JG Bennett: A History of a Search

The Following background offers information concerning Gurdjieff and Bennett and the ‘Fourth Way’ work which will be examined in these new courses in Mallorca.https://www.jgbennett.org/

 Bennett and Gurdjieff: A Background History

John Godolphin Bennett (8 June 1897 – 13 December 1974) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Bennettwas a British philosopher, mathematician, research scientist, technologist, industrial research director and author. He is perhaps best known for his many books on psychology and spirituality, particularly on the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff

Bennett met G.I. Gurdjieff in Istanbul in October 1920 and later helped to co-ordinate the work of Gurdjieff in England after Gurdjieff’s arrival in Paris.

Bennett was a Fellow of the Institute of Fuel, Chairman, Conference of Research Associations, Chairman, Solid Fuel Industry British Standards Institution, Chairman and Director, Institute for the comparative study of History, Philosophy, and the Sciences, Kingston Upon Thames, UK 1946–1959.

Bennett’s Formative Years

Bennett himself would later display an extraordinary talent for languages, which enabled him to talk with many spiritual teachers in their native tongues, and to study Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian sacred texts in their original forms.

Bennett in his autobiography, Witness, describes how he served as a subaltern in the Royal Engineers and in France in March 1918. Blown off his motorcycle by an exploding shell, Bennett had an out-of-body experience which convinced him that there is something in man which can exist independently of the body.

“It was perfectly clear to me that being dead is quite unlike being very ill or very weak or helpless. So far as I was concerned, there was no fear at all. And yet I have never been a brave man and was certainly still afraid of heavy gunfire. I was cognizant of my complete indifference toward my own body.”

This set his life on a new course – he described the return to normal existence as the return to a body that was now in some sense a stranger.

Following the war, Bennett held a sensitive position in Anglo-Turkish relations, the confidant of many high-ranking Turkish political figures, and helped him to develop his knowledge of Turkey and to gain insights into non-European ways of thinking, following which he was recruited to be the head of Military Intelligence with responsibility for the entire Middle Eastern region.

Withou Self-Knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of this machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.” ― G.I. GURDJIEFF.

“All day long I was dealing with different races: English, French, Italian, Greek, Armenian, Turkish, Kurdish, Russian, Arab, Jews and people so mixed up as to be no race at all. Each and every one was convinced of the superiority of his own people. How could everyone be right and all the rest wrong? It was nonsense”.

To this day he is still regarded as a major figure in the political life of Turkey in that period. His love of Turkey would remain with him for the rest of his life.

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