Trying to find a source for some half-remembered knowledge. This is a real long shot, but I hope one of you can help out.
When I was researching demons a few years ago, I randomly came across a book (on either google books or project gutenberg) purporting to be about folklore / legends / supernatural things from the Near East / Middle East / Orient / Araby / Turkdom / something like that. This wasn’t the Arabian Nights so don’t bother mentioning that. Pretty sure it wasn’t a different work by the same author. I apparently failed to bookmark it and I’m pissed at myself.
Anyway, I don’t need the book if somebody can just give me any kind of source or citation for the idea I’m remembering from it. Supposedly, per that author, there is an idea in the Middle East that this is not god’s first creation. Basically, dude makes universes for kicks and destroys them when they don’t work out, and we’re up to the sixth or later version of reality. Djinni are leftover from a previous world, in that paradigm.
So is this something anybody has ever believed or conjectured in the Arabic or Farsi spheres? Is it some Theosophist ass-pull? Was the author just being unusually creative for the 1800s? Googling this is tricky because there is so much religious and scifi-fantasy BS (same diff?) polluting results. Seems like there may be some ideas about cyclical creation and destruction from further east (India) but I’m pretty sure this was a book about Middle Eastern beliefs, even if it didn’t use modern terms for it.