11.29.08

From Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:56 pm

Since one of the Bennett family has sent me out of the blue the whole of The Dramatic Universe (why?) the question remains of what to do with it. I must be one of the few people on the planet able to deal with it, even as I reject by and large the starting premises of Bennett’s self-created task. Nonetheless there is an audacity to what he did that deserves some kind of historical account, even as a kind of wariness arises with respect to what some might think a Gurdjieff work. In fact in this Preface Bennett politely, much too politely, makes clear that he is moving beyond Gurdjieff. Unfortunately Bennett did not completely free himself from Gurdjieff and, although the connection in The Dramatic Universe is virtually broken, there is still the lickspittle idiocy of the Gurdjieff follower unaware of the danger of putting such a complex and original piece of work anywhere near a caliban like Gurdjieff. Fortunately it is all too complex for the village idiots in the so-called work, Gurdjieff included, and it is not likely we will see svengali tactics of the Gurdjieff gang using this as propaganda. It is too cleaned out, but, too bad, not completely. The other problem is the way (if you read his autobiography, the point somewhere in the late thirties to late forties) he was kidnapped by some kind of unknown esoteric something that left him a doctrinaire Christian Catholic. This resulted in compromises in his basic scheme. But with a little experience you can see where these ‘fixes’ enter the work and disregard them. As noted here before, the Christian layer on what is in essence a scheme of classical Samkhya is a monumental impostion of scholarly/sufistic thievery without acknowledgment, and the response should be to extract the original classic from the trappings, but with some indication of the original interpretation Bennett put on it. Samkhya was not about Christian theology or God.
In reality, a close reading shows that Bennett was not conventional theist, a confusing Catholic Christian hypocrite, I guess, (he calls ‘god’ the third reconciling force in all triads, and never refers to god the ‘higher power’ save as the unfathomable expressed in some jargon from Cantor). So once we get Bennett’s number we can skulk away with the real substance of Samkhya with an interesting new take on it in modern language. As indicated the whole game is dependent, it seems, on the brilliant insights of Schopenhauer, thence of Kant, so we can manage to survive without Bennett’s metaphysics, which really is quite extravagant.
In the process we can pull rank on that silly degenerate Gurdjieff who picked up some hint of Samkhya and distorted it for his devious and dark teaching. We can see in Bennett that the grafting of the two things is not seamless and we can profitably recover some glimpses of the original ancient teaching, in the process sending the Gurdjieff wolf pack packing.

I scanned up a passage from Bennett’s Preface (to the first edition of Volume I, not the later shortened version)

We cannot doubt that we men have our roots in the natural order, but we can and do wonder if our fruits belong to the same world. The question whether there is some affinity between the total man and the total universe, or whether we are but accidental intruders upon the cosmic scene, is one that must concern every man-for upon the answer hangs the decision as to the values that should rule our lives. A total question demands a total answer, and this could not be given except in terms of the whole of human experience-including all that man has learned in recent centuries about himself and the universe. Such an undertaking is manifestly impossible of accomplishment unless all experience can be brought into a coherent system capable of apprehension by that limited and capricious instrument, the human mind. The Systema Universi has proved a will-o’-the-wisp, leading many a powerful intellect into a morass of vain speculation. Since the failure of Hegel’s Cosmosophy, Comte’s Panhylism, Fechner’s Panentheism, and Bergson’s Panpsychism -to name but four noteworthy essays at an all-embracing scheme¬philosophers have turned away from the question of questions to follow the prevalent cult of specialization in the hope that to be precise about little things may prove safer than to be vague about everything.
Meanwhile the frontiers of human knowledge have been thrust back in all directions-history, prehistory, and palreontology; ethnology and comparative religion; psychology and physiology; biochemistry, embryology, and genetics; physics, astronomy, and mathematics¬each has brought its quota of well-ascertained facts that collectively have created a situation that has perhaps never before existed in the long history of human cultures. We need no longer speculate about many things that our forerunners assigned to metaphysics or theology; no~ is it permissible to do so. Science has killed the old speculative philosophy, but has put nothing in its place. There is now before us the mat~rial for a new synthesis; but it is so immense in its extent and so bewIldering in its variety that no one human mind can compass one hundredth part of it. No modern Pico della Mirandola could challenge ~e learned world to discourse on every known subject. No modern
escartes would venture to assert that he had mastered all the sciences.
And yet a synthesis is necessary; for unless all knowledge can be brought into
coherent system, we shall have either to abandon the hope of finding man’s
place man’s place in the universe or else to accept with pious
resignation, dogmas that disregard the lessons of natural science, and acquiesce in the continuing divorce of fact and value that has been the chief cause of our present bewilderment.
More than thirty-five years have passed since, in the spring of 1920, I became convinced that many intractable problems would be resolved if we could overcome the handicap of thinking in terms of events in space and time only, and could widen our horizons to include the unseen and unexplored dimension of eternity. I set myself to study the dilemmas of science and philosophy-such as the ether paradox or the antinomy of free-will and universal law-to see if the material for knowing eternity might not be lying unnoticed before our eyes.
Soon afterwards I met Gurdjieff, who made me see that to know more is not enough, and that it is necessary to be more if we would penetrate beyond the veil of space and time. In the succeeding years, I learned from him the elements of a comprehensive cosmology that gave promise of reconciling fact and value and of laying the foundations of a new Weltanschauung. Gurdjieff’s cosmology, though magnificent in its bold outline, was nevertheless far from adequate in its treatment of the data of modern science. For many years I wrestled with the problem of reconciling the two. Finally, in 1940, I decided to make a fresh start, and the present book began to be written. Little by little I saw the fragments fall into place, and realized that the systematization of all human experience was more than a remote possibility. The task was quite beyond my own powers, and could not even have been attempted with¬out the co-operation of specialists who helped me with what I regarded as the crucial problem-the demonstration that the mathematical and physical sciences required an ampler framework of dimensions than those of space and time, even as generalized by the work of Minkowski and Einstein.
The undertaking continued to expand, and it became clear that the two great problems of systematizing all fact and reconciling all values could be accomplished if only we could put aside for ever the narrow terrestrial ism that is so strange a relic of the Middle Ages and still dominates all discussion of human destiny.
. The present volume deals only with the systematization of facts; but It was written in parallel with the second volume, which I hope to prepare for publication within one or two years. Only when read together ca~ the relevance of the work for the question of man’s place in the umverse become apparent. In the meantime, I wish to make it clear that this book is not a presentation of Gurdjieff’s cosmology. It is my own essay, and much that it contains is derived from sources quite uncon-
nected with Gurdjieff’s teaching. It aims at a presentation accessible, not only to professional philosophers, but to every reader who is pre¬pared to undertake the not inconsiderable task of mastering the basic conception and gaining familiarity with the special terminology necessary to avoid misleading associations. Nevertheless, it could not have been written without the stimulation of Gurdjieff’s inspired insight into the cosmic scheme, nor without the grounding in his methods which I have been fortunate to receive from him personally, and from his great pupil and exponent, P. D. Ouspensky.
Not long before Gurdjieff’s death in October 1949, I spoke to him about this work and told him of the line I was taking. He showed by his comments that he fully grasped its implications, but disclaimed any personal interest, saying, “It is your work and not mine-all the same, it will be good publicity for Beelzebub”, referring to his own book, All and Everything, published posthumously in 1950. I accept this assess¬ment. In Gurdjieff’s All and Everything there are insights far deeper than I myself could attain, and the reader who feels the need to find not merely a new world-outlook, but a new way of life, is counselled to’take Gurdjieff’s work and study it as I have done. After perhaps thirty careful readings, I still discover in it new depths of meaning and-I am glad to say-new evidence that the main conceptions of my own work are in accord with the direct intuitions of a genius that I do not hesitate to describe as superhuman.
Among the many ‘crumbs from the ideas-table’ of Gurdjieff that have nourished my thinking, I count as of first importance the doctrine of Reciprocal Maintenance according to which every recognizable entity on every scale of existence participates in the universal exchange of energies-supporting and being supported by the existence of others. Recipr.oc.al M~intenance is the corner stone of Gurdjieff’s teaching in so far .as It 11lum.1I~ates both fact and value, yet it is but one of his many danng and onglOal conceptions. He left behind him no orderly system of thought, nor did he appear to be interested in systematic exposition -leaving it to his followers to reap the harvest of the ideas which he had sown.
” Several books have appeared treating of one or other aspect of Gurd¬~leff’s teaching and methods, and still more have been inspired by his Ideas without mentioning their source. I do not wish to claim Gurdjieff’s authority for anything I have written, nor even for the interpretation I have placed upon his own written word; but I do wish to acknowledge the inspiration of his teaching and, perhaps even more, the influence of his individuality upon my life.

11.28.08

More on Bennett

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:47 pm

From Darwiniana, more on Bennett

…But I think that once you challenge reductionism on one level you begin to think: what’s the next level after that?
The level of physics and biology, and, I think there is still another level: it’s hard to say where that level it will start.
(I should note in passing that J.G.Bennett, occasionally cited here, in his The Dramatic Universe partioned things into three such levels, the hyponomic, autonomic, hypernomic, or material, life, and trans-life, domains.
Bennett is a kind of brilliant trainwreck, interesting as reverse-reductionism, losing your grip as you ascend the scale from reductionsit modes, a sort of papermoney of non-reductionist thinking. But his thinking remains to be reckoned with.
Our problem with ‘reinventing the sacred’ is in those terms a question of man’s encounter, at the boundary of the autonomic zone, of the hypernomic zone. The problem is that we don’t properly observe it.
The stance of Bennett was very odd in many ways. Consciousness, in his scheme of things, is the lowest of the hypernomic modes, and a cosmic energy. It is an odd notion indeed, but explains a few things (like why we can’t make hide no hare of it), which doesn’t mean I agree with Bennett (my task in life seems to be to dismantle this book for confused New Agers).
I cite Bennett (watch out, you can rot your brains reading his books, but he was also very brilliant with General Relativity under his belt in the early thirties) because he is in many ways at the other extreme from the reductionist, and either a guiding thought or a temptation for those like Kauffman stepping beyond the hyponomic realm.

Malevolence and deliberate harm done to followers

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:03 pm

EJ Gold commentary

EJ Gold is a transparently false teacher, despite the attraction to some of his outer game (stand up comedian with a few Gurdjieff/sufi drapings): For those who get caught in this:
He has never really stated his intentions, with the connection to Gurdjieff merely superficial.
He will NEVER deliver on any of the crapulous indications given in his constantly changing set of fronts.
He has an secret agenda of malevolent hurt (he once actually admitted it with his ‘game of snap’): set the follower up for as much psychological destruction (‘keep him close to death at all times’) as possible before he gets hip to it, and then discard him totally. All this is outside of the mainline ‘school’, always kept completely bogus.
There’s a lot more. But that is enough.
He can’t do this to all his followers! Thus there is a select subset at most.
It should be transparent that someone who has no intention of helping people shouldn’t be indulged in the pretense of a sufi school. But the whole business is so hyped over that it is possible to get away with this .

‘Radical Revisions of the Spiritual Life’

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:52 pm

Link from MBFM: http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:0bNrncZMpgYJ:www.villagevoice.com/2003-01-07/news/for-adults-only/+andrew+harvey+mariana+caplan+apologist+dangerous+village+voice&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&ie=UTF-8

One part of the material, on gurus

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,” Yeats advised. “The holy tree is growing there.” Yet many seekers of spiritual growth seem—as another poet, Pamela Sneed, would say—more afraid of freedom than of slavery. We yield our power to glamorous, sometimes unscrupulous authority figures or invest big bucks in the promise of Enlightenment Made Easy or search for a spiritual family to lavish us with the love we desperately crave. Now controversial authors Mariana Caplan, Andrew Harvey, and Alan Clements reveal their own longings and crises of the soul while challenging Americans to wake up and grow up.
Mariana Caplan first lit into the pacifying certainties of new-age America in Halfway Up the Mountain: The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment (Hohm Press, 1999), an angry, unsparing dissection of self-deception among spiritual teachers and explorers. Today the anthropologist, counselor, and self-described escapee from “the middle-class deadness of Rockville, Maryland” admits that she herself has stumbled upon nearly every misstep along the spiritual path, all colorfully related in her new Do You Need a Guru?: Understanding the Student-Teacher Relationship in an Era of False Prophets. Part memoir, part didactic guide, Do You Need a Guru? displays a warmer, seeker-friendly Caplan tempered by humor often wielded at her own expense. This willful, hardheaded Westerner finally found her perfect guru match in Lee Lozowick—a Jewish New Jerseyite in the company of India’s Yogi Ramsuratkumar. With scandals of sexual predation and greed undermining public trust in most religious figures, Caplan now says she aims to make seekers savvier consumers. During an informal talk at Sufi Books, a Tribeca center welcoming speakers from a panoply of mystical traditions, she detailed her strategy for “conscious discipleship.”

Fluffy new-age marketeering and superficial rhetoric take seekers only so far, Caplan maintains. “We have a tremendous possibility for the development of a spiritual culture of integrity in the West,” she said. “But in this age of fast food and Disney World, spiritual warriors need practicality, deep skepticism, and a willingness to struggle.”

The conscious disciple, Caplan asserts, must engage in a grounded spiritual practice and address his or her personal psychological issues with ruthless honesty. The right guru provides an objective eye, a role model, a crucial mooring, and an uncompromising challenge. The “just folks” approach of her book tour appearances may not prepare readers for the density of Do You Need a Guru?, which manages to entertain while proffering a teacherly analysis of spiritual maturation that even people who avoid gurus might find valuable.

While Caplan upholds the guru system, Andrew Harvey rails against it. And with good reason. It nearly cost him his life. In The Sun at Midnight: A Memoir of the Dark Night, the renowned scholar, poet, and author of numerous books on mysticism openly details what his rich, upbeat self-help guide, The Direct Path (2001), only hints at—a personal experience of horror.

After a drawn-out, grueling awakening, Harvey finally severed ties to the guru his ardent writing had made world-famous—Mother Meera, an enigmatic Indian woman headquartered in Germany. Although Meera’s community included other gay people, Harvey was certainly the most illustrious. Meera had much invested in his celebrity, but some of her supporters began to squirm and complain about his uncloseted queer pride. In 1993, Meera finally called Harvey into her presence to command him to leave his beloved, Eryk Hanut, publicly renounce homosexuality, and declare that her grace had turned him “normal.”

After Harvey’s defection, the couple allege, they were barraged with hate mail, death threats and an actual attempt on their lives, legal harassment, and even psychic warfare. Longtime colleagues and friends turned their backs or even actively sided with the guru’s enraged devotees. Newly diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer, Hanut reeled from the daily insults and deepening stress yet fought his way back to health with a ferocious mix of willpower, cunning, and spiritual faith. Today, Harvey considers the guru-disciple system fundamentally toxic. He advocates that seekers forge their own direct path to the Divine through prayers and practices originating in everything from mystical Christianity to shamanism.

To see Harvey today is to recognize the ravages of that difficult passage—at times, he appears racked by nervous energy—and to marvel at his brave tenderness and generosity. Like Caplan—whom Harvey deems “a subtle apologist for a dreadful, dangerous system”—he readily acknowledges his own mistakes. He admits the folly of falling for Meera, selling her message worldwide, and taking far too long to realize the extent of his error, but he also believes that his suffering was necessary as a cautionary example to others. And besides, in the spirit of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” his already incomparable relationship with Hanut grew, under pressure, diamond-hard and radiant.

What frightens Harvey now is the ascendancy of the Republican agenda since 9-11, and its dire consequences for all humanity and nature. “We are going into a period of the dark night,” Harvey proclaimed in a recent talk at Soho’s New York Open Center. “We are co-creators, not mere slaves, and we are left free to choose either the world of cruelty or the world of love.” Sounding like a provocateur sucked down the secret portal to a Baptist preacher’s brain, he’d rear up and pounce on his words in holy fervor. “The future of the planet hangs on two words—mystical activism. Without it we burn out, dry out, disheartened by the onslaught of evil and ignorance.” (Let the church say amen!) Religion, he declared, is “bankrupt.” The new age? “A narcissistic coma.” And gurus? “Nothing less than the mafiosi of the soul.”

Andrew Cohen debate

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:44 pm

Debate at Darwiniana in the comments, over Andrew Cohen.
The question of Cohen isn’t hard to answer: it is not a set of abstractions about gurus. He is not a helpful individual, and has a very definite agenda of his own. If you aren’t hep to the authoritarian anti-democracy of these people I’d say stay well well away and don’t be suckered into anything on the basis of someone claiming to be enlightened.

11.27.08

E.J.Gold commentary

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:13 pm

mybrainisafleamarket:

EJ Gold is quoted quite often in a book entitled Halfway Up the Mountain:The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment, by Mariana Caplan.

EJ G is quoted throughout the book in snippits, and these all seem quite good-the way some food items are excellent as nibblers at a party, but would lead to indigestion or worse if eaten day in and day out as a staple.

But (this is strictly my own opinion, but I formed it after attending lectures by two persons (not EJ) who sounded quite good in the book–it is my stance,that Halfway Up is a brilliantly done infomericial to support spiritually rationalized BDSM via the guru principle.

One thing I noticed was that I became grim and depressed about myself as I read through it, beginning to fear that unless I found The Right Teacher, I’d waste my life and become a mediocrity.

I later figured out that any time something in the media leads you into a funky, grim mood where you are tempted to give your own power away and distrust your own instincts–step back, breathe deeply, and question whether that material is serving your own best interests or someone elses.

So if you want to do detective work on who associates with EJ, get a copy of the book, list the names of people quoted in the book (vs those who merely had their writings quoted.)

Then google them along with EJ Gold (this is going to take a long time) and see if any of them are seen as associating with Gold by giving workshops or lectures or appearances together, or endorsing each others work or books.

That might be one way to assist in figuring out which crowd runs with EJ these days.

This article is also an interesting commentary.

http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:0bNrncZMpgYJ:www.villagevoice.com/2003-01-07/news/for-adults-only/+andrew+harvey+mariana+caplan+apologist+dangerous+village+voice&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&ie=UTF-8

From Gold and a cult registry, 2008/11/27 at 9:35 AM

11.24.08

Darwiniana: New Age confusions

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:45 pm

New Age confusions from Darwiniana

Tibet’s part in the ‘great game.’ (Agvan Dorjiev)

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:01 pm

[In my email, from Abhinavagupta/yahoogroups email list]
Tibet’s part in the ‘great game.’ (Agvan Dorjiev)
by Hundley, Helen
History Today
Vol.43( Oct 1993)
Pp.45-50
COPYRIGHT History Today Ltd. (UK) 1993
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-EPT/helen.htm
Read the rest of this entry »

Amazon review appears/so much for neo-con sufism

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:55 pm

Amazon review of The Other Islam comes online. I am almost surprised, since it was flagged (certain topics are always flagged).
Actually I was too kind in the review. But a public medium like Amazon has ceased to be convincing if people throw out one-star reviews (a la Darwin debate books).

How the blazes do you warn the next generation? In any case, there was a lot more to say about the Schwarz book. All the pious crap about love and devotion to God.
Meanwhile, as the other reviewer notes, this was from a Neo-con.

Neo-con sufism, state department promo, etc…: the fight against Al Qaeda.

Can a sufi be an Al Qaeda?
How little these people know about sufism.

I recall years ago, way before the current reign of terror on both sides, reading a sufi text that was a hybrid of both spectra, the sufi world and the world of the islamic apocalyptic, at once mystical and violently against the modern world, and the west. The seeds were sown long ago, as much by sufis as moslems. (Upton’s book is a good late example dressed up in scholarly finery)

11.23.08

Gold and a cult registry

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:30 pm

One of the great lost opportunities for a post-sufistic spiritual culture, and more specifically a post-Gold period, is the failure to keep a registry of those who interacted with him. God only knows the fate of some of the suckers of the seventies who could never establish a connection to the institutional version of the ‘gold cult/church’.
Such a registry would have, apart from any other uses, have been a considerable inducement to restraint on the part of the psychopathic Gold.
His tactics were to use cult inducements to bring people into association and then get rid of them in short order. well, parting ways is fine, but the subtler issue is that separation on one level leaves an opportunity for the ‘hungry’ individual shorn of his chance for a school after a merest taste (the tactic is deliberate) to hope for some other form of continuation, with subtly induced hopes that the loner is really the true follower. At that point the sucker goes into the next, far more destructive round of sufistic exploitation, the public none the wiser, and the assholes in the ‘official cult’ proceeding on the merry-go-round unaware of the irrelevance of their cult membership or its activities.

New forms of crime need to forms of self-defense.

All these people need to be tracked down to check on their mental and physical health, and to see if they are in the guinea pig mode in any way.
A cult registry could have helped, but of course that’s just the point with this ‘work’-sadist Gold: we never heard of you, but since the outside of the school is the inside, you deserve everything you get, since you agreed to it in the cult premises.

Kantian ethics and autonomy

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:29 pm

Comment from Joseph

I think you should consider the Kantian ethical system, and especially the question of autonomy. Kant was a ‘believer’ but did not base ethics on belief in divinity. And it is true that ‘approaching god’ leads to a higher ethics.
Precisely the point that it seems to have turned Gurdjieff into some kind of devil. Or perhaps he was not a theist, merely a pretender, having shown his true colors in his silly way of tacking ‘god’ onto Samkhya.
In any case, the Gurdjieff work has a very weak set of discourses (if any at all) on ethics.

Review of The Other Islam

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:19 pm

I wrote an Amazon review of Stephen Schwarz’ The Other Islam. I hope it appears (my reviews are almost always posted immediately, but certain subject matters are automatically flagged for review) So if it doesn’t appear, here it is/was: the author hardly deserves this review, but it is hard to pass judgment on Islamic sufism.

Sufism, and its histories, November 23, 2008
By John C. Landon “nemonemini” (New York City) – See all my reviews

Does sufism exist? I was assured, years ago, by a known sufi that it doesn’t, and that there are no sufis.
This work is of use in trying to reconstruct the history of so-called ‘sufism’, which has more historical than cultic/organizational meaning. Many westerners proceed blind down the garden path, as it were, without knowing what they are dealing with, to discover the many frauds, occultists, fanatics, and others in sufistic colors claiming a legacy that is apparently mostly smoke and mirrors. One is thus driven to study sufism in its Islamic context to see if this is an aberration, or if Islamic sufism conceals the same, or if Islamic sufis actually grasp what they are dealing with.
The record is hard to set straight and a new generation should be warned of the corruption of the phenomenon of sufism, at least in the West, and grasp the issue that ‘sufism’ is a history of certain people, not a movement, or method, and that its great decline has spawned a kind of mafia of shadow devils, witness Gurdjieff who openly admitted to it. The crucial issue is to maintain one’s autonomy and proceed beyond the spurious authority of shaykhs to a self-created way without the huckstered barakas of black magicians preying on the ‘sufi’ Faust.
This book, although it looks suspiciously like a crypto-political piece of some kind (maybe a State Department stealth op), is useful enough as a perspective on ‘sufistic’ history, but beyond that correct information about sufism does not exist. Therefore be wary until that information does exist.

Copy of The Dramatic Universe received

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:02 pm

One of the Bennett family, as inicated here in a comment post, has generously sent me a copy/typescript version of Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe. I have commented here several times, in a rather ambivalent mode.
In fact, it would be of interest, tho a lot of work and out of place/time, to rewrite the Samkhya part of his book. It is significant because the Gurdjieff legacy is pretty much left aside in this original vision. So few can avail themselves of this material or navigate past the many areas of metaphysical forest to see the curiously compelling, post-Gurdjieff, portrayal of human spiritual psychology.
It is thus not clear to me how to consider this book here. We have had secularists and a variety of New Age types here. In fact, Bennett’s work, properly rendered, with Gurdjiff set aside due to his mendacious chicanery and exploitation tactics, could open the way to a purely secular version of ‘spiritual psychology’ in the tradition of Samkhya.
At least it might suggest another way to approach such a question, where secularists and New Agers both are suffering from confusion over what they are doing, should believe in, or who they are.

Cohen stalking Huffington

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:53 pm

11.23.08 Fourth instinct, secularism and religion
Posted in New Age, Science & Religion, The Axial Age, The Eonic Effect at 3:19 pm by nemo

Arianna Huffington at EnlightenNext, audio

In our highly polarized political climate, it is rare to find an individual who is as familiar with both sides of the aisle as Arianna Huffington is. A bestselling author, a nationally syndicated columnist, and named by Time magazine as one of the one hundred most influential people in 2006, Huffington’s eclectic career has always defied convention—and partisan categorization. She was once married to a Republican congressman. She ran for governor of California as an independent. And her popular internet newspaper, The Huffington Post, has a decidedly liberal bent. But while we’ve long admired Huffington’s broad political perspective as well as the passionate dedication to political and cultural change that has defined her career, it is her interest in the relationship between spirituality and politics, articulated in her book The Fourth Instinct, that compelled us to take a closer look.

Being interviewed at Andrew Cohen’s rag is a dubious opportunity. Cohen is constantly trying to snare celebrities in his ‘postmodern’ project (for world domination, I guess).
The combination of politics and ’spirituality’ is a big debate, one might mention here only that the attempt to get ‘beyond left and right’ smacks of the ‘non-dual verbiage’ peddled in the name of Vedanta by Cohen and Ken Wilbur.
A. Huffington’s ideas of a ‘fourth instinct’ (I doubt if there is such an instinct) are reasonable enough (I haven’t read the book), but the problem these days is that a massive movement, or set of such, to organize the ‘impulse to transcendence’ is now bombing out in the long list of burnt out gurus, since the seventies.
The Integral movement with Wilbur voluminous hot air texts is the next effort to organize everyone’ s fourth instincts, and the result isn’t going to go anywhere, as far as I can tell.
One needs to ask what is going wrong with these movements.
Actually a study of the eonic effect, and what we mean by evolution for man, will suggest why these movements are so often unable to achieve lift.
The rise of the modern was itself a great evolutionary transformation, and these confused efforts by postmodernists to negate the rise of modernity in the name of a new spiritual age can’t succeed against its momentum.

11.21.08

Comments on EnlightenNext article

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:03 pm

The New Age postmodern sabotage game

Why is it these people have such a problem with the Enlightenment? I can see no problem with a critique of the Enlightenment, the source of so many critiques, but it would seem useful to remember (as many secularists don’t) that the Enlightenment period triggered the rebirth of Indic spiritual studies, long nearly moribund in India itself. (Cf. Schlegel et al, or a biography of Schopenhauer for this effect of the later (counter)enlightenment)
Moral: there is no going back to the restoration of an Indic spiritual culture in the induced postmodern rubble of modernity. It is a fascist notion that has been turned into chewing gum ever since its hidden conspirational birth in the nineteenth century and echoed in such figures as Blavatsky and, indeed, even the unwitting Nietzsche.