It is easy to attack New Age thinking: but as we approach it here we are wary of the subtleties missed by conventional skeptics.
Debriefing the Gurdjieff work
It is easy to attack New Age thinking: but as we approach it here we are wary of the subtleties missed by conventional skeptics.
Google search for The Shadow of the Dalai Lama.
James rightly questioned automatic acceptance of the Trmondis, although the issue remains unclear.
To me, it is a decoy in a deeper search I have been conducting (without much data, or success) for a number of years: the real and hidden level of Tibetan (or related/other) deeper than the merely ‘esoteric’, and related to the seed period of the gestation of nazism. Tibetan buddhists at any exterior level are innocent here.
In general, the ‘murder of the Orient Express’ syndrome is evident here with the ‘Shadow’ book, from Chinese communists, to secularists, to fundamentalist Christians would want Buddhism destroyed.
More from James:
Thanks for the clarification. In this situation it means a lot to be clear about one’s intentions.
As to SK I was left wondering myself, and thought it some TV charade???
As to New York and a meeting: thanks a lot for the gesture, but I am not there but on Long Island fending off a snow storm’s aftermath.
I think you should keep in touch on an occasional basis: it is important to keep the challenge to the Darwinian paradigm from being hounded or ignored out of existence.
As to anonymity: sometimes, if your disguise has been penetrated (as I think it has) it can help to step out into public view, as a different kind of self-defense.
21.12.09 at 9:11 pm ·
I never said I was departing forever, only that I probably wouldn’t post for a long time. I never thought of myself as being more than a casual reader and it has gotten to the point where I am just talking in circles. As I’ve said before, I think you’re doing a good job and I don’t think it is any exaggeration to say that you’re probably the smartest person I’ve conversed with on the Internet or in real life. You never really needed any contribution from me.
By the way, I am in NYC for awhile, and while I’m extremely apprehensive about giving up my Internet anonymity to anyone, I may be willing to meet up if you’re willing to meet up. You may have your own reservations here so I merely mention it as a possibility.
P.S. SK is definitely a woman. Last year, I was staying a few blocks away from her store in LA, so I thought I woulddrop in. I never told her who I am. I was only there for a few minutes and, of course, the brief encounter doesn’t give me the right to say this definitively, but she seemed fine.
16.12.09 at 3:17 pm ·
You have misread my departure. As you’ve noted, my posts have decreased substantially in the past few months after 2-3 years of posting with extreme frequency. Again, this has nothing to do with the Shadow of the DL or anything like that (I’ve been kicked off many Buddhist forums for being critical so it has nothing to do with that).
To be honest, I hadn’t even read that much (since college) or had any opinion about Darwinian theory until about 4 years ago. My discovery of the blogosphere that revolved around this topic was mainly due to the fact that I was trying to kill time during work breaks and needed something else to do on the Internet. It has been intellectually entertaining to comment on the topics @ your blogs, but, in the final analysis, I’m not really invested in any academic or social outcome. My interests are rather fickle and change every few years and time is up for these subjects. That said, I still think you have the best sites for commentary on these topics. Take care.
I think again you should reconsider, if only to comment occasionally. It is no longer a question of fickle interests. You have contributed something significant which is irreplaceable, and to simply ditch my efforts, still anonymous, and disappear, is both extremely frustrating and deeply saddening, disorienting. That, of course, is my problem. But it gets lonely fighting with dead gurus, and New Age gangsters.
Keep in mind who I am, and the ferocity of voodoo attacks in my direction, to shut me up. I endure this alone, to help people struggling with the Gurdjieff/Sufi conmen, and in the end I could get killed. To lose a precious friend is disheartening, but then nothing can be done about it.
Your statements therefore about surfing blogs and changing interests don’t even register in my reckoning.
That said, goodbye, if that’s the way you feel, since there is nothing I can do, except to not befriend anyone again. I should have learned that with SK who was indulging in sex magic on his friends, even as he moaned over his fate, and I supported him.
That’s not you, however.
It should have been that way, no nonsense about friendship, from the beginning, so no problem.
I am still not convinced that it wasn’t the attack on Buddhism that is in part related to this. One reason I cited the DL book was to catch your reaction, to see if we could get past Pali promo (which I tremendously value). As I expected you baulked, sort of… So forgive me if I suspect your autonomy is compromised. Study your unconscious carefully over time, maybe you can caatch the slavers at work, and free yourself. An unconscious Buddhist shill is what I suspected from the start. Make sure you are free after your jaunt with Buddhism.
Don’t get me wrong: your time here must be limited. It had to be that way. The danger is too great, and your cover will sooner or later get blown, as it did with SK, if your remember. It may have happened already, without you knowing it.
So, I shrug my shoulders at your statement. You should not post much here anyway, but I see no reason why you can’t post occasionally at the other blog, Darwiniana. Few have your talents, and the combination of ideas you brought was unique, and I am sorry to it will be absent. Society is in need of help here, and we have something to contribute.
Part of the problem is the blog format, and also the limits of the comment form which don’t allow any real creative effort, something you no doubt aspire to.
It is worth checking the first post on this blog, Orphans of Civilization, and to ask yourself what happens when you realize that all social ideologies are false, all the major religions, including buddhism, corrupt. At that point this blog might seem relevant all over again. It is a unique spot, despite the rough exterior.
I am worried we may have alienated James with a critique of Buddhism, and this book on the Dalai Lama may well have a host of problems. But the book echoes with something that rings true to me, it is hard to say what.
But James has rightly pointed many times to the powerful early profundity of Buddhism, and I have welcomed that, even as I was getting ready to bring in a critique of Buddhism.
The point here is that if we critique Buddhism a host of sufis will egg us on, as they seek its destruction, due to its atheism.
In general, criticizing Buddhism can backfire, even the Chinese are against it, and in the process of destroying it.
So let me note that Sufism is pure shit compared to the stupendous history of Buddhism, which once got it right, with a teaching spawned in the Axial Age with a lot of dignity and grace.
By comparision Sufism is just a huge swindle by gnostic predators whose deceptions make it impossible to have a spiritual path.
The Tibetan question is something altogether different.
Anyway we can’t spare Buddhism our critique, but it is essential to consider its greater history in the history or religion.
The junk sufism inside Islam with its purloined mysticism from India called Sufism are degenerate phenomena compared to the mighty history of Buddhism.
More on Idries Shah
14.12.09 at 9:21 am ·
Yet more debate on Shah, pro and con, here.
Note that one pro-Shah person eventually, toward the end, suggested
“20:03, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I propose that this page should be removed since it seems to have a attracted a lot of people who have a problem with Shah and therefore may present an unnalanced view.”
MBTF invites readers to go to this URL and read the text of this debate, which someone suggested ‘be removed.’
The writer above seems to think that ‘Schools’, ‘Doctrines’, ‘orders’, historical patterns of ‘influence’ and so on are of great importance though in my view these things did not concern Shah much. “
14.12.09 at 8:59 am ·
Author Idries Shah, Ichazo, Lilly, etc are mentioned here. (text only version)
‘The Enneagram: A Developmental Study” by James Moore first published in 1987 and updated 2004
“The sea of faith, whose ‘melancholy, long withdrawing roar’ 1 was evoked metaphorically by the elegiac Victorian poet Matthew Arnold, is sweeping back, but in a hundred strange modalities. And though its waves are ostentatious, its eddies and undertows are obscure; and the charting of its cross-currents – these admixtures among religions old and new – is aided by certain discrete ‘marker-buoys’. This paper examples one, which – moored decades ago in the esoteric deep – has been swept leeward into the frothy shallows of pseudo-Sufism, ARICA, Transpersonal Psychology and liberal Catholicism.
‘Our chosen marker is Gurdjieff’s problematic ‘enneagram’. George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (c.1866-1949) was a writer, explorer, choreographer, psychologist, composer, physician, polyglot, entrepreneur, and spiritual teacher, who utterly eludes simplistic categorisation. ”
14.12.09 at 9:04 am ·
(note) The quote above is just a small bit of a much longer article and very detailed annotated bibliography, drawing from many and diverse sources.
This is another type of bibliography. It gives an idea of the networks of persons and authors, living and death that form this ’scene’ and sub-sections of this ’scene’.
I took up MBFM’s suggestion and got a copy of Garry Garrard’s A Book of Verse, The Biography of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
I scanned up the material on Idries Shah and Robert Graves, another sorry episode to do with Idries Shah (and sufis)
‘The poem’, Cowell replied, ‘is mystical. I am convinced of it.’
‘Omar’s laudation of drunkenness is difficult to explain away,’ said Wright.
‘By drunkenness’, said Professor Cowell, ‘is meant “Divine Love”.’
Although he had never taken Holy Orders, Cowell, encouraged by his wife,
had been an active Christian missionary while he was in India. He not only
held Sunday Bible reading classes in his own home, but risked giving offence
to his Hindu colleagues by encouraging conversions to Christianity. With this
increasing emphasis on Christian values, he found it more and more difficult
to accept that Omar could have written such apparently irreligious verses
without some hidden meaning. Nicholas made it very clear in his French
translation that he regarded Omar as a mystic, a view which FitzGerald
robustly rejected in his introduction to his third edition. ….-/ _
The Sufis themselves have certainly repeatedly claimed Omar Khayyarn as
one of their own. Read the rest of this entry »
13.12.09 at 9:30 am ·
John Shirley said,
12.12.09 at 12:11 pm ·
Just stumbled on this site, still haven’t figured out its agenda. Warnings about new agers and cults? I fully concur with that. I’ve seen the phrase “occult fascism” a few times. Not sure what you mean. But I’m never surprised to see fascist behavior from people cliaming spiritual leadership.
I have been in the Gurdjieff work for 20 some years–the most mainstream version, derived from Gurdjieff himself, and Jeanne de Salzmann, not the odd little spin offs or factions–and am taking time off from it now, considering a focus on Zen instead, or Vipassana, something mindfulness related but with depth. But I’m not yet sure. The methods I learned in the Work actually helped me, they really accomplish something. I’m not saying I’m a conscious being, but I’ve made a lot of progress. Some Gurdjieffiana seems very 19th century to me–he seems to ridicule Darwin (though there are at least as many people who accept Darwinian evolution, more or less, in the work, as otherwise–I’m one), something which gives me difficulty, and I am unlikely to believe the moon will ever be like the Earth, etc. I also have a lot more respect for science than he seems to have (though he contradicted himself on that, constantly using the scientific method and preaching a critical mind).
So what’s this site’s agenda? Repudiating the work? My feeling is that there is no perfect school to be found, just fairly cogent schools with some integrity (the real Gurdjieff work is not after your money and no one tries to control your life, etc), and one takes the best one can get, for access to people who help us stay a little more conscious, and offer some good work conditions. Which is something that can be found in Zen, in the better aspects of the Work, with Thich Naht Hanh (I don’t think I’ll look up the right spelling…), etc. One has to be determined never to be bullied by any group, to depart if there is true cultish behavior; to work in life, and take it seriously without becoming a boor about it.
Robert Burton and others have blighted the Gurdjieff work. But if you go to the Gurdjieff Foundation, you’ll find human beings, some of whom are tedious and tiresome and officious, others–rather more–are simply serious seekers who are actually quite big hearted and helpful.
There are a lot of exaggerations and rumors about Gurdjieff. As one of his son’s said (someone who respected Gurdjieff’s teaching), “He was no saint.” He acknowledged this. He made some mistakes. But he did pass things on–there’s a myth that he didn’t. Madame de Salzmann was a person of real Being; also Lord Pentland and others. Gurdjieff, for all his flaws, was a remarkable man and his methods work. That’s worth valuing.
I was a little upset by James’ declaration of moving on, since it seemed timed to the critical work on Buddhism cited, and well critiqued by him.
I think we will miss his input as in that case.
I think I must say something I have always kept in reserve with James: WATCH OUT for the Buddhis Sangha. My radar detects an clear case of being used in relation to something to do wth me…. I leave it vague, just to note that the easiest thing in the world to do is lose your autonomy to the Buddhist gang, and I must suspect, James, that has happened to you.
Tell those MOTHERFUCKING BUDDHIST GANGSTER FASCISTS to go to hell, and move on from all that, rather than from me or my humble efforts (you may have no more time for my blogs, no problem, not my point)<>
The book ‘The Shadow’ is not one I trust, exactly, but it points to something I have suspected for decades, and may never clarify. But Buddhists are too kind on the surface, and too clever, with too many ‘nice guy’ fronts who don’t suspect doing their propaganda, to ever get caught.
I think the resolution will lie in the many studies of religion in my eonic effect, more on that later (again).
Meanwhile, to James: if you meet the Buddha on the road…..fill in the blanks.
You are basically a fringe Buddhist, highly intelligent, and therefore uniquely exploitable. You too smart, and uppity for the authoritarian system of Buddhism, and won’t ever get inside.
I hope like heck I can get you kicked out of the Buddhist sangha, so you can proceed along the fringes licking your wounds and scrounging beggar meals.
You have helped these blogs along very well.
Just to return the favor…
Over and out
Oprah Winfrey is THE person who literally made James Arthur Ray.
Oprah put the blatant scam-artist James Ray on her TV show several times, when she did her shows on The Secret.
Oprah introduced him to her naive audience, and James Ray went to town with it.
Before Oprah, James Ray was a nobody.
After Oprah, he was able to bilk thousands of people.
Oprah did not ask James Arthur Ray ONE single critical question. She didn’t check out his background. James Ray was never challenged on a single point or claim he was making.
At the EXACT MOMENT he was on her show, there were many very serious complaints about James Ray on Oprah’s own message boards. [forum.rickross.com]
They just don’t care.
Anyone with any life experience could instantly see that James Ray was a ruthless con-artist. It was shown in these threads years ago.
Oprah would have to see that James Ray is a scammer, she is a very experienced person.
But she promoted dozens of these cons and crooks over the years.
Why didn’t Oprah allow a professional critical thinker on her TV show promoting James Ray, and others? No critical thinking allowed.
Its just a pump and dump system, pump up The Secret people, sell books, then dump it.
Oprah’s own company may have been connected with the publisher of the book The Secret, or had some kind of business deal with them.
If they would have allowed a professional critical thinker like Michael Shermer [www.michaelshermer.com] or others like him on these shows, sales for the books would drop by 50%.
But the Oprah TV show opposes critical and skeptical thinking.
James Randi was literally sandbagged by the Oprah producers years ago.
“how Oprah Winfrey manages to promote woo-woo ideas on her program by careful management of the content”
Its has to be due to the TV advertisers, they don’t want their audience asking if the toilet paper really is the softest, or if the cleaner cleans the best.
Just buy and believe.
Same with The Secret. Don’t think about what they are really doing and selling, just “believe” and buy.
Then what do they get? They get a crook like James Ray ripping off thousands of people, and leading to the deaths of a number of people.
Supposedly the “sweat-lodge” case is going to move forward next month.
But Oprah is literally personally to blame for making James Arthur Ray famous. She did it.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/26/2009 03:17AM by The Anticult.
…the 19th century was unusual in producing so many f*ckups in such a short period of time. Maybe you should incorporate this into some sort of reverse eonic effect. Blavatsky, Darwin, Gurdjieff, Nietzsche, Guenon, Coomaraswamy,Schuon, Crowley, etc….one has to wonder what the hell was going on.
You are certainly on to something, as I have noted before: check out the eonic effect on the issue of modernity, the modern transition, and the so-called Great Divide, and you will see why the logic of post-transitional modernity can result in confusion.
The question of these so-called ‘New Agers’ is a history of the ‘new age’ fallacy, and the misreading of epochs, something the eonic effect straightens out. The only real new age is the rise of modernity itself.
You are thus right, and I should comment on this further soon.
The Great Divide