Another interesting read upon the Cultic Milieu and Mystical Religions. This time Partidge makes his case for re-terming mysticism to occult. Basically, he is concerned with the mass misinterpretation produced with the term mysticism. I agree, it’s quite a loaded term.
He then goes onto introduce the concept of New Age and it’s relationship with the more occult paganism. He seemed to imply that New Age would fit more within the cultic milieu as opposed to the occult.
It was interesting to learn the term occult was coined by punk muso and cult leader Genesis P-Orridge. Also, the appropriation of mainstream religious practices into New Age or the Occult to ‘create one’s own occultic dish according to one’s own occultic tastes.’ (71) Many religious practitioners are quite frustrated by this practice, how elements of their religion become a ‘fungible, detraditionalized concept.’ (70)
I found I hold similar views to the ‘Upanishadic doctrine of brahman-atman identification [that] – “All souls are one. Each is a spark from the original soul, and this soul is inherent in all souls… You are joined to a great Self… And because that Self is inclusive, you are joined to all others.”‘ (73)
Similarly, Shree Rajneesh’s beliefs about shedding the ego seemed very much in line with the Buddhist teachings I took part in back in 2010. ‘Only if you are ready to drop the ego, your judgements, and your rationality, your intellect – only if you are ready to allow me to cut off your head – will you be able to understand what is going on here.’ (76)
Probably more related to the non-fiction lab, I found that this sentence was illuminated the restrictions faced when crafting a fact-based narrative: ‘”New Agers” often make much of the fact that objective thinking is an ignis fatuus, and that observation and communication are always informed by one’s interests and presuppositions.’ (76)
Bricoleurs (85) = Something constructed using whatever is at hand at the time.
Throughout reading this piece I felt frustrated that I could not throw it aside to read upon my chosen topic of alternative educations… There’s simply not enough time in the day!