01.27.09

R1a marker and PIE

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:36 pm

James comment on genetics issue: http://www.gurdjieff-con.net/2009/01/26/ait-vedas-tantra-and-genetics/#comment-33770

James said,
26.01.09 at 10:01 pm ·
There is a tendency to discount R1a as the PIE marker now by supporters of the current paradigm because it seems to indicate a movement out of India instead of a movement into India:
“In the late 1990s some researchers concluded that the R1a Y chromosomal haplgroup was exactly that signal, though that seems more doubtful today. Other researchers are looking to other genetic clues which might offer up insight into from where, and how, the Proto-Indo-Europeans spread.”

http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2009/01/tribal_europe_and_the_indoeuro.php#commentsArea

You pointed this out before, but I had overlooked it. The whole question remains in many ways obscure. We will have to follow the debate for some time, I think, unless some evidence proves finally decisive.

01.26.09

AIT, vedas, tantra, and genetics

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:19 pm

This piece is apparently from 2003, and it is not clear what its context is. Important reference to Wells’ The Journey Of Man
Genetic Research Supports Aryan Invasion Theory

By Roar Bjonnes (PNA)
In the fields of yoga and ayurvedic medicine, I have a great deal of respect for the scholarship of David Frawley and Georg Feuerstein. However, in their book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, co-authored with Subash Kak, they may have ventured too far from the rigors of science. Their usual erudite research appears to be creating what they claim to debunk: another myth.

In attempting to expose the Indian Aryan Invasion Theory, they have instead created a new, bogus theory based on overzealous and often inaccurate interpretations of Vedic philosophy, history, rites and (oh yes!) myth.

But, who can blame them! It is not an easy task to make sense of Indian history, especially its prehistory.

The first and main mistake these authors make (and they are not alone in doing so!) is to lump most all of Indian history and spirituality into the omnipresence of the Vedas. In reality, India is composed of two distinct, yet often co-mingling rivers of rites and spiritual practice: the Vedic and the Tantric.

Unlike Frawley and Feuerstein, Tantric historians, such as N. N. Bahttacharya, and Tantric masters, such as P. R. Sarkar, draw a clear distinction between Aryan and Dravidyan culture and history. The Aryans were predominantly Vedic and the Dravidyans Tantric. Although over thousands of years, these two cultural rivers joined and became what we now call Hindu culture.

And, yes, these scholars also claim that indeed there was an Aryan invasion. Not always violent, and not a sudden one either. The Aryans arrived from central Asia, Iran and Afganistan over thousands of years and settled first in what is today Kashmir. It was here, claims Sarkar, that the Vedas were first written down in the Sarada script.

There are four Vedas, and according to tantric historians, the Rigveda is the oldest and was mostly composed outside of India. Frawley et al, however, maintains it was composed in India, of course. That the Rigveda contains material seemingly indigenous to India is likely because it was never written down before thousands of years later, after many linguistic and cultural changes throughout its long, oral history on Indian soil!

One example of such indigenous Indian influence on the Aryan Vedas can be seen especially in the fourth and often neglected Atharvaveda. As Frawley et al writes: “…many Vedic thinkers have had an ambivalent attitude toward the Atharvaveda.” Yes, indeed. And part of the reason for that is that this Veda was greatly influenced by Tantra. P. R. Sarkar points out, for example, that the Nrsimha Tapaniiya Shruti of the Atharvaveda has been far more influenced by the non-Aryan Tantra than by the Aryan Veda.

One important archeological fact mentioned in the book is the pashupati seal, found in the ancient Harappan valley civilization, and which depict God Shiva, the Lord of the Beasts. Sarkar points out that this seal is an example of the indigenous tantric symbolism of the Harappan culture. The esoteric Tantric meaning of this seal is that Shiva is the controller of the pashus, the animal desires of man.

Contrary to Vedic scholars, Shiva was not just a mythological God, he was, according to the Tantric tradition, an historical person. Like Buddha and Krishna, he was a great spiritual leader who systematized yogic practices, invented the octave, Indian classical dance (thus he was called Nataraja, the great dancer) and systematized ayurvedic medicine. Shiva lived in India around 5000 BCE, the time when Aryans already had settled in the north of India.

So, the great limitation of this book and all other scholars who claim there was never an Aryan Invasion of India, is that they completely discount this “other” aspect of Indian history. Indeed, they often claim that the historical struggle between Tantric and Vedic peoples, and their gradual co-mingling, never really took place at all.

But, if the rich tantric history and tradition of India is unable to sway these scholars, maybe Western genetic science will.

Recent genetic discoveries by Dr. Spencer Wells (well documented in his book Journey of Man) shows that there were at least two large migrations into India, one by dark skinned people from Africa via the coastal areas and then into Australia, and another much later migration by lighter skinned people from central Asia.

By sampling DNA of people in a village close to Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Dr Wells spotted a genetic mutation that had been passed on to aboriginal people in Australia – thus offering the first biological proof that African ancestors of the Australian natives passed through India on the way to their new home. He also proved that later the people who moved into India indeed were of Aryan stock.

There is also now some historical and archaeological evidence which suggests that as the Aryans came in, they intermarried with indigenous people and also absorbed many of them into their system of ranking.

Frawley et al dismiss this theory as a myth, claiming it “devalues” India’s history. Now, however, another genetic study has produced strong evidence supporting the Aryan Invasion Theory. A team led by Michael Bamshad of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City compared the DNA of 265 Indian men from different castes with DNA from nearly 750 African, European, Asian and other Indian men.

The researchers first analyzed mitochondrial DNA, which people only inherit from their mothers. When they looked at specific sets of genes that tend to be inherited as a unit, they found about 20 to 30 percent of the Indian sets resembled those in Europeans. The percentage was highest in upper caste males, which supports the theory of Aryans being upper castes. Overall, though, each caste resembled other Asians most.

So, the proof of the Aryan Invasion Theory, as they say, is to be found in the genetic pudding.

Greek vs Vedic memories (the lack thereof) of an Urheimat

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:12 pm

Memory of the Urheimat, from
UPDATE ON THE ARYAN INVASION DEBATE by KOENRAAD ELST

The Vedas do not preserve any veneration, not even any mention, of an Urheimat. Compare this with the Thora (the first five books of the Bible): edited in about the 6th century BC, it gives a central place to Moses� exodus from Egypt in about 1200 BC, and of Abraham from �Ur of the Chaldees� in about 1600 BC. Similarly, in the 16th century, the Aztecs in Mexico still preserved the memory of Aztlan (probably Utah), the country from which they migrated in the 12th century. Postulating that the Vedic people kept silent about a homeland which they still vividly remembered, as the invasionists imply, is not coherent with all we know about ancient peoples, who preserved such memories for many centuries.

One problem with this argument is to consider the Greeks, and Romans who had no memory of an Urheimat.

Frawley on AIT

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:56 pm

Frawley’s view, a bit old already, The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India
By David Frawley

BBC on AIT

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:55 pm

From The BBC: Aryan Invasion Theory.
How about the possibility that Indian religion is indigenous, while there was an Aryan influx, if not invasion? This would answer to much of the confusion.

One of the most controversial ideas about Hindu history is the Aryan invasion theory.

This theory, originally devised by F. Max Muller in 1848, traces the history of Hinduism to the invasion of India’s indigenous people by lighter skinned Aryans around 1500 BCE.

The theory was reinforced by other research over the next 120 years, and became the accepted history of Hinduism, not only in the West but in India.

But many people argue that there is now evidence to show that Muller, and those who followed him, were wrong.

Others, however, believe that the case against the Aryan invation theory is far from conclusive.

The matter remains very controversial and highly politicised. The article below sets out the case made by those who believe that the Aryan invasion theory is seriously flawed.

The case against the Aryan invasion theory
The Aryan invasion theory was based on archaeological, linguistic and ethnological evidence.

Later research, it is argued, has either discredited this evidence, or provided new evidence that combined with the earlier evidence makes other explanations more likely.

Some historians of the area no longer believe that such invasions had such great influence on Indian history. It’s now generally accepted that Indian history shows a continuity of progress from the earliest times to today.

The changes brought to India by other cultures are not denied by modern historians, but they are no longer thought to be a major ingredient in the development of Hinduism.

Dangers of the theory
Opponents of the Aryan invasion theory claim that it denies the Indian origin of India’s predominant culture, and gives the credit for Indian culture to invaders from elsewhere.

They say that it even teaches that some of the most revered books of Hindu scripture are not actually Indian, and it devalues India’s culture by portraying it as less ancient than it actually is.

The theory was not just wrong, some say, but included unacceptably racist ideas:

it suggested that Indian culture was not a culture in its own right, but a synthesis of elements from other cultures
it implied that Hinduism was not an authentically Indian religion but the result of cultural imperialism
it suggested that Indian culture was static, and only changed under outside influences
it suggested that the dark-skinned Dravidian people of the South of India had got their faith from light-skinned Aryan invaders
it implied that indigenous people were incapable of creatively developing their faith
it suggested that indigenous peoples could only acquire new religious and cultural ideas from other races, by invasion or other processes
it accepted that race was a biologically based concept (rather than, at least in part, a social construct) that provided a sensible way of ranking people in a hierarchy, which provided a partial basis for the caste system
it provided a basis for racism in the Imperial context by suggesting that the peoples of Northern India were descended from invaders from Europe and so racially closer to the British Raj
it gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier
it downgraded the intellectual status of India and its people by giving a falsely late date to elements of Indian science and culture

01.25.09

From Jaspers’ The Origin And Goal Of History

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:16 pm

The following is the first chapter of Karl Jaspers’ The Origin And Goal Of History, “The Axial Period”.
I am using the wordpress software again to homogenize a scanned text, so if you find it useful, good, but the scanned text is of so-so quality. Once corrected, I will post the result at http://axial-age.net

IN the Western World the philosophy of history was founded in the Christian faith. In a grandiose sequence of works ranging from St. Augustine to Hegel this faith visualised the movement of God through history. God’s acts of revelation repre¬sent the decisive dividing lines. Thus Hegel could still say: All history goes toward and comes from Christ. The appearance of the Son of God is the axis of world history. Our chronology bears daily witness to this Christian structure of history.

But the Christian faith is only one faith, not the faith of man¬kind. This view of universal history therefore suffers from the defect that it can only be valid for believing Christians. But even in the West, Christians have not tied their empirical conceptions of history to their faith. An article of faith is not an article of em¬pirical insight into the real course of history. For Christians sacred history was separated from profane history, as being different in its meaning. Even the believing Christian was able to examine the Christian tradition itself in the same way as other empirical objects of research.

An axis of world history, if such a thing exists, would have to be discovered empirically, as a fact capable of being accepted as such by all men, Christians included. This axis would be situated at the point in history which gave birth to everything which, since then, man has been able to be, the point most overwhelmingly fruitful m fashioning humanity; its character would have to be if not empirically cogent and evident, yet so convincing to empirical insight as to give rise to a common frame of historical self-com¬prehension for all peoples-for the West for Asia and for all men on earth, without regard to particular articles of faith. It would seem that. this axis of history is to be found in the period around 500 B.C., In. the spiritual process that occurred between 800 and 200 B.C. . .It IS there that we meet with the most deep cut dividing line In history. Man, as we know him today, came into being. For short we may .style this the ‘Axial Period’.
Read the rest of this entry »

Trevor Ravenscroft

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:07 pm

Here’s another work to throw in the mix, The Spear Of Destiny.

Since I read this in the seventies I can’t vouch for it, save to consider reevaluation in light of the slant of this blog.
The Amazon reviews don’t leave me optimistic.
I mention this because it passed through Gurdjieff/Gold circles at that time, as an object of speculation about the work.

Discard pile?

Prophet of Nazism

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:49 pm

We discussed this book a while back, I did not realize it was online: Nietzsche, Prophet of Nazism By Abir Taha
Many attempts to rehabilitate Nietzsche fail, for reasons this book explains. That doesn’t mean we should fully trust this account either.

The book deeply analyses Nietzsche’s influence on Nazi ideology, focusing on how the Nazis appropriated most of Nietzsche’s concepts and ideals to fit them into their own doctrine. Yet in doing so, the author draws a clear distinction between the Nazi esoteric doctrine, – which is elitist, supra-national, and spiritual -, and the popular, nationalist exoteric doctrine. She then endeavours to establish a clear link between the Nazi secret doctrine and Nietzsche’s philosophy, revealing both the occult character of Esoteric Nazism and the pagan Aryanism of Nietzsche. The book has therefore a two-fold contribution: it unveils the Nazi esoteric doctrine, which the author claims is purely Nietzschean in character, and analyses Nietzsche’s philosophy in order to extract from it a clearly eugenicist, Aryanist dimension, thus establishing a clear link between the German philosopher’s thought and the Nazi Secret Doctrine. The author thus unveils both Nietzsche’s universal Aryanism as well as Nazism’s esoteric doctrine. This subject is of great interest to all those interested in a deeper understanding of the spiritual dimension of Nietzsche’s thought, as well as the occult nature of Nazism, and the relationship between these two doctrines. The book aims to end the controversy that is still ongoing today as regards Nietzsche’s relation to Nazism, by showing that the exoteric side of Nazism, which focuses on nationalism and biological racism, had little to do with Nietzsche’s elitist, universal and spiritual Aryanism, thus coming up with the conclusion that Nietzsche’s influence was essentially on the esoteric, spiritual, secret doctrine of Nazism.

More details
Nietzsche, Prophet of Nazism: The Cult of the Superman
By Abir Taha
Edition: illustrated
Published by AuthorHouse, 2005
ISBN 1420841211, 9781420841213
196 pages

Nietzsche’s influence, on Nazism…and on Gurdjieff?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:42 pm

Endless efforts to resolve the influence of Nietzsche on Nazism, another here.

What is even more elusive, so elusive it doesn’t occur to people, is the influence of Nietzsche on Gurdjieff.
To be clear, Gurdjieff was too cunning to fall for Nietzsche’s loudmouthing, but one has to wonder that Gurdjieff felt emboldened to attempt a concealed reactionary movement, givent the evidence from Nietzsche et al. that such a movement could succeed by appealing on the surface to liberal-minded modernists.
This happened successfully with Nietzsche even though he never tried to conceal anything, witness th e way that, with postwar commentators such as Kauffman, Nietzsche was rehabilitated to the point that he became a fixture of academic and other thought.
A similar, though concealed, effect is obviously visible in Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff, however, rarely spoke his mind.
How many know, as Bennett reminds us, that Gurdjieff disapproved of the abolition of slavery?!!

And, of course, the interest of Ouspensky in Nietzsche shows the card face up with respect to the Gurdjieffians, if not the groupies.

01.24.09

Nazism and paganism

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:26 pm

Comment on Nietzsche issues post

James said,
23.01.09 at 6:49 pm ·
A critique of the arguments linking Nazism with Paganism:
http://hindurenaissance.com/index.php/yugabda-5108/2007100226/2-vijayadashmi-oct-2006/articles/christianity/the-religion-of-the-nazis/menu-id-29.html

01.21.09

Sinha at Questia

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:13 pm

Here’s the Questia link (costs money): The Gita as It Was: Rediscovering the Original Bhagavadgita
by Phulgenda Sinha. 268 pgs.
The TOC for what it’s worth:
TABLE OF CONTENTS Read the rest of this entry »

Sinha on Gita

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:08 pm

Comment on ‘Role of the BG in Indian History

James said,
Is Phulgenda Sinha’s book public domain? Would you mind posting it? I was reading Barbara Stoler Miller’s translation of Patanjali recently and she acknowledges how much the work has been distorted by Vedantists. She also acknowledges that it doesn’t seems to be compatible with Vedantic philosophy.

Where did you see mention of Sinha’s book? (It is cited in World History And The Eonic Effect)

I am afraid I don’t have a copy, and they are a bit hard to come by. But it should be scanned up like the Bazaz book.
The basic idea is that the original Gita (as a part of the Mahbharata) was a non-theistic document and was interpolated over time to what it is now.

01.20.09

Spies too far gone to be spiritual teachers

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:39 pm

The measure of the man, a spy

That Gurdjieff might have been presenting an ancient teaching is entirely possible, but a century later the question is as unclear as ever, the reason we suspect being that everything Gurdjieff said was at best half-truth, if not an outright deception.
Thus what he describes as ‘ancient teachings’ is mostly a pastiche of bits and pieces of we know not what finally.
That is the problem with ‘esotericism’: you refer to something you never describe and then demand submission from seekers (or suckers) to approach the future day when the nature of the teaching will be revealed to you.
As with Gurdjieff and so many others, the magic day never arrives because the esoteric teaching isn’t there.
In general Gurdjieff is so unclear and secretive that we can’t verify any of his claims, none in fact.
It looks as everything is set up to keep people attentive for as long as they are useful to those promoting the deception.
And a lot of dangerous imitators, like E.J. Gold, are coming down the pike. so we should be clear: ancient teachings may well exist, that we don’t know about, but Gurdjieff told us nothing about any of them.
And no, reading All and Everything twenty times won’t help.

I guess you can never trust a spy. His sense of ethics is so far gone that any teaching he might have found, as in an act intelligence gathering, is going to be the object of still more bait and switch operations.
Compare all this with a genuine set of ancient teachings, the Buddhist, with clear indications of what it is, where it came from, and what to do about it.
This openness is transparent, so why did Gurdjieff, and sufis generally, spend so much time lying, if the reason is not that their motives and intentions are dishonest or malevolent?

Reincarnationist beliefs in Greece

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:39 pm

Comment on Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism

James said,
It is also perplexing about how the same theory of reincarnation appears in both Greece and India and nowhere else. There seems to be some unseen source that has slipped through the historical cracks.

Perplexing, but not so different from what we see in modern times, where the anomaly of reincarnationist beliefs suddenly appear in modern culture. We can trace the source in this case!

The Greek Axial Age is highly complex, and the standard narrative tends to lose the richness of the overall effect (consider the mysterious Ophism and its movements), in part because few records were kept.

01.18.09

The measure of the man, a spy

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:25 pm

Comment on the ‘Gurdjieff the spy’ issue:

tom wasmuth
Gurdjieff was no White Russian. He was a Caucasian Greek, although his sympathies went rather with the Tsar and the old Russian monarchy with all their foibles than with the Bolsheviks whom he considered to be wiseacering Hasnamusian individuals, i.e. thugs and destroyers of genuine Russian cultural/spirtitual values as can be seen from the chapter on Russia in All and Everything.
He may have been a spy for the Russian monarchy in Tibet under the name Dordjieff in the early part of the 20th century, or perhaps an unofficial emissary of the Russian government to put in less sinister terms. To my knowledge this remains unproven.
The implication that his having been a spy would indicate that he was not passing on a true spiritual teaching is unpersuasive. Gurdjieff’s lament for the decay of ancient spiritual values, the tragedy of constant warfare on this ill-fated planet and his insistance on the importance of Consciousness and Conscience (to cite but four insights out of a much larger doctrine) certainly has caught the attention of a multitude of sincere and gifted spiritual searchers.
The fact, if it is a fact, and one pauses skeptically reading the imaginative assertions printed here, that some offsprings in families of those calling themselves “Gurdjieffians” only became interested in the Work to get their neglectful parents attention, leads one to wonder if we have a new theory of prodigies here. Was the boy Mozart only writing music to please his father, and ifso when did he start having such wonderful fun with it?
From Gurdjieff suspected of being an intelligence agent, 2009/01/17 at 2:36 AM

The Bolsheviks weren’t exactly saints, but if you call them thugs, I should say the Tsar was the biggest thug. And that Gurdjieff was a disguised manipulator of thugs.
It is not as though the nineteenth century left wasn’t able to compromise. But if you look at the facts of the history you see the Tsars were so extreme and delayed liberalism for so long (check out the Decembrists), and were so brutal in the period of the 1905 revolution that when Russia disintegrated in the First World War the left had been made viciously ready to fight back.
The point here is the question, what on earth is this ‘teaching’ from the likes of Gurdjieff, who is clearly siding with the forces of reaction?
You say being a spy doesn’t prevent anyone from passing on a spiritual teaching. But the spiritual value of truth-telling is lost with such people, hence nothing that they say can really be trusted. And Gurdjieff’s deceptions are not so hard to detect, once you know the character of the man, a former spy.