Idries Shah–from Darwiniana
Dogberry comments on Whitehouse and Shah and Whitehouse comments on my blast against sufism.
We are trying to determine the circumstance of Idries Shah, so it is difficult for me to both criticize and defend him at the same time. My impression always was that he was connected to some major sufistic operators, among them Gurdjieff (we had a debate here about whether Shah met Gurdjieff, btw), and did a fancy footwork bypass of traditionalist groups, and frankly I am not a fan of the Guenon/Schuon circuit (these people, btw, were arch reactionaries with really dumb fascist echoes in their work, in the thirties). I wouldn’t spit in that direction, and their mysticism is undoubtedly finely polished, but who cares? Does anyone think we are talking about mysticism here? I am way past that crap.
Give a break here, PULEEZ. After dealing with gang war of sufi hyenas the question of mysticism really gets me riled. Pure shit.
This shah circle wanted to shake things up a bit, no doubt, and bring some fresh air into the ‘tradition’. Whatever the case I have little patience anymore with the search for the true sufi. This search has driven thousands, more, to distraction and wasted lives, and it isn’t funny anymore and it can’t be settled by the piety test. I doubt if Shah cared a hoot about Islam and on that point i would tend to resonate in agreement (though I find its history of phenomenal interest), so the ‘true lineage’ test fails here also. We are in a hopeless situation where the ‘devils’ in the sufi world strike some as the ‘real’ sufis, as the traditionalists and ’embedded Moslem sufis’ talk ad infinitum of their religious concerns and lore. Yawn. The ‘devils’ have a ‘secret’ and simply flit about the sufi infrastructure pursuing their obscure and devious affairs, a la Gurdjieff. The problem is that these ‘devils’ are just that, a pack of thieves, Nietzschean scofflaws par excellence with occult sixshooters and ubermensch fantasies a la Faustian types, and peddle their outrageous schemes that hurt people. So they can’t be the ‘true’ sufis, since their best final resting place is either hell or a jail somewhere.
So I give up, finding the true sufis is categorically a lost cause. OK?
Shah’s project, if I understand it (unlikely, i have few facts), was to adapt to modernity, but in the process the character of sufistic meanings became torn.
I learned a while back that he was good at electronics, and I remember having a bug in my brain about electronics, all of a sudden, in the late seventies. I realized later that this was a ‘contact’ moment with that group (there was a GSR project surrounding Gold’s group roundabout that time, galvanic skin response divices, and that was an obvious Shah spinoff, without any direct contact)
I could sympathize with this project, but that judgment falls into a ditch once you realze how dishonest all these people are, and the way they use people.
I can’t take it much further, and have to mind my own life, which involves surviving multiple vicious voodoo attacks and cross attacks of all these people who end up fighting each other. That’s no laughing matter and it makes a mockery of all this tripe about who is the true sufi, or the real sufi path.
In any case, Mr Whitehouse, I am not a sufi, have no spiritual path, don’t acknowledge the sufi tradition, don’t respect the authority of ‘shaykhs’, fight back when attacked, lost my belief in god because of sufism, ‘real’ sufism, and don’t think highly of Islam because none of its adherents grasp the world they live in, that being clearer in an open society such as ours where the truth can come out.
To make matters worse I did figure out the ‘secret’, which I wouldn’t ever use, or be a part of , which makes me a marked man, so all I can do is keep on trucking, spitting in the direction of Mecca if I have to, as I walk around with a live hand grenade I would like to dispose of. I kind of like Moslems and their culture, so that remark isn’t as bad as it sounds. But I fear the whole game is finished. I think Shah was plotting an Exodus of sufism into a new and different mode. But no finite human is capable of that, as he himself pointed out, the real ‘tradition’ appearing in its own time from beyond ordinary history. I don’t think a hybrid of modernity and sufism is going to work, but noone will listen and we will see all sorts of preposterous idiocies (Gold is still another of those) trying their luck against the new age of modern history.