Instead of commenting let me put the question in context, that of my WHEE.
The Indian Axial Age, 900 BCE to 600 BCE is the interval in my model, not exactly the same as the Axial Age, is a tour de force of three things (or more). The transition moves through the classic legacy corrupted with Vedism and extracts the Upanishads and from there the Vedanta appears. This mysterious process then acts on the Jain legacy which is very ancient and the result is the world of Mahavir. And this leads to the third phase, the buddhist. Look first at the emergence of Israelitism: between 900 BCE and 600 BCE a whole new religious constellation emerges: the Old Testament starts to crystallize, the Prophets appear, then just around 600 BCE it is ready, almost. Then out of the blue Judah is destroyed and the ‘Israelites/Judahites’ are in Babylon and the Judaic corpus blends with the Zoroastrian. Then within a century they are back in ‘Israel’ and the religion emerges… Note how the period after 600 BCE is a realization phase.
The same is true in India: just after 600 BCE the buddhist legacy begins to undergo its realization and it is on its way. But there is a lot more there that leads up to this, and the conventional legacy is about to produce Vedanta’s larger realization and is also gestating further. The Indian tradition is thus confusing but the analysis of the macro model in WHEE is completely logical and makes sense of the data. The result goes in different directions, that of Vedanta into the realm of Advaita and much else…
The model produces this analysis without knowing anything about the content!
The Advaita world from Vedanta/Upanishads is almost primordial but it is corrupted by the Vedic legacy which is actually foreign to it. That’s the significance of buddhism: this mysterious process seems to wish to extract the core legacy from the confusing mixture by deleting the Vedic hybridizaition.
This was a bit ugly, but I think the experience I had in the Oregon wilds near the Commune is a personal recollection that is a useful toolkit experience for figuring out what the path to enlightenment means. I failed to understand anything and that’s a suggestion that ‘enlightenment’ is already the case and can suddenly reflect itself in ordinary consciousness. Not as an experience of higher consciousness but simply as a strange sense the unconscious is there and that ordinary consciousness is limited. No more, no less. I was/am too ‘primitive’ to reach enlightenment. I should have done so then but didn’t understand what it was or what was happening.
Study the basics and don’t get caught unawares as I was…
I have suddenly jumped back into sufi issues. It is strange how little I know on the subject, even as I hold a key to the core of that history, unable to do anything about it. The book People of the Secret actually refers to the sufi ‘soul question’, so the Idries Shah zone is/was a lead to this dangerous quagmire. My suspicion is that rogue sufie are creating soul monsters and drones with this spiritual technology. We must close in on it if we can.
The book is mostly useless. It tries to follow the history of sufism in Spain and its influence on Europe. But the whole question is a mess of pottage. It is a lost hope of sufistic penetration of world culture, it didn’t happen. But the book is a suggestion sufis wished to do for religion what Osho is doing, or do: xtianity didn’t even have a concept of meditation.
The analysis I have given I will stand by, despite the dangers of mistakes: the world system suddenly shifted into European modernity throwing all traditionalists out of whack. It is a case of the third component in my list (whether the biospheric hypothesis is right or not) leapfrogging world history…
Update: we have no real data here, and it is easy to confuse the ‘demiurgic powers’ and the ‘hidden directorarate’. I am very skeptical about the latter and have misjudged, I think, their place in the creation/onset of religions. I think I should amend my statements to note that the demiurgic powers should be a part of the onset of religions in the mideonic periods.
Who belongs to the hidden directorate? People like Gurdjieff? He made a total mess of what he did. None of the gurus and spiritual teachers could grasp the rise of modernity. And the book in question here shows that the sufis frittered away their energy in secondary occult subjects, alchemy, freemasonry (rosicrucianism), and the like. And these subjects are highly toxic and difficult to deal with because they are esoteric junk. These are precisely the results of the ‘hidden directorate’, I suspect. The onset of christianity is thus probably the result of two levels, a general format emerging from the Axial Age, from the demiurgic powers, and a series of more specific efforts by various planetary spiritual persons (consider the legend of the magi, useless, but significant), who completely fucked up the whole task, which nonetheless came about. The basic realization was prepared from the start in the Axial period, and the Old/New Testaments sense this with a lot of (dubious) claims they were foretold. What was ‘foretold’ was simply a very generalized format with few specifics…
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The People of the Secret (Paperback)
I can’t give five starts to a book like this, and it may contain many errors, but it is worth pointing to the reference to J.G.Bennett without endorsing the whole book.
I think Bennett (connected to sufis, and the book is an Octagon print, from Idries Shah zone) almost got it right. Readers should check out my World History and the Eonic Effect:
We must distinguish three or more different things, and they are all in Bennett, but not in the right analysis:
1. demiurgic powers
2. a hidden directorate
3. the cascade of cosmic laws as in Bennett with _!_biospheres in that sequence of levels.
4. Ordinary men, buddhas, and perhaps men with ‘permanent I’, whatever that is.
WHEE gives some insight into the wrong analysis of epochs in Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe. It contains its own model, which distinguishes the action of the Axial Age, and the onset of most religions.
Many students get evolution and demiurgic powers confused. Demiurgic powers probably don’t have the energy resources to terraform planets or do operations on a global scale: this springs from biosphere (GAIA!). Demiurgic powers can move inside this context like men in a factory but the larger system is different. This is why noone can figure out the evolution of religion, civilization and man, and the hopeless confusions of ‘design arguments’. The Axial Age shows the emergence of religion in a larger context of civilization: this is biospheric with demiurgic co-participation. But religions can arise at any time: men are free to create them. But if they arise in the transition cycle of age periods they ofen prosper better. But the modern new age throws a curve ball: our larger system doesn’t distinguish sacred and secular: note the parallel Axial Age Greece. This biospheric level seems cyclic as Bennett noted and this suggests it is hypermechanical, while demiurgic beings have ‘will’ of some kind (although in Bennett biospheres have ‘will’ in a different sense, 24 laws?). And this leaves the founders like buddha in an ambiguous context. The sequence of age periods is fixed: religions can arise in their transitions like Hinayana or Israelitism or they can arise in the middle periods like Mahayana, Christianity, Islam. It is important to study the difference because two sets of operations are different.
Religions are probably delegated to the hidden directorate, or figures like Gautama, who can initiate their starting points, while their actual construction sequence ends in the hands of men. This is why the Old Testament seems so smart and primitive at the same time. It clearly distinguishes ‘god’ and ‘elohim’ btw…
This can be confusing, the analysis of World History and the Eonic Effect can throw for loop and the Axial Age in India is more complex than just buddhism. Buddhism appears just at the boundary of the Axial period, like the ‘religion’ appearing with the Israelites after ca. 600 BCE.
These three distinctions (or four) go a long way to explaining the confusion over religion, civilization, secularism, etc… We have bioshpere, demiurgic powers, a hidden directorate, and buddhas who clearly did not see anything beyond their enlightenment, a very tricky situation. And then ordinary men. The Israelites were very smart and saw a higher power or the bioshpere where the buddha saw only a ‘turning of the wheel’, with a visit from the ‘god realm’ (???). The gestation of Christianity, Islam, Mahayana (outside of the Axial Age) are thus at best influenced by the hidden directorate, and then human agents, with the Jesus figure in between. Scott is close on many points but this analysis is filled with traps…His take on Islam and sufis is useful at a time when Islamophobes are rampant.The question of the hidden directorate is vexed. Just who are these beings and how do they relate to incarnation? The buddhas move beyond incarnation. There is a another category?? (the boddhissatwa perhaps being an artificial imitation). The emergence of Christianity was a complete mess, yet succeeded in spite of itself. This model may help. Being a part of the ‘hidden directorate’ raises as many questions as it answers.They must support themselves over many lives on the surface of a planet, not an easy thing to do. We have not facts here, so we should be wary.
Note that, and Bennett realized this, modernity is a new age. This confounds all traditionalists. But it is important to see that the progression of epochs is beyond the ‘sacred/secular’ distinction. A closer look shows the Reformation and buddhism reborn in spite of itself, just as Jainism was reborn in the Axial Age, but then giving way to buddhism.
We can see figures like Osho struggling in this context: his commune could foot the bill for a new era, as buddhism tides and then begins to recede…
Note: I am using other peoples’ terminology and can’t vouch for the foundations of Bennett’s system but I think mine is a better interpretation than theirs, but….it doesn’t follow I accept the cosmological conclusions of Bennett about biospheres. But people don’t quite know how to use his system (assuming it is valid…a big if)
This author doesn’t get entangled with Gurdjieff who has confused everyone. Bennett’s take is a hybrid with another source. Another discussion. I don’t know if demiurgic powers can communicate with humans: the scales are totally different.
The question of Gurdjieff, sufis, and my antagonistic stance, reflects the issues of the ‘masters of wisdom’ question, or the Khwajagan topic of Bennett’s last book. I know nothing much at all about this, but I do sense a larger dimension to sufism, and this is one of them (the resemblance to buddhism is no accident).
I think that my references to Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe have backfired, and I need to revise my thinking here. The problem is that Bennett’s discussion of a hidden realm of demiurgic guides in history is mostly a lot of crap. His take on world history is so very odd I couldn’t for a long time put my finger on the difficulty.
First his entanglement with Gurdjieff made him dishonest, as Gurdjieff was dishonest. The whole book is a compromise, as he failed to pursue his own vision, mixing in the crap from Gurdjieff to put the work in two modes. The enneagram is crap and Bennett must have known this, but he introduces the idea in the middle of DU to the confusion of the whole text. That’s one out of three dozens major issue, like the use of the model of the Great Year to clock his epochs.
it gets worse in his later books and the twin dogmas of the law of three and law of seven become the core of a Gurdjieff myth. He was far closer to something good before that. Not that Dramatic Universe can be rescued.
In any case, the idea of a group demirugic guides mixed with the Islamic versions of this idea, plus the unknowns of such groups as the Khwajagan vitiates Bennett’s whole account.
Bennett’s take on world history fails in the end, but I respect his work up to a point because he resisted the antimodernist new aging of the folks in the new age movement.
But his section of the rise of the modern is very poor.
Here’s my view: if you want to consider the action of higher powers in history you must reckon with my WHEE. And there you confront something far more difficult than the idea of some angelic hallucination tinkering with history. But noone will even consider this work.
I hope I didn’t spoil my Descent of Man Revisited and Last and First Men with references to Bennett. They were kept to the Preface to make a point. But in the end I think I must invent new terms and induce the final break with anything Gurdjieffian.
The term ‘demiurgic powers’ is a good one, but Bennett uses it up and it is beyond rescue.
My strange ‘beyond space/time moment’ approaching the Commune in Oregon was never hyped by me, but it is becoming so. The moment was not an experience. Like a thunderclap that loosens high altitude snow, the avalanche is immiment, but always imminent. Since one is already enlightened it is easy for something to to tweak that momentarily. But that isn’t the realization of enlightenment. The miraculous effect is more like a sufi phenomenon.
In any case I said the rascals had outwitted the buddhas. Triggering the countdown to enlightenment (it may be a really long countdown) by sneaking across a buddhafield and then thumbing one’s nose at the buddhas is the way to do it. So long to the buddhy system. Osho was a fool.
In the onset of a war with the Osho ‘ghost’, in reality probably sufistic attempts to destroy Osho, I should review the cases of ‘hostile’ reactions to Osho…
I don’t think the Osho figure likes me so I need to be wary. But I don’t feel comfortable with the usual Osho exposes. My criticism is that naive ‘disciples’ can’t trust the ghost versions of dead buddhas.
I was one of the homeless people who appeared at the Commune, but my ‘darshan’ was already over, a strange experience in the Oregon wilds, walking on foot from the main railhead town nearby to the Commune.
I think the physical presence of a buddha is hard to understand and I have often felt in retrospect that there is a cloud around the guru: spirits who never had an ashram eager to interact with people in the ‘field’.
Osho was to start the Rajneesh bible about this time, a scorching attack on xtianity, but I was no longer there. The life at Rajneeshpuram was interrupted by the subtle motion to dismiss the homeless groups. And in retrospect drugging the beer of the homeless makes me wonder why I was so dazed during my short stay. I don’t think my presence and problems were relevant to the Commune world and it was better to move on. The real contact resumed almost at once as soon as I left. And I wrote a long poem critical of xtianity.
The real question:
The issue of rights critiqued yesterday throws down the gauntlet: how do you run a ‘commune’/communist social democracy that works. ?? The Osho commune is almost impossible to analyze.
We see that Osho emerging from silence dismissed his own commune leader and cohort as fascists.
Whatever the failings, I think he was the victim also of covert agency and/or fundamentalist xtian conspiracy, and I will strongly consider the charge he was poisoned while in custody in the last phase of flying to Charlotte…etc…
I have done what I think was asked and the result was a tidbit of the ‘master of masters’ meme to project a sequence of buddhas after the manner of the 24 Jain Teertankers leading up to Mahavir, who concluded the series, followed by budda/gautama. The kind of tension shown here between respect and brazen insolence toward the ‘master’ suggests how to approach that impossible task: a followthru of the Osho spirit and a rebellious independence from the sacred icon.
I have declared that I will pull rank on the buddhas…more in the same vein. You get the idea… In any case I failed miserably as a pandit and was sent packing…