Review of People of the Secret
Update: we have no real data here, and it is easy to confuse the ‘demiurgic powers’ and the ‘hidden directorarate’. I am very skeptical about the latter and have misjudged, I think, their place in the creation/onset of religions. I think I should amend my statements to note that the demiurgic powers should be a part of the onset of religions in the mideonic periods.
Who belongs to the hidden directorate? People like Gurdjieff? He made a total mess of what he did. None of the gurus and spiritual teachers could grasp the rise of modernity. And the book in question here shows that the sufis frittered away their energy in secondary occult subjects, alchemy, freemasonry (rosicrucianism), and the like. And these subjects are highly toxic and difficult to deal with because they are esoteric junk. These are precisely the results of the ‘hidden directorate’, I suspect. The onset of christianity is thus probably the result of two levels, a general format emerging from the Axial Age, from the demiurgic powers, and a series of more specific efforts by various planetary spiritual persons (consider the legend of the magi, useless, but significant), who completely fucked up the whole task, which nonetheless came about. The basic realization was prepared from the start in the Axial period, and the Old/New Testaments sense this with a lot of (dubious) claims they were foretold. What was ‘foretold’ was simply a very generalized format with few specifics…
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This review is from: The People of the Secret (Paperback)
I can’t give five starts to a book like this, and it may contain many errors, but it is worth pointing to the reference to J.G.Bennett without endorsing the whole book.
I think Bennett (connected to sufis, and the book is an Octagon print, from Idries Shah zone) almost got it right. Readers should check out my World History and the Eonic Effect:
We must distinguish three or more different things, and they are all in Bennett, but not in the right analysis:
1. demiurgic powers
2. a hidden directorate
3. the cascade of cosmic laws as in Bennett with _!_biospheres in that sequence of levels.
4. Ordinary men, buddhas, and perhaps men with ‘permanent I’, whatever that is.
WHEE gives some insight into the wrong analysis of epochs in Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe. It contains its own model, which distinguishes the action of the Axial Age, and the onset of most religions.
Many students get evolution and demiurgic powers confused. Demiurgic powers probably don’t have the energy resources to terraform planets or do operations on a global scale: this springs from biosphere (GAIA!). Demiurgic powers can move inside this context like men in a factory but the larger system is different. This is why noone can figure out the evolution of religion, civilization and man, and the hopeless confusions of ‘design arguments’. The Axial Age shows the emergence of religion in a larger context of civilization: this is biospheric with demiurgic co-participation. But religions can arise at any time: men are free to create them. But if they arise in the transition cycle of age periods they ofen prosper better. But the modern new age throws a curve ball: our larger system doesn’t distinguish sacred and secular: note the parallel Axial Age Greece. This biospheric level seems cyclic as Bennett noted and this suggests it is hypermechanical, while demiurgic beings have ‘will’ of some kind (although in Bennett biospheres have ‘will’ in a different sense, 24 laws?). And this leaves the founders like buddha in an ambiguous context. The sequence of age periods is fixed: religions can arise in their transitions like Hinayana or Israelitism or they can arise in the middle periods like Mahayana, Christianity, Islam. It is important to study the difference because two sets of operations are different.
Religions are probably delegated to the hidden directorate, or figures like Gautama, who can initiate their starting points, while their actual construction sequence ends in the hands of men. This is why the Old Testament seems so smart and primitive at the same time. It clearly distinguishes ‘god’ and ‘elohim’ btw…
This can be confusing, the analysis of World History and the Eonic Effect can throw for loop and the Axial Age in India is more complex than just buddhism. Buddhism appears just at the boundary of the Axial period, like the ‘religion’ appearing with the Israelites after ca. 600 BCE.
These three distinctions (or four) go a long way to explaining the confusion over religion, civilization, secularism, etc… We have bioshpere, demiurgic powers, a hidden directorate, and buddhas who clearly did not see anything beyond their enlightenment, a very tricky situation. And then ordinary men. The Israelites were very smart and saw a higher power or the bioshpere where the buddha saw only a ‘turning of the wheel’, with a visit from the ‘god realm’ (???). The gestation of Christianity, Islam, Mahayana (outside of the Axial Age) are thus at best influenced by the hidden directorate, and then human agents, with the Jesus figure in between. Scott is close on many points but this analysis is filled with traps…His take on Islam and sufis is useful at a time when Islamophobes are rampant.The question of the hidden directorate is vexed. Just who are these beings and how do they relate to incarnation? The buddhas move beyond incarnation. There is a another category?? (the boddhissatwa perhaps being an artificial imitation). The emergence of Christianity was a complete mess, yet succeeded in spite of itself. This model may help. Being a part of the ‘hidden directorate’ raises as many questions as it answers.They must support themselves over many lives on the surface of a planet, not an easy thing to do. We have not facts here, so we should be wary.
Note that, and Bennett realized this, modernity is a new age. This confounds all traditionalists. But it is important to see that the progression of epochs is beyond the ‘sacred/secular’ distinction. A closer look shows the Reformation and buddhism reborn in spite of itself, just as Jainism was reborn in the Axial Age, but then giving way to buddhism.
We can see figures like Osho struggling in this context: his commune could foot the bill for a new era, as buddhism tides and then begins to recede…
Note: I am using other peoples’ terminology and can’t vouch for the foundations of Bennett’s system but I think mine is a better interpretation than theirs, but….it doesn’t follow I accept the cosmological conclusions of Bennett about biospheres. But people don’t quite know how to use his system (assuming it is valid…a big if)
This author doesn’t get entangled with Gurdjieff who has confused everyone. Bennett’s take is a hybrid with another source. Another discussion. I don’t know if demiurgic powers can communicate with humans: the scales are totally different.