The left of the historical materialists is likely to find itself with zero customers left when the reactionary sufis start peddling their soul secrets (capable of being a legitimate and very benign form of spiritual development).
This post discusses another related question: the relationship of present buddhism and yoga to the mysterious primordial cult of Shiva, from which the later religions of meditation arise.
The mysterious world of the ancient Shiva cults make a mockery of the current new atheism attack on religion: the most outlandish of seeming Hindu pagan religions, in reality the images of the Shiva cults put in their original context of the Neolithic, or a little later, show something fantastic, with the realization that the Neolithic world had paths to enlightenment, still struggling for a foothold in modernity.
Gurdjieff’s talk of presand egypt fourth way schools simply doesn’t compute. If what he meant was a Neolithic Egypt cult after the style of parallels like the Shiva cult, etc,…all I can say is maybe.
The term fourth way school is a bungled concept and doesn’t work. Noone can point to one anywhere in history. But the concept was carefully laid out by Ouspensky: it is based on a larger concept of meditation in action that works on body, emotions, intellect, and a ‘fourth’ integrating factor. The definition sounds legit but garbled in transmission.
The Indian example of primordial Shaivism (not the same as the much later ‘Shaivism’ as branch of Hinduism, if you look at the robust images of the ancient ‘still present but’ Shiva ‘religion’ with its profusion images, practices, and hybrid yoga/worship with proto-yogis still embedded in the larger cult it is possible to at least conceive of how neolithic humans could approach a sophisticated version of ‘consciousness transformation’ (i.e. meditation) in long ago eras, and perhaps this even goes back into the Paleolithic. The point is that anyone homo sapiens can reach ‘enlightenment’ even if a technological primitive. And what is indicated by a ‘four term’ meditation is something complicated to figure, but probably easy if the right ‘energy’ is there, even for a person in the neolithic. It appears to be along the lines of a mindfulness technique except somewhat larger in scope. But Grudjieff keeps making things up, and holding back in all cases the practical keys to its use. So the idea of an Egyptian religious cult before the later era of the Pyramids is perfectly possible. But we have no evidence there. In fact the evidence may be so totally abundant as to be obvious, if we knew how to decode the clear outward signs.