Saturday, February 04, 2012

New Age: A Guide

New Age: A Guide. 40 odd years ago I was shocked into a search for more Knowledge and understanding. These were pre-internet times but never-the-less libraries and bookshops offered relatively cheap paper backs, amongst the many religious/philosophical/ spiritual publications. I read G.I. Gurdjieff.

All and Everything - Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson (First published 1950; reprinted Penguin Arkana 1999)
Meetings with Remarkable Men
Views from the Real World.

In Meetings with Remarkable Men I found some of Gurgieff's ways uncomfortable, however that is a reflection of how my mind was at the time.

Gurdjieff was born in Armenia around 1870. Although his first tutor was a priest, he received a scientific education, but in surroundings and a way of life that had changed little for centuries. To his questions: Who am I? Why am I here? he found no answer either in religion or in science, but suspected that the truth lay hidden behind what had come down from the past in religious traditions and those strange myths and legends which he learned from his father, a traditional bard or 'ashokh'. Inspiring like-minded companions, he set out to find in Asia and Africa the truth he sought, learning many languages, and acquiring many practical skills to earn the money for his journeys.

In 1912 he brought to Moscow an unknown teaching, a teaching that was not a religion, nor a philosophy, but a practical teaching to be lived. To follow the way he proposed, nothing is to be believed until verified by direct experience and life in the world is not to be renounced. It is a way in life, on which - gradually, for it cannot be done all at once - everything has to be questioned - one's beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, one's whole outlook on the life of man on this Earth.

Man is asleep, said Gurdjieff, he has no real consciousness or will. He is not free; to him, everything happens. He can become conscious and find his true place as a human being in the creation, but this requires a profound transformation.

Gurdjieff calls us to awaken, telling us:

"Man's possibilities are very great. You cannot even conceive a shadow of what man is capable of attaining. But nothing can be attained in sleep. In the consciousness of a sleeping man his illusions, his 'dreams' are mixed with reality. He lives in a subjective world and he can never escape from it. And this is the reason why he can never make use of all the powers he possesses and why he lives in only a small part of himself."
In his a time a powerful influence in alternative ways of understanding. His book "Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson" the bone is buried so deep few if any have found it. Peter D Ouspensky, a peer, promulgated similar views and support amongst which was a fundamental understanding of an enneagram. The Law of Three and seven. This is an example, all else fits.

"Man's possibilities are very great. You cannot even conceive a shadow of what man is capable of attaining..."

New Age: A Guide

This guide to the New Age is a helpful introduction that not only provides insightful descriptions of practices and beliefs, but also reviews a wide range of academic and nonacademic perspectives. For the serious student or researcher! Kemp provides an excellent guide to the academic resources that can be brought to bear on the phenomenon. Concise but challenging. An excellent guide to the academic resources that can be brought to bear on the phenomenon. This is a very good book. Indeed, as a basic introduction to the many facets of the 'New Age' phenomenon, it would be hard to beat. It manages to combine descriptive accounts of various aspects of New Age spirituality with reflection on its wider significance, and to do so in a highly readable format. Perhaps the greatest strength of the book is the way it offers summaries of a vast number of existing studies, both published and unpublished, demonstrating a remarkable ability by the author to combine large amounts of material into a readable synthesis ... a well written book that deserves to be widely read and appreciated.

See or buy now. New Age: A Guide

No comments: