More on Idries Shah, Castaneda
Comment on Gurus as Vampires….
08.12.09 at 12:28 pm ·
I mention Castaneda and Idries Shah together because years ago, I attended a lecture by a fellow very high up in the enneagram scene.
He claimed to be close friends with both Iries Shah and Castaneda and the packed roomful of 200 plus adoring admirers all gave a thrilled, adulatory hum.
I recall sitting there, thinking to myself, ‘Wait. Castaneda’s stuff has been discredited years ago. These people are older than I am, all look intelligent, professional, well established and they are thrilling to all this.’
I sensed that by accident, I had bumbled into a the midst of a coterie, an ingroup whose membership with defined by a shared trancey belief in all this stuff.
Turned out I was correct.
The lecturer claimed that when he was just 16 years old, he read (and presumbably appreciated) Belzebub’s Tales to his Grandson.
I heard another thrilled, awed hum from the assembled crowd of admirers.
Years later, I learned that this book is considered the ultimate test of whether someone is really into Gurdjieff work. Claiming one has read this weird tome, and claiming one has read it and appreciated it at age 16 is a way to establish heavy legitimacy credentials amongst the Fourth Way tribals.
Castaneda, Idries Shah, Omar Shah, the enneagram in general, Gurdjieff, even persons who are considered maverick Fourth Wayers, such as Lozowick, EJ Gold, Alex Horn, etc–
As the old Slim Gaillard jazz song put it, “Beware, brother, brother, beware.”