Response to Gurdjieff the spy comments
Thanks a lot for these great comments from SK and mybrainisafleamarket (MBFM).
Post on James Webb
Webb’s book is invaluable, and I wish his other book on the occult renaissance were cheaper. I think I read it once, and it has been many years since I researched this material. The comments on the sufi tradition and the absence of reference to the enneagram is significant.
I would offer one caveat: although Gurdjieff was clearly brazen in his deceptions, those deceptions betray a man with a few consistent themes, one of which is the claim for a tradition deeper than the sufi stream, the whole point about his wild statements about greater antiquity and lost knowledge, all the way to Sumer.
I don’t find his conclusions about this reliable, but he is saying that the enneagram is something he found after very difficult efforts, resulting in the discovery of the Sarmon monastery, where he found the enneagram. A possible reason noone had ever heard of it. Packaged in disinformation is something that rings true even as it rings false. Don’t know, but the whole game is impossible to get quite straight.
Could all be balderdash anyway. And the result, the enneagram, we live in another age that can’t take this bit seriously, and least not I. It is just ingenious enough to confuse a mystic, but obviously a flawed instrument of knowledge.
As to being an intelligence agent, the possibility discredits him, but at the same time he was unlikely to have been the standard psychopathic spy type.
Recall that he was evidently recruited in the context of the Great Game, with Russia and England vying for Tibet. That required a combination of sincere spiritual type and and cunning spy type, a rare combo, but obviously Gurdjieff fit the requirements.
Keep in mind that he was penetrating Tibet. He wouldn’t have had any chance of deceiving all those lamas if he were merely a psychopathic spy type. Again, hard to say. But no ordinary intelligence agent could have gotten very far in Tibet. To cal someone an intelligence agent can be misleading. There are many specialists given a specialist job in secret with no contact with the general field of political cloak and dagger. And then dismissed at the end, ‘we never heard of you’.
SK tries to bring in a Gold connection, interesting, and thanks. We talked about that a while back at Darwiniana, perhaps we can pursue it further here.
Thanks for the great input, it is a big help here.