Bennett with Shivapuri Baba
Bennett at work - Coombe Springs
An early 4th Way Course at Sherborne

Bennett & The Fourth Way Courses

John Bennett believed that, concern for others can be translated into effective action only by those who are working for their own self-perfecting. The focus of Gurdjieff’s and Bennett’s teaching was on people who sincerely wish to give rather than take, to overcome their own weaknesses rather than exploit the weaknesses of others. The intention was to build a new consciousness in society that will survive in the hard times ahead. The perceived, ‘hard times’ were themselves viewed as a necessary factor in self-perfecting. This is one reason why ‘schools of wisdom’ (as Bennett termed them) could become active when humanity is approaching a time of perceived crisis.

JG Bennett: The Institute of Comparative Study

Bennett’s task was to create a community that would be able to maintain itself under difficult economic and social conditions. A shared spiritual quest for self-perfecting was the foundation for the development of positive change in society, sponsored by The Institute of Comparative Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences, Ltd., of London, England. This was incorporated in 1946 to research the factors that make for process and retrogression in human individuals and societies. It investigated most of the psychological, religious and spiritual movements of our time and also the traditional methods preserved in the Schools of Wisdom. It developed and tested a unique system for training men and woman in methods of personal development long before the emergence of the current popular methodologies. This was applied at the International Academy for Continuous Education established in the early 1970s at Sherborne House in England. The success of the method led to a demand for similar facilities in the USA and a centre was established at Claymont in West Virginia.

The Project

The long-term aim of the centre is to explore the principles of continuous education embodied in the Sherborne and Claymont courses as well as the spirit of the ‘Fourth Way’ work explored by Gurdjieff. The intention is to work with students to engage with practices and methodologies leading to a harmonious and creative life.

The term ‘Fourth Way School’ was used by Gurdjieff to distinguish the type of Cultural learning and research facility we are creating at the Enneagram Centre – Mallorca. In his book, Dramatic Universe, Bennett referred to the concept of a ‘Psychokinetic Society,’ indicating the desire to research and develop concepts of human perfectibility. A school of the Fourth Way exists solely to facilitate learning for this purpose. The task at the new centre is to work towards the enjoyment of fully satisfying conditions of life in all planes: physical, intellectual and spiritual and find and develop linkages with similar organisations such as the IofC connection.

The purpose of the course is to help students in their work of self-perfecting, to give them confidence in the reality of the spiritual world and to train them to become specialists able to teach others and to serve Nature.

The New Courses – inspired by Gurdjieff and Bennett

The centre will at it’s core run a series of residential seminars to examine routes to personal development and inner work, to look at what we can do in our lives as individuals and as members of the worldwide community.

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Pollenca Retreats, Cami de S’Almadrava, Bay of Pollenca, Mallorca, 07460, Email: Telephone: +44 (0) 7990-841723