There is no consistent presentation of the ‘path of enlightenment’ beyond the ambiguous and flawed/incomplete Advaita which has misled dozens of new agers
The time has come to see that the ‘path of enlightenment’ is an incoherent and confused illusion (real enough in very isolated cases) and is exploited in large-scale teachings dishonestly.
It is worth considering the Samkhya, in its state of decay, with the work of J.G.Bennett who produced a complete framework of all possible paths, a result that resembles Samkhya in its lineage but shows how far that ancient subject has decayed. But the result is so complicated few can deal with it, let alone create a path from it.
But it is suspicious to me that treatment doesn’t even mention the ‘path to enlightenment’. Bennett’s work is oriented toward xtianity/sufism, but that leaves the question why he/they have to use an Indian legacy, one Indians themselves can’t seem to get straight (I may have missed something in conventional Samkhya). And Bennett’s material is mixed up the the crooked mess created by Gurdjieff and is unsafe to use in the way the material is set up by Gurdjieff as a front for his black magical path. This is outrageous.
But those people, even Gurdjieff, I will wager don’t understand their own subject, and it doesn’t belong to the G camp or sufis and could be made entirely independent and put in the public domain as a modern subject. Bennett actually did that, almost.
I am left to ask how Bennett came to write The Dramatic Universe. We have discussed that elsewhere, and at least it seems that he moved rapidly away from the Gurdjieff world and produced a work that can be used by modern secular culture for a new kind of preliminary spiritual study. But no real practical method was devised by Bennett, although he tried, and the connection with rogue sufis is going to make its use difficult. But the Dramatic Universe pulled ahead of those who might wish to exploit students of the subject.
The real New Age is going to start from these fragments and move to create a true psychology of man that is practical, realizable, and free from occult predators like Gurdjieff. The question of spiritual teachers is barely relevant: they are too stupid to understand the real ‘paths’ and operate with magical powers in various occult rackets run by hidden operators. We can skip all that.
Bennett’s work shows that the possibilities of spiritual paths are very complicated and, remarkably, we can see behind the idiocy of xtianity an earlier effort to use Samkhya, wrecked by completely dishonest or confused theologians (cf. the doctrine of the Trinity).
The subject of Advaita is a toss off. Let’s take it and use it, make it public domain, but caution the subject as being incomplete or specialized in a characteristic Indic fashion.
It makes no allowance for the factor of will, and we suspect that it, and the whole buddhist corpus is a degenerated version, of an unknown larger corpus of teachings. Declaring the outer world and ego illusions is great on paper but the doctrine of liberation is surely an incomplete fragment of a larger perspective that gives the outer world its due and coaches the will in man to realize his place in the scheme of worlds.
The alarming decline of buddhism and its corrupt Tibetan brands need to be left behind, with a question about what happened. We know that the chaotic Indic world declared war on buddhists and their attempted revolution and in the process of their destruction and exile the buddhists turned into a vicious mafia seeking revenge, the spirit of Gautama long gone. That’s my guess.
But it would recommend quietly ditching buddhism: you owe this mess nothing. you don’t have to become a dead zombie fascist in the scheme run by hidden agents with idiot fronts like the Dalai Lama.
The scheme of Bennett might point to a path that realizes the True Self in the scheme of 24 laws, with a further path realizing the Individuality and beyond at the level of 12 laws. the path of enlightenment is something else here, and might be redefined, but the stance of Advaita is both the only known practical path out in the open and a path with a catch 22: the loss of will strips down the human spiritual psyche and declares everything illusion. That is open to what I suspect: the abuse of the path of enlightenment by hidden occultists as a spiritual cannibalism racket.
Let us rush to warn that India shows clearly the way to do it right: a yogi renounces the world and enters on an ascetic path working alone ‘in the forest’.
These large aggregate complexes of sanghas, ashrams, commune, and under suspcion and leave open immense fields for exploitation. You are on your own and you not bother unless you can deal with that.
The whole crap of a guru like the Osho mala/picture brand is in retrospect nauseating. Throw that stupidity away. A mass production Bhakti path is a pile of crap.
The work of Samkhya may survive Gurdjieff, let’s hope that something might come of Bennett’s classic The Dramatic Universe, something better than use as a door stop. Meanwhile the path of will may be an illusion to the Advaitist, but let’s research the over all situation. And I suspect the hoard of ‘realized’ people set in motion by Poonja will realize they didn’t reach enlightenment by this method and will end up reincarnating, maybe as Dalits in the Indian case system.