02.27.10

Vitriol vs G’s concealed malevolence

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:37 pm

Comment on Gurdjieff/sufism

It is very easy to be misunderstood by dabblers in Gurdjieffianity. The ‘vitriol’ springs from the concealed fascist malevolence of Gurdjieff’s conspiracy, and the general attack on modernity and freedom.
People get angry when you try to destroy their freedom, OK?

People are easily impressed by Gurdjieff’s ‘teaching’, but most of it is junk thinking, leaving his case unmade for an ancient teaching.

Comment on Gurdjieff/sufism

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:32 pm

Comment on Gurdjieff/sufism

grey hat said,
27.02.10 at 12:42 pm ·
Some thoughts for you.

The attribution of Sufism to the Gurdjieff teachings is a false one. It was created entirely by Idries Shah and his cohorts, as means of exploiting the aspects of “legacy” and “transmission”. Regardless of his reasoning for co-opting the movement, Shah was determined to become the new head or “prophet” and even leveraged his budding support from this community to take control of the Coombe Springs property, which he was given by Bennet for free. He sold the property for 100k sterling a few months later.

Gurdjieff and his teachings are certainly not for everyone, but I was somewhat surprised with how emotionally charged your perspective is. It seemingly borders on pure vitriol. Unfortunately this precludes rational discussion of the matter, IMO. We can attempt it, of course – if you are interested in the possibility of new understanding, either for you or me. Feel free to email me.

Some quick notes I have for you is that I regard G as very much ahead of his time in many aspects, and one of the more impressive examples of those is his artistry; of “meme” creation, propaganda, etc. In particular the synthesis of vast amounts of previous knowledge into a new coherence, AS WELL AS a vibrant living understanding, and a visceral energy of persuasion. I never knew the man personally, and therefore dont consider myself qualified to truly know much about his personality or “what he was like”. I have studied a wide cross-section of first hand accounts by those who did know him personally, and lived with him, etc. I certainly dont consider him a saint, but then again I certainly dont consider him a devil either. He seemed to be one of the first in a new, modern line of trickster teachers. Blavatsky was also a trickster, but much more of a b-rate snake oil gypsy, and not much of a teacher at all. Idries Shah was of this line, but his priorities were different – he was much more concerned with his own personal matters than those of the greater community of knowledge.

I regard Gurdjieff’s works as the penultimate modern representation of this kind of art, the only others in this field I would consider close are Carlos Castaneda, and the Church of the Subgenius. These all could be considered a modern form of thoroughly urgent taoism – the inner alchemical art of self-cultivation.

In all of these works of art produced by these people, there is a deliberate obscuration and deception, as well as a deliberate manipulation. There is also the deliberate effort to arrange things in such a way that anyone who is a blind believer in the system will become utterly and completely ridiculous to everyone else, invalidating their views in the eyes of society. The only way to make effective use of these teachings is a simple “do or die” scenario. The church of the Subgenius takes it further, by having no practical systematic methods per se, as well as an almost impenetrable wall of humor.

The common thread of these systems is the use of both “wholesome” and “unwholesome” methodology. If you wanted to, you could say they bounce between “black” and “white” “magic”. Its dangerous stuff. That is the point, you dont play with fire unless you want to get burned.

You may have realized that disruption of the coherence of your current perspective will threaten its emotionally reinforced (and therefore most likely comfortable) status. If not, you should look into it – this is a handy realization to have.

02.22.10

The problem with Hinduism

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:31 pm

As per the last post I am sorry to pursue a line of critique of Hinduism, and such as line doesn’t really mean what it seems to mean.
If you have followed this blog you may recall our enquiry into the AIT/OIT (Aryan invasion question), then the works of Danielou on the history of Indian religion, and it suddenly became clear that we might have solved the obvious problem stuck in the craw of many Hindu Indian religionists: the Vedic tradition, as Danielou points out, is a late addition and not the source of the great yogic or tantric traditions. This insight is not even controversial really. The term Hinduism itself is very late, almost nineteenth century, and repair of a false tradition would be a lot simpler than one might think. But obvious one of the factors arresting progress is the tradition of caste, Brahminism, the code of Manu, and, finally, somewhat sadly, the impostor tradition of Vedism.

That’s why a way toward the future, like water seeking a path around obstacles, seems to have spawned a future tradition in the Jain cultural context, where the immense obsession and red herring of Hinduism is rendered irrelevant.

Some free advice on ‘spiritual paths’

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:44 pm

A few weeks ago someone asked what we recommend here in the light of our critique of Gurdjieff and Sufism.
As I noted I am not a teacher, or guru, so I recomment nothing, except to note that secular modernism, attacked by Gurdjieff et al., has far more potential for a spiritual ‘path’ than the archaic societies of tradition.
Whatever the case, hightail it out of sufiland and Gurdjieffianity forthwith, and don’t look back.
One of things in the Gurdjieff corpus is the idea that there are three main traditions, of which the Indic is somehow the lowest. The path of the will, supposed source in some obscure other Shangri La of Central Asia has been used to create a false authority and in the process deflect attention from the Indic line. I have learned the hardway that this is probably a lie created by Moslems with a cultural inferiority complex trying to repackage Indian spirituality in a monotheistic form.
In any case, the ordinary westerner has no future whatsover in any of these sufistic mafia games, so I recommend abandoning all that completely.

It is just hypnotic advertising by a truly clever Madison Avenue propagandist (Gurdjieff) that makes converts to his exploitative and sadistic pseudo-path whose concealed aims are anti-modernism, destruction of democracy, creation of spiritual slavery, experiments on ‘low class’ victims, and concealed aristocratic paths for a select few.
You have no future whatsoever in that world, and the dummies who write books on the subject to do the free promo for these gangsters are the biggest rejects of all. You can glimpse that from the life of Ouspensky who realized at the end of his life that he wasn’t included in the game at all, and that he had produced a masterpiece of propaganda for others, just as he was being ejected forever from the ‘work’.
So as I suggested hightail it out of that realm. It is a strange world, too obviously a strange creation by gnostics who had found power but never really connected with a spiritual domain.
In another post I can make a suggestion: check out what’s left of the Rajneesh world, the ruins of that ashram have a lot of open gateways leading to the Indic tradition.

Ironic value of Bennett on ‘evolution’

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:27 pm

Going through Bennett’s material on ‘evolution’ could backfire as solemn (and mostly stupid) converts to Gurdjieffianity suddenly get an idea of what is being said, and proceed to a mystical belief system or screed on evolution.
But I think not: Bennett’s view is New Age hokum, if you like, but actually still close enought to science to collapse via falsifying challenges. But this view is of use, not as a theory, but as a sketch with a set of questions that ordinary science tends to filter out of its deliberations.
We may need to set up a permanent stalemate between reductionist scientism and New Age evolutionism, as a set of potential dialectical positions.
In any case Bennet is useful here on evolution because he is a reminder that no living being, NOONE whatsoever, NOT EVEN such as Gautama or other enlightened beings, really understand the mystery of evolution. That can set you free from the authoritarian matrix the Eastern traditions threaten to create around religion and now evolution.
The point is obvious in one way: the scale of evolution as depicted by Bennett stretches over the entire period since the origin of life on earth, and computes in unites thereof in the stages of speciation: four milliion to seven million years since the division of man and chimpanzee.
Noone farting around claiming to be enlightened can tell us anything much about that, or about the evolution of man. Gurdjieff let loose a few ambiguous tidbits, mostly sadistic and violent, but clearly he does know what he is talking about.
So at least Bennett carries out the calculations of many New Age ideas of evolution. We can judge them on their merits, and in the process undermine the false authority of those staking a claim on evolution (like Ken Wilbur and Andrew Cohen).

02.21.10

Comment on Bennett on evolution

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:44 pm

As noted before several times Bennett’s thinking is less outlandish than it might seem.
To speak of the ‘will’ of the sun doesn’t really mean what it seems to mean in Bennett who has very carefully built up the ‘triad of being function will’ as this applies to all forms of existence in the degrees of manifestation of the will.
The problem is that none of this is ‘falsifiable’ or empirically verifiable, of course.

Gurdjieff, the ultimate source of this ‘ray of creation’ thematic claimed great esoteric antiquity for this thinking. I would be wary of anyone who thought such speculative confusion was in the realm of the esoteric.
I think this material was made up some time in the nineteenth century by some sufi idiot who was knocked senseless by a dose of baraka and went off the deep end.
To present such ideas as beyond criticism because they are esoteric (in his own version Bennett never did so) is balderdash.
The world needs to release those hooked on these illusions from their bondage.
In Bennett’s version (already at a considerable distance from the Gurdjieffian version) this thinking has a vague kind of plausibility, but since it is beyond verification obviously nothing can come of it.

More on Shah/Graves (from Jim Buck)

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:14 pm

Comment on I. Shah/R. Graves post

Jim Buck said,
21.02.10 at 1:26 pm ·
Moore invariably declines invitations to debate, ‘too busy’ he says. However, he does find time to tinker with the article as its inexactitudes are exposed. For instance, he accuses Idries Shah of conflating Mevlevi and Bektashi dervishes—the implication being that the Bektashi do not dance. The Bektashi are in fact reknowned for their Kirklar Semahi:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6731nThTqCM

As for the slanders against Iqbal Ali Shah’s veracity…well, frankly, anyone who takes the British Foreign office as an authoritative source ought, at least read a few John Le Carre books (better still, watch an hour or two of the Iraq war inquiry on BBC 24).

The notion that Idries Shah (as opposed to Omar Ali Shah) damaged Robert Graves reputation is highly questionable. Read a few biographies of Graves; it should then become clear to you that, as far as the English establishment was concerned, Graves was always an outsider. He was “half German, half Irish”– a particularly unfortunate stigmatisation during the second decade of the 20th century. His war memoir ‘Goodbye To All That’ is now regarded as a classic, but was regarded, by many of his comrades-in-arms, as a catalogue of betrayal.
Read the rest of this entry »

More from Bennett on ‘evolution’

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:11 pm

tag: DUvol4
Continuing with some more stuff from Bennett: the treatment starts getting wild at this point, with talk of the ‘mind of the planet’ and outrageously teleological conceptions. It is of interest to go through this stuff anyway, because it does constitute a challenge, not to agree, but to be wary of our more reductionist views of evolution. Bennett is consistent and self-refuting in a way that most New Agers would not be, and there is little chance his views will spawn New Age dementia. They seem to dissolve into thin air as you think about them, leaving a genuine set of questions about Darwinian equal idiocy.
The footnotes will suddenly appear in the middle (originally at the end of a page)

Planets are improbable modes of existence. If our experiences were
associated with a star lacking a planetary system, we could scarcely
imagine that such bodies as planets could exist. If we were accustomed
to temperatures of tens of thousands of degrees and upwards-which,
contrary to popular ideas of hell-fire, would not incommode the soul-
we could not conceive matter in the solid state, nor bodies in any way
resembling those of plants or animals. Read the rest of this entry »

02.19.10

The Gurdjieff pseudo-tradition

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:58 pm

The point about the Anirvan book, and a lot of others, is that a subtle effort is pervasive in the Gurdjieff legacy to make the guru status normative. But the Gurdjieff legacy is a perverted and abnormal one, and most emphatically does not deserve the slightest bit of its authoritarian norm.

It is a cynical kind of front, and a scheme to ‘fleece the sheep’. Where it comes from in world history is not clear, but the net result is a form of degeneration of the socalled spiritual path.
We need to prevent this kind of degraded exploitation desguised behind ‘sufism’ from becoming any kind of a standard.

02.17.10

Never give a credit card number to Gurdjieff types

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:39 pm

Update from the Darwin/Gurdjieff post

Note: I suggested a summary of this article in the comments, but no reply. I would be happy to buy the issue, but I would never trust a Gurdjieff outfit at any time with a credit card number. No way.
I remember one of E.J. Gold’s students trying to rip off credit cards years ago in the name of the work.
Be ware of these con men.

Anirvan’s Gurdjieff propaganda

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:35 pm

To Live Within
Sri Anirvan (Author), Lizelle Reymond

This book was reprinted recently (you can check out my Amazon review). This is one of the most insidious brands of falseness in the Gurdjieff corpus.
As cute garbage it is uniquely effective in making submissive ‘disciples’ out of idiots who don’t know better.
I am not sure how this book came into being, but it is suspicious from the word go: what is a Hindu disciple who lived in a relatively benign ashram in India doing promoting Gurdjieff propaganda, when he is unfamiliar with the fourth way, of the criminal tendencies of sufistic teachers and groups in general, and Gurdjieff in particular.
Something is missing here, and we never see the ‘rigged’ game that produced this piece of deceptive rubbish. But we can certainly guess without much trouble, if you catch my drift.
Note the way that someone who has never had to suffer through Gurdjieff deceptions, and who lives in an environment of those seeking enlightenment heaps praise on a completely different ‘path’ situation about which he is ignorant, and which generally tries to suppress the potential for enlightenment.
The author is a first class windbag, and makes a lot of stupid fan-club statements about Gurdjieff’s teaching, from the enneagram to everything else.
This fellow doesn’t understand Gurdjieff at all and this grafting of yogic ashram lore onto Gurdjieff fantasies in a passive masochistic idiot disciple is dangerous for the many who have taken this as the Gurdjieff party line.

02.16.10

Darwin/Gurdjieff

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:31 pm

Comment from Darwiniana

Ann Seeker said,

February 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm ·
There is an interesting exploration of Darwin’s theory and Gurdjieff’s teaching of The Fourth Way in a recent issue of The Gurdjieff Journal. You can find it here: http://www.gurdjieff-legacy.org/10journal/tgjcurrent.htm

Note: I suggested a summary of this article in the comments, but no reply. I would be happy to buy the issue, but I would never trust a Gurdjieff outfit at any time with a credit card number. No way.
I remember one of E.J. Gold’s students trying to rip off credit cards years ago in the name of the work.
Be ware of these con men.

02.15.10

Bennett’s critique of Darwinism

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:27 pm

DUvol4
Continuing with Bennett’s treatment of evolution from The Dramatic Universe, as short quote on the probability issue re Darwinian evolution, almost at the same time as Fred Hoyle’s book on the subject with a similar argument.

Bennett was one of the original critics of Darwin (post DNA discoveries) in the last two generations. It is significant for those who defend Gurdjieff to note his clever way to shunting the controversy onto Ouspensky and Bennett.
It ought to be obvious he is not a Darwinist, but he was too cagey to speak directly on the question.
So, a word for the fall guys here.
Note that Andrew Cohen, that shit head, does the same thing, and shunts the critique off onto others (Ken Wilbur, who is tightlipped himself)
We can proceed soon to the system that Bennett constructs here, for all its extravagance. It is a classic portrait of teleological evolution in the bad hybrid of naturalistic Samkhya, garbled Shophenhauer, and much else, that Bennett uses. It is useful to go through this, in order to critique it!

But his reasoning on evolution is good, a generation before people like Denton, et al.
In general, the critique of Darwinism should be balanced with a critique of New Age evolutionism which is even more confused than Darwnism
Please note that men of higher consciousness, even enlightened Buddhas, don’t understand the dynamics of evolutioin any better than reductionist scientists, who have never found the key.

When we further consider the development of human culture on the
assumption that it has been due to blind chance-that is the processes
of random variation and natural selection-another enormous improba-
bility confronts us. Blum’s cumulative probability for (a) the origin of
life (b) the evolution of the Biosphere and (c) the development of human
culture is 10- 18 or a million, million, million to one against the occur-
rence. Even this extremely small likelihood is, according to our calcula-
tions, far too optimistic, for it does not give due weight to the hazards
of the pre-biological stages of synthesis, where the likelihood of degener-
ation increases with each added element of order.
We can now test numerically the argument that however improbable
the present situation may be, there have been enough chances to make
it conceivable. If we assume only 100 steps in the accidental synthesis
of a self-reproducing protein the odds against its occurring by accident
are I: 100! The remaining steps may be 10- 15 as suggested by Blum.
This makes a cumulative probability of less than one in 10100. The
total mass of the earth’s atmosphere is estimated at 1021 grams equiva-
lent to 1040 simple molecules of nitrogen, methane or ammonia. Assum-
ing chemical transformations occurring throughout the atmosphere and
reactions occurring at the rate of a million a second, there would be
some 1023 reactions in a thousand million years. The total number of
reactions theoretically possible is 1063 against the 1085 required to
produce one viable self-reproducing protein molecule. This gives a
likelihood of one in a hundred thousand million million, which makes
the process inconceivably improbable. If it is suggested that surface
catalysts could both accelerate the process and protect the reactants
from disintegration: we must reduce the number of molecules to those
able to be in contact with suitable metallic or oxide surfaces. The
figure of 1040 falls dramatically to 1015 and the probability remains far
too low to allow random reactions to be regarded as a conceivable
mechanism for the arising of life. *

This is not to say that random reactions could not produce polymers
of high molecular weight: but that such polymers would be only one
stage in the whole process. In later stages, the disintegrative influences
of random energy discharges would be more and more likely to break
the entire structure down and long before a viable self-synthesizing
molecule was obtained, the regressive trend would swallow up any
hopeful combinations.

When we turn our attention to the evolution as distinct from the
origin of life, we have to think in terms of far smaller numbers of units:
in this case organisms capable of sexual reproduction. Against the num-
ber of elements of order, i.e., 109 according to Blum, we have a
maximum of 1010 generations with an average successful mutation of
one in a million: so here the odds against the success of random variation
and natural selection are at least a hundred thousand to one. But, as
we saw, a large proportion of successful mutations disappear, so that
the true odds run into hundreds of millions. Up to now, we have
considered only a single line of evolution. If we take into account the
delicate adjustment of different kinds of organism to each other in the
Biosphere, the odds become astronomical. t

The development of culture by random processes and natural selec-
tion is a far-fetched notion that need not detain us. At the very least,
it can be regarded as extremely improbable that the present state of
human culture could have been reached by a sequence of undirected
and purposeless steps.

The conclusion that we are bound to draw from all these considera-
tions, is that the fortuitous origin and evolution of life and humanculture
on the earth must be rejected as contrary to thewell-established laws
of probability and thermodynamics.

02.14.10

Ray of creation and other bunk

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:58 pm

Bennett scanned material
I will get around to some more material tommorrow, but it is significant to note the way that Bennett grafts the cosmology of Gurdjieff onto his system, with contradictory, or not very satisfactory results.
The scheme is bascially the ray of creation idea. Once you try to mix this with the science that Bennett has under his belt, the result is a muddle.
The material on this by Gurdjieff has wasted immense time for many. It is claimed that this is ‘objective knowledge’ of great antiquity. It is suspiciously ‘mystic nineteenth’ century and probably the creation, if not of Gurdjieff, then some idiot ‘sufi’.

If you pick up a book on contemporary cosmology you get a sense of a subject in motion, one that is leaving older (modern) forumulations behind.

02.11.10

Repairing a broken tradition?

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:56 pm

Comment on Search For Vedic India:

James said,
10.02.10 at 6:00 pm
Elst (despite being an apologist for much of this) has a good post explaining that most of this is unintentional:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/cybalist/message/64799

I have become more and more wary of this question, and somewhat bitter that so much of my life has been wasted on wrong thinking on this subject.
Everything I have done and thought simply goes into the trashcan. I am luckier than most since I never pursued the Hindu/Vedic theme to any degree, but I say that to be helpful perhaps to others.

Let me note that Elst is rightly concerned with Western bias, but the fact remains that the whole tradition of Indian spirituality suffers from a series of confusions, ones that could be easily acknowledged and thus repaired to the great clarification of the whole subject. No such luck.