organizations are best taken out from the inside right?

If we were talking about a corrupt government agency or corporation, I would agree, but we aren't, we're talking about a spiritual school. TDS isn't the NSA, and you guys aren't Snowden.

 I would think that the best thing you can possibly do to make current students question the validity of the school, if that is your goal, is reveal the facts in a calm manner, separate yourself from the school, maintain the moral high ground by not resorting to personal attacks, spying and the like, present well reasoned arguments as to why the school is a negative environment, offer alternatives to current students and then serve as a living example that someone can leave TDS, move on with their life and flourish. For the students inside the school, watching you guys obsess over the school and constantly attack it doesn't help your case.

Not only does all this obsessive whistleblowing type carrying on look bad, I imagine it's not healthy, psychologically or spiritually. I would honestly suggest that you guys seek out some form of therapy (and I don't mean that as an insult) - having a neutral third party to discuss your experiences with might help you come to terms with them and integrate them in a healthy manner so you can move on with your lives.

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Also 100+ is small compared to the 400+. That is less than half leaving due to many issues within the school.

Did they ever have 400+ active students? I highly doubt it - they might have peaked in the high 200's just after some of their recruitment rounds, but like anywhere else, attrition took a quick toll on most of the classes. I know mine sank down to about 20% of the original number - which in fairness, isn't far off what you see with first year university courses.

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There is one thing I can say about them, they do have magic ability, I agree. But that is it. They will never share how to do it. They have to somehow keep ahead of their own students.

I wouldn't be surprised - but this attitude isn't unique to them. I'm not defending it, but it's extremely common among Eastern schools (and to a lesser degree Western schools) to mete out training based on some kind of hierarchy, or just straight up to whoever the teachers like the most or whoever pays the most money. The very modern, Western concepts of free knowledge and meritocracy are fairly alien in these kinds of organizations, historically speaking.

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This is a quote from them, they said to their master, Max Christenson.

According to whom?

That said, Max Christenson has a very dubious reputation in the Daoist community, and his connection to TDS doesn't reflect well on them.

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Doesn’t matter what magic abilities you have if you have a terrible character.

I agree.

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“It’s possible they exaggerated?”

This was a reference specifically to their degree of psychic power. I can't say either way because they've never made a claim which strictly defines or quantifies their abilities - although the same is true for most teachers.

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  Dude they claimed to be divine masters, Crowley and Mathers, Jefferson and Franklin and claim extreme psychic powers.

Well if you want to be philosophical about it, everyone has to be a reincarnation of someone - is it so far beyond the bounds of possibility that two souls who incarnated together and became leaders of the largest occult revival in the Western world in centuries would incarnate together again and attempt to continue that mission? If you choose to investigate the matter further and read some biographies of the men in question, there are definitely some fascinating parallels.

Honestly, at this stage nobody knows but them - whether you choose to believe the claim comes down to how much you trust them. Now on the other hand, the fact that they made it public at all is, at the least, in bad taste, and I understand how it can easily lead to suspicions that they are using the claim to enhance their reputation, regardless of the truth of those claims (although, intelligent as they are, I would expect them to know that doing so would backfire). Having never discussed the issue with them, there's not a whole lot more I can say on the matter, except that I think focusing on past lives from either side is pretty silly. Your present life is your present life for a reason, focus on that.

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Doesn’t that make you question why they cannot find the mole then?

It certainly demonstrates an interesting limitation on their capabilities - something I find fascinating on a theoretical level. A shame they'd probably never submit to parapsychological testing.

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Before you say “they won’t use their magic for petty matters like that.” Last I checked, the dramatic changes since the blog, lawsuit, etc. has dramatically changed and shrunk the school.

I'm not sure what one has to do with the other.

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Kemetin, since you are still in there, why don’t you ask about the transparency of funds? Watch how dodgy they will act from that.

I parted ways with TDS several months ago.

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In fact, as a local, I remember him being quite possessive of it. He said “it’s my money, I can spend it however I want.” But I bet you just use “faith” on the “teachers”. That is blind faith man. Ironic in a school called The Divine SCIENCE. Use some reason on them. It is reasonable to have transparency of funds to show where the money goes for something that big. Quite a few organizations do that.

It depends on which money you're discussing - as far as I'm concerned the monthly dues students pay are theirs to more or less do as they want with. As I've noted in the past, the amount they charge is quite modest compared to most teachers offering similar training in a similar structure.

 The reports of people making large private donations, especially towards certain specific goals, are on the other hand quite concerning, but so far these are all third hand accounts. If someone comes forward and speaks up directly about it, that's another matter.

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As for the article on better sources Kemetin, I told you already it is the next one about to be posted. My brother is editing it right now. Within this week it will be posted. 

That's good to hear, but you're a bit behind the curve - it's been over 6 months since the blog was launched. I'll be interested to read the piece though.

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