As to the previous post…I forgot to mention that I am better off having lost all the New Age groups I passed through. The possibility of a real path opens for the first time. Goodbye to all the junk spirituality now current from TM to Qaballah to yoga to guru ashram bustops, to sufism to Tibetan Buddhism to Zen puke regurgitated, to born-again Xtianity, to… the list goes on, and includes a new and toxic innovation, Aleister Crowley style occultism. If at all possible one should bypass this new occultism, but black magicians like Gurdjieff, E.J. Gold and far too many Tibetan honchos, are starting to force people who should stay away from occultism to take it up in self-defense, failing disastrously because they are nice guys without the psycopathic facility to harm other creatures for spiritual profit. The long view of world history shows that the successful ways were the proto-Jain (or what we now see as buddhism). The world of Mahavir is nonetheless obscure to us, and the comparison to buddhism, first born of the ancient Jain line, is only roughly useful. Monotheism was an Axial Age manifestation, or innovation, and its status is not clear. Since pop theism is almost a form of idolatry the emergence of ‘garbage disposal’ groups like the New Atheists is, eh, a sign of the times.
For some reason it is very hard for non-Indians to move into the path of enlightenment, but that may change. Americans should consider the fate of ‘yoga’ in the realm of capitalism and ask if there is anything they won’t destroy that they touch on. I would strike yoga off the list at this point, its value for those seeking better dieting methods getting a wave of the hand. Xtians and monotheists should consider the Kantian critiques of reason, and metaphysics. Naive theism is a problem. The issue of ‘god’ becomes the doorway to a world of ‘antinomies’, the first of Kant’s list being the ‘god’ question, the thesis/anti: there is a beginning in time, there is not beginning in time. We cannot resolve these antinomies using our human reason, but wait, can physics do the job? You can take the antinomial reality as the next stage beyond theism/atheism, or you can take the Kantian reinvention of ‘faith’ as way to persist in belief. But I think the Xtian exploitation of ‘faith’ can’t survive the Kantian version. But I don’t know. The more productive paths of meditation are under assault after the fashion of yoga, so the future then (save in India) is not clear. It may be necessary to break the question down into components and start over: the meditative path examines the phenomenon of ‘attention’ which is a complex hybrid of the ‘act of will’ and the ‘being levels’ of consciousness/self-consciousness. That’s two paths in one, and the ‘buddhist’ goal of the cessation of the ‘will’ in the finale of pure being is theoretically only half the answer. A race of intelligent devils using their ‘wills’ in an eternal warfare of spirit cannibals seems to suggest the First Noble Truth all over again.
The question of the future of buddhism will determine the whole game, and it is hard to see how buddhism will survive in American culture. So we might look elsewhere for the future of the ‘new age’ exploration. It would help to have better histories, and Indian spiritual history is especially confusing.
To be continued…
The last dozen or so posts show the obvious: the complete failure of everything I had hoped to achieve in the New Age movement. Everything. Tibetan Buoddhism the source of nazism? Goodbye to all that? Can buddhism survive this expose? I doubt it. The American brand is being quietly destroyed by its followers. The sufi movement is a total calamity. To actually stumble on its esoteric secret results in total rejection. The is ancient teaching no longer works and is being taken over by creepy operators like E.J.Gold who wants to turn it into a Jewish monopoly: destroy the paths of any uppity gentiles who get anywhere near success. It is not worth it to bother with sufism.
The expansion of hinduism against the decline of buddhism is the fatal temptation of the Indian spiritual movement, which is likely to pass away in India. The commercialization of yoga is an ominous sign. But westerners cannot easily manifest the Indian paths. Part of the problem is the confusion over autonomy and the domination of gurus. There is no middle ground, and most of the New Age sadhana is phony junk peddled to westerners who can’t honestly enter the realm of ‘spiritual surrender’. Nor should they regeret this. Being taken over body and soul by a gangster like Gurdjieff to serve unknown ends is a terrible fate, and the failure to speak clearly on these issues has wasted the time of too many who realize they have wasted a life on something that is not within their possibility.
Christianity is a complete waste of time. I have tried very hard to include that in my new age search. I spent months in meditation on a gospel mission bench before making a ‘decision for Jesus’. The great moment came and the result was to get kicked in the teath by some astral copy of ‘jesus’: ‘this religion is for retards, bugger off’. I was stunned. But before that happened I did experience what often happens to those who enter the ‘conversion syndrome’ so prominent in the evangelical branch: your life can suddenly reorient toward a prosperous Faustian pact with the invisble church. I went from down and out to a good job and apartment to down and out again in less than a year, and a self-warning not to be ‘conned by Jesus’ again. It is a dangerous mixture of Mephistopheles, so, once again, I am better being booted out of Xtian piggy bank routines. Pissed off at Jesus, then, is the last phase of Xtian Xtasies.
That leaves a perfect strikeout on New Age ventures. AS thirty five year waste of time.
Remarkable development: I expose the sufi game with the ‘plexus seed’ mystery and lo and behold hidden operators reinfect me with the ‘stuff’. My expose was an embarrassment to the sufi propganda of esoteric preeminence. The idea of the ‘theft of baraka’ (not in fact the same as the plexus-seed) and the rest of it is a reminder of the collapse of sufism into hopeless confusion. I must say at once that I refuse this ‘new gift’ out of the blue: this has happened before, and the enrgy wohn’t linger if you refuse to cooperate. As much as I would love to explore this mystery I have learned that it is completely futile to bother. This is the strange business of spritual demonologists: it not safe to enter this process without some clarification…
More on this later….
This is an incomprehensible post at the Gurdjieff Con on the esoteric question of sufism, so-called: http://www.gurdjieff-con.net/2014/01/21/3922/
I think the left as neo-communism will try to take the legacy of Marx and his predecessors (who created ‘marxism’ before marx) into a new dimension beyond historical materialism, leaving open the possibility of a kind of spiritual movement. This is not a reactionary compromise with the legacy of religious tradition, but an attempt to replace ‘religion’ (or its Axial Age formats) with something that is true to the modern Enlightenment, but which can see, with a smile, the way the terminology of that modern movement echoed unconsciously the ‘buddhist’ twist on the semantics of the term. We can see in Kant (and of course Hegel) the premonitions of a new postreligion that can be intelligent about metaphysical issues and be able to bring Reason to the issues of ‘spirituality’, Gautama Buddha being an early indication of the ‘modern’ theme of Reason brought to the legacy of Santana Dharma. The format of neo-communism is a good vehicle for this, and in the process the movement can try to reseed a fresh version of the ‘sufi’ underground in Islam, this time on the left as a community of the ‘will’ beside the community of ‘no will’, i.e.buddhism. You cannot intend to do this: it is beyond ambitious or strategic control, but one can see it coming into being behind a change of scenery. So one can hope for the best. Maybe for the first time a postreligious movement can come into being that isn’t a complete shambles of the kind all too visible in the children’s pilgrimage of Xtianity. There are a lot of ways to do this wrong, so better say a prayer, and hope for the best. In the demise of the Axial Age formations the caravan of sufis, those who aren’t corrupted reactionaries like Gurdjieff, go in search of a new exoteric refuge.
The comments of ‘Diogenes’ are typical in a way: the people who defend Gurdjieff are uninformed outsiders. The whole game lives on the naive enthusiasm created by Ouspensky.
The issue of Gurdjieff, a dead guru btw, requires more than regurgitated Ouspensky. These people are reactionaries who wish to undermine the modern world, destroy democracy, and restore the power of obscure religious/esoteric cults. They can’t succeed. Ironically these people land in the ambiguous realm of Nietzschean nihilism, as did the fascists/nazis…
The danger of entrapment and enslavement around Gurdjieff sufis is real, it is good to give the whole game a wide berth…The whole thing is outrageously unfair to Ouspensky who have moved on in his next life, despite immense efforts by the ghostly and demonic G-phantom to reenslave him.
It is amusing to read Anirvan’s book on the subject (To Live Within) to how a slave-robot can arise from the Hindu tradition pressed to provide Gurdjieff propaganda. The Indian tradition of gurus and disciples is quite different, and is able to produce sages, where the Gurdjieff world is really deadly to human autonomy.
We might now be close to being able to answer Diogenes, check out his comments. The feeling of expansion that comes from reading Ouspensky is a frequent outcome. But it amounts to very little. Gurdjieff is saying that self-remembering’ is a path to self-consciousness, a three thousand year old cliche repackaged successfully to appeal to people. But there are much better ways. And the problem with Gurdjieff is that he doesn’t aim high enough. He seems unfamiliar with the path to enlightenment, an important warning.
I would say that a superficial study of Ouspensky/Gurdjieff is misleading. Move on to something less toxic…
I don’t wish to dispense advice here. But I would in general caution against Gurdjieffianity. The whole game is filled with useless confusions like the enneagram, etc…
http://www.gurdjieff-con.net/2014/01/21/3920/ I don’t wish to be unfair to Tibetan buddhism, but, having given a good plug to ‘buddhism’, I should probably point out that (Tibetan) buddhism is hardly any better than sufism. These religious vehicles are so old and so premodern that their status in modernity is vexed. A whole generation has skidded off into a ‘postmodern’ fantasy.
Tibetan buddhism, let it be noted, is an exclusive club. And it is surrounded by revealing signs of preferential selection with the majority receiving nothing. A few to many Hollywood celebrities, et al… Why enter such an organization?
In general all the New Age constellations I have approached in the last thirty years have been a waste of time. Sufism, buddhism, Gurdjieff, Kabbalah, Osho/Rajneesh, the whole game is shot, although the Osho nexus has a potential that I have tried to assess.
But gurus have not helped. There has to be a way beyond gurus. I had three experiences of near satori in the early seventies, but all that disappeared as soon as I approached the field of gurus. They keep people asleep, more than they wake them up. It is time to be done with the whole business. The real ‘path’ is hidden inside of modernity.
Our remarks about fascism and spiritual obedience are directly relevant here. Fascism apart, which is confusing pseudo-modern phenomenon, The traditional ways are all crypto-authoritarian. But to sell themselves they have to adopt a modernistic veneer, behind which lies the same old centuries old crud of absolute obedience. To pass themselves off in modern cultures, this has to be disguised. But if you make a mistep in these milieus the truth comes out, as with the Osho blowout described in some posts still on this page. Osho is confusing because his ‘beyond enlightenment’ theme leaves only a wild ghostly demonic hulk that will try to take over your will. Best to find a safer venue. Work alone. That is the only option finally. And reflect on what the modern context seems to be saying about religious traditions. And that is not the view of the new atheists, or secular humanists. The ancient ways can find a venue in modernity, but it is not clear what it is. Schopenhauer stumbled on a rich vein of innovation and his philosophy gives a rebirth to Upanishadic obscurities that no longer resonate with the modern mind.
All this said, there is a component of ‘modernity’ in the legacy of buddhism: it was part of a ‘reformation’ in the Axial Age. But it is still an ashram grown to gargantuan size, like Xtianity, as an oversized ‘bhakti’ cult.
All of these things are finishing their early round of success, but they will begin to lose ground. How could it be otherwise? How can a medieval horror show of Tibetan politics truly advance the ‘greater buddhist’ (santana dharma, which isn’t hinduism) way.
In any case all of the new age formations I have dealt with in the last generation have been a waste of time.
written a few days ago, and withdrawn temporarily…
John Shirley doesn’t sound at all as if he had any connection with the Gurdjieff game (I won’t say ‘work’). Actually the connection to sufis, if that was real in the period when Ouspensky et al. were alive, is related to a form of so-called ‘soul creation’ (but we all have souls already, so the lingo is ambiguous) and a related phenomenon its puzzled recipients refer to as a ‘solar plexus’ zone ‘baby’, or belly seed. My brief experience of this resulted in getting ripped off, good luck,I am free of the whole game which is really about something else, perhaps. If you have been connected to the work so-called for more than a year and don’t know what I am talking about, be gone: you are being manipulated as an outsider. This sufi signature shows no signs I can detect in the Ouspensky/Gurdjieff groups, but I can’t tell: moral, despite all his impressive circus acts Gurdjieff is ambiguously a sufi fake or perhaps not. ?
It is best to forget this phenomenon, and be glad you are an outsider. Seek a more transparent path.
John Shirley: quit while you are ahead. I doubt if you have any connection to the work gang, and be glad that is the case.
There, you got the sufi secret from an outsider. A warning to never trust sufis. (and my account her may be confused. But people who find out anything about sufis is so rare I will briefly spill the beans)
This is strong stuff (cf the post from two days ago quoted below): you can implode people’s view of sufism in an eyeblink. I hope that’s the case. I think it is important and worth it to expose the confusion here. That’s hard: the ‘real’ sufis have a spiritual technology beyond anyone’s ken. But I wonder is they understand their own resource. 90% of ‘sufis’ are involved in a fake, and noone gives them a warning: don’t be a casualty of sufi/esoteric disinformation. The post above (several times discussed in my blogs, here and at darwiniana.com) is the real mccoy, as far as it goes. But I steered clear of the whole question, because it is a trap. I passed briefly through this zone of sufis, but my conclusions are cautionary.
The ‘sufi’ plexus ‘soul seed’ is a strange mystery, with no public information or resources. It is beyond the realm of manipulation. It simply happens to sufis in proximity to various sources, usually ambiguously disguised. Despite all this I refused to enter this path: it is suspiciously manipulated by demonic people. You are given a gift with a hidden price. And that’s the end of your spiritual path. A crucial question arises: why be a Faust to a sufi metphistopheles if you can do better, move beyond ‘soul’ on the path to enlightenment.
But this is nowhere a public phenomenon. The odds are that you will never find the ‘real’ sufis. I was cured of sufi interests, in fact. Who wants to be potted plant is some obscure sufi culture of medieval sheiks?
It is not funny. In fact you may fall into a real hell and stay there for a long spell of many many lives. The path of enlightenment moves beyond ‘soul’, while ‘paths of will’ (I am guessing here) can adopt a samsaric strategy of action. The latter seems the way to go, but in reality it will teach you the first noble truth, as your ‘will’ is made the object of capture. You will repent of being a sufi hotshot, really repent.
But the phenomenon is genuinely remarkable: a mysterious plexus ‘object’ evidently in a higher dimension interacting with the human body. Don’t waste your time trying to find this. And in any case, realize it is never worth getting anything free from the sufi mafia. So I must have been lucky I encountered the unique experience of ‘stolen baraka (actually the plexus ‘baby’ phenomenon).
There are a lot of mysteries to man’s ‘evolutionary psychology’. But they have fallen into confusion. Another example is the kundalini nexus, now almost impossible to figure out.
Sufis are total shits. They have misled thousands upon thousands of people with disinfo, wrecking their spiritual potential. Never have anything to do with them. I refuse to keep their secrets, and am persona non grata anywhere near them. Let me repeat, total shits. Exceptions: those who sweetly call themselves ‘sufis’ are usually naive and innocent people. Leave them alone.
The question of human soul is obscure, but it seems clear that ‘homo sapiens’ individuals all have a soul factor as a species character. This other mystery of the sufis is something else. The problem with the species level ‘soul’ is that it is not really permanent at all: you get a healthy run of human existences in order to accomplish ‘human completion’. That’ why, no doubt, the religious preacher rant, now so decayed, makes sense: be about your business of life and don’t be tempted by demonic sideshows. I have a bad feeling that conventional Xtianity no longer works anymore, so, with all due respect, you might do well to question what it offers. It is a complete mess at this point. Small wonder the new atheists refuse to put up with it anymore.
Still, it is a pity that science can’t study this phenomenon. The existence of a hyperdimensional object near the plexus, and ‘sensed’ partially by the physical nerve system is a puzzle of puzzles, especially in what is considered a backward cultural context! I can’t resolve this because my experience of this was very brief (fortunately, in retrospect). Embittered ‘sufis’ who sense they have missed the real thing converge on bewildered beginners to ‘steal’ the energy there, or so I suspect from my own case. (but it is also true that the energy involved is infinite, so why the egoic muddle?) Goodbye to all that.
They did me a favor, because I wish to move in a different world. But the whole thing is beguiling and strange. I suspect there are many such phenomena connected with the human evolutionary psychology, e.g. the mostly lost art of kundalini. What ancient knowledge is lost to us?
If you are an aggressive scioentist looking for proofs and evidence this is a cliffhanger: the evidence is there, but….!! In any case, I suspect the ‘soul’ is material in some sense. The spiritual/material division is misleading.
Anyway this was intended to warn John Shirley he has no connection whatsoever to Gurdjieff, unless it be the unconscious manipulation of a writer useful for propaganda. Get the fuck away from these devils, even as ‘soul’ peddlers.
You have probably had no contact with anything except the false Gurdjieffianity. Your point is valid, however, in a way, but who the heck is going to openly proclaim total obedience? The deeper reality is the extreme forms of hidden guru control.
I am sorry for a new critical attitude toward Osho, but, with me at least, the falling out phase with gurus is psredictable. But with Osho I am puzzled: he had an immense follo9wing of all sorts of people, and yet in the invisible realm of former gurus, the search is on for outside talent. I find that hard to figure and suddenly react in shock at the predatory tactics aimed to capture outside intellectuals. He won’t succeed with me, the reason I said I quit a few posts back. Gurus, especially when dead, are dangerous: they can posses people like the old cliches about demons, capturing one’s autonomy, fodrever, until you find out, usually via solo meditation. If you are lucky. Disciples, perhaps, have a great future with their guru, but there is a catch. In any case, if Osho can’t find the people he needs in his own ashram, I have to wonder at his original methods.
We are talking about dead people here! There is a high probability I am nuts, therefore, but a good chance I am right
On the count of three flip the bird at Osho’s ghost.
For a dozenth time my hostility to Gurdjieff is based on the reality that various esoteric sources were fascist, and Gurdjieff was probably a fellow traveler. In any case, his known discussions show a reactionary conservative who is against democracy and human freedom. It is the hidden vice of new age gurus in general who preach ‘postmodernism’ because they don’t like modernity, or freedom. \Gurdjieff is a clear case. He follows the Whites toward southern Russia, and is on record supporting slavery, and approving of the pre-revolution treatment of the Russian peasantry. His ‘disciple’ Ouspensky wrote a really garbage tract on the ‘future evolution ofman’ supporting the Hindu law of caste.
So the whole game is shot, yet we have dozens of liberal Gurdjieff fanatics who just don’t get it. Gurdjieff demands absolute surrender and obedience. Behind the scenes, beyond the groupie circles, that surrender is tested: will you kill Jews if the guru asks it. The realm of Gold’s gurdieffianity was the Jewish case where that issue was demanded, and we had Jewish Gold nutjobs in nazi armbands.
My caution as to Gurdjieff then is not so unrealistic as the groupie comments here suggest. You would to well to steer clear of Gurdjieff. I follow th OUspensky track: he had a falling our G, the chief disciple started the long dissent this blog proposes.
His teaching is a repackaged version of ‘meditation in action’, that’s it, and yet even this is marred by a lot of confusing junk that Gurdjieff must have made up. This teaching has produced no exemplars, and seems barren, and a good reason is that it is unclear what it is about. It cannot succeed because the core is fake. If you must understand the enneagram to achieve ‘consciousness’, that day will never come, because the enneagram is complete idiocy, as far as I can tell.
Buddhism is clear: it is about the path to enlightenment. With Gurdjieff and too many sufis there is no focus. Just a sort of groupie enthusiasm over a bait and switch teaching. The traffic in groupie disciples is a big business in the shadow realm of shady gurus.
I should caution that these problems also haunt the decayed ‘buddhism’ that has survived from antiquity. The hidden rumor is the compicity of various buddhists in the age of fascism.
The whole question of gurus is unstable in the West. Westerners almost never find the starting point because their ideas of democracy and freedom block the road to total surrender. \
We should point out that most real success here ‘on the path’ comes from those smart enouugh to stay away from gurus. Rajneesh was an example. Yet his world is stuck in the same surrender game, finally.
We need a reformation of the whole legacy of gurus and paths. It is falling out of history due to the failure to recreate itself beyond the false models produced by most of the exemplars current.
I can Gurdjieff dangerous because he is so. These ghostly devils can wreck the path of those they prey on. And they get off scott free. The reality of Gurdjieff is simply unclear. He speaks only distantly of ‘enlightenment’. His state is unclear, some sort of demonic limbo of relatively high consciousness. In any case his explanations in his ‘novel’ are unclear, but probably go the route in justifying his evil circumstance.
hum eth list
This is your brain on religion: Uncovering the science of belief
D.F. Swaab, Salon
As far as I’m concerned, the most interesting question about religion isn’t whether God exists but why so many people are religious. There are around 10,000 different religions, each of which is convinced that there’s only one Truth and that they alone possess it. Hating people with a different faith seems to be part of belief. Around the year 1500, the church reformer Martin Luther described Jews as a “brood of vipers.” Over the centuries the Christian hatred of the Jews led to pogroms and ultimately made the Holocaust possible. In 1947, over a million people were slaughtered when British India was partitioned into India for the Hindus and Pakistan for the Muslims. Nor has interfaith hatred diminished since then. Since the year 2000, 43 percent of civil wars have been of a religious nature.
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The question of kundalini is hard to resolve, and Gurdjieff’s critique, as so often, is an incomplete thought whose meaning is esoteric, and therefore not public. So I don’t know about kundabuffer. I have no means to verify, define, or understand what is said. I could spend ten years reading Beelzebut’s Tales, and might gain a slight increase in knowldege. But those ten years would enslave a student to the Gurdjieff ghost, so I will skip it.
I think it is true that kundalini has a significant meaning in terms of human evolutionary consciousness, but I don’t know for sure. One of Osho’s disciples, quoted here (scroll down) describes an experience of kundalini in relation to enlightenment. So I don’t know.