His mother was American and his father was British. Bennett later displayed an extraordinary talent for languages, which enabled him to talk with many spiritual teachers in their native tongues. He studied Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian sacred texts in their original languages. Bennett makes little reference to his childhood in his autobiography, Witness. Elsewhere he credits his mother with instilling in him the virtues of hard work and tolerance.

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John Goldolphin Bennett Unravelling the wool which Gurdjieff had effectively pulled over our eyes and reknitting it all into new depths of understanding is one of the real gifts that Bennett brought to his masters work. Cecil Lewis, All My Yesterdays, p. Alick Bartholomew, obituary article, The Times, His father Basil was a traveller, linguist and adventurer and his mother Annie Caroline was an American from Rhode Island. Posted to Arras, France, he served for nearly two years as a second lieutenant of the Royal Engineers.

In March he was almost fatally injured and invalided back to England. While he lay more dead than alive following his injury, he experienced an out-of-body sensation that later proved to be one of his great turning points, and he describes this as the real beginning of his life. Upon his recovery, and while still commissioned in the British Army, Bennett was trained in the Turkish language, for which he appears to have had an uncanny aptitude, and, after the cessation of hostilities, posted to Istanbul, Turkey where he remained for two years.

He was married for the first time, to Evelyn McNeill in November, , on the same day that his father died. Ouspensky; Thomas de Hartmann and G. His daughter Ann was born in This vision gave him an insight into the existence of higher dimensions and worlds, and gave him his start on the great search that would consume the rest of his life. It was in this period that he came into contact with Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, who would later become the two greatest influences on his life and his search.

By early , Bennett was close to the centre of some international political controversies and was recalled to London, where he was summoned to brief Prime Minister, David Lloyd George on Middle Eastern affairs, after which he resigned his commission.

Returning to Turkey as a civilian, Bennett was approached by representatives of the Turkish princes, the heirs of the late Sultan Abdulhamid II, to act as their agent in the salvaging and settlement of their vast estates, which included some incalculably valuable oil fields in Mesopotamia. At this time, Bennett settled in London, separated from his wife Evelyn, and moved into a flat with Mrs Beaumont. However, although astonishingly successful as an intelligence officer, Bennett proved to have little aptitude for high level international finance.

For the eight year period from , Bennett devoted his time to the pursuit of deals on behalf of the princes, and to the study of the system taught by P. Bennett made two short visits in the winter of and spent five weeks there in the summer of After his trial and acquittal on all charges, Bennett, who was now without a source of income, developed some ideas which had come as a result of visits to some mine works in Northern Greece.

From a small beginning this proved to be extraordinarily successful. After some false starts in the financially perilous climate of the early s, Bennett eventually gained traction in the field of coal research, and received extensive funding from the association of mine owners to explore ways to make coal production and use more efficient.

For his activities in support of the war effort, he was able to requisition a substantial suburban estate at Coombe Springs in South West London, where he set up research laboratories, and used the grounds for his spiritual study groups on the weekends. Many but not all of the people who worked for the coal research project, were participants in the study groups. At the end of the war, the research labs were relocated to Leatherhead, Surrey and Coombe Springs was purchased outright from the owner, for the exclusive purpose of the spiritual research.

During this period Bennett had worked closely with Ouspensky, and had begun to teach the system to groups of his own pupils. But after Ouspensky left Britain for the US in , he began to suspect that Bennett was plagiarizing his books, and proscribed him from his groups.

On his return after the end of the war, he served legal notice on Bennett, who did not see him again before his death in October Ouspensky had returned from the US a broken and pessimistic man, and after his death, his pupils were in confusion. Bennett returned to Gurdjieff almost exactly 25 years after he had last seen him, and this time was determined to allow no opportunity to pass him by. He recounts in his autobiography "Witness" that although his professional life was highly successful, and he had the support of a large number of regular students, still he felt inwardly that he was lost and confused.

He formally asked Gurdjieff to teach him, which was agreed on condition of complete commitment. He travelled almost every weekend to Paris, returning each week to his hectic professional life. Gurdjieff pushed him unmercifully, setting him all manner of difficult or impossible tasks, alternately ridiculing or humiliating Bennett, then praising him and sharing his profoundest teachings.

Through the s visitors at Coombe Springs and attendees of his lectures numbered in the s, and a second branch of the Institute was set up in Manchester, England. Bennett took his severance pay and used it to travel to the Middle East, spending four months in Turkey, Syria, Israel, Iraq. He made contact with a number of prominent Sufi leaders during this time, and immersed himself in the way of life of a wandering dervish.

Upon his return, he inaugurated a project to build a large meeting hall in the grounds of Coombe Springs, and to this end he asked a number of architects to form a design group to incorporate the ideas of the system into the design.

He also embarked on a campaign to bring publicity to the Gurdjieff work, which put him on a collision course with the notoriously publicity-shy elders of the Gurdjieff group. In , Bennett became aware of Subud, a devotional practice originating with an Indonesian named Muhammad Subuh. Having been alerted by Gurdjieff to look for another teacher who would follow, and advised by Sheikh Abdullah Daghestani in Damascus that a great teacher was soon coming from the East, Bennett was disposed to believe that Pak Subuh was the promised leader.

Accordingly he made all his considerable resources available to Subud, and following his lead, large numbers of members were initiated into the practice.

In and , two daughters, Hero and Tessa were born. For two years Bennett devoted himself to Subud to the exclusion of all else. His book "Concerning Subud" was a best seller, going to a second impression within months of its first publication; and Bennett also published several minor books on Subud through small publishing houses.

But by , Bennett had become disillusioned, and saw that Subud did not in fact live up to its initial promise. He returned to his Gurdjieff practices and many but not all of his former students followed him. In , as a result of some meetings with a group of Benedictine monks, he became a Catholic, and from that time on, he never missed Sunday Mass, and also became an active member of his local St Vincent de Paul Society.

Then in , after a series of meetings with Idries Shah, he decided to close the Coombe Springs project. At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Institute, a decision was reached to donate the entire property unconditionally to Idries Shah, and Bennett and his family moved to a private house in Kingston-upon-Thames. In he received an inner indication that he was to start a school.

He quit the work he had been doing with a group of researchers developing educational systematics, and devoted himself to the new project. By October , the school opened with 90 students at Sherborne House, in a large mansion in the Cotswolds, England. By the time of his death in December , Bennett had completed three Basic Courses, putting emphasis on leadership of groups, and ways to practice and share the Work.

The fourth course was under way and the fifth was in preparation. He published a number of major books, including his four volume "The Dramatic Universe" and his autobiography, "Witness" and a number of other books, which mainly consisted of transcriptions of lectures.


John Godolphin Bennett Biography

A brilliant, mercurial man, with a talent for languages, he grew up speaking English and Italian; as an adult, he learned German, Turkish, Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Pali. The Eastern languages he had learned well enough to read the religious literature in the original language. He served in the British military during and after World War I, first in signals and after the war in Intelligence. With an enormous capacity for work, several times he worked himself to exhaustion and serious illness. Frequently Bennett said yes to many proposals and paths of action only later to do something else, sometimes the exact opposite of what he had agreed to.



Metilar If a new volunteer signs up in your requested photo location, they may see your existing request and take the photo. He also was active in starting the British section of the Subud movement, and co-founded its British headquarters. Edit or Suggest Edit Edit a memorial you manage or suggest changes to the memorial manager. Frequently Bennett said yes to many proposals and paths of action only later to do something else, sometimes the exact opposite of what he had agreed to. A brilliant, mercurial man, with a talent for languages, bennettt grew up speaking English and Italian; as an adult, he learned German, Turkish, Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Pali.


John Godolphin

Basida Because it is so simple, it has become hard for me. Some sources give his year of death aswhich is incorrect. With an enormous capacity for work, several times he worked himself to exhaustion and gennett illness. If goodlphin new volunteer signs up in your requested photo location, they may see your existing request and take the photo. Wandrille, Bennett first had a deep experience of what he believed was the destined unification of Islam and Christianity. His fluency made him the confidant of many high-ranking Turkish political figures; it also helped him to develop his knowledge of Turkey and to gain insights into non-European ways of thinking. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.


John Godolphin Bennett


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