Danielou and Gurdjieff
There is a resemblance between the work of Danielou and Gurdjieff (the two men are completely different) in the sense that both are pointing to ancient traditions that are exceptionally old, older than mainstream traditions. Other similarities could be pointed to. We suddenly see from Danielou’s humble efforts the type of spiritual history that Gurdjieff has ‘discovered’ and turned into a fanatastic hype (unlike Danielou)>
Danielou honestly attempts a series of historical statements that have to be confirmed or refuted by evidence.
Gurdjieff, however, concocts the false authority of the guru (‘because I said so, I’m Mr. G and what I say goes’), and spurious invocations of ancient traditions of ‘objective knowledge’ and shunts aside the need for evidentiary confirmation by invoking the ‘esoteric’, referring to things that he therefore won’t have to verify because the idiots he is speaking to aren’t cleared for the big secret. Evidence is superfluous in that case. This kind of false wrapper wastes a lot of time for those trying to decipher what Gurdjieff is saying.
It is probable that Gurdjieff himself is on about the level of someone like Danielou, as to history, and simply hypes his tidbits of speculation, which in any case make little sense anyway: the saga of pre-Sand Egypt as the source of Christianity, etc, is more bravado than scholarship.
Further, Gurdjieff’s assertions often lack even a secondary or indirect confirmation. If Danielou makes assertions about ancient Shaivism, we should examine the evidence, but at least the assertion is plausible to the degree that he is referring to know entities, whatever their sources.
With Gurdjieff we find references to things (the path of will, the secret lore of central asia higher than that of Egypt or India, etc…) that don’t even have secondary or indirect referents. I think Gurdjieff is passing along embroidered tales concocted in the regions he travelled through, and most of what he says is made up out of whole cloth.
But there may well be ancient teachings, just as Gurdjieff said, in just the fashion that Danielou is better able to point to in the case of India.
But in G’s case, almost everything he puts forth is unbelievable, whatever the truth of existence of ancient religions going back to the period of the Neolithic and before.
With Gurdjieff, the made up story of pseudo-Zarathustra should make us suspicious of everything he says.