The Study Society
A brief introduction
Who are we and What do we do.
A brief introduction
“Before you can begin to be what you are, you have to come out of what you are not. You are not those worn out opinions, those turning thoughts, those changing feelings, that separate ego. Well then what are you? You will find, when you have come out of what you are not, that the birds in the trees are singing to you: ‘I am That….’ The water in the stream is bubbling to you: I am That….’The sun and the moon are shining beacons to you: I am That….’And you are everything in the world and everything in the world is in you…” - H.H. Shantanand Saraswati
The Study Society is an educational charity which exists to help educate society on the unity of consciousness through science, philosophy, the arts and the practice of non-dual and other spiritual traditions.
The teachings of the Study Society originated with the Fourth Way teachings of the Russian philosopher and spiritual teacher P.D. Ouspensky who with his followers bought the Study Society’s headquarters at Colet House, just before the Second World War.
The Study Society, registered in 1951, further developed and integrated these teachings through Dr. Francis Roles, the successor of Ouspensky. Dr. Roles introduced the non-dual philosophy and mantra meditation introduced from 1960 after a direct connection with a leader of the ancient non-dual tradition in India, HH Shantanand Saraswati (1913-1997).
Study groups continue to explore and reflect upon the wide-ranging material which arose in direct conversations with His Holiness who was also known as the Shankaracharya of the North of India. The records of these experiences continue to be a source of inspiration and wisdom for the Study Society today. The practise of the mantra meditation that he passed on remains on offer to all as a practical tool to still the mind in an increasingly turbulent world.
In 1963 another expression of this non-dual philosophy was developed by the Society through the contact made with Resui, a senior Sheikh of the Mevlevi Dervish order in Turkey. This resulted in the authentic transmission of the whirling dervish practice to Dr. Roles Colet House where to this day public performances take place every month while the associated study of Rumi’s works is also encouraged.
Today the Society takes in more modern expressions and teachings of non-dual philosophy also, at a time when many new teachers and methodologies have become available on the worldwide web, some more useful and authentic than others. While it would be ridiculous to claim any exclusive knowledge or methodology in this area the Society can point to some 60 years of work in which a subtle evolution has taken place. Anyone wishing to penetrate these teachings, which to some can seem confusing, impractical and paradoxical, will find a warm welcome and guidance at the Society which has a deep reservoir of practical experience to draw from.