We can’t solve the politics of India save to note that its incredibly archaic tradition is betraying its future. Consider the still dominant tyranny of caste. We need as outsiders to critique that tradition and forestall the reactionary fascism promoted in secret by the whole guru phenomenon. India is at least a democracy (supposedly)) where too many of its spiritual leaders are reactionary and certainly not democrats.
The New Age movement has tended to feed the hindu mystique and the reign of guruism at a time when India needs to move on but is stuck in its past. That was an aspect of the modern form of the reformation, believe it or not, and the result will surely move beyond hinduism, buddhism. Two hundred million doing yoga is a non-starter as to that tradition of which most of the hindu population is entirely ignorant despite the immensity of its various forms and cults (and religions). The term ‘hinduism’ is itself a phantom. What it points to is ‘santana dharma’, eternal dharma, and that, while carrying some important legacies, simply feeds the traditionalist obsession.
It is tragic that buddhism, the original hindu reformation should have failed so completely and itself become a legacy stuck in its past.
It is remarkable how the guru flood has failed, and the puzzle of a figure like Rajneesh lingers as a reminder that leadership as attempted is non-existent here.
A new global movement is needed that can replace buddhism without becoming an anti-secularist religion. The issue can approach science and yet must posit its own axioms. The record of history does not produce optimism. The current crop of leaders will surely make a botch of that but a chaotic non-authoritarian trend of search might help, help or not it is inevitable. The attempt to create new religions is likely a waste of time. The legacy of Rajneesh shows that the action of gurus is not up to the task. But the mass of new age seekers is likely to be equally at risk of delusive spirituality. A quick study of Kindle books at amazon shows an explosion of books on every aspect of religion, new age subjects and every kind of superstition thrown in. We are talking about millions of books. We could hardly resolve such an immense field of secularizing pseudo-religion. The spread of astrology shows what is going to happen. Our half-satirical plug for Raja Yoga is no solution, and yet it points to a core that is beyond history and open to reinvention. But Crowley studied the latter and then mixed with neo-witchcraft and black magic. Not one seeker in thousand sees the danger. And figures like Gurdjieff have destroyed the reputation of sufism entirely. But the nature of the human species being has still not been found by any of these traditions, as the work of someone like Bennett makes clear, despite the equal confusions of that figure and his absorption into the dark side cult of the Gurdjieff world. Bennett has a lot of books on the subject of ‘paths’ all of them, save perhaps The Dramatic Universe, vitiated by the Gurdjieff junk about the law of three and seven etc…It is sad that his considerable corpus is unusable. He hardly knows what he is talking about. The field has always been corrupted by the confusions of occultism and the reactionary antimodernism of much of the new age’s crystallizing legacy which will parallel the black hole of hinduism. At least Bennett referenced the issue of will and this can serve as a warning to the new mafia of the will emerging (the do what thou will gang). The blend of raja yoga and witchcraft is going to be a path for many newbie gangsters…
Christianity was at least able to deal with the occult dark side (?really). Feminists ought to be wary of the spread of wicca. It is not quite benign, eh?
For all their focus on tradition the Modi world can’t manage anything beyond hatha yoga, which isn’t a spiritual subject at all. And if a figure like Rajneesh created a phony religion of enlightenment without being enlightened (cynically so) there is a crisis of semantics as to basic terminology.
Can anyone say anything intelligent on the subject? Buddhist bodhissatwas are not allowed to answer since they have renounced enlightenment. Anyone else?