The start of the Preface to Last and First Men has an amusing ambiguity: whales in rocket ships as the inspiration for a new communist revolution….Well, maybe, and I disguised this ‘serious joke’ behind another: the stealth influence of hidden ‘communist sufis’ suggesting the composition of an emergencey neo-post-marxist version of a communist thematic. I think sufis are getting worried and may wish to ditch Islam for something with a modern future. I don’t know, and the idea for the book actually emerged in the late 70’s, just about the time that Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe came out. That book has the resolution of the riddle if you read it carefully: it was a book written under the spell of the Gurdjieff world, but showing in fact a completely different influence, from the esoteric left trying, I suspect, to pull Bennett out of a field of sufi reactionaries. It was at this point that Bennett began to sense the influence of what he called the ‘demiurgic powers’, in the process spawning a strange new myth to drive out the more primitive myths of the religious world.
Bennett’s notion here is very believable and I think that the same experience happened to me, as if I were a ‘sleeper agent’ for a leftist initiative many years later, inspired by this moment.
That’s too much to claim in public at this point, and I have never claimed anything, but my original cover story about sufis is not really right, although the hidden lore of sufis as to alien creatures, some of them whale-like seabeasts, is as old as Sumer, and emerges comically in the world of the early Xtians. I have to leave it there: the book was touched briefly by intersection with the demiurgic world. Take it or leave it, perhaps leave it, save to note that such claims are in fact not even remarkable, and that Bennett’s insight is, I believe, correct: human history is pervaded by the ‘realm of the demiurgic powers’. Virtually all the confusions of theology disappear if we consider this view, but, mon vieux, where’s the proof?
The next few generations will resolve such issues, as we come to understand the ET question, and other related questions. We cannot resolve this question given current science, which may soon however graduate to a science of consciousness in the real sense.
So we revert to that other cover story about sufis, and their whale sagas…