By comparing white supremacy in the U.S. to the caste system in India, her new book at once illuminates and collapses a complex history.
Source: Isabel Wilkerson’s World-Historical Theory of Race and Caste | The New Yorker
This already classic study is relevant to this blog with its critique of the legacy of caste in India, and beyond that its pervasive influence on all new age groups: witness the Gita as a text in yoga with its promotion of caste (and in a way Gandhi could not seem to grasp) and violence. This book is a dialog of Khrisha preaching caste duties to Arjun, along with the duty of violence. How this book became Gandhi’s spiritual background is a puzzle, or else no puzzle at all.
We have commented here frequently on the dangerous strain of not only fascism but on antique caste thinking in the alt-right movements, witness the hold of Ouspensky on Bannon, et al. But Gurdjieff who stangely denounced caste made his chief disciple attempt to bring it to the modern world in a counterrevolutionary anti-modernism. We should note the resemblance if not ultimate identiy of caste to the medieval class hierarchy.
The left has failed however to grasp the realm of ancient spiritualities: a new left needs to liberate the various dharmas from ancient distortions. The emergence of caste in India has never been correctly analyzed, I suspect, in part because the tradition is not seen to be far more ancient than something emerging from the Vedas. There the legacy of Aryanism also enters and the class/caste issues of the Aryan invasion era are still obscure. One has to wonder if caste is the result of that Aryan influx???? I doubt if the original yogas had any connection with Hinduism (in its later meaning(s)) or with the caste issue.
Starting with Raja Yoga it is important to start over, try to see the larger history and to create new successors invoking the original tradition and/or freeing itself from all these histories as such.
We see that Buddhism (and Jainism?) see the problem and attack the issue of caste, and yet the battle was never won and the later dark history of Buddhism remains obscure.
The eight-term Hindu yoga no doubt is influenced by Buddhism, and in general one cannot feel ‘safe’ around the legacy gurus, ditto for the Gurdjieff world which tries to attract modern liberals to what is a grotesque fascist and concealed core legacy, called esoteric in the strategy to teach one thing outwardly and another as ‘esoteric’, which can be conveniently kept secret.