Occult Expert Needed

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.


  1. lanir says

    The only examples of this I’m aware of came from one of the Native American tribes. I’m not sure which one off the top of my head. Oh and Thundercats.

  2. says

    A quick googling about shows that Richard Francis Burton did not publish any books of arabic mythology. Although he travelled widely and was a bit of a freethinker. He’d be exactly the kind of person I’d expect would have snagged a copy of Abdul Alhazred’s unspeakable book and brought it back to Victorian London. Sounds like something from a story by Alan Moore.

  3. greenie says

    That does sound familiar, though I’m unsure of the exact text. I would check first literature about the Gnostics, as that would fit with other ideas some Gnostics had. Esoterica/Dr. Justin Sledge on youtube covers occultism and esotericism extensively; I’d check his series on Kabbalah (i have a vague memory of it maybe coming up there?) or maybe email him directly.

    If you hadn’t said “Middle East” I’d have said it would be Indian or Maya. It might have been a “Traditionalist” thing in the vein of Rene Guenon, which is less unreliable than theosophy but not by much.

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