Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | August 30, 2008

Sex and the Spiritual – The Secret about Secret Societies

After writing the last post I wanted to find out more about Jonathan Black and his book (which I am now 160 pages into and enjoying – more later when I reach the end – it’s a remarkable and unusual book). I found a scathing review about it on salon.com by Laura Miller that ended amusingly. And here is what one commentator noted after reading her piece:

As a Master Mason and son of one of an extremely well-known and highly advanced member of Scottish Rite Freemasonry (who was also for most of his life a practicing Christian Scientist but finally got cured of it) I found this article a huge breath of fresh air.

I also found the last sentence or so of the piece profoundly insightful and perhaps even worthy of an initiate of one or more of the interrelated “secret” societies which actually serve some useful function, specifically this:

“Most people will still choose to believe in something ‘more,’ whether it’s the ninefold [she means eightfold] path of the Buddha or the pillars of Islam or pyramid power. Chances are that whatever they choose will sound ridiculous to anyone who doesn’t also believe. That’s something religion has always had in common with sex: If you’re not into it, it looks silly. Which explains why all the really clever people do it behind closed doors.”

Religion has a lot in common with sex. The purest religion does not separate itself from sex at all. In this remarkably prurient yet puritanical culture of ours, it really is clever to keep both strictly sub rosa. More fun, too. AJCalhoun

144 comments follow Laura Miller’s article: here


Responses

  1. (…)”Which explains why all the really clever people do it behind closed doors.”

    Makes sense, lol. :-O

  2. Humorous and interesting post. Lots of food for thought!

  3. I read Mr. Blacks tome (well 3/4’s of it) but couldn’t finish it.

    I understand that it is meant to be taken as allegory and I will stand enlightened, but the whole thing just smacked of fantastical fabrication with little to offer in the way of elucidation on the subject of world mystery cults to me.

    Sorry – hate to be a kiljoy.

  4. Hello Philip,

    I’m a new member of OBOD (hello!), and also hate to be a killjoy, but I can’t help but agree with Paul Newman above (and the more negative reviews) – I personally found Mr. Booth’s book to be utterly fantastical and poorly written, with little or no real factual back-up for his stream-of-consciousness musings on secret societies. I also felt that it portrayed women in a somewhat negative light (which is, perhaps, in keeping with what I interpret as the decidedly patriarchal tone of Western “secret societies”). It seemed to me that he was trying to imitate the cryptic style of truly “enlightened” texts, with, in my opinion, varying degrees of success. Simply put, I found no nugget of enlightened thought in it whatsoever (for that reason, I wasn’t able to finish it). However, I do find it interesting that you appreciate it – mine is only one of many interpretations, of course. In any case, bright blessings and best wishes!


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