Age periods and the decline of ancient spiritualities
this is a great excerpt from burton. very helpful. thank you.
truly there is nothing new under the sun. this stuff has been going on…??? since the beginning of time???
do you think it is possible that collectively, as a species, we might outgrow it, before it is too late?
I was perhaps unfair in using the term ‘guruism’, despite the similarity between Indian guruism and the lines of ‘sheiks’ or ‘pirs’. Separate judgments are required.
The problem is precisely the antiquity that SK refers to. The Indic tradition seems to be five thousand years old. Buddhism was already a kind of reform movement.
As to the Middle East, the picture is less clear, but we can see proto-sufism already at work in the Jesus figures, so we know that we are missing a lot there.
It is necessary to be wary of the concealed ‘new agism’ that is attempting to denigrate modernity and reestablish these decayed traditions, when what is needed is what we see in the Axial period, which is the renewal in a real New Age as an escape from the past. Now a similar transition is occurring in modernity itself.
It is hard to say what the fate of the Indic tradition will be, since it is able to survive on its own, so to speak. But the proliferation of rancid sufism is going to prove something we should resist, expose, and do that by whatever documentation we can bring to the hidden strains and scandals.
In any case, the Gurdjieff work has proven an abortive yet spreading, now global, confusion that will prove difficult to counter.
My consideration here is to provide information so that bemused young adults, the prime victims of these Ouspenskian revelations, will confront the lore of sufis, sheiks and gurus without the abject submission that can only get them in trouble.
There is an emerging modern path that has already left all this behind, and its elements are seen in the basics (all over again) rediscovered of ‘self-consciousness’. At that point (this is a bit vague so far) the confusions of these rapidly decaying traditions will be seen for what they are.
The problem with ‘renewal’ is that, precisely because of figures like Gurdjieff who will infiltrate and create fronts within fronts out of pastiches of ancient teachings in the name of that ‘New Age’, it may never happen and all we will get is the proliferation of confusion we see now.