History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Soul and sufistic legacies

February 24th, 2015 · 3 Comments


I have been running the Gurdjieff Con blog for many years, but didn’t know of this critique. I will discuss it further over at that blog. But I have often pointed to the many confusions in Gurdjieff’s corpus. Unfortunately it didn’t follow that he was some kind of charlatan. He as a dangerous occult figure for whom the teaching was mostly rubbish dished out to cover the less public part.
I know of absolutely no teaching, including the buddhist, which has gotten spiritual psychology straight. People can reach enlightenment without figuring out how they work, fortunately.

I must interject here my discussion of the ‘soul’ issue in sufism, with a suspicion that this was what Gurdjieff was talking about. If not, it is what the sufis aren’t talking about but which transmits through their schools unspoken, and not often even there.

I have a suspicion people grow ‘souls’ in this manner, none the wiser for the whole cascade of gibberish on these subjects, not least the Theosophical. The structure is almost impossible to figure out, but the sufi world had a way to guide people with the injection of what I called the ‘plexus seed’ phenomenon which takes over the soul question. This method can be applied to congregations who are not experts in spiritual psychology. It suddenly happens to members of a group of students, who usually then disperse. There is no further instruction after that. It is this I suspect Gurdjieff was talking about, indirectly. I am not sure. His disciples don’t seem to know what was meant. Did Gurdjieff?
But he seems to be saying that early Egyptian religion was a source for this. Implying, I think, that this process was present in early Xtianity.

The reality is stark:
We have no traditions that we can reliably point to as expositions of the truth about man. The only safe approach is some form of ‘buddhism 101’, making it clear there is not monopoly here for ‘Gautama buddhists’. The whole tradition springs from primordial Shaivism and then passes into the forms of Jainism which pass into the brilliant recreation of Gautama.
This path does not create a soul, but shows the way beyond the samsaric manifestions. The theosophic whole nine yards can be filed away along with all your other mislaid notes.
Until someone can produce some real answers here I would be wary of the sufi soul game, if you ever run across it. Keep in mind that a real path has to be workable for a sheepherder at the ends of the earth who never attended school. The sufis and early Xtians were able to achieve this.

In any case, as noted, all humans of our species already have ‘souls’ of some kind. This is connected with the basic apparatus of man seen in the accounts like the Tibetan book of the dead where at death the personality is dropped but the basic human passes through the bardo world.
Sufis who enter this process (as I have explained, I intersected briefly with this, but aborted from the process) never see the source. It is not a function controlled by sufi sheiks (as far as I know) but which suddenly appears when that figure seems to think his students ready. The process simply appears and I fear most abort without being able to figure what is happening. Thus the secret protects itself.

The die is cast now. In the next phase of civilization these ancient spiritual technologies will enter the public sphere. In the nonce, stay with the ‘buddhist’ type path. Getting entangled with rogue sufis isn’t worth it.
I was a casualty here, I suspect, but have since recovered and moved toward a yogic type teaching.

Here another confusion arises: the emergence of Mahayana buddhism in concert with the onset of Xtianity.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 NK // Feb 24, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I’m not aware of where “growing souls” is taught in the classic sources of Sufism. Maybe you’re referring to Rumi about growing from a plant, animal, human, etc.

    It seems like the tradition you’re really referring to is Taoism, in which the goal is to create an immortal spirit body.

  • 2 NK // Feb 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    This path does not create a soul, but shows the way beyond the samsaric manifestions.

    The problem from the Buddhist perspective is that the “astral body/etheric body” is not a soul either. It can develop and lead to delusions in people who have strong powers of concentration:

    “Of particular interest here is the Buddha’s treatment of the three “acquisitions of a self.” The first — the gross self — refers to the ordinary, everyday sense of identifying with one’s body. The latter two — the mind-made acquisition and the formless acquisition — refer to the sense of self that can be developed in meditation. The mind-made acquisition can result from an experience of the mind-made body — the “astral body” — that constitutes one of the powers that can be developed through concentration practice. The formless acquisition can result from any of the formless states of concentration — such as an experience of infinite space, infinite consciousness, or nothingness. Although meditators, on experiencing these states, might assume that they have encountered their “true self,” the Buddha is careful to note that these are acquisitions, and that they are no more one’s true self than the body is. They are one’s acquisition of a self only for the time that one identifies with them. ”


  • 3 nemo // Feb 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    The sufi question is almost unknown to new agers, but it is the reality of ancient sufism, although the exact history is unknown. Many sufi schools however do not know of it.
    Taoism, who knows, but it is not the same, as far as I know.

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